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Wings guitarist Henry McCullough dies

Associated Press Associated Press 14/06/2016

Henry McCullough, who played guitar in Paul McCartney's band Wings, has died at age 72.

His live music agent, Nigel Martyn, said McCullough died on Tuesday after a long illness.

He said the guitarist never fully recovered from a severe heart attack suffered four years ago.

McCullough played with the Grease Band with Joe Cocker at Woodstock, and worked at various times with Marianne Faithfull and Donovan, and also appeared on the original cast recording of Jesus Christ Superstar.

The Northern Ireland native was recruited to join the second version of Wings in 1971, and his guitar solo on My Love on the album Red Rose Speedway marked a career peak. He improvised it in a single take.

"With music, sometimes you come across something and it's a gift from God and it's channelled through you," he said in a 2011 interview with the website Pennyblackmusic.

"I swear, I never heard those notes before that way."

McCullough, who also played on the single of Live and Let Die, walked out of Wings in July 1973 after clashing with McCartney.

The rift was patched up in later years.

"Just because there's a little hiccup along the way, it doesn't take away from what you've built up," he said in a 2011 interview with the website Musiclegends.

McCartney on Tuesday paid tribute to his former bandmate.

"He was a pleasure to work with, a super talented musician with a lovely sense of humour," the former Beatle said in a statement.

He said McCullough's solo on My Love was a "classic that he made up on the spot" in front of a live orchestra.

McCullough also worked with George Harrison's Dark Horse label, which produced his solo album Mind Your Own Business in 1975.

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