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Paul McCartney reveals how Jimi Hendrix inspired him to buy his favorite electric guitar

Photo of WINGS and Paul McCARTNEY, performing live onstage with Wings, playing Epiphone Casino guitar, Bigsby Vibrato.
(Image credit: David Redfern/Redferns)

Paul McCartney is, like all of us, in lockdown, but as he says in a new interview with GQ, he considers himself “lucky, because what I do, it all starts with writing, and I can pretty much do that anywhere, so long as I’ve got a guitar.”

And throughout the interview, the Beatles legend discusses his guitars in depth, including relating a story about how his admiration for Jimi Hendrix led him to one of his most-loved electrics.

“I have an Epiphone Casino, which is one of my favorites,” he says. “It’s not the best guitar, but I bought it in the 1960s. I went into a shop on Charing Cross Road and asked the guys if they had a guitar that would feedback, because I was very much into Jimi Hendrix and that kind of thing.

“I loved that kind of stuff and so I wanted a guitar that was going to give me feedback, as none of the others could. So they showed me the Casino. Because it’s got a hollow body, it feeds back easier. I had a lot of fun with that. That’s the guitar I played the Taxman solo on and it’s also the guitar I played the riff on Paperback Writer with.”

Elsewhere in the story, McCartney shows off his 1954 butterscotch Fender Telecaster and his Taylor Richie Sambora acoustic, the latter of which he played in the video for the Rihanna and Kanye West song FourFiveSeconds.

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

He also chooses his favorite of his own guitar solos: “What immediately comes to mind is the Taxman solo,” he says. “I think that’s pretty good.

“And then I actually did something on my Egypt Station album, which was a whole track of me playing guitar and that was pretty good.”

To find out what Guitar World considers Macca’s best solos with the Beatles (and yes, Taxman is on there), head to our round-up of our fab faves.

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.