That solo, man. That solo. It never stopped doing what it did to me each time it came on the radio back in the Spring of 1973. It already greatly helped that it was Paul McCartney, for goodness sake. But that middle-break guitar solo from Henry McCullough would stop me dead in my tracks. It didn’t matter if it was the 100th time that I had already heard the song. You waited for that dramatic 1 to 1 and 1/2 seconds before the solo came in. It felt like the entire earth’s spin was stopping at that moment.
And when the solo itself kicked in, it was perfect. That solo had all of the different colors of love wrapped up within itself. It was for lovers who had each other. It was for would be lovers who longed to have love. It was about happiness. It was about sadness. It was about every emotion in between. That solo made “My Love” be what it was. Because of it and the fact that McCartney had another damned good song on his hands, that behemoth sold a gazillion singles to the record buying public.
To think that the solo was made up on the spot goes completely against the grain of all of those great songs we’ve heard over the years where the solos were considered beforehand or long labored like an overlong birthing process. I don’t know what made that solo pop into Henry’s head when he came up with it, but he must have had angels of some kind traveling along with him in his life, or at least that exact moment, when he came up with it. It was a solo sent from Heaven. It will never be duplicated. It will never be forgotten. It was a moment for the ages.
It wasn’t the only thing he ever did in his career, but it was the moment everybody will remember the most. It also turned out to be one of the most dramatic guitar solos of the 1970s. It proved that a sort of romanticism was not dead within us as a greater cynicism was growing all around us.