MJ Kim/© 2015 MPL CommunicationsPaul McCartney has been entertaining crowds of adoring fans since The Beatles came to fame more than 50 years ago, but the legendary rocker admits that early in his music career he actually was so insecure about going onstage that he considered “giving it all up.”

In a new installment of his “You Gave Me the Answer” online Q&A feature, Sir Paul cites “performing” as one of the biggest fears he ever experienced in his life.

“It was always the idea that the audience didn’t like you and you had to prove yourself,” McCartney explains. “I think that’s why a lot of people get stage fright and get nervous. You think, ‘Oh my God, I’m gonna be terrible, they hate me, and it’s all terrible.’ And so I think that was one of the earliest fears.”

The 74-year-old musician recalls that at one of The Beatles’ early performances at an NME Poll-Winners concert in Wembley, U.K., “I remember feeling physically sick with a knot in my stomach thinking, ‘I should give this up, this is just too painful, what am I doing?'” He adds, however, “I got over it. And as you can see, I didn’t give it up!”

McCartney also notes that while his stage fright issues aren’t too bad these days, he still feels the need for a bit of reassurance when he prepares to schedule a new tour.

“What I do is I always say to my promoter when a tour is coming up: ‘Put one show on sale and see how it goes,'” he reveals. “And he’ll ring me back and say, ‘It’s sold out! Twenty minutes!’ So I’ve got to assume that they like me. So it gives you a confidence and I think I can probably relax, they probably like me.”

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