Meet the man behind Paul McCartney's Red Wings sticker

Oct 20, 2015

Replica of the Epiphone Texan played by Paul McCartney. McCartney played a right-handed Texan modified for left-handed play.
Credit Wikimedia user CasinoKat / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Beatles’ Yesterday is widely considered one of the most iconic songs of all time.

On the track, you can hear Paul McCartney playing his famed Epiphone Texan.

For nearly four decades, the Epiphone has sported a Red Wings decal, all thanks to Mike Kudzia of Clinton Township.

Mike Kudzia
Credit Mike Kudzia

Kudzia tells us he was just swinging by Olympia Stadium the night of the Wings concert in 1976 to pick up a paycheck when his coworkers invited him to stay for the rest of the show.

“It was a great show, I was really enjoying it,” he says. And then he was struck with an idea.

“Here was a band that’s called Paul McCartney and Wings, and he’s at the stadium of the Red Wings … So I thought the two kind of went together and I thought it would be kind of nice to present him with a Red Wings sticker to put on his guitar.”

Using the knowledge he gained as an employee of the stadium, Kudzia worked his way backstage where he found McCartney.

After he presented the sticker, Kudzia says McCartney “looked dumbfounded at me.”

“He had a blank look on his face, like, why would we do something like that?” he says.

Kudzia tells us he didn’t find out that McCartney actually did end up using the sticker until 2011, when a Facebook friend went to the artist’s concert and posted a picture showing the guitar.

“For a moment I was like, in a shock,” Kudzia says. “I had to go back 40 years in my memory to remember that night that I actually did it.”

He did some digging online and soon discovered that a sort of urban legend had sprung up concerning where McCartney got the sticker.

“I realized, I’m the only guy that really knows how he got it,” he says. “It was kind of funny to me, thinking that, yes, here I gave it to him and he had that blank look on his face … and then he actually did do it.”