LONDON – Paul McCartney's ultimate hero is ... the late fellow Beatle, John Lennon.
"I've got a few heroes, but if I really have to plump for one, well howsabouts .... John?'' McCartney was quoted as saying in a celebrity poll published in Wednesday's music magazine Mojo.
"But I have to add the reservation that it could also be the other Beatles — or Elvis. Or Little Richard. Or Nat King Cole."
Of Lennon, who was shot to death in 1980 outside his New York apartment building, McCartney reportedly said, "What I admire in him was massive talent, great wit, courage and humor. He influenced me, very much so."
Together, the pair wrote such hits as "Help!" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," and turned the Beatles into stars.
Oasis brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher also cited Lennon among their heroes.
"People will be surprised I didn't say the Beatles. Paul McCartney is a musical hero — but Paul McCartney is just not my kind of pop star. Lennon is," Noel Gallagher was quoted as saying.
"This is no diss to Paul McCartney ... He's a top man, but there's an element of professionalism, whereas Lennon was like 'plug a guitar in and I'll make it howl,"' he said.
Liam Gallagher, whose son with actress Patsy Kensit is named Lennon, added, "It's his voice I most admire."