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Author: Subject: McCartney On Bass

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 07:14 PM
I felt a Beatle mood come over me this weekend, don't know what brought it on, it's been happening to me off & on for the last 40 years.
Anyway I broke out my Abbey Road cd and listened all weekend while making the 30 minute drive to and from work. Yesterday while driving I started listening mainly to McCartneys bass playing and was totaly re-impressed.
What a player, so melodic and in many songs is really playing lead on bass. Now I can listen to all my Beatle collection and have something "new" to listen for. It also helps take my mind off the poor people in the Gulf Coast.
God Bless Them All!

 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 07:26 PM
Don't limit yourself just to "Abbey Road". Paul's bass playing was melodic much earlier than that.

In the five-man lineup, George, John, and Paul all played guitar, Stu Sutcliffe played bass, and Pete Best played drums. When Stu left, Paul was drafted to play bass. Another guitar-player-turned-bassist was Berry Oakley. My guess is that, like Paul, he applied much of his guitar playing sense to bass, giving the instrument a different dimension and greater prominence.

BTW, even though Stu Sutcliffe died April 10, 1962, he was still on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band": his photo is near the top left corner, a little bit above Sonny Liston's picture. And there are one or two very early recordings of him with the Beatles on their first Anthology. He was so insecure about his bass playing that he'd play with his back toward the audience. And by all reckoning, he wasn't that good. John had drafted his art-school buddy to be in his band, but it never really worked out. But Paul was a good replacement, IMHO

Billastro

 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 07:30 PM
I would personally rank Paul McCartney as one of the 10 greatest bassists in rock music. From the early days, on songs like "All My Loving," "Tell Me Why," "Drive My Car," "I'm Only Sleeping," and countless others, his bass parts were always spot on perfect. For someone who essentially inherited the job when Stu Sutcliff left, and not having had any prior experience as a bassist before then to my knowledge, I think Sir Paul pretty well defined the bass guitar as more than a "thump thump" background in those heady days of rock music. Just as James Jamerson did in Motown. Not to mention he could still sing his parts and lay down some pretty intense walking bass lines as he sang, not an easy task by any means. Check out his part in the song "Something" - exquisite, tasteful, but hardly simple.

It is always good to have Beatle moments!

Willie Howard (from Mayberryetta, a suburb of Hot'lanta)

 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 07:33 PM
Oh I won't limit myself, I have all the others to re-listen to.
Thanks for the info Bill, intersting.

 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 07:48 PM
My favorite has always been O-Bla-Di, O-Bla Da. Willie, Beatle moments are great.
 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 08:11 PM
I have been having Beatle moments for the last 30 years

 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 08:22 PM
I really never liked the early Beatles. Rubber Soul through Abby Road were really good albums. I liked his music with Wings as much as anything he has done. They had more of an edge to their songs.
 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 08:24 PM
Please notice that Paul was playing guitar at his first career, just as same as Berry.
 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 08:27 PM
Where is Susie????

 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 09:02 PM
I learned to play the guitar in the summer of 1963, at least I learned a few chords. But I really learned how to play the guitar from late 1963 (when I was introduced to the Beatles by a fellow whose mom owned a radio station in Havre de Grace, MD) forward as each new Beatles album came out. Been having Beatles moments for almost 42 years and counting... and I learn something from them just about every time I listen to them.

As for those of you who discount their early stuff, please don't. Even though the vast majority of the songs lasted less than 3 minutes (which was very much industry standard back then), you miss out on so much fantastic material. Harrison's solos were short, which is part of why the songs were not very long. But for song and chord structure, those guys were incredible. And Harrison was the master of the succinct guitar solo. He could say more in 4 or 8 measures than some people today try to say in 10 minutes or more.

Willie Howard (from Mayberryetta, a suburb of Hot'lanta)

 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 09:26 PM
John is still with Paul...

http://www.optonline.net/Entertainment/Article/Feeds?CID=type%3Dxml%26chann el%3D31%26article%3D15727619

 

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  posted on 9/5/2005 at 11:29 PM
quote:
Where is Susie????


Indeed. Where her name used to be in my list of PMs now shows "Deleted User." What gives? Anyone?

 

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  posted on 9/6/2005 at 12:40 AM
Side note on Paul's bass playing/writing: He confessed in an interview to be extremely influenced by The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" when it came out ('66 if I'm not mistaken). I quote from memory: "What really struck me about it was the melody written into the bass line. I went through a period after that of writing my melodies into the bass line." And, again referring to Pet Sounds: "I played it so much for John that it would have been difficult for him to escape the influence." Also: "I've often played Pet Sounds and cried." In case you haven't figured it out by now, Paul is a huge Brian Wilson fan. And it goes both ways, Wilson is a huge Beatles fan.

 

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  posted on 9/6/2005 at 04:51 AM
quote:
In case you haven't figured it out by now, Paul is a huge Brian Wilson fan. And it goes both ways, Wilson is a huge Beatles fan.


When I saw Brian this summer, he mentioned Paul before he played " God Only Knows"

Very cool.

 

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  posted on 9/6/2005 at 05:21 AM
quote:
I learned to play the guitar in the summer of 1963, at least I learned a few chords. But I really learned how to play the guitar from late 1963 (when I was introduced to the Beatles by a fellow whose mom owned a radio station in Havre de Grace, MD) forward as each new Beatles album came out. Been having Beatles moments for almost 42 years and counting... and I learn something from them just about every time I listen to them.

As for those of you who discount their early stuff, please don't. Even though the vast majority of the songs lasted less than 3 minutes (which was very much industry standard back then), you miss out on so much fantastic material. Harrison's solos were short, which is part of why the songs were not very long. But for song and chord structure, those guys were incredible. And Harrison was the master of the succinct guitar solo. He could say more in 4 or 8 measures than some people today try to say in 10 minutes or more.

Willie Howard (from Mayberryetta, a suburb of Hot'lanta)


Wouldn't you say that one of the good things about being "our age" is that we were just old enough to appreciate the Beatles phenomenom from beginning to end? What a ride/ They broke up the year I graduated from high school. Of course, that was also just about the time I had become heavily distracted by a bunch of southern boys.....

 

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  posted on 9/6/2005 at 06:02 AM
I always like his bass playing on Dear Prudence

 

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  posted on 9/6/2005 at 11:47 AM
One of my favorite Beatle tunes for the bass is Rain.
 

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  posted on 9/6/2005 at 02:24 PM
That bass riff when they're singing"one, two, three, four, five, six, seven". That and the bodacious guitar!
 

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  posted on 9/6/2005 at 06:58 PM
I'm going to listen to "Something" on my way home tonight. Looking forward to it.

 

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  posted on 9/7/2005 at 12:35 AM
Elizabeth, I'm a bit younger than you, but I remember the girls in my class going gaga over Paul and the lads at the beginning. It was unacceptable, since the only part of the earliest lyrics that registered at first was "She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah." "Yeah, yeah, yeah"--what kind of stupid lyrics are those?! Stupid girls!

I picked up on the BeaTles after a couple years, though, about the time of "Help!" and the Shea Stadium appearance. I still thought the girls were going a bit too mental about the whole thing, but I was starting to like that rock and roll stuff more and more myself. Just didn't fantasize about marrying Paul or something!

 

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  posted on 9/7/2005 at 12:37 AM
quote:
quote:
Where is Susie????
Indeed. Where her name used to be in my list of PMs now shows "Deleted User." What gives? Anyone?
I have no answer, guys. I see that "Deleted User" thing, too.

 

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  posted on 9/7/2005 at 07:56 AM
quote:
Elizabeth, I'm a bit younger than you, but I remember the girls in my class going gaga over Paul and the lads at the beginning. It was unacceptable, since the only part of the earliest lyrics that registered at first was "She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah." "Yeah, yeah, yeah"--what kind of stupid lyrics are those?! Stupid girls!

I picked up on the BeaTles after a couple years, though, about the time of "Help!" and the Shea Stadium appearance. I still thought the girls were going a bit too mental about the whole thing, but I was starting to like that rock and roll stuff more and more myself. Just didn't fantasize about marrying Paul or something!
liar...

 

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  posted on 9/7/2005 at 09:37 PM
quote:
Don't limit yourself just to "Abbey Road". Paul's bass playing was melodic much earlier than that.

In the five-man lineup, George, John, and Paul all played guitar, Stu Sutcliffe played bass, and Pete Best played drums. When Stu left, Paul was drafted to play bass. Another guitar-player-turned-bassist was Berry Oakley. My guess is that, like Paul, he applied much of his guitar playing sense to bass, giving the instrument a different dimension and greater prominence.

BTW, even though Stu Sutcliffe died April 10, 1962, he was still on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band": his photo is near the top left corner, a little bit above Sonny Liston's picture. And there are one or two very early recordings of him with the Beatles on their first Anthology. He was so insecure about his bass playing that he'd play with his back toward the audience. And by all reckoning, he wasn't that good. John had drafted his art-school buddy to be in his band, but it never really worked out. But Paul was a good replacement, IMHO

Billastro


Stu Sutcliffe could not play at all. That's why he kept his back to the audience.

Doug

 

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  posted on 9/7/2005 at 11:51 PM
I've been renting the Beatles anthology over the past couple of weeks from Netflix. I'm a bass player and guitar player, and McCartney's been brilliant from day one. Ask any bass player to listen to the riffs on "I Saw Her Standing There" and point out he was singing at the same time (live too). "Drive My Car", "Paperback Writer", etc....amazing. There's a great story that Warren Haynes tells in "Rising Low", the movie about regrouping after Woody's death. When Woody joined the ABB, everyone had something different to tell him how to play - keep it simpler, rock harder, play to the drums, play to the guitars, play to the keyboard (Johnny Neel). Finally Haynes told him just to play what he felt, but Woody still felt Neel wasn't happy with his playing. One night they were riding in a car and the Beatles came on the radio. Johnny Neel says, "Bass player ain't playin with the rest of the band." Woody says, "Johnny...that's Paul McCartney..that's the Beatles". Neel says "I don't give a **** who it is, he ain't playin with the band". Haynes tells Woody, "That's what you're up against with Johnny. Just play what you feel". McCartney was one of Woody's idols, and Woody could play him some bass.
 

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  posted on 9/8/2005 at 12:15 AM
quote:
I've been renting the Beatles anthology over the past couple of weeks from Netflix. I'm a bass player and guitar player, and McCartney's been brilliant from day one. Ask any bass player to listen to the riffs on "I Saw Her Standing There" and point out he was singing at the same time (live too). "Drive My Car", "Paperback Writer", etc....amazing. There's a great story that Warren Haynes tells in "Rising Low", the movie about regrouping after Woody's death. When Woody joined the ABB, everyone had something different to tell him how to play - keep it simpler, rock harder, play to the drums, play to the guitars, play to the keyboard (Johnny Neel). Finally Haynes told him just to play what he felt, but Woody still felt Neel wasn't happy with his playing. One night they were riding in a car and the Beatles came on the radio. Johnny Neel says, "Bass player ain't playin with the rest of the band." Woody says, "Johnny...that's Paul McCartney..that's the Beatles". Neel says "I don't give a **** who it is, he ain't playin with the band". Haynes tells Woody, "That's what you're up against with Johnny. Just play what you feel". McCartney was one of Woody's idols, and Woody could play him some bass.
I can see why ABB booted Neel now.

 

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