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Paul and bass guitar
27 March 2010
5.15am
Marcelo
Shea Stadium
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This is a question I´m asking myself since I finished John's bio by Philip Norman: Why and when did Paul choose to play bass?

In "Backbeat" it was said that Paul wanted to play bass since Hamburg, but I can't trust a movie, less this particular one.

 

Did anyone have some info about this matter?

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
27 March 2010
5.20am
skye
AZ
Apple rooftop
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I am reading Many Years From Now and basically, Stu left and they needed someone to play bass. Paul would have prefered to play guitar but he learned to appreciate the bass as time went on.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
27 March 2010
5.30am
iCaramba
Guest

Wasn't it in Norman's bio where some journalist, who was commenting on the personal dynamics of the band in the early days, noted that "it's no coincidence that Paul plays bass"? In other words, John's imperial will decreed that HE would not be the one to do it, so Paul the Diplomat stepped in...

27 March 2010
11.36am
Joe
Pepperland
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Many Years From Now: "There's a theory that I maliciously worked Stu out of the group in order to get the prize chair of bass. Forget it! Nobody wants to play bass, or nobody did in those days. Bass was the thing that the fat boys got lumbered with and were asked to stand at the back and play. Don't say anything. Don't blow your cool. So I definitely didn't want to do it but Stuart left, and I got lumbered with it. Later I was quite happy, I enjoyed it, but I'd started as a guitarist until my guitar had fallen apart; it was a piece of crap. I then became a pianist, because they had a piano on stage. It was a terrible old piano so to be able to even pick out anything was an achievement. Then finally I became a bass player. Stuart lent me his bass till I got one, so I was playing it upside down. My God, the conditions I was playing in, no wonder I got pretty good! I never played on anything decent! But it was good for my musical education to have to play all those different instruments."

Anthology (George): "[Stuart] said, 'I'm out of the Band, lads, I'm going to stay in Hamburg with Astrid.' At that point I said, 'We're not going to get a fifth person in the band. One of us three is going to be the bass player and it's not going to be me.' And John said, 'It's not going to be me,' and Paul didn't seem to mind the idea."

Anthology (Paul): "I really got lumbered with bass. Nobody actually wanted to play bass that's why Stuart was playing it. We all wanted really to be guitarists, and we were three guitar players to start off with.

            "There's something I'd like to get straight because it is kind of historical - someone a few years ago said how it was my relentless ambition that pushed Stu out of the group. We did have some arguments, me and Stu, but actually I just wanted us to be a really cracking band, and Stu - being a cracking artist - held us back a little bit not too much. If ever it came to the push, when there was someone in there watching us I'd feel, 'Oh, I hope Stu doesn't blow it.' I could trust the rest of us; that was it. Stuart would tend to turn away a little so as not to be too obvious about what key he was in, in case it wasn't our key.

            "When it became clear that Stu was leaving because of Astrid, I asked him in the transition period to lend me his bass, which, for me, was upside down - although I couldn't change the strings around in case he ever wanted to play it. By then I had learnt to play guitar upside down, anyway, because John would never let me turn the strings around on his guitar, neither would George - it was just too inconvenient for them to have to turn them all back again."

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27 March 2010
3.28pm
Marcelo
Shea Stadium
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27 February 2010
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Thank you,  everybody!

 

Norman only said that neither George not John would ever change guitar for bass, and Paul reluctantly took position.

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
27 March 2010
6.25pm
iCaramba
Guest

Yes... and I think Paul "reluctantly" took the position because he was more of a diplomat and John, with his very willful way of manipulating things, indirectly made Paul do it.

a-hard-days-night-john-6I love John, but he must have been a handful to deal with on a daily basis...

27 March 2010
11.55pm
Marcelo
Shea Stadium
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iCaramba said:

a-hard-days-night-john-6I love John, but he must have been a handful to deal with on a daily basis...


 

Yes, indeed.

But George said "No way!" too...

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
28 March 2010
2.48pm
mjb
Candlestick Park
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14 October 2009
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Thus was born the most famous guitar in the world: the left-handed Hofner 500/1 'violin' bass guitar a-hard-days-night-paul-3

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
29 March 2010
8.26pm
Marcelo
Shea Stadium
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mjb said:

Thus was born the most famous guitar in the world: the left-handed Hofner 500/1 'violin' bass guitar a-hard-days-night-paul-3


 

And... I hate it!

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
31 March 2010
8.08pm
iCaramba
Guest
10

Marcelo said:

mjb said:

Thus was born the most famous guitar in the world: the left-handed Hofner 500/1 'violin' bass guitar a-hard-days-night-paul-3


 

And... I hate it!


 

Per che, Marcelo? a-hard-days-night-ringo-4

2 April 2010
5.48am
Marcelo
Shea Stadium
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iCaramba said:

Marcelo said:

mjb said:

Thus was born the most famous guitar in the world: the left-handed Hofner 500/1 'violin' bass guitar a-hard-days-night-paul-3


 

And... I hate it!


 

Per che, Marcelo? a-hard-days-night-ringo-4


That's a very ugly bass.
I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
2 April 2010
7.01pm
iCaramba
Guest
12

Ahh... is that the accepted opinion among guitar enthsiasts or just an idiosyncratic preference?

The reason I ask is that I had always assumed people thought that the Hofner violin bass was cool, in a charming by-gone era sort of way...

2 April 2010
7.20pm
skye
AZ
Apple rooftop
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When my brother's bass was stolen from the back of his car, I went with him to buy a new one. I tried to get him to buy a Hoffner but both the sales guy and a random guitar guru told him that he shouldn't, basically saying that it's sound was too light. Plus, it's so closely tied to Paul that he didn't want to look like a poser. (I tried to get him get him to buy a Rickenbaker but he cheaped out. He ended up with a discontinued Fender Jaguar.)

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
3 April 2010
4.00am
Marcelo
Shea Stadium
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iCaramba said:

Ahh... is that the accepted opinion among guitar enthsiasts or just an idiosyncratic preference?

The reason I ask is that I had always assumed people thought that the Hofner violin bass was cool, in a charming by-gone era sort of way...


 

I can't really say how many guitar players like or dislike Hofner violin bass, I can only speak for myself. The body is small and had a weird "european" shape.

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
3 April 2010
4.05am
Marcelo
Shea Stadium
Forum Posts: 487
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27 February 2010
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skye said:

When my brother's bass was stolen from the back of his car, I went with him to buy a new one. I tried to get him to buy a Hoffner but both the sales guy and a random guitar guru told him that he shouldn't, basically saying that it's sound was too light. Plus, it's so closely tied to Paul that he didn't want to look like a poser. (I tried to get him get him to buy a Rickenbaker but he cheaped out. He ended up with a discontinued Fender Jaguar.)


 

Well, Rickenbakers had a shallow sound too, but it has a beautiful shape. Fender Jaguar is a good choice, I think. But I like Fender Jazzbass: they're heavy, but for that reason, the sound is the deepest one. And the shape is the best one too.

 

My bass looks like this one:

[Image Can Not Be Found]

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
3 April 2010
4.27am
skye
AZ
Apple rooftop
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He considered that one too (for about five hours - ugh) but this was a $900 bass dropped down to $600 just because the color was discontinued, which improved the "sound" considerably.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
11 June 2010
1.22am
Monkberry
A Beginning
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11 June 2010
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The truest of songwriters play bass...
I'm a bassist so sue me if I'm a little byast (don't know if I spelled that correctly...fuck it...)
You can learn alot about music playing in the bass clef! You can learn about harmony, backbeat, rythym, groove, etc.
I think Paul probably jumped at the chance to play bass (as said by George on the Anthology dvd) because he knew that the bassist controls the song alot of the time. You can influence so many aspects of a song if you control the rythym rather than just the guitar laid on top!

Moon Delight...SUCK IT!
9 November 2012
10.31pm
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
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Some random thoughts about Paul and bass:

 

Paul once sort of punned in an interview with a magazine called "Bass Guitar" I think, in which he was arguing that a bass player should try to stick to the deeper foundational notes and not stray too much in high notes and frills, and he concluded this thought with, "I mean, you have to have some ass down there!"

 

It was kind of cool to have (and see in the Let It Be movie) George play bass on "Two of Us", while the "two of them" -- Paul and John, played acoustic guitars together.

 

Though I feel I'm a bass player at heart, I've never got my shit and $$$ together to buy one (for one thing, you can't just buy a bass, you have to spend money on strings (more expensive than acoustic guitar strings), an amplifier, and since I can't practice loudly for neighbors, some kind of special headphones connected to a mixer) -- so I play bass on the low strings of my acoustic guitar, for my own amusement.  I notice Paul, like most electric bass players, uses a pick.  I have never used a pick, just my own nails in fingerpicking style similar to James Taylor.  If I did ever get an electric bass, I would try my damndest to play with my fingers, no plectrum.

 

While I think Paul is one of the best bassists, I put a couple of others ahead of him -- Paul Jackson and Peter Cetera, to name two.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
10 November 2012
12.03am
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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Had to look up Paul Jackson, was pleased to find that he plays on at least two records I own! (Herbie Hancock's Headhunters)

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
10 November 2012
3.24am
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
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Von Bontee said
Had to look up Paul Jackson, was pleased to find that he plays on at least two records I own! (Herbie Hancock's Headhunters)

 

Have a listen to this Paul Jackson bass-playing on a Hancock composition, amazingly complex:

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
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