As a young boy in the 60’s, my connection to the music world came in the form of a handheld transistor AM radio. It had a little carrying strap on it, and you tuned in the stations on the little dial with your thumb. There were numbers visible on the dial, but you just mostly spun until you heard something you liked. In northeastern New Jersey, there were two stations, 77 WABC, and WMCA 570 (“First on your dial”). I was into music a little more than my friends, who were very focused on baseball. I was too, carrying my mitt on the handlebars of my Stingray-style bike wherever I went. We wore “dungarees” then, usually with rolled cuffs on the bottom that would accommodate growth spurts, relieving moms from tailoring duties.
How many times have you heard a Beatles song and have it just pass through you, like the wind in your hair? I was listening to Penny Lane in my car yesterday, and happened to focus in on the bass line. All I can say is, McCartney was a genius! So many killer bass riffs. There was no one playing bass like that back then. Think of his origins, and where he came from in post-war England. Listening to American artists like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry-taking their music and re-inventing it, bringing it back to the U.S. If you listen to their early recordings, and then listen to Abbey Road, for example-you will understand what I’m talking about. Lennon was my favorite in the band, but he was lucky that McCartney was there to contribute to his songs. The bass line on I Want You (She’s So Heavy) is epic-McCartney played on Lennon’s tunes like they were his own.