Friday, 4 January 2019

Just Remember How We Shook Shook

Bass players often get a bad rap; contrary to popular belief they can change a light bulb1. And some of them, I'm assured, even have girlfriends. I know, who'd've thought it?

I mention this because a track appeared on my annual Best Of CD from Chiggins which, even though my age begins with a 5, made me think2: 'God, I'd love to play the bass.'  The Look by Metronomy contains a bass line so haunting, so dreamy, so f**king catchy, I wanted to go down to the music shop, grab the nearest bass3 off the wall and run out with it yelling 'Pay you Tuesday.' I believe members of the Who used to do this on a regular bassis; never did them any harm.

Anyway, here's that song:

Metronomy - The Look (2011)


And here's a (bassic) guide telling you how to play it




1 It actually only takes one bass player to change a light bulb. After the guitar player has shown him how to do it.

   2 Don't get me wrong, playing bass has been on my bucket list ever since I first heard Jean Jacques Burnel playing Walk On By

  3 And by 'nearest' bass, I mean Rickenbacker 4001. obvs, as played by everyone from Marin Gordon from Sparks and Radio Stars, to Wings' Paul McCartney - and a veritable Who's Who in between.

Martin Gordon plays a Rickenbacker

This fella plays one too
All the punk bands in the 70s seemed to favour the Rickenbacker. Everyone from Eddie and the Hot Rods to the Damned (actually that was the same fella - Paul Gray) and a whole lot more besides.  And don't get me started on Lemmy...

19 comments:

  1. Now then!.....your Kiwi correspondent wishes you a happy new year from Melbourne and insists that you can't mention bass and Be-Bop Deluxe all within a month without even a brief nod to the four-string NZ whanau..... say it one more time for CHARLIE TUMAHAI! And let's then move on to Best Bass During/Just After Year Zero. And the winner is.... the throbbing genius of Barry Adamson on the wonderful early non-album single by Magazine, ''Give me Everything''. Still shakes the speakers. Go listen. Pip pip

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    1. Charlie Tumahai! Of course! Everyone can name Bill Nelson, and then they flounder.
      Looking at his bio it appears he bought the farm very early. Light bulb changing related accident? Hope not.

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  2. No time like the present - If it's on your bucket list get down that music shop and pluck it from the wall. That number 5 will change in the not too distant future (although 6 months later than for me) so go, go, go... for it!

    Something powerful about a strong bass line - If you are sitting with both feet on the ground, and the music is on loud, the sound kind of works its way up through your feet, and like one of Dr Who's aliens, seeps into the rest of you (albeit in a good, not a sinister way).


    Good use of "who'd've" there - I must learn the art of brevity in blogging.

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    1. You're quite right Alyson - there is no time like the present. The present is ALL there is; all there will ever be.

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  3. I have always wanted to learn the vibraphone. Yesterday my 12-year-old son, after hearing a great song full of vibes, told me to quit talking about it all the time and just do it. He’s right, you know.

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  4. I have four words for you Brian - JFDI. You'll kick yourself if you don't.

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  5. I enjoy Metronomy. I always look out for their new material. The Look is fun, think my favorite from 'The English Riviera' is The Bay.

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    1. Happy New Year Chris. I must admit they're new to me but I'm certainly going to seek them out. Fun is certainly how I'd describe their sound too.

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  6. I've worn a bass a few times but really should learn to play one. I think more and more that basslines are the centrepiece, everything else is just melody.

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    1. SA - Beats a tennis racquet doesn't it?

      Can you imagine Jumping Jack Flash without Bill Wyman's input? Nah, me neither.

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  7. I love a good bassline too - one of the first things my ears latch onto. And I did have a couple back in the early '80s (one of which was a Rickenbacker copy, gorgeous looking but didn't sound like the real thing), with an old-fashioned valve amp, so I could play a couple of Slits songs on it in my bedroom, the good old walking bassline practice piece, plus a couple of toons that me and Mr SDS put together (because he was already in a band) which we played against a little drum machine thing. But that was about as far as I got, never any good! I've decided I'm not cut out for stringed instruments, but I've got a bit of a thing going for accordions and have been vaguely fantasising about it. I can't imagine I'd be any good though.
    Go for it with the bass!

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    1. C - You could've been the new Slits! How about reworking some of their stuff on the accordion? It could work! If you don't believe me, here's XTC on a melodion.

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  8. I owned a bass for short while when I was in a band circa 1980, but sold it on, finding it nigh on impossible to try and learn to play the thing and sing at the same time. It was only after flogging said bass that I realised that my singing was pretty shocking too.

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    1. TS - A band you say? Are there photographs, is there a demo?
      Great story!

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    2. Read all abaht it!
      https://unthoughtofthoughsomehow.blogspot.com/2014/08/keeping-it-peel.html

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    3. TS - Take a bow! That trumps my Blue Peter badge, and no mistake.

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