‘I didn’t want to be the bassist in the Beatles’ admits Macca

It’s hard to imagine the lineup of The Beatles in any other configuration than with our John, Paul, George, and Ringo.  I know there were times in studio when John played bass, Paul played drums, and personnel shifted as the songs needed them.  The Fab Four wouldn’t be the Fabs without the classic, tried and true lineup that we know and love.  BUT, imagine if Paul insisted that he play guitar, instead of taking over the bass guitar duties for Stuart Sutcliffe.

Would the Beatles low-end be nearly as innovative as it is recorded now?  It’s hard to imagine those Beatle classic tunes wihtout McCartney’s groundbreaking bass playing.  Is he a true virtuoso, were any of them really?  No, not really, but they were the sum of their parts, and you all know that is what was so amazing about our Beatles.  It was a band composed of four real frontmen really, like Keith Richards once said.  It didn’t really matter that one of them was the, “fat guy in the back.” I also find it interesting that after all of Paul’s revisionist history of The Beatles over the years that he would readily admit his reluctance to play the instrument that he helped redefine.

Here’s what we’ve read.

Paul McCartney: ‘bassists are the fat guys who stand at the back’

‘I didn’t want to be the bassist in the Beatles’ admits Macca.  Paul McCartney has said that when he joined The Beatles he was unhappy with his role as a bassist in the group.

Speaking in an interview in The Observer, McCartney admitted he thought that the role is traditionally for the outsider in the group.

He said: “At first it was the loser role in the group. It’s usually the fat guy who stands at the back. So I was a bit unhappy when I got that job. I wanted to be upfront with the guitar.”

Elsewhere in the interview, which was conducted by Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty, McCartney reveals that when he first met John Lennon the slight age difference between the two made him look up and respect his Beatles bandmate.

He continued: “He was a year and a half older than me and you really look up to people like that. But it’s funny because I don’t think I had that same feeling with Ringo, who I think was a few months older than John. John was a pretty impressive cat. Being a year and a half older and going to art school, all that was a pretty cool combination for us.”

Paul McCartney is to play a rare live show at the London Roundhouse later this month (October 25) as part of the BBC Elecrtic Proms.

Source: NME

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6 Responses

  1. i already knew this. i read it in a book about John, called John Lennon “gimme some truth” or something like that.

    apparently, Lennon thought the bass was the least-sexy instrument, and refused the position.

    all ends well.

  2. PAUL MAKES THE GREAT BASS PLAYER. HE WAS BORN WITH A BASS TO PLAY IT. JOHN WAS A GUITAR PLAYER SINCE AUNT MIMI TOLD HIM NOT TO PLAY. IT’S ME ULLA, I’M BACK AFTER A LONG TRIP TO GREECE. A BAD BREAK UP WITH A FRIEND AND A LOVER BUT I’M BACK HOME, VACATIONS ARE OVER.

  3. Probably a good thing John stayed on the guitar instead of moving to bass–of course he was the “worst” guitarist of the three in the Beatles, and Paul could play rings around him, but he wasn’t much of a bassist either–listen to “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road” for evidence….George would have been a good bassist, I think, but we’d have missed his guitar lines…having Paul on bass worked out well, I think, and he still got to play guitar plenty.

    Does anyone know if that’s really Ringo playing guitar and bass on “Early 1970”?

  4. We wished to know what other readers consider concerning this area. Any person have any kind of views?

  5. Paul was good on bass, and he was only the second best guitarist of the group. George was the best guitarist, so he couldn’t play it. if John didn’t want to play it then that was it.
    If you think he wasn’t a good bassist listen to I Want You (she’s so heavy) and Day Tripper.

  6. Also have a good listen to the bass work Sir Paul produced on ‘All My Loving’.
    Remarkable creation of walking-bass lines accompanied by his vocals. says it all for me.

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