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Paul McCartney and his Basses

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by JD Supernatural, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. JD Supernatural

    JD Supernatural

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    I Think Ive put this in the right place if not mods please move it, Paul for me was a very important bass player, his style and skill on the bass developed over the Beatle years from the early basic root stuff too the melodic bass lines we can hear on tracks like Something & Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds etc
    Anyway Ive done some research and Paul basically played 5 bass guitars during his Beatle years. This is a very early GUITAR of Paul's - a Rosetti Solid 7 - it is being played upside down and he has removed the pick-guard - a trend he continued throughout the sixties! Note the number of strings - just three, probably stolen from a piano!! Was this Paul's first attempt at playing a bass?! The picture was taken at Pete Best Mum's 'Casbah Club'.

    [​IMG]

    Paul started out on 6 string but it was said he was kinda 'forced' onto Bass when Stuart left the band in Hamburg, however, This picture adds further proof to the fact that Paul had his bass BEFORE Stuart left the band.
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    Paul playing his 1961 Hofner in the Cavern. Opinions vary as to whether the bass, which was purchased in Hamburg, was custom-made left-handed for Paul.

    Anyway Paul ended up with Two Hofners (a 61 & a 63), seen here, the pickups are placed differently, the one with the pickup nearest the bridge is the one he still tours with today;

    [​IMG]

    both Hofners are seen here before he removed the pic gaurd from his original model

    [​IMG]

    he used a Fender Jazz mainly on the White album;

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    and of course moved onto a Ric for the period around Magical Mystery Tour/ All You Need Is Love !

    [​IMG]

    before moving back to his 1963 Hofner for Let It Be & the Rooftop performance (minus pick guard)

    [​IMG]
  2. Harper

    Harper

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    Don't forget...

    The Yamaha.
    [​IMG]

    And the Wal.
    [​IMG]
  3. NightTripper

    NightTripper

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    Thanks for posting these! It was mainly Paul who inspired me to pick up the bass. I love the first picture. I'd like to know more about that.

    I've always loved his basses. Of course the Hofner is the most iconic, but I would go for the 4001 or the Yamaha. He used the Yamaha for his McCartney II album - not his most celebrated work, but I think it's great and the Yamaha's tone is killer.
  4. mogpipe

    mogpipe

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    I would assume he used the Ric thru Sgt. Pepper, as the Hofner appears to be 'laid to rest' on the Pepper cover.
  5. NightTripper

    NightTripper

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    I've heard that the entirety of Sgt. Pepper was played on the Rickenbacker, but I don't know if that's true.

    By the way, does anyone know what became of the 4001? I haven't seen any recent pics or video of him with it. Or for that matter, the Yamaha and the Wal?
  6. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

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    Don't forget this one (Bill Black's old bass) - used on "Free as a Bird".

    [​IMG]
  7. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

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    Word has it that Paul has kept pretty much every instrument he's ever had. One exception being the '61 Hofner. He played that on a few ocassions, like the promo video for "Revolution" and in the Twickenham studios segment of the Let it Be film.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After The Beatles called it quits at Twickenham studios the '61 Hofner was stolen. As a result McCartney wound up playing the '63 Hofner for the rooftop concert.
  8. JD Supernatural

    JD Supernatural

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    Yes he's played more since the Beatles but I was just concentrating on his days as a Beatle for my research, I believe he had the 61 Hofner completely refurbished but Ive also heard that it was stolen sometime after the Revolution video pictured above.
  9. rockscott

    rockscott

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    Great thread, awesome pictures!
  10. JD Supernatural

    JD Supernatural

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    Paul purchased his Rosetti in 1960, June the 30th. at Frank Hessy's music shop in Liverpool for £21. There is a reproduction of the HP book for this purchase at Andy Babiuk's book, page 33.

    He used it for the first time in July the 2nd., for their performance at the Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom, Grosvenor Road, Liscard, Wallasey, Cheshire, and until mid-April 1961 (=date unknown??) when he purchased his 1st Höfner 500/1 bass at the small shop in Hamburg city center for 267 DM.

    Heres more pics of the 61 Hofner and Rosetti;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    this last one is a bit strange its the 61 bass during the period of Let It Be yet on the rooftop show he used the 63 Hofner ??

    maybe he had both basses lying around.
  11. JD Supernatural

    JD Supernatural

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    notice the different colour and pickup mounts after the refurbish the bass underwent.
  12. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    '61 was stolen.
  13. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

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    Disclosures:
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    "he used a Fender Jazz mainly on the White album"

    True, the Jazz saw use on "TWA", but I'd say "mainly" on "Abbey Road". In fact "AR" has 2 Fender Jazzes, a lefty and a righty, not to mention the Fender VI.

    "and of course moved onto a Ric for the period around Magical Mystery Tour/ All You Need Is Love !"

    The 4001S was used as early as "Rubber Soul".

    Considering my gig, I gotta know this stuff. ;)
  14. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

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    Paul used this right handed Kay "Jazz Special" bass only on a few occasions including the 1982 Ebony & Ivory video, but I've always wondered if he used it during the Beatles period since it is an early 60's instrument.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    - Steve
  15. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

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    Your chronology is off here. McCartney started using the Ric in 1966. He definitely used it on Sgt. Pepper, which was released in 1967. Magical Mystery Tour was later in 1967. The White Album was 1968, after Magical Mystery Tour.
  16. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

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    As was stated above, McCartney used the Ric on most of Rubber Soul (1965). Interestingly, McCartney first saw this bass in 1964. It was manufactured Jan. 1964. He was given the bass during the Beatles' 1965 U.S. tour.

    As far as Abbey Road... here's a pic from the Come Together session:

    [​IMG]
  17. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

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    Agreed.

    Both Hofners were used on everything from 1963 up through the Rubber Soul record.

    The Rickenbacker 4001 may have made it's first appearance on Revolver. Just looking at some of the early photos of Paul with the Rick seems to lean in that direction...

    [​IMG]

    The Rickenbacker became the primary recording bass for McCartney through the end of The Beatles. The Fender Jazz and the Hofner do make some appearances (The White Album and Let it Be ). And you also have an increasing number of instances where either John Lennon or George Harrison were playing bass while McCartney was playing either guitar or piano on recording sessions.
  18. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

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    I gotta toss this in. McCartney's Ric listed for about US$515, in 1964. That would be, in TODAY's dollars, about US$3,750. :eek:
  19. bassingeorge

    bassingeorge

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    These are awesome pics! Thanks for posting! I'll show these to my dad later...he's a big beatles fan.
  20. Mike M.

    Mike M.

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    Loved it! Very cool stuff.

    Hard to believe that in 1960 they were just a mediocre bar band, who according to some were pretty bad. Four years later, they changed music and culture.

    Still amazes me.

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