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London Calling bass tone question?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sarlscharisma, Mar 15, 2010.


  1. sarlscharisma

    sarlscharisma

    Nov 6, 2007
    On the song London Calling by the Clash does anyone know the bass used to get that tone. He uses a Gibson EB2 (I think?) on the video of the song, but it doesn't sound like it on the song?
     
  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    P bass/flats w/pick
     
    tomich and giacomobass like this.
  3. I vaguely recall reading that & all or most of London Calling was a fretless P. I'd certainly bet someone else's money on the P part.
     
  4. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    While this article doesn't mention a particular bass, there are some insights on how they achieved the tone (Mick Jones doubled PS's part on either guitar or bass!).

    http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_london_calling_clash/

    General rule: Unless it's a live performance film, never expect a video to accurately show the actual instruments used in the music-making.
     
    tomich likes this.
  5. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    London Calling, what a magnificent riff! That is textbook P w/ flats. I'll bet it is doubled.
    I don't think Paul was a fretless at that time. No slight, I love him, but he sort of learned how to play AFTER he was in the band:bag: You see old photos of his basses with notes's written on the fingerboard for him. D.I.Y!
     
    tomich likes this.
  6. +1

    He was lucky to get by with frets. Somehow, he ended up with mostly admirable performances both in studio and stage.

    To all fans, I highly recommend the Clash biography Passion Is Fashion. Evidently Simonon was reluctant to join the group, but Jones and Strummer talked him into it because of his killer punk good looks. Simonon was more an artist and designer, and a lot of the Clash pseudo-military imagery was his idea. He hated his instrument, and was pretty rough with it out of frustration for being shackled to it so often. Most of his bass lines were probably written and taught to him by Jones.
     
    tomich likes this.
  7. 388160536_70986f0e4b.jpg
     
  8. Jimmy Stump

    Jimmy Stump

    Jan 27, 2010
    Canada
    I've heard a few largely unsubstantiated rumors that it was Mick Jones playing the bass parts for the London Calling and Sandanista albums. Whoever it was, there were some tasty bass parts on those albums. Tone was fantastic on London Calling.
     
    tomich likes this.
  9. CrimsonGhost

    CrimsonGhost

    Nov 14, 2000
    Humbuckers and flats, how a bass SHOULD sound....
     
  10. That wouldn't surprise me a bit. However, Simonon could do those lines pretty faithfully live, so he did learn them eventually. Whether he learned them in time or well enough to do good takes in the studio is anyone's guess.
     
    tomich likes this.
  11. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago
    I've heard from relatively reliable sources that Norman Watt-Roy (Ian Dury's bassist) played on a few Clash tracks. But, as has been said, Paul played the lines pretty well live.

    Good article, thanks!
     
  12. Highfox

    Highfox

    Mar 10, 2010
    Finland
    Yeah Norman Watt-Roy did work on some of the Sandinista tracks, think he may of done some of Combat Rock as well?

    I'm sure it's him that came up with the Magnificent 7 bass line;
    http://vodpod.com/watch/1698676-the-magnificent-seven-the-clash

    always reminded me of the Blockheads Reasons to be cheerful;


    Anyway Paul ROCKS.
     
    emblymouse likes this.
  13. Does anybody know what strings Paul used?
     
  14. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    Absolutely! Good ear!
     
  15. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    I think if you're British you have to use Rotosound by law.:smug:
     

  16. Norman Watt-Roy was a tasty playa!:D
     
  17. your idol

    your idol

    Oct 13, 2008
    Murfreesboro TN
    wiki exists for people like us who want to know too much about other people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Simonon

    List Of Bass Numbers

    1. Cheap Brand Bass: Black w. paint-mess, (also had "POSITIVE" on its upper horn for a short while), Rosewood fretboard (used during the early days and during the recording of "The Clash")
    2. Rickenbacker Bass: Black w. paint-mess and "POSITIVE" on upper horn, Rosewood fretboard (used during the recording of "The Clash" and for touring in support of "The Clash" album)
    3. Fender Precision Bass: White w. paint-mess and "POSITIVE" on upper horn, Black pickguard, Maple neck (rarely seen, but used on the first concerts in 1978 and BBC TV Something Else Live 1978)
    4. Fender Precision Bass: White w. "PAUL" carved on body (which was once covered up by stickers, which are now removed), Black pickguard (formerly with paint-mess), Rosewood fretboard (formerly maple neck) (used all the way from touring in support of the "Give'Em Enough Rope" album, both as main bass and backup bass, both live and recording, still used as main bass)
    5. Wal JG Custom Bass (Serial No. JG1126): Cherry Red, Black pickguard, Rosewood fretboard (used for recording the "Give'Em Enough Rope" album). Now owned by Leigh Gorman of Bow Wow Wow.
    6. Fender Precision Bass: White w. "PRESSURE" on upper horn, Black pickguard w. paint-mess, Maple neck (used for both recording and touring in support of the "London Calling" album. Smashed on the cover for "London Calling")
    7. Fender Precision Bass: White, Black pickguard, Maple neck (used as both backup and main bass during tours between "London Calling" and "Sandinista")
    8. Fender Fretless Precision Bass: White, Black pickguard, Rosewood fretboard (used as main bass for both recording and touring in support of the "Sandinista" album, "Combat Rock" album and "Cut The Crap" album, still used as backup)
    9. Fender Precision Bass: White, Black pickguard, Rosewood fretboard (used as both main and backup bass for touring in support of the "Sandinista" album, "Combat Rock" album, and "Cut The Crap" album, still used as backup)
    10. Fender Precision Bass: Sunburst, Tortoise pickguard, Rosewood fretboard (used as backup during the "Cut The Crap" album and tour)
    11. Epiphone Rivoli bass: Sunburst w. Black duct tape, Rosewood fretboard (used during the early days and the recording of "London Calling" and "Sandinista")
    12. Ovation Acoustic Bass: White, Ebony fretboard (used for recording "The Good, The Bad and The Queen" album)
    Ampeg Bass Amps: Ampeg Classic Series SVT-CL Head and Classic Cabinet
     
    tomich likes this.
  18. your idol

    your idol

    Oct 13, 2008
    Murfreesboro TN
    ...and once again P+FLATS+AMPEG=WIN
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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    Dec 3, 2020

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