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Paul Simonon: Isolated bass track to "London Calling" (1979)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by A.K., Mar 12, 2016.

  1. A.K.


    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Jloch86, Ghastly, JTSmitty and 7 others like this.
  2. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    One of my favourite bass parts ever and always one of the first I always play when I'm trying a bass.
    A.K. likes this.
  3. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    Just started working in this tonight. Great part!

    Where do you guys play this on the neck typically? Once you get past the slide part, are you on the first position area or mid-neck? I often try to learn a tune two ways of possible.
  4. P bass + Ampeg SVT = Amazing
    JimmyM likes this.
  5. ASQTec

    ASQTec Above Average

    May 2, 2010
    Has anyone confirmed that this is the actual track and not someone covering it?
  6. Are you sure he used an SVT?

    Some details about the recording:

    - See more at: Classic Tracks: The Clash's "London Calling" | Mixonline
    GregC likes this.
  7. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    I love the brightness BUT on the finished track a lot of that is not there. I notice that with many isolated tracks.
  8. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    Sounds like he's using a pick too doesn't it?
    troy mcclure likes this.
  9. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    I thought he played only pickstyle?
  10. I think you're right.
  11. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    He only used a pick with The Clash, but nowadays he primarily plays with his thumb (like Sting)
  12. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I love listening to this track, and thanks to DirkP for the link on the details. This album was a huge influence on me as a teenager when it came out, I'm still fascinated by it.
    I thought he occasionally played fingerstyle on the reggae-ish stuff on Sandinista and Combat Rock, but I could be wrong.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  13. A.K.


    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    In Andy Summers' autobiography, he talks about the Police riding to a big gig in Europe with a bunch of punk bands, including the Sex Pistols and the Clash. The punks passed their time lighting farts and spitting in each others' mouths (yes, seriously). Paul Simonon sat down by Sting and wanted to talk about the bass. Summers realized Simonon loved his instrument, unlike the others.
  14. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I can believe it. He ramped up quickly considering he knew virtually nothing about bass when he joined the band.
    A. D. Fairhurst likes this.
  15. sears

    sears Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2005
    ec, md
    I think it's wonderful that one of my favorite bass players didn't even know how to play bass when he joined the Clash. His lines are so tasty.
    JMacBass65 and Ghastly like this.
  16. I think Paul was absent from the Electric Lady Sessions (most of Sandinista) and replaced with Norman Watt-Roy from the Blockheads (who kind of co-wrote and played Magnificent Seven). During those Sandinista sessions Simenon was absent playing a punk rock bass player in a movie:)

    I always doubted that Paul played those Reggae songs. The Clash were recording parts of the music in Jamaica and worked with fantastic reggae artists like Mike Dread and Lee Perry. A lot of the Sandinista bass stuff was too complex for Simenon so Strummer asked the bass player(s) to play more simple 'cause otherwise Simenon couldn't play them live. I like Simenon a lot and the Clash were my favourite band 1981, but I never considered Simenon a very gifted player.
    There is a reason that Mick Jones overdubbed Simenon's bass on London Calling.
    He is a painter and looks ├╝bercool with his Precision hanging down his knees and plays far better than Sid Vicious and was more or less part of a fantastic band... So who cares...

    I don't share this guys opinion about Sandinista (I always considered it their best album, even back when it was published and everyone in Germany seemed to hate it), but it is very informative:

    Clash City Showdown
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
    A. D. Fairhurst likes this.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I had heard Topper Headon played the more difficult stuff...like Rock The Casbah.
    A.K. likes this.
  18. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
  19. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    I was trying to remember what I'd heard about this - seems Topper Headon now says the bass player from the Blockheads was the guy:

    Norman Watt-Roy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I wonder what the truth is.

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