The Blockheads (Norman Watt-Roy) Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, May 1, 2021.


  1. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I hear a little River People in that line, it might just be a coincidence, they came out the same year.
     
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  2. OK, yes I can hear it in that, thanks.
     
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  3. avi

    avi

    Jun 14, 2017
    Hit me slowly hit me quick! Every Friday night when I was a kid "Slick" Tom Tiberi on 97 Rock in Buffalo would play this. Or maybe it was Carl Calaruso?? Any rate. Great Friday night jam!
     
    Todd Hamby likes this.
  4. Wibble666

    Wibble666

    Apr 20, 2021
    it’s even clearer in this live recording ...it was after seeing weather report during this tour at the Hammersmith odeon in October 78 that rhythm stick was recorded in November of that same year.

     
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  5. shufflebass123

    shufflebass123 Inactive

    Feb 19, 2019
    Very strange/coincidental that this post came up. I have been working on this for the past day or two. Doesm't seem that difficult but I haven't mastered it yet.
     
    avi likes this.
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The issue for me is that so many great bass lines don’t seem difficult, but they often take quite a while to truly master.
     
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  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis


    You really see what she is doing. Great job!
     
  8. Yes, yes, YES !
     
  9. shufflebass123

    shufflebass123 Inactive

    Feb 19, 2019
    At least it's fun to play. The lass line that it seems loosely based off of, 'Come On, Come Over', is about as fun playing-wise as putting sewing needles in your eyeballs.
     
    petrus61 likes this.
  10. I first heard "Rhythm Stick..." in early '79 when they first started playing it on the radio here. I was hooked on the song immediately, but didn't really zero-in on the bassline until a few years later, after I'd started playing.

    Ian Dury's entire catalogue is brilliant, and Norman is sensational. The whole band was just superb back in the day, and "Rhythm Stick" is one of those genuine "lightning in a bottle" songs for me. Great pop music was de rigueur in the '70's, but IMO one seldom heard bass playing this good on a radio pop tune.

    P.S. I'm pretty sure the "Rhythm Stick" bass was a late 50's precision with an added bridge pickup {which sounds notably absent on the song}.
     
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  11. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Hmmm, not from where I was sat! Were those people living under a rock?

    Indeed, we had it really good here in Blighty. There are too many to list really, but yes, Graham was up there, along with Colin Moulding of XTC, who were from a neighbouring town.

    There is a thread dedicated to this era here: New Wave / Punk forebears...
     
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  12. shufflebass123

    shufflebass123 Inactive

    Feb 19, 2019
    Does anyone have a definitive word on which songs he played on for one of my all time favorite bands, The Clash? Magnificent Seven is well known. IMHO, he played on Hitsville UK. But I don't know for a fact. Magnificent Seven seems to be the only known fact. That type of Motown groove on Hitsville UK is not easy to master, subtle as it is. I don't think Simonon could've nailed that. He had his areas of competency and I love Simonon. But he was not a bass player's bass player, if we're being honest. He looked cool as hell, though - a punk rock Steve McQueen. I also wonder about a lesser known song on Sandinista, Version City. Great song. Seems a little too funky for Simonon.

    Has anyone who was met either Norman or Topper (lot of confusion surrounding who actually played on Rock The Casbah) gotten a definitive word on this? Please only respond if you've actually met these guys and asked them. I really want to know. I'm not looking for speculation. I'm looking for what he actually played on. There was a lot of cross pollination between those 2 bands. Mickey Gallagher was their keyboard player on London Calling and on Sandanista.
     
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  13. shufflebass123

    shufflebass123 Inactive

    Feb 19, 2019
    Can you Brits tell me what's going on over there? You guys have produced MANY great bass players. Is it something in the water?
     
    SteveCS likes this.
  14. pop music is one of our big exports
     
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  15. ficelles

    ficelles

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    My two favourite bass players are Welsh :)
     
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  16. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    I really don't know. When those guys were starting out, say mid early to mid 70's, the electric bass had only been around 20-odd years so really was a new concept. There were no real mysical rules or constraints. Culturally in the UK there was a lot of social unrest and a huge anti-establishment backlash was brewing, and mass unemployment meant young people had boatloads of free time to explore, practice, rehearse and stay out late honing their crafts through gigs, possibly seeing music as a way out of the mire. Maybe? It certainly felt like that at the time.
     
  17. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Likewise. Mssrs. Jones and Palladino?
     
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  18. ficelles

    ficelles

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    You got it :)
     
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  19. Bloomfield

    Bloomfield

    Jan 21, 2020
    Nova Scotia
    If you've got an hour, this whole show is amazing.
     
    Oddly likes this.
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