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

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

  1. It was easy for me, and I don't consider myself a virtuoso. But I remember a thread on No Treble on FB where someone asked what's your nemesis or what do you consider difficult. And I was amazed at what people considered difficult that I thought was easy, and what people thought was easy that I thought was difficult. I find 'Come On, Come Over' and 'Sir Duke' difficult. Probably most people do. But I found 'I Kissed a Girl' (all triplets) and 'Road To Nowhere' difficult. Road To Nowhere is all root notes but all 16th note triplets and my fingers get tired. People were surprised that I found those songs difficult. Everybody's different I guess.

    If we had stayed 2 more days in the UK in 2019, I could've seen them in Surrey. And supposedly, if you buy him a beer, Norman will hang out with you. I also missed seeing JD McPherson. Bad timing I guess.
    Yonni and Todd Hamby like this.
  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Correct. I inadvertently left that out.

    Either way, not a MM. :):thumbsup:
  3. vinnydbass


    Feb 4, 2008
    Correction: Early 70s P with added J pickup. Although I'm pretty sure theres a video on youtube where he mentions not adding the bridge pup until after this song was recorded.


    Yonni and Phaidrus like this.
  4. I play 'Rhythm Stick' on my 77 P Bass and it sounds spot on tone-wise. All his Blockhead stuff sounds very P bassy. I think he plays a Jazz now because he's old. A P Bass, at least a 70's one, is a young man's bass. Mine weighs about 30 lbs/15k. It's insane. Ok, not that much, but it's crazy heavy.
    bobyoung53 likes this.

  5. Very different feel, I could hear where he could have kind of copped Jaco's vibe from that Weather report album someone posted but still, Yes, Watt-Roy is very funky and Jaco wasn't, at least to me. He always seemed to be more interested in bass pyrotechnics than in playing with feeling to me.
    Durham52 and 40Hz like this.
  6. I can't disagree with that. I have been trying to conquer a few of his songs, just for the chops building aspects. And none of his songs is actually fun to play. They suck to play, actually. And I don't think that it's just the technical difficulty. I think it's the technicality and lack of feeling.
    Durham52, Phaidrus and bobyoung53 like this.
  7. vinnydbass


    Feb 4, 2008
    In the same video he says he got the Jazz bass in the eary 80s. 82 i think.
    shufflebass123 likes this.

  8. Watch out, they're going to come after us! :laugh:
    Durham52, Phaidrus and shufflebass123 like this.

  9. I don't care what a bass weighs but my eyes bugged out for a split second when I read 30 lbs.
    shufflebass123 likes this.
  10. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    Well, he had an academic approach to fusion jazz, groove was not top priority. But then again fusion jazz is inherently academic. Oh well, Come On, Come Over grooves alright.:whistle:
    bobyoung53 likes this.

  11. Hard not to groove with Sam and Dave singing ;). I still would have preferred a less busy approach to the bass line, the main groove is good but on the breaks (2 part) he gets a little out there for me.
    Phaidrus likes this.
  12. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    I agree on both accounts. By the way, have you noticed that most if not all Berklee graduates know the entire Jaco repertoire by heart? OK, now they're really after us.:laugh:
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  13. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Ian was one of a kind and irreplaceable.
    JimmyM, Phaidrus and bobyoung53 like this.

  14. Just pray they don't find us, shhh!! :laugh:
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  15. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  16. 3wavylines

    3wavylines Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2007
  17. I consider myself a pretty good player, probably better than a lot of guys, or at least pretty good considering I am a suburban dad with a VERY demanding career. And I have never had trouble mastering a difficult song if I put in the work after a few days or weeks or months. But damn, I've been working on Come On, Come Over here and there a few times a week since New Year's and I still can't get past 95% of the tempo. God, I hate this friggin' song. But I'm not giving up.

    Still, his songs are too technical. But they're no fun to play. No fun whatsoever. They suck to play. The only reason I'm learning this and intend at some point to conquer Teen Town is because if I can play that, I can pat myself on the back that I can play anything. Everything else is easy after that.
    Phaidrus likes this.
  18. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Yep. As far as I know, Kirk originated the double sax concept, no mean feat as he was blind, and was also Ian Anderson’s major influence on flute. But before the current guy, before the original Blockhead sax player Davey Payne, there was Dick Heckstall-Smith(@3:43 for the short attention span types)...

    He played extensively with Jack Bruce(and John Mayall)as did drummer Jon Hiseman...
  19. Without exaggeration I think it's about 12 lbs. But it's crazy heavy.
    bobyoung53 likes this.

  20. Roland played 3 saxes at once sometimes, check out the Inflated Tear album, unbelievable. The liners notes are very interesting on the reissue.

    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    getbent likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 9, 2021

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