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Paul McCartney is certainly the most innovative, melodic, bass playing genius on the planet. Give a listen to the bass lines of “Lovely Rita, “Penny Lane” just to name a few songs in the large recorded catalogue of The Beatles.
But which bassist did Paul McCartney idolize and try to emulate? “The biggest influence on my bass playing was JAMES JAMERSON, who played on many of my favorite Motown releases”, says Paul.
Paul had been studying, listening to the bass playing on Motown recordings, and had long been complaining that the bass on Beatle records wasn’t as loud or full as the bass on American records. So, Paul switched from his signature Hofner violin “Beatle” bass to a beefier Rickenbacker – but still not as good as what they were hearing on those American records. Inspiration struck Beatle engineer, Geoff Emerick: “Some microphones are in fact simply loudspeakers wired in reverse, why not try using a loudspeaker as a microphone?” Emerick wired a speaker up that way. To Geoff and Paul’s delight, the idea of using a speaker as a microphone worked pretty well! It was first used on “Paperback Writer.” Paul loved the sound.