Wednesday, December 10, 2008

That's B-I-L-L...

I thought this quote from John Lennon was very interesting:

[Paul] is a great musician who plays the bass like few other people could play it. If you compare his bass-playing with the Rolling Stones's [sic] bass-playing, and you compare Ringo's drumming with Charlie Watts' drumming, they are equal to them, if not better. I always objected to the fact that because Charlie came on a little more 'arty' than Ringo and knew jazz and did cartoons, that he got credit. I think that Charlie's a damn good drummer, and the other guy a good bass-player, but I think Paul and Ringo stand up anywhere, with any of the rock musicians.

Now, I agree with the point he's trying to make, that Ringo is underrated as a drummer, and I appreciate that he's sticking up for his guy. But I do think Charlie Watts is a better drummer. No Beatles songs had the wholly original rhythm of a "Gimme Shelter" or "Let It Bleed" or even "Beast of Burden." Some of that might be because they never asked Ringo to play rhythms like that, and some of that might be the fact that Keith Richards was writing songs for Charlie to play, and Keith was the greatest rhythm guitar player ever. I suppose it's safer to say that Ringo didn't play as brilliantly as Charlie Watts, leaving open the question of whether he could have played as brilliantly as Charlie Watts.

But that's not the most notable thing about that quote. The most notable thing about the quote is that John Lennon clearly did not know the name of the bass player for the Rolling Stones.


Kinky Paprika said...

The real question: Could Paul have written "In Another Land"?

Marshall said...

He did write in England a lot.