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It's a strange world indeed when even Paul McCartney can't get the respect he deserves.
Sure, he's half of the greatest songwriting team that ever existed. And yes, his little band The Beatles did alter the face of popular music, becoming the biggest-selling and best-loved act since the invention of the phonograph. Oh, and he's won just about every award a human possibly can without single-handedly winning a war or something. In short, he's done it all.
But hey, what about his nifty bass playing? Who talks about that? In truth, many people do - and have in the 50 years since The Beatles became an unparalleled cultural force. It's simply that, when viewed against his other myriad talents and accomplishments, the importance of Paul McCartney as a bass player can be easy to overlook.
Interestingly, McCartney didn't set out to become a bassist. He picked up the instrument in 1961, somewhat reluctantly, when The Beatles' first "real" bass player, Stu Sutcliffe, John Lennon's art school friend, decided to quit the band and stay in Hamburg, Germany where the group had been playing a series of grueling residency gigs.
Almost immediately, McCartney proved to be a natural on the instrument, transforming himself and The Beatles into innovators and trend-setters. The very image of McCartney with the violin-shaped Hofner 500/1 bass is one that will forever be burned into the minds of music lovers everywhere - in fact, the Hofner is commonly referred to as the "Beatle bass."
Chops-wise, Macca's in a class of his own - he can play guitar, piano, drums, fiddle, sax, spoons, washboard, electric fence, tire iron, light bulb, red pepper and probably anything else you put in his hands.
But it's the bass we're celebrating here, and on the following pages we'll tell you why he's really Fab...