The Beatles and Their Revolutionary Bass Player

This bestseller made it to #1 in the U.S. and #3 in the U.K.

How would the current economic state or all of the sorrows of the world compare to going through life never hearing “She Loves You” or “A Day in the Life”? Instead, we were able to live vicariously through a story that would make a great novel (if someone ever chose to write it as such). It has everything you need: desire, early failures, bleak moments, heartbreak, love affairs, dragon women and helpless maidens, martyrs, incredible characters—some dark and some light—coming and going just when they were most needed, insecurity and loyalty, triumph against all odds, the world held in the sway of four men who changed it all, a breakup that was viewed with more despair than Charles and Diana and—finally—four figures, four separate Phoenixes, stumbling to their feet and learning for the first time how to stand up without their three mates at their side.

The intention of this book is to capture some of that story with a focus on the evolution of the bass playing of Paul McCartney. The book’s genesis was a website devoted to his bass guitar work (still online at but it became clear that any discussion of one aspect of the Beatles leaves the rest of the story wanting. For example, to talk only about McCartney’s most famous bass line—the one in “Come Together”—ignores the innovative drumming of Ringo Starr, the swampiness of Paul’s electric piano, the quality of John

Lennon’s voice, and the mere fact that he is saying “shoot me” at the start of each instrumental riff. To talk about one thing, you have to talk about it all.

April 20, 2014   |   354 pages


“Paul was one of the most innovative bass players ever. And half the stuff that is going on now is directly ripped off from his Beatles period.”
~ John Lennon