Tags: 1966, Beatles
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If the Rickenbacker bass was featured on Rain/Paperback Writer, I wonder why it was not making its screen debut here.
Maybe because, as McCartney has often said, he is associated with the 500/1 bass guitar while with the Beatles. Except for “All You Need Is Love”, “I Am the Warlus” and “Hello Goodbye”, he came back to the 500/1 for the promo fils for “Penny Lane”, “Revolution”, and Let It Be film. It seems that in the 1970s he was trying to associate the 4001 with Wings.
Thank you, henry. Honestly, I didn’t know if the Ricky had logistical problems that may have restricted its inclusion…like, it’s too much larger than the other guitars so panning the camera across stage may have required zooming back when Paul came into the frame. The other thing I was thinking is that Paul might have an unofficial loyalty to the Hofner company that was purely diplomatic. The bass seems like an ‘official’ Beatles icon…like a valid form of picture ID. It was a consistent visual component that seemed to confirm that it WAS The Beatles. I can’t recall seeing any other big names playing The Hofner Beatle Bass.
The Rickenbacker bass was ultimately awesome looking…seemingly perfectly stylized for the Beatles psychedelic tendencies of 1966…
So, your theory makes sense, henry…
(the 500/1 doesn’t look very WINGS)
Ricky or Hofner, totally FAB photo!
Great pic and I’ll be the first to comment: Paul, what a nice curvy bum you have!
As I actually own one I can verify that the Ricky 4001 is a heavy old thing, no matter how lovely it sounds. The weight issue is probably why he hasn’t brought it ‘out of retirement’ to play on his recent tours but instead sticks with the Hofner…
I agree with Henry; Paul uses the Hofner as a brand image “Now I will be doing a Beatles thing”. I believe that was a conscious decision of his during the sixties to use it whenever he was onscreen, regardless of what he might have actually played on the record.
And in the same way, when the Beatles were over, the Hofner was retired in favour of the Ric. Besides, the Hof had such intonation problems that it was probably increasingly difficult to record with. Remember Paul started his live gigging career not playing Beatles songs, so he certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be playing the “Beatles bass”.
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