Rick Rubin: Sir Paul McCartney is the best of all bass players
Rick Rubin believes Sir Paul McCartney is an underrated bassist.
The studio wizard – who is credited with helping to popularise hip-hop with his work on records by the Beastie Boys, Geto Boys, Run-DMC, Public Enemy, and LL Cool J – teamed up with the Beatles legend on the 2021 miniseries ‘McCartney 3,2,1’
Asked by MOJO magazine how he got Macca chatting, he shared: “I thought about how everything I’ve seen, Beatles-related, is either about the songwriting or Beatlemania. Paul McCartney the bass player, or Paul McCartney the musician, because he plays everything – that’s a little story told.
“You just think of him as Beatle Paul, yet in my opinion, he is the best of all bass players, he’s number 1.”
The producer was amazed that the 80-year-old music icon has the “simplest” approach to writing mega-hits.
He said: “What blew my mind was when he sat at the piano and he started showing me how to write a song.
“He was saying, ‘See, you could it like this’, and what he was showing me was the simplest thing, but then he starts moving his fingers around slightly, and all of a sudden it evolves into ‘Hey Jude’ or ‘Let It Be’.
“He’s using this technique that any child could do, then it morphs into one of the greatest songs of all time!”
The ‘Long and Winding Road’ hitmaker previously likened writing a song to sharing a secret with his guitar.
He wrote in his lyric book ‘The Lyrics by Paul McCartney’: “There’s lots of stuff going on there.
“We always used to say that when you sit down with your guitar to write a song, you’re telling it your secrets, which then become a song for the world.
“But at that moment, when you’re alone, the guitar is your confidante. You cradle it.
“When you go up to a piano, though, it’s almost as if you’re pushing the piano away; they’re different actions completely.”
He also talks to his guitars because he worries they might get “lonely”.
He shared: “I felt quite guilty in a minor way, so I went over and started playing – and then the song that came out was me talking directly to the guitar and talking about all the times it had helped me.”