On 6 January 2016, I created a BEATLES MINUTE video claiming Paul McCartney played bass on "Drive My Car".
As supporting evidence for this conclusion, I can cite William Dowlding's book Beatlesongs. (Additionally, Mark Lewisohn's The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions makes no mention of who plays bass, so it seems reasonable to assume by default that it's Paul.)
Then on 5 September 2016 I revised the above video, claiming George Harrison actually played bass.
As supporting evidence for this revision, I cite a quote from George Harrison in The Beatles Anthology: "I played the bassline on 'Drive My Car'."
Then yesterday Beatles sleuth Jacob Michael sent me a link to an interview with Harrison published by Crawdaddy magazine in February 1977, in which George contradicts himself:
GEORGE: There were alot of tracks though where I played bass. Paul played lead guitar on 'Taxman,' and he played guitar-- a good part-- on 'Drive My Car."
Q: You played bass?
GEORGE: No, I didn't play. ... On 'Drive My Car' I just played the line, which is really like a lick off 'Respect,' you know, the Otis Redding version-- and I played that line on guitar and Paul laid that with me on bass.
So who do we trust? The George Harrison quoted in The Anthology who claims he did play bass, or the George Harrison quoted in Crawdaddy who claims he did not?
This, of course, is hardly the first time a Beatle has reversed himself. A few months back, I blogged on Paul McCartney's inconsistencies.
Given the discrepancy, it's probable that we'll never know 100% for sure if it's Paul or George. Regardless, what is clear is that the bass line is derived from Otis Redding.
The tour continues tomorrow with another hotly debated - and liable to never be definitively decided - topic:
Thursday, 8 September 2016, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Mid-Continent Public Library: Smithville, 120 Richardson St, Smithville, MO
From the Shadow of JFK: The Rise of Beatlemania in America
Many Beatles authors have cited John F. Kennedy's assassination on 22 November 1963 as a cause of the Beatles' sudden popularity in the United States in early 1964. Their logic: Kennedy's assassination made America sad, then the Beatles made America happy again. But this commonly accepted answer is overly simplistic. America has suffered numerous tragedies and rebounded each time, but the popularity and staying power of the Beatles remains unmatched in American history. The real answer is that Kennedy's life and death inadvertently primed the nation for the Beatles' arrival and success. This 60-minute program will explain how and why.
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.