An increasing number of people keep asking if there’s a book of tablature or scores of my bass parts. It’s a project I tried to get underway a while ago with a guy called Paul Wolfe.
The problem is that once you attach the parts in any way to the chord structure or lyrics of the song in question, copyright issues become involved, and EC’s music publishers Hal Leonard basically made the entire project non-viable.
There is a certain amount of irony involved as many of the songs presented to us were completely restructured or redefined around the bass part I came up with -such as Chelsea, Girls Talk and B-Movie. Even when my bass lines are sampled or reproduced -like the Oz band Rogue Trader did with Pump It Up – the copyright remains with the songwriter. So all I can say is “Sorry, folks”.
There are a few tabs available by individuals in various places online, but it’s by no means a comprehensive selection.
I was recently alerted to San Diego tribute band, The Distractions. My only advice to them is to make sure the bass player has no literary ambitions – otherwise he’ll be out on his ear. (And to get himself a Profile Bass 🙂
“After the ‘lone star’ incident, the lighting man and I got together so that whenever we played Deep Dark Truthful Mirror — and Elvis got to the line ‘the sky was just a purple bruise’ — a beam would cut vertically through the darkness to illuminate me for a second or two, and I would stand there behind him, gazing over at him with a winning smile — a purple Bruce. I wonder if he ever found out…”
For years I thought that the opening line of Desmond Dekker’s The Israelites was “Wake up in the morning, baked beans for breakfast.” (It’s actually, Wake up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir.”)
People sometimes ask me what some of EC’s lyrics actually are. One person simply could not decipher a line from The Beat. Until I set them straight, “My neighbour’s revving up his Vauxhall Viva” had been, “My neighbour’s had enough to piss a boxhall baby.” A surreal image indeed.
I bet you’ve all misheard some lyric or other, only to be put right years later…
Apparently, this has turned up in the Dubai Hard Rock Café. I only ever used it for posing on TV and bought it because it looked so cool. I got it off a guy who lived in a trailer in St, Pete, Florida for 180 bucks. I think Jack Bruce used one on the Cream revival shows in 2005.