How did Macca get the ‘sound’ that was in his head into the famous Beatles Liverpool beat?
Back in the early days bass guitars were in short supply and very expensive left handed models didn’t exist so what could Paul do?
Like many of the young rockers of the 60s the most affordable guitar was an Egmond Lucky Seven (Also called a Rosetti Solid 7 ed.) and this is what he played but because he was left handed, it was played upside down.
The pickups on the Lucky Seven were extremely weak and the tone sounded dreadful ,a muffled muddy sound with no treble at all. It was found out a few years ago that this was because there wasn’t enough coils on the pickups and as the pickups were mounted in a ‘floating’ scratch plate there was no body contact hence no sustain.
Paul was not happy with this plus he really wanted to play Bass guitar so being clever guy he thought it through and came up with a ‘cunning plan’!
Firstly he took the scratch plate off, the pickups and electrics that enabled him to play it left handed easily and to go the whole hog he made it into a bass.
As it was almost impossible to get bass guitar strings he ‘borrowed’ some piano strings from the piano at home.
So far so good but what about a pick up?
Again none was available so a small Selmer microphone was fitted by the bridge.
This fitted the bill for a while until he discovered the Holy Grail...the Hofner 500/1 Violin bass that made, both him and it famous. But it just shows, if you have the sound in your head, with a bit of magic you have the Beat!
Ken (Bassman) Shalliker plays his fab and rare Blonde vintage Hofner 500/1 at the Cavern recently, with The Chris Rimmer Band who started out in 1960 ish.