Side Tracked: I Hope We Passed the Audition…

When it comes for people to try to knock on The Beatles; to find some sort of weakness within their absolute dominance of the pop field of music in the 60’s, many point to their musicianship.  Pete Townshend would famously say that listening to The Beatles in stereo was the best way to tell how shitty they were at their instruments.  While none of the members may have been exceptionally gifted at their instrument (i say this only in terms of a virtuoso ability, i.e. Paul McCartney may not have been flashy but he still proved to be one of the finest rock bassists in terms of melodic lines) there was no denying that they could hold down a song, having played together for many years.  In sports they often say a team is only as strong as their weakest member, and most would agree that in terms of The Beatles, that would be Ringo.  Yet Ringo was no slouch, often having the innate ability to play to the song, fundamentals in drumming that most forget, and in a way all of The Beatles possessed this ability with their instruments, playing to be heard as a group of individuals, not individuals within a group.  A great example would be “Get Back”

“Get Back” written by Paul McCartney starts out with an unforgettable intro albeit a simple one, Ringo is playing paradiddle’s for heaven’s sake (for frame of reference, in my 2 weeks or so of drum lessons, this was a snare hitting pattern that I had already mastered), John and George are playing simple guitar chords accenting on the off beats, and Paul’s pretty much just playing the roots of the bass line.  Yet you get this fantastic sound, one full of energy, a full sound, where the melody and rhythm are almost in-discernable from each other, all the listener hears is the song itself, a great interlocked groove of rhythm and melody.  Billy Preston proves to be a great addition, putting in keyboard fills here and there and Johns little solo guitar runs are great as well, the tone is exceptional and the breakdown at the end, left off the single version is too great to leave off.  Additionally this is around the time where Paul McCartney collaborated with Steve Miller and I for one could totally see Steve Miller cover this.

Get Back- The Beatles

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