November 24, 2009

One of the Great Bass Licks.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:33 pm

I loves me some great percussion and I’m always taken by a silky smooth bass lick. This song has both and, best yet, here it is, live (no studio gimmicks, no retakes). For years, every time I’d be hanging with the Usual Suspects (where music is a constant), as the part of the song that contains the bass lick would approach, I’d slam the brakes on the multiple ongoing conversations, and it would go something like this:

Me: “Listen! … LISTEN!! … It’s coming up in a few seconds!”

Everyone Else: “What?”

Me: “The bass lick! Listen! … Just Lisssssten!”

Everyone Else: “Oh yeah, the damned bass thing.”

Me: “LISSSSSSTEN … Here it comes! … Here it comes!! … Riggggght NOW!” [Bass lick plays]

Me: “Wow!”

Everyone else: “OK.” [conversation immediately resumes]

They’ve always been at humoring me about such things. Now it’s your turn.

LISSSSSSSSTEN!……….The bass lick appears at 3:49 and then again (a bonus!) at 4:36.



  1. That, and “That was your mother” are my two favorites from that album.

    Comment by Dave Merriman — November 24, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

  2. You need more Rush in your life.

    Comment by Mark — November 24, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

  3. Always loved the vid with him and Chevy Chase.

    Comment by Jean — November 24, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

  4. I’m glad to see you are better and back to posting!
    And yes, bass is one of the great udnerappreciated instruments of our time…me, I’m a big fan of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers; with his talents the band oft substituted bass for guitar when it came time for an instrumental “lead”…at least in their better days, before they became FM radio pulp…

    Comment by Jersey — November 25, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  5. Nah, I’m calling shenanigans on this one. I saw a documentary on the making of this song, and Paul Simon demonstrated how they constructed that lick by recording half the bass line, then reversing it, splicing them together and dubbing it into the main track. Not to mention the bass player’s slapping style doesn’t match the lick.

    Nope, it’s as fake as Simon’s hairpiece…

    Comment by El Capitan — November 25, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

  6. Massa Jim,
    I can’t tell anything against Paul Simon: he is my “heartthrob” since I was eleven, and “The Boxer” started to play in our radios, here in Brazil.
    This “south-african way” of his is SUPERB!!
    Get well soon!!

    Comment by Maria Eddy — November 25, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

  7. I have been trying to “turn on” different music to those you would have “none of that” for years. I just accept that sometimes its just for me. Just Damn!

    Comment by Dax Montana — November 25, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

  8. I’m going to have to have Ringo watch this…

    Comment by Bou — November 25, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

  9. …. I’ve posted that video a few times!…. love that song!….

    Comment by Eric — November 26, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  10. Good bass is good bass. Same with drums. Any wonder I tend to date the rhythm section?

    Comment by Da Goddess — November 27, 2009 @ 1:09 am

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