Rick Rubin might admittedly “know nothing about music,” but he seems pretty confident in his choice of the world’s best bass player: Paul McCartney. The producer gushed about the former Beatle in a recent interview with MOJO (via NME).
“I thought about how everything I’ve seen, Beatles-related, is either about the songwriting or Beatlemania,” Rubin said, adding his admiration for McCartney’s “simple” approach to songwriting. “Paul McCartney the bass player, or Paul McCartney the musician, because he plays everything – that’s a little story told. You just think of him as Beatle Paul, yet in my opinion, he is the best of all bass players, he’s number one.”
Rubin went on: “What blew my mind was when he sat at the piano and he started showing me how to write a song. He was saying, ‘See, you could it like this’, and what he was showing me was the simplest thing, but then he starts moving his fingers around slightly, and all of a sudden it evolves into ‘Hey Jude’ or ‘Let It Be’. He’s using this technique that any child could do, then it morphs into one of the greatest songs of all time!”
Rubin — who recently declared The Beatles’ “Across the Universe” one of the most formative tracks in his life — got to see McCartney’s songwriting process up close and personal in the 2021 Hulu docuseries McCartney 3, 2, 1; since then, he’s recorded an album with The Strokes on top of a mountain in Costa Rica.
McCartney was recently featured in another documentary, If These Walls Could Sing, about London’s Abbey Road Studios. He even nearly got hit by a car while re-creating the iconic cover photo of The Beatles’ namesake album.