Paul in the studio with The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have published a so-called “lyric video” of the song “Bite My Head Off”, where Paul McCartney participates with a modified Höfner 500/1 bass guitar outfitted internally with a fuzzbox. A few scenes of Paul in the studio is included with the performance video. Here are some of the blink-and-you’ll miss-them moments.

This time Paul contributes fuzz bass, and he also does a short bass solo just before the guitar solo comes in. The bass guitar, a 1964 Höfner bass guitar with built-in fuzz, was gifted to Paul by producer Andrew Watt. It is the circuits from a Univox Super Fuzz box that is placed inside the Höfner bass guitar, and the fuzz sound is triggered by an additional switch.

Unaware of the internal modification that Watt had ordered, McCartney was initially confused by the gift. In an interview with Guitar World Watt says:  “This is an incredibly thoughtful gift, but why?” McCartney asked. “I already have my Beatles Höfner – why another?”

Everything became clear when McCartney was asked to “plug it in and try the extra switch”, and it wasn’t long before Macca was doing just that in the studio, alongside Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.

“All of a sudden, his eyes widened, and he started jamming on it,” says Watt. “I asked him to bring it to the recording and he couldn’t stop smiling. I shared the song with Paul the day before and when we got into the studio with the band, he brought out the bass.”

Just before the song came to the solo part, McCartney turned on the fuzz switch and everyone in the Stones was completely stunned. “What the **** is this?”

They finished the song in three takes. Paul also participated in one more song, but it did not make it onto the album.

Playing an acoustic guitar – perhaps the unreleased song he’s also on?

With Keith Richards

With Mick Jagger

3 Responses

  1. Mike J says:

    This is a great track down and dirty Stones rocker track. I personally like it better than “Angry”. I wonder if the fuzz bass idea came from its brilliant use in “Think For Yourself”.

  2. David Foyle says:

    Awesome post – thanks for the back-story!

  3. Andrew H says:

    Probably the best track on the album – it genuinely rocks (instead of being the simulation that ‘Angry’ is, followed by ‘Whole Wide World’ (the %$@#$ obvious single – a catchy radio friendly song that sounds good to Stones and non-Stones aficionados – whereas Heaven and Angry are both ‘nothing to see here’ album tasters).

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