Friday, April 25, 2014

(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang

A mate of mine made an outstanding pun using the song title (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang on Twitter the other day, and I've been wanting it ever since. Found a copy of the album Penthouse and Pavement featuring it in Real Groovy today for the grand sum of $6. Worth every cent, and also features some other great tunes. It was the first single off their debut album, and the BBC banned it. 

The cracking bass solo in the middle of the song is played by a kid who had owned a bass for a total of one week. Seriously.

"A surprise star of the song was teenage bassist and guitarist John Wilson, whose buzzes and thrums and eight bar bass solo earned many accolades.

Ware told us the story behind teenage bassist and guitarist John Wilson's contribution: "We wanted a bass solo in the middle eight. We thought it would be really cool to go with the electronics, but we didn't know any real musicians at all because we were basically just kids messing around with the tape recorder and synths. 

At the time Glenn was working at the local theater in town in his spare time to make ends meet - because we weren't paying ourselves very much - at a place called The Crucible where the world snooker tournament was going on as well. He went into the greenroom. He said, 'Oh, I'll ask around because it's theatrical people, there's bound to be a musician in there somewhere.' He walked into the greenroom of the theater and said, 'Does anybody play bass?' Literally. This is not some apocryphal story. This is literally what happened. 

And one of the stage hands [John Wilson] was this young guy who had just started, 17 years old. Black guy. Very shy, quiet was reading the newspaper. He put his hand up without looking up: 'I play a little bit of bass.' We asked him to come down because we just wanted to see if the idea would work. He said, 'Oh, I'll go and get my bass. I just bought one last week. I bought it for 20 quid, so it's not a very good bass.' It really doesn't matter. It's just the idea. We want to see if it will work. 

So he came down and the first thing he played was the solo in the middle of 'Fascist Groove Thang' and we all went, excuse my language, 'Fu--ing hell!' Literally, in my entire life my jaw's never hit the floor. All of us, we were going, 'This is phenomenal!' And so I said, 'Would you like to see if you can play some bass on the rest of the tune?' And he went, 'Sure.'"

Ware continued: "After he finished the bass on the track, he said, 'Is that alright?' I said, 'I think it was alright.' 'Because,' he said, 'It's not really my main instrument.' I said, 'What's your main instrument?' 'Oh,' he said, 'I'm a rhythm guitarist.' And I said, 'Do you think you might want to go home and bring your guitar in, like, right now?' So he came back in and he sat down and plugged it in. And I said, 'I think we'd like something that sounds a little bit like Chic.' 

I knew it would be good because this kid's got the funk, but it was on another level. I've since talked to Nile Rodgers about this and he says, 'Wow, that kid is just awesome.'" Source; Songfacts

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