When I decided to take up playing bass in July of 2019, this one song was always my goal…. Actually, it’s my old Submarine Buddy Ronnie Slack’s favorite song to play on guitar so I decided to learn to play it on bass. Thing is, it’s a very hard song to learn, and not only did I learn to play it on a standard tuned (EADG) bass, I also learned to play it on my modified (BEAD) tuned bass.
There is a long stretch in the middle of the song which provided me the opportunity to switch out bass’s so that I could use the BEAD tuned bass throughout the last half of the song where more notes are played in each bar, so my fingers needed to move faster between frets.
The song was written by the James Gang – Joe Walsh (guitar); Jim Fox (Drums); Dale Peters (Bass). The lyrics are a bit lame, but the song wasn’t written for its lyrics – it was written to showcase the talents of the three members. The song truly highlights Walsh’s guitar talents, Fox’s percussion abilities, and Peters bass playing abilities. It is truly a “Rock” song!
The song was recorded in 1969, and released in 1970 under the ABC label. It was also featured as the first single on the groups second studio album “James Gang Rides Again”. The song is a “Classic Rock” standard and still gets played regularly on many Classic Rock stations.
When I played the song on my bass’s, I used my Yamaha TRBX304 (Big Red), tuned to the standard EADG bass tuning to play the first two verses of the song. During the break in the middle where the percussions are highlighted, I swapped to my Yamaha TRBX174EW that I modified to the non-standard BEAD tuning and played the final verse and outro with that setup.