The Rolling Stones Hits Keith Richards Took Over The Bass Parts
Keith Richards has been there from the beginning of the Rolling Stones, corresponding to six decades with the band. His blues and country-based guitar playing helped the Stones create a signature sound as they topped the charts for this extended period. It is safe to say that his dedication and musical leadership in the band distinguishes him from other notable guitar players.
Without his rhythm guitar and riffs, it is almost impossible to talk about the unique Stones sound that has defined the band for all these years. His style of playing rhythm has always made him stand out in the rock industry and became one of the essential ingredients of the classical Stones tune. Even though Richards acquired fame as a fine rhythm guitarist, he surprisingly handled the bass parts in some works of the band.
The Rolling Stones’ original bass player Bill Wyman first joined the band in 1962 and served for nearly three decades until he quit in 1993. However, he wasn’t credited for his bass parts in all Stones’ albums. Keith Richards took over the bass duties instead of Wyman in some of the band’s essential works. Besides his rhythm guitar skills, Richards proved himself also a decent bassist by creating memorable bass lines as Wyman did.
When reminded of his bass-playing contributions, like in the song ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ in a previous interview, Keith Richards said, “Yeah. ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ ‘Live with Me.’ I do like playing bass. Still do.” The musician revealed that he really enjoys handling the bass duties and contributing to the band also in that way.
Then, the interviewer asked Keith whether he recorded the bass parts when Bill Wyman wasn’t available. “Usually,” the guitarist revealed. “Or sometimes I’d say, ‘Bill, it goes like this.’ And he’d say, ‘Why show me? You got it down. Let’s make this simple. You do it.’ There were never any hassles in that respect. Just like there are some songs where Bill plays keyboards.”
It seems like Richards taking over the bass didn’t cause any problems between him and the original bassist Bill Wyman. So, the band has had a flexible working process in this sense. Thus, Keith Richards ended up playing the bass in several Stones hits, including ‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ ‘Live with Me,’ ‘Happy,’ and ‘Street Fighting Man.’ The guitarist managed to do a good job and received appreciation from the fans also with his bass guitar skills.