For a while at least I thought it was too soft, and there were certain times when I couldn’t really feel any of the strings moving, but it was nice. So it was all a bit of a mess for the first four or five years, to be honest.
What was the first thing that gave you a “soul sound”? What kind of music did you listen to?
After I got my first violin in 1962 at Bournemouth, I was immediately drawn to music like Miles Davis, jazz, and even country music. The first real real influences that I really started to identify with was the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. I also started to gravitate towards some of their later stuff. I don’t think there’s any particular style that comes to mind right away when you hear those early records.
For example, the album “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is very poppy, almost like an English folk ballad, or a kind of folk song. This record shows that. The “Boys In The Trees” album shows that.
So what was the first album you really started to like? Or more generally, when did you start to play music?
We did a recording with The Rolling Stones together in the early ’70s, as part of that Stones Tour, that’s when I started really trying to get into some more serious stuff. That was also around 1969. I think it was the album “Giant Steps,” and the same time I started playing the cello. Then I was always playing, or trying to play, guitar because I couldn’t play much piano until later. Also, I was trying to play piano all the time at that time, but it was just too much of a chore – I’d often stay in bed, which was pretty difficult as well. I’d come back to the studio and do a few songs on the keyboard. Maybe something like “Downtown Night” from the Beatles “Love Me Do” or one of those “Love Me Do” piano covers.
What was the sound like coming from your cello?
The quality of the sound on the cello is totally different from the quality of the way my drums and bass play. My cello has a very open sound and is very powerful, but there are certain rhythms and passages that I can’t get as quickly. One of the things I’m known for is playing a bit faster, so my cello has a faster attack, and the whole sound is
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