What Makes It So Fantastic.


From the album She Had Picasso’s Child

Paul Gilbert is a bastard !
Some might say that’s a matter of personal opinion. It’s not…it’s a fact !

I first met Paul many moons ago when rehearsing  with a band in a rehearsal room that Paul used to run. It was a great room, made even better by the presence of a fridge lovingly stocked with abundant supplies of beer for the bands to consume, then pay for by means of an honesty box next to said fridge !
As if !

I wasn’t the only one to take advantage of this scheme (that is to say not pay), but it seems I’m the only person who Paul still carries a grudge against in this regard, and I make this accusation because of a certain childishness involved in the recording of  “What makes it so fantastic?”

Let me embellish…..Years after the Fridgegate fiasco, Paul and I were involved in the Who Slapped John project when I went away on a holiday for a couple of weeks.

When I got back to London, Paul played me this total nugget of a song which he had recorded and called “What makes it so fantastic?” And fantastic it was – and it still is !!

The only problem was the bass line. Because Who Slapped John was a studio project we didn’t really have set roles by which we would only play certain instruments and not step on each others’ sensitive toes, but nonetheless I always felt that bass duties were my territory, because obviously I was the better bass player !!

I’ll be the first to admit that the bass Paul put down was….
(a) Totally in keeping with the spirit of the song.
(b) A unique sound I wouldn’t be able to replicate in a million years.
(c) Fantastic.

Naturally, I insisted the bass should be rerecorded by yours truly, but no…it was a case of  “Well it’s my song, the bass is fine, and it’s staying as it is”

And so what you hear on the recording is Paul Gilbert playing bass, and I can’t help but feel his nasty, vindictive, and yes, churlish attitude, dates back to that honesty box from days gone by…and I don’t think he’s likely to drop this grudge any day soon.

So I’m not going to pay for those beers !!