Dave Grohl has jammed with Paul McCartney a few times. He was blown away by the bass line on one of the Beatles’ songs. During an interview, John Lennon said the song in question was meaningless.
During a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Grohl spoke about working with Paul. “It’s funny, the few times I’ve jammed with him, people have forgotten his musicianship because they’re so blown away by the Beatles side of things. And then he puts the instrument on and you’re like, ‘Jesus, he’s bloody good.’”
Grohl then praised Paul’s work on one of the Beatles’ more obscure songs. “I mean, like the bass line to ‘Hey Bulldog,’ what’s that?!”
Ringo Starr rhetorically asked Grohl where the song’s bass line came from. “I do not know!” he answered. “Space – it’s crazy.” Ringo said Paul was the most inventive bass player of all time.
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The book All We Say: The Last Great Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono contains an interview from 1980. In it, John was asked about “Hey Bulldog”. “I am, because of them Yellow Submarine People who were disgusting animals, except for the guy who drew the pictures for the film,” he replied.
“They took all ideas for the film out of our heads and did us no honor,” he added. “We had nothing to do with this film and we were kind of angry with them. It was the third film we owed United Artists.”
John said the experience wasn’t all bad. “But I liked the film, the artwork,” he continued. “They wanted a different song, so I cut ‘Hey Bulldog’. It’s a great sounding record that doesn’t mean anything.”
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“Hey Bulldog” was never a single, so it never charted on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune appeared on The Beatles’ soundtrack Yellow Submarine. The soundtrack peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 25 weeks.
“Hey Bulldog” was not a single in the UK and The Official Charts Company says it never charted there. On the other hand, Yellow Submarine peaked at number 3 in the UK and lasted a total of 10 weeks on the charts.
“Hey Bulldog” wasn’t a hit, but it did impress Grohl.
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