As a teenager, Paul McCartney had to get on a bus to learn a guitar chord. Here’s the Walrus in an authorized 1997 biography:
We literally once went across town for a chord, B7. We all knew E, A, but the last one of the sequence is B7, and it’s a very tricky one. But there was a guy that knew it, so we all got on the bus and went to his house. “Hear tell there’s a soothsayer on the hill who knows this great chord, B7!” We all sat round like little disciples, strum strum. “How’s he doing it?” And we learned it.
I won’t fetishize post-World War II Liverpool. There may have been racism, or smog. I doubt there were avocados or unsweetened flax milk. Certainly, the future Wings frontman couldn’t grab his laptop and casually type “B7” into Wikipedia in the comfort of his bedroom. Certainly, he couldn’t sample a better guitarist playing B7 using GarageBand, Audacity, Reason, or ProTools.
McCartney had to rely on his RMS. He learned to play left-handed. He was in a skiffle band. He hustled. As De La Soul once put it, stakes was high.
Were stakes this high for Flo Rida when his production team created “Whistle,” a song about blowjobs that somehow sounds like Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks,” and Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough,” and The Scorpions’ “Winds of Change?” Were they this high for Lou Reed and Metallica when they whimsically, inexplicably made Lulu? Are they this high for Nintendocore artists, or Kelly Clarkson, or Wugazi?
If they are, I can’t hear it. This music—this pastiche—doesn’t have an address. It’s all Brooklyn, the inoffensive, mix ’n’ match, international sound of internationality.http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/43235/our-band-could-be-your-band-how-the-brooklynization-of/