After the first day of rehearsal, Paul said, “Okay
guys, sounds good. I’ll see you tomorrow.” That’s
when I said, “Oh, my god! I think I’m going on tour
with Paul McCartney!”
rehearsal. Then I just homed in when I got
it. There was just me, a stack of CDs, an
acoustic, an electric, a bass, and a mic stand.
I just sat there, Unabomber style—shut in
and learning how to play Paul’s music.
McCartney and Ray engage in a Les Paul duel
at their June 20, 2010, gig at Hampden Park in
Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Lorna Cumming
I can’t think of anything more enjoyable
than getting paid to learn Beatles songs.
Exactly. It was a really fun time. I’d only
come out for a quick lunch, go back and
rehearse, grab a little dinner, come back and
rehearse, and then fall asleep thinking about
Paul McCartney songs. [Laughs.] We had five
days together as a band before Paul got there,
and that really helped us. We got a good
vibe—we bonded. And we worked on vocals.
By the time Paul came in, we were ready to
go. I still hadn’t announced to anyone that
I was going on tour with Paul McCartney.
I didn’t really believe it, yet. So, after the
Did you go on a shopping spree after you
first day of rehearsal, Paul said, “Okay guys,
sounds good. I’ll see you tomorrow.” That’s
when I said, “Oh, my god! I think I’m going
on tour with Paul McCartney!”
The biggest joy has been playing bass
on Paul’s songs alongside him, standing in
for him because he’s on guitar or piano.
That apprenticeship is something I’m super
grateful for. Also, his patience with me to
improve as a bass player as we went on, and
the trust he’s given me to play these bass
parts. Honestly, these are the coolest bass
parts ever written. He’s probably the best and
most important bass player in rock music,
period. So it’s a real pleasure to have that
got the gig?
Oh, yeah! [Laughs.] I opened up my computer and found a ’ 59 Gretsch Double
Anniversary—it’s the two-tone-green guitar I
play. And I found what I thought was a great
bass for Paul, which was a Guild M85 from
the early ’80s. I ordered both of those guitars, and they arrived a couple of days later. I