9/27/2016

Weekly Basslines #195: Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison; Van Halen)

This song was requested by one of my students. Herbert requested the original Roy Orbison version, but I also transcribed the Van Halen version.

The # 224 in the Rolling Stone list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" was originally released in 1964. Orbison co-wrote the song with Bill Dees on a Friday afternoon in July 1964 at his house. Orbison's wife Claudette came in and said she was going downtown for shopping and asked for money. Bill said, "Pretty woman never need any money". Orbison sang that line while Bill was banging his hand on the table to the beat of Mrs. Orbisons high heels clicking on the pavement when she was walking down the street.
At the time she returned the song was finished. On the following friday the song was recorded and the next friday it was released. Bill recalls: "It was the fastest thing I ever saw."

In the 90ies the song gained much fame, when it was made the title song of the movie "Pretty Woman" feat. Richard Gere & Julia Roberts.







To play along with the Van Halen version you got to tune down your bass a half step to Eb, Ab, Db, Gb: