The enigma that is Jeff Beck is the humour of irony. Far behind many of his peers in career record sales, Jeff has picked up four Grammys. Never having his people looking for mass media PR or media "event" set ups like many aging rock stars, Jeff appeared a couple of years ago in front of a television audience of over thirty million with Kelly Clarkson on the American Idol Rewind charity event simply because Kelly asked him to do the duet. Often chastised for not having more of his commercial releases in a standard "comfortable" vocal enviornment for him to play off of, Mr. Beck has none the less in his carreer traded "voices" either on stage or on record (or both) with a partial list including notables like Diana Ross, Seal, Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, Patti Labelle, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Robert Plant, Tom Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Wynona Judd, a forthcoming release by Morrisey, etc. etc. oh yeah, I forgot to mention PAVAROTTI!! How many rock guitarists have played with him???? Beatles and former Jeff Beck producer George Martin said it best about Jeff in that Jeff does not need a singer because he IS a singer on his guitar.
Jeff Beck's axe is a voice that is sometimes sassy, sometimes soft and melencholy, sometimes balls to the wall screaming. Through it all like the great Sinatra, Jeff can say he did it all his way. When Jeff gets inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland in April as a solo artist in his own right, it will codify what has been deserved for many years even prior to his induction as a member of the Yardbirds in 1992. It's time the rest of the music world stand up and take notice.
I want to thank a fan for a letter and campaign to call in CA radio stations to get Jeff's music on the playlists. I am writing you this response which will appear as the actual editorial for our new Issue 16 of the Jeff Beck Bulletin. The main frustrating question most fans wonder about as you did in your letter is why more people in today's market don't listen to Jeff Beck?
The problem is that Jeff has never wanted to have a hands on with promoting his own music past or present unlike some of his peers. He has always felt that was mostly the part of management. However if you can't get an artist to regularly do the interviews, tours, selected happenings, etc....without current new music cd's out there on a regular basis it is next to impossible to get back in the mainstream of the listening public. Exacerbating the issue is lack of identification with the younger listening public. The majority of people unfortunately are just like that pinhead you mentioned that remembered Jeff as a Rod Stewart sideman or if I can add to your comment have never heard of him becasue he is not out on a PR tour with new product catering to teens.
The other problem is that the majority of the listening public unfortunately want some kind of vocals connection on a regular basis in the artists new catalogue. The only time that wasn't true was the mid/late seventies when a significant percentage of the rock listening public actually played on some level their own instruments from the grade school baby boomers educational parental directives to play...The stars and moon aligned. The "distinctive" vocalists like Jagger, Stewart, Daltry and Bowie that you could pick out instantly had no more recruits. Disco was king. The beat now not the lyrics was THE THING. Us baby boomers who had grown up with the totality of integrated vocal/guitar bands (Yardbirds,Jeff Beck Groups I and II, BBA WHO,Stones,Zep, etc) wanted to embrace the disco funk that had it's roots in black soul and Sly Stone style funk ,but wanted OUR heroes to do it. On the other side you saw all the jazz trained guys like McLaughlin, Hammer and Cobham see the even pre disco funk craze like Sly and The Family Stone and War, and wanted to cash in on it. ALthough there was some killer music that came out of groups like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Stanley Clarke's different combinations, live they had a tendancy to revert back to studio type practice training which became "that was amazing technique but I can't remember but a few seconds of the eight minute solo they each played."
Jeff had been tortured between wanting another good band but seeing the response he got from playing things like "Defineately Maybe" on stage, wanted now to make his guitar the spotlight. The final piece was having Carmine being empathetical with Jeff reagrding the jazz guys early attempts at disco/rock/jazz fusion listened to by them while cruising the English countryside in a Pantera. The result of course was Blow By BLow which when played live demonstrated to a SIGNIFICANT portion of the listening public that here there was finally a cool, hip, theatrical emotionally gut charged performance that was easier on the ears than the Berklee schooled fusion and let the "guitarist" in us all live vicariously through a genuuine hero. Therefore Blow By Blow and Wired actually CAPTURED THE MOOD OF THE TIMES and were the two best selling instrumental lp's ever in that short public attention span of the Edgar Winter/Average White Band/Stanley Clarke, Jan Hammer, Cobham, and our guy Jeff Beck's mass public appeal years.
Unfortunately all of it was taken back to an excess, not jazz wise but strangely enough classical and pentonic excercises disguised in a rock format to excess by the "shredders" Van Helen, Satriani, Vai etc. There was less of a listening public for these guys because the melody's weren't as accessible to the mind and therefore limited the mass appeal. The public then wanted something else which was of course the mix of synth pop and back to the early rock roots with again lyrics and flamboyant singers now with a much rougher and less artistically gifted set....The Punk Rockers and later hip poetic cleaned up garage bands in the form of Grunge.
Many of the early English heroes, realizing that to stay viable had to constantly try new projects and have a PR entourage to keep them in the limelight, did just that. Jeff of course continued what he had started and branched out to capture his take on different world and cultural sounds all loyal to his rock and blues roots, however artistically staged and altered. Great for us that love the sounds of his guitar. Bad for the masses who either never heard it or never gave it a chance because it wasn't "hip" and there was no continual public persona of Jeff by now the JD Salinger of the rock world. Fortunately Jeff is touring more the last few years albeit with predominantly back catalouge. Let's hope a few of the newer pieces like 'Scottish One' and stuff I'm sure is on tape but not made it into the live set that at least his fans can call "new" Jeff music.
The ultimate irony is that despite all Jeff's peers countless years of slaving away to keep their names out there, Jeff gets spotted by happenstance by Kelly Clarkson who was a fan, and got asked to perform with her in front of a 30 plus million TV viewing public for the American Idol Rewind show! Eric, Jimmy and Robert must have given an amused knowing smile!
That's our Jeff!
PS: I feel there is hope on the horizon. Education is back of sorts with the Guitar Hero video craze. Although Jeff is not in there many of his later contemporaries are, all who when researched by young devotees will have quotes about Jeff....enough so that curious young minds will want to listen. Also taking guitar lessons has experienced a new boom recently and a lot of teachers.....you got it.... are Jeff Beck fans.
PPS: With Harvey Goldsmith taking over the management there will definately be a big PR push. With the advent of the "new" record started last year featuring Imogen Heap on vocals we may get a WILD version of what "You Had It Coming" lp hinted at. ...this time with all the "live" feel guns of Vinnie and Tal.
Lets all just hope and pray that this project won't be just "snake oil" but the real new deal featuring our stratocaster master, Mr. Jeff Beck.
Be seeing you!
Bolero Pump Eternity's Breath You Never Know Cause We've Ended Behind The Veil Blast Stratus Angel Led Boots Nadia Snake Oil Pork Pie/Brush Big Block Blue Wind A Day In The Life Scottish One Where Were You
Regards from, Sean Higgins and Michael Bright (friend and guitarist) Melb. AUS
P.S. Next to me, stage right, was a guy firing away with a camera (no flash-good - I didn't let it detract)... maybe they will get to you for your Beck webpage. I can live again the best musical moments in my life.... I'm still hearing it! He really is so unique that as much as I could hope is to absorb and find/feel some impressionist vision of his playing. Felt like I was on a ride when he goes up the neck, bends, fingers exacting extracting while vol-wangbar added delights..on top of harmonic true and fake and/or slide..no room for mistakes Ha..audacity.
From Geoff Cosier....an interesting item.... The concert programme (containing some fantastic photos I must say: many of them I've never seen before) does mention the new upcoming album and also the new management changes.
The first show in Tokyo is good show. "Snake Oil" is Tony Williams' cover tune. Feb 6 Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo 1.Beck's Bolero 2.The Pump 3.Eternity's Breath 4.You Never Know 5.Cause We've Ended As Lovers 6.Behind The Veil 7.Blast From The East 8.Stratus 9.Angel(Footsteps) 10.Drums Solo/Led Boots 11.Nadia 12.Bass Solo/Snake Oil 13.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues 14.Blue Wind 15.A Day In The Life -encore- 16.Where Were You 17.Big Block 18.Scottish One ******************************************** The third show in Tokyo was very good show. Especially Vinnie's drum play was superb. It might be the first time that Jeff played "Peter Gunn Theme" on stage. At the end of the show, Jeff handed his guitar to a fan of the front row. But staff got back the guitar from him. Feb 9 NHK Hall Tokyo 1.Beck's Bolero 2.The Pump 3.Eternity's Breath 4.You Never Know 5.Cause We've Ended As Lovers 6.Behind The Veil 7.Blast From The East 8.Stratus 9.Angel(Footsteps) 10.Drums Solo/Led Boots 11.Nadia 12.Space Boogie 13.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues 14.Blue Wind 15.A Day In The Life -encore- 16.Where Were You 17.Big Block 18.Scottish One 19.Peter Gunn Theme **************************************************** When Jeff playing "Cause We've Ended As Lovers"and "Behind The Veil", Jeff had keen impatience with the noise from his guitar amplifier. After "Behind The Veil", while the guitar tech fix the amp band played jam session without guitar. Tal played bass guitar and Jeff pluck her bass strings at her side. When Jeff playing "Stratus",the noise broke out again. Jeff said "I'll come back after fix. I can't play with this." After five minutes, they come back to stage and start to play "Angel(Footsteps)". Feb 11 Pacifico Yokohama, Yokohama 1.Beck's Bolero 2.The Pump 3.Eternity's Breath 4.You Never Know 5.Cause We've Ended As Lovers 6.Behind The Veil 7.Jam 8.Blast From The East 9.Stratus -interruption- 10.Angel(Footsteps) 11.Led Boots 12.Nadia 13.Space Boogie 14.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues 15.Blue Wind 16.A Day In The Life -encore- 17.Where Were You 18.Big Block 19.Scottish One 20.Peter Gunn Theme ************************************************ The Show in Nagoya was great.Tal played bass solo and Jeff pluck her bass strings at her side. It's the same as they did in Yokohama.And they did phrase of "Freeway Jam" with bass. They did not play "Scottish One" in Kanazawa. Yours, Toshi Feb 12 Aichi Geijutsu Gekijo, Nagoya 1.Beck's Bolero 2.The Pump 3.Eternity's Breath 4.You Never Know 5.Cause We've Ended As Lovers 6.Behind The Veil 7.Blast From The East 8.Stratus 9.Angel(Footsteps) 10.Led Boots 11.Nadia 12.Space Boogie 13.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues 14.Bass Solo (include Freeway Jam) 15.Blue Wind 16.A Day In The Life -encore- 17.Where Were You 18.Big Block 19.Scottish One 20.Peter Gunn Theme Feb 13 Ishikawa Koseinenkin Kaikan, Kanazawa 1.Beck's Bolero 2.The Pump 3.Eternity's Breath 4.You Never Know 5.Cause We've Ended As Lovers 6.Behind The Veil 7.Blast From The East 8.Stratus 9.Angel(Footsteps) 10.Led Boots 11.Nadia 12.Space Boogie 13.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues 14.Bass Solo (include Freeway Jam) 15.Blue Wind 16.A Day In The Life -encore- 17.Where Were You 18.Big Block 19.Peter Gunn Theme *************************************** The show at Zepp Fukuoka is the only club show in this Japanese tour. The audience was very excited and mood was different from hall show. It was great show. The show in Feb 18 was the best!! (Feb 18 and 19 were same setlist. "People Get Ready" was added. Feb 16 Zepp Fukuoka, Fukuoka 1.Beck's Bolero 2.The Pump 3.Eternity's Breath 4.You Never Know 5.Cause We've Ended As Lovers 6.Behind The Veil 7.Blast From The East 8.Stratus 9.Angel(Footsteps) 10.Drums Solo/Led Boots 11.Nadia 12.Space Boogie 13.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues 14.Bass Solo(include Freeway Jam) 15.Blue Wind 16.A Day In The Life -encore- 17.Where Were You 18.Big Block 19.Scottish One 20.Peter Gunn Theme Feb 18 Osaka Koseinenkin Kaikan, Osaka Feb 19 Osaka Koseinenkin Kaikan, Osaka 1.Beck's Bolero 2.The Pump 3.Eternity's Breath 4.You Never Know 5.Cause We've Ended As Lovers 6.Behind The Veil 7.Blast From The East 8.People Get Ready 9.Stratus 10.Angel(Footsteps) 11.Drums Solo/Led Boots 12.Nadia 13.Space Boogie 14.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues 15.Bass Solo(include Freeway Jam) 16.Blue Wind 17.A Day In The Life -encore- 18.Where Were You 19.Big Block 20.Scottish One 21.Peter Gunn Theme
Feb 21 Saitama Super Arena, Saitama The first stage JEFF BECK (17:11 to 18:04) 1.The Pump 2.You Never Know 3.Cause We've Ended As Lovers 4.Stratus 5.Angel(Footsteps) 6.Led Boots 7.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues 8.Bass Solo(include Freeway Jam) 9.Blue Wind 10.A Day In The Life -encore- 11.Peter Gunn Theme The second stage ERIC CLAPTON (18:29 to 19:23) 1.Driftin' 2.Layla 3.Motherless Child 4.Running On Faith 5.Tell The Truth 6.Little Queen Of Spades 7.Before You Accuse Me 8.Cocaine 9.Crossroads The third stage ERIC CLAPTON with JEFF BECK (19:25 to 20:10) Eric Clapton(g,vo) Jeff Beck(g) Doyle Bramhall II(g,vo) Willie Weeks(b) Chris Stainton(key) Abe Laboriel Jr.(ds) Sharon White(vo) Michelle John(vo) 1.You Need Love 2.Listen Here/Compared To What 3.Here But I'm Gone 4.Outside Woman Blues 5.Brown Bird 6.Wee Wee Baby -encore- 7.I Want To Take You HigherSecond night....
Feb 22 Saitama Super Arena, Saitama The first set JEFF BECK (17:09 to 18:01) 1.The Pump 2.You Never Know 3.Cause We've Ended As Lovers 4.Stratus 5.Angel(Footsteps) 6.Led Boots 7.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues 8.Bass Solo(include Freeway Jam) 9.A Day In The Life 10.Big Block 11.Where Were You 12.Peter Gunn Theme The second set ERIC CLAPTON (18:28 to 19:21) 1.Driftin' 2.Layla 3.Motherless Child 4.Running On Faith 5.Tell The Truth 6.Key To The Highway 7.I Shot The Sheriff 8.Wonderful Tonight 9.Cocaine 10.Crossroads The third set ERIC CLAPTON with JEFF BECK (19:25 to 20:10) Eric Clapton(g,vo) Jeff Beck(g) Doyle Bramhall II(g,vo) Willie Weeks(b) Chris Stainton(key) Abe Laboriel Jr.(ds) Sharon White(vo) Michelle John(vo) 1.You Need Love 2.Listen Here/Compared To What 3.Here But I'm Gone 4.Outside Woman Blues 5.Little Brown Bird 6.Wee Wee Baby -encore- 7.I Want To Take You HigherThanks again Toshi!
In the religion of Rock n Roll, Gods with the phallic sceptors (guitars) have always been the driving force behind the music. The melodic edge, the visual wand of music emotion, and the symbol of power are the ultimate rock vehicle for expression. So it is only fitting that the son of a preacher, our friend Robert Knight, found himself on a lifetime of transformative journey capturing the historical essence of the Age of Rock Guitar and preserving the images to worship not only for the aging to remember but for the youth to continue and help grow anew.
"Rock Gods" is Robert's lifetime journey gift to us in a big, bold and beautifully crafted Life Magazine style coffee table book recently published as a prelude to the multi media film 'Rock Prophecies' coming soon to a venue near you. From the cover of Jimi Hendrix in plasmatic color wringing a gut wrenching siren's cry of emotion to the collection of the determined expressions on the faces of Joe Bonamassa, Tyler Dow Bryant and the younger wave of incredible Rock and Blues guitar talent, Robert Knight has been able to relate to these artists in a way few could. As he describes in the book Robert got his start not as an accomplished celeb photographer but as an amature generally enthused by the whole sound and the scene that accompanied it. These musicians were at ease with Robert and many became lifelong friends because they knew he was not in it for the one off photos to make a buck or to learn guitar secrets from the masters but to experience them as they were. As Robert explains to us that understanding led to extended visits with these guitar greats which many of them ironically led to photo sessions exclusively for Robert to capture them relaxed as they wanted. Jeff Beck summed that all up the first time Robert Knight was introduced to Jeff. He asked Robert if he both was or wanted to be a guitarist. When Robert replied in the negative Jeff exclaimed that because of that..now they were going to become good friends.
It's no secret that Jeff Beck is Robert's favorite guitarist much for the same reasons we fans all are. Jeff's guitar sounds and musical interpretation has grown and expanded over the years where the others, caught up in those early years, never reached anywhere near as far as Jeff has. The awe inspiring photos of Jeff are generously interspersed throughout the book, from the Flashy Flash era behind the back pose near the front, through to the dedicated Jeff Beck section and on to Jeff's home in England shot outside with the Gretsch Duo Jet. My favorite is the stowaway on the train 'People Get Ready' video era action shot which sums up Jeff's ever moving on career. He may not stay in the same place musically, but he's always playing something new that takes him on his own life journey of different directions!
Jeff wasn't the first Rock Guitar God that Robert met. Although Robert's first photos (also in the book) were of the original US touring Jeff Beck Group, there is a great story in the book about how Robert got hooked up with Led Zeppelin in which Jimmy Page took Robert under his wing and gave him the run of the hotel Zep was staying in. It is among those Led Zeppelin photos that one struck me as giving the title of the book Rock Gods. It's most immediacy of imagery. The Zep pull out photo taken at the airport tarmac in Hawaii reveals a heavenly bliss-sky seemlessly meshing into the white light glare from the plane and runway in the background. The front and center portion of the photo heralds the four "Gods" (Plant is crowned with a Hawaiin lei) three of them bearing gifts to the mortal world. The contents, as revealed by Robert Knight were the master tapes for the imminent release of arguably one of the greatest rock lps of all time....Led Zeppelin II.
No one should look to the future without first looking to the past. A sectioned gallery of blues and guitar pioneers in the middle of 'Rock Gods' runs the gamut of quintessential poses and action shots starting with the sweet cry of BB's Lucille and ending with the man, if who had never existed would have allowed the world to enjoy not only the electric guitar but the joy and poking fun of playing different techniques and finger/hand produced delights, Mr. Les Paul then in his early seventies and now ninety one!
It has been Robert's quest for some time, as he journeys round the world with his camera, to seek out new guitar and rock talent. He has found that in both Joe Bonamassa and Tyler Dow Bryant. Recently at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in LA at a Gibson sponsored event, Robert got Joe to jam with Billy Gibbons (also represented in the book) and has included young Joe B. in the Rock Prophecies film. Proud as a new "Daddy", Robert is now manageing Tyler Dow Bryant whom Robert introduced to the masses at Crossroads in 07. The pic of Tyler standing in front of the old classic Chevy pickup reminds me of the famous shot of Jeff in the desert playing in front of a '32 roadster.
Some rock stars have never taken themselves too seriously. We all know Jeff Beck is quick on the draw for the humourous irony of many of life's situations. Robert's account of Alice Cooper not being recognized as himself at a Halloween party had me doubling over in laughter. Equally funny (although not to Robert at the time I'm sure) was Jimmy Page telling Robert that if the subject of meeting Jeff Beck came up one more time that Robert's hanging with the group (Zep) privilages would be cancelled! Hah!
We must not leave out Stevie Ray Vaughan. The ghostly black and white silhouettes Robert took of SRV were the last official photos shot before his life ended. Robert was the only credentialed photographer that fateful night in 1990. In retrospect they seem pre-ordained as Steveie watches from the heavens.
While we can look forward to the soon to be released 'Rock Prophecies' film that will give us more insight into Robert's relationship with our 'Rock Gods', (hint....be watching the pages of this issue for an exclusive review), the book 'Rock Gods', with it's rare and historic photographs, will serve as a reminder and conversation piece in the living rooms of all of you who should buy it, that rock has had a great past and that Jeff Beck is still as nimble and exciting as ever and that there are a lot more chapters......to be written and photographed.
Be seeing you!
Gentlemen: I have corresponded with you once before; just wanted to share a story from Cleveland. I have seen JB well over 150 times since I was 13! I was at the same Yardbird's show in NJ in 1965 that Seymour Duncan attended. It certainly changed his life and mine as well. My wife and I obtained tickets for the Rock n Roll HOF induction ceremony. Truthfully, I am glad that the video from Fuse was available.The sound in the Cleveland Public Hall may have been great off the stage as Page commented, but the sound was really lost in the balcony. No matter, we were there for the event! A nice story: We were in the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel. I realized on Saturday morning that I was sitting next to Scotty Moore! The hotel, mostly full of Metallica fans, were oblivious to a few of the old-timers in the place. Al Jardine was there from the Beach Boys. In any case I said hello to Mr. Moore; he seemd surprised that I recognized him. I told him I'm 57, I'd better know! We spoke a little, I told him I was here for JB and he nodded his approval. I thanked him for his enormous contribution and said good-bye. After the show, around 1:30 am in the hotel bar, were Scotty and his party. I waved, he recognized me, so I went over and spoke with him for awhile. Asked him if enjoyed the show they had to leave early because Metallica was TOO LOUD!!! I recalled the moment by Jeff during his acceptance speech when he looked down at Scotty and thanked him. Great quote from Jeff, "I know Jimmy will back me up on this, when we were kids we used to just dribble over your stuff. Great shot of Scotty giving Jeff two thumbs up. He said Jeff's playing is off the planet! (we have known that since day one, huh?) I waited 43 years to hear what was supposed to be Led Zeppelin when the 2 boyhood friends finally played Bolero together!!!! WOW!!! Anyway, it was a spectalular moment for any of us who are part of the Lunacy. Thanks guys for all that you have done !!
The venue is on Landsdowne Street which runs along the 'green monster' of Fenway Park. This is like mecca for Red Sox fans like me. I took my 15 year son, Ian to this, his first Jeff Beck show and we came in early...just to go over to the Red Sox team store over on Yawkey Way. A quick sidenote, several doors down past the above shot is where second, legendary 'Boston Tea Party' club was. The 'Tea Party' Jeff Beck Group pictures we have in our photo section were taken at the first 'Tea Party' location was on Lawrence Street (I think). Many, many historic shows were played there.
Prior to the show folks lined up on Landsdowne for the doors to open and more than once I heard the comment that this soldout show was by far the biggest crowd yet for the newly opened club. After the show Dean went over to the mixing desk to ask for the setlist that was laying on it, and the sound guy gave it to him.
Harvey Goldsmith introduced the opener Davy Knowles and came back after his set to toss out the Panasonic camera promotion t-shirts. My quick observations from what I remember...'Bolero', the opener...starts just with Vinnie's drums, no 12-string guitar that I could discern. 'Pump'...I heard this during their soundcheck at around 5:30PM from outside on the street. Dean commented that he thought Jeff 'was on fire', I agreed. 'You Never Know'....kind of weird meter change during this number that I've never caught before. 'CWEAL'....crowd was very receptive up to now but this put it over the top. Tal's bass solo wowed everyone. Around this time I shifted postitions to hook up with some friends from my hometown on the other side of the club. During 'Angel' even in this raucous place the crowd was rapt during the quiet section where Jeff plays the slide right handed over the pickups, when it's over the place explodes. Around this time from my new vantage point I could see a seating section on the second level overlooking the right side of the stage. Joe Perry from Aerosmith was up there sporting his new 'Cruella Deville' coif with Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton a few seats away. For the rest of show I would glance up there from time to time and his expression didn't change. It was the kind of look most guitarists have when they watch Jeff Beck play, a mix of awe and 'why do I even bother'. Other highlights that really got crowd reactions...Tal and Jeff's bass solo, of course 'A Day In The Life' and the first encore 'Where Were You'.
Hey EVERYBODY, I was feeling a little let down when I didn't get the picture taken of Jeff Beck and me at the House of Blues concert in April. It turns out they posted them on the official Jeff Beck Website!!! (jeffbeck.com) What a thrill!!! I wonder how it's gonna look when I blow it up to life size!!!! Thanks for sharing my excitement of meeting my all time guitar hero. Sorry Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Howe,... Beck is and always has been My favorite Terry Kiernan Cloud 9 P.S. I'm gonna post it on my facebook page too
I was at the Chicago show last night. I'll have to report later in more detail. It was the best Jeff Beck show I've ever seen and I've seen many. He played like he is: the best guitar player in the world! Tal and Vinnie were beyond beyond. Vinnie played extended mode with the band driving him on for Stratus. Everything you ever wanted to hear out of a drummer. I had to close my mouth more than once it was so great. Literally teary-eyed a few times for what I was witnessing. Seeing Jeff in a club was a dream. We did not stand here. Everyone had a seat. Really laid back and cool. It was as if after the show we were all going to sit down and talk to Jeff(I wish!). Everyone was so into the show. It was a life-changing show for me where words can't describe what you've seen. It seemed like it was just going to go on forever you felt so good. My only complaint: Times being what they are I didn't buy a ticket for Friday's show! Keith
I saw Jeff Beck last night. Went to the El Rey Theater which is a converted movie theater. The smallest venue that I've ever seen Mr. Beck in. No seats so the crowd had to stand which kind of forces audience participation add to that the fact that they serve alcohol and it made for a very boisterous crowd. I was with two of my sons and we had a great spot ten feet from Jeff. His setlists have suffered from a little stagnation lately so I was surprised when he started playing "People Get Ready". Well who strolls out? Rod "The Mod" Stewart! They followed that with "Ain't Superstitious" ... WOW!!! As a final ka-pow Joss Stone came out for the encore and they did the Sly and the Family Stone song "I Want to Take You Higher". GREAT SHOW!! Jeff seemed looser and "rockier" than the last few times I've seen him. ChrisFrom Carmine Appice....
From Bob Lefsetz....
Bob was at the show and wrote about it in his blog 'The Lefsetz Letter'. Besides speaking to Harvey and Jeff he also spoke to Rob Light, managing partner for Creative Artists Agency which represents AC/DC, Springsteen and a million other artists.
Oakland show was kickin as usual. It was the last gig of the tour. My plane was late so I missed the opener. During Angels Footsteps a drunk plowed into me and I ended up wearing my wine for the rest of the night. Ticket office didn't find the envelope of aftershow passes Harvey had given them for us, so I had to plow past the security to get to the mixing desk to speak to someone. Saw Jeff's tech Steve and Tim Myers who was doing keyboard teching. I met him years ago on a Jackson tour. Roy (Roy's Toy and family were there) as well as Sammy Hagar and Satriani. The best was to finally meet Tal the prodigy goddess on bass. It was a highlight to see Jeff take over on a solo groove Tal started. He played the bottom strings of her bass while she soloed on the top ones. Vinnie was doing his Wayne Newton impersonations backstage as only Vinnie can do (complete with talk whistle). Twas big fun but I was still jet lagged from Japan.
Jennifer also sent us some pictures! Jennifer presented Jeff a present from her friend, film-maker Ed Ochtatbienski. Its a beer can guitar from Cuba. Ed has done films for Whatever and Inner Journey.
Our 2009 What's New link told of a now almost ten year old night session for legendary Stones friend and original ALL Stars drummer Carlo Little. Yes Jeff, credited as Mystery Man, scorches on two tracks. One being 'Mystery Train' which oddly enough around the same time he was doing with Chryssie Hynde for the Sun Records tribute CD, and the other the Bobby Womack penned song that made the Rolling Stones their first number one hit "It's All Over Now". Bassist Ricky Brown thought Jeff had taken all the master tapes home with him and had them erased but alternates did indeed exist.
'Mystery Train' has another guitarist alternating solos with Jeff in two different styles. Jeff chooses to hot rod up some screeching train tracks on Mystery Train juxtaposed to the other guitarist's traditional rockabilly licks. If you really listen closely enough you can hear some track bleeding of other takes of Jeff's in some of the transitional parts between solos....almost like Gutty Guitar from the infamous Lord Sutch Heavy Friends Lp.....Wait a minute didn't Carlo Little also play for Lord Sutch. Ah to have the days back when Everybody played with Everybody!
The jewel of this crown (Sorry Patti for filching your line from Meltdown) is Jeff on 'It's All Over Now". Fresh and Sassy Jeff blends, answers, and takes over in totally over the top balls to the wall style through that early millenium Jeff Beck playing through that snarling wah wah in a certain stuck position as the backdrop to a great rhythm section of Carlo (whose snare pops out of the cd player) and wall of basic sensible bass sound Ricky Brown. The irony of the timing of the release of this CD is that it puts this song along with the two Sam Cooke songs mentioned in the Hall of Fame Womack induction ceremony as tracks that Jeff has all done within the past ten years either live or on a cd.
A couple of other notes on the cd........Jeff takes center picture with the lads on the back cover of the cd booklet....
'Mystery Man' joins 'A N Other', 'J Toad' and 'Hot Rod' as Jeff uncredited named credits not counting the Dorian Lp Michael Fennelly Lane Changer LP, the Nordoff Robbins charity Paul Rogers/Brian May 1996 collaboration.......Long John Baldry and Ronnie Wood also appear on the cd.
Be Seeing You
Jeff Beck would be proud. The only way to describe Jennifer Batten’s one woman multi media show is “Hang on to your seats for blastoff and don’t expect to come back anytime soon!!!” May 17th saw Jennifer and road co-star Vickie Genfan (2008 Guitar Player Magazine Best New Talent judged by the likes of Satriani, Satriani Lynch, Vai etc) roared into Davie, Florida in the grand tour RV. Undaunted by several road mishaps along the way including weather, flat tires, and GPS navigators programmed by factory homeless people, the girls had done a nice previous night show at a ritzy Miami Beach waterfront home (“Bad luck ain’t got me so far and I won’t let it get me right now.” That’s for you Steve and again many thanks to you and your wife.!!!!!) and were primed to kick ass at a guitar clinic for some lucky individuals and an evening show before heading off to the Florida Keys.
The Chocolate Moose Music Coffee House and Café (depending on signage, advertisement, or looking it up in the phone book you can use any or all parts of the name to fit) was a perfect venue. Intimate with seating for only sixty, with a surprisingly great corner stage and lighting setup, the old LP covers on the wall, the side sofas, and the quaint bar gave club owner Carol and promoter and World Kick Boxing Commissioner Robert Mason the chance to allow the mostly middle aged audience to have an accessible and intimate evening with artists of this international stature.
Vickie opened up the evening and let me tell you I am now a BIG fan. Our type of musician has always demanded beat play a big role in playing off the groove and this lady plays off the roof!! Great use of percussion on the guitar body itself meshed with fluid seamless licks and interesting tunings gave Vickie the boost to just lay back and play save the couple of vocal tracks that told great and humorous stories, the type you expect a class folk/rock artist to spell. Vickie also played a great rendition of John Lennon’s 'Norwegian Wood' which she features on an lp of covers. Best ironic story was the Guitar Player Magazine competition award which was an electric guitar, something she hasn’t tried yet! Somehow I think she’ll do just fine with it!
As Jennifer was making last minute adjustments and warming up onstage, she hit the laptop button to start the show on the giant projector screen. Time lapse photography took us through the actual stage setup and the great and proud bio of her tour playing with Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck. Then it was time for the space ship Batten to blast off and what choreographed precise shred for the next ten minutes as we saw a film history of outer space from early mid and recent film history. This combining newer, older, and cartoon character themes, would be a mainstay of the rest of her repoitoire performance.
Most of the material was written while she was touring with Jeff Beck. The two had a mutual admiration society. He for her technical brilliance (“the backbone of my band” he once told me) and balls to the walls idea approaches to the electronica he was into at the time, and she because he is who he is and plays how he plays. I think the biggest compliment I can hand out which I am more than proud to do is to say to Jennifer is that many of the hook lines in both the groove songs and ballads I could see Jeff playing. …Not exactly like she wrote,,,,but that’s good. She has found her true distinctive style which is hard when you are a band member only. Jeff taught her the art of playing nothing when there should be something and something when there should be nothing. A million notes when one would do and one when a million is expected…. The sheer joy of a phrase with whammy and bends to wring the last little bit of emotion form from the guitar. Most of what Jennifer plays now is with her hands with her patented Batten guitar string damper. True she uses a digital device to accentuate some of the phrasing where Jeff does them somehow mostly without. However it is minimal. No longer having to be the keyboardist with the synth guitar rack sounds, she can create a whole new plethora of interesting grooves and sounds.
My favorite piece off her new LP “Whatever” is “In the Aftermath”, choreographed with film form from computer animation artist Charlie
Case from Winston, Georgia whom she met on myspace.com
After her famous rendition of “Flight of the Bumblebee” where she illustrated her actual film experience with a beekeeper that loaded up her whole body with bees, Jennifer Batten gave many the laugh of the evening as she slid into the Blues. “White people got no business playing the blues so I’m going to play a mild depression.” With that she proved SHE CAN PLAY THE BLUES AS GOOD AS ANYONE!! Featured on the film portion was a young man doing the Moon Walk decades before Michael Jackson was even born.
The finale was “Inner Journey” from the new CD (BTW the CD comes with the multi media DVD video) complete with inner journey of the body live arm fart sounds. After a tumultuous applause form from the crowd Jennifer invited Vickie Genfan onstage. I was never a big fan of the Doobie Bros. but their eclectic version of “Long Train Running” was very well done and well received. Two great “Princesses of the Guitar” (Jeff I’ve bestowed that on Vickie as well as that you’ve voiced to me about Jennifer. I hope you hear sometime as well.) two great nights, and a guitar clinic where Bill actually learned something. I had to get him back for that unflattering Boston fan pic comparison!
Be seeing you!
P.S. This is Bill here....just a few things to add. I went to the afternoon clinic, Dick didn't so I got to hang out with the ladies for a while and ask some technical questions.
I've met Jennifer several times before but this was my first time meeting Vicki and her co-producer/mixer Tay Hoyle. The ladies travel with their own PA system which as I understand it they use everywhere spurning any house rigs. And it sounds good! It consists of two Bose L1 Model I's (cylindrical radiators) but with four subwoofers. So in stereo you have on each side one radiator and two subwoofers. (BTW Jennifer is upgrading to Bose L1 Model II's, the Model I's are for sale, go to her MySpace page.)
Through this system Vicki with help from Tay gets one of the best acoustic guitar sounds I've ever heard. Her Gibson L-140 has been custom wired (I hope I get this right) with a 3-pin XLR plug. This XLR isn't for a balanced low impedence feed but rather two unbalanced feeds. Pin 1 and one of the other pins is the output of the piezo pickup under the bridge. Pin 1 and the other pin is the output of three microphones installed in various parts of the guitar body. Tay then assigns these two feeds to two faders on her mixer and blends them together. Either one seperately doesn't sound too special but together, wow! Tay also uses an Aphex Acoustic Exciter pedal at the mix position to add some bottom to the sound.
Jennifer still uses her trusty Washburn guitar and Digitech GNX 3000 pedal she's been endorsing for years. The GNX 3000's are being discontinued and can be had for a pretty reasonable price, they're being replaced by the GNX 4. Live and on her CD/DVD she gets all her sound out of the GNX 3000 which is pretty amazing. If you haven't picked up her 'Whatever' CD/DVD you should. With that pedal she creates alot of sounds that could have come right off of Jeff's 'Jeff' album. You'll also get the DVD which has all the videos she plays along with live during her show. In one of the videos 'G.I. Jeff' shows up. In the 'Beck Collecktables' section is a picture of what I'm talking about. There's also a funny 'guitar lesson' included.
Oh yeah, the question I asked her that I bet everyone is dying to know the answer to.
Me: "Jennifer, do you own a Jeff Beck Strat?" Her: "Yes." Me: "What color?" Her: "Green!"
August 13th saw me taking an uncharacteristic one day junket to the Big Apple in order to meet up with the great rock photographer and friend to all Jeff Beck fans, Robert Knight. I can see why all the great guitarists he has captured on film including Jeff, like Robert. At a gallery and book signing by Woodstock promoter and photographer Michael Lange and Henry Diltz respectively, Robert came right up to me with a big smile and a warm handshake saying he recognized me from the website (albeit about 40 lbs now thinner) and proceeded to introduce me to a throng of notables (including the veteran of Sheryl Crow and Eric Clapton tours, Scooter Weintraub) as “the editor of a most cool Jeff Beck web site.”
From there we went downtown to the Paley Center For Media where Robert’s new rockumentary “Rock Prophecies” was being screened for Academy Award consideration for best documentary. This movie is a must see for both Jeff Beck fans and fans of rock in general. The premise that binds the movie together is Robert’s search for the next guitar prodigy based on what Stevie Ray Vaughn told Robert the night he (Stevie) died in a helicopter crash. “When you hear me you’ll know me.” As Robert would stare at the last official photo ever taken of Stevie (Robert was the only officially accredited photographer in attendance that night) those words would haunt him for several years until he decided it was about time to do something about it. In the search encapsulated in a little under two hours, Robert both seeks the wisdom of stars he’s filmed over the years, and deals with his life’s own dilemmas simultaneously, most notably his mother’s struggle with Alzheimers. This most touching and endearing part of the documentary finds Robert brokering a deal to sell his original Hendrix negatives to Hendrix’s sister Janie and the Hendrix Foundation to fund his mother’s extended healthcare in her late years.
A multitude of Robert’s past associations are called on for their advice, wisdom, and some amusing quips. During the movie we see our friend Joe Bonamassa who is crowned in the movie as the new "King of the Blues”, Carlos Santana, Steve Vai, and others including of course…….Jeff. The old English estate countryside comes to life as Robert arrives at Jeff’s gate and knocks on the front door, reminiscent of what it must of felt like to be at a castle door like that hundreds of years ago. Ever the dry wit, upon Robert’s announcement of being the person at the door. Jeff then banters, “Hope you’re not staying long!” Hah! An alternate take had Jeff showing up to the front door with an axe….kind of a play on his answer to Robert on what he (Jeff) would have become if he hadn’t been a guitarist “…..probably a serial killer.” Hah!
Not usually allowing a camera much less a film crew to capture him playing, Jeff Beck proceeded to do just that improvising some mind boggling variations off rockabilly licks all the while listening to and answering Robert’s questions. I’m sure if the subject of Jeff’s street rods came up he would have done some car and/or part sketches simultaneously! (Ed Note. Link back Jeff Beck Bulletin #4 under the ’95 Tour story for a first hand account of that ability) Also noteworthy is the tour a partial tour of Jeff’s guitar collection with the return of the Tina Turner knife scripted name on the famous pink Jackson 'Flash' era guitar.
The film finally focuses on two new finds. A tightknit fresh alternative rock act propelled out of anonymity by Robert and a now famous YouTube bit regarding “Free Hugs”, the Australian group 'Sick Puppies'. And a now eighteen year old phenomenal feel blues and rock sizzling slinger from Texas , Tyler Dow Bryant. Listening to just a few bars in the film and later live at the premiere after party at The Top Of The Rock at Rockefeller Center, it’s easy to love this nice kid, great young guitar talent. Funny note…..when Robert introduced me to Tyler at the after party he (Tyler) asked me to say hello to Jeff (Robert had introduced Tyler to Jeff). I felt like telling him that I really thought he may have that opportunity someday long before I ever do again but just thanked him for the opportunity to listen to him and wished him all the success and luck in the world.
My accomplice at the showing and party, longest running member and one of the original founders of the organized Jeff fan movement, Ed Chapero, struck up a conversation with a lady at the party who in turn got us in touch with the rock/blues record label owner Arnie Goodman. Arnie put out the John Lee Hooker tribute Lp that Jeff Beck played two tracks on. Arnie, who is also a promoter and photographer, then hooked me up with a brief but ecstatically joyous phone interview with Eagle Rock Records' main North American project manager Mike Carden. Mike spent a lot of time with Jeff and Harvey Goldsmith on the road during their recent Hall of Fame North American tour.
"Rock Prophecies" is a quintessential timepiece of the past, present, and future through the eyes of one of the greatest rock photographers of all time, Robert Knight. See it when it comes to a theatre near you. Rumor even has it that it is a good shot for an Academy Award nomination. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! I mean who else could bring you a film where the viewer is taken inside Jim Marshall’s pad in SF to hear old war stories from the master himself and be shown a photo where a guest actually shot a bullet into it! And see the most macabre of rare, a cover shot of a dolled made up Janis Joplin and Grace Slick, for Seventeen Magazine!!!!!
For more info and upcoming screening dates go to http://www.rockprophecies.com/ .
Be Seeing you!
30 June 2009 - Belfast
Classic Rock Society
Hi Guys, I'm just back from a quick holiday to Europe. After a couple of days at Wimbledon I went to Belfast to see a couple of old friends and Jeff Beck. I had always wanted to see Jeff in a European setting and was thrilled to see that I could co-ordinate a couple of his dates with my trip. I know you love details, but I failed to bring a piece of paper with me to write down the order of songs. From what I see on the webpage, it was pretty much the standard set. The only new song was Peter Gunn theme as the last encore. The venues were a bit of a surprise, as it seems to me that Jeff pulls far better in the US. The Ulster Hall was newly refurbished, but I would say it held no more than 1,000. It looked pretty close to being sold out. A bit of bad timing, as the Eagles were playing the big venue in town that night as well. I was a bit surprised at how chatty Jeff was after the show. Introducing the band and thanking everyone for coming. He noted this was the first time he had ever played Belfast and what a pleasure he had being there. The show was an hour and a half long including the encores. I couldn't understand who the opening act was as the PA was bad for vocals, but the acoustics were good for Jeff. He has a big red curtain that he is had lights bouncing off of behind him. A rather obnoxious security guy who didn't want people standing, but no one wanted to argue with him as he weighed about 350 pounds. The next night in Dublin Jeff played to a full house at the Vicker Street Club. It is somewhat similar to Hard Rock Cafes. I would say it held no more than 600 people, but the crowd was enthusiastic. Opening act was Clive Barnes. Jeff did the same show as the night before in Northern Ireland. I'm not sure why, but over the years I had wondered if Jeff did different style shows in Europe, but that was not the case. He is clearly having a lot of fun with this band and loves showing off Tal, who is a crowd pleaser. If I was surprised to note anything, it was that she sits down periodically near her amp. She is not a big woman as you know and I suspect that bass gets a bit heavy after a while. One last note, as someone who has seen Jeff over 15 times now, I see something new and hear something new every time I am fortunate enough to see him. However, I am getting a little worn down on the same songs all the time. I wish he would pull some other tunes out of his catalogue. Clearly most people see him no more than once or twice in their lives and I have been fortunate to see him so many times. But I would love to hear more new music. I am hoping there is a new CD soon that will inspire him to play from it as well. And one more t-shirt for the collection. I have a drawer full of them now! all the best, R.E.
From Adrian....show set list
Bill, as requested. Bolero The Pump You Never Know 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers Behind The Veil Blast From The East Eternity's Breath/Stratus Angel Footsteps Led Boots Nadia Space Boogie Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/ Brush With The Blues Blue Wind Bass Duet (not sure of title) Big Block Day In The Life Where Were You? Peter Gunn I've attached a photo I took of the bass duet. I've not seen one elsewhere. Best Wishes Adrian
Subject: Jeff Beck From: "Dick Wyzanski"He hit something!
Date: Sun, March 07, 2010 5:45 pm To: firstname.lastname@example.org John, My name is Dick Wyzanski. I am the editor of a Fan Web site for Jeff Beck www.ainian.com which is linked to his official jeffbeck.com site. First of all your best credential ever to me anyways is that breathtaking real feeling of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat which was one of the tracks Geotge Martin poduced before Jan Hammer took over. I would love for you just to free form an email reply with some of your most technical and people type stories you remember from those sessions and how you intertwined with Jeff to get those incredible tones so criosply and distinctly memorialized. We would truly be honored. Thank you in advance. Best, Dick Wyzanski
Dick, The Wired sessions that I was fortunate to be a part of were recorded at Cherokee Studios and mixed at The Sound Lab in Hollywood with George Martin producing. Jeff enjoyed playing from the control room so we set up his amps in the large studio ‘A’ at Cherokee, which by the way does not exist anymore, they closed their doors in 2009. Jeff played through 2 large amps I recall they were Marshall amps and were recorded using multiple microphones as well as direct inputs. The microphones and direct inputs were recorded on several tracks and later mixed together. Jeff used several guitar in line effects one in particular I recall was a volume pedal that added over drive and distortion the more he depressed it, I had never seen this done before. Jeff really created the sound you hear his technique of using the volume control on the guitar and the distortion pedal are unique. A bit of compression some equalization and echo were added but not much else. Sir George Martin always the gentleman allowed Jeff the space to create. One incident I recall was when I went into the studio to adjust a microphone, Jeff was in the control room and did not see me, while I had my head near the speaker he began playing and almost blew my head off, he was very apologetic and felt very bad about it, my ears shut down for about an hour. Watching Jeff Beck and his mastery of the guitar is an experience I will always remember. There are very few albums that I have recorded and still listen to Wired is one of them. John Arrias www.johnarrias.com
Be seeing you!
********************************** I’d already met Jeff Beck some years before - he’d turned up at the office in his pre-Yardbirds days several times while Vic Lewis was courting him for a management deal. Jeff had recorded a single called ‘That Noise’ and CBS were keen to sign him but he hesitated before signing just long enough to get another offer. As you can imagine, Vic was gutted when ‘the one that got away’ joined the Yardbirds and began his meteoric rise to stellar status. That single never saw the light of day - and nor did Vic’s hopes of managing Jeff Beck. ********************************* Young Rod was squirming in his seat, clearly overcome with nausea. As he clutched his stomach in agony and gagged and heaved those dry retches that make everyone around feel sick too, a couple of concerned fellow passengers got out of their seats and rushed to his aid. Right on cue he shuddered, convulsed and spewed forth a torrent of evil-looking grey vomit all over his would-be Good Samaritans. Bet that was the last time they rushed to the assistance of an unruly rocker! It turned out that the disgusting globby mess that splattered out of Rod the Mod’s mouth wasn’t vomit at all - just an unpleasant papier maché of superstar spittle and the paper he’d been chewing up since take-off. Not, I imagine, that this was much consolation to the people whose clothes were soaked in it! Unfortunately that was just the start. They got down to some serious drinking and some bright spark suggested a game of ‘Kelly’s Eye.’ What that involves you really don’t want to know. OK, maybe you do! Here’s how it worked. One of the group, sitting in the window seat (which is important) would call out weakly for a stewardess (and they were generally female in those days. Somehow the game wouldn’t have the same appeal these days with as many males as females in the flight crew). When the stewardess arrived and asked what was wrong, the occupier of the window seat would mumble incoherently in reply. So she’d lean forward, cocking an ear to hear what he was trying to say. He’d groan something equally unintelligible under his breath. Keen to do her duty and help an ostensibly sick passenger, she’d lean further forward, now almost prone across the aisle seat. He’d gasp helplessly. And what the hapless stewardess took to be the whimper of a seriously ill man was actually the strain of stifled laughter - because the further she stretched over, the higher up her thighs her skirt would ride and the better the view for the rest of the group, ogling enthusiastically from behind. I don’t think the name of the game needs any further explanation! And from there things went downhill fast. ********************************** A perennial problem that always rankled with the acts was when greedy agents booked them into venues that were entirely unsuitable - in terms of size, access, acoustics or even sheer mortal danger for fans and performers alike. One of Jeff and the lads’ gigs was a perfect example of the bookers’ total lack concern for their performers’ image and style of music. To their horror they found that they’d been booked to perform at a kids’ summer camp - one of those places where American parents dump their stroppy teenagers for the school holidays. Playing to an audience of thirteen and fourteen-year-olds was not a job for serious rock musicians - that was for children’s entertainers and cutesy pop performers. To say the band were unhappy would be an understatement - and, when the inevitable on-stage shenanigans started and they began to treat the gig as little more than a private party, the organisers and their charges were unhappier still. Always the wild card, Tony Newman abandoned his drum kit and kept up the percussion as he staggered from table top to table top by banging his sticks on anything that would make a noise - bottles, pipes, chairs, you name it. At least he stopped short of banging out a paradiddle on a teenage head - well, at least I think he did! And then Jeff and Woodie joined in. Not to be outdone by their drummer’s antics, they picked up a fire extinguisher and liberally doused the first few rows of the audience with foam. Talk about dampening the audience’s spirits - sheer bloody pandemonium broke out! The organisers were evidently not amused. As they picked up the phone to call the police I realised that it was time for action. The ability to think on your feet is one of the first attributes anyone should look for in a prospective Road Manager - and I pride myself on the number of scrapes and brushes with the law I got my bands out of over the years. On this occasion a quick getaway was called for - my speciality! ***************************************** At the Singer Bowl, a massive sports complex doubling as a concert venue just outside New York’s Flushing Meadows that things really came to a head. Jeff and the boys were supporting America’s flavour of the month, Vanilla Fudge. More significantly, as it turned out, Alvin Lee’s new band, Ten Years After, were opening the star-studded bill. The Zep boys and their entourage said they’d be there to lend Jeff a bit of moral support. I thought that was quite touching to begin with - such selfless solidarity between two of the UK’s best bands while they were touring on foreign turf. But of course it wasn’t as simple - or as innocent as that. Nothing ever was! Hindsight being 20:20, maybe I should have sussed that there was more to their eagerness to attend than geeing their mates along. In fact that had nothing to do with it. The Zep boys were there to get their own back on Lee for some pretty nasty remarks he’d once made about Jimmy Page - and Jeff Beck’s roadies seemed happy to help them wreak their revenge, egged on, inevitably, by Bonzo and Richard Cole. Chick Churchill - one of Ten Years After’s associates - was unlucky enough to be caught without backup in a locker room by a vengeful rabble of roadies who scared the crap out of him before ruthlessly stripping him of his clothes. Then they stripped him of his dignity by dumping him naked and trussed like a lamb to the slaughter in the starkly lit corridor outside. Next it was Ten Years After’s turn for the revenge of Zeppelin. Hidden in the anonymity of the shadows in a corner in front of the stage, the Zeppelin crew pelted Alvin Lee mercilessly from the moment he took the stage with anything that came to hand - including hot dogs, burgers, orange juice and probably much messier and more painful missiles. It was glorious! Lee and his band had no idea who the mysterious assailants in the shadows could be. The shower of debris stole their thunder, undermining the storming performance they’d had their hearts set on and, understandably enough, mediocrity was all they could muster. In retrospect, Peter and Jimmy - the two partners in crime - had to be behind this. It was their way of saying, ‘Don’t ever mess with the Zeppelin!’ If that had been the sum total of their retribution for an off-colour comment, I guess it would have been ‘fair dos’. But they’d already planned a masterstroke that would add insult to injury. Of course, as far as the audience was concerned, Led Zep’s joining The Jeff Beck Group on stage was an impromptu jamming session. I knew different! Having ruined Alvin Lee’s set, a band that hadn’t even been booked to playmwas about to steal the show. And steal the show they did. But even the Led Zep boys hadn’t planned the finale that was to be the highlight of the night!This is a 'must read' to us, there's ton's more stuff, some of it pretty crude that we just can't print here!
Rather than Jeff guesting as he has on record or on stage with the likes of Madelaine Bell, GTO'S, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Angela Straily, Karen Lawrence, Nicollete Larson, Kate Bush, Beverly Craven, Chrissie Hynde, Lulu, Ada Dyer, Patti Labelle, Imogen Heap, Jennifer Battten, Regina Belle, Thelma Thornton, Beverly Knight (plus two other females), Keisha White, Nancy Sorell, all the ladies in the audience at Hootenanny New Years Eve Jools Hooland show 2003, PP Arnold, Katie Kisson, Carol Kenyon, Patti Smith, Beth Hart, Macy Gray, Kelly Clarkson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Imelda May, Wanda Jackson, Olivia Safe, Sharon White, Michelle Johns, Aisha Morris, Kimberly Brewer, De Jah Gomez, the singer in Brian Wilson's Band when they did the Musicares Brian Wilson Tribute with Jeff, Taylor Mills, Rhonda Smith, most recently Joss Stone, Mr. Beck has embellished 'Emotion and Commotion' with the aforementioned Miss Stone and the dynamite Imelda May. Imelda May brings back the haunting backroom soulful whispering pleas conjuring up the best traits singers like Mary Ford and Billie Holliday. On 'Lilac Wine' her fanciful images of a love remembered by the ferment of that flower are beautifully continued by Jeff who finishes the sung portion of the tune with free flowing spontaneous subtle running pure tone jazzy bursts much like the treatment he gave the Beatles 'She's A Woman' on his seminal 1975 Lp 'Blow By Blow'. The other treat done with Imelda for fans lucky enough to have a foreign CD copy with 'Bonus Tracks' is Chester Burnett's (Howlin' Wolf) 'Poor Boy', a soulful, rolling country blues to which Jeff Beck adds some wickedly innovative slide. (A bit of trivia for the fans.......on both his last studio CD 'Jeff' and the new one 'Emotion and Commotion' have bonus tracks with slide guitar, the former having 'Take A Ride On My Bottleneck Slide' and this one with 'Poor Boy':).
Joss Stone's two tracks on 'Emotion and Commotion' also are different as night and day, Screamin Jay Hawkins 'I Put A Spell On You' and Joss and Jason's 'No Other One Like Me'. 'I Put A Spell On You' features Jeff economizing solos and backing lines yet wringing out the emotion in each and every one building to a crescendo on the short solo by way of what sounds like a ring modulator enhanced riff. The rythym section of former Big Town Playboy drummer Clive Deamer, and the venerable session bassist Pino Palladino ( one of the couple younger looking Who at the Superbowl) Pino is no stranger to the underlying stand up bass sound of that R&B genre as remember the amazing blues session he did with Jeff and Jim Copley on Copley's 'Slap My Hand' CD. Joss's gritty balls to the wall voice is perfect not only for the tune but for the spirit of the Hawkin's original where when done live by Screamin' Jay was complete with a voodoo head on a stick! This is the single from 'Emotion and Commotion' available on ITunes, getting heavy air play on the adult alterntaive radio market and may or may not be the live song of choice for Jeff's entry back into American media to a couple of famous TV shows near you! "No Other One Like Me'is a quasi rap song with heavy, heavy guitar that just when it bursts out, stops leaving the audience wanting more just like they used to for Scotty Moore or Steve Cropper who were famous for playing one and two note lines...then stopping.
Proud anthemic classical music passages are as Jeff admits, perfect for his guitar voice. It's just now that the public at large gets a taste of this exhilarating guitar emotion from Jeff Beck on this CD with the Puccini 'Nessun Dorma' a favorite of the late Pavoratti (remember Jeff sessioned on 'Caruso' with Pavrotti on the 'Ti Ador' CD) and received well when Jeff did the benefit with Sting and Zucchero in Italy for the train wreck victims. With vibrating sustain and bends 'Nessun Dorma' brings us to our feet towards the close of the CD. Although Jeff in a recent interview cited an old interview with Brian Matthews regarding the wanting to play in this style, it wasn't unti 1984 that Jeff first started the ball rolling with an outake that hopefully his new record label Rhino, famous for their artists retrospectives, a song from Vangelis's 'Charriot's Of Fire'. When Jeff recorded Mahler's 5th symphony he previewed a piece to SONY, his label at the time, who wanted it but wanted a bunch more finished tracks. I believe that was the adagietto from that symphony which some fans have as it was leaked out by the producer through a friend who used to write and sing for King Crimson and who subsequently stuck it on the internet for awhile. Jeff has sinced been interviewd as saying EMI classics has the whole packaged symphony ready to go....Let''s hope they do.
Always self-deprecating, Jeff has spent his career sending off various musicians and styles from doing 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' and (What's It All About) 'Alfie' licks during Yardbirds era and afterward 'Jeff's Boogie' to the present. Admittedly the 1st track made available from 'Emotion and Commotion', 'Hammerhead' as the liner notes to the CD explain, was started as an alternative Jan Hammer-esque riff to foil against the main drudge of a live version of 'Hi Ho Silver Linging' Jeff was talked into doing by guest at that particular show, David Gilmour. Some journalists have picked up on furthering that sendoff with the notation about the Hendrix style funky wah wah opening.........BUT NO ONE HAS KEPT IT GOING WITH MORE OBVIOUS HUMOUR!!!!! C'mon Jeff must be laughing in his boots as NO ONE BUT ME has picked the sendoff of the Gregorian Chant style late Yardbirds early Jimmy Page Zeppelin style drone of the main melody repeated over the Hammer-esque riff!!!!!!!! Buddy Guy use to regularly send off Jeff, Hendrix, Clapton, and Page in his stock live club shop tours with his brother Phil Guy and Junior Wells. Then Buddy would give an evil grin and say "Now I'm gonna give you a little bit of Buddy Guy" and procede to blow the house aprart. Jeff Beck does the same thing here on 'Hammerhead' on 'Emotion and Commotion' as he busts into the solo with the sickest sounding barrage blasts of whammy ever induced! Now there's a little bit of Jeff Beck!!
The 2006 tour show closer 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' is revitalized here in the studio with brilliant production by Steve Lipson crisply clarifying the ever changing chordal background of Jason Robello's lines with Jeff's ringing 'voice'. As he did with 'Two Rivers' and 'Where Were You' from the Grammy winner 1989's 'Guitar Shop'. Jeff intermingles whole passages done in harmonics not to mention the simultaneous use of the volume knob swells and whammy bar bending. Just like an Olympic skater pulling of a perfect triple axle on ice, Jeff brings and then wipes away the tears from our eyes with his 'perfect 10' performance of the Judy Garland classic.
For prior inspiration for the lines and grooves of 'Never Alone' and 'Serene' besides Jeff's comments on the liner notes, one only need to go back to Jeff's fascination with world cultural grooves in the 90's especially African rhythyms. Both the opening percussion of 'Never Alone' and the thumping tribal funk bass line of Tal Wilkenfield in 'Serene', embody that modality. Fact is Jeff had Manu Katche record almost the same type African rhythym at the beginning of Jed Lieber's 'Hurricane' prior to embellishing upon it at the Luthaker Steakhouse sessions of '97. The guitar lines in 'Never Alone' and 'Serene' are flying, cruising, and soaring just like the proud eagle on the cover of the CD.
'Olivia Safe' finales 'Emotion and Commotion' with operatic voicing mimicing Jeff's guitar and vice versa on 'Elegy for Dunkirk' from the film 'Atonement'. Jeff once said that when you cannot tell his guitar from another instrument (or voice), it was an ultimate compliment......similar to that he did on the track 'Underground' with Jan Hammer on Jan's 'Drive' CD. About the only track I haven't mentioned is the second bonus track on the Japanese release and the only bonus track on the Amazon special release, an instrumental version of 'Cry Me A River'. Unlike the '91 summit meeting for the Scorsese 'Red White and Blues' installment of the blues documentary series with Pete King, Lulu and Jeff being accompanied by Mark Mondesir and Ian Jennings, The rhythm on this bonus track is wonderfully morphed into a flowing almost freely flowing jazz groove with the classic vocal lines being ever so gracefully laid out by our guitar hero.........who is once again famous isn't he now!
'Emotion and Commotion' is just that and much more. In the spirit of his groundbreaking Lps 'Truth' and 'Blow By Blow'.
Be seeing you!
No Florida dates this year! No problem. The question was where to go see Jeff Beck?? Why not good old Boston for the opening night of the East Coast/Midwest Emotion and Commotion Tour. Bill and I grew up just 18 miles or so up the coast in the historic old Revolutionary War town of Marblehead in which Bill still has a house so have plane tickets and house to stay-will travel!(BTW I made Dick help me trim the hedges the day after the show. Hah! BA)
The Jeff Beck Webpage, ainian.com peeps, Dick and Bill, arrived at the Bank Of America Pavillion Center at about 5:30 show night on June 3rd and proceeded to the will call window much to the muttering of Bill complaining that the bands don’t usually have their lists out until around 7PM. (That's usually the case. BA) Shows you how much he knows. Fortunately the prior “idiot” (that be me, Dick, who forgot his driver’s license last time around in FL See Beck Bulletin #14) was rehabilitated and I whipped it out for the attendant just like a 1st time driver who had just passed the driver test. Sure enough the envelope came out with my name. Two after show sticky passes and a bonus surprise. We had been told that tickets for this tour were being so tightly controlled by Rhino that we had to buy our own (which we did some weeks prior) We were floored…..9th row Center!! Bill celebrated with a couple of friends of ours Kevin and Steve from Marblehead by downing all sorts of alcoholic beverages (for the record I had 2 beers...Bud Lights, oh my BA) while the sane one??? (me), jumped with glee at being offered tiny cups of Dunkin Doughnuts iced coffee samplers outside the venue. The thought of seeing Jeff Beck in concert and Dunkin Doughnuts iced coffee. What more can you want? (BTW we all go into Morton's Steak House for drinks, kind of swanky and Dick's still clutching these tiny little Dunkin' Donut cups! We couldn't pry them out of his hands!)
Bill dutifully and lawfully got rid of our purchased tickets for face value and then we went to our seats just in time to hear the opening act Susan Tedeschi and band with her famous Allman Bros. Band husband Derek Trucks. The set was pleasant and featured hometown gal Tadeschi and Trucks trading licks, playing a surprisingly diverse set, and even had some gritty blues solos from Susan herself invoking a bit of Buddy Guy/Jeff Beck out on the edge and fired up! (Derek was spanking that guitar, he was playing slide on the last song of the set and broke a string! BA)
As the SRO crowd of over 5,000 got set for Jeff Beck and Band, our two previously mentioned friends had sat down beside us. The only unaccounted seats in the house were those two!! You see when people like Joe Perry and Aerosmith are in town they always go to see Jeff. We were fortunate that they were out on tour as there were a couple of comps left!!!!!
A quick set change and about ten past nine the house lights in the giant tent/pavilion came down with amp lights on and ready. Jeff’s amp set up was a couple of big Marshall bottoms with a Marshall head sitting on one of the speaker cabinets and two Fender Pro Jr. amps with one of them being powder blue ( See 'What's New' 3/22/10 for pics and story from Simon Piggott) sitting on top of the other speaker cabinet. The blue one was miked. Remember that image folks because we will blow your mind when we heard from Jeff about that set up after the show……..The band sauntered onstage to a thunderous standing O from the crowd. Jeff with more often now than not stage dark shades on gave a quick nod and smile to all and the band charged into Eternity’s Breath rearranged by shortening for this time around with the main accent being on the riff and short gutsy stratospheric outbursts of pure emotion and energy. Narada Michael Walden pounded on the drums with perfect pockets like a man possessed all the while smiling, laughing and giving mischievous grins to Jeff. Rhonda Smith sharply dressed complete with an upscale turban wielded the best, dirtiest funky bass and kept perfect sync with Narada. Over at stage left Jason Rebello cranked out both the synthesized rich chords and the Hammeresque keyboard lines, never straying from the central them of this show which was quite joyously blatant to support and embellish the fluid outcry of Jeff Beck’s masterful guitar.
A quick run down of the set list:
ETERNITY'S BREATH STRATUS LED BOOTS CORPUS CHRISTI CAROL INTRO/HAMMERHEAD MNA NA HEIREANN (SHORT BASS SOLO) BASS SOLO PEOPLE GET READY ROLLIN' AND TUMBLIN' (RHONDA SINGS) NEVER ALONE BIG BLOCK SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW BLAST FROM THE EAST ANGEL FOOTSTEPS DIRTY MINDS (DRUM SOLO) BRUSH WITH BLUES I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER A DAY IN THE LIFE - ENCORE- HOW HIGH THE MOON NESSUN DORMA
My favorite moments being the schmaltz head that I am were:
"Mna na hEireann" - Jeff with the volume swells, whammy, and pulsating bends from his fingers and heart wove the sweet Celtic tale. The whole band surprised all with several endings only to allow Jeff “one more time” to keep it going….Heavenly.
"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" - Only the greatest of guitarists knows what his guitar is feeling that particular night. When it came time for the extended note whammy bend Jeff effortlessly pulled it off in two sections of three rather than one section of six notes and avoided the possibility of a double clutch touch of the harmonic…..For those of you that understand THAT IS PURE GENIOUS!!!!!!!!!
"Angel Footsteps" - Just at the pause Jeff looked at the audience and with one finger commanded the audience to wait (which they did with glee) while he walked over to pick up his bottleneck slide and then continued. The slide portion tapping the pickups with that patented whistling bird sound is no easy feat to stay in tune for any guitarist as the space tolerances don’t allow for even a tiny miscue. PERFECTION by Jeff!!!
The interlude comments about how glad he was to be back in Boston “where it all started” for him (May 1968 he, Rod and Ronnie Wood, Mickey Waller landed in Boston and played two nights at an old converted church 'The Boston Tea Party' before heading on to the famous gig where they blew away The Grateful Dead and Seventh Sons at the NY Fillmore)
The two encores "How High is the Moon" and "Nessun Dorma"...Jeff came out with the Oxblood Les Paul reissue (thank you forever Buddy Davis!!! More from Jeff on that later) and gave a “speech” of a couple of sentences about his tribute to Les Paul and strummed and picked his way through the tune with Imelda Mays vocal track over the PA with delight and SWING!!!!
What other rock guitarist could finish a show with an operatic aria like "Nessun Dorma"? The crowd stood mouths agape in awe and relished from the first tone to the last symphonic crash as Jeff rapidly strummed the ending with one last big roll from the rythym section...
My favorite moment being the rocker here (Bill):
"Stratus" and "Led Boots" - The band let's everyone know they mean business, they're just rockin'. Rhonda's bass is a'thumpin' and Micheal Walden has a smile on his face that doesn't go away! I told him after the show, "You know the audience can sense a joy in you that's infectious!". Michael also wears a drumming glove that reminds me of another Michael's glove. It's a white glove with rhinestones and fringe on it!
After "Mna na hEireann", Jeff came up to the mic and just said, "It's nice to back in Boston". This was followed by a Rhonda Smith bass solo that again shook the tent. She came to the front of stage with a look on her face that was nothing short of fierce.
"Rollin' And A Tumblin" - I know a lot of people love Jeff for his jazz/rock material with all sorts of altered chords. I like that stuff too but a also like just rockin' groove stuff and this is it. As Rhonda sings the first verse, "I rolled and I tumbled, cried the whole night long", she makes a fist with her right hand and twists in front of her eye to simulate crying....man, that's selling a song!
Jeff is brought out a Telecaster for "Blast From The East", this was followed by him being brought out his main olympic white Strat for "Angel Footsteps". This garnered him his longest standing 'o' of the night so far. Jeff was then brought out another olympic white Strat tuned down (I think the low E is now a C) to play "Dirty Minds". Rhonda supplied a few heavey breaths and Michael Walden did a short drum solo during the song.
"Brush With The Blues" - Jeff doing his now signature blues number followed by "I Want To Take You Higher". This song demonstrated just how funky they can get. Wow.
"A Day In The Life" - the song now famous for making people walking in the aisles or the staff working the venue to pause and stare at the stage. A true show-stopper. This was the end of the main show and as the band walked to the front of the stage to take a bow it was very noticable that Jason Rebello was limping. Jeff comes to mic to Jason has been a trooper tonight with a banged up knee he got playing in a celebrity soccer match. After a few minutes of non-stop applause Jeff, with a Oxblood reissue Les Paul, and band come out to do "How High The Moon" followed by "Nessun Dorma".
Right after the last encore Bill told me to turn around to see who was sitting right in back of us………..Mrs. Sandra Jane Beck!!!!!!!! Bill snapped a photo of her while I seized the opportunity to introduce myself. She is a warm beautiful lady and very gracious as well. We headed back and did the usual waiting at the stage gate thing.
About fifteen minutes later we were given access backstage to another tented room with tables. Sandra was back there so I asked her to sign my Beckology box which she readily obliged. Next I saw Harvey Goldsmith coming out from a backstage office. I introduced myself and he smiled and asked us if we liked the show. He was very pleased with our reaction and asked why we flew up from Florida. I introduced him to Bill and told him the growing up story and asked Harvey when they were coming to Florida. “Next year.” was the reply. I then asked Harvey to sign my Box Set. He signed it 'Keep It Up' next to writing his name which heartens us for all the years we’ve put into the magazine then the site. I segued that into telling Harvey that Gregg Geller would love to do a follow up to Beckology. I get the feeling that someday more of the past will come up but make no mistake about it. Right now it is all about current stuff which has always been just fine with Jeff. Then Harvey let out a smile and “We are coming out with a Box Set Christmas…..current stuff.” (My guess is at this point some DVD material of the Les Paul tribute NY shows and the current tour will be included in the final product.)
There was only about eight of us back there. Jeff came in with Sandra and Harvey about another fifteen minutes later. We stood in the background but Jeff immediately recognized us and gave a big grin and nod. After signing a couple of autographs and receiving a CD from one of the attendees he looked at Harvey and with a classic silent managerial gesture Harvey just pointed through the other few people to us.
First after thanking Jeff for yet another unbelievable show Bill started asking Jeff about his main white Strat and the
miked 15 watt daphene blue Fender Pro Jr. Bill here, actually I think Dick I asked Jeff this stuff after the Buddy/Roger
The Engineer/Shark stuff but this is how I remember it....
Me: "Jeff can I ask you some guitar stuff?" JB: "Yeah, sure." Me: "What happened to the vintage white Strat? Is the olympic white one new?" JB: "No, the olympic white strat is the vintage white Strat, we just oversprayed it. We thought the white would look better up against my stage clothes." Me: "So you're still playing the neck that was on the green Strat?" JB: "Little Ricard?" Me: "Yeah." JB" "Yeah." Me: "You know that daphene blue Fender Pro Jr. you have, we were contacted through the page by the original owner (Simon Piggott 'What's New!' 3/22/10) in London, he sent me several pictures of it and told me it was a custom shop model that was part of a set that included a daphene blue guitar." (Not sure what it was, a Tele or Strat) JB: "I didn't know that." Me: "So out front, how much does audience hear of the Pro Jr. versus the Marshall" JB: "The audience hears only the Pro Jr., the Marshall is there to provide a little stage volume for me."At this point a couple of guys from Jacksonville who were guests of the Tedeschi/Trucks folks asked, "Why is that?", and Jeff explained much the way he did in a recent guitar magazine interview where he said he recorded his orchestral pieces using his 50's Fender Champ, that the tone of the Pro Jr. has a more pure tone that cuts through all the symphonic layers better. Or something to that effect.
We then showed Jeff that 'Roger The Engineer' photo from Nancy Wilkins that appears in 'What's New 2010' and asked who the chap at the piano was. Jeff insisted it wasn't from that session but taken 'much later', he didn't know who the guy at the piano was and commented, "How many chairs is that guy sitting on?" We asked, "Could that be Chris Dreja?" Jeff answered, "No, Chris has a different shaped head."
Jeff signed my 'Emotion & Commotion' CD and then we gave him an old Yardbirds promo picture that our friend Steve has asked us to get signed. Jeff sighed, "The mustard colored jackets...I wore Eric's."
Then I told Jeff “You’ve given me so much over the years…..Jeff interrupts me “What Have I given you, Dick?” “The music, Jeff”...and then I continued “so here is a couple of autographed photos from me of me feeding large sharks underwater in the Bahamas in honor of “Hammerhead”...Jeff started looking at them and then waving them wildly over his head turning around to see if Sandra or Harvey was standing close to look. I also commented “Jeff you and I are probably among a very few people that caught the humor not of the Hendrix wah send off and the self admitted Hammer send off in the liner notes of the CD which everyone noticed but also the six note drone over the main riff which is late Yardbirds early Zep Jimmy Page. I fell to the floor laughing when I realized that Jeff smiled and nodded.
Next I printed the picture of him from the site (See Jeff Beck Bulletin #15) in a hotel room with Buddy Davis in 1972.
Jeff stared at the picture for what seemed like forever and said “you know Buddy is from Memphis”. “Yes Jeff I’ve met and become friends with Buddy.” Jeff asked in anticipation” Does Buddy talk about Burkles Bakery?” “All the time I said.” Then I told Jeff a story about Buddy’s sister Dianne that had Jeff enthralled. Dianne was married to the drummer of the one hit wonder band The Gentry’s in the sixties (“Keep On Dancin’”) He was abusive to her and she befriended a guy that told her he wanted to take her away from all that but he couldn’t promise her a good living. However he had this airplane (Jeff perked up at this point. He is a pilot and fly’s small planes a lot.) and an idea that someone would actually pay to have a package sent somewhere overnight. She agreed and soon after became Mrs. Dianne Smith…….wife of Federal Express CEO Fred Smith!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She flies Buddy and family on a Fed Ex corporate jet to North Florida every spring for a vacation. It was during one of those that I drove up from S. Florida to meet Buddy and the rest is history. While Jeff was intently staring at the photo I mentioned to him that it was indeed Buddy who sold Jeff the Ox Blood Les Paul out of Buddy's personal collection at his house that day in November of 1972... Jeff nodded.
I gave Jeff a couple of more hello’s from my son who has seen and met him before and Gregg Geller. To Jeff I mentioned too that Gregg would like another crack at a Beckology follow-up. Jeff respects Gregg to this day but just coyly smiled and said “ ...can’t leave the pie alone…eh?”
I pointed out the irony of his induction to the RHF with Bobby Womack since Jeff had done a “night out with the boys” type session about nine years earlier and had recorded Womack’s famous tune “It’s All Over Now” “Yeah" Jeff said "but it wasn’t very good” I told him I thought it was and then showed Jeff the picture of him with Carlo Little and Ricky Brown (see our website earlier in Issue 16) Jeff laughed, they shot this? I was only there for a few hours ...yeah I remember now I was waiting ...Long John Baldry was very late. He kept making excuses about how the train from London was late” Jeff said with a chuckle.
We all know Jeff loves old street rods and cars. I told him our friend Ed Chapero who had given Jeff 'Sparky’s Magic Piano' had a Jimmy Bryant LP “Fastest Guitar In The Country” whose cover was Jimmy standing with the Vox Mobile, a a functioning car shaped like Vox guitars and fully outfitted with functional Vox amps. “Would you like Ed to give you that Lp Jeff?” A resounding “Yeah!” followed by “You know that car is being shown at the Festival of Speed” (Ed note I think that’s the one coming up in England with Jeff reprising the U.S. Peterson Museum gig with Billy Gibbons and Jimmy Vaughn.)
Finally the tour manager came up and tapped on Jeff’s arm…..the “time to go” tap. Quickly we shot a couple of more photos with one last request. Knowing Jeff loves to give funny sendoff gestures like the ten finger from nose razz as he did on the Letterman show that time, I said, “Jeff, I’d love us to give Jennifer (Batten) a proper hello. Would you be game to give her a finger salute”? Jeff was enthused and said that would be great. We couldn’t do a ten finger salute as Jeff had one hand encumbered with his shades, the fan’s cd, an almost empty Mimosa, and the pics I had given him. So herewith is our five finger salute to Jennifer Batten. As Jeff left I said, "Let's do this again in about ten years!" LOL.
After Jeff left Narada Michael Walden LITERALLY came bouncing in and looking around to have fun with anyone that was there. I asked him to sign my Box Set and he yelled out in joy “A fan! A fan! A fan! He signed his name and put a big smiley face next to it and posed for shots with both Bill and myself.
I asked him if he would like to produce a Jeff Beck CD and he was all nods and “Yeah’s” I reminded him that he and Jeff had jammed years earlier but later than the late seventies “Garden Of The Love Light” Lp on ”The Saint and The Rascal”. Narada said. “I’ve got those tapes…..somewhere..” I told him I would like to have a listen and he gave me a grin and said “Yeah I bet you would”.
When we told him we were from the ainian.com, a Jeff fan site and once more Narada smiled and yelled “Link up!...link up! ...link up!...get in touch with my site, tell them we met here and get linked up!! With that Narada Michael Walden bounced back out of the tent and we were left stunned at the amazing time we just had. To Harvey, Sandra, Jeff, Narada, Rhonda, Jason, Juliette ,and our guardian saint Melissa, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for a perfect evening in Boston.
We thought it fitting to leave you with a reprint from Sarah Rodman of the Boston Globe who wrote what we consider one of the most apt and spot on reviews of all time:
British guitar god Jeff Beck’s latest release is titled “Emotion & Commotion.’’ Last night at the Bank of America Pavilion, he gave a vibrant performance that evoked the former and caused plenty of the latter. Neither a stoic statue nor a purveyor of overwrought “guitar face,’’ Beck expertly found the sweet spot between emotion and precision, embodying both the maverick and the technician. His top-flight trio - agile drummer Narada Michael Walden, fierce bassist and occasional vocalist Rhonda Smith, and supple keyboardist Jason Rebello - followed that lead to a T. Whether stretching out into mind-blowing yet economical solos or making tight musical beds for their boss to play on, the group was rock solid. The full house responded to the disparate set pieces - a thundering, stop-on-a-dime “Led Boots,’’ the Celtic-flavored “Mna na h’Eireann,’’ a synthy and sentimental “Over the Rainbow,’’ a gloriously funky run through Sly Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher’’ - with enthusiastic hoots and uncontrollable fits of air guitar. If Beck wasn’t tugging at the heart with the soul-piercing lyricism of his fretwork - as on the stirring “People Get Ready’’ - he was punching the gut with swampy blues or a rumbling prog stomp that could easily serve as the soundtrack for an invading army. In a night of peaks “Angel (Footsteps)’’ stood out for Beck’s exquisite slide guitar work. A reverent take on the Beatles’ classic “A Day in the Life’’ also lifted the night into the realm of the magical. Others may have sold more records, but the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has few peers when it comes to transforming six strings into one voice. It was a red-hot homecoming for Susan Tedeschi and husband Derek Trucks, whose opening set more than matched the sticky night air with a romp through humid blues and funk rave-ups.Be Seeing You