For the first time in over twenty years I find myself at a loss for a cohesive editorial. Then I realized it is the challenge as it always has been for Jeff, to blend in what is being searched, to incorporate for himself new guitar frontier sounds cleverly blended in with roots music he so dearly loves. For us it's the archial history of Jeff Beck's bodies of both commercially available material as well as information in upcoming and/or partially realized projects...anything that produces recorded or live sound from those magical hands and fingers on the necks of those guitars he touches and plays.
Certainly Jeff can and has picked his spots as of recent. Pacing himself like a wise mature tiger, solo dates packed together with other co-headline venues and a lot of rest at home at Riverhall has and will bode well for Jeff Beck. The late September Japanese gigs may hold a surprise or two. However his status in that country is unlike any other including the US market. Japanese fans write us all the time. There are still outlets in Japan where they appreciate the art of holding and reading liner notes of real CD's and DVD's.
The pending picture tells a story-type self respective book (working title was 'Grease And Strings', not anymore) documenting Jeff's historical rock n' roll career and related moments. And 'Street Rod's' is in the finishing stages. As to a full, humorous autobiogrsphy, Jeff keeps toying with it and even attempted a chapter on his laptop on the way to the Brazil festival in 2014. Don't hold your breath. We will believe it when we see it.
Also an ambitious state of the art studio has been built at home. There continues to be talk, no, threats...Lol Ha! from Jeff that he will let Tony Taverner into Riverhall to help him sort through things like the Motown tapes and the French TV BBA pro spot from '73 to be put in some form of release. We do know there is one Dean Garcia penned track in the can of which Jeff Lynne was involved in that brief interlude prior to the UK portion of the 2014 solo tour with the band. That plus the tracks on Yosagai the Japanese EP put together by Atco/WB before the last Japanese tour and the two newer tracks on Live+ may be the impetus for a new spring 2016 Lp. One can only hope...or one can conjecture like many times in his past Jeff will find a whole different direction and come out with another blinder like 'Emotion And Commotion'. As Steve Cropper said, "He (Jeff) has a melody in his head that just won't quit." As to this editorial, it's not quitting either. Should some new direction other than the occasional 'What's New' type of event, don't be surprised to see this Editorial expanded, contracted, or like Jeff's career take an interesting twist or turn to suit the now.....Be seeing you.
Here at the webpage we actually have a very sophisticated coding system. It goes like this; JB1=Jeff Beck, JB2=Jennifer Batten and JB3=Joe Bonnamassa (sorry Joe). Hah.
JB2, Jennifer Batten recently came down to South Florida for a demo/clinic at our local Sam Ash and a performance hosted by our friend Robert Mason at Your Big Picture Cafe in Davie, FL. Robert also hosted a gig for Jennifer several years ago when she was touring with Vicki Genfan. Jennifer's been a busy girl. As we speak she's preparing for a series of gigs in China and in the November issue of Guitar Player Magazine she will be inducted into their Hall Of Fame.
Prior to her gig one of our local papers, The Sun Sentinel, published a really nice piece on her.
http://eedition.sun-sentinel.com/Olive/ODE/FloridaSunSentinel2/ LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=RlNTLzIwMTUvMDgvMTM.&pageno=MzI .&entity=QXIwMzIwMg..&view=ZW50aXR5 She Has The World On Strings Jennifer Batten, who has toured with Jeff Beck and Michael Jackson, brings her act to Davie. By Nick Sortal Staff writer Guitarist Jennifer Batten no longer tours with a road crew, dancers and pop stars. These days, she performs solo and hauls her own stuff across the country in an RV. Batten, who played with Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck, will deliver a multimedia performance — with video, photos, music and storytelling — Friday in Davie. Batten has been doing the show for about 10 years. She plays guitar in sync with images that change on the beat. “It’s kind of a 3-D experience,” she says. Onstage, her song “Cat Fight” is supported by cartoons of Felix the Cat as her guitar whines like an irritated feline. “I’m having a blast,” she says. Batten, 57, travels to shows in an RV to haul all her multimedia material. “I really love the lifestyle, waking up in campgrounds with old retired people and birds and bees,” she says. “It’s just fun to sit out there and see parts of America.” It’s opposite her earlier career. She auditioned from a field of about 100 musicians and was selected to play lead guitar on three Jackson tours: Bad (1987-89), Dangerous (1992) and HIStory (1996-97). A striking presence with an enormous mane of white hair, Batten also was onstage with Jackson in 1993 during his Super Bowl performance. “It was like paid vacation, a way to see the world and have fun,” recalls Batten, who acknowledges bittersweet feelings when speaking of Jackson, who died in 2009. “ It was 100 percent fun. I was with them for 10 years, and it was a hell of a blessing.” She followed that by playing for three years with Beck, ranked the No. 5 guitarist of all-time by Rolling Stone magazine. “He’s been my guitar hero since I was teenager,” says Batten, who began playing at age 8. “It was just fun to hang out with him and to hear his story.” Jennifer Batten will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, at Your Big Picture Cafe, 5935 S. University Drive, in Davie. Tickets cost $10, $25 or $50. Call 954-252-5644 or go to YourBigPictureCafe.com. Batten also will give a free guitar clinic 2 p.m. Saturday at Sam Ash Music Store, 5360 NW 167th St., in Miami Lakes and a three-hour “self-empowerment for the modern musician” seminar noon Sunday at Sam Ash Music Store, 5460 W. Sample Road, in Margate. The seminar costs $49 in advance, $55 at the door via JenniferBatten.com. NSortal@SouthFlorida.com.
After the show Jennifer told a funny anecdote about Jeff. Seems they were talking on the phone and Jennifer mentioned how a lot of Jeff's peers were doing MTV's Unplugged show. Sting, Eric with 'Layla' etc. and what he thought. He replied, "I'm unplugging from this subject." Hah.
As always check out www.batten.com for the latest on what Jennifer's up to.
The guys are a little short on words but sent us tons of photos. Here you go, first off...
Toshi, Zepp, Tokyo, September 25, 2015.
Hi Dick, Tonight's show was awesome. I had a really good time at the backstage. I was very glad to meeting Jeff, Jimmy, Jonathan, Nicolas and Chris Fenn. I said hello from you. Thanks a million to you. Yours, Toshi
Via Toshi, Blue Note Jazz Fest, Yokohama, September 27, 2015.
Photos By Shigehiro Mikoshiba.
Toshi, Zepp, Osaka, September 28, 2015.
Hi Dick, Last night's show was absolutely fantastic. One of the best show ever. I had a wonderful time at the backstage. I did help to Mr. Miyaji's Folly charity. Hideki Konno at Folly asked me to Miyaji's help. It was a very special moment for me, Jeff played guitar very close to me in his room. Yours, Toshi
Hi Dick, Now I'm home and send you Zepp Tokyo photos. Im very sorry it's too late. Then, a little while after I will go to Osaka show this evening. Thank you soooo much for all your kind words and thoughts. I am enjoying shows and meeting people very much. I will not forget your kindness ever. Anyway, take care and I will send you other photos tomorrow or one after tommorow. Best Regards, with all my warm thoughts, Hiroko.
Hiroko, Blue Note Jazzfest, Yokohama, September 27, 2015.
Good 27th morning Dick. I don't take my pc, so I can't show you any pics from here. Tomorrow when I come back to my apartment, I'd love to show them ASAP. Best regards, Hiroko
Late last year Dick, through FaceBook, reached out to someone who handled the Yardbirds PR when Giorgio was at the helm. Connie de Nave was their PR (public relations) exec in the 60's throughout all of the band's incarnations...Eric, Jeff and Jimmy. She kindly provided us with a few of her recollections.
I was over-protective of my bands. In the beginning of their careers, they struggled to get where they were going, and the Yardbirds were no exception. The band was mischievous...always pulling pranks on their manager Giorgio. I think in their way, they hated him. Locking him up in a bathroom in Texas so he would miss the plane was one of their great gags.
I was strict, because rock & rollers were under fire from parents and the press about their behavior. Even a water glass on the table was a no no. (Critics claimed it was booze and they were setting a bad example.) They were critized and were forced to set an example during their time growing into the superstars they would become.
The Yardbirds were a collection of great musicians, great minds and I dearly loved them. As for Jeff, many years after I no longer represented them and they no longer were the Yardbirds. Each had reached stardom. I saw Jeff with press people in the lobby of a Hollywood hotel. He spotted me and left his group crossed the lobby and slowly hugged me while he whispered in my ear, ":God, how I hated you." It was his way of recognizing that I did my job for them, and why I was so demanding.
I will always love Jeff, Eric and the boys....It amazed me how talented they were and that they had found one another.
Jeff beck had a great talent. He protected it and took it to the top of his world with grace and a deep respect for his music and other musicians.
Readers will recall the last time I interviewed him years ago for Issue 8 of the Jeff Beck Bulletin. Clive added a bit of additional commentary to the basic 'Situation' to paraphrase ......Clive's own lyrics!
Turns out, although Alex Ligertwood wrote the original lyrics to Clive's chord structure on 'Situation', calling the song 'Truth' which later appeared on a Brian Auger project with Ligertwood, the subsequent R'ough And Ready' redo of the already completed Island Studios Lp version was Clive's. Lock, stock and barrel.
This time Clive added that the lyrics were meant to describe Clive's dilemma in that he gave up a bundle of money to jump ship with then coming back to star status, Cat Stevens, to join Jeff Beck and get Jeff back on the road. Enter Columbia Records President Clive Davis who stopped by the studios to hear the original Island tapes before Mickey Most absconded with them. Clive Chaman loved Alex's singing but fate stepped in. Clive heard a,tune that Max had written. Clive explained that Max's tunes were not written to feature good points for a vocalist and often had strange twists and turns. Clive heard Alex on one of these tracks and told Jeff he (Clive Davis) was worried about the project. Jeff agreed and Ligertwood was sacked. Clive Chaman, worried that the band would fold, literally got Jeff that same night after 9pm to go to Ronnie Scott's Club where Clive knew Bob Tench would be hanging out and Jeff hired Tench on the spot. The rest is history.
What we didn't know was the British paper The Sunday Times in it's July 9, 2006 'Home' section had already beat us to the punch. Much thanks to Paul Mason for taking the effort to scan and send us these images. Here's the great article by Rachel de Thame. Enjoy.
Bernie Holland, one of the original members of the 70's fusion rock group Hummingbird, which along with drummer Conrad Isidore also featured former Jeff Beck Group members Clive Chaman, Bob Tench and Max Middleton, sent us some great pics and his rememberances from that era. I spoke to him recently over at Clive's house via phone from the UK. Of course Bernie is best known for the awe inspiring tune 'Diamond Dust' which so knocked out Jeff Beck that it was afforded to him by Bernie for his 'Blow By Blow Lp. Although Jeff does the moog bass on the Lp version there is a too late to include take in which Stephen Amazing from UPP overdubbed bass which Jim Copley has someplace. Anyway, Bernie, a brilliant jazz and rhythm & blues guitarist, is still very active. Check him out on YouTube and FB.
Be Seeing you. DW
‘Hummingbird’ was the idea of Ian Samwell, a songwriter and record producer I met in 1971 when he was managing a band called Ferris Wheel, which featured vocalist Linda Lewis. Ian invited me to join Ferris Wheel which also included George Ford (bass guitar), Dave Ford (sax), Mike Snow (keyboards) and Dennis Elliott (drums). I left Ferris Wheel in 1972 when I started working as a guitarist in a rhythm & blues band called Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames. Some years earlier, John McLaughlin had been playing guitar with the Blue Flames, but he left to go to America to work with Miles Davis. In 1973 I got another call from Ian Samwell inviting me to join a new band he was putting together which included three former members of the Jeff Beck Group, these being Clive Chaman, Max Middleton and Bobby Tench. The original intention was to have Godfrey McLean playing drums, but he had given up playing drum-kit and was concentrating on Latin percussion, mainly congas. At this time I remember seeing Mongo Santamaria and his band who were appearing at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London – Mongo was a master of the conga-drums and had a fantastic band - whether this had influenced Godfrey to concentrate on congas, I don’t know for sure – but it meant that Ian would have to find a drummer for ‘Hummingbird’ which was, initially, to be Conrad Isidore, although for the second album we had Bernard Purdie on drums.
Returning, briefly, to the ‘formation’ of Hummingbird, once we had got Conrad sorted as our drummer, Godfrey also stayed with us for a while, playing congas. Ian Samwell had formed his own independent production company and had drafted a contract for us to sign, which everyone agreed to sign – except Godfrey who was very suspicious about ‘music industry executives’ even though Ian was setting everything out in the best interests of the band members. I remember a scene at Godfrey’s flat in West London when we all assembled to try and reassure him that there would be no problems for him if he signed the contract. Throughout our meeting he stuck fast to his position and told Ian that he would only sign his name if he was to be brought a suitcase stuffed with cash. Even though he never signed up with the rest of us, we couldn’t let him go because he was such an asset to the band, both musically, and for entertainment value as he was a great comedian – he reminded me very much of Harpo Marx. Before we move on, just one more story about Godfrey. After the release of the first Hummingbird album, we went on a promotional tour of Europe – we had both Conrad on drum-kit and Godfrey on congas. During this tour we were staying at a very old hotel, somewhere in Austria, which had a large staircase which provided access to five floors. On the top floor there was a stout timber beam, about 20 feet in length which provided structural support between the opposite sides of the staircase and landing from which one could view an uninterrupted drop of around 100 feet right down to the ground floor. This timber support beam was no more than 12 inches wide and Godfrey climbed up on to it and, devoid of any safety harness, slowly walked across to the other side. Max Middleton and myself observed this scene with disbelief – and were convinced that we were in the presence of a madman !
Another eccentric character we were to encounter was the drummer, Bernard Purdie, who played on the second Hummingbird album. On arrival at Scorpio Sound Studios, in Euston we beheld the sight of Purdie erecting a structure resembling a doughnut stall, under which his drum kit was to be assembled, which displayed banners proclaiming ‘Bernard Purdie – Hitmaker !’ He had a unique style and unmistakable sound which was obtained by tuning his drums as high as possible. He also had a great appetite for Southern Fried Chicken and was capable of getting through a complete bucket unaided !
However, in my view, the main problem for Hummingbird was in respect of Ian Samwell’s obsession with his search for the ‘Holy Grail’. Recording sessions seemed to last an eternity and it was difficult, especially for Clive Chaman and myself, to understand exactly what Ian was searching for as we would often have to go through an endless succession of re-takes. In the time we had taken to make one album, we could have easily made as many as three. The occasional accident would put things on hold in the studio – one instance being when an opened bottle of Cognac was knocked over the recording console. It was because of the time that was being wasted, that I decided to move on and a replacement for me was eventually found in guitarist Robert Ahwai.
Going back again, immediately prior to the formation of Hummingbird, Clive, Max and Bobby were working with Jeff Beck and after they had finished working with him, Max was staying on to complete a new album Jeff was doing. The first rehearsals for Hummingbird were held in a dingy rehearsal room off the Wandsworth Road, in South London and Max and myself always seemed to arrive about an hour before anyone else turned up. During this time we would play together – either jamming on some Stevie Wonder tunes, or trying other stuff out. About a year earlier (in 1972) before I got involved with Hummingbird, I had been working at home on some new compositions one of which was a piece I had written in 5/4 time using an unusual sequence of chords which involved tuning the sixth string down a wholetone to D. This laid the foundation for the opening chord of D minor 11th and the subsequent series of chord progressions over which I composed a very simple, but plaintive, melody line. I had no title for this piece at the time, but when I played it to Max during one of our little sessions, he told me that he was working on a new album with Jeff – Max told me right then that he thought it would be ideal for the new direction Jeff appeared to be going with a project that was to be directed by George Martin, whose accomplishments need not be listed here. A few months later, during one of the Hummingbird recording sessions, Jeff came by to visit us and jokingly berated me for having written such a difficult piece – however, I am sure that it was a great help for Jeff to have Max working with him during the recording of his new album as they both had the advantage of having already done so many live performances together. A few months later, I got a call from Max inviting me to come down to Air Studios, London’s Oxford Street, to hear the result of George Martin’s orchestration of the piece which had been given the title ‘Diamond Dust’. For some time after that, it appears that Jeff particularly liked performing this tune, as it was featured in a great many of his live shows.
Returning, finally, to the subject of Hummingbird, it is often the case that some time has to pass before you realise the true quality of something, that is not immediately apparent when you are doing it in the heat of the moment. Like all great music, the Hummingbird albums sounded great when they were recorded, they still sound great today, as I write this some 40 years after the event, and I am sure they will sound just as great in 40 years from now. Bobby Tench, whose amazing vocal style and great blues inspired guitar playing gave so much to band, is still out there doing live shows, as is Max who (as I write this) is touring with Snowy White, who, incidentally, I can remember many, many years ago came to me for a few guitar lessons when he was starting out. However, during the Hummingbird period, I am sure that I would have benefitted from a few guitar lessons from Clive Chaman who, although he played bass guitar in that band, was as good as many guitarists I have heard. During the Hummingbird sessions, Clive and I would often take time out to jam together on various tunes, one being the Stevie Wonder song “Ma Cherie Amour” – let me make it known here that Clive was an excellent guitar player who was blessed with great skills as an improviser. Thanks to recent correspondence with Dick Wyzanski, I have recently been able to enjoy a lengthy telephone conversation with Clive, who lives with his family in Florida and is still making music. As for myself, whilst I don’t have too much to do with ‘music industry’ today, I continue to play guitar and record my own compositions by means of a little studio set up I have at home using both digital and analogue applications. My current ‘study project’ is centred on the work of two guitarists who are especially important to me at the moment, these being Pat Martino and Talmadge Holt Farlow. This work involves the written transcription of some of the more intriguing aspects of their work which, for me, represents some of the most absorbing and challenging aspects of playing the guitar. Although very time consuming, work like this is very rewarding from a purely musical perspective. When I spoke to Clive Chaman on the phone recently, he told me that he no longer has the need or inclination to be involved in the rat-race of what remains of the music industry today and he can continue to get fulfilment from engaging in musical activity on a local basis. Likewise, I am now in a position where I can do exactly, and exclusively, what I need to do in respect of both my personal interest as a musician, and with regard to any collaboration I may enter into with others who share the same values.
To conclude here, when others show an appreciation of your work, whatever your chosen field may be, it is both empowering and inspiring and pushes you to move ahead with what you are doing, even if your immediate environment appears to be unsupportive. Therefore, it just remains for me to convey my thanks to so many people, some of whom I have never actually met, who have shown so much generosity to me by virtue of their very kind comments – I count you all amongst my friends and I wish you all supreme success in your quest to spread peace, trust and understanding in our fractured world, by means of the universal language of art, as expressed in all its myriad forms. Wherever you are, and whatever you do, spread happiness and hope - and inspire others to do likewise.
6th February 2016
London - England
Carmine Appice's new book 'Stick It' is a two pronged entertaining autobiography of his ground breaking drumming career superimposed over a self cathartic look at the excesses of sexual Rock n' Roll exploits on Super steroids. The forward, hilariously written by rock ring boss Rod Stewart, is worth the price of the book alone and will set the reader, in let's say, the proper spirit of things from whence to enjoy the book.
Our interest of course lies with the relationship developed between Carmine, Tim Bogert and to a lesser extent others which culminated in the last of the great power trio alliances; Beck, Bogert and Appice from 1972 to 1974.
An interesting historical fact gleaned was that the first meetings between Carmine, Timmy and Jeff were in the UK as far back as 1967 when they jammed at London's infamous Speakeasy Club. Most of the rest of the chronology of association has been well documented so although there's nothing new, there nevertheless is interesting reading. Here was a hugely popular live band which because of Jeff's unsuredness of direction chose laying down the best guitar sounds on the planet only to have it all mixed behind Carmine and Timmy's thunderous rhythms on the first and only released BBA Lp. Business dealings with Jeff's management during the 'Blow By Blow' era seperation are mostly described by Carmine as not being Jeff's fault although throughout you can sense Carmine's frustration at Jeff not standing up for Carmine's interests in the way deemed appropriate by Carmine.
Jeff's demeanor while on the road with the band as observed by Carmine were refreshingly mundane in comparison with the graphic and sometimes wildly bizarre and numerous sexcapades of Carmine's with every known groupie in rock. A cathartic look back appears on almost every page of this book and by Carmine's current wife's estimate he had an absurd but accurate 4500 or more sexcapades over his career. A few of those in the BBA era were illustrated and are hilarious.
Jeff Beck and Carmine Appice remain relevant and vibrant as they have surpassed the seventy year old threshold. Will they ever set foot on the same stage together again? Jeff has repeatedly turned down huge offers to do so. Carmine hopes again to grace the stage as a Jeff Beck 50th anniversary solo career tour kicks into gear later this summer.
"No Man's Land", official theme of the UK's 2014 Poppy Day Appeal, featuring Joss Stone and Jeff Beck, is to be released as a single CD on Amazon October 23rd. Scheduled at this time are live performances by Joss and Jeff of the song at; Covent Garden, October 30th, The Festival Of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall November 8th (broadcast on the BBC) and the pregame at Wembley Stadium's November 9th NFL Dallas/Jacksonville game. The song's proceeds benefit the Royal British Legion on this the 100th Anniversary of The Great War. The song, chosen by Joss and Jeff, was written in 1976 by Scottish folk artist Eric Bogle. The chorus references two famous pieces of military music, 'The Last Post' and 'Flowers Of Remembrance'. It was co-produced by Jonathan Joseph.
Related YouTube videos....
Be seeing you.
From Rick McGowen, various venues....
On The Road Again.........Jeff Beck 2016!
"Ah,You?" Said Jeff Beck when he saw me for the third night at Foxwoods! "I'm on assignment for Dick, Jeff, I swear." "Indeed. You need to get over it" said Jeff, after I casually mentioned how many times I'd seen him perform. I shot back, "That's a paying customer Jeff!" The smile and the wink. Gotcha' Guv'nor! Jeff, thinks I'm crazy. I haven't missed a Jeff Beck tour in the United States since 1968.
The Finest Guitar Player of any Era
It has always been about the 'pursuit of pure tone' for Jeff Beck. Nobody, repeat NOBODY can wring tone out of a guitar like Jeff Beck. He stands alone in his extraordinary tactile sense on the instrument. From the beginning, Jeff's been the most nuanced and articulate guitarist I've ever heard. Demanding precision of himself and surrounding players. Jeff hates the recording studio. Onstage he comes alive with the bravado and risk inherent to Rock n' Roll. And without question he has been the most consistent and best live performer in his genre and beyond for five decades. There's nothing Jeff cannot play on the guitar and he cannot be imitated. He defines unique, a word casually thrown about far too often than merits its use. I think Jeff Beck is the finest guitar player of any era.
I've waited a long time for this record. To this well traveled listener; Mr. Beck had created an album he could play onstage. So, I swiped this from Jeff's new and improved website:
"Lyrically, I set the mood and subject matter. And musically, I used fewer electronic gadgets than ever before. It's mostly just me playing through a Marshall head or a Fender Champ. What you hear on the album is what you'll hear live in concert." - Jeff Beck
And from Felix Contreras/NPR.ORG/Music:
Loud Hailer doesn't bother with too many references to contemporary music. This is strictly a Jeff Beck joint, built around that amazing tone and variations on the 12 bar blues. But he's hardly stuck in the past: Instead, the new album serves as a reminder of how a guitar should sound, as well as the way it feels when someone has no questions about what he was put here to do. When the result sounds like Loud Hailer, why tamper with what fans want?
July 19 - The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY - Opening night
The grand old show house from The Roaring Twenties. That's 1920. A reprise of last year's opener, Mr. Beck loves to play here. And it is full of what I refer to as the ,'Old New York City Loyalists.' from the Yardbirds days. The rabid, well schooled fans; very demanding but truly appreciative of greatness. This is indeed a 'Jeff Beck joint'.
And, this is who we came to listen to. The first night had some tenuous moments. There were a lot of clams during the show. But, Mr. Beck is a cool customer. I didn't see any wincing or dagger throwing glances as in the past. Carmen is game but she was visibly nervous. Rosie doesn't seem to care where she performs and looks very comfortable. Carmen was noticeably under the mix in the sound tonight. Afterward, I spoke to her backstage. Q. z'Are you ok?z' A. z'Yeah, I made it through. Bit nervous (laughs) a lot nervous. I mean standing onstage with Jeff, wow." I complimented Carmen's solo on 'Life is For The Livin' (Bones UK) and she was surprised that I'd listened to her. I said, "If Mr. Beck is listening - I'm interested". Rosie, Rhonda, Jonathan, Jimmy and Jeff were all in the room. We took a couple of pics and I asked Jeff, what he thought of the show? "Great crowd here." "Yes, I told him, the old loyalists!" I said to Jeff, "Carmen is 25, she sounds like she's been listening for 50!" "Yes, she's very committed, works really hard." I remarked, "Do I hear Albert Collins in there?" He lit up, saying "Right!" In another conversation, we laughed about the gift bag I gave him which had a picture of a Stratocaster on it but contained a bottle of Veuve Cliquot. Jeff asked my wife Martine (aka Radar) where she'd gotten it. "Garage sale Jeff. I anticipated we might see you again!"
July 20 - Theater At Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Much better than the BIG Garden! A sell-out capacity of 5,500. The show is tighter, the sound great. I thought the crowd was too diverse and subdued. NOT, the Beck Loyalists who were at the Capitol the previous night. Although, many were present for both. No matter, Jeff lays it down on the killin' floor. Carmen steps up with more volume and confidence. Clearly, she's not a Jennifer Batten or a Nicholas Meier, and doesn't fill the sonic space they did when Jeff plays straight on instrumentals. He seems content and apparently isn't demanding Carmen be a type of player she isn't. Jeff appears to be nurturing her along - very gently.
As suspected, backstage at the Garden was a zoo. It's well known Jeff doesn't like being crowded. I hung with Eric Mirell, as well as Jim Belmont and Drew Stawin: the AINIAN.COM Press Corps!! I waved to Jeff, he waved back and I was gone. Portchester and the Garden are local for me. Now we hit the road. Three shows, three nights. Help me so, I love it!
July 22 - Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, CT
We're in for the sound check today. It's always a treat. You may get
to hear some things you wouldn't expect, some parts of the impending
show, songs you forgot. And today we have a very vocal attendee who yells out, 'Jeff's Boogie!' I've been around the block with Mr. Beck for so long, I wouldn't DARE to ask him to play that old chestnut, even if it's a bit of 60's virtuosity. However, Jeff obliges and gives us
30 seconds of the theme from the Beverly Hillbillies PLUS a few bars from his Boogie. Then, the same guy throws out another of Jeff's gems
“Another Place!" Jeff forgets. Jeff fiddles. Jeff noodles and like a
magician pulls a 30 second interval out of his magic Strat! I was
astonished. Mr. Beck's mental archive of songs and slight of hand tricks is extraordinary. That kind of mastery is what makes the magic of the past 51 years continue come alive in concert. Oh Behave!, it doesn't get any better than the sound in the old MGM /Grand Theater. Direct quote from the sound crew:
"Without doubt, the best sounding theater anywhere."
It is so, and the show blows up the place. There's definitely some Boston Tea Party veterans here! Indeed, Dick's lifelong friends, Bill Toabe and Michael Hull are backstage with me. Mr. Beck sees me and he is Verklempt! At this point I pull out Issue # 1 of the original JEFF BECK FANZINE circa 1990. I remind Jeff that Dave Terralavoro, the originator, and Dick Wyzanski were credited on Beckology, and, this was the start of what Dick turned into the modern website. Jeff and Rosie leafed through it and Jeff turned to me and said, "Thanks for all that you guys have done." I'm Verklempt!!
July 23 - Borgata Spa & Resort Event Center, Atlantic City, NJ
This is the chance for the old Philadelphia Loyalists to experience Jeff. They are smaller in number than New York City but equally fanatic. Unfortunately, this is NOT the magnificent Tower Theater in Philadelphia which Mr. Beck loves playing at. Big audience, bad venue. Close seats but too wide, just under 5000. This isn't an ideal place for the sound crew, yet Shon and Dave work their own kind of magic for Jeff. The crowd is a little slow on its feet - they eventually come to attention. The band seemed really tired after the show and nobody is coming out to socialize. Eventually, Jeff, Rhonda and Rosie appear briefly. Long enough for me to grab a pic of Fred and Beth Dietz, lifelong fans - gear heads and animal rights activists, who got to meet Jeff.
Because You're Jeff @%$#~*^ Beck!
July 24 - Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem, PA
Tonight I'm without Radar. I have to have at least one or two shows by myself, so I can really dig in. On these occasions I rarely stay in my seat. I roam the venue for different sound angles and find empty seats or spaces during the songs. I'm in so deep, I spend half the show with my eyes closed just listening to the purity of Jeff's tone and the precision. I know all of the songs, I know what he's supposed to play. BUT as it has always been; it's different each and every time. I wait for him to make me laugh. The humor (i.e., incredible creative musical juxtapositions that shouldn't make sense yet do) of Jeff's playing is one his trademarks. In concert it takes on a special meaning. For example, some absurd new fingering (or use of BOTH hands) of the same sequence, fitting things where they are not supposed to fit. Jeff's been making me burst out laughing, falling slack in my seat for 48 years. His concerts are as thrilling today as five decades ago. Jeff just keeps getting better. He really can't help it.
The venue is basically a concrete multi-purpose event space; the crew has been here before. This is a well-fueled crowd and Mr. Beck tops them off. Tonight, the entire band lays rubber.
I had invited fellow fan, guitar player and equipment guru, Dr. Randy Ray Clark, to attend the event with me. As we walked backstage, Carmen came out into the hallway and we stopped to say hello. Dr. Clark complimented her on her second solo. She said, "I was nervous, I wasn't expecting it!" Carmen is a very good player, getting more comfortable and confident by the day. And, she is very open and charming. Undoubtedly, realizing an enviable and golden opportunity to witness history and learn from the best of Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck. This hasn't been lost on her.
Chris Fenn, Jeff's tour manager greeted us with a smile and led us into the lounge where Mr. Beck was sitting on a leather sofa watching TV. In one motion Jeff sees me, says, "Oh Fuck! You?" as he was getting up to shake my hand and Dr. Clark's. He then turned down the TV (apologizing!), offered us champagne, beer or vegetables (What Else!) The proper, well mannered English schoolboy, courteous and gracious. I grabbed a beer and we sat down to talk. Jeff returned to the sofa; Dr. Clark and I took chairs and formed a little circle.
Dr. Clark opened the conversation by saying to Jeff, that he enjoyed Carmen's second solo. Jeff responded, "Yeah, I surprised her throwing it her way, She's great!" I decided to cover some well worn ground and asked, "Ok Jeff, I've heard a hundred versions of the MG radio saga. Did your uncle really pull it out?" Jeff, "Yes, he did. I never asked why? I think maybe it was just the way it was in England at the time." I went on, "I saw Jimi three times. I always thought you had much more control over the sound onstage than he did." Dr. Clark, joined the conversation by saying he'd seen the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Mitch Mitchell's drumming was outstanding. Jeff, concurred, but said sadly that Mitch's playing declined in later years. The ever gracious Mr. Beck never responded to my opinion with regard to Jimi on stage. Dr. Clark, asked Mr. Beck if he remembered a quote attributed to him along the lines of, "I was doing Jimi Hendrix before Jimi came to England, but I was too English about it." Jeff responded, "Well I don't remember that, but it sounds about right. With the Yardbirds (and the Tridents) I used the 2 echo tape machines, got a loop going and played over it, way before anyone else."
To the present. Dr. Clark, a vegetarian, sked when and why Jeff became one. "My new girlfriend threw all the meat out of the refrigerator! Plus killing all of these animals to eat, I got on board." The Doc followed up with a question about what's it like being a vegetarian on the road? "It's really hard to find restaurants that accommodate me." Astonished, I said, "Why can't you get fresh vegetables in America? Really? Is that true? I avoid them, as they would cause toxic shock to my system. But this is astonishing to me." We're having a laugh and Jeff spills a drop of champagne on the arm of the sofa. He springs up, searches for and grabs a napkin to wipe up the spill. I'm almost embarrassed. I was going to flick the drop off with my hand, but Jeff beat me to it by doing it properly! I got up to talk shop with Chris Fenn, while Dr. Clark apologetically, says to Jeff, "I promised myself I wouldn't ask you a guitar question, but I can't help it. You did this amazing dive bomb, I'm not sure which song." Jeff, looked puzzled at first and then lit up with a broad smile, "I played two dissonant harmonics at the same time. It was on 'Right Now'". This led me back in to the conversation. I said, "You made me laugh tonight, more than usual. The risk is always there with you." "Thanks", said Jeff. "The humor is a big part of it all. You can't be afraid of making mistakes onstage. It's the only way you learn." Then I mentioned "Shrine" from the new album. Jeff interrupted me, "We didn't play that." "Of course", I responded, "on the record". I went on, "Jeff, where you slow the tempo before the pause and you solo out - Is priceless to me. It's a WHEW moment. It is the perfect moment, captured. Who yelled WHEW into the mic?" "It's Rosie. You have really been listening huh?"
Then I asked to take a picture Jeff with Dr. Clark together. "Oh shit! Do you really need another picture? What is it about?" said Jeff. Dr. Clark moved in, gently nudged him on the arm and said, "Because you are 'Jeff Fucking Beck!'"
About the middle of the tour, I was checking the fan reactions on the Jeff Beck Facebook Group and found evidence of the magic. A Mr. Kasten wrote:
"Last night was my first chance to see him in person, after listening to him since the late 70s. I have a few DVDs (Ronnie Scott's, Tokyo and the Les Paul tribute), but could not believe how sharp he remains. I've read reviews saying he has never played better than he is right now, and it may be true. I don't know if they make them like that anymore. I had not seen Buddy in a long time, and it was great to see how vital and powerful he remains. That show kind of spoiled you for life when it comes to mind bending guitar playing."
I jumped in to the conversation and asked, "Was it the best live performance you have ever seen?
"Yes. No doubt."
It was pretty obvious that was a rare, world class and historic talent up there at the top of his game. My wife tends more to acoustic music, and talked about how his sound was so distinctive and beautiful, like a voice. "He's a treasure", said Jimmy Page regarding Jeff. Dr. Clark sums it up eloquently: "What can I say about the man behind the legend and shades? All I can say is what a gracious, personable, funny, and sensitive human being 'Jeff Fucking Beck!' is. Plus, he likes the "F word" as much as I do!"
With my sincere gratitude:
July 27 - Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA
From Jim Cullen...
Set List: The Revolution Will Be Televised Freeway Jam Lonnie On The Move Live In The Dark Jersey Wives Morning Dew A Change Is Gonna Come Big Block CWEAL O.I.L. Scared For The Children You Never Know Rollin’ & Tumblin’ Supersition Right Now ENCORE Little Brown Bird A Day In The Life
The day started out with a “YUGE” surprise, a text from our esteemed Doc telling me to go to Will Call to pick up Back Stage Passes. WHAT?!?!! Needless to say, I was pretty cheery for the rest of the day. As we know, the Eastern half of the country’s been under the “heat dome” & last night was as hot & muggy as it gets with little-to-no breeze. The crowd was appreciative but the weather certainly put a damper on things as the night went on. Buddy played up a storm, engaging the crowd and telling stories along with the songs. I was already figuring we weren’t gonna see Buddy during the encore due to the hot/humid weather.
Set Break: Anticipation builds. Listening to folks in the crowd I was surprised how many people were hip to the new line-up, which was a pleasant surprise. More on that topic later. Jeff’s amp rig looks the same as last tour but his pedal board has appeared to have grown, although I did’nt get a direct look at the board so can’t confirm he has any more or less pedals there. I will say that he only used the RotoSphere ( Leslie rotating speaker effect) for Lonnie On The Move, personally I was glad to see less use of that effect.
The set is pretty close to what they’ve been doing. I guess they’ve been alternating You Never Know with The Pump but notably missing: You Know You Know & Brush With the Blues. General Observation from the moment Jeff’s set started: Best FOH sound I’ve heard for a long time (Could be Wolf Trap – it is an GREAT venue or ??) Everything mixed spot-on.
Jeff’s guitar tone is BIG, BOLD, CORPULENT CHEWEY DELICOUS! Dripping with tone – only way to put it. From the 1st time I saw him in `65 to last night, one thing has not changed – he’s simply the best. I’ve said it before – the guitar is an extension of him. He knows his way around the fretboard so well it astonishes….and that’s just his left hand. His right hand is working just as hard or harder as he goes from pure beautiful tear-jerking tone ala DANNY BOY or SCARED FOR THE CHILDREN to savagely distorted ala PULL IT or THUGS CLUB & sometime all in the same phrase! No other instrumentalist, that I’m aware of, can convey such emotion on their instrument. Every note is graced with nuance. The set opens with Jeff front & center plucking the notes from THE REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED, then Rosie roaming the audience with her mic’d Loud Hailer, sounding damn close to the album – but BETTER – more powerful! Obvious, to me anyway, that Jeff & band have spent a lot of time perfecting the live presentations of the LOUD HAILER tunes because they are spot on. I’ve been on-board with this album since the 1st time I heard it & the tunes are even better with JJ & Rhonda laying it down. Powerful, well-crafted rock tunes that come across even better in the live setting than the recording - & I like the recording!
High points in the set, for me…almost pretty much everything – it’s a Jeff Beck concert! But if I have to choose, all the tunes from LOUD HAILER, A CHANGE IS GONNA COME, MORNING DEW & ROLLIN’ & TUMBLIN’. Speaking of R&T…I noticed that Rhonda was not on stage during the 1st part of the tune, I looked and spotted her sitting on a chair behind her rig with a fan blowing on her – No surprise it had to be scary hot on stage with the lights and all. But as soon as her part came up – Bang! There she was!
As for Rosie & Carmen – Hell Yeah! They’re the BOMB! Yes, Rosie has an aggressive stage presence – Rock is aggressive music & Jeff is an aggressive guitarist – great match!! Carmen is an intelligent agressive guitarist & I say that because A) She is! B)She’s done a great job of learning and putting her own stamp on the “Chestnuts.” I found nothing lacking in those tunes. There was lots of eye contact & cues going on between Jeff & Carmen & they both were grinning the entire time.
As a matter of fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that I think Jeff was enjoying the LOUD HAILER material as much or more than the “Chestnuts.” I think he really enjoys the role of lead guitarist in a band. He is so good at the interplay between he & the singer. To this observer he seemed more comfortable and enthusiastic playing the new tunes than the back catalog stuff. To me this is no surprise – this is Jeff Beck! He is always moving forward. Always forward. 72 years old. Not relying on the Chestnuts – ALWAYS MOVING FORWARD. GENIUS!!
There were multiple partial standing ovations & a few full S.O.’s A CHANGE IS GONNA COME was very powerful & a touch comical when Jimmy hit the floor & then lyrically asked Jeff to “Help me up!” Great stuff! You could tell the whole band was spent, when Jeff went to the Mic to introduce the band it was a bit rushed & mumbled but the crowd was appreciative & the band….was drained!
So now we go backstage….
Fortunately the wait was short, we hung out for about 10 minutes or so, then were led backstage to an AIR-CONDTIONED room (halleluiah!) After about a 5-10 minute wait Jimmy pops out and surprises some family members that are part of our group. After a few minutes JJ emerges and visits with a group of people that are school age friends from Miami. Turns out that Carmen attended grade school for a few years in Miami, & went to the same school as JJ & friend! What a small world! Then The Maestro, Carmen & Rosie come out together, Mimosas in hand and having a great time. (I shoulda brought a bottle of bubbly w/ us). Jeff spots me with the FanBoy T-shirt and he’s seen this before so there’s some faint recognition there, as with JJ & Jimmy Hall.
That’s when I hit him with “I’ve seen you so many times I even caught a show with Kim Milford” – Jeff did an instant re-coil & laugh, he asked where, I said Chicago & he grimaced. I quickly interjected that obviously I’m still your biggest fan & we talked about that in more detail. He had some pretty good memories of it & how they dispensed with it….good stuff!
Right off the bat Carmen came up to both of us & introduced herself as did Rosie when she came around. They are very engaging. They are very aware of benefits this opportunity & collaboration. I complimented Carmen on her chops & she was quite appreciative & commented on how intimidating it is to take a solo when you’re standing next to Jeff in the band. I assured her she did quite fine. We talked about recording the album & they said it was all done in Jeff’s new home studio, only the drum were recorded off-site (in France)
Jeff asked me if I was going to be at the Hollywood Bowl, & said “you really wanna be there” & described how sound checks are now turning into rehearsal sessions for the upcoming show. Jeff was describing Carmen playing the chords to FOR YOUR LOVE & how it was bridging generations.
I mentioned how this tour & album release seemed so well coordinated that it reminded me of “back in the day” & he was ecstatic about the whole project. He said it was the perfect alignment of sun & moon & all the planets they way things fell into place….then we were interrupted. But the same vein was echoed when talking to Rosie & Carmen about it. They said it all came together very easily & quickly & over the bubbly! - Damn I really should have brought a bottle of Bubbly w/ me!!!
Somewhere along the way here something happened that propelled this project into the front lines. I’m not saying who what or where this all happened but that was a pretty full house last night –I’d guesstimate about 6,500 people at that show. The new tunes were warmly received by the audience. As the night went on the enthusiasm grew – SCARED & RIGHT NOW were well received.
I have to agree with Doc’s statement the other day “Retirement – No Way!” Jeff seems very enthusiastic and he was in a super good mood. We chatted about guitars, Kim Milford, Hollywood Bowl Show, Rhonda’s rig, etc.
While Linda was talking w/Carmen & Rosie they mentioned that they “were done with London & moving to LA” I was surprised to hear that as I’m aware they have their own thing going on in London and they are gathering a bit of steam behind it….I think we need to be respectful of that.
Jimmy quizzed us about the Yardbirds days & how they’ve been rehearsing tunes for the Hollywood Bowl show during the sound check. Jimmy is an obviously devoted Jeff Beck guy. He told us the story about his 1st son being born during the recording of FLASH. His son was born on June 24, 1984! Same B-day as Jeff’s – 40 years later, & they named him Jeff! Ummmmm – KARMA!!!! I told him I saw Wet Willie w/Jeff back in the early 70s & have been a fan of his ever since. We gabbed about tours from back in the day & the changing world of music. Jimmy Hall is a great singer & a great guy & family man. It doesn’t get any better than that! Jimmy mentioned that Jeff has asked Jimmy (Jim) Page & Eric & what tunes they’d do with each of them….but then ”Jesus” (tour mgr. Chris) appeared & said time to hit the road.
And so it ended. We all said our good-byes. We walked back to the now abandoned parking lot around midnight; chatting w/JJ’s childhood buddy & then we were off on our long drive home….it was well worth the journey.
We are lucky people!
July 30 - Meadowbrook Amphitheater, Rochester Hills, MI
From Bob Wallin....
Jeff Beck came to Meadowbrook on a warm and cozy Saturday night, July 30, re-energized by a great new album, Loud Hailer. But it is Beck's playing that is more prolific than ever, soaring to new heights of his craft, venturing out where no man has gone before. Beck is clearly standing strong, completely on top of his game, having fun dazzling and mesmerizing us mere mortals in attendance.
Accompanying Beck on this tour, celebrating 50 years of touring, is blues giant Buddy Guy. Jeff's band features the new effervescent additions Rosie Bones (vocals) and Carmen Vandenberg (guitar) of the band Bones,who helped Jeff co-write Loud Hailer. Beck recent touring vets Rhonda Smith (bass), Jonathon Joseph (drums) and the ever versatile Jimmy Hall (vocals ex-of Wet Willie) robustly round out the band.
The show which was a wide ranging retrospective of Jeff's career started with The Revolution Will Be Televised (1st track from Loud Hailer). This powerhouse started with Rosie in the back of the outdoor theater armed with a megaphone launching into the tune with a fury. I was in the 17th row near the aisle, turned around to see where she was and BAMM, there she was standing right next to me belting out the tune. It was an electrifying and of course a very memorable way to start a show.
Then as everyone got settled into there seats, came the recognizable crowd favorite Freeway Jam. Beck dazzled one and all with his uniquely galvanizing solos.
Next, the Great Buddy Guy , who turned 80 today, came out and scorched through Let Me Love You, Baby with Jeff and Carmen who stepped up and ripped out an infectious solo, that proved that she could hold her own with the 2 Icons. She was very impressive. Another new song, Live in the Dark followed. It showcased Jeff's unique skill of dominating a basic song structure, giving the vocalist room to move while turbo-driving the melody home. Shifting gears again to visit Jeff's fusion influence we find Mahavishnu Orchestra's You Know You Know. Rhonda's dazzling bass solo is the highlight here.
Another huge fan fave, Morning Dew from "Truth", which is where we meet the dynamic vocals of Jimmy Hill. This overwhelming display of pure power by Beck along with the strength of Hall's voice was spellbinding. Then we were treated to an Sam Cooke song, again done ravenously by Jeff and Jimmy. This one was an unexpected treat as Jimmy manically personalized this gem in a very dynamic crowd pleasing way. The next hard right turn takes us thru 2 iconic Jeff Beck classics, Cause We've Ended As Lovers and Big Block. These magnum opuses demonstrate Jeff's unchallenged dominance of the guitar and his incomprehensible ability to just keep getting better each time he plays them every night. 2 more new songs are genuine instant favorites, follow. OIL (Cant Get Enough of that Sticky) which features a great slide solo on an Oil Can Guitar (which was given to Jeff by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, then, Scared for the Children, the great wispily substantial song that is reminiscent of Little Wing, sung deftly by Rosie.
The rousing Rollin and Tumblin featuring Jimmy thrashed thru the summer air. Followed by a sturdy rendition of the great Stevie Wonder tune (which he had collaborated w/Jeff) Superstition, sung by Jimmy. The last song of the set was Right Now (another new song sung by Rosie). The encores were great, Muddy Waters' Little Brown Bird and the Beatles classic, A Day In The Life.
All in all it was a Superb show, Jeff was on fire, happy and energetic, better than ever. I asked him after the show about a new sound effect that I noticed on Big Block and A Day In The Life. I told him it sounded like harmonic dive bomb shredded with feed back. He laughed out loud boisterously because he knew exactly what I was talking about. He said "Yeah, I came up with that last year and I've been working it into a couple songs." I showed him the T-shirt that I bought with a picture of his dog, Paddy on it, because it reminded me of my dog, Syd. We then compared stories about why our dogs were the Smartest and Best Dogs, Ever.
Then I introduced him to my sister, Michele who had done a synchronized swimming routine while in high school in 1968 to Beck's Bolero, which he thought was hilarious. It was a truly great night.
July 31 - Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL
Even though Dick is still battling some health problems he made the trip from South Florida to Chicago to attend the Ravinia Festival show. He had a great day. We can't thank enough all the folks that made this possible. They include first and foremost Jeff and Sandra Beck, Jeff's tour manager Chris, the fans who are members of the yahoo.com group 'Jeff Beck A Guitarist's Guitarist' (JBAGG), Dean Opper, Sid 'Doc' Johnson, Alan Sholiton, Jim Cullen, Sheila Melms and of course Dick's wife and son Trini and Rich. I, Bill A., would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this. And God Bless Jeff Beck.
August 10 - Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
From Sid 'Doc' Johnson....
50 YEARS OF JEFF BECK AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL IN LOS ANGELES, AUGUST 10, 2016
Their day started off with rehearsals at The Bowl at 1:00PM local time. Steven Tyler and Billy Gibbons didn't make it to Tuesday's rehearsals so there had to be a special one for them in lieu of a soundcheck per se.
My hotel was on Highland not very far from The Bowl, as a matter of fact walking distance, so that is what I did, leaving about 6:45PM PCT. The Hollywood Bowl is a historic place to say the least, I have passed it many times on my trips to Los Angeles, as I usually stay at the same hotel on Highland Avenue when I come out here if not staying in Santa Monica. This was the first time I entered its massive grounds, and boy was I in for surprises. Expensive food and beverage items, but then everything is expensive in LA and NYC. Steps, escalators and elevators and long walkways to eventually get into the 'bowl' where the stage and seats were. What a cardio workout.
I got my tickets and backstage passes with no problems, I was amazed at the diversity of the huge crowd. There were lots of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Islanders and of course Whites, plus ages ranging from kids to the elderly, and lots of women. It was the melting pot of America, unlike what one sees at a GOP convention. The Bowl has a capacity of 17,500, and I tell you the place was damn near full, I would give it close to sellout for real, in total 15k I have been told were there.
Jeff always picks the PA music that plays prior to shows and we got a blend of some blues, James Brown, Jimmy Smith and Sly and The Family Stone blaring over the massive sound system.
At 7:59PM PCT Buddy Guy strolled on stage and got things started with "Damn Right I've Got The Blues". He followed that with a profane laced and entertaining "Five Long Years" which featured an amazing solo from his rhythm guitarist. He then did "Slippin In, Sliding Out" from his latest album. He ended with a medley that payed homage to Muddy Waters and Hendrix. He kept looking at his watch and seemed agitated as he stated he was told he could only play 33 minutes.
After Guy's exit, some in the crowd seemed disappointed that his set was so short, He doesn't get to LA often and there were fans there to see him and felt short-changed.
The house PA system then proceeded to play several Jeff Beck songs. I recall hearing: "Blackbird", "JB's Blues", "I Put A Spell On You", "You Know, We Know" and more.
Then a photo collage appeared on the big screens around the venue showing Jeff through various stages of his career. When pics flashed of he and Stevie Ray Vaughn and B.B. King the biggest cheers went up. Then with no introduction "The Revolution Will Be Televised" kicked things off with Rosie Bone on the megaphonne (loud hailer) as usual. The audience was British mode reserved on this opening number. With no set up they then launched into full versions of 3 Yardbirds tunes with Jimmy Hall on vocals, "Over, Under, Sideways Down", "Heart Full Of Soul" and "For Your Love". Much to my surprise the crowd was just warm on these, mainly because I think they were shocked. Jimmy had some help from singer Todd O'Keefe doing background and unison vocals on The Yardbirds stuff.
"Beck's Bolero" was next. It got better audience response, It was followed by "Rice Pudding". Jimmy Hall came back out for a well received "Morning Dew". Rhonda Smith and Jonathan Joseph were totally locked and amazing on this number and throughout the entire set. Out strolls an effervescent Jan Hammer for what was the highlight section of the concert that got the most audience response, a serious romp of virtuosity of "Freeway Jam", "You Never Know", "'Cause We've Ended As Lovers", "Star Cycle" and "Blue Wind".
Hammer was on fire, and the rhythm section kicked major butt. On CWEAL Jeff made the guitar sob and gave a very enjoyable solo as well. Jan's chordal voicings were out of this world on this classic Beck gem.
Hammer exited and Rhonda Smith started the opening bass lines of "Big Block" and they all kicked major ass on this and the crowd loved it despite a flub up near the end. Several guys sitting behind me all night were trying to figure out who the bass player and drummer were, they were in a Donald Trump world of being dead right it was Billy Cobham. Like Trump is most of the time, they were wrong, his name is Jonathan Joseph. A fine drummer he is indeed, at one point he did an around the horn in poly-rhythms and Jeff turned and shot him the birdie.
Beth Hart entered for a rousing vocal version of "I'd Rather Go Blind". Jan Hammer re-appeared for some keyboard chords as well on this one. The audience was fully engaged on this one.
Buddy Guy then came out for "Let Me Love You" and the audience went up. He and Jeff dueled on their Fender Strats much to the crowd's delight. Rosie "Bones" Oddie came back out for "Live In The Dark" and "Scared For The Children", The latter was very well received by an audience that mostly were clueless of it. She turned in what perhaps was her finest performance of it I have heard her do so far. Jeff's guitar work alone on this one was in another world, just incredible.
Jeff told the crowd he was sure they would recognize the next guest and out walked Billy Gibbons, They did "Rough Boy" (Gibbons' voice was horrible on this one as was his attempt at a guitar solo) and "Sixteen Tons" which faired better. Then Mister Swagger himself Steven Tyler strolls out for "Train Kept A Rollin'" and the TRUTH style arrangement of The Yardbirds' "Shape Of Things". Tyler was not in great voice this night, but he did his usual microphone swinging and spinning about, after all he is a rock star, albeit his solo album is country n western, oh well.
The regular set ended with "A Day In The Life". Beck's cover of this Beatles classic also got good audience reaction.
The only real standing ovation occured here and they came back for a rousing unexpected rendition of Prince's "Purple Rain". Beth Hart sang the lead, and she was joined by Jimmy Hall, Rosie Bones and Steven Tyler. It was amazing and surreal all at the same time.
Backstage was a zoo and I had a great time talking to Jeff, Jan, Jonathan, Rhonda, Jimmy, Rosie, Carmen, Steven and Beth. Billy Gibbons dipped after his appearance on stage.
This show was the one for the history books and ranks in my Top Three Jeff Beck shows ever.
August 12 - Pala Casino, Pala, CA
August 16 - Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
August 17 - Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, CA
Santa Rosa CA a sellout for tonight August 17th... last night in San Francisco at Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium the staff told Jeff and company it was a sellout as well. Metallica's Kirk Hamlett was there in addition to Carlos Santana. The latter jammed with Buddy Guy during his set.
Setlist from San Francisco... REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED FREEWAY JAM LONNIE ON THE MOVE LIVE IN THE DARK THE BALLAD OF THE JERSEY WIVES YOU KNOW YOU KNOW MORNING DEW A CHANGE IS GONNA COME BIG BLOCK 'CAUSE WE'VE ENDED AS LOVERS O.I.L. SCARED FOR THE CHILDREN BECK'S BOLERO SHAPES OF THINGS ROLLIN N 'TUMBLIN SUPERSTITION RIGHT NOW LITTLE BROWN BIRD A DAY IN THE LIFE
August 21 - Woodland Zoo Park Amphitheater, Seattle, WA
From Brian Allodi...
In brief, it was another outstanding evening with Jeff and band. Some minor logistic issues getting tix and passes, but as usual Chris Fenn to the rescue. Also had to run back to the car and ditch my camera as they were turning folks away with “pro camera” with removable lenses :-/.
Lots of smiles and laughs at the VIP Soundcheck (guessing 50-75 people??) that continued on throughout the show. They were clearly in good spirits for the last show of this tour. The weather was perfect, mid 70’s, and the rain showers forecasted for 7PM never materialized. The Woodland Park Zoo concert series is held on a large span of grass just inside the Zoo grounds with all lawn GA seating save for a small section of roped off beach chairs for the reserved seats that are right in front of the soundboard - maybe 100?. Line of sight to the stage is pretty good no matter where you are although no large screens so once you’re halfway back you don’t see much. Small, low 3ft barrier fence b/t the crowd and stage , so the early birds could be very close. I was in ~row 3 dead center until I had to find my daughter to give her the tix I’d bought. They couldn’t get in until doors opened and it filled up pretty quickly. There was a videographer roaming the stage so perhaps pro shot footage is yet to come?
Soundcheck started around 4PM and I heard 1/2 of it waiting outside the venue for the tix/passes. Sorry I don’t recall all the songs they played, although Purple Rain was a standout. Opening act started at 6PM - Ayron Jones, a local guitar player who did a 30 min solo set. I’m not familiar with him, but he was well received by the local crowd.
Jeff came on a little after 7PM, with Rosie making her usual entrance from the crowd with the Loud Hailer on Revolution. The mix was very good to my ears, and from the first few lines Jeff ripped through opening the song, I could tell it was going to be a good night. With this the third show i’ve seen from this tour, plus all the write-ups from everyone else in the group, I’m running out of fresh adjectives to describe Jeff’s playing - it’s really just "other worldly”, the combination of pure emotion, technical finesse, and head shaking “How’d he do that??!!!” runs and melodic harmonic runs is truly incredible. Saw lots of jaws drop, and people turning to their partner with smiles and looks of disbelief. He never ceases to amaze and despite playing so many of these songs so many times, he makes them sound unique every time I hear him play.
The setlist ran the gamut, a few nuggets from the Hollywood Bowl show carried over that weren’t played at the Ravinia (Chgo) show as I recall - Shapes, Beck’s Bolero most notably for me. And as much as I like Aerosmith / Steven Tyler, I think Jimmy's vocal on Shapes was far better than Tyler’s at the Bowl. Jeff really seemed to enjoy playing some of the early JBG songs, but unfortunately no Yardbirds songs. You Know You Know was back after a hiatus in Hollywood, and Rhonda and JJ were incredible during their solos - so tight and precise but still full of soul - just a fabulous rhythm section. Freeway Jam put the entire crowd on it’s feet early on and they stayed that way for a quite a while.
The Loud Hailer tunes were well-received by the crowd, and Rosie’s stage presence does seem to encourage Jeff to loosen up a bit and interact with her - great to see. Again, lots of smiling and a few hugs along the way after those songs. Live in the Dark and Scared for the Children were exceptionally good performances in my mind. Jimmy came out with Morning Dew and followed with an extended version of A Change is Gonna Come, which he dedicated to his son Ryan, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with for quite a while after the show. The "fall to his knees and Jeff giving him a hand up" routine went over tremendously with the crowd, and Jimmy’s vocal was out of this world - he didn't leave anything in the tank on that one.
They changed up the song for Carmen to do her solo from Little Brown Bird to Superstition - Jeff just tore it up and I gotta say Carmen did a really nice job following that with Jeff standing close to her and smiling, encouraging her - the crowd loved it and gave her a nice big round of applause. They ended the show with Right Now just before 8:30, which was when the concert was supposed to be over - very tight noise ordinance due to the animals and local residents. But they came back out for two encore songs. Jeff spoke only a few times and introduced Little Wing saying, “it’s only fitting we play something from Jimi here in Seattle”, and it was terrific. Then Jeff closed with A Day in the Life - such an epic rendition and left the crowd wanting more but that was it. Jeff humbly thanked the crowd for coming out and supporting his “wretched career all these years”, and said “we’ll see you again soon, maybe next year!” — so there’s hope!
Standouts songs for me were Live in the Dark, You Know You Know, Morning Dew, Change, Big Block, CWEAL, Scared, Shapes, Little Wing - hell, all of ‘em :-)
Setlist: The Revolution Will Be Televised w/Rosie Freeway Jam Lonnie on the Move Live in the Dark w/Rosie vocals The Ballad of the Jersey Wives w/Rosie You Know You Know Morning Dew w/Jimmy Hall vocal A Change Is Gonna Come w/Jimmy Hall Big Block Cause We've Ended as Lovers O.I.L. (Can't Get Enough of That Sticky) w/Rosie Scared for the Children w/Rosie Beck's Bolero Shapes of Things w/Jimmy Hall, vocals Rollin' and Tumblin’ w/Beverly Hillbillies breakdown :-) w/Jimmy Hall Superstition w/Jimmy Hall Right Now w/Rosie vocals Encore: Little Wing (Jimmy Hall vocal) A Day in the Life
Unfortunately my phone battery didn’t last long, and only got a handful of pics - Mari and Yukinori were very close to the front of the stage dead center, so hopefully they have some goos pics to share. Lots of cameras and phones out with no security telling people not to to, so I imagine there will be some good pics/vids emerging. Backstage was a reasonably small affair, 30 or so, and it took a while for the band to come out but all in very good spirits with a combination of relief - it’s over! - and sadness - it’s over :-/ Good conversations with Jimmy Hall, son Ryan, and Chris Fenn, whom I thanked on behalf of all of us again for his support throughout the tour and especially the extra mile he went at Ravinia. Had just a brief chat in a group of folks with Jeff. I’ll let Ryan recount Jeff’s telling of one of the worst days in his life :-)
I think they may have gone to a club called Nectar for the after party, but i didn’t venture out. A great evening that’ll have to hold me over until next time Jeff comes to town...
July 22 - Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, CT
July 24 - Sands Bethlehem Resort Center, Bethlehem, PA
August 10 - Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
August 11 - Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, CA
From Sam Dinley...
Sam Dinley here, who you were kind enough to approve 3 guest passes for Jeff Beck's concert at the O2 Arena, London last Sunday. I want to thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to have some personal time with Jeff and the band, it was a dream come true. I know that Sheila Melms would also like to thank you too, she was such a help leading up to the concert, and on the day too. Sheila forwarded me your email address, so i'd like to share with you my write-up of my experience:
"We entered the arena and took our seats: 13 rows back and right in the middle – a great view! And with guest passes tucked in my pocket, I knew I was in for a great night!
I wasn’t wrong. The show itself was amazing. The band played a great set with both a mixture of Loud Hailer tunes and the classics. Jeff’s solo on ‘You Know, You Know’ was a highlight and I was blown away by Jimmy’s voice on ‘Morning Dew’ and ‘A Change is Gonna Come’. “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush with the Blues” has to be my favourite number of the show though, and was extra special with the little acoustic intro between Jeff and Carmen. After his set we headed towards the green room entrance, spotting a few famous faces on the way. The first band member I was introduced to was Jonathan Joseph, he was very kind and he let me in on what he was up to after the end of the tour. He signed my copy of Loud Hailer and then I showed him the video I posted to the Jeff Beck Facebook group, explaining how I had been given the guest passes after posting that very video.
We returned to the arena to watch Van Morrison’s set and was delighted to see Jeff reappear on stage during “Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)”. After the fantastic show had come to an end we returned backstage to get ready to meet with the rest of the band. The room was a lot fuller now as people were preparing some birthday celebrations for Rosie.
One-by-one the band began to arrive. First Rhonda, then Carmen, Jimmy, JJ, and of course Jeff. As Rosie arrived the 50-or-so people began singing Happy Birthday, cheering and pulling party poppers! After lots of hellos and greeting people I had a nice chat with Jimmy, got his autograph and a short little message on the inside of my CD. I then met with Mr Beck alongside his Road Manager Chris Fenn. I explained to both of them how thankful I was to be there and we went on to talk about the Jeff Beck fan-page, the 2014 Poppy Appeal gig, and other things.
I approached Carmen congratulating her on the performance and asking if she would mind signing the CD. She ended up bringing Jeff over too and I had him sign the backplate of my guitar. I then had a photo opportunity with Rhonda and Nicolas Meier, and discussed with Nicolas what he is up to nowadays after leaving Jeff’s band.
Carmen also had Rosie sign my CD. We then jokingly posed for a photo followed by them dancing off to the other side of the room.
Now that I had met and took pictures with Jeff and the band I felt a little more relaxed…and thought it was time for a beer! At this point I finally had a photo opportunity with Sandra and she was really lovely, and took the time to have a chat with me. She seemed very interested in hearing about my aspirations of becoming a professional musician, and I was grateful that she gladly accepted a CD of my music to listen to!
I got the chance to talk to Jeff again before he had to leave. We had a good chat with lots of laughing and joking and we went on to talk about his next ventures including the Classic Rock Awards on November 11, and the start of his Japanese tour in January.
I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to go backstage and meet with Jeff and the band. It surely is a night to be remembered!”
Thanks again Sid!
More from the 02....
1. The Revolution Will Be Televised 2. Freeway Jam 3. Lonnie On The Move 4. Live In The Dark 5. The Ballad Of The Jersey Wives 6. You Know You Know 7. Morning Dew 8. A Change Is Gonna Come 9. Big Block 10.Cause We're Ended As Lovers 11.Scared For The Children 12.Beck's Bolero 13.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat->Brush With The Blues 14.Superstition 15.A Day In The Life
Some pics....two Jimmy's and Rosie's cake...
These are the first ‘Thank You's’ I’ve ever written. For the past 22 years it was always Dick’s job. And those ‘Thank You's’ were for just that particular issue of the Jeff Beck Bulletin. These are for all of those who helped us get thru this very difficult time. Thank You.