For the serious Beck fan, think about what it would be like not to have any publication at all. The publicity department at Epic feeds us at best miniscule current information and only at an imminent release or tour at that. While major media entities gobble up the slightest information on the previously mentioned three and regurgitate them just as quickly, none of them do so for Jeff for a reason. Sadly it's not "commercially viable".
That term described recently the terms of a rejection letter to Annette Carson by her publisher, Haynes, about her finished Beck manuscript. I know Jeff does want some kind of book published eventually, as witnessed by his comments to me in Issue #4. But his lack of a sense of urgency may evoke the same rejection phrase when his own people present a manuscript to any publisher.
Realizing my own limitations, I decided to enlist the help of my colleague and dearest friend, Bill Armstrong, to get the ever growing Beck information archives out on the highway where we could reach a potentially vast amount of fans and/or potential new fans. That is why we are so excited and proud to be able to bring the Jeff Beck fan movement to the worldwide web. Anything we've ever compiled on Jeff in the written, spoken or picture mediums will be avaiable at no charge to anyone who wants it. No subscriptions, no more five bucks in the mail. It's our gift to all of you - and ourselves.
As far as sound goes unfortunately, because of technical and legal issues we will be limited to what we can put on. What little we do put on will be slightly chopped to avoid commercial duplication. However, please enjoy as a web premier toast Jeff's gift to us (he's really happy he does have lifelong fans), the unreleased tribute to surf music, "Wild Weekend", done in 1994. We hope to in a short time be able to bring you passages from the original '68 Fillmore East broadcast (yes, I know you hard cories have had that for years, but we have new converts, so chill out) and other tidbits.
So sit back, click on and enjoy... because now you have the information. And that makes you important...
19/08/96 Dear Dick,
Sorry I haven't got in touch with you sooner but what with holidays etc., I've been quite busy. I appreciate your not giving my address to anyone else, Jeff's reclusiveness I know about to the extent that he doesn't even wish to contact John, Ray or myself sadly, but we were told by Ralph Baker that he isn't interested in raking over the past. It would be nice to chat about old times.
Craig 'The Singing Milkman' was nothing to do with us and Jeff definately wasn't on that record. What happened in fact is that Craig Douglas named his band 'The Tridents' without first checking that there was already a band of that name. We had actually registered the name as a business so Craig Douglas had to stop using it.
I'm afraid that we didn't see a great deal of Pat, Jeff's wife and don't wish to comment on their relationship apart from the fact that it was stormy.
The only band that we ever saw Jeff playing with before us was The Nightshift and all I can remember is seeing this superb guitarist playing on stage and didn't notice the other musicians, although the truth is that if the backing band is doing it's job well only the soloist stands out. You can imagine our delight when we asked him to join us when he said, "I thought you'd never ask."
I'm afraid that we cannot allow any recorded material to become freebies, it's taken thirty years to get anything from these tracks which I stored all this time without any special recognition or renumeration, so you can appreciate why I don't want to give them away. Also we have an agreement with Sony about those that have been released.
Jeff left the band tempted by Georgio Gomelski's offer to go to the States, Gomelski had promised to finish our band when he discovered that the singer of one of his bands was rehearsing with 'The Tridents'. We carried on for a short time as 'The Tridents' with our previous guitarist Mick Jopp, but decided in 1965 to call it a day as the magic wasn't there, not his fault. It was an impossible task to expect Mick to fill the void he had a different style. He was a very able guitarist, who went on to tour America with Linda Hoyle, who by the way was in the same class at school as my wife.
I got married in 1967 and got a day job. For a few years John and I used to go around the folk clubs and have musical evenings at home. When my two children came along I had to find some extra cash in addition to the day job, so I built myself an amplifier and cabinet (couldn't afford to buy), and started gigging around with all sorts of bands, from Rock to Country, Irish, Funk, Jazz, Blues and doing cabaret with all kinds of people. I turned pro again in 1993 and now run a duo, (people here are still pleading poverty because of the recession), with a keyboard player Jeff Banister, (ex Jack Green/Gerry Rafferty), and we play all kinds of music and scratch out a living doing whatever comes along. I used to have a guitarist, Mick Wayne (ex David Bowie/Pink Fairies), but sadly he died in a house fire over there in Michigan two years ago. I went to Switzerland with him and a drummer called Mack Poole (love really hurts without you Billy Ocean) and an anonymous keyboard player for two weeks, a few years back, and the same year to Bahrain for New Years Eve, with a six piece band.
John only plays at home or private functions now as his home commitments prevent him from getting out as much as he used to. His playing though has improved greatly over the years and we still get together on the odd occasion.
Ray as you may know has a long term back injury and hasn't played drums for a very long time.
Well that's about is really I hope that you find something of value here, sorry I can't help you with the rest.
All the best
Jeff replaced a guitarist named Mick Jopp who didn't want to go on to the professional circuit...The Lucas brothers saw Beck playing with the Nightshift and were knocked out by Jeff who stood out musicianship wise above the rest...When asked by them to join the Tridents, Jeff's response was something to the effect of "I thought you'd never ask!"... They once backed blues great Jesse Fuller at their "resident gig", Eel Pie Island with a record crowd of 1500 people...Jeff was married at this point to Patricia (Brown) Beck (July 1963) of which is merely said that their relationship was "stormy"...The echo device that Jeff used that he compared in Beckology to a Klempt was probably an earlier than Tridents device. He used a Baby Binson in the Tridents...Hearing that the crowds couldn't believe that some of the fast runs he was playing were not done through an echo delay device, Beck showed up to a gig one night with a spanish acoustic guitar and played the same licks, blowing of course the audience away!...Jeff used an old Telecaster most of the time at Tridents gigs...The two demos that were given to Gregg Geller and Sony for Beckology, "Wandering Man Blues" and "Trouble In Mind", were actually the B sides of the two demos that the Tridents wanted to market! The A-sides still unreleased to this day (and will stay that way sorry no freebies according to Paul Lucas - or until a Beckology sequel comes along, don't hold your breath - ED.) are the old blues classic "Keep Your Hands Off My Woman" and a Tridents self penned original "That Noise!"... The live track on Beckology isn't the only thing that they have either as the BEEB recorded them live in '64...According to Paul, Ray Cook the drummer has a bad back and hasn't played in years (remember Jeff brought him back for one of the early incarnations of the original Jeff Beck Group)... Also according to Paul's personal diary, Jeff left the Tridents on Tuesday, March 2nd 1965...Of course he left for the Yardbirds who premiered with Jeff on Friday night March 5th 1965 at Fairfield Halls in Croydon where the Yardbirds were second on the bill to the Moody Blues...Feedback welcomed...Speaking of feedback, after reading Jeff's description of his homemade amplifier which he "rewired and nailed together", the Lucas brothers ascertained that Jeff had discovered and used feedback before the Tridents since he used John Lucas' brand new Vox AC30 exclusively in the Tridents which John painstakingly maintained.
"REMEMBER THE NIGHTS ON THE ISLAND/NEWCASTLE ALE ON THE GRASS/JEFF ON STAGE WITH THE TRIDENTS/ TALKIN''BOUT THE PAST, MY LOVE/TALKIN''BOUT THE PAST"...
From the song "Richmond" recorded by Andy Roberts for a sampler Lp "Clogs" released on the Peg label circa 1972.
Yardbirds historian, consultant on the official Yardbirds video and founding father of the international Jeff Beck fan movement in the late 60's - Richard Mackay described the evening in a letter to me which we're printing in it's full unedited form. Enjoy it. If nothing else it'll steer you away from dining at a certain pub in the English countryside, as Jeff's travel tip of the day. Hah!...Dick Wyzanski
Whilst I had planned to be there by 7:00 PM, traffic delays from Oxford had delayed my arrival making the time 8:00 PM when I entered the musically historic building. Passing dozens and dozens of people being turned away at the door because the event had sold out so quickly, I glimpsed the sign stating Tonight "The Yardbirds". I rushed down the stairs. Grabbed my ticket that Jim had put to one side for me at the foyer. I was supposed to meet up with several people there, some I saw some I didn't - the place was soon VERY PACKED - but people, for a Yardbird freak this was the only place on earth worth being at tonight, a real one off - as one very good friend said after the event - which truly summed it all up - 'If I died tomorrow I now wouldn't care, my life is now complete.'
Somewhere around this period Mr. Dreja spots me and with a huge smile grabs me by both arms and shouts "Richard how have you been, I'd been wondering about you." Great to see you Chris, as I explained to Chris this was more than just the gig, this was a Great Occasion, a very very special event indeed. We then get into a very long conversation about the state of today's music, Brit pop, metal, etc. We both agree that the scence is now healthier over here now than it has been for too many years. And as I state the Yardbirds influence is immense, Dave gets Chris talking about Faubus once again as he did the last time they met, "Yeah, he was based on a real character" explains Chris, "They just send these guys off to Vietnam to die." Heading down further into the midst of time I get a drink at the bar. One of the first familiar faces I spot is that drumming bird Jim McCarty. Much smiles and chat take place, it's been 2 long years since I had last seen Jim and this would be the first time for me to take in this new lineup of the Yardbirds. Laurie Gains - from an early incarnation of the original band - check your Yardbirds family tree - he's blowing some mean harmonica folks. Detroit John, now you know this guy from early McCarty Bands, now John's on bass. A certain Mr. Chris Dreja on guitar, Gypo Mayo, the excellent lead guitar man from Dr. Feelgood fame, and the man himself, Jim McCarty.
Anyway, I'm getting rather ahead of myself people, while I'm talking to Jim and Laurie, one of my friends who had just flown in for the event, made herself known to me, so we head for her table. We chat for a while, but I can't sit at tables for long at these sort of events. I soon get itchy feet and am on the move again - heading for the bar, I run into several old faces, more excuses for a good chat, especially as one is Jim's right hand man and very good friend Bud - great to see him again. Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor joins us, Dick remembered me from the France gig of a while back - remember? A true gent, I then spot Detroit John Iden and we have a drink, while all this is going on in strolls MR. BECK oh my, HE is here. Good for you Jeff I know Jim will be highly delighted that you made it. Thankfully Jeff stays near where we are all congregated - right at the back out of the way of the majority of people. I have to confess to be too nervy to talk to the guy - it's crazy legs time for old Richard, but a look through many people and Jeff acknowledges me - which is very nice and I feel better, it's silly kids stuff isn't it - I mean I bought all this guy's records etc., seen him whenever I could - worship his guitar style - he's only a guy after all, roughly the same age and I'm bloody nervous - thinks 'grow up Richard!' Anyway, to make me even more shakey in walks Jimmy Page, this is Yardbirds heaven and if I'm dead I want to stay dead, sod this boring life I have been living the last couple of years, this is more like it, how can you top this. Jimmy looks terrific, looking unlike his youthful days as a member of Carter Lewis and The Southerners, with black hair chopped really short and wow doesn't it suit him, best he's looked for ages. Phil May of the Pretties arrives and he chats for a while with Jimmy then Jeff and Jimmy catch sight of one another and it's arms around each other combined with very large smiles, one can only assume they were pleased to see one another again with shouts of 'Jeff' 'Jimmy' these old friends unite once again. Somehow it's very touching for me to see these mega guitar heroes like this. And despite all the stupid press you may have read about Jimmy and Jeff, if you treat them with the respect they (or anyone else) deserve, they will treat you as an equal, but start giving them s**t, then they don't have to take it which is the way it should be. They don't have to talk to you.
I mention to Jimmy that the t-shirt I'm wearing is the same one I wore the last time we met - albeit briefly (the black Yardbirds World with large Page pic). Do you remember, Jimmy smiles "Oh yeah". People who read the Yardbird World, Jim birthday special - will remember Jimmy said to me "I know who took that photo" and eyed me with a mischevious smile. Jimmy wanders off to speak to someone else, then I hear, "What are you doing here?" Hi Dave Yardbirds World long time reader and good friend to me, and a mega Jeff Beck fanatic - I say, "Well, there he is" as at this point Dave and Jeff are literally back to back, Dave turns around then back to me and exclaims, "Bloody Hell!" We are still talking as Jimmy comes back. With Jimmy Page on one side and Jeff Beck the other, it's not important to keep bothering these people, after all they came to enjoy themselves not to be bothered and thankfully they weren't - well not much anyway.
As the Yardbirds take the stage the place is jam packed which was pleasing for your old Yardie man - especially as the money raised was for charity, they could have sold out 2 or 3 times over and as this wasn't that over publicized (some people only had 2 days notice) this looks good for shapes of things to come. We try and guess what the next song might be. At one magic moment Jeff grinning from ear to ear looks straight at me as the band powerhouse through the 'Train', then Jeff with clenched fist punches the air above him - POW!! Yeah Jeff, right on, bloody cracking night mate.
Another 'face' I'm very pleased to see there belongs to the late Keith Relf's son Danny. What a nice young man he is. We talked about the recent showings of the pop prog "Dancing In The Street", I asked him if he saw the Ravi Shankar piece, thankfully he did - didn't he look just great, our Keith with his white polak neck jumper on, Danny smiled and with a nice sigh said "He sure did." Dave joins us, Dave by the way is wearing the Keith Relf Y.W. t-shirt I once sold and Dave tells Danny how much Keith meant to him, which Danny obviously appreciated. Getting back to "Dancing In The Street", I tell Danny how I freeze framed that sequence that certainly showed Keith sat with Jeff. Danny didn't notice that scene, but as it was only a few seconds why should he. Danny said he really liked what Jeff said about Keith and really appreciated it. Later I spotted Danny and Jeff deep in conversation, both smiling. I have no idea what was said but it was a nice scene, the former Yardbird guitarist and the singer's son. I again found myself talking to Danny, he's still very much into music, and I find I'm once again talking about the younger bands, Oasis, Pulp, Metallica, Nirvana, etc. etc. Danny knows full well the debt that all these bands, one way or another, owe the Yardbirds plus a few other sixties bands.
Meanwhile the new Yardbirds are still there on stage really giving their all. "I Ain't Got You", "Over Under Sideways Down" etc. are all dusted off and the old fire and guts is still alive in '96. Wonderful. Doesn't this material still sound fresh and relevant today.
I can't stand it any longer and go over to Jeff and say that I must let Dick Wyzanski know you were here tonight. "Dick Wyzanski" beams Jeff, "Dick Wyzanski, let me tell you, that guy's amazing, when I go to the states, he seems to know where I'm going to stay before even before I do - he's amazing, he phones up everywhere you know." "Are you going to do a number with the band tonight Jeff, I know Dick Taylor is later on?" Jeff just half smiles and says "Nah". I tell him it would have been great to see him get into "The Train" or "Mr. You're A Better Man" once again - Jeff just smiles. While I'm standing next to Jeff someone asks me, if I could ask Jeff to autograph something for charity, I said "Sure I will ask him". Me, "Jeff, will you do this guy a favour and sigh this?" Jeff takes the guy's pen, some beer gets knocked onto the paper, "Ah, you can have the free beer," smiles Jeff as he writes on the wet paper. Some young Italians are out of their heads with the sight of Mr. Beck, but Jeff obliges with a friendly handshake. Thankfully though, he wasn't bothered too much. My friend Dave even had Jeff laughing his socks off, with the mention of one of Jeff's nearby pubs by his estate, 'The Red Robin'. "Nobody just nobody eats in 'The Red Robin' exclaims Jeff, it seems it has notoriously bad food in that place, you're sure to be ill, right Dave? Dave meanwhile has done very well for himself collecting autographs, Jimmy Page, Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, Dick Taylor and some others plus Jeff Beck. "I'll make 'em all sick when I show 'em Jimmy Page's autograph." exclaims Dave talking of some young Zep fans he knows.
Jimmy Page has now come back to the area that Jeff occupies, I notice that it's now getting very close in the heat department inside the 100 Club, which gets me saying to Jimmy Page, "Bloody hot in here isn't it?" A very youthful looking Page smiles at me and he sort of talks from just one side of his mouth saying, "Yeah, I was down here not long back and it was hot then, I try and get near the door every now and then to get some air, I came down to see Lonnie Mack." (Thinks; a smart man that Jimmy Page.) One can't help thinking on talking to Mr. Page, that a more courteous man would be hard to find, a gent and a real pleasure to be in his company. Comparing him to Jeff it's like Jimmy is a real smooth personality who always looks and dresses immaculately, not so much because of the superstar status (richly deserved of course), but one feels it's the way he likes to be for himself and he sure likes time off now from the rock circus to enjoy himself including a few laughs. Jeff on the other hand is this lovely rough diamond of a chap, who's just happy in jeans plus a pint in hand and loves nothing better than a good laugh and the good company of old friends, though understandably one feels he's suspicious of people, until he knows them a while. But being in his company for me is pure magic and on this night - he's just one of the guys as it should be.
On stage Jim, Chris and the boys are still rockin' with the very enthusiastic crowd loving every second, they do a couple of numbers with the Pretty Things Phil May and Dick Taylor. Danny Relf is still nearby as the band are winding things up on stage, they come off covered in sweat with shouts of 'more' getting louder and louder - Danny and myself try and workout what they could still play this evening when Danny says, "They haven't done 'Smokestack' yet!" We both look at each other and smile as the familiar strains of 'Smokestack' boom around the 100 Club - excellent, one of best versions of this song I've ever heard and have I heard this a lot? I'll say! Magic. During the infamous buildup for 'Smokestack' Jim's drum work is excellent as he hammers his kit into overdrive. Both Jeff and Jimmy are on tiptoe as they watch their ex-Yardbird mate doing his stuff. Jimmy says to Jeff, "Look at Jim." They both stare with smiles of what seems like a mixture of pleasure, pride, disbelief and joyous amazement. They both must have been thinking back to when Jim was their drummer. Good old Jim, I'm proud to know you mate, a GREAT performance from one of the best unheralded drummers in the business.
But a couple of more encores on and it's all over, I look around for Jeff and Jimmy's reaction but they've both slipped away into the night. Approximately 30 minutes on and the doormen are trying to empty the place, so we give my old mate Bud a hand with the gear from the stage, a two-fold good idea - one we are giving Bud a hand and secondly we don't get bothered with people asking us to leave the premises. Later on talking to Bud, he gives me a Yardbirds t-shirt that Chris had designed - a very nice black item. I get to briefly speak again to all Yardbirds of the night and say how well the whole thing went. An hour or two after the last song and it's all over, time for Richard to head back to Oxford - the three musketeers must hit the road - very satisfied indeed. With my old mucker Dave saying after a skinful of ale, "Bet you haven't seen me like this before Richard?" "No Dave", I tell him with a grin. "Well I could die tomorrow now, I just wouldn't care, my life's complete, I've met THE MAN (Jeff), how can you top that?" asks Dave. I tell him and he agrees that "You can't top that." That was indeed a one off, a magical Yardbird experience. Ten minutes on and Dave repeats himself, "Bet you haven't seen me like this before....etc. etc. etc. - "No Dave!" We walk on for a further 10 minutes before we realize that we've been walking in the wrong direction - but do you know it just didn't matter, we were all so wound up as to what we'd all been apart of that trivial things like that just weren't that important. Being part of this one off Yardbirds experience was the only thing of any signifigance. There was only one place on Earth worthwhile being at on the 25th of September 1996 and we were there - stuff going to the bloody moon etc....We're talking YARDBIRDS. Even when we reach Oxford and I say goodbye to Dave and his friend, I have a 2 mile hike to reach my daughters, it was all worth it and how. Tonight I had lived a dream, a Yardbirds dream. Richard Mackay
The song of course was "If You've Got A Little Love To Give". The musicians did the session, quickly thought up the group pseudonym 'The Holy Smoke', and released it in the UK where unfortuately it summarily flew into instant obscurity. Dick had hopes that Jim might know where a vinyl copy could be obtained but Jim had no idea saying, "Boy, that's a rare one now isn't it?"
Dick briefly mentioned that he had heard from a mate of Jim's, Richard Mackay, to which Jim said, "Yeah Richard, he's a bit in the sh*t's now I heard." (Referring to Richard's closed Yardbirds World shop.)
About the Box Of Frogs: "We decided to get some songs together and got Ernest Chapman on board. I went and played Jeff the songs and Jeff agreed. Jeff came over right around Christmas time and did all the overdubs in one evening and then we partied a bit...When he (Jeff) does something you ask yourself 'How does it fit? It's such a shock. It takes a while to sink in and then you realize it all does fit in perfectly. He's always been my favorite guitar player."
Jim went on to tell Dick that he and Chris Dreja are planning to take The Yardbirds on the road to the states next year doing various cities, much the same way The Animals are planning to do. An idea was tossed about that Eric Burdon would join The Animals at some gigs and Jeff would join The Yardbirds at other gigs. Jim added as a postscript that he had alot of doubts however about Jeff really agreeing in the end to do it, to which he and Dick shared a big TransAtlantic chuckle.
A while back we got some email from a guy named Bob. In his letter he stated he had an extensive Yardbirds/Beck collection up for sale to the highest bidder and that if we were interested he could supply a list of what
he had to offer. I mentioned this to Dick Wyzanski who said, "The guy's name is Bob? Is he from Connecticut?", I said, "Yeah". Dick said, "It must be Dorchinsky, he's a heavy hitter, get the list!"
So I contacted 'Bob', asked if he was Dorchinsky, he said "yes" and we got the list. What follows is not just your average Yardbird/Beck fan's collection but the collection of a lifetime. As you will see this endeavor
took years to aquire, maintain and catalogue and I wish I had the dough to go after it! Dick, of course, (as well as me, I caught one) did note some errors in the list. All of them occur in the 'Jeff Beck Sessions'
section and the error is in that Jeff didn't appear on these records. The first is Stanley Clarke's 'Rocks, Pebbles And Sand', no Jeff on that one. Next, 'Green Bullfrog',we (and others) thought for some years Jeff was on it
since it does sound like him but we have since learned the guitarists featured are Ritchie Blackmore and Big Jim Sullivan. Lastly, the entry for Philamore Lincoln 'Northwind Blew South' is in error only in that the Yardbirds
did appear on this album however they were the post-Beck Yardbirds so it wasn't a 'Beck' session. Also keep in mind this collection is up for bid in it's entirety, not by the piece. So, without further ado, Dorchinsky's List.
Robert Dorchinsky P.O. Box 3290 Milford, CT 06460-0949Or email to: SM39inCT@aol.com Be seeing you
Sometime in mid 1970, after returning from the Motown sessions with Cozy Powell, Jeff Beck was more convinced than ever that there was an untapped market in rock. Mixing in his recent R&B experiences with a fresh new West Indies type of funk topped off by his own highly emotional primal rock guitar screams, Jeff set out to recruit top notch players with whom to record an Lp. As discussed by bassist Phil Chen in The Jeff Beck Bulletin #2, Jeff regularly frequented the London club scene to see a loose knit band of house musicians who rotated lineups (depending on who wasn't doing session work or on the road) called 'Gonzalez'. Having then recruited keyboardist Max Middleton from that scene, Jeff then only needed a bassist and vocalist to complete a working lineup.
Alex Ligertwood recalls, "I'd just got back to London from Italy. I was playing in a band there. Anyways, Maggie Bell, (seventies FM market Lp success) Alex Harvey's (Alex Harvey Band) wife, asked me, 'Can you play bass? Jeff Beck is auditioning bass players.' So I went down to the audition and Clive Chaman was there so I immediately switched to vocals!" Dick then asked Alex what his initial impressions were of the lineup. Alex responded, "The thing that amazed me was the caliber of the musicianship. I mean, Max Middleton was so great he should have been declared a genius. Cozy was as solid as a rock, with Clive it was THE F E E L! And then top, top everything off you had Jeff! It was like icing on the cake!" (How literally prophetic for one track in particular but more on that later.)
Alex then recounted to the best of his memory that the ensuing recording sessions at Island Studios "Lasted about a month". We now know two facts that until now not even the staunchest of Jeff Beck fans knew. Remember that Jeff was using a Stratocaster right before the accident in November '69. He resurfaced with the Stratocaster in '71 for the 2nd Rough And Ready lineup. However, for the Island Studio sessions he was using a Les Paul. Alex recalls, "Jeff was using a (Les) Paul of some sort. Probably a guitar afficianado would know exactly what model. Anyway, I've got a picture from the rehearsals with Jeff using that Paul!" At this juncture there was a jaw dropping extended silence on the other end of the phone line. "Do you think I could have a copy of it?" asked Dick in one of his 'what the heck, if you never ask you never get modes'. "Sure, I'll fax it to you." said Alex. "I haven't advanced to the world of faxes yet although I'm on the Internet." beamed Dick. "No problem, I'll send you a laser copy of it." said Alex. Dick assured Alex that the picture would hold a revered spot on the pix portion of the webpage. (Hey, here it is, we got it November of '97.) Incidently, that would be one of only three times a picture of Jeff actually at a recording session actually existed for his fans. The other two being the Swedish Mickey Most documentary at the Beck Ola sessions (video) and some rather staged shots of Jeff with Nile Rodgers at the Flash sessions printed in a guitar mag.
So, we've got the Les Paul verification, the recording session photo, and oh yes, there is a third find. The actual producer of those sessions was none other than the late Jimmy Miller (Stones, Traffic) who also produced the other Lp that Jeff never came out with - BBA II!!! Alex explained, "Jimmy Miller was there for all the recordings I did for Jeff."
As to the question of what material was on those tapes, Alex confirmed that they were pretty much the same tracks as what eventually came out on the later rerecorded Lp with Bob Tench's vocals. Dick asked Alex about the song 'Situation' since Alex had recorded something similar later on with Brian Auger. (Incidentally, Alex also has a picture of Brian playing the same harpsichord he used on the Yardbird's 'For Your Love'!) "I wrote the track (off Brian's Lp), truth. Those guys (Beck etc.) changed the lyrics and melody so that was cool." Then Alex mused, "Here's an interesting piece of trivia for you. I had done some work with Ben E. King. He had given me one of his songs called 'Ain't As Sweet As You'. We recorded that at those rehearsals. It wound up being 'Ice Cream Cakes'. (2nd Jeff Beck Group Lp)
The other fascinating part of Jeff's career at this juncture was his growing reliance on lawyer (soon to become as he himself joked on Beckology, chief cook and bottle washer) Ernest Chapman. "Ernest Chapman was there from the beginning of the rehearsals." recalled Alex. "He arranged everything for Jeff." It is well known that Jeff's manager/producer Mickey Most was not pleased with Jeff going in the musical direction he was and certainly not happy with Ernest and Jeff calling the shots down at Island Studios. When the tapes were finished, they in fact disappeared mysteriously. It was at this time frame that Jeff gave his famous and rare Rolling Stone magazine interview in which he bemoaned that the tapes had been stolen from him. We asked Alex to shed light as best he could on this mystery. "To the best of my knowledge, someone, an engineer or someone like that was paid under the table by them to get the tapes." "Do you mean by Mickey Most and his henchman Peter Grant?" asked Dick. "Yeah, them." responded Alex.
After the missing tapes episode, Jeff was left without an Lp and under increasing pressure to go back out on the road and prove he could play live again as well as he had before his horrific car accident. Ernest was trying to get him a more established vocalist and there was the 'Gonzalez' connection with Clive and Max who knew Bob Tench's work with that outfit. Dick asked how it all ended and Alex simply replied, "It ended with a telephone call!" (Laughs) "Actually, after that I went down to Ernest's office that afternoon." Dick reminded Alex that he, looking back on it, should although feel fortunate to have worked for Jeff nevertheless, that it wouldn't have been a long career anyways judging by the way Jeff changed musicians numerous times during the '70's. "We were all green, wet behind the ears." said Alex of the relationship between those musicians and their business dealings. "You look back though, especially 25 years later, and it was alright, it was alot of fun. Anyway right after that I laid on a beach in the south of France for about a month and then got a call to join up with Brian Auger and the Oblivion Express."
The tape trail might have ended there save, what transpired at Abbey Road Studios a few years ago. Gene Vincent compilation producer Ron Furmenack was doing some archiving work for Jimmy Page over at Abbey Road Studios when he happened upon a box of tapes labeled 'Jeff Beck'. Because he's a very proper producer and was working for another artist at the time, he didn't pry into the tapes to see what was in them. However he knew a well known Beck fan and made the comment to this fan that he had seen that box of Beck tapes. Supposing that Mickey Most had indeed absconded with those tapes back in 1970, the scenario would fit perfectly because guess who he sold his R.A.K. company's entire catalogue of tape masters to years later? Yes indeed - EMI Studios which became Abbey Road Studios! The only other thing it could possibly be since CBS, Sony and Ernest Chapman have kept things under lock and key, is a few tracks with the original Jeff Beck Group with Stewart whose existence was only recently alluded to by Most himself. In either case it would be a trememdous find. One of the head engineers there is Andy Pearce who thus far has failed to respond to a request from Yardbird's Ultimate Box Set producer Phil Cohen to head down to the 'dungeons' over there one day and look the tapes up. Of the possibility of Alex going over himself to look for them, he would say only this, "They were all two track so I'm wondering if they do exist, how listenable they would be after all these years. I spend alot of time on the continent but I do travel to London occasionally." Dick suggested to him that if Alex did travel there again that it wouldn't be a bad idea to look up Andy Pearce at the studios. As far as the age of the tapes, if they've been kept archived in studio issue tape boxes under controlled enviormental conditions, they are indeed probably very listenable. Hope springs eternal.
Thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts Alex Ligertwood and much success with your current band out in Los Angeles and your various other studio and soundtrack projects. P.S. Really looking forward to the rehearsal photo. Thanks for everything mate, Dick Wyzanski.
Although Jeff bends the blues into new music art forms on his own infrequent Lp's, he manages once in a while to do guest shots of stone cold Chicago wild man Buddy Guy type blitzkriegs. Witness 'Lou Benched' on Stanley Clarke's 'Little Big League' soundtrack. Now witness 'Three O'Clock Blues' as not even the connisuers of blues guitar listening are prepared for the barrage of raw energy and emotion that Jeff spews forth in the space of a few minute track.
The tune starts with a B.B. King intro and during the verses Jeff teases us with some background nasty low Strat. After the B.B. King phrase about 'that's where the men hang out', Jeff shows us all just who is wearing the pants on this session as for one minute and ten seconds he wails, bends, whammys, hammers and slides into yet new ground for emotional blues guitar. Even when B.B. starts his own solo towards the end he inevitably gives way to Beck who turns on the gas once more as if to remind us all that he wasn't quite finished yet. Truly magnificent!
Now we give you the encouraging news! Fortunately promo tape copies of the first version of the Lp were mailed out to major music critics in all the major markets. So if the reader is truly a Jeff Beck fan, he/she should be able to use the good old American telephone to make some calls to some mags, papers and yes, while your at it call Sony and register your displeasure with the non-appearing track. Who knows, if they get enough calls they may also be able to experience some of their own Three O'Clock Blues! Dick Wyzanski
One of Jeff's most modernistic, driving rock tunes remains a mystery to most of his fans as to it's origin. We are talking about the B side of "People Get Ready" entitled "Back On The Street", released in 1984 as a single and as a bonus track on the CD version of the Flash Lp. (Also on Beckology.)
I recently phoned up the vocalist on that track, West Coast blues-rock wailer Karen Lawrence. Her husband Fred, who was also involved with the session, tuned into the web page and had emailed Bill Armstrong with the contact.
Karen has recorded for both RCA and A&M and at the time was in a band called 1994, who had to their credit opened for Aerosmith a few times. Her engineer, Ricky Delana, who was also on the Record Plant LA sessions for Flash, told Karen that Jeff was looking for a vocalist to complete a track he had written. According to Karen, "We got a call one afternoon to do the session. Around that same midnight Jeff Beck flew in and we met him at a small studio at the Record Plant. In was just him, his manager, Ricky, Fred and myself." Fred added, "Jeff told us he had written the song in about ten minutes during the flight over." The finished product was to be ready by about 4 the next afternoon, as Epic was pushing Jeff to get a B side ready for the release of "People Get Ready". Karen said that Jeff was very nice and in good humour. She kidded him about him thumb and finger picking style and he responded back with some good nature goofing of his own. Remember the tour before, 'There And Back', was the last tour that Jeff used a pick for more than a song or two and now relied on the thumb and finger style he had toyed with in various chickin' pickin' passages from various solos in the old Jeff Beck Group days. Karen said of the session, "I was on a high for about three days, seeing that Jeff Beck was one of my all time favorite guitarists." She did say though that the track was edited and 'the unedited version sounded better'.
If you play in sucession "Back On The Street", "Train Kept A Rollin'" from the 'Twins' movie soundtrack and "Wild Thing", you get the impact of Jeff having just come out of hibernation. As Jeff put it at the time, he wanted to come back 'busting out Hendrix style'. Unfortunately, not much from this era was ever released, just Flash.
Many thanks to Karen Lawrence and her husband Fred for making this story happen and good luck gigging in California.
Located in a mansion housing various suites of businesses, Jeff's two room offices were located properly enough behind the stairwell! Hah! Some of the topics discussed and Ralph's responses: The possibility if Jeff ever including bonus tracks of previously unreleased material on future projects; "Won't happen. Jeff is not into that sort of thing. He cares about what music is happening now."...About career choices; "The Arsenio Hall thing was a mistake. The type of people that watched that show were not ready for the type of material that was chosen ('Slingshot'). Something along the lines of 'People Get Ready' would have been much better."...About Jeff's 'Crazy Legs' project; "We wished Jeff would have done more of his own thing on that material but producer Stewart Coleman convinced Jeff to do it exactly as Cliff Gallup did. The outtakes from those sessions (We have one on the Sounds portion of this page.) were more interesting."... About Jeff's live performances over the years on bootlegs; "I'm amazed at the quality of all the Greek Theatre shows!"
I could talk for hours about how this is the most rockin' Jeff track I've heard in years or how he burps out yet another amazing volley of raw gut wrenching sounds and licks. All true. However, I think it most fitting to review this track about the most amazing rock guitar instrumentalist by way of something that Jeff has found little use for in his own recent career...lyrics...about the guitarist who put the 'I' in irony.
Oh I ain't greedy But you gotta see my point of view I was not born yesterday Don't you know I must have learned a thing or two But there's a man on the loose, baby An' he's all bad He'll tan your hide and give you what you never had They call him the guv'nor (God bless the guv'nor) He's trained to kill (God bless the guv'nor) Make way for the guv'nor (Make way for the guv'nor) Give yourself a thrill Look at the dude He's got the world, he's got it made He got attitude And he got a fist like a switchblade And everyone in the city Gotta play his game I don't wanna be a wannabe I wanna be it Wanna be the guv'nor (God bless the guv'nor) He's politically incorrect (God bless the guv'nor) Give way give way to the guv'nor (Make way for the guv'nor) You gotta show some respect Don't bother for a way to catch his ass The man is cookin' with a red hot kind of gas He'll play them hits electrifyin' Tear you to bits and leave you cryin', cryin', cryin', yeah So get ready for the showdown (Don't lose your head) If looks could kill we'd all be long long dead On account of the guv'nor Make way, make way For the guv'nor You gotta see that man Let's see some respect now....
We were so impressed by Brian's lyrics we've added some, hah! The following are uncopyrighted lyrics from us.
Are you listenin' Sony? Make way for the guv'nor Are you primpin' Sony? (God bless the guv'nor) Let's show some empathy for the guv'nor No more licensing problems For the guv'nor Whatever he wants to put out is fine God bless the guv'nor!
P.S. Brian May's favorite Jeff Beck track that spawned that whole phased Queen guitar sound was none other than the track that haunts Jeff even now...."And it's 'Hi Ho Silver Lining'"! Hah!
There lies the crux of what George Martin is trying to tell us about Jeff - that Jeff is one of the very few instrumentalists that has the ability to become a voice, a vocal for a rock song. That in turn continues to justify Jeff's indentity with rock. In an excerpt from the infamous Steve Rosen Beck book, George Martin writes in a letter about how amazing it is that Jeff can devote so much time to hotrods yet come in fresh to a studio, pick up a wooden guitar and make heavenly sounds come to life.
Oh, by the way, in case you decide to do a double take on the famous rising orchestra crescendo in 'Day In The Life', they are basically just Jeff!