March 1999 To August 1999

Welcome To The Village

We figured it would be a relevant thing and less confusing if we started an Issue #6 than ramble on in Issue #5. Jeff is getting into a brand new revved up mode and so are we. Besides, if we kept rambling on, some of the 'Thank You' credits would become most bizarre. The massive market of the internet combined with Epic's sudden mega support of Jeff provides us with the opportunities of a lifetime to accomplish several things. First, at the risk of sounding like a skipping record (or CD I should say), we have to reach out and communicate with every known link to Jeff's recorded past to help further research that area. Secondly, we need to document this set of tours and related media and pool all material into centralized Jeff Beck fan websites. That means we need each and every one of you to help. No press clipping is too incidental to send. No commentary of a live tape and/or performance is too insignifigant to inform us of. Finally, we have a responsibility to act prudently when publishing or posting anything on the internet regarding Jeff Beck. He may say that he's detached from all the sideline stuff that celebrity status spawns, however, look at who may be watching??.. Who Else?

And now on a take off of 'The Prisoner' (which Bill and I are also major fans), and their '#6'....


'Who Else?' - A Review For The Fans

There are two ways you can look at the title of Jeff Beck's decade long anticipated Lp. One, is that it's a spoof as if Jeff pumped out so much material all the time that sounded alike that people would listen to it and go 'Yeah, that's Jeff alright, hear him all over the tube and radio, yeah, who else'. Since we know better, the second way is much more politically correct and appealing. That is that who else could blend techno live drumming with diversified cultural wailings from places such as Bulgaria and Arabia and still manage to pulloff sweetness and emotion from every breath and yet all in the name of rock and roll? Who else indeed...Jeff Beck.

The sendoff to Cozy Powell, "Another Place", is 'definately maybe' a 2 box Kleenex experience as is the reworked and renamed Euro and SA tour masterpiece "La Veranesse" now called "Angels Strut". The tempo is slow and deliberate and Jeff mixes different finger, hand and slide techniques soaring off into the heavens with ecstacy. Not to go soft on you, Jeff is heavy handed with such things as the Jan Hammer penned "Even Odds" and the single from the Lp "What Mama Said". A funkier and more deliberate "Even Odds" on the Lp is exact and to the point yet allows Jeff to roam subtlety and over the top at points and the melody line from the bridge is most memorable. It should be noted that Jeff was stressing that this time around there had to be a lot of melodic content and that he didn't want just another shred groove without redemption. That's why he chose to start from scratch and basically ditch the fun stuff he did with Steve Luthaker last year. The single, "What Mama Said" is basically the Euro/SA tour "New Tech". Inserted for fun, airplay and uniqueness, a dialogue bit from the old sixties comedy movie "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in which Dick Shawn asks about 'What Mama Said'.

"Brush With Blues" gets it's own paragraph. First of all it is a first. Jeff has never put a live track before on a planned (contract fulfilling, hah!) studio release of new material. (Anyone emailing about "Blues Deluxe" from 'Truth' please take two steps to the rear. Also, BBA Live In Japan, w/Jan Hammer and Beckology don't count.) Secondly, if there is a live blues track out there that is more genuine and heartfelt than this one I've yet to find it. Remember part of the beauty of this number is that is is not classic twelve bar but an interesting art-deco-club-jazzy blues with a twist...and a roar. Final bonus is that it is from one of the last three German gigs, so it is a different version than the German video we all have (or should).

Before we launch the new JB record into outer space, I pay homage to my personal favorite on the Lp, "Space For The Papa". Hints of 'Guitar Shop' and 'Stand On It' aside, I didn't think from the live shows that it would be my first choice but as in many cases, going back to read the book after you've seen the movie can be very rewarding. While some of the previous live versions provided much room for experimentation after Jennifer Batten counted down and launched the spaceship Jeff, it's obvious that in this version, recorded during a soundcheck at one of the last three German dates last summer, that Jeff spent a good deal of care with the fingerings and slides and bends on this particular tune. Each phrasing rings out in it's own bold and unique style. Perfecto.

No master is complete without his support. No one is adept as at writing offbeat time signatures that can blend into rock n' roll as Tony Hymas. He's the big brother part that keeps challenging Jeff to come out with daring cutting edge stuff that makes a who else rather that a who cares! Since Jennifer Batten has been on the Beck scene, unheard of things are happening in Jeff's career. He finally came out with a record. He's behaving himself with the other half of the odd couple (Sony). He's playing better than ever before. He's doing extended touring. Who knows, maybe he'll even consider getting Rod to come onstage at one of his show's for an encore. (Rod will be in Toronto on a day off when Jeff plays there we have learned.)


Some Jeff Beck Poster Art

From time to time we come across or are sent some nice Jeff Beck poster art. Some of it appears in other place on the page but here we've put all we got together for your perusal.

This first three comes courtesy of Michael Einhaus. Michael says both of the Fillmore posters are available in the U.S. at Artrock in San Francisco or Psychedelic Solution in New York City. Thanks again!

The Fillmore West, July 23rd 1968 with Moby Grape.

The Fillmore West, December 5th & 6th 1968 with Spirit. (I got this one too, my big sister bought for me in '69 from a shop in Cambridge, Mass. BA)

Frankfurt Kongrehalle, Frankfurt Germany April 8th, 1972 by German artist Gunther Kieser.

A nice montage a fan made of European Tour stuff.

A '98 Tour poster from Germany.

A South American Tour poster of the Free Jazz Festival in Brazil.

A '99 Tour poster for San Diego, CA.

A poster for the upcoming '99 Japan Tour.

A poster for the '89 Jeff/Stevie Ray Tour.

A poster from the Grande Ballroom, Detroit, MI

A poster for Jeff Beck & Zephyer

A poster for Jeff Beck in Houston

A poster for Jeff Beck & Willy Porter at the 9:30 Club

Who Else? And Tour '99 Press Reports

We'll be adding and updating as we get these in....stay tuned for the lastest.

'99 Tour Reports From The Fans

We'll be adding and updating as we get these in...stay tuned for the lastest.

A Jeff Beck Webpage's Tour '99 (Boston And New Orleans)

  • Dick Wyzanski.....The House Of Blues, New Orleans, LA - April 6, 1999.

  • And this is Bill here, I'll put in my two bits in parentheses so you know when I'm talking.

    Wondering where I was going to see Jeff Beck on this tour, I pondered my options seeing there were no immediate southeast venues. Washington, opening night? Been there done that and besides what if a late winter storm came up? Boston or NY? Same possibility plus son's baseball scheduling conflicts. So I sent Bill up to Boston to get the old Boston Tea Party 68 -69 delegation from Marblehead together to storm Jeff at the Orpheum (yeah, about twenty of us, see above)while I plotted a strike from the rear guard in none other than a birthplace of the blues, New Orleans.

    New Orleans is rich in Jeff Beckology. Wasn't it here that he did his old mate Kim Gardner that '74 Badger favour? Wasn't it the New Orleans group The Meters that wrote the funky 'Cissy Strut' that Jeff got hoodwinked into recording during the infamous "music from rippoffsville" Free Creek sessions? And lords of the house wasn't it indeed here in New Orleans in '76 on my birthday December 8th that Mr. Beck, after having falsely started 'Earth Is Still Our Only Home' that he stepped up to the mic and confessed "I've f * * k e d up the itinerary folks!"? Or - was that it was the shortest drive - about 10 hours!?

    After several frantic calls to London (God Bless You Teresa), Ralph Baker phoned me on the Thursday before the show and it was 'Oh When The Saints Come Marchin' In' all the way to Vieux Carre. Being a glutton for punishment, Bill joined me as the family and I picked him up at the airport Monday night. We checked into the St. Louis Hotel, about a 5 minute stroll from the House of Blues. The only bad omen, the local French Quarter voodooers were able to whammy on us was the news that the next day (on Tuesday) there would be little or no phone service due to computer upgrades so as it turned out our planned lunch liason with Jennifer Batten never materialized, although she later told us that she did in fact leave a message. This hex however was immediately overturned by the fact that just as we turned the hotel TV on Mark McGuire hit his 1st home run of the season. Oh boy! (Yawn) We were in for a great show! About noon the next day as Bill got some much needed shut eye, (hey, I was out first night in the French Quarter.)I went down to The House of Blues to reconoiter . The semi rig which was to have started unloading around 10AM, looked like it had just dumped it's payload. I walked over and shot the chalkboard HOB marquis and then inspected the freight.

    Chances for stand up comedy abounded here as witnessed by an equipment box fashioned like a coffin that was marked RIP, and a roadcase marked Simon Phillips! Hah! Venturing inside the club, I introduced myself to production manager Mike M. who was very pleasant as were all the staff at HOB. We all went back around 2pm to take some photos of the stage setups. Only managing a few shots due to the hectic late nature of things, we were greeted by Ravi who is Jeff's stage production tour manager and also responsible for the rather humorous set list name changes during the summer '98 Euro tour which we published back in the 7/28/98 What's New. He told us to stop back later. I asked if they were doing a soundcheck and his reply was a shrug and an "I hope so!."

    Back to the hotel (could have used a bit more sleep), a quick (by New Orleans standards) bite at TGI Fridays ( yeah, I know it's touristy but Bill did have Jumbalaya) and back to the HOB around 5ish. We sauntered back into the club to bass lines from Randy Hope Taylor and some opening bytes of 'Star Cycle'. We were greeted by tour band Mr. 'make-it-happen' Al Dutton. "Hi Dick Good to see you. Listen, Jeff isn't having ANYBODY in at the soundchecks on this tour so could you come back in a while. We of course said no problem and went down to the corner pub to sit it out for awhile amidst repeated juke box takes of 'All Along The Watchtower' as if Jimi was smiling down at Jeff from Heaven, Across the street was a midget beckoning in tourists at what turned out to be the place where Jeff and the band had gone the night before. It's owned by Levon Helm (The Band)(it's called Levon Helm's American Classic Cafe) and his band was playing there. A few more minutes and we saw Al come out of the HOB and was joined on the street by Jeff's manager Ralph Baker who I had not actually seen in person since the '89 Guitar Shop tour. After they had gone away and then came back we made our way back to the venue and asked for Ralph. Smiling and upbeat he came out of the club and chatted with us for about half an hour. Before we had a chance to begin our first conversation, an autograph pro came up and approached Ralph to which he held the line Jeff has been saying all tour. "Jeff's not signing any more guitars period! We asked how things were going and Ralph indicated the show and the audience receptions had never been better. He was bothered by the internet however " Not you guys (nodding to us) but there's too much misinformation and security leaks going on. Anybody can write anything they want and sign a name to it as if it's so. Jennifer is really upset about it." I interrupted him to say that we had already asked Epic pull some bad stuff off their message board to which Ralph responded "yeah, I'm going to have a little talk with Aaron (Epic) on Monday." Yeah, I told him we had a guest book on our page for a while and although most of the people were polite and had something intelligent to say, the few morons made the whole thing a pain. He also recounted an incident at the Dallas airport where they switched planes only to find out that fans and autograph pros had found out and were waiting for them.

    We told Ralph that the Rolling Stone cybercast was owned by an outside company so the archives for it aren't available yet to which he responded "Good!" After telling him that we were feverishly trying to keep up with all the media reports on Jeff this time around Ralph responded that it was all because Jeff did what he was supposed to. At one point Ralph said, Jeff literally spent a whole week at the office fielding phone interviews from the press. Of course right afterwards he kidded us that we didn't have the days USA Today on us which had a thing on Who Else? Jeff of course. The only question of import that I can remember asking Ralph was what was happening after this tour, "We know he's going to Japan in May that perhaps some European dates in July? We heard something was already announced for Paris in July." I said. Ralph answered, "No, after Japan there are no plans for Europe but rather the possibility of more U.S. dates in the summer." "Will it be a 'shed' tour like in '95?" I asked. "No, we're going to try and book venues and places Jeff hasn't been before, we really want to attract the adult comtempory market and get some airplay and we don't think we would get it with those venues." With an everpresent professional manner he indicated that it was time for him to go to work and that although it didn't look like there was going to be time before the show to take more stage photos and chat with the guitar tech ( A new to Jeff guy who had worked with Clapton and had done Jennifer's guitars on the 98 shows by the name of Dan,Dan The Guitar Man) that we could take some quickly after the show. Ralph noticed the rather heavy bag I was carrying around ( My Beck bag full of archives as well as presents for Jeff and Jennifer) and offered to take it up to the dressing rooms for me which was very nice. (Ralph I hope it didn't drag you down on the way up the stairs! Hah!) As he was disappearing from site he did mention that they were adding two more dates in Japan and that the US again was a good possibility for July - places they missed this time around like Florida as he winked and laughed. We were told that the passes for the evening had not been made out yet so we waited a few more minutes to nail that situation down. Just then Jeff darted out of the entrance, quickly waved hi to everyone, did sign a CD or two from fans on his way to the waiting limo. A rather hurried lady walking up to me asked me if I was Dick Wyzanski and after I nodded stuck her hand out and said "Good to meet you finally after all the letters (calls) and emails. I'm Jennifer." She wanted to stay and chat but was whisked into the limo and off they went for awhile. I did get a quick hello from Jennifer too, she recognized me from Boston and I was able to give copies of the three photos of her and Jeff seen above.

    At 7PM the family and I went up the stairs at the musicians entrance to the hallway lounge outside the two dressing rooms - one for Paul Thorn, the opening act, and one for Jeff and the band. This was a SMALL club and walkspace was at a premium . After securing a photo pass for the HOB which was no easy task as it took the intervention of Jeff's people to get it, Bill decided to take the ground floor while I opted to hang out upstairs as my son HAD to stay there (drinking age laws) and my wife was getting aquainted with Paul Thorn's girlfriend who was very amicable and talkative. About 8:15PM Paul went onstage and his girlfriend let us into his dressing room which was very strategic because it had a direct entrance to the balcony area and it had three swing out windows located directly over the stage. Both Bill and I were able to get a good shot of Jeff's band setup from that vantage point behind the main stage curtain. Paul Thorn is a very funny guy. He weaves awkward relationship tales and dirty ditties around some simple but effective acoustic blues and relates to his audience (and Jeff's) very well . After a 45 minute set, he was off and the crowd started to roar. I was off out Paul's door to the balcony area and climbed down via my photo pass to the VIP seating (the only seating in that club) area. A very nice local gal let me take her stool for photo positioning in trade for some photos (thanks Melanie!) No waiting. No nonsense. This wasn't Jeff Beck slithering onstage after some preplanned lenghty show intro. Bang . Jeff and the band took the stage together and within seconds were grooving heavily into 'What Mama Said'. These guys are for real. Their rythyms are as tight as the Meters ever were. Jeff's sonic blasts were mixed perfectly from the start and Thank God Showco decided to have mercy on this 1000 person at the most club. Loud enough for the groove Jeff wants but not earplug loud. Jennifer's fingertaps were as purposeful and audible as her performance on Letterman. Ditto for Randy's finger poppin and Steve Alexander's frantic and raw drums.

    I kept looking down at the front row of squashed guys leaning up against the stage. You could tell they were all guitar players and were constantly smiling and shaking their heads knowingly at every move Jeff made, especially during 'Psycho Sam' as Jeff did the slide whistling technique for the first of several times that evening. No matter how many times you hear 'Brush With Blues', every true Beck fan gets that tingling down their spine and what more fitting venue to hear it in than the House Of Blues. 'Savoy' is always one of my favorites and again the mix was just right to hear the full spectrum and bite of Jeff's rockabilly chords and Jennifer's frantic Tony Hymas keyboard run done to the "T". After every number Jeff wanted to come to the mic as the ovations were tumultuous but except for once stopped just short of it. Always living on the edge, Jeff played around with some new inventive hi-lo licks on another old crowd favorite 'The Pump'. Several times during the show, Jeff showed his appreciation to the fans by letting them strum his guitar strings for a second and throw his slide to the crowd which actually had to be done several times as it kept bouncing back onstage! 'Blast from the East' and 'THX 138' have finally become dynamic showpieces instead of the jams that they were during their formative phases during the South American Tour. Especially noticable were the tinny rockabilly sounding 'Blast from the East' stacatto notes played by Jennifer. No one can milk an audience like Jeff Beck. Every pause and sustain on 'Day In the Life' was wrung out to the fullest by Jeff the master. Whether It was that or the surefire high wails of 'Syreeta', or the angelical high slides of 'Angel Footsteps', or even the nice Steve Alexander keyboard touch combined with the Jeff sustain of 'Declan', it's the slow stuff that gets me the most. His Strat speaks. He simply is Who Else. Some people have knocked 'Even Odds' as a filler track but at this show Jeff played it with a vengence reminiscent of 'Rice Pudding' or 'Plynth'. 'Even Odds' segued into 'You Never Know' and what a change of pace. Randy got into a funky groove and Jeff just started churnin out the groove . Tradeoffs were really what the tradeoffs should have been like more often when Jeff had Tim Bogert to play off of. And let's not forget Jennifer as her solos during this and 'Blue Wind' demonstrates why she belongs in the same breath with Jan, Tony, And Jeff.

    Who says Jeff doesn't resort to the past. 'During Space For the Papa' he blended in a tease of 'Beck's Bolero' and during 'You Never Know' he did an entire slight return verse of The Beverly Hillbillies Theme! The end of 'Blue Wind' brought the band together as Jeff motioned up to the balcony as well as the floor and introduced the band. After the crowd had become hoarse, Jennifer and Jeff came back on for 'Where Were You' which is the standard for what soft guitar excellence is all about. Jeff didn't bat an eye as the first pull of the six note impossible harmonic/bend/sustain missed slightly. He repulled and had a perfect execution. That point in the tune has become almost the same as a figure skater trying to pulloff a quadruple axle. All the guitarists in the audience hold their breath at that point and thank god it's Jeff and not themselves up there. The final encore 'Big Block' was a vehicle for Jeff to just lay back and squeal every concievable sound out of his cream Strat in that hard drivin Texas style drivin Delta rock. The crowd wanted more but the 'You Never Know' jam lasted so long that there was no more time and the road crew quickly dissassembled all the equipment. It was time to move on to the celebration.

    And for the record, the HOB setlist:

    Jennifer was the first one to come out of the dressing room. She is so down to earth, happy and energy charged. She posed for endless pictures and chatted with my wife who is from Colombia, a place where Jennifer has been but the band didn't go to on their tour. She told Jennifer we would send her a record from two indian guitarists los Dos Tabajares who play such fast clean acoustical stuff like a Chopin valse that it would be good to practice with. Bill had Jennifer write down some technical music notes. When I saw Jennifer she thanked me again for the pix and I gave her a picture of the two of us taken in Boston (as above) for her to autograph for me. Then I asked her if she could write on the back of the picture the chords to that turnaround in 'Brush With Blues'. She said, "Sure, do you play guitar?" I said, "Yeah, a little." She said, "You know, they're not chords but two note things." I said, "I know the tune is in Bb, but you tune down to Eb so your fingerings look like you're playing in B...could you write it out for those notes?" "Sure, here." She wrote the notes on a staff they were D/B, D#/A and E/G. I said, "I noticed a lot of monitor wedges on the stage this tour, is Jeff using in-ear monitors or just the wedges?" "No", she said, "no in-ears just the PA monitors and those Marshall wedges for his guitar."
    Jen and Dick
    As a note of interest in the above pictures you can see Jeff's Marshall wedges in the middle of the stage as well as eight PA monitor wedges. In the back check out the reverse headstock Strat. I asked Jennifer whose's that was. "That's Jeff's backup backup guitar if something happens to the other two." For the HOB show Jeff used the one JCM 2000 DSL head with two bottoms as you can see to the right. In Boston there were three bottoms on the stage. During teardown I found out why, behind the two bottoms there were two spare Marshall heads on the stage. "Jeff is using 50 watt heads" I asked, "not 100's right?" "I think so" answered Jennifer. The only effects are the Boss chorus (or is it a flanger?)you can see and the Marshall channel switcher. "Jennifer, when I was in Paul's dressing room looking down at you during the show I saw a pedal thing with the names of songs on it", I said. "Yeah, those are patches for the different songs" she said. Well around this time Jennifer got pulled away (I think by Dick) and I saw Steve Alexander coming down the hallway. I said, "Hi, nice to see you again" and gave him a picture I had taken of his mother and Jeff backstage in Boston. He was shocked, he said, "Oh my God, that's me Mum!" I think he thanked me three different times that night, not being modest here, it was a very nice picture of Jeff smiling and shaking hands with her. I think Steve must be from the north of England, maybe Scotland he has a northern accent almost a brougue. Next up I ran into Randy Hope-Taylor who had just come down with a cold. "When did you get that cold?" I asked. "Oh last night." he said. "So, I noticed you've got a David Eden rig." "Oh yeah I love it" he said. If you can see in the above picture, Randy is using two 4X10 David Eden cabinets and two David Eden rack heads. "And what about your bass?" I asked. "Oh thats a Modulus. Basically it's the 'Flea' model that I had them build me a few years ago with a few extras." It is a pretty impressive sounding setup!

    Randy H-T
    By this time a crowd had gathered in the hallway as there was no room to walk. Al Dutton came up to me and gave me the first (turned out to be the only) honor of coming back to see Jeff in the dressing room. "Let's get you back , Dick, to see Jeff before he takes off". I didn't spot my bag in the room so I asked Alan to find Ralph as I was starting to panic. "No need to worry Dick, Ralph's around here someplace." I bided for time in the room by listening to Randy tell Jeff about a '54 Les Paul that he knew of . Jeff didn't believe him and Randy had to assure him that it was real. At that point Jeff looked in my direction and in the biggest smile let out a big loud DDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!!! We shook hands and I thanked him for a great show. I asked him if he had got the video outs I sent him of the 'Heirs to the Throne' video with DJ, Scotty Moore and Ronnie Wood. He said that he had. I laughed how funny it was about Scotty half kidding that he'd like to break Jeff's fingers. Jeff picked up on that and put on his best old gruff Tennessee accent and bellowed, "Yeh Break his f'orkin' fingers. Break his f'orkin' fingers . Yeah, that session was great!" Not to let Jeff think that I was out of touch, we started discussing the new CD. I said that it was a good move to extract the melodies that were worth saving and present them as such while taking the weaker melodies out of the groove stuff allowed the groove stuff to be presented as such. I mentioned how the syncopated 'Train Kept A Rollin' intro to La Varonesse ( NOW Angel Footsteps) was confusing and Jeff agreed "IT didn't fit did it? and then added "Its like putting those few bars of 'Bolero' in ('Space for the Papa') we tried to put more of it in but the rythyms don't match." Timing is everything in life and at that juncture my wife, son, and Bill came into the room along with Alan who yes, had my bag thank god. As I fumbled around the bag, my wife gave Jeff a big hug and Bill started talking to him. I pulled out Jeff's gift, a hard cover recently published encyclopedia of American Hot Rods and gave it to him. Jeff was floored as I explained to him that a fan (Eric Mirell) had sent it down to him through me. He clutched it and didn't let it out of his site thereafter. Then I pulled out my promo copy of 'Who Else?' for him to sign. Then we had some mutual fun. " Jeff, I had a really tough time getting this you know ." "I know all about it " Jeff said. "I know you know all about it" I replied. By this time we were in each others face laughing like two schoolkids trying to outdo each other. "Well I didn't get my copy till way after Christmas" as he had the last word. I showed him a Polaroid of Jennifer she had taken of herself with a Yardbirds shirt on and playing a miniture statue of a Strat. He laughed and then beamed. Yeah Jennifer, she's the backbone of this band you know! I couldn't let Jeff go without asking him for something so I asked him to get his friend/confidant Peter Richardson to give us a copy of the theme to the British comedy "Heavy Metal Glam Detectives" which Jeff plays on but doesn't play on the CD released version of it . "I've got that. No problem" Can you get it to Ralph to send to me'" I asked. Yeah, no problem Dick.

    Jeff and Dick

    When I first walked into the dressing room it was maybe two minutes after Dick did, I was still talking to Randy. First thing as I entered the door I noticed this buffet table to my left. Besides the usual fruit and breads and crackers were two bottles of Moet champagne. (I'm pretty sure Mimosas, orange juice and champagne, are the official drink of this tour I always see Jeff drinking one and this time Jennifer was having one as well.) First thing Jeff did as I walked in was to walk up to the two bottles of Moet and in perfect Austin Powers form said "Hello boys!" Hah! When Dick and Jeff were talking about Jennifer I mentioned that you really can't tell the difference between having Tony on keys or Jennifer doing the Midi thing. "And how she does that really fast ascending keyboard riff from 'Savoy' it's just incredible." "Yeah", Jeff said, "And the audience can see her doing it. That's a disadvantage for keyboardists, the audience never sees any of their fingerwork." "Of course unless they were playing one of those remote keyboards strung around their neck like someone you used to play with" I said. "Oh yeah, well I think he wanted to be a guitarist sometimes" he laughed. "Yeah, I know" I said. "I saw Jan once during a solo tour. He was running his synthesizer not through a keyboard amp or the PA but through a Marshall stack." I tell you though, it sounded great. Anyway so as always I ask the important questions. I already knew the answer but I wanted to hear if from the man. "So, that isn't your dog in the CD booklet?" "No, we were doing the shoot on this street and someone had that dog and the photographer said 'Hold this'". The next question I asked was, "Have you ever sold any of the cars you've built." "No", he said "I just build them to give me something to do." I realized then that maybe he thought I asked the question that if he sold the cars for the money but I said, "Oh no, I was just wondering you know, how cool it would be first to be able to own a rod like that and on top of it be able to say 'Oh and by the way Jeff Beck built this car'". Oh no", he said, "I've never sold any of the cars I've totally built, they have too much sentimental value. I have sold cars though that I've bought and maybe done a few things to. You can't keep too many cars garaged up in England...they tend to rust quickly."

    Jeff and Dick's family

    Al started herding everyone out of the room and Jeff followed. A rather large gentleman reporter type shoved his recorder in front of Jeff and asked him about his blues influences besides Buddy Guy. "Earl Hooker, Earl HOOker!" Jeff said. ".. and Elmore James, and Pop White . "What about Muddy Waters?" someone asked. "Yeah, Muddy Waters!!" Jeff answered. The next question was a trivial session question about the Sgt. Pepper sessions. Jeff was asked what he played on it. He said he didn't remember and started to look towards me. I took the cue and said "Don't ask him, ask me. I said "Jeff played only a few bars on "You Only Give Me Your Money" Jeff did manage to come back at that point with I remember fainting there...( We'll research that one at another time) Al reminded the gentleman that it was relaxing time not interview time and the interview was over. Jeff started forward and greeted the rest of Levon Helms band that had attended the show. As Jeff was getting past the narrow hallway Jennifer shouted out fittingly," Hey, some space for the Papa! Hah! I bolted down the stairs to say goodbye and thanks to Ralph. Meanwhile I heard that Jeff turned to my wife and said Adios in her native tongue which was a nice gesture. Ralph assured me that the agent Mitch was seriously looking into coming back to Florida and some other US areas in July and wished me and my family a safe journey home. The House of Blues had become truly for one night a House OF Jeff Beck Joy....................................DW Had a great time too...everyone couldn't have been nicer and I've got to get back to New Orleans and stay longer!

    Collector's Corner

    It's been awhile since we've had anything to do a proper Collector's Corner. Fortunately all that has changed with a rash of treasured finds. This is partly due to the resurgence of Jeff's career. Also, people that have been sitting on tapes for years realize that even Jeff isn't immortal and that it might be nice to get some audiophile quality stuff out there from the past. Specifically, we will delve into an August 1968 show featuring the original (commercial) lineup of the Jeff Beck Group from, that at the time was a mecca for vacationers and hipsters, Miami Beach, Florida.

    The show starts off with "Let Me Love You". Having been on the setlist for over a year, although changed rhythmically since the recording of 'Truth' earlier in the year, Jeff's treatment of it on this reel to reel soundboard recording is given with menacing growls and a lot more action on the lower frets of his Les Paul that on previous efforts. Next, we are treated to an Elmore James classic "I Can't Hold Out" that Jeff had not done onstage since the summer of '67. Filled with generous slide runs and wails, the guitar/vocal tradeoffs......'talk to me baby'.......between Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck are priceless. B.B. King's "Sweetest Little Angel" ends with Jeff ad libbing up and down the neck with barrages that are much the same way he would for that tune at the September '68 BBC session a month later. "Jeff's Boogie" is flawless and featured a full 8 bars of silence (Hah!) and Mickey Waller's 'Jump Jivin' style swing drum accent which has become the trendy thing once more thiry years later.

    Introducing the whole band one by one, Jeff calls bassist Ronnie Wood 'a really sweet chap'. Hah! "Shapes Of Things" is up next as Jeff carefully explains to the audience that it wouldn't be the same as the Yardbirds' number. Here Ron and Mickey turn up the heavy bottom and illustrate just why it was so pleasing to have had this recorded on a decent reel to reel. Experienced collectors know what Ronnie's Plush amps did to pre-Walkman desktop style cassette recorders. Although once during the performance Jeff had said to the audience, "It sounds like a library in here.", by now everyone was clapping and gave Jeff a chance to have some fun with them to end the first set. "This ain't no birthday party but this tune kind of goes along with what you're doin'" (clapping). Folks at this juncture were treated to Jeff vocals extrodinnaire! Hah! as "Hi Ho Silver Lining" parties along to a rare if not unique conclusion - Jeff reprising the chorus on his axe at the end of the tune not once but twice, first down low and then up high before the symphonic crash ending. Realize also that other than the Shrine L.A. show in September '68, that this is the only other American show that we know of on tape that even had 'Hi Ho'.

    What a sight it must have been during that brief 2 month American tour for audiences to see the beginning of the 2nd set with Rod Stewart onstage furiously strumming a twelve string guitar to the opening of "Beck's Bolero"! Jeff's lines were purposeful and majestic and the ending was abrupt just like the Lp version (yes I know REAL collectors have the US flip to 'Hi Ho' with the inverted Bolero mix ending). "There's an Andy William's (60's middle of the road TV star and crooner) number for you" Rod laughs at the end of "Bolero". Albert King's "Oh Pretty Woman" is reprised again as Jeff hadn't done this one since Aynsley Dunbar left the group in '67. An intro announcement for "Mother's Old Rice Pudding" is the intro to the highlight of the whole show, the live debut of 'Rice Pudding' in it's original funky wah-wah jam form as witnessed on a more polished version on the BBC a month later. Ten minutes of spontaneity and Jeff introducing Mickey Waller as a 5 foot 6 inch powerhouse! Staying with the wah-wah theme, the band gracefully slides into "Morning Dew". The number is done to the T according to the Lp and the dynamics go from soft to loud and back and bring down the house.

    "The Sun Is Shining" is as perfect here as it is on the 4 track Bill Graham FM Fillmore Broadcast. Inventive high blues licks from Jeff dot the whole number. Raising the tempo a bit towards the finish of the set, "Rock My Plimsoul" ends with classic Rod/Jeff tradeoffs and even gets a little syncopated in one-upmanship. "I Ain't Superstitious" is the show finale and gets the audience fully involved with clapping and cheering. This tape is a must for any serious Jeff Beck collector. And Jeff, since you recently said in an interview that you wanted to do a heavy remake of "Hi Ho Silver Lining", if you want this live copy to take ideas from - well, you know where to find me...Hah! DW6

    Thank Yous...