Jeff Beck

ARTICLE ABOUT Jeff Beck FROM New Musical Express, May 27, 1967

Seen by many as one of the most talented guitarist in the world, he is up there among Blackmore, Zappa, Clapton, Page, Van Halen and other names you likely have on the tip of your tongue when you think of those extraordinary guitar-players. So it is only natural to publish this article from the early stage of his career with a man who is as active as ever these days!
Read on!


Jeff Beck not nearly so wicked as he thinks he is!

By Keith Altham

JEFF BECK gets a somewhat perverse satisfaction from having a “wicked” reputation in the pop business. At his best, he is a talented, guitar-perfectionist with a pleasant, conversational manner. At his worst, he’s an obstinate, uncompromising character who avoids doing things he dislikes by the simple expedient of walking out on them.
At “Top Of The Pops” last Thursday this contradictory character was walking about in a £400 wolverene fur coat from “that great land” (America), a pair of faded blue denims of no commercial value and a pair of basketball boots from Marks and Spencers, costing approximately 22/6. We talked about the allegation of his being unco-operative and his new role as arch-villain of pop.

Carrying a whip

“It sounds as though I should be carrying a big whip about with me,” smiled Jeff. “The truth is that I am now in a position for the first time in my career to make my own decisions. I’m free to play and do what I like, and I won’t be pushed into doing things I feel are wrong for me or the group.”
Is he not concerned that some of his attacks on the pop scene or even that his own hit, “Hi Ho Silver Lining,” might harm his progress?
“Let’s face it, there’s no glory to be made out of pop now in Britain,” said Jeff. “You have to go to America to find kids who are going to see you as entertainment and not as necessity. I get the impression in Britain that young people feel they must go to a club every night — they’re saturated with groups and pop music.
“I look back on some of the things I’ve said and been quoted in the papers, and laugh. You cant always be in a good mood. It’s the way I felt at the time. As for the disc, ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ may be a bum record for Jeff Beck, but it’s been good in other ways.
“It’s in direct opposition to all that publicity I got about being a fantastic guitarist only concerned with my music. I don’t want to be put in one bag or labelled.
“Look at Hendrix! Isn’t he a card? He’s the governor.” Jeff indicated a BBC-TV studio monitor on which the Experience were being screened. “Jimi’s only trouble will come about when he wants to get off the nail he has hung himself on. The public will want something different, and Jimi has so established himself in one bag that he’ll find it difficult to get anyone to accept him in another.”

Enjoys it

Beck enjoys his notoriety and the fact that no one really knows what he’s really like. He is, in fact, a capricious person who jumps from one idea to another on the happy assumption that if you shower someone with enough opinions they will be unable to separate the significant from the insignificant. It gives him a shell, a protective covering, into which he can withdraw in the event of attack.
He lives out in Sutton, Surrey, because it removes him from the immediate London pop scene and allows him to breathe in a more relaxed environment.

Dirty town

“When I climb in the bath after being up in town there’s a scum line round the side,” he confided. “I’m not a person who clubs about town. I don’t like it. I might go to the Speakeasy if I had to meet someone. To be honest I went there last week and actually enjoyed myself, but you still get the dreadful impression some of the people are permanently glued to their stools down there.”
When at home Jeff sits about and “thinks” or reads children’s books. He boasts the complete set of “Rupert Annuals,” “Brer Rabbit,” “Jerimiah Puddle-duck” and his particular favourite — “Tank Engine Thomas”!
“That’s my vocalist Rod Stewart’s favourite,” grinned Jeff. “He’s a a model railway fanatic. I phoned him up the other week and he said he was too busy to come to rehearsals because he was putting a coat of paint on his Great Western trucks!
“Reading these kids’ books, or the pre-1950 American comics like Dagwood Bumstead, is not as juvenile as it sounds. The books jolt your memory and take you back to feelings and experiences you have forgotten about. It can give you ideas for songs and compositions, for example.”
Apart from the children’s annuals, Jeff occasionally flicks over a sexy novel – at the dirty or dog-eared pages only` — or takes his Corvette Stingray out on to the M4 to see if anyone will take him on. He claims to be unbeaten so far.
“I drink on the basis of Dean Martin’s observation ‘that people who don’t drink wake up the next morning and feel exactly the same for the whole day.’ Sometimes I go to the cinema. I saw the ‘Professionals,’ starring Burt Lancaster and Jack Palance — a sensational film. You must see that.”
Future plans include a possible `live` LP and a visit to the Monterey Pop Festival in America. His ambition is to make some appearances in smutty ‘B’ films!
Jeff Beck is really nowhere as nasty as he would have some believe although he enjoys playing the notorious-guitarist role. Like any other independent and talented musician, he desires (and commands) respect, but he should be made aware that playing his kind of rules could lead to disqualification in a business where the key word for aspiring artists is discretion and co-operation.
I hope more people find him as I did — courteous, helpful and considerate.


If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
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ARTICLE ABOUT The A-Z of Heavy Metal FROM SOUNDS (Part 2), April 26, 1975

Here I continue what I started in my last post. Hope you enjoy it. These are the bands that mattered in 1975 when they spoke about “heavy metal”. I guess most people don`t call many of these bands “metal” in 2019.
Read on!


Rock from `eavy to `umble or
The Sounds A – Z of Heavy Metal

Compiled by Pete Makowski and Geoff Barton


Babe Ruth

`Eek! `Screech!` Closely followed by a dull `clung!`

Bachman Turner Overdrive

Heavy Duty Rock. It all started when Randy Bachman left top selling Canadian band Guess Who. He wrote their hits (e.g `American Woman`) and eventually decided to try his hand at solo albums and producing. He got together with another ex-Guess Who member Chad Allen and his brother Rob Bachman to record an album `Brave Belt`. Reprise were interested in the product but wanted a band to go on the road and sell it. So C. F. Turner was added on bass to complete a roadworthy line up. Allen dropped out of the band before the release of the Belt`s second album, another Bachman, Timmy, joined on guitar. They recorded their third album and left Reprise to join Mercury, Brave Belt III became Bachman Turner Overdrive. After two moderately successful albums Timmy left to produce and was replaced by Great Vancouver guitarist Blair Thornton. Things began happening and by the time of the release of their third album – `Not Fragile` – they were big business. Their popularity has even spread here (You Ain`t Seen Nothin` Yet`, `Roll Down The Highway`). Their music combines all the excitement of the world`s leading rock bands, packaged neatly into one tight commercial bundle.

Bad Company

Probably one of today`s most popular `commercial` rock and roll bands. They`ve hit the jackpot from the start with their single `Can`t Get Enough Of Your Love` and album `Bad Co` and second time round their album `Straight Shooter` is selling well. Stable mates to those `eavy boys Zeppelin, Bad Co is half of Free, Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) – the others Paul Kossoff (unemployed) and Andy Fraser (new band just formed) – plus Mick Ralphs (guitar) ex-Mott, and former King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell.

Jeff Beck

Beck can be as vicious as the heftiest of metallurgists, soft as a pigeon`s tail feather, depending on his mood, or his band, of the moment. Compare `Cause We`ve Ended Now As Lovers` with the savagery of his playing on the likes of `Plynth` (on Cosa Nostra Beck-Ola`) and see what I mean. Neither the Yardbirds (in which Beck replaced Eric Clapton) nor the brilliant Beck Group with Stewart, Wood and Waller was exactly heavy metal, but both were vital influences on the bands that made up the first division, first generation of the emerging muscular metal groups. Beck later joined Beck, Bogert, Appice, and joined the ranks of those who had followed on the lead of the old Beck bands. As usual, the results were sometimes spectacular, sometimes very ordinary. Beck quickly outgrew his desire to out-heavy the opposition, and moved on to more melodic and intricate music.


`Is Bedlam the new Cream` asked one music paper, well not quite, but Bedlam did revive a thrashing rock sound that was reminiscent of the late Sixties into a 70s package – a definite British sound that never quite made it. The band was formed by ex-Jeff Beck drummer Cozy Powell who along with Dave Ball (guitar), his brother Dennis (bass) and singer Frank Aiello produced one album.

Black Oak Arkansas

The blond and bleached Jim Dandy Mangrum and Arkansan cohorts are the epitome of American raunch and roll. The band started about 13 years ago when they acquired their first bits of equipment from local schools, `they just got off probation a couple of years ago. Their success is the result of solid roadwork and an exciting live performance. On record they seem to lack that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Their new guitarist, 20 year old So` Bean, could put a change to that.

Black Sabbath

Highly popular, originally black magic, now big league metal band, Sabbath are currently slightly more mature in approach than they were say, with their first three albums. `Warning` a track on their first album produced by Roger Bain is definitely recommended. Had a hit with `Paranoid`. Currently hibernating.

Black Widow

Came out at the same time as Black Sabbath but never quite made it. Their music was in the same genre and they took the whole Black Magic thing one step further by culminating the show with a mock sacrifice featuring chief witch Alex Sanders and his wife. Got a lot of scandal press coverage.

Blue Cheer

Probably the closest thing to a critic`s idea of a Heavy Metal band. This powerhouse trio were an American interpretation of the Cream and the Yardbirds? Their weapon was volume, energy and simplicity and in `67 they pioneered a style which has remained with us ever since. Their rendition of Cochran`s `Summertime Blues` was a Heavy Metal anthem, a classic, those bombastic powerchords, throbbing bass blues and battering percussion sent the message home. The original line up featured Paul Whaley (drums), Dick Peterson (bass) and Leigh Stephens (guitar). Stephens left the band to record some solo albums and was replaced by Randy Holden, this also marked the end of the band for most people. They never bettered their first two efforts `Vincibus Eruptium` and `Outside Inside`.

Blue Oyster Cult

Probably the most competent of recent American heavy bands. Undeniably derivative, the B. O`Cult are nevertheless great fun. Surrealist lyrics and Buck Dharma`s sizzling guitar are the two things that strike you immediately. Their current `On Your Feet Or On Your Knees` double album is the best live rock effort for years.

Edgar Broughton Band

From the Midlands, and regarded as outcasts even in their family life, `Them Broughtons` started a rock and roll band. They got famous for benefits and free gigs, for the People`s Music, for endless versions of tunes like `Out Demons Out` and `Freedom`, and they gathered an audience that included some of the most loyal and relentless head-shakers and shoulder-joggers known to the British concert hall. In some ways they were close to the Third World War kind of thing – Preachin` revolution if not violence – and they`ve had their share of busts and court cases. These days they`re more into mime and theatre than the star right heads – down – and – people`s – boogie number but the WEEMEENIT set is still strong and faithful.

Brownsville Station

“We`re just aiming for that great E chord in the sky”, says the Station`s outspoken guitarist / vocalist Cub Koda. It seems this bombshell trio found it. Their music is raucous punk rock, tight, jam-free. They scored with their teenage anthem `Smoking In The Boys Room` which also sold well here. Henry `H-Bomb` Weck (drums) and Michael Lutz (bass) completed the trio. So far they`ve had two hit albums in the States – `Yeah` and `School Punks`.


Loud three-piece Welsh band, first formed in 1968 when bassist Burke Shelley met one-time drummer Ray Phillips in a record shop. Their first album, released in July 1971, was produced by Roger Bain. Guitarist Tony Bourge pumps out a good bludgeoning riff, their numbers `Breadfan` and `Whisky River` are as good metal as you`ll hear anywhere. Phillips (now in a band called Woman) was replaced by Pete Boot (who has since joined Sweaty Betty) and the band`s current drummer is a guy called Steve Williams. Their fourth album `In For The Kill` just made the album charts last year. Their repertoire also includes numbers with eccentric titles: `Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman`, `A Crash Course In Brain Surgery` for example. Great stuff.





Beck, Bogert and Appice without Beck? Cactus were probably what Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice got together to flex their muscles before the formation of BB&A. Featuring Rusty Day (vocals), Jim McCarthy (guitar), they released three albums in this form between 1970 and 1972 then split. Another Cactus without the original core of the band (ie Appice and Bogert) appeared on the scene, which seemed a pointless excercise.

Climax Chicago

Out of the blues boom came a thousand bands, each one aping the city blues of America and few of them making big waves. Foghat were one (see below) and the Climax Chicago Blues Band, with the influences inherent in the name, were another. They played a lot here around 69/70, didn`t get very far, and eventually made a more than respectable living in America – easing off the blues pedal and doing that boogie-metal thing a bit more. Hence they dropped the `Blues Band` tag. It`s a familiar story.

Alice Cooper

Shockrock. The name was enough to confuse people. When Alice Cooper (alias Vincent Furnier) and his Detroit cronies (Glen Buxton, guitar, Michael Bruce, guitar, Dennis Dunaway, bass and Neal Smith, drums) appeared on the scene, no one was ready. They were so unpopular that their mass dejection inspired Frank Zappa to sign them onto his label – Straight. They released two albums, `Pretties For You` and `Easy Action` in `69, and they bombed miserably. It wasn`t until the band moved to Warners that they got the visuals of their act and the music together, this resulted with the classic `Love It To Death` album in `71, followed by US hit single `I`m Eighteen` which was proclaimed a contemporary to `My Generation`. Their show progressed from mere hangings to simulated mutilations as the years progressed, their music became more theatrical. They scored in this country with `School`s Out` in `72, followed by `Elected`. The band peaked with `Billion Dollar Babies` in `73 and retired from touring, and a year later they released `Muscle Of Love` which was the first album to receive mass appraisal on a musical level by the press. Again they remained static for a year, Cooper has returned with Lou Reed`s former band backing him and a new album and show (`Welcome To My Nightmare`). The rest of the original band, whose future with Cooper is still not definite, are in the process of recording solo ventures. Cooper`s antics have lost their initial controversial appeal. Although it`s equally theatrical, somehow it seems oddly normal in this day and age.


They came along at just the right time, they were (almost) the first, and they were magnificent. Three musicians from jazz, rock and R&B backgrounds who called themselves, and were, the Cream – the first genuine `supergroup`. In 1966 they came wailing out of nowhere with Jack Bruce howling `I Feel Free` and Eric Clapton doing things on the fretboard that most people figured was sleight of hand, while Ginger Baker`s restrained thunder provided an indespensable bottom. All of a sudden those twelve bar clichès were as viable as yesterday`s papers, and everyone craned their necks to see how long Cream could fly. It was 1966 the dawn of Flower-Power, `Revolver` had warped a good few minds and paved the way for further psychedelic excess, San Francisco was the new Liverpool, and Dylan had disappeared, for the time being at least. An audience and a generation of performers had grown through pop and wanted something more challenging. Cream gave it them in no uncertain terms. At the critical moment when pop was beginning to take itself seriously and call itself rock, along came three musical colossi, as it then seemed, who asserted without need of proof that you could play rock with all the passion and technical skill of any other music, and still create riotous excitement. Hendrix as an instrumentalist and Pete Townshend, for a while, were the only other people even in the running. Clapton, a blues purist until Hendrix opened his ears to flash and pyrotechnics, blossomed in Cream: on the old blues classics he wrought wondrous changes, and on Brown and Bruce`s originals he positively went into orbit. Bruce had a fluid lyrical bass style and a voice like a chilling gale. Baker, in the best performances he has given before or since, could even make a cowbell speak. `Fresh Cream` their first album, and the electrifying impact of their live performances revolutionised rock. They set the trend for extended soloing, which is fully explored in the live half of their double album `Wheels Of Fire`. A second album `Disraeli Gears` had appeared meanwhile containing classics such as the haunting `Strange Brew` and `Tales Of Brave Ulysses`. Tours of Britain and America followed and unanimous critical and commercial success. Then in 1969 always plagued by internal dissent, they broke up; Clapton to go to the abortive Blind Faith and then solo. Baker also to Blind Faith, then his ill-fated Airforce, and Africa for a long while before returning with the Baker-Gurvitz Army: Jack Bruce to various jazz outfits, and solo work again with poet Pete Brown`s lyrics, before a brief spell with Mountain`s Leslie West and Corky Laing, and now of course his new group with Carla Bley and Mick Taylor. For a while the Cream mantle fell upon Mountain who ploughed the Cream furrow until it was a highway. But Mountain were not alone; Cream made changes in rock that ensured it would never be the same again.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


Yes…I know. Even more Jeff Beck. But it`s just an extra – so don`t complain. There will be lots of other artists to read about later. And this article may be fun to read for all you guitarists out there.
By the way, I saw someone posting this on a message forum recently: “Listening to Jeff Beck makes you wanna look at your fingers and say, “fuck you”. LOL! I found it quite funny, as I know that feeling first-hand…!
OK – enough of me babbling away. Have fun!



…and you`ve got it! The secret of JEFF BECK`S technique, that is. When Mr. B. spoke to CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY he modestly declined to offer any further information on his guitar style…but when it came to guitars themselves the memories flowed free, right back to the time when he gave Jimmy Page an old Telecaster to help the kid out…

It is more than a trifle disconcerting to talk guitars with Jeff Beck. Compliment him on a solo and he`ll turn on the leer and mumble about how it`s “all bluff” or “tricks”. Ask him to let the world in on the tricks and he`ll look sulky and expostulate, “Give away my secrets? You must be jokin`!”
Ol` J.B.`s actually convinced that if he owns up to how he does all those legendary stunts, then everybody`ll be doing them and he`ll be on the skids.
Such modesty is quite charming, but unfortunately none too helpful. However, he`s more than willing to recount his progress from band to band and axe to axe, so pull up your chairs and listen eagerly (but respectfully) as Mr. Beck lopes down memory lane, going waaaaaay back to His First Guitar.

“I had one made – for five quid. It was `orrible. I saw a Fender on an album sleeve – Buddy Holly`s or something – and all I could remember was that it had a really funny shape and the neck was about three feet long.
“I drew out what I thought was a scale version, and this bloke made me a guitar that looked like half a pine tree. It had about four hundred frets and about four-foot cutaways, but it looked great.
“Also I used to borrow a guitar from a kid at school – he had this horrible cowboy-type guitar with black paint all over it. He painted the strings black as well, so I had to buy new ones.
“The first thing I learned to play was `Twenty Flight Rock`.”
When did you achieve some basic level of proficiency?
“Oh I never did that.” We`re talking about 15 years ago and nobody could play a note, so I was classed as a hero. I had no training, couldn`t tell a middle C from a B flat. That guitar of mine was diabolical. It was in tune around the E register, when you got up the fretboard to A it was recognisable as an A, but when you reached C it was way out of tune.

“It was really good therapy, because you`d ping around and you`d know that the 12th fret was supposed to be the same as the open string, only an octave higher, and I`d pull notes to bring it into tune – and that`s how I got into bending strings.
“The next guitar I had was a Japanese Guyatone – birdseye curly maple. It cost £25, and I chopped it in and got a Burns. I`ll always remember that Guyatone because it had a big toggle switch – and that was the business. It looked like it`d be more at home at a railway station.
“I made a case for the guitar, but I didn`t allow for the switch. I was about 1/8 of an inch out. I put the guitar in the case, slammed the lid down and pressed the switch right through the plastic. Broke the thing to pieces.
“So I stuck it back together with Araldite and went off to a gig. Stood at the bus stop and the guitar case fell over and did it again. Did the gig and it was all right, went home, plugged in and it just buzzed. So I stuck it back together again, painted it black and swapped it for something else.
“Oh yes – about that time my mate bought a Telecaster.”

Hey, things are getting interesting. Keep talking, Jeff.
“£107 it cost him. It was a beauty, and I was stuck with this bloody Burns thing. So while I was in the group he played the Burns and I played the Tele. The Burns wasn`t one of those filthy things with the long horns, it was kinda stubby – a Trisonic, with three pick-ups.
“It really bellowed. It had all these switches and knobs, and then I realised that a guitar like a Fender didn`t need all that crap. So I blagged him and borrowed the Fender, and he swapped in the Burns and got a Hofner Futurama. By that time there was no way he was ever gonna get his Tele back. That was MY GUITAR.
By this time, an early version of present-day Beckerama was indeed on the drawing board. “I was playing James Burton-y sort of solos. He was the guv`nor for that kind of sloppy, plunky chicken-bending stuff…”
“I used to idolise that guy. Used to slow down the records and listen to the way he played phrases.

“Actually I bought the Tele off my mate eventually – it`s the one that I gave to Jimmy Page. I used that Tele all through The Tridents” (the group he was in before the Yardbirds) “and I bought a Fender Esquire off John Walker of the Walker Brothers for £70.”
An Esquire, incidentally, is exactly like a Telecaster except that it only has one pick-up instead of two; the bridge (or treble) pick-up, which is by far the stronger and more responsive of the two pick-ups anyway.
“I liked that so much that I never used the Tele any more, and so when Jim joined the Yardbirds I gave it to him. I used the Esquire for the solo on “Shapes Of Things`. On that record I played rhythm guitar first and then did the solo. That great hangin`-out D chord at the end of the solo was on the rhythm track, which is why the tone`s so different. There`s no way you could switch from a slack-string set-up to that kind of power, so I had to re-string it.”
Apart from his early predilection for Telecasters and Esquires, Beck was probably the first guitarist I ever saw using a Les Paul – on Top Of The Pops, miming to “Shapes Of Things”.


“I had a Les Paul that I bought from a bloke in a guitar shop in Charing Cross Road. I can`t remember what I paid…£175 or £185. Whatever it was, it was a giveaway. It was brand new, so I think he must have stolen it or something.
“I used a fuzz-box in the Yardbirds – it was homemade by this bloke called Roger Mayer, who used to make `em for a lot of people. He made one for Jimi – one for Page. I think he works for the Isley Brothers now.”
Whenever you got a new guitar, did you trade `em off on different numbers or stick to the same one?
“I had two guitars, basically but it was a question of wanting to get used to a guitar and wanting to use nothing else. There was only a short period of time when I used to trade one for the other to get certain sounds. I used to like to get all the different sounds out of one guitar. As I was saying, Pagey joined in the last part of the Yardbirds, and I gave the Tele to him. He had a Dalectro which he`s sprayed pink or something. He also had a black Les Paul Custom, and I didn`t think it sounded very good, which is why I gave him the Fender.”

Beck used a Les Paul all the way through the group he had with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, but when he formed the “Rough and Ready” band, he was back on Fender – this time a Stratocaster.
“I`ve always liked the tremolo arm on the Strat, because when the guitar is destrung, you can depress a note nearly as much as an octave, especially the G string. If you know what you`re doing you can play a phrase up high, then push it down and it`ll still be in tune.”
By “De-strung,” Mr. Beck means using a 1st string for a 2nd, a 2nd for a 3rd and so on, substituting a banjo string for a first. What you lose in raunch, you gain in flexibility. To a certain extent, this method has been rendered obsolete by the advent of Ernie Ball`s superlight strings.
“God bless Ernie Ball. They`re all right, those strings, but they used to break a helluva lot. Banjo strings never break. This sloppy-string bit has got to go, because the sound of the guitar deteriorates appreciably. The body drops right out of the note. B.B. King uses stock strings,” (on a Gibson 335) “and the sound he gets is – for the volume and power, a Fender Strat just wouldn`t look at it. You get the level, but you don`t get the roundness and the push. That`s why I feel that I`ve missed out a bit on the semi-acoustic bit, because they`re so much more gutty.

So why not use one?
“They`re too cumbersome. I just can`t get on with them on stage. They`re just not comfortable. I like a guitar to sink right into my waist so I don`t even notice it. If I`ve jammed anywhere and used a borrowed guitar, it`s always been like wrestling with a tea-chest or something. Or a suitcase. They used to feed back terribly if you got too close to the amp, and it wouldn`t be controllable – whereas with a solid guitar it is.”
It was at this point that I decided to prise some of Beck`s secrets out of him, and get him to pass on his pet bluffs.
“I don`t want to show anybody how to bluff. Let `em learn the proper way. I don`t want a trail of people after me learning the wrong way. You want me to give away my secrets? There aren`t any. Just don`t take any notice of anybody who can play properly and you got it.”
SPECIAL EDITORIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: He`s only kidding folks…at least we THINK he`s only kidding.

“The best way to play is the easiest way. That way, you`re not cheating anybody, because you can overcome what may be cheating by just PLAYING. If it`s coming out of you, what the hell.
“I don`t like to use speed just because I can play fast. I mean, McLaughlin plays faster than I`ll ever play, and I can tell by listening to him that he can play a scale with about four flats in it and they say `drop out one of those flats and put a sharp in` and he could just do it, straight off without even practising it. I couldn`t do that. I can play my own stuff fast enough, but…
“I`m influenced by lazy guitarists like Steve Cropper, and by fast guitarists like Les Paul, so I`m right in the middle. I don`t want to become either too speedy or too laid-back. I just want to stay where I am.”


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Stacia (Hawkwind), Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jethro Tull, Pilot, David Essex, Queen, Deke Leonard (Man), Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Jimmy Savile, Herbie Hancock, Kevin Coyne.

This edition is sold!

ARTICLE ABOUT Jeff Beck FROM SOUNDS, November 23, 1974

I can`t resist the temptation of doing another Jeff Beck article. I don`t know if the Beck fans are more literate than other fans, but I always get a spike on my statistics for the blog when printing something about him. I just can`t resist those spikes – they are very addictive!
Jeff is quite the character – it is not very often that you see an artist being so critical of his own work – at the time not even released. I bet the record company were “happy” about that!  😉


Rob Mackie talks to the much misunderstood man – Jeff Beck

Shy guitarist, 10 years in pop combos, seeks funky musicians resident in England, and with non-inflatable egos, but…


The cosmic full-stop having finally been added to the two commas in Beck, Bogert, Appice, our Jeff has been adopting an even lower profile than usual. Recognising Jeff among the milling throng attempting to get close to the bar during the interval at the recent Billy Cobham/Average White Band concert, your alert fact-finding reporter inquired: “Er, what are you doing these days, Jeff?” He was greeted with the Great British Shrug, a well-known sign on the Highway Code of Non Interviewees.

Jeff`s been taking his time about things, doing his own album in his own time, and also breaking some new ground by producing an outside group for the first time – “much easier than producing yourself” – (Upp, who backed Jeff on the special guitarists` edition of BBC 2`s “Workshop”).
Beck remains a much-misunderstood man, a name to make cub-reporters and aspiring guitarists tremble alike with fear. Actually, he`s ah, ah, ah, ah, shy. Sympathy for the devil? Well if you saw Jeff play with Beck Bogert Appice at Brighton Dome during the last tour, and noticed that he didn`t once look at the audience, you might not think the idea quite so far fetched.


But, you may say, what about all those nasty things he says about everybody? And you`d be right, he`s not a man to throw compliments around, but then again, if you`ve talked to Jeff, you`d know that he ridicules suggestions that he`s anything special at least as often as he puts down other people. And he does, no mistaking it.
Basically, Jeff`s anti-show biz to the degree that he seems to feel a bit coy about actually saying anything nice about people, and just showbiz enough that he gets a giggle out of his Mean and Moody reputation.
It happens to be a fact that he had a longish, friendly chat with Rod Stewart recently after a chance meeting, but when you mention that Rod said in his interview in SOUNDS last week that their relationship was “better than it`s ever been” and that there might be a chance of the two of them working together again, you won`t get any of that “All friends together” stuff out of Jeff. He`s his own man, whatever else he is, and that`s part of the reason why he`s never been any bigger than he is in the gold album stakes.

Where other guitarists would be happy to get a few songs together, run off a few licks, and take the whole thing on an incessant tour until the next album, Jeff gets quickly bored, and once he gets bored he hangs back and gets unobtrusive, and then all those faithful Beck fans (whose existence he practically denies), who come along expecting “All that schizophrenic mad uncontrolled stuff” get disappointed and things start to crumble a bit.
Beck, Bogert, Appice? That was Jeff`s dream band back in the Mickie Most days, and if the band had got together when he first felt enthusiastic about the idea, it might have been the three-piece band to end them all. Some nights it came close, but the band took so long in actually becoming reality that I suspect Jeff`s tastes had moved on beyond that kind of music by the time it became reality.

During the tour, Billy Cobham`s “Spectrum” album became a kind of BBA anthem, permanently blowing out of Carmine`s cassette recorder (“the bible” as Jeff described it), and consequently, the music that the trio were listening to was increasingly departing from the kind of thing they were playing. So Jeff hung back and gazed at his feet, and Carmine effectively took over the group, doing the introduction and most of the singing as well as his powerhouse drumming, and the band as a whole sounded less unified, and a lot less interesting.
“Right. That`s it. He was the energy in the group, always a happy soul, and he kept me and Tim together longer than we would have done if it had been someone else drumming, but he didn`t have many ideas really that were usable, the material was sadly lacking, and rather than carry on with bum material and die slowly, I just quit. It was just a thing that I had to do, that BBA thing, to see what would happen, and I pursued it as long as I thought reasonable.”


Worthwhile? “Oh, yeah. I don`t think there was any time-wasting, really.” And yes, Mr. Stratocaster`s axe does fall a little bit on Messrs. Bogert and Appice; Carmine for dubious drum tuning, and Tim for his “unbelievable fetish for volume”. Again, Jeff adds that Tim was “doing on bass what I should have been doing on lead guitar”, so the criticism is really against what the band became compared to the high and definite Beck ideals.
But Jeff, weren`t BBA going to be the ultimate band? “They were the ultimate for that stuff, making a lot of noise.”
As often happens with Jeff, the departure comes with plenty of unreleased material left that way. The second-album-that never-was went through so much re-mixing and reshuffling, all to no avail. But there`s also a large amount of live material in the old baked bean can, and for a studio-hating live guitarist, it`s sad that there`s never been a live album that has showcased Beck live.

“A lot of people think the live tunes should be the next album, but that would be looking back. There are one or two things I wouldn`t mind being released, but they would have to be done right.” Naturally enough, he`s lost interest again, after all there`s a whole album since then, which he grudgingly admits is the first solo album, and even more grudgingly admits (with some persuasion from his management) he has had more control over than any previous album he`s been on.
The new album has Max Middleton, the keyboard man from “Rough And Ready” days. Philip Chen, bass player on just about everything British and funky of late, and drummer Richard Bailey, currently on tour with David Essex, and is produced by George Martin. From which set of names, I think you can take it that it will be more melodic than recent Beck records. But Jeff says it isn`t close to “Rough And Ready”.
“People might think that because of Max being on it, because he`s very forceful and very influential. I call him Max “Doorbell” Middleton, because he always puts in two notes that go “ding-dong”, and it sounds like somebody at the door.”

What is it like? Well, it`s almost entirely instrumental, and Jeff describes it as a mixed package. “There`s a lot of varied moods on it, and…I dunno. There`s not the magic that I wanted on there. It`s very hard to describe, but the album was under my control for the first half, and then there`s some stuff on there that I didn`t write and I had to be bribed and convinced that, that part was going to be all right. There`s some good and some unsuitable.
“There`s a shortage of good material now, and there is some good material on the album, and none of it`s bad. It`ll definitely be the best-produced album I`ve made, George Martin`s great, very level headed. Nothing impresses him.”
The album will again be with CBS, for whom Jeff is signed directly to America, and his relations with the company seem very good.

He`s still not entirely sure that the album is representative Guaranteed Genuine Jeff, and the next road band is going to be very different again from the studio one. Finding the right people is going to be very difficult, given that Jeff listens almost exclusively to black music.
Does he ever try and sound black? “No, no. I`m white…well, sort of blotchy. There`s no way a white group can sound black.”
The group? Well, he`s not going to go through protracted auditions, and he thinks most of them will have to be black, especially the drummer. “I think this`ll probably be the last band I`ll ever have, I want it to be exactly what I want. I don`t want four robots or anything like that, but not too big egos either.”

WHAT will be mine for a price?

WHAT will be mine for a price?

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Bob Dylan, Alan Price, Golden Earring, The Faces, Jethro Tull, Gary Glitter, Gary Shearston, Wizzard, Doug Kershaw, The Irish Question, ELP, Brian Eno, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


As I usually get a lot of readers when I print something with Jeff Beck, it is quite tempting to do some of the articles on him when I find them. He is a genius guitarist, revered by musicians and music journalists alike. He never compromises to the point that I imagine he would be a pain in the ass at a party among friends. Not because he is one, but because when you have a guy that can play just about everything on guitar among you, it would frustrate you that he probably would refuse to play those easy sing-along songs that you want to sing when you`re a little drunk. They would be too easy for him to play. And I guess it would be difficult for people to sing along to “Scatterbrain”. Even if it had lyrics.
Enjoy this interesting article!


Blue-eyed guitar-tormenter JEFF BECK of Egerton, Surrey, lists as his favourite leisure pursuits:
– though not necessarily in that order.
CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY likes hamburgers, Marvel Comics, and picking his nose – but BECK talked to him anyway…

A digestive biscuit is poised, somewhat uneasily, a few inches away from Jeff Beck`s celebrated nasty leer.
It exudes paranoia, almost as if it possessed some strange biscuity pre-cognitive factor which enables it to realise that it is only a few micro-seconds away from being engulfed by said nasty leer, never to be seen again in its present form.
The biscuit`s suspicions are, alas, entirely correct.
A few crumbs descend on to Mr. Beck`s Levis, narrowly missing the splendidly battered Stratocaster cradled on his lap as he sits equidistant from the beer-cans and the mixing desk in AIR London`s Studio 2 – where he`s skidding towards the wrap-up on Da New Elpee.
As the journalistic profession sidles in, he`s diddling away on the Strat and peering male-violently at a sheet of paper on which is scrawled a mildly intimidating chord sequence.

“I`ve got to play over that in 5/4,” he moans piteously. “And I`ve lost me bottle.”
He dumps the Strat in a corner, and starts playing back what he`s done so far.
This stuff, as it happens, is not the material that J.B. churned out while holed up in Escape Studios after BB&A splintered into three separate initials. That stuff is still on a shelf, seeing as how it`s extremely souly and requires “some decent lyrics and a wailing singer.”
This is All New Material, and the Mad Axeman is aided and abetted by Philip Chen (bass), Richard Bailey (drums), Max Middleton (things with keyboards on them) and George Martin (production and string arrangements).
All clear? Let us press onwards.

Since BB&A vanished off the face of the earth, Beck has been skulking a little.
Cornered in the Speak, he`d muttered something about his new stuff being “Far more adult than the stuff you`re used to from me” and similar enigmatic crypterama.
What he`s actually into is a Beckified version of the currently ultra-flash jazz-funk stuff that the likes of Billy Cobham and Herbie Hancock are peddling these days.
It`s not so much a new style for Beck as a different context. The settings are yerractual piano-whirlpools and ricky-ticky funk rhythm-section, but there`s scads of widescreen Beckerama in there as well.
To start in the strangest place, there`s a track called “She`s A Reggae Woman”, which is the old Beatles tune “She`s A Woman” done reggae style, with Beck slinging in the album`s only vocal – using The Bag. You know – the bag.
What`s in The Bag, Jeff?
“Awwww…the kids`ve sussed it anyway.”

Beck curls up in his chair grinning fit to split his face, pulling on his cigar and miming to various parts as they come out of the speaker, while Max Middleton leans over the desk plunking away on a kalimba (or “African thumb piano” as it`s sometimes known).
So let`s break the silence and let Jeff tell you all about what he`s currently up to (or “to what he`s currently up”, as academicians would have it).
“It was an accident, really. I never do anything intentionally. The basic structure of the album is an accident. I was playing around with a few lines – I played you one that was in 9/4 time, which was just a finger exercise. It was something that I could play very fast and by moving the figure up and down the fretboard and adding new chords, it became a tune.
“That was the first accident. My whole life has been an accident, but sometimes accidents can be quite productive. I wrote most of the funky things on the album, but three or four of them were written at the time of recording. We went into AIR armed with about three-quarters of the album.

“Max has done a lot of internal work with the album. I`d give him a melody line – like that 9/4 thing – and he`d go home and give it some chords. Or rather he`d lend them to me – they weren`t his to give.
“I`ve known Phil Chen for years. He played with Jimmy James And The Vagabonds, and he`s one of the few bass players from the old days who sprang to mind. I wanted somebody who wasn`t really blowing their own trumpet – as it were – all the time. He sits back and lets you play, which is good. Never interferes. Sometimes he doesn`t play enough, but it doesn`t matter.
“Max knew Richard. There`s a whole family of musicians who`ve been with Gonzales and other funky bands who never really made any noise, but there are a lot of good players there.
“He can play anything, and he never plays the same thing twice. His fills aren`t hackneyed. Some people are great in the studio, but you get it the first time and that`s it. If you don`t like it, you have to get another drummer. Richard listens to everybody else and decides what he can play to it. Most drummers learn the part, and then you have to play what they can play.

“Drums are a bastard thing to play. You can`t bluff on drums. You can bluff with a guitar – like I bluff all the time. Bass and drums are unbluffable. The bluffers in the business died off about eight or ten years ago. Bluff guitarists are going to be out of business soon – so I`m probably going to be looking for a job.”
Awwww, Jeff – modesty becomes you.
“I thought I was good until I tried to learn a part which I need for this album. I couldn`t put it together for the life of me.
“It`s a slow thing in five. I know I can play beautiful over it, but because it`s in five I`m having to think hard. But when you pull off a funny time signature, it`s not funny any more, it`s just natural.
“I wouldn`t want to do what McLaughlin`s doing and set out to baffle the musician: `Now, ladies and gentlemen, we have baffle the musician half-hour`. I`m not into all that – I`m not into surprising anybody. You`ve only got to listen to Billy Cobham to know what can be done with time signatures, and this is very simplified Billy Cobham.

“Jan Hammer is influencing me at the moment. It`s only a very crude imitation, but it is Hammer that I`m copying, because his synthesiser sounds like a guitar should sound.”
Yeah, well – it`s certainly conceptually different from all that kamikaze BB&A stuff.
“Kamikaze is exactly the word – it was the biggest fight in rock-and-roll that you could ever hear. We were grappling with an abysmal lack of material and lack of co-operation all round.
“I wouldn`t co-operate and play what they wanted me to play, because I had finished with that style a long time ago. They wanted me to tear my hair out and play the guitar until it melted. Everybody`s done that, and they do it as well if not better than I do it.
“I don`t want to fight my own instincts – I want to go off and do something that, even if it isn`t that brilliant, is at least different.
“That`s always been my policy: to bring to the attention of the public things that can be listened to and enjoyed.”

Mr. Jeff Beck

Mr. Jeff Beck

When BB&A went to the Great Motel In The Sky, it added mileage to the standard canard that Beck is such an intolerable bastard that he can never keep a band together.
“I have no pretentions about it; I don`t intend to keep any band together. That`s the most boring proposition that I can think of. I`m not hard to get on with, but I get fed up with playing the same old tunes every night time after time. Even if it`s a step down, if it`s different I`ll do it.
“What I`ve just done was a challenge. I`ve never done this sort of music before. I can`t shed my old style completely, because that`s me, but I can put it in a different context, which is exactly what I`ve done here.”
If Beck`s new material can be compared to any previous aspect of his work, it`s the “Rough And Ready” era, which he describes as “an irritating period to reflect on. I don`t like that period. I don`t like the BB&A period – but I played more arse-kicking rock in there than in `Rough And Ready`, although it was far less creative. BB&A rock is uncreative, self-indulgent noise, really.”
Yeah, but I kinda dug it for that very reason.

“The only reason it was valid was that no one else sounded like that, whether it was good or bad. They thrived on excess and over-playing. If you could zero in on the energy, you got the goods. Otherwise, it was a cacophonous nasty horrible noise.”
“It was because of that that I couldn`t go on with it. The noise was hurting me so much.
“It was my decision.
“I`d like to say that it just exploded like a bomb, but it didn`t. I just couldn`t go on with it. As I said, there was a sad lack of material, and that came about twice, when we tried to do two albums.
“Avid BB&A freaks may be interested to know that there are two full albums, which if I have anything to do with it will never be released.
“If you could have a referendum and ask `Do you want the BB&A album out` and 60 million screaming people said, `Yes, please`, then I wouldn`t mind. But it`s old news.”

Look on the bright side, Jeff. The new album could sell to a whole bunch of people who`ve never listened to you before, the quaalude kids`ll buy the BB&A live album, and the basic Beck freaks`ll buy both.
“There aren`t enough Beck freaks to keep me in readies, so I don`t care about them. I`ve got to think about the people who wanna hear music.
“If they`re that much of a freak, they`ll stick with what I`m doing anyway. If they`d dump me because of one album that they don`t like, then they`re not a fan. So I shouldn`t have to worry about them.
“I`m not saying that I don`t care, I`m just saying that I`m not worried about them.”
Referring back to Carmine Pizza`s interview a few weeks back, were there really bad vibes between you and Tim Bogert?
“I must say that when it came to me throwing bottles at Tim, there must be a bad vibe somewhere. That bit of roughness could maybe have been smoothed over. But, like I said, we did two albums, and there wasn`t one piece of music that I could listen to and say, `hey, that`s me`.
“When we weren`t fighting we were playing slush. There was a thing called `Laughalong`, which could have been done better by the Stylistics.
“What the fuck do I want with a Stylistics tune?

“I want stuff that enables me to roast on the guitar, but roast well, and not have to come out with all the old shit that people expect from me.
“You can keep up with the times as well as kick ass, you know what I mean?
“I hate to say it, but Johnny Winter didn`t do anything for me the other night, and I used to rate him. He came on, and I was so ashamed to be associated with that white rock music when he played. I don`t know why, `cuz it wasn`t that bad – it just sounded so old.
“Hendrix did it all.
“He closed the book.
“When he died, that was it.
“I don`t think Robin Trower`s playing valid music. It was nice, if you`re into reliving a bit of Hendrix, when he played Hendrix-style music with a little bit of his own flavour – but I just can`t listen to it.”
Do you miss playing live?
“No, I miss getting myself represented on record. If God walked in the room and said, `this record will be a million-seller here, and do ten million in the States – here you are`, and it wasn`t 100 per cent great, I wouldn`t do it.

“If I got a hit record, it would only mean trouble for me. It would probably elevate me to something I`m not, something that that I`m not capable of carrying out.
“If I had to go out and promote a gold album, the temptation to play every night would be great, and the temptation to go out and whore about and do everything there was to be done to make money and be a millionaire would be so great.
“I`m not into that.
“The thought of having millions in the bank is no security to me. The thought of working with good players is security. It`s easy to hurt somebody by saying, `you`re a has-been`, and it frightens everybody to be thought of as a has-been…
“And I`m not gonna be a has-been. I don`t care if I`m classed as one, I`m not gonna be one.”
Yeah, Jeff… remember those fa-a-a-a-bulous `60s?
“What was all right in the `60s? Nothing was all right in the `60s

“I didn`t have any money – and that`s not a contradiction of my last statement – and now I`ve got the money to exist comfortably. I`m not talking about the kind of money that`ll change your life-style whether you liked it or not. There`s certain things I like to be protected against – like not being able to afford electricity for recording.
“Music and cars and sex are my main driving forces, and that`s the way I`m gonna keep it.”

The charts  - November, 1974

The charts – November, 1974

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: David Coverdale, Beckett, Stan Lee, Alvin Lee, Rashied Ali, Can.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.