Jeff Beck
Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck
(born 24 June 1944) is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice. Much of Beck's recorded output has been instrumental, with a focus on innovative sound, and his releases have spanned genres ranging from blues rock, heavy metal, jazz fusion and an additional blend of guitar-rock and electronica. Although he recorded two hit albums (in 1975 and 1976) as a solo act, Beck has not established or maintained the sustained commercial success of many of his contemporaries and bandmates. Beck appears on albums by Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Morrissey, Jon Bon Jovi, Malcolm McLaren, Kate Bush, Roger Waters, Donovan, Stevie Wonder, Les Paul, Zucchero, Cyndi Lauper, Brian May, Stanley Clarke and ZZ Top. He was ranked 5th in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and the magazine, upon whose cover Beck has appeared three times, has described him as "one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock". MSNBC has called him a "guitarist's guitarist". Beck has earned wide critical praise and received the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance six times and Best Pop Instrumental Performance once. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: as a member of the Yardbirds (1992) and as a solo artist (2009). (Read more at Wikipedia)

Links To Peel 

As an avid fan of the Yardbirds - his favourite Yardbirds track was "The Nazz Are Blue" on which Jeff Beck sang as well as playing lead guitar - Peel was interested in musical pursuits of its former members including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. Indeed Peel, while working as "John Ravencroft" on KMEN in San Bernardino in 1966, wrote an article on Jeff Beck, then the Yardbirds' lead guitarist, for the station newspaper, the Kmentertainer. In it he praises Beck's "unique, almost frighteningly ferocious style". Peel also once described Beck as a guitarist who goes where others fear to tread [1]

On Radio London, Peel played tracks featuring the guitarist, including the instrumental "Beck's Bolero", his take on Ravel's popular classical piece, issued as the B-side of the chart hit "Hi Ho Silver Lining". He chose the single "Tallyman" as his "Climber" of the week beginning 2 July 1967, describing it as "a magnificent record" on the show of 01 July 1967. He also liked the B-side, "Rock My Plimsoul", more typical of the Jeff Beck Group's hard rock style and the first record Peel played to feature Rod Stewart, then lead singer of the group. As well as this, Peel first
BECK'S BOLERO (1967) by the Jeff Beck Group - with backwards guitar ending

BECK'S BOLERO (1967) by the Jeff Beck Group - with backwards guitar ending

Beck's Bolero

met Jeff Beck in London during the summer of 1967. On his show of 12 July 1967, Peel described how this happened:

"When I was in the Kings Road with Jeff Dexter last weekend, I saw Mick Jagger and Keith Richard. And I should have gone up and said hello and, you know, thanked them for being themselves and everything, on behalf of all the Perfumed Garden people – but I didn’t, because I was afraid they’d think it was a drag, you know, which it probably would have been actually, but anyway… And I think I saw Donovan too – I may be wrong – on Sunday morning on Portabello Road, which is like, you know, by no means impossible. And I definitely met Jeff Beck, finally. Great! And what a nice person he is too. Terrific person actually. You know, I am always terrified when I have to meet people, because I’m always afraid they are going to shatter whatever preconceived notions I may have about them. And perhaps it’s as well if they do. But anyway, Jeff Beck is a very nice person, and he went and got a copy of his record, which I didn’t actually have at the time, from the disc jockey at the Speakeasy – all the in places, certainly! So this is the b-side of his record, and it’s called Rock My Plimsoul. Clever play on words there, Jeff! Mmm, yes… Well, it’s very good!"

He mentions another meeting with Jeff Beck, at the Speakeasy ("which appeared to be hosting a hairdressers' convention") in the first of his Perfumed Garden columns in International Times of 31 August 1967. Yet for a short time, Peel became critical of Jeff Beck's post-Yardbirds work. In his column in International Times of 23 August 1968, he wrote:

The Jeff Beck LP, 'Truth', on Epic again, is full of neurotic, violent music. Jeff's guitar playing, since he left the Yardbirds, has always made me feel uneasy. It seems so tortured, wrenched out of supercharged equipment. This is a good LP if you're in the right mood, which I honestly seldom am, but there is very little lyricism or flow in any of the numbers. I always want Jeff to get over his hang-ups, whatever they are, because he has the invention and ability to do great things. "Beck's Bolero" (on the LP) is still one of my favourite things. (I've got to stop saying that.)

However, he still played tracks from the LP and its successor "Beck-Ola" on Top Gear, as well as the Beck Group's collaboration with Peel favourite Donovan on the singer's 1969 single "Barabajagal". The DJ was also happy to feature later records by the Jeff Beck Group, even after singer Rod Stewart left to join The Faces and pursue a solo career which would bring him fame. Peel also included material by Beck, Bogert and Appice, the band which was formed after Beck's group finally split up, and chose Jeff Beck's collaboration with Jan Hammer, 'Blue Wind', as one of his favourite tracks of 1977, making it number 26 in his self-chosen 1977 Festive Fifty. Much later, he played tracks from the guitarist's 2001 CD "You Had It Coming". After Peel's death, Jeff Beck  paid tribute to Peel on John Peel's Record Box, broadcast on Channel 4 in 2005.

Festive Fifty Entries


1. Recorded: 1967-11-01. Broadcast: 05 November 1967. Repeated: None

  •  I Ain’t Superstitious / Beck’s Bolero / You’ll Never Get To Heaven / You Shook Me / Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever 

2. Recorded: Unknown. Broadcast: 29 September 1968. Repeated: 03 November 1968

  • You Shook Me / Shapes Of Things / Mother's Old Rice Pudding / Rock My Plimsole

3. Recorded: 1971-12-14. Broadcast: 14 January 1972. Repeated: 11 February 1972

  • Going Down / You Shook Me Up / Got The Feeling / Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You / Ice Cream Cokes

Other Shows Played

(The list is incomplete. Please add further information if known)

  • 28 May 1969: Plynth (LP - Cosa Nostra Beck-Ola) Columbia EMI
  • 20 July 1969: Spanish Boots (LP - Beck-Ola) Columbia
  • 07 January 1972: I’ve Been Used (LP – Rough And Ready) Epic
  • 07 January 1972: I’ve Been Drinking (b-side of single Love Is Blue (L'Amour Est Bleu) EMI/Columbia
  • 01 February 1972: Situations (LP - Rough And Ready) Epic
  • 22 February 1972: I’ve Been Used (LP – Rough And Ready) Epic
  • 31 March 1972: Ol' Man River (LP - Truth) EMI Columbia
  • 09 May 1972: Glad All Over / Going Down (LP - Jeff Beck Group) Epic
  • 12 May 1972:  I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You (LP - Jeff Beck Group) Epic
  • 16 May 1972: Ice Cream Cakes (LP - Jeff Beck Group) Epic
  • 23 May 1972: Going Down (LP - Jeff Beck Group) Epic
  • 20 June 1972: I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You (LP – Jeff Beck Group) Epic
  • 30 June 1972: Going Down (LP – Jeff Beck Group) Epic
  • 18 August 1976: Jailhouse Rock (album - Beck-Ola) EMI Columbia
  • 19 August 1976: Hi, Ho, Silver Lining (single) EMI Columbia (JP: “Never fails in discos even today…I recently spent a lot of money on buying a 3-LP set of Beck, Bogert & Appice live in Japan and rather wish I hadn’t actually, because the vocals are quite appalling. But from the LP that they made in the studio, this is ‘Why Should I Care’.”)
  • 19 August 1976: Why Should I Care (LP – Beck, Bogert & Appice) Epic (as part of Beck, Bogert & Appice)
  • 19 August 1976: Led Boots (LP - Wire) Epic


'Blue Wind', #26 in the 1977 Festive Fifty

  • 28 July 1977: Blue Wind (LP – Wired) Epic
  • 26 December 1977: Blue Wind (LP – Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group Live) Epic (with Jan Hammer) FF #26

See Also

External Links

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