Jeff Beck, his guitars, related stuff & advert for the MLP Jeff Beck Social Group

Discussion in 'Fender' started by planks, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    http://www.ainian.com/

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4EBBPOr2no[/ame]

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuzqjAQK4LY[/ame]

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wg-9WrMxf8[/ame]
     

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  2. planks

    planks Senior Member

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  3. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    Q/A: Jeff Beck talks about his amps, effects and more;

    BluesQuest.com: Well, the sounds that you come up with are just mind-blowing sometimes. I don’t even understand where the tone is coming from. You don’t use effects?

    Beck: All I’ve got is an A/B switch, a single switch, which kicks in the distort channel. It adds some level and distortion. The other position is off. In other words, it goes to a clean channel. For certain things where you have chords in E, you can’t have too much fizz. And for clean…some figures that I play, little chops, they’re like early Stax soul, like Steve Cropper. And he would never use distortion. A lot of people think that Jimi (Hendrix) used a lot of distortion, but a lot of his records are very beautiful: clean, pure tone. Although he’s got the power and the sustain, it was clean.

    BluesQuest.com: What amps are you using these days?

    Beck: I’ve just got one head. One JCM 2000 (DSL50) head. As long as I spend time dialing in sound through the side fills on the stage, and give the front of the house guy plenty of time to dial out the nasty fizz, it’s been fine. Although I am going to change up and go back to all four cabinets and two tops (after the B.B. King tour), ’cause that’s not for B.B. They went berserk on me ’cause it was too loud on stage at one point. And I just went, ‘OK, if I turn it down, I don’t get the fatness and the importance of the sound. It just disappears into a country sound,’ (laughs) which is fine if you’re playing country. But if you want powerful attack to replace a 20-piece band, you need to be louder. Have the capacity to be loud.

    BluesQuest.com: So you don’t use a wah pedal or anything?

    Beck: Yeah, I’ve got a Snarling Dog wah. That’s a radical pedal. I mean it’s one or two steps further than any wah pedal ever known. It’s got an active circuit, as opposed to just a battery-powered toggle pot. So it kicks in a lot more dB and a lot more sweep and a lot more depth variable in the wah-wah itself. You can preset it so it won’t take your head off, which is good. I’ve seen guys play it in a bar where it’s time to leave the building.

    BluesQuest.com: So that’s it then. Everything else you’re doing with your tone and volume knobs?

    Beck: I’ve got a chorus, a flange-chorus thing for one bar in a song which has like bell sounds in it. But that’s it really.

    BluesQuest.com: What kind of chorus is it?

    Beck: It’s a Boss pedal.

    BluesQuest.com: Just a little box? A CE-5 or something like that?

    Beck: Yeah. There might be an octave thing in there, ’cause I have to take over the bass line of a certain part where Tony is soloing. I have a dual guitar stroke, octave lower bass sound for that. But that’s only in there for about a minute.

    BluesQuest.com: And speaker cabinets, you’re using one or two?

    Beck: Just one with two mics on it.

    BluesQuest.com: With some of the stuff you do, you get the most killer tones, and you’re jumping around with different riffs and tones so quick, I just can’t understand what you’re doing. You play with your fingers, right?

    Beck: Yeah.

    BluesQuest.com: So where is this stuff coming from? How are you hearing this stuff? Do you sit down and jam with these tracks for a long time to come up with what you really want?

    Beck: Yeah. Oh yeah. I do that in any case. I think with music, ’cause nobody writes songs per se, you can turn instrumentals. We’ll start with just a click track and a guitar and I just try and inspire myself and those who work with me. We get the sickest sound, and we get a loop of that, and we build it from nothing, like a grain of sand. And we try and put a shape to it.

    BluesQuest.com: And then what happens when you have to go out and reproduce it live?

    Beck: Forget it. (laughs) That’s when you find out all your sins come back to you. We can do it, but it does take a lot of commitment. And a lot of boring moments, you know, when there’s a certain sound on the record that has to be there, and you can’t do it because you’re going through a different circuit, or whatever. So then you have to adapt. You have to find something that does work, otherwise you’d be bored stiff after two or three days. The stuff we play is definitely high-wire stuff – no safety net.
     
  4. Ride on a Pony

    Ride on a Pony Senior Member

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  5. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    Jeff Beck talks about Hendrix, Clapton and Page;

    ...Beck is one of the few guitarists whose name, back in those guitar-obsessive days, as much as merited mention within the same breath as Jimi Hendrix's. Beck's feelings about Hendrix range from respect for his talent to amazement over his lingering myth and legacy. "The fact that Jimi was cut down so early, to have that suddenly ripped away is such a downer. It was such a jolt, an instant hole his death created. He wound up becoming canonized, and now he's sort of the presiding spirit and leader of the guitar-god image. "I remember jamming with him at the old Scene Club in New York. He whispered so much when he spoke and talked in code a lot of time. But we didn't have any problems communicating musically. He was a jam fanatic and I wasn't, but he'd get me up for it whenever we shared the stage." On the ultimate guitar-nut stoner hypothetical: Hendrix vs. Eric Clapton: "Hendrix was more of a Buddy Guy type, more of a blues player, and then just when he convinced you he was a bluesman, he'd rip out incredible power riffs. I think Eric's more of a riff king, while Hendrix took more outrageous risks, which Page, myself and Eric didn't tend to do. You're talking about a black blues genius compared to a bunch of white heavy rockers. "The white players of that era have a tribute-like, almost reverent tone to their sound. There's an attention to detail, an overly clean sound, that usually distinguishes them. Even by Cream, I was hearing a very controlled quality in Eric's playing."
     
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  6. NoStatic

    NoStatic Banned

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    I saw JB quite recently and he was using well more pedals than that- although he used them very sparingly.

    I remember years ago seeing an interview with Jeff talking about Hendrix. Jeff was filmed in front of a huge English country manor house. He said wistfully (and think Nigel talking about life after rocknroll -"maybe i could sell shoes. Would madam like that in blue") he said..."I could 'ave been Jimi 'endrix..."

    I was struck by Christopher Pines genius.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    He-he. That's a funny one. Great quote.
     
  8. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    Beck talks about other players and his influence on them (interview,1989);

    Do you have any feelings about Satriani or any of the newer players?

    Jeff Beck: Yeah, I think they’ve perfected their style and that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I just wonder where they’re going to go musically. Not just technique-wise because they’ve done that. A lot of solos I hear sound so incredible, but they sound like somebody practicing. You know? They sound a bit soulless – fiery, but at the same time, lacking in spirit and soul.

    Do you think that players in the '80s, in 20 years time, will have made as big a statement as the main players from the '60s did?

    Jeff Beck: I really don’t know. That all depends on what happens to the main body of their music. If it’s cherished the way '60s music seems to be, if there’s that nostalgia, then in 20 years they’ll look back and say, “Listen to this.” But my theory is perhaps not because there’s such similarities among the guitarists.

    At the end of the day, there are a hell of a lot of notes being played out there and I defy the average middle-American or the average punter to differentiate between them. When you sit down and really listen, then you can obviously tell who’s got what chops going. But they play so fast and hammer-ons and all that, it’s got to the point where the human ear can’t really receive that information at that speed anymore.

    Is that whole style, hammer-ons and all, just something that’s never interested you?

    Jeff Beck: Always sounds a bit comical to me, it does. It’s like a lunatic flea jumping up and down the thing (fretboard). I’m looking for something much more aggressive, nastiness, in the playing. Having said that, I’d love to have that dexterity, but…

    Can you hear the influence Blow By Blow and Wired has had on some of these flea-on-a-fretboard newer players?

    Jeff Beck: I am a bit guilty of not possessing those records. I do hear snippets on the radio. I do hear a little bit of me, sometimes great chunks of me. But I have to take that as a compliment; there’s no way you can get sour grapes about that. But if somebody starts taking your whole new thing lock, stock, and barrel, and do their own version of it before you do it, that’s not on.
     
  9. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    About his reasons for playing mainly instrumental music;

    Was instrumental music, then, truly your first choice about the style you wanted to pursue in your life?

    Jeff Beck: I’m not saying that if a great singer walked in the door I would say, “Get out of here.” It just hasn’t happened yet. The record business has made them like scurry down the rabbit hole; they all go for the same tunnel. “Quick! Let’s get in this tunnel and go down there with everybody else.” They have to get a gig and it doesn’t seem to me I’ve heard any extraordinary or original talent.

    There’s Terence Trent D’Arby and Simply Red, but they’ve gone ahead and made the effort and made themselves a name. Why bother with singers when it’s going well from the guitar side of it? I want to be able to bow at the end and not have the singer steal the moment.
     
  10. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    Talking about guitars, amps and effects used on "Guitar Shop";

    What type of amps did you kick on this album?

    Jeff Beck: For starters, there aren’t any pedals other than a Rat (distortion) pedal. There’s a Fender Twin and Fender Princeton on 90% of the album. And I did use an (Alesis) Midiverb. I do use studio outboard gear, but I wouldn’t use any pedals. I used a (Yamaha) Rev 7 just to give it some wash behind the guitar. We went through a few gizmos, but we ended up axing it. It was just nonsense. I did use the Marshall for the blues; I couldn’t see playing a hundred-mile-an-hour heavy thing without that combination of a big stack of Marshalls. It wouldn’t have worked out on a Fender Twin. I think the Marshall was a 100, but the tops are so beat up and they don’t have any badges (insignias) on them. They could have been 200s, but my feelings are they were 100s. I have about twelve tops and I can’t really tell them apart; if they sound cool, I don’t care.

    You’ve never really been one to fool around with gear, have you?

    Jeff Beck: No, not interested. Obviously I’d like to plug into an amp that made me sound good (laughs).

    And, again, the only guitars you use are…

    Jeff Beck: Seymour’s Strat and a ’54 Tele. And there’s an Eddie Cochran-style Gretsch on the “Savoy” melody. It’s a big, semi-acoustic kind of orange-maple color.

    [Writer’s note: Earlier in the conversation Jeff had mentioned using a Jackson guitar on the album as well. If he did indeed use a Jackson, it is one of three Soloists given to Beck by Grover Jackson between 1984 and 1986. Grover, while obviously uncertain about the exact guitar, feels it is the instrument with the three single-coil pickups and a Floyd Rose. Beck, according to Jackson, hates Kahler units. This is the guitar Beck plays in the“Ambitious” video.]
     
  11. sapi

    sapi Senior Member

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    Thanks a lot for the posts, JB is one of my very faves. I guess he's still using gain from an amp, vs a pedal these days?
     
  12. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    About the "Crazy Legs" album, guitars and amps (interview 1993);

    'For 'Crazy Legs' I used a Gretsch Duo Jet - I knew Cliff [Gallup] used one 'cause there's quite a good picture on the sleeve of the album 'Blue Jean Bop'. At the time it was a mystery guitar because you couldn't see the headstock so there were all these rumours flying around about what it could be. Once we'd established it was a Duo Jet we made inroads into getting one. I bought a totally wrong one - a '63, which is now sitting upstairs in my attic. Someone said the one to get was the '56 Duo Jet so I asked for one with a fixed arm Bigsby, only to be told that they don't exist. I kept looking and now I've got two - one with a swivel arm Bigsby, which I used on the album, and one with an original fixed arm factory fitted Bigsby, which I got after the album. When I got the fixed arm guitar - by golly! - it was a lot closer to the Gallup sound. I don't know whether it's the resonance through the Bigsby arm or what, but it seemed far closer.

    'Before we recorded the album I put a new set of strings on thinking that was a good idea but I was getting a lot of string whistle. If I rolled off the top to get rid of it then I lost the tone so I sent my roadie out to get some flatwound strings and he thought I had gone mad! So I got a flatwound third, fourth, fifth and sixth and instantly that was the sound with no whistle. I don't know the gauge but they're thick [a standard tapewound set of 11, 15, 22, 30, 40, 50 according to Jeff's guitar tech]! I used a Fender Bassman reissue - a nice mellow low end and a piercing top end - why they call it a Bassman when it's got such a top end I just don't know! I borrowed it from the Fender Sound House.'

    'I used my own signature Strat for most of 'Frankie's House', playing with my fingers again - after doing the Gallup stuff with my fingers I feel totally schizophrenic. I used a Telecaster for 'High Healed Sneakers' - I had a great time playing slide on that, just in standard tuning with slightly raised action. I have tried other tunings but I always get mixed up! Sometimes I like to try different guitars but I usually think that if the Strat doesn't work then there's a big problem. The Strat is such a versatile instrument it fits most situations - if it doesn't work then the problem is more likely to be a technical thing. Then the Tele does another job altogether - it's amazing how Fender could make such a radical instrument as the Strat then come up with a Tele [sic].

    'I used a Fender Reissue amp which has since been stolen and a DigiTech GSP-21 Legend. I tried a whole lot of effects but the DigiTech was ideal because there were so many inspiring preset tones - as well as a lot of silliness! We modified the presets but it's good to see what someone else has come up with first - otherwise you can spend weeks experimenting with delays or whatever.

    'I have 44 guitars. Unfortunately, 40 of those are crap! Well, perhaps not crap but a lot of them are prototypes that didn't quite work out. I've got a few vintage instruments but nothing like Dave Gilmour's collection. I've got one prize Fender that was given to me by the late Steve Marriott - a '53 or '54 Strat that looks like it should be in the V&A.; It's got a seasoned ash sunburst body that has cracked due to age and it weighs a ton. It looks just like the Buddy Holly Strat. At some stage when I wasn't thinking too clearly - mid-tour I think - I was getting a lot of feedback so someone kindly unloaded the original pickups and I don't know where they are. I've also got a '54 Tele which I love to death and never breaks strings - it sounds beautiful!'

    Jeff and his guitar tech Andy Roberts often experiment with different necks. 'Jeff's got a lovely old 1960 mustard yellow Strat but it's not the original neck,' says Andy. 'He'll change necks from one guitar to another to see if it performs any better - he usually does it to put on a thicker neck. Another interesting guitar he's got is the dark brown/black Les Paul Standard he used on 'Blow by Blow', serial number 27048. It's been refinished and I suspect it was originally a Gold Top that had the P45s replaced by humbuckers. Jeff's got one other Les Paul which is from around '58 - a lot of Jeff's guitars are difficult to date exactly because they've had different necks put on them.

    'The Telecaster he used on 'Frankie's House' is a dirty white colour from around 1960 - again, it's got a different neck on it! He acquired that from Seymour Duncan and he's using now it when he gigs with the Big Town Playboys for [Freddie King's instrumental] 'The Stumble'. Sometimes we'll set it up for slide, other times we'll have it set for regular playing - it depends what Jeff feels like on the day. He's got quite a few prototypes for his Signature model Strat, all with pretty thick necks. I think if Jeff could have had a tree trunk for a neck he'd go with it if it could be kept in tune!

    'One of the prototypes has Hot Rods hand painted on it but I don't know whether or not it will see the light of day. Another prototype has got Little Richard's name carved into the body - he's very proud of that. He's also got a Jackson Soloist with Tina Turner's name curved into the body - they make a non-matching pair!

    'When we go into the studio we'll take a selection of guitars and amps but nine times out of ten he'll use a Jeff Beck Signature model and a Fender Twin Reverb - The Twin. At the moment for gigs with the Playboys he's using a new Bassman and no effects - the man's like a walking effects unit anyway!'
     
  13. cynic79

    cynic79 Senior Member

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    I caught one of his shows on Palladia recently and really enjoyed it. My wife caught some of it and even though she doesn't know much about guitar (she plays piano and clarinet), she was blown away by his technique.
     
  14. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    There is a bit of info here;

    -i- The amplifier you used was Marshall JCM2000 ?
    -j- Yes it was. I love it because it's an well-balanced head-amp. It has a tolerance for noises. We don't have to play with the full volume like we used to do, because the monitor system is much better today. JCM2000 has a lot of variations in channels of Overdrives. This is a big difference from the old Marshall. It's good to have 2 channels.

    -i- What kind of effectors do you use in that gig ?
    -j- On some verses in one tune, I used a Ring-Modulator. That's all.

    -i- Was your guitar a Stratocaster that you always use these days ?
    -j- Yeah. Fender Custom Shop model, white. Maybe the 1989 model. It's a Jeff Beck Model ! And another Strato, and one more Strato, that has completely different tunings, to use in one tune.

    -i- Your guitar sound is mid-boosted and fat these days.
    -j- I expect to play a sound that's trebly and bright. Preventing the guitar sounds from hiding behind the other sounds. It's so hard to play beside the amps that has too much bass range. When I stand somewhere like that, I cannot catch a mid-range and a high-range. Certainly, I always want fat-sounds or thick-sounds. So I can never see a gig by the band whose guitarist makes just high-pitched sounds.

    -i- Do you make your own sounds by the amps ? And how do you control the knobs ?
    -j- I cannot explain about it because the settings of the amp are always changing. But, basically, the amps' knobs are fully opened, and I control the sounds with the guitar's volume knobs and my fingerings. Actually, it rarely happens to touch the amps on the stage, only when the troubles happen. My sound-engineer, Johan, from South Africa, doesn't do anything with EQ that I don't expect. All he does is to turn up the volume when I play a slow tune.
     
  15. Nigel Tufnel's tech

    Nigel Tufnel's tech Senior Member

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    "I have 44 guitars. Unfortunately, 40 of those are crap!"

    :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:
     
  16. sapi

    sapi Senior Member

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    I think one of the Marshalls on 'Ronnie Scotts' looks like a Vintage Modern. The others look either old, or reissues.
     
  17. Nigel Tufnel's tech

    Nigel Tufnel's tech Senior Member

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    Its a reissue i think going by the size of it,

    Jeff's #1 Strat has a Basswood body for anyone interested.
     
  18. Ride on a Pony

    Ride on a Pony Senior Member

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    Wow, isn't it a custom shop job? Probably the only basswood body they've ever done. :hmm::laugh2:
     
  19. GibsonByBirth

    GibsonByBirth Banned

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    Who else but Beck has Strat and LP signature models?
     
  20. planks

    planks Senior Member

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    Snip about his recent 'chopped of finger' accident, vocal vs. instrumental, and the brand new "Emotion & Commotion" album;

    During the making of his new album, Emotion & Commotion, Jeff Beck suffered an accident with potentially fatal consequences for a rock guitar god: he chopped off the top of his finger while slicing a carrot.

    “It was a really non-glam event,” he says. Squeamish readers, look away. “I only noticed it when I put it under a tap, there was this chunk hanging down. I thought, at least it’s joined on, so I folded it back and then I just temporarily lost it. I crumpled to the floor and thought that’s it, I won’t be able to play again.” A surgeon sewed it back on, but he had to finish the album using just three fingers on his fretting hand. “There’re a couple of dodgy solos in there,” he laughs.

    Happily, the mutilated digit is now fine: he unfurls a long finger to show me. We are in his manager’s offices in central London; Beck is up visiting from the country estate in Kent he shares with his wife Sandra and his fleet of hot-rod racing cars. Unexpectedly self-deprecatory for someone who ranks as one of the most important guitarists in rock’s history, he sounds surprised when I congratulate him on Emotion & Commotion, his first album in seven years. “You enjoyed it?” he says, doubtfully. Later, he jokingly likens it to the contents of his wastepaper basket. It is hard not to suspect self-sabotage might be part of Beck’s make-up.

    Now 65, he cut his teeth in the British beat boom of the 1960s. His break came in 1966 when he replaced Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds, the groundbreaking blues-rock band that remarkably also launched Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page on the world.

    Of the three virtuosos, Clapton and Page went on to greater success, but the more adventurous Beck has proved just as influential. In The Yardbirds he pioneered an aggressive, distorted style that inspired psychedelic rock and has influenced several generations of guitarists. His solo work has been astonishingly eclectic, ranging from jazz-fusion and blues to rockabilly and techno. “No one has ever equalled what Jeff has done,” Page said last year when Beck was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    His name is lauded throughout the world of rock, yet his career has oscillated as wildly as his fretwork. Something of a loner, he left behind a trail of discarded bands before going solo in the mid-1970s. There have been a number of breaks from music, several caused by car-related injuries. A head-on crash in 1969 sidelined him for six months; he trapped his thumb under a car while mending it; another time he blew holes in both hands while sand-blasting a chassis. It is a wonder he can pick up a guitar, let alone play it.

    He has a reputation for perfectionism, and was infamous in his heyday for smashing equipment: he is shown totalling a guitar in Blowup, Antonioni’s 1966 film about swinging London. “That’s just frustration,” he says. “I don’t know if that’s anything to do with perfectionism. Certain aspects of recording have to be spot on. But perfectionism, it’s like trying to chase smoke, you can’t do it.”

    The seven-year gap between Emotion & Commotion and his previous record seems to cause him genuine surprise. “That question [about the periods of inaction in his career] is the old chestnut and I never know what to say to it. I’m shocked that it is seven years. Either it was error on someone’s part that I did that, or I was having fun. You know, time flies when you’re having fun.”

    Emotion & Commotion’s range of styles is typically profuse, from the guitar fireworks of “Hammerhead” to a cover of R&B classic “I Put a Spell on You” with Joss Stone. On the whole, however, it tones down the wild axe heroics for a more soothing approach. “It’s for older people who’d like to hear peaceful music,” the former firebrand guitarist says.

    Traces of an aborted classical music project remain with a Fender Stratocaster-ed version of “Nessun Dorma”. An instrumental version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” finds him drifting into golden oldie territory. “It has a Jeff Beck-wackiness to it. Anyone else would probably get arrested,” he says.

    He comes across as a very English axe-hero: an eccentric risk-taker with a conservative streak. His description of his trip to the casualty unit of his local Kent hospital after the carrot mishap is pure Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells (“Three hundred snotty babies screaming and single mums. Chav city”). Praise for the “innocence” of 1940s radio leads to a grumpy critique of broadcasting today. “When I listen to modern radio, I get pissed off in about five minutes.” His brow furrows. “DJs who talk over records should be shot.” At such times you can see why he was rumoured to be the model for Spinal Tap’s plain-speaking axeman Nigel Tufnel.

    Yet he reveals a different side when he rhapsodises about his favoured make of guitar. “The high harmonics on the Fender Strat have this otherworldly sound. A Fender guitar with a Fender amp is a marvellous thing. And it’s also a marvellous thing with a Marshall amp, they both bring out different qualities.”

    His version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” continues an experiment he began on 1989’s Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop to make his Fender sing like a human voice. The attempt sums up his peerless command of guitar timbre; it also ranks as a magnificently quixotic undertaking. You cannot imagine Eric Clapton spending hours in the studio trying to alchemise his guitar into a voice.

    As for human singers, Beck has forthright views about them. “They’re too poncy and they get in the way,” he says, only half-joking. There is often rivalry between lead guitarists and vocalists, but Beck seems to have had a pathological inability to remain long in a band. He left The Yardbirds under enigmatic circumstances in 1967: “thrown out”, he claims, though other reports cite ill-health and unreliability. Next he formed the Jeff Beck Group with Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart, but the line-up imploded in 1969. Beck’s failure to hook up permanently with another vocalist of Stewart’s quality is commonly seen to have hampered his career.

    Beck sees it differently. “I’m proud to say I have made a decent living without a singer. I don’t know if it was selfishness or just the desire to retain individual quality, but I’m glad I did it.”
     

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