Note that not everything available on CD has been listed, this due to the fact that I was not certain what was available nor were the serial numbers available on CD. Please send in list of what you know.
Alot of time was spent gathering information for the discography. Credit with help on the sessions go out to: Danny Cowan, Gene Franklin, Dick Wyzanski, Sven Gusevick and Jeff Tamarkin.
If I get alot of response and support from this issue, and issue #2 will surface in 6 months. David Terralavoro 1990
Write to me with a self addressed stamped envelope (foreign countries please send and I.R.C. (International reply coupon)).
43 Spring Street
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
Jeffery Beck was born in Wallington, Surrey, England on June 24, 1944. He has a sister. From an early age Jeff showed an interest in music. He sang in the church choir and took piano lessons (for 2 years) at the insistence of his mother. An uncle showed the young Beck how to play an upright bass and the violin, but the would-be musicians future was sealed when he went to a Buddy Holly conert at Croydon School in the spring of 1958. Beck was inspired to build his own guitar after witnessing the event, but unfortunately his father soon replaced the makeshift model with the real thing.
One group Beck belonged to was THE NIGHTSHIFT around 1961. Beck would play with other groups at the time also. The Nightshift played at the Eel Pie Island. They released two singles (and it's unsafe to say if Beck is present on those recordings). In 1962 or 1963, Beck went to Wimbledon Art College. He would leave after a year to begin his guitar playing career. Another group Beck belonged to was the DEL-TONES around 1963. Jeff Beck stayed a year with THE DELTONES. The band used to wear pink matching jackets when performing. He would meet Jimmy Page sometime around here.
1963 also saw Beck as a member of the JOHNNY HOWARD BAND. Johnny Howard's real name was Brian Gibb. Jimmy Page played sessions for various groups and artists so it's unclear if Beck or Page played on the single "Java"/"Rinky Dink" (anyone know the serial number of the single?). Both Beck and Page filled in as a member of SCREAMING LORD SUTCH AND THE SAVAGES in 1964. That's definately Beck playing on the "Dracula's Daughter"/"Come Back Baby" single.
Beck has two different stories of how he met Jimmy Page. In a Hit Parader magazine interview when asked "What were you doing when Eric (Clapton) was in the Yardbirds?" Beck replied, "Apart from being a tramp, I was playing on records whenever I could. I was lucky enough to be known. Whenever they needed a rock and roll guitar break, I'd play it. But work was limited because there weren't very many rock and roll records being made at the time. I met Jimmy Page at these sessions and he recommeded me to the YARDBIRDS when Eric left."
(Perhaps the above story shouldn't be taken literally, maybe it was at one of these sessions Page told Beck about the opening in the Yardbirds, since Page was asked first to join.)
In an 1985 radio interview on WMET (California) to Cynthia Foxx, Beck tells this story: "My older sister, as I remember it, came home raving about this guy who played electric guitar. I mean she was the one always the first to say "Shut that rall up! Stop playing that horrible noise and then when she went to art school the whole thing changed. The recognition of somebody else doing the same thing must have changed her mind. She comes home screaming back into the house saying, "I know a guy that does what you do." And I was really interested because I thought I was the only mad person around. But she told me where this guy lived and said that it was OK to go around and visit. And to see someone else with these strange looking electric guitars was great. And I went in there, into Jimmy's front room, it seems to me he was only 15 or 16, no less than 13, and he got his little acoustic guitar out and started playing away it was great. He sang Buddy Holly songs. Then from then on we were just really close. His mum bought him a tape recorder and we used to make home recordings together. I think he sold them (laughs)... for a great sum of money to Immediate Records."
(Some of the above information is wrong since Page was 15 years old when he started playing guitar and those home recordings were made around mid 1964.)
Another group Beck played in was THE CRESENTS. The would play at such places like the Eel Pie Island and the 100 Club. (Beck revealed this information in the English Rave magazine July 1967 issue.)
Lastly, to place these groups in chronological order was THE TRIDENTS. About the TRIDENTS, Jeff Beck has (finally after seeing this fanzine) confirmed that the drummer was Ray Cook, bass/vocals Paul Lucas, and rhythm guitar/vocals was John Lucas. This group played at the Eel Pie Island. In that same radio interview in 1985, Beck told Cynthia Foxx that the members were brothers. In a David Bowie book "A Chronology" (1985) it states that the band was a trio.
THE TRIDENTS did record a demo (which remains unreleased until "Beckology" box set comes out, one song is scheduled to be included). Beck told both Stuart Grundy and John Tobler in an interview for "Guitar Greats" book: "I couldn't believe it when I heard it back, it sounded really great to me, and I thought 'That's it we've done it' and of course the demo probably never went further than his (the agent's) office. I can't really remember what songs they were, but I think one was like a half assed blues thing with the words changed, which wasn't a very good thing to put out, and the B-side was just us jamming." The Tridents used to include "I'm A King Bee" in concert (that's all I have so far!).
As far as other sessions around this time I know that Beck did not play on a FRANCOIS HARDY single (confirmed to Dick Wyzanski from Beck himself in 1989). The ALL STARS recordings are said to have been made around January 1965. Nicky Hopkins confirmed that he met Beck on these sessions and that the producer recommended him to play on the Kinks and Who albums and singles. (Hopkins would eventually join the JEFF BECK GROUP more on that later.)
After playing with THE TRIDENTS, Beck got his start to his music career by joining the YARDBIRDS. Everyone knows this story so skipping over that (but please refer to the discography) we go into Beck's start as a solo artist. After being fired or having quit the group in December 1966, Beck supposedly didn't touch a guitar for five months. This is a bit of exaggeration because "Hi Ho Silver Lining"/"Beck's Bolero" was released on March 25, 1967. The B-side features Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, John Paul Jones (bass), Keith Moon (drums) and Nicky Hopkins (keyboards). Talk about a supergroup! John Entwistle was scheduled to play bass but couldn't attend. The A-side of this single, "Hi Ho Silver Lining" featured Clem Cattini(drums) and Dave Ambrose (bass).Rod Stewart is singing in the background (listen closely and he did attend every JBG session). Although the record is credited as "Jeff Beck", actually Beck was assembling a JEFF BECK GROUP. He even tried Jet Harris (bass) and Viv Prince (drums) but they didn't last past a rehearsal. Mickie Most produced the single as he would all other JBG records. It should be pointed out that Beck was going to record a solo Lp while in the Yardbirds. "Beck's Bolero" was recorded while he was a member of The Yardbirds.
During a "Rod Stewart Special" on MTV sometime in June 1984, Martha Quinn asked Rod Stewart how he met Jeff Beck: Stewart : "It's about I would say 1967, 66, um Jeff had left the Yardbirds he well, actually I think he got fired for non-appearances a few times with the Yardbirds as so many people don't know. I'd been fired from the group I was in and the group Woody was in, the Birds, they formed the Part Seems so basically we were all unemployed." Jeff Beck: "I was lurking in this club one night and uh I think we were the last two people (laughs) in there." Stewart: I came up to you and said are you a taxi driver and you said 'No, I play the guitar'. You said are you a bouncer and I said 'No, I'm a singer'." Jeff Beck: "It was a London Club, where all sorts of things go on at three o'clock in the morning." Stewart: "Yeah like Ron Wood was there for instance."
The reason why Rod Stewart did not sing "Hi Ho Silver Lining" (he is in the background) was because he was not under contract. Both Ambrose and Cattini were fired but were present on the "Hi Ho.." recording. Ron Wood was hired first as guitarist, then switched to the bass. The JEFF BECK GROUP made their debut on March 3, 1967 at Finsbury Park, London (now called The Rainbow Theatre). The lineup was: Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Rod Coombes (drums) and Ron Wood (bass). Sometime after Coons was replaced by Aynsley Dunbar, who according th Rod Stewart, lasted about six months. Dunbar was into the blues and did not care too much for the hippie clothes styles. One night after playing at the Saville Theatre he quit. He appears on the Beck single "Tallyman"/ "Rock My Plimsoul" (released in July). In between Coombes and Dunbar, Jeff also tried old Tridents mate Ray Cook whose parents bought him a new drum kit for the event and he was summarily sacked the next day.
The next drummer was Mick Waller. In 1968 another Beck single was released "Love Is Blue"/"I've Been Drinkin' Again". It scored a #23 hit in England was was produced by Mickie Most and features string arrangements by John Paul Jones. Some girl singers sing on some of the song, but mostly its an instrumental with Beck's guitar wailing. Nicky Hopkins before he became a member of the JBG played piano on the "Love Is Blue" B-side, "I've Been Drinkin'".
An album was recorded and John Paul Jones plays Hammond organ on one song, "Ol Man River", (which features Beck on the bass!). Nicky Hopkins was borrowed for 2 songs and he soon became a full member of the JBG. The JBG made it's American debut at the Fillmore East in New York City on June 14, 1968. They opened up for the Grateful Dead. That concert was known for two things other than the band's debut: Rod Stewart hid behind the amps for 3 songs until he overcame his stagefright; and that concert review, which shortly after appeared in the New York Times, was used to get a record contract from Epic Records. Manager Peter Grant (who also managed Led Zeppelin) telegraghed that review to Epic Records.
The next month (July), "Truth" was released. Beck thought it was one of the best things he ever recorded (he'd say years later). The album contains "Beck's Bolero", a newly recorded version of "Rock My Plimsoul" and a remade version of the Yardbird's "Shapes of Things". Other great songs include "I Ain't Superstitious" and "Rock Me Baby". (Note: the single songs "Tallyman", "Love Is Blue", and "I've Been Drinking" are not included.) A promo film of the JBG performing "Shapes of Things" was made which includes psychedelic lights and back drops - it's unclear which year it was made.
Beck also appeared on a PAUL JONES (ex-Manfred Mann) single with Paul Samwell-Smith. The single is worth about $15.00 and he plays on "The Dog Presides".
Beck also played on several other people's records. The JBG played on DONOVAN'S "Goo Goo Barabajabal"/ "Trudy" single which when released in the US, the A-side hit #39. (Those two songs are available on "Barabajabal" Lp, two more songs were recorded "Homesickness" released 2 years later and "The Stromberg Times" never released. Beck originally played on Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" but instead they used Alan Parker on the final version.) The single was released in 1969 and credits Donovan with The Jeff Beck Group.
Unfortunately there were some internal problems within the JBG. Once Beck fired both Wood and Waller. (According to Wood this was on June 1 - his birthday.) Beck hired Tony Newman (drums) and Junior Woods(Creation)(bass) for some European gigs then fired Woods back for Ron Wood. Newman remained drummer long enough to record on the 2nd JBG album, "Beck-Ola", which was released in August. A single was pulled from the album "Plynth"/Jailhouse Rock".
Supposedly Beck broke up the VANILLA FUDGE! While playing at The Singer Bowl in Queens, New York late 1969, the JBG brought out John Bonham and Jimmy Page who jammed with them for about 15 minutes. VANILLA FUDGE were the warm up act. Once at a hotel when Beck and Stewart were hanging out during this tour Bogert and Appice called Beck up and they all met. Stewart didn't like them so he decided not to join the band they would have formed. (More later)
Sometime during 1969 the JBG joined THE GTO's (Girls Together Outrageously) on sessions for their debut (and only) Lp "Permanent Damage". Three songs feature the JBG and two titles mentioned by Pamela DesBarres in her "I'm With The Band" book include "Shock Treatment" and "The Eureka Springs Garbage Lady". The Lp was produced by Frank Zappa.
The JBG were invited to play at the famous Woodstock concert in August. By then they had already split up. In Rolling Stone July 12 issue they reported that Nicky Hopkins left the JBG. Beck had this to say about the Woodstock event in Musician magazine in May 1985: "But in retrospect maybe that was the best thing I ever did because I would have been labeled forever as a 60's psychedelic act much like, I hate to say it, Ten Years After." In the San Diego Union newspaper interview (November 26, 1989) Nicky Hopkins had this to say about Beck: "What can I say? A brilliant guitarist who, unfortunately, lost one of the best bands we've ever had - through foolishness." - David Terralavoro
Later on in the interview, Fricke says: "The only Beck original on this new album is the short 'Tube' theme."
A quick look at the album song credits show Beck did not write any songs. Does anyone in England know this song? Also "Flash" was tentatively titled "Get Workin'" and in both Musician and Guitar World that's what the album is referred to.
Update 96...In addition to the TV theme, Jeff did the track with Doug Wimbish at the Flash sessions and became one of the famous 4 Flash outtakes available to collectors. The other three being 2 untitled instrumentals (One sounding like Vangelis' "Chariots Of Fire" influenced. Jeff was supposed to have Vangelis write him a song but then his (Vangelis) burnt down.) and a Nile Rodgers tune entitled "You Know I Like To Jam Alot".