In the summer of 1969, July 3rd to be precise, I saw my first rock concert at the age of 17. We scored tickets to see, Soft White Underbelly (who would become Blue Oyster Cult), Jethro Tull and The Jeff Beck Group at The Fillmore East in the East Village section of New York City.
It was the first and only time I ever attended a rock concert at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East. It’s a fantastic memory in the annals of my 42 years of attending concerts.
The concert was held on the eve of the Newport Jazz Festival going Rock. Jethro Tull and The Jeff Beck Group were scheduled to change jazz festival history by being on that lineup in Newport, Rhode Island.
The Jeff Beck Group headlined The Fillmore East concert. I recall vividly 42 years ago watching Jeff Beck guitar slinging against the Lights by Pablo light show extravaganza. Rod Stewart was the vocalist extraordinaire. He was the dandy with a long scarf that he threw about his neck as he strutted the stage like a peacock.
The Jeff Beck Group that night also featured Ron Wood on bass guitar, Nicky Hopkins on piano and Tony Newman on drums. They tore the roof off The Fillmore East venue that night. Here is a vintage YouTube video from that evening.
The concert left a lasting impression on my psyche. I recall that on the way to the subway station we stopped at The Gramophone Record Store and I bought The Jeff Beck Group album Beck-Ola. I wore the needle down on my hi-fi system playing that record that summer.
The Jeff Beck Group broke up the following month just before Woodstock which they were scheduled to play.
A lot can happen in 42 years. Jeff Beck had a fantastic 2nd comeback year in 2010 with his recording, Emotion & Commotion which is nominated for five Grammy awards to be announced on Sunday, February 13th. Rod Stewart has being having great success with his Great American Songbook recordings. Ron Wood is the bassist for The Rolling Stones and a highly successful painter in his own right.
I was elated to learn that Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart decided over dinner in late December of 2010 to reunite and record an album together. To pick right up where they left off 42 years ago. Never say never in this life. 😉 For more specifics about this future collaboration please refer to the February 1st Rolling Stone Magazine article, Exclusive: Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck Getting Closer to Recording Together Again.
As it stands now Jeff Beck has sent Rod Stewart some tapes of the new album and Rod Stewart is adding the vocals. Should be real sweet when this recording is complete later this year.
This YouTube video will give you a taste for Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart live. Rod Stewart made a surprise appearance at Jeff Beck’s 2009 concert in Los Angeles at the El Ray, watch Jeff Beck’s reaction 🙂
- Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck set for album reunion (guardian.co.uk)
- Rod Stewart And Jeff Beck To Reunite For New Album (beatcrave.com)