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July 13, 2015 / thackersam

July 12 – Jeff Beck

Jeff BeckWe now return to the Trouble-Buddy collection and the two Jeff Beck albums it contains: Blow By Blow and Wired released in 1975 and 76 respectively. As a writer, and I assume this goes for Trouble-Bud as well, I love lyrics, so listening to two strictly instrumental albums was a little odd for me. But Beck, who is a phenomenal guitarist put out some decent stuff, with the help of legendary rock producer George Martin, known mostly for his work with The Beatles. One or both of the albums will make an appearance tomorrow when company comes over, and not just as background to our chatter.

Jeff Beck got his start with the Yardbirds, and like a couple of other Yardbirds’ guitarists (Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton) gained recognition and respect for his craft. His Jeff Beck Group gave the voice of Rod Stewart a pre-Faces boost and I remember well their rendition of “Ain’t Superstitious” as that tween who was newly addicted to FM radio in the late 60s, when Stewart was doing what Stewart does best (Note to Rod: you may want to go back and listen to your old stuff. You are not Tony Bennett. Stay Rod.).

In 1985, Jeff Beck briefly joined the MTV generation, impressively so, with the video of “Ambitious” that played out as an audition for the singer of the song and featured Donny Osmond, who mentions having sung with his brothers and “a chick named Marie” when asked about his credentials. There are many other recognizable faces in the video, including the late, great Dr. Joyce Brothers, who does not sing, but offers sage advice. Beck, at the age of 40 when the video was shot, not only demonstrates his awesome talents as a guitarist, but shows what a good-looking guy he was. Still is, but you know, he’s 70.

I’m not really into jazz instrumentals, as many of the songs are, particularly on Wired, but about nine or ten years ago I had the opportunity to meet, interview and write an article about jazz drummer Al Dreares, who played with some of the jazz greats in the latter half of the 20th century, and shared some wonderful stories with me. I’ve not seen him in years, but I still keep a message from him on my voicemail, oh just because. And speaking of Tony Bennett, I forgot to mention last week when we reviewed the movie Amy, that if you didn’t know it by now, the movie proves just how absolutely cool he is. He is the epitome of cool in style, demeanor, kindness and appreciation of others’ talents, not just for his remarkable longevity. Artists of all ages love him and deservedly so.

Btw – It’s a good thing the ex and I agreed to 6lbs by Labor Day, after a wee bit of negotiating it down from losing 5lbs in a month from the 4th of July. For me, my initial weigh-in wasn’t horrible when I texted him my weight last Sunday morning, but then I started heading in the wrong direction. And then I find out that the ex plum lied to me about his weight for some idiotic reason I don’t remember as it actually had nothing to do with me. Regardless, the pact remains on.

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