Guitarists: Jeff Beck's Rock n' Roll Party - Quick DVD Review

I got thisa couple of weeks ago and have been fighting with my kids over access to the darn TV.

Les Paul was a hero to Jeff Beck (and most any electric guitarist who does any homework) and Beck was Les Paul’s favorite modern guitarist (seen LP say this a few times during interviews, and he asked JB to induct him into the RnRHOF).

So when Les passed a year or so ago, Jeff pulled together a tribute concert for him at Iridium, the Times Square jazz club where Les owned Monday nights.

The DVD is really fun - they scan the crowd and it seems like most big-dog players got a ticket to the show, from Bowie to Kirk Hammett, Warren Haynes, Steve Miller (who was mentored by Les Paul as a kid) and a bunch of others. The music starts out with some simple rockabilly - Les was not a rockabilly guy at all, but it captures the energy and feel, and male singer/guitarist Darrell Higham and female vocalist Imelda May really nail the feel (both are British retro-music club “A” listers).

They they do some Les Paul and Mary Ford standards with Imelda May on vocals - she prerecorded the multi-track bits so it captures that unique sound.

But then they switch back to rockabilly and things get cool - Jeff Beck stretches out a bit more on guitar, and some guests help rock it up. Brian Setzer comes out and kills on Eddie Cochran’s 20-Flight Rock (youtube clip of it). Setzer is alongside Beck in my personal Top 3 (and I tend to keep the third slot open for my vote-of-the-day ;), so really Beck and Setzer are the two guitarists I admire most) - and this DVD shows me why. Setzer is the only guy who I have seen who can keep up with Beck in terms of technique AND musicality/taste - they trade licks and inter-lock licks and it is just amazing. Setzer has an amazing voice, and Beck is better with aggressive whammy/distortion and harmonics work, but man would I love to see them play a full concert standing across from each other.

The special extras include a bit where Beck discusses some of his favorite guitars (youtube link to clip)- a great tour of maybe 5 - 7 guitars, and he does some great playing, so that is fun to watch - he does country blues, chickin’ pickin’ and a few other styles - just trots them out, easy-as-you-please and just kills. Most importantly to me, he shows his little plastic Maccaferri guitar - the one that Jimmy Page gave him and that he (legendarily) leaves around the house for noodling. Cool to see him share it and show how it sounds…

If you love rockabilly, Les Paul or great guitar music played love, this is easy to recommend.

No Tal, which is kind of a bummer. Guess she’s hangin’ with Herbie now.

Dude - tell me about it; not only is the bassist NOT Tal Wilkenfeld, adorable pint-size Aussie bass monster that she is, but it is a guy who looks JUST like the Mole Man from the Fantastic Four Kirby days :eek:. He is a solid player, but is not asked to do anything super-challenging - this isn’t Beck’s normal set list…

…when I finally got the DVD in our player, my kids were like “what’s up with that funny lookin’ guy??”

Thanks for the review, WordMan. I’ve caught the last 10-15 minutes of this twice in the past couple of weeks, on the local PBS station (it’s pledge-drive period), and had been wondering about picking it up on DVD. Sounds like it’ll definitely be worth my while.

I grabbed the review copy at work, but haven’t watched it yet.

OTOH, I’m seeing him live, 11th row seats, on Friday, making a DVD less of a priority.

I got this the weekend before last after seeing a review in a magazine, looking to re-vist my long lost rockabilly roots. Just a couple of thoughts.

Slapback echo on abs-absoloutely-ly fra-fracking-ing ev-everything-ing. IIRC at one point the singer chap (Darrell Higham?) is simply introducing a number and there’s slapback on his mike :slight_smile:

Jeff’s spot on Nigel Tufnell impression (sadly he doesn’t play Love Pump)

Les Paul was a bit flash.

So… I went out and got a 3CD Les Paul collection. For some reason I’ve never owned any Les Paul recordings :eek: and, wow. They sound like they were recorded yesterday. I have other stuff from that era and it’s muffled intermodulated yuk. Les Paul’s recordings are all crystal clear, considering how he created this stuff it’s amazing.

Gonna dig out the DDLs tonight and figure out the settings for Apache.

All true - and I still loved it, fanboy that I am…and yeah, Apache sounded great…