Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Eric Clapton: For Beck, musical matches aren't always harmonious

During joint sets on Jeff Beck's recent mini-tour with Eric Clapton, the pair interacted genially and respectfully on a half-dozen blues songs. But Beck concedes that collaborations between superior talents can be tricky.His approach to playing with the man he replaced in The Yardbirds was "definitely not gunslinging. I've been accused of being too polite. Maybe my mom came into my head and said, 'Don't show off. There's someone else there. Don't shred them off the stage, even if you could.' It's bad form, and doesn't make for a good concert. What's the point of upsetting the person you're aligned with?"
Beck's views on other recent matchups:
Jimmy Page, who inducted Beck into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year and played with him after his speech: "I wasn't sure how they would dovetail Jimmy into the proceedings. ... Unbelievably, in the hotel elevator (right before the ceremonies), I got a phone call from the bass player, who suggested that right in the middle of Beck's Bolero, they stop and just start playingImmigrant Song (a Page-written Led Zeppelin classic). So that's what we did. Nobody knew it was going to happen. Not the lighting guys or anybody. That's what I love."
Metallica, which led the all-star jam at the Rock Hall ceremonies: "I wanted to put my guitar down. I know those things (the jams) are for the dustbin — they're not worth anything. The sound is horrible, the bass player (generally) is three bars behind."
Stevie Wonder, whom Beck joined on Superstition at the Rock Hall 25th Anniversary concerts last fall: "It's a slightly fractured friendship, and I don't know why. He knows what I think about him, but there's always a little bit of a rub there."
Joss Stone, who sings two songs on Beck's new Emotion & Commotion album: "Devonshire (England) is not the sort of place one would expect to find a white soul diva who sounds as though she came out of the Staple Singers. She's a little Janis Joplin, a little Tina Turner, all in one."
Imelda May, who performed with Beck at the Grammys on a Les Paul tribute: "Imelda was so perfect. She looked like she walked out of a Coke commercial."