For the first time since the late-60s, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Rod Stewart[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jeff Beck[/lastfm] are “inching” toward recording a new album together. “We’re making progress,” Stewart said.
Stewart and Beck have not recorded an LP together in 40 years. The Jeff Beck Group’s first two albums, Truth and Beck-Ola, cemented the former Yardbird as a guitar god – and gave Stewart his big breakthrough. But the band broke up in 1969 on the eve of Woodstock, where they were scheduled to play, and Stewart’s solo career soon went stratospheric. Apart from a one-off song in 1985, the singer and guitarist have not recorded together since.
It seems this is about to change. “Jeff and I had lunch together just before Christmas,” Stewart recently told Rolling Stone. “He’s going to record some tracks with his band in February in San Francisco and send them over to me, so we’re making progress.” While it is unclear if this is a solo project, a Beck/Stewart co-billing, or a Jeff Beck Group reunion, “they have some really clever things planned”, said Stewart’s manager, Arnold Stiefel. For the first time since 1998, Stewart plans to write new songs, and “it’s mind-%^$#@*&^% stuff”, Stiefel said.
In 2004, the Jeff Beck Group reunited to rehearse for a Royal Albert Hall concert. Ron Wood played bass, Beck grabbed a guitar, Stewart took the mic, and “it sounded fucking brilliant”, Stewart said at the time. “We did Rock My Plimsoul and I Ain’t Superstitious and everybody was glued to it. But Jeff phoned me two days later and said he didn’t want to [perform together].” However, when Beck and Stewart performed together in Los Angeles, the guitarist seemed suddenly enthusiastic. “I’d have to turn the clock back 20 or 30 years, stylistically, to match what Rod does,” he said. “Not that that is meant to be a derogatory statement. He loves the 60s. He loves blues. He loves old stuff.” Hopefully that love of “old stuff” will create some new magic.
When they’re working together, it’s magical. Check out this video when Rod surprised Jeff on stage a few years ago.