THE JEFF BECK MINUS JEFF BECK JAM

It was a while ago, in June of 1978. On a particular Sunday night at a respected free house in Kent, I was scheduled to jam with Jeff Beck as the result of having collaborated on an ambitious if doomed rock opera. It turned out Jeff was being held off after a race and had to rain-check. So I was left to fill his shoes... The house band was ready and hot, but they seemed to be thrown off balance by having to put up with me instead of the Jeffster. I’m fairly certain they originally thought I was just some lucky bastard from France who had no business being there in the first place and who wasn’t nearly as good as everyone was claiming. They were right to a point, but I was on a roll... So we played and drank, and eventually everyone got into it and we managed to put the place on fire. Between tunes as I was standing in the wc, a tall black dude who professed to be playing bass with Jeff said to me: "Man, I think you may not be as good as Eric, but you're definitely better than Jeff!"... I did say I was on a roll...! Of course I was puzzled, but a compliment is a compliment. So we played more, and  people went crazy and I was almost having a good time, except for the fact that my girlfriend and I had just broken up and I was in the funkiest of funks. So after we finished playing, the pub owners (this was a private affair, by the way) invited me into a back room with a special guest book that sat on a pedestal in the center of it, and asked me to enter and sign my name below those I instantly recognized, some of them now inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame...The members of my regular band who had shown up for support were basically ignored and got pissed at me for letting them down... Whatever, it was none of my own making and that night, I basically owned the house. The party ended with Jeff's best buddies and neighbors telling me that JB was never going to hear the end of it... And so it went…
In conclusion, one of the most memorable gigs I ever played was one I did without Jeff Beck in the lineup… A strange thing to say indeed, but it's Rock & Roll!
For the occasion, my friend, Escape Studio owner Dave, offered for me to wear old Eric Clapton’s US flag trousers that had been given to him by "God" himself, the very same ones he wore in that Music Man ad with the Gibson Explorer. But I digress...