Jeff Beck Bought My Fender
But we’re here to talk about a guitar that’s only come to be recognized rather recently for its importance in the evolution of rock music as we know it.
The first time I saw this particular guitar on the cover of The Yardbirds album, Having a Rave-Up with The Yardbirds, I really didn’t give it much thought. … But when I heard the sound it produced in Jeff Beck’s hands, I was blown away by the raw energy on songs like “Heart Full of Soul,” “Shapes of Things,” and “Mister You’re a Better Man Than I” (which still gives me chills when I hear it today).
…Although Rave-Up was the first record I bought by The Yardbirds, it turned out that the group had released an earlier album, but it hadn’t gotten wide distribution here in the States.
…While their first U.S release album contained a number of amazingly evocative songs, their second album, Over Under Sideways Down, proved the band could stretch out into relatively unexplored sonic territories with mature compositions such as “Still I’m Sad,” “Turn Into Earth,” and “Ever Since the World Began.”
This was certainly the high point for the group, but as fate would have it, the group’s bass player, Paul Samwell-Smith, decided he wasn’t cut out for the music business and quit.
…You’d think that with such a prestigious line-up and with so many ground-breaking recordings, the group could stay together and continue their musical explorations, but in 1966, Jeff Beck was either fired or quit the band (depending upon whom you ask) after a tour stop in Texas.
…Oddly enough, it wasn’t until Guitar World magazine published “Guitars That Shook the World” in 1995 that I learned that Jeff Beck played all his guitar parts on those early Yardbirds recordings using a 1954 Fender Esquire he’d bought for the lofty sum of $60 in 1964.