Monday, March 19, 2012

Jeff Beck, Neil Ayer and Bill Vogt

As the days are winding down to my big birthday, I have been thinking a lot about my past and some of my old friends I haven’t seen for many years. I even made a list of a few names that I needed to catch up with. High on that list was good friend Neil Ayer. What a surprise when I found out he was in Delray Beach (thank you Facebook) and we were able to connect for a long overdue visit on Saturday night.

Neil and I became friends in the mid-60’s while inmates at the Pottstown School for Wayward Boys. We shared many epic experiences including Greek 2 with Doctor Groton (Achtung, Baby) and a few others that were not certified by management.

Part of my early music development included hanging out with Neil and Andre Salz, the legendary Hill blues cat. Saltz had a remarkable collection of blues albums and was miles ahead of everyone at that time. Neil and I also made two remarkable field trips with the great Crawford Blagden.

 In November of 1968, Crawford took us to see Cream at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Despite the revolving stage, which created some pretty hideous sound, it was a historic night of music. I did not take any photos of that show, but here is one of mine from the Blind Faith show in May of 1969 at the same venue.

In April of 1969, Crawford took us back to the Spectrum to see the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was my second time to see Hendrix. Fortunately, the stage was now at one end of the arena and the sound was much better. This is one of the photos that I took that night:

Neil and I covered a lot of topics the other night, which is to be expected for two old friends that have only seen each other twice in 40 years. We talked a lot about music. Neil expressed his continued admiration for the playing of Jeff Beck. I have always been a fan and have even posted about his talent and the great record Truth (see my post from Dec 2, 2009).

Now Neil knows more about guitar than I ever will, so I was paying attention when he went into some detail about Beck’s genius and technique. I’m not sure I can accurately repeat anything he said, but here are two clips that will let you judge for your self.


As you can see in this clip from 2011, Beck still looks young and fit and much better than a lot of his peers. He obviously hasn’t been hanging around with Keith Richards. He does great work on this Jimi Hendrix classic Little Wing.

Here's what the band with Rod Stewart, Nicky Hopkins and Ron Wood looked like 1968:

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, excelent music, keepup the good work.