So you wanna be a guitar god …

The local public television stations are supported in part on donations from the general public.  All sorts of tactics are used to loosen viewers’ wallets, one of which is the Pledge Drive.  And the fun part of the pledge drive is that savvy marketing folks have discovered that the demographic is Baby Boomer, so during these fund-raising periods the stations seduce the audience with cool programming selections.  A couple of nights back, our local station re-broadcast the 2007 Crossroads tour.

I sat down on the sofa just as Jeff Beck crossed the screen – phenomenal timing.  I am not really a fan of instrumental rock, and in particular lack the gene that allows me to appreciate the guitar solo.  But somehow, I have always had a place in my heart for this particular musician.  The performance was amazing.  Beck was on in all the best ways.  Fabulous tone, eccentric interpretations, an enjoyment of what is familiar and the willingness to try something a little different.  The interplay with the band was great, and a real gem was revealed in the form of young bassist, Tal Wilkenfeld – she is outrageously talented. 

What’s the deal with Jeff Beck?  He is, in many ways, the antithesis to the stereotypical guitar god:  he is not handsome, he does not have a good haircut, I do not imagine there are women screaming and fainting when he looks at them, and he likes to wrench.  So, he is extremely authentic.  Warts et al.  Fortunately, none are on his fingers.


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