Recently, a writer friend of mine, Doug Hinman, whose impressive talents also include that of being a superb drummer, mailed me a fascinating 240-page chronology of Jeff Beck's career (1965-1980) which he co-authored with guitarist Christopher Hjort from Oslo, Norway. Hjort was first to get the bug in compiling this incredibly detailed project shortly after reading the first four editions of a publication called the Jeff Beck Fanzine (1991-93) made known by a gentleman named David Terralavoro. Enter Doug Hinman in February 1997, who is a rock historian in his own right with an acute knowledge and admiration for one of the world's greatest guitarists, and the result has been a detailed, Jeff Beck biographical masterpiece.
Says Hjort, "It was Doug Hinman who proved crucial in making this book a reality, and he quickly moved from being a contributor to being a collaborator since we first got in touch in February 1997 via the magic of the Internet. His unselfishness has known no boundaries and combined with his deep understanding of rock'n'roll research, his keen eye for details and his access to literally hundreds of sources beyond my own reach, we have managed to put the book together by painstaking e-mail correspondence."
Details he says? I can't imagine any book that specializes in the musical career of a super artist being more so. In fact, (especially in Beck's earlier years) Jeff's Book (in addition to a ton of attention-grabbing photos and billing pics) gives an almost day-by-day diary of Beck's development and phenomenal successes as a superior guitarist coupled with European club dates, U.S. tours that have never before been published, U.S. and U.K. discographies, chart information, and his associations with other famous rock stars.
For example: October 31, 1965 - "Tonight is Halloween and Jeff is partying at London's Cromwellian club with, among others, the Animals' Eric Burdon . . ." or April 12, 1966 - "In a surprise move to the press and public, it is made official that Giorgio Gemelsky's five-year contract with the Yardbirds has terminated before its due time. . ."
All serious Jeff Beck fans and/or ‘60s rock'n'roll history buffs should have this book in their collection. The information that Doug and Chris have painstakingly compiled is just too valuable to pass up. And my god, the pics! Many (including some fabulous color performance shots of Beck) have never been published!
For information on Jeff's Book, go to: http://www.rocknrollresearchpress.com
(A Book Review by Dick Stewart which was originally published in the October 2000 issue of "The Lance Monthly" - Vol. 2, No. 8.)