Monday, September 22, 2008

PLEASE DO HIM WRONG. PLEASE CAST HIM OFF DISCOURTEOUSLY: It's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Keltner season, and at some point in the near future recent past Adam is going to point out that, other than (depending upon your personal preference) Chic, Bon Jovi, and Metallica, all of whom we Keltnerized last year, and one additional first-ballot addition, this is a crappy class. Adam volunteered me to Keltnerize nominee Jeff Beck, but I'm not going to do it. You don't need a Keltner analysis to tell you that Mark Langston doesn't make the cut for the baseball Hall of Fame, and Jeff Beck isn't getting one just because he was an early adopter of standing too close to the amp while playing. He's boring. End of story.

I will, however, recite for you the following facts (in small part aided by Wikipedia, I feel impelled to admit), which collectively represent all you really need to know about Jeff Beck:
  • Served 18 months of bridge duty between Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page in the band that eventually collapsed and became Led Zeppelin.
  • Clearly inspired Nigel Tufnel's haircut and wardrobe, and possibly Tufnel's childish petulance, in Spinal Tap.
  • Was unable to create a hit single in two albums with a young Rod Stewart (though he and Stewart much later had a hit with a bastardization of the Impressions' sublime "People Get Ready").
  • Jointly responsible for revitalizing the bloated charity benefit when he, Page, Clapton, Stewart, and Ron Wood staged the Rock for ARMS (Action for Research into Multiple Sclerosis) concert to benefit Ronnie Lane, which in turn prompted a delusional Neil Schon to muse that the 1980s equivalent of Clapton/Page/Beck was Schon/Santana/Van Halen.
  • Contributed to annoying pomp-rock fetishization of "Greensleeves," the sixteenth-century version of "Hey Ya."
  • Gave Carmine Appice his first high-profile job (unless you consider Cactus high-profile), thus inadvertently unleashing the Terrible Reign of the Ruggedly Handsome Drum-Pounding Appices.
  • The first song on his first solo album was a cover of a two-year-old song by his former band, which he didn't write.
  • Was a dick. Reportedly.

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