Eric Clapton On Jeff Beck’s Singing and Having An Old Man’s Voice

February 19th, 2010 by David Fricke Leave a reply »

Photograph by Sam Jones
In Rolling Stone’s new issue, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton sit down for the first time to discuss old rivalries, blues heroes and the secrets of their craft. Here’s more from David Fricke’s conversation with Clapton: the guitarist on Jeff Beck’s vocals and learning to love his own “old man voice.”

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How do you account for the fact that Jeff Beck isn’t as big a rock star as you are?
He deliberately carved that image. I don’t think he would deny that. He likes to be left alone. He wants to be underneath the car, working on the engines. He made that one record where he sang [the 1967 British hit "Hi Ho Silver Lining"], and rarely did it again. That’s always a bone of contention. I had a chat with his manager Harvey [Goldsmith] after he signed Jeff. I said, “Are you going to get him to sing?” He said, “I’ll try.” Good luck! But if he isn’t motivated [to do it], I think he’s missing something. It’s an enjoyable thing to do.

Most of the guitarists in that elite group that you mention [in the story] — Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, B.B. King — are singers. Jeff is not.
He sings when he plays. He has that melodic inventiveness that we were talking about yesterday [at Beck's house], that he puts into everything he plays. Derek [Trucks] is another one. I think Derek should sing. Because he has the same thing. He has a Voice.

A vocal mentality.
Exactly. But I would worry about the amount of sacrifice they would have to make in terms of their technique, in order to start focusing on being a vocalist.

Did you feel when you started singing regularly in the late Sixties that you had to dial back as a player?...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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