Andy Neill's biography of The Faces (Had Me a Real Good Time: The Faces Before, During and After), on the other hand, paints a picture of a band dogged by lack of sleep and bad food on the road, inept management, frequent gigs missed through illness ready to fall apart at the start of a six-week Greyhound bus excursion around the USA (the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars). 

Jimmy Page allegedly entered the dressing room at a show in Texas to find Beck about to take to singer Relf's head with his guitar. 

Chasing California girls and hooning around in hot rods, however, aren't exactly conducive to generating income, so in early 1967 Beck was back in London, coincidentally around the time Jimi Hendrix arrived on a scene in the process of changing from Mod-influenced R&B and soul to the early stages of psychedelia. 

Signed to a record deal with independent producer Mickie Most, Beck set about putting a band together and recording singles, the first of which, Hi Ho Silver Lining, seemed like the start of a solo career. Significantly, on the flip side of Hi Ho Silver Lining's jaunty little pop tune there was an instrumental titled Beck's Bolero, featuring the man himself and a certain Mr Page on guitars, John Paul Jones on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano and Keith Moon (credited as You Know Who) on drums.

In my circle of acquaintances the flip side received much more attention than Hi Ho Silver Lining, which was, as stated, an inconsequential jaunty pop numberwith vocals from a presumably reluctant Beck.

Beck's reluctance to tackle vocal duties was neatly solved by enlisting Rod Stewart for the role in the Jeff Beck Group, the touring entity which was going to generate the income to cover day to day expenses after the Graham Gouldman penned Tallyman, another pop tune cut from the same cloth as Hi Ho (which reached #14 on the UIK charts) failed to repeat its moderate success. 

The plan seems to have been a Yardbirds-like lineup with Rod Stewart on vocals, Beck and Ronnie Wood on guitars and a rhythm section. A succession of bass players and drummers were tried before Wood switched to bass and Mickey Waller, who'd been a member of Steampacket along with Stewart, Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger, took over behind the drum kit. 


B© Ian Hughes 2012