© Ron Elkman |USA TODAY

The Jeff Beck Story: "Still On The Run"

December 13, 2018

The other day I went to lunch with a good friend I met when I was in my teens in high school. He insisted he pay for lunch. Rather than have a back and forth in public over the check, I let him pay. The next day, as a thank you, I dropped by his house with a variety pack of bottled craft beers, something I know he enjoys.

While I was there, he invited me in to watch a movie he had just started. Having bought an album or two in my youth, I knew guitarist Jeff Beck was good. During the next 87 minutes I was about to find out why he is better than good, but great and in a class by himself. We were watching a relatively new documentary entitled The Jeff Beck Story - Still On The Run, directed by Matthew Longfellow. It was recently shown on Showtime  

From the beginning Beck is intrigued by sound, driven by curiosity with a need to find a voice through his guitar to express himself.  He makes, what would be for many, unconventional career choices, but turn out to be just right for him.

The documentary is filled with fabulous stories, like the 14 year old guitar geek he meets thanks to a tip from his sister and a phone number. You may be surprised who that turns out to be. One night at a bar while nursing a beverage, he forms what turns out to be a world famous power band with the only other patron in the place, another out of work musician who has since sold millions of albums. We also learn how Stevie Wonder's biggest selling single came to be as Beck was fooling around on the drums. Perhaps the best thing about it is to hear from his accomplished peers who have been there and done that and justifiably genuinely put him on a pedestal that reaches rarified air.

It is a story of inclusion and collaboration as well as his other major passion. He continuously pushes the envelope while welcoming equally talented musicians, particularly women, to come along for the ride.

If you love music, you can't miss this one. I'll be buying it soon on iTunes.