The Truth Why Jeff Beck Quit Working With Mick Jagger
via infomisa / Youtube
In a recent conversation about his extensive career with VRP Rocks, rock drummer Simon Phillips shared anecdotes from his diverse collaborations. One noteworthy episode he revisited was his attempt to establish a musical collective back in 1987.
During this period, Phillips, along with iconic figures Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger, embarked on the ambitious venture of forming a band. But the plan failed because Beck quit.
The drummer went on, “We were trying to put together a band in 1987. Jeff was the guitar player, but it was interesting because the four of us – Mick, Jeff, Doug Wimbish, and myself – it didn’t quite work out.”
Beck simply did not want to play alongside another guitar player, which Jagger wanted at the time. Surely an odd reason, but it was Jeff freaking Beck; he can do anything he wanted. Interestingly, this isn’t the only time the iconic guitarist nearly became official bandmates with the swaggering Rolling Stones frontman.
The supergroup plans were off the table
Providing insight into Jeff Beck’s departure from the endeavor, Simon Phillips continued to narrate the unfolding events.
The dynamic in the almost-supergroup took an unexpected turn because Mick Jagger expressed a desire for two guitar players in their lineup. However, Beck, with his distinctive musical identity, wasn’t inclined to share the stage with another guitarist.
However, according to Phillips, the rehearsals during this period were nothing short of fascinating, as the creative tension between Mick’s vision and Jeff’s artistic preferences became apparent.
So, Jeff just eventually bailed. He said, ‘No, I’m not doing this.’ So, we took a break, and then eventually, in 1988, we started touring with Mick. (www.softlay.com) ”
The four of them played together for Mick Jagger’s tour
The roots of Jeff Beck’s collaboration with Mick Jagger trace back to the mid-80s when Beck first lent his guitar prowess to Jagger’s debut solo album, She’s The Boss.
Beck reflected on his contemplations with Louder Sound, saying he had often wondered if he could be part of The Rolling Stones. He felt that he aligned well with their musical style, particularly enjoying their blues influences.
I kept my eye on them. And lo and behold, Mick calls me up and wants me to do an album, ‘She’s The Boss.’ And that was the first time I met him. I thought Mick was charming. He treated me really well. Loved women, of course,” the guitarist recalled.
Beck’s participation in She’s The Boss marked the beginning of a musical journey that extended into the late ’80s, culminating in the collaborative effort on the Primitive Cool album and the subsequent tour alongside Phillips and Wimbish.
Beck nearly became a Rolling Stone
Can you imagine if Jeff Beck became a Rolling Stone? The Beck-Richards tandem would’ve been legendary, though Keith himself thought otherwise (classic Keith).
Beck had an opportunity to become a member of The Rolling Stones in 1974, following Mick Taylor’s departure from the band.
However, he declined the offer. Recounting the experience in an interview with Classic Rock, he described spending two days in the studio, awaiting a meeting with the Stones for an audition:
“Eventually, we got into the same room together, and I started playing Bill Wyman’s bass so hard the dust was flying off. I wandered off, and the engineer, Glyn Johns, said, ‘That’s incredible!’ I said: ‘One for the archives, mate. I’m leaving tomorrow.’”
Watch Simon Phillips talk more about the almost-supergroup in the interview below: