Jeff Beck: Beck 01

Expensive vehicle for guitarist’s car obsession.

Jeff Beck: Beck 01 book cover

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If you like glossy pictures of cars, you’ll enjoy Jeff Beck’s sort-of-memoir, which is a posh coffee-table collection of images and surface recollections. Arriving in a costly, signed, leather-bound limited edition, it’s a curious hybrid of petrolhead fetishism and Hard Rock Café memorabilia.

“Musicians are like mathematicians,” says Beck. “Every part has to be right for it to work, and it’s the same with building a car. There’s an affinity.” It’s hard to think how the spirit of his playing could be entombed less vibrantly.

Between the spreads of hot rods, axes and Jeff in action with Clapton/Gilmour/Joss Stone, he tells of five decades in the game, revealing little bar a minor historic grump with Rod Stewart. It’s evident throughout that he’s more interested in motors. If you’re into his music, stick on the George Martin-produced Blow By Blow for a masterclass. This is for Top Gear fans.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.