- Absolutely BRILLIANT 3/6/2019 12:00:00 AM by ben-thayer
A must-watch for any and all Jeff Beck fans, Still on the Run is nothing short of BRILLIANT. The film interlaces Beck's two great loves in life - playing guitar and building hot rods - and it documents Beck's long and winding career, from his tenure with The Yardbirds, The Jeff Beck Group, and his subsequent projects up to the present. Beck's evolution as one the most innovative guitarists (if not THE most innovative) is front and center, with emphasis on the various styles and motifs that influenced his unique playing. The film depicts accurately how Beck has reinvented himself continuously as a performer over the decades by studying different musical styles - both domestic and international - and then incorporating these styles into his already vast repertoire of soloing techniques. The results are astounding, Beck's performances are always fresh and are never stagnant.
Beck's various groups are also profiled, from his early years to the present, and one anecdote is a story worthy of the highest levels of R&R history. Beck tells how after he left The Yardbirds he visited one of the bars he frequented in his early years, and he said "there was only one other bloke in the bar that night, and it turned out to be Rod Stewart." That unbelievably fortuitous meeting resulted in the formation of the critically acclaimed Jeff Beck Group, which also jump-started Rod Stewart's career as one of the most unique and successful vocalists over the subsequent decades. The film also includes an amusing discussion of Beck's only attempt at being a vocalist on the single "Hi Ho, Silver Lining", which he has finally embraced after many decades of derision, as Beck claimed it has provided so much joy to those who know him.
The film discusses in detail how - after parting ways with Stewart, Ron Wood and the Beck Group - Beck found it difficult to replace Stewart with other male vocalists and his subsequent emergence as an instrumentalist. His ability to cover instrumentally (and brilliantly) some of the most emotional ballads written is discussed in detail, with many video clips of the amazing results.
Beck's personality and his penchant for going his own way are also discussed in detail. The film recounts his tendency to abandon projects mid-stream when he feels the tides turning, including how he left The Yardbirds after a couple of shows with Dick Clark's "Caravan of Stars" to his abandoning The Jeff Beck Group a few days before they were to perform at Woodstock. Beck never compromised his principles, and he followed his instincts when they beckoned him elsewhere.
The film is laced with interviews of some of the biggest names in the industry, all of whom grant Beck the highest accolades available. Included in this amazing lineup are Jimmy Page (a close friend of Beck's since their early teens), David Gilmour, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Eric Clapton, Slash, Jan Hammer, and Joe Perry.
I will close by saying: FIND this film. WATCH this film. Quite simply amazing, 10/10.