Keith Richards recently addressed whispers that, back in the day, Jeff Beck was considered to fill in the spot in The Rolling Stones after Mick Taylor’s 1974 exit.
Remember, Taylor had stepped in for Brian Jones in 1969 and left after the iconic “It’s Only Rock N’Roll” was released.
In their quest for Taylor’s replacement, Jeff Beck’s name surfaced. However, post a trip to Rotterdam and a memorable audition, it was clear that Beck’s individualistic style wasn’t in sync with the band’s vibe.
Chatting with Guitar Player about The Rolling Stones’ upcoming album “Hackney Diamonds”, set to drop on 20 October, Richards clarifies the age-old Beck rumors. “Jeff was always his own person, not really a band guy,” shares Richards. “His soloist streak was strong. He and the Stones? Not a good match. We’re all about unity.”
That said, Richards holds high regard for Beck. “He’s an exceptional guitarist. Whenever we jammed, I’d be mesmerized by his tremolo skills. He’s a legend in his own right, and he’ll leave a void.”
Beck had reminisced about his audition with the Stones in 2012. After an intense jamming session, they both recognized their distinct musical directions.
“There was this moment I went all out on Bill Wyman’s bass, dust flying everywhere,” Beck recounted to Ultimate Classic Rock. “Glyn Johns, the sound guy, was floored. I told him, ‘It’s just a one-off, mate. I’m outta here tomorrow.’
He added, reflecting on leaving the Stones, “Some may find it baffling to ditch the Stones, but I’m certain Keith and I would’ve clashed had we recorded together.”
In a chat with BBC 6 Music, Beck mused, “Being a Rolling Stone would’ve been cool, but the dream might have been better than reality. I doubt I’d have stuck around for long.”