A few of the more faithful readers of this blog may be aware of my sincere love as well as fanatical obsession with my personal guitar god JEFF BECK! Perhaps, you might even be sick of hearing about it, but I can no longer resist the telling. I've savored the moments privately in my mind for over 24 hours now. Dreamy memories I'll always have.
Halloween night. JEFF BECK! In my home town. How magic is that? Despite my continued semi-unemployment blues we managed, by the grace of the ghost of Les Paul himself, to obtain the coveted tickets to the show this past July. Then the quiet waiting. Stuffing down the anticipation while catching reviews of preceding shows. Halloween talk is in the air. The bewitching hour arrives.
The security at the Wells Fargo Center, still affectionately called the Luther Burbank Center, is often "friendly", and the walk back to the car relatively short, so I opted to try to get the Canon through the door despite their posted policy prohibiting photographic equipment. Success as we sail by the smiling security sentinel. The atmosphere is typically wine country uptight (read $10 plastic flute bubbly - keeping me at a respectable limit of two) with a cutting edge of rock and roll fantasy and Halloween fright.
The opening act, Tyler Bryant, was a cute kid born in the era when parents named their kids Tyler and Emily (read practically a baby) put on a solid solo acoustical set. The kid must be in possession of some gigantic sized balls to share the stage with the legendary likes of JEFF BECK! And he did so entertainingly. Okay on with the show.
I don't have the set list notes and I never remember those things but there were moments I was weeping. Moments of sublime ecstasy. Even though this was my tenth grateful opportunity to see the Guv, he never fails to please or impress. I managed to get a few pictures despite the kindly usher lady tapping my shoulder once and shaking her bony finger at me and across her throat. The pictures will win no awards but there is a certain psychedelic flavour to them that suits my tastes (remember my taste for bubbly, not champagne from France, mind you, which is more to my true tastes, but decent Sonoma County "bubbly") still I post them for your enjoyment and ridicule of my photographic skills.
I call these Blur Wind 1 and 2
Nope, that's not a zombie photo bomb, it's Jason Rebello, JEFF's keyboardist.
JEFF with the sexy, Goddess of Funk, bassist Rhonda Smith in witch hat. Which hat? (sorry)
This last photograph, the one in focus with moody spot lighted shadow was taken by my talented husband and date. I think these photographs may also illustrate our (sometimes) differing views on life.
I did however manage to capture a great video of JEFF performing the seraphic Nessun Dorma (translation: None Shall Sleep) one of his encore numbers. (With grateful acknowledgment to all concerned, most especially the maestro himself).
After the show, knowing from previous experience the set up for artists to exit the venue and since there was some mix up at the box office failing to locate my backstage passes, we decided to wait for JEFF to board his tour bus. After about 90 minutes, after having waited out all the other die hard fans and autograph seekers, during which time I saw a flaming comet shooting star fall from the ether, the musicians finally begin to emerge. First, the multi-talented Narada Michael Walden who took the time to say hello and exchange a few pleasantries. Then the vivacious Rhonda Smith, looking way too good and too stylish for this cow town. I think I saw her return our smile as she passed us by.
Now, I'm starting to get a little excited. I see him through the glass. He's walking towards me talking to his entourage about whether he will ride on the bus or in the van. JEFF says he's 'on the bus'. I interject, "Can I get on the bus?" JEFF turns to look at me and smiles and says "Sure", in his inimitable impish sort of way. I take his arm and we stroll toward the bus under the stars and moonlight. I hand him an envelope of stories and such I'd written for him. He teased "It's not going to blow up is it?" I reply "Of course not!" and reminded him of the story I told him when we met before about Roy Buchanan which sparked a brief look of recognition from him. Such a sweet and humble and affable man in a rascally roguish rock and roll way. I hugged him and I kissed his scruffy cheek. My only regret is that I did not get a photograph of us together. The moment passed so quickly. I didn't want to bother him more than necessary. But I have the memories of strolling in the moonlight together, and looking him in the eye, beyond the sunglass rock and roll veneer, right in his eyes and told him that I love him. And that is worth more than everything.