Another first for me. This is first editorial of the post-Wyzanski era. Most of Dick's previous editorials of course were about Jeff's career and what direction it was taking. Dick would sometimes go into these detailed discertaions of what Jeff was doing and maybe what he should do. To me it was simple. He was simply forging ahead trying not to repeat himself. This is something Jeff did brilliantly with his latest collaboration with Rosie Bones and Carmen Vandenberg on the 'Loud Hailer' release. And even when he's playing a song on tour that he's played for decades you can hear little differences, different phrasings that further and further refine the song and all have that 'how the f**k did he do that?' component.
For this editorial I would like to address an aspect of Jeff's career that affects him as well as all of us...aging. I don't think anyone can argue that Jeff has aged well, physically and career-wise.
Compared to many of his generation and mine he's entering his mid 70's still able to do grueling tour schedules, create great music in the studio for himself and others and work on his house and cars.
As for the other members of the 'triumverate', we were recently sad to hear that Eric Clapton might not be touring anymore due to back problems. Page is doing well these days after some back problems a while ago but if you ask me, even though he's a multi-millionaire, career-wise he's got to come out with some new stuff and not just another Led Zeppelin remaster. I know he's got it in him. Jeff on the other hand is making fresh, new music with musicians we've almost never heard of until a recording comes out. He also tours with them, bringing them onboard and mentoring them.
Jeff has been a vegetarian since 1969. We know he drinks but only in moderation, a beer, but mostly wine and sparkling wines, champagne and prosecco. His greatest health risks seem to be cars, driving them and working on them.
This brings us around to Dick Wyzanski. His widow Trini and son Rich and I have had some conversations and we hope they can possibly help someone somewhere.
Dick did not take aging well at all. As he aged he saw himself gain weight, slow down, like we all do. In his younger years he exercised a lot, even got into body building for a while. In his later years he never drank and had a pretty good diet.
Dick however thought he could beat aging. He got into this 'life extention' movement which is based mainly on 'supplements'. Down here in Florida we have these ads on the radio. 'Low T?' come on in and we'll test you. Testosterone shots, HGH shots, they'll make you lose weight, you'll feel young again, you're sex life will improve etc. Dick bought into all of it. That and the supplements. After every meal he took, I swear, 20 to 25 pills. I would say, "What are all those? What do they do?" After the 5th pill I would say, "Really?". Every month he spent an amount of money on pills you wouldn't believe. Whenever a new supplement hit the store, the store would email him and he would rush down to purchase it.
Now there's no doctor, no computer program that possibly analyze how that many pills, that many chemicals, could possibly interact which each other and the metabolism of your own body. On top of hormone injections? Do I sound angry? I am.
Dick died of cancer. Do I know for sure if all this stuff caused it? No. No one can say for sure but it sure seems really suspicious to me.
I myself have some health issues but they're pretty minor. Because of them I see a doctor every 6 months for blood work. Once a year a full physical, blood, urine, ekg. Colonoscopies every 3 to 5 years, dermatologist for skin checks, quite a few lately. Did Dick do all this stuff? Nope. I would bug him, "Dick, you go to your general practioner regularly right?" He would say, "No, doctors are just middlemen between you and your insurance company." "WTF?". If he had his bladder cancer would have been caught a long time ago.
Sorry for the venting but I had to do it. Please for the people you love and the people who love you be smart about your health. Embrace your aging gracefully and hopefully you'll be around to listen to Jeff Beck for years to come.
Be seeing you. BA
The following pics were sent via SJ, taken by our longtime Japanese correspondents Toshi, Hiroko and Tomoko.
Pacifico Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan, January 25, 2017
Sendai Sunplaza Hall, Sendai, Japan, January 26, 2017 These pics sent to us from our newest correspondent Tomoko. Hiroko and Toshi also there.
Iwate Kenmin Kaikan, Morioka, Japan, January 28, 2017 (Got some pics from Iwate, but weren't that good.)
Tokyo International Forum Hall, Tokyo, Japan, January 30, 2017
Tokyo International Forum Hall, Tokyo, Japan, January 31, 2017
Grancube Osaka, Osaka, Japan, February 2, 2017
Fukuoka Sunpalace, Fukuoka, Japan, February 3, 2017
Hiroshima Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima, Japan, February 4, 2017
Nagoya City Hall, Nagoya, Japan, February 6, 2017
Archaic Hall, Hyogo, Japan, February 7, 2017
Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds: The Beginning… Historic Demo Recording Produced by Jimmy Page Coming April 30 Legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist and producer’s first official production available now for pre-order via JimmyPage.com Exclusive Stream of “Money” Track Premiere Available now via RollingStone.com Available now for the very first time, Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds: The Beginning…presents a 12-song demo recording produced by legendary guitarist and producer Jimmy Page. Recorded in 1961 at RG Jones Sound Studio in Morden, London, this historic session marks the launch of a highly successful career for Chris Farlowe. It was also the very first official turn in the producer’s chair for Jimmy Page who went on to capture the timeless studio and live performances of Led Zeppelin that today serve as a blueprint for all modern rock recordings that followed in their formidable wake. For both, it all started with “The Beginning…” These revelatory performances, available for pre-order now and scheduled for exclusive worldwide distribution via JimmyPage.com on April 30, brilliantly capture the spirit of adventure and excitement of the London music scene in the early 1960s. In his liner notes accompanying “The Beginning…” Farlowe summarized his first encounter with Page and the session by stating, “We would play anywhere just for the buzz and it was at one of these gigs that we met a very young boy called Jimmy Page, who liked my band and my guitarist Bobby Taylor. Jimmy suggested that he wanted to record a demo album of the band, so he booked the RG Jones studio in Morden, London, and now after 56 years, it is to see the light of day.” And what a musical storm they conjured! As Page points out in his liner notes for the album, you’d never know that Farlowe and his band mates were in a recording studio for the first time. “The band settled into their recording role immediately and an album was recorded that day. The guitar and bass were recorded by direct injection and the band listened to their progress via headphones…They adapted really quickly to this method, the individual performance exhibits the style and class that this band had and Chris Farlowe’s performance is absolutely extraordinary.” The band’s tightness and musical telepathy is apparent from the get-go with two hard driving instrumentals to kick off the recording. The opening track, Entry of the Slaves, features Bobby Taylor on guitar who is described by Page in the liner notes as, “the coolest stylist, both in his image and his playing, that I had seen in a guitarist who was in an unsigned band.” The incendiary Spring is Near follows and showcases the rhythm section’s individual and collective talents with both Johnny Warne on bass and Johnny Wise on drums contributing thrilling solos. On track three, Farlowe steps up to the mic and tears into a powerful version of the Ray Charles classic What’d I Say. Next up are spirited versions of the rock and roll classics Let the Good Times Roll, Sticks and Stones, Kansas City and I’m Moving On. Each track is powered along by Wise and Warne, and feature cracking guitar solos from Taylor. The volume and tempo comes down, but the intensity remains high on the soulful ballad Just a Dream, which features an emotional and heart wrenching vocal turn from Farlowe. On this track, The Thunderbirds provide brilliant dynamics and atmosphere to set the perfect mood behind Farlowe’s vocal. From here, the recording shifts gears again with Money driven along by a rumbling beat on the tom-toms from Wise and more gorgeous guitar work from Taylor. Farlowe’s howling vocal breathes new life and fire into this timeless rock and roll standard. On Matchbox, The Thunderbirds lay down a powerful and respectful homage to the great Carl Perkins classic with a groove that chugs along like a freight train barreling down the track, with every strum, pluck and beat brilliantly captured by Page on tape. Next up, Farlowe and The Thunderbirds make Don Gibson’s Hurtin’ Inside their own with Taylor’s fiery licks and Wise’s snare drum work perfectly complimenting Farlowe’s soulful delivery and his incredible range. A spirited version of Bobby Parker’s Watch Your Step closes out the proceedings with Farlowe deftly pushing the band along, climbing up his range effortlessly into falsetto and ad-libbing brilliantly into the fadeout. Page’s complete satisfaction with what he was able to capture on tape that day is abundantly clear. “I’m really pleased to be able to make this musical document available for the first time to give an idea of the musical cauldron that was going on in London in 1961, a few years before the Chicago Blues renaissance and The Beatles.” These recordings on The Beginning…marked the first collaboration between Page and Farlowe who went on to work together when Page was a session musician and Farlowe was on Immediate Records. Page featured on the hit single Out Of Time. In 1982, Farlowe featured on Page’s Death Wish II soundtrack, and again when Farlowe made a guest appearance on Page’s 1988 solo album Outrider. Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds: The Beginning is now available for pre-order at Jimmy Page.com in advance of its April 30 release date. The release is available in two editions: Standard and Deluxe. The 1-LP, 1-CD set is available signed and numbered by Chris Farlowe and Jimmy Page in a limited edition release bringing the signatures of two music legends together for the very first time. Tracklist: 1.) Entry of the Slaves 2.) Spring is Near 3.) What’d I Say 4.) Let the Good Times Roll 5.) Sticks and Stones 6.) Kansas City 7.) I’m Moving On 8.) Just a Dream 9.) Matchbox 10.) Money 11.) Hurtin’ Inside 12.) Watch Your Step Media Contact Bill McCue Chart Room Media