The recent 108-minute DVD—Still On the Run: The Jeff Beck Story—produced by Eagle Vision/Universal Music Group is an engaging and informative visual document on the legendary guitarist.
There are interviews with some of the musicians who have played pivotal roles in Beck’s career, including Rod Stewart, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood and Jan Hammer as well as some auxiliary dialog with Dave Gilmour, Slash, Joe Perry and a few others.
For those who don’t know much about the iconic musician, Still On the Run… will serve as an excellent primer. However, for those hardcore fans who wanted to know more about the world’s most extraordinary instrumentalist, this DVD will more than likely leave you a bit frustrated.
Minimally, this should have been at least a two-DVD set and more ideally, a three- or four disc package. Trying to pack Beck’s life into a documentary running less than two hours is an exercise in futility. There is so much more the producers could have added. They could have included conversations with any/all of the following:
Jim McCarty (original Yardbirds drummer)
Chris Dreja (original Yardbirds guitarist)
Tony Newman (drummer on the Truth album)
Clive Chaman (bassist during Beck’s Orange period)
Stanley Clarke (Beck played on the bass player’s albums)
Steve Cropper (produced Beck’s albums)
Ken Scott (engineered Beck’s albums)
That is just a partial list. There is footage of various other musicians including Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert, Stevie Wonder, Max Middleton and others but the voice-over is provided by Beck. Interviews with them would have added a lot to the production.
They do include an audio excerpt from the late Sir George Martin (producer of Blow By Blow), and it is one of the more illuminating conversations in the documentary, which proves that it wasn’t even critical to provide video interviews.
Watching Jeff work on his cars in his private garage was terrific, and hearing him talk about the various albums was insightful. But the DVD didn’t break any new ground or reveal much that staunch Beck supporters didn’t already know.
A fun if workmanlike production, Still On the Run: The Jeff Beck Story, could have been so much more.
It’s available on Blu-ray and DVD at Beck’s official online store.