Rock My Plimsoul (Wardour-064)
Grande Ballroom, Detroit, MI – November 3rd, 1968
(58:48): Shapes Of Things, You Shook Me, Let Me Love You, Blues Deluxe, Jeff’s Boogie, Rock My Plimsoul, Natural Woman, Rice Pudding, Sweet Little Angel, I Ain’t Superstitious
The first incarnation the Jeff Beck Group toured the US twice in 1968. The second began on October 11th in Chicago and lasted thirty-two shows. Rock My Plimsoul captures the third and final show at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit about a month in in a very good and clear audience recording. It has nice balance in the instruments and lacks any significant amounts of hiss or distortion. There is a small cut 4:46 in “Rock My Plimsoul” and the two encore numbers, “Stone Cold Crazy” and “Talk To Me Baby / Dust My Broom” are missing. Two older titles with this show Heart Crazy (Scarecrow 037) and Live In Detroit 1968 (Zero ZRCD-204) do have the missing song and it isn’t clear why Wardour didn’t use that source to complete the show.
It is a shame they didn’t because this could have been a killer release of the early Jeff Beck Group. It is a night where Beck personally sounds very confident and sure of himself and delivers a highly improvisational performance. The opening numbers “Shapes Of Things” and “You Shook Me” are delivered in a fierce, undifferentiated fury before things slow down for “Let Me Love You.” Jeff Beck introduces Nicky Hopkins on piano since he begins the long blues piece.
“Jeff’s Boogie” also serves and in improvisational tour-de-force in the middle of the set with Beck quoting “Over Under Sideways Down” and the theme from “The Beverly Hillbillies” in the duration. Rod Stewart introduces Hopkins again before “Natural Woman” saying “Right down here we’d like to feature Nicky Hopkins our really unbelievable pianist in an Aretha Franklin number, so just all relax.”
Stewart again does the introduction, this time for Ron Wood. He says Wood will play an “unbelievable” bass solo “which is a jam which should be on the next LP called ‘Mother’s Old Rice.'” For eight minutes they play what would be called “Rice Pudding,” one of the greatest songs to come out of this short-lived group on the follow up Beck-Ola. Beck has heavy use of wah wah distortion in the beginning and Wood’s bass plods along before he takes his own solo of the night. Micky Waller also takes a short solo in the middle before turning into a full out jam session. The set ends with “I Ain’t Superstitious.” Wardour package Rock My Plimsoul in a standard jewel case with period photos including a good stage shot on the back with a camera-shy Rod Stewart. This is a good release that could have been much better with the encores included.