No Ready Made Guys (Shout To The Top STTP 223/224)
Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA – July 8th, 1984
Disc 1 (41:41): The Stripper, Sweet Little Rock And Roller, You Wear It Well, Hot Legs, Tonight’s The Night, You’re In My Heart, Dance With Me, All Right Now, Young Turks
Disc 2 (45:31): Infatuation (w/Jeff Beck), People Get Ready (w/Jeff Beck), Rock My Plimsoul (w/Jeff Beck), I Ain’t Superstitious (w/Jeff Beck), The Pump (w/Jeff Beck), Bad For You (w/Jeff Beck), Passion, Gassion (Gasoline Alley), Maggie May
Rod Stewart’s thirteenth album Camouflage was released on June 18th, 1984. It was not a critical success, with critics accusing it of being soulless synth dance music. However, it sold over four million copies and charted as high as #18 in the US and #8 in the UK. Three singles were released, “Infatuation,” “Some Guys Have All The Luck” and the disco cover of Free’s “All Right Now.”
Stewart began touring with a month of shows in July, 1984. He resumed in the fall and continued to the spring of 1985.
No Ready Made Guys contains a soundboard recording from July 8th, the third show on the tour. Some confusion exits regarding the city and venue. The artwork says “Live in Seattle, WA, July 1984.” No itinerary shows a Seattle show, however. The Smiler website says July 8th was in Portland, Oregon and the French Viva Les Bootlegs site says this is “Tacoma Dome, Seattle.”
The Setlist website states that Rod Stewart played at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma on July 8th, 1984. The quality of the recording is very similar to the Bob Dylan show at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington in 1986, suggesting they come from the same source. We can conclude that the Setlist site is correct. (Of course, it doesn’t help that Stewart himself keeps calling them “Seattle”…)
It is a very good to excellent soundboard with nice balance in the instruments. The audience is pushed deep into the mix, but there is never any doubt that this is a live recording. It is one of the more enjoyable Rod Stewart recordings available from the 1984 tour.
The concert begins with the taped intro of David Rose’s “The Stripper,” the same song used for the latter day Faces concerts, segueing into the Chuck Berry cover “Sweet Little Rock And Roller” another frequent song from his early career. The horn section plays a much louder part in the arrangement in even a solo, giving it a cabaret feel.
After “You Wear It Well,” Stewart tells the audience that it’s going to be a great show because: “We got some old songs. We got some new songs. We got Jeff Beck coming up” before introducing the next song, saying “‘Hot Legs’ I need your legs….”
He fosters a party atmosphere with his dialogues with the audience. After “You’re In My Heart,” which featured sing-alongs in the chorus, he compliments them by saying “that is very very good on your part. Does anybody have a bottle of wine to drink? When I was a teenager I had a problem. The girls would never dance with me. So I wrote this song” he says as an introduction to “Dance With Me.“
The first new song in the set is “All Right Now.” It is a bizarre disco/R &B cover arrangement of the Free song. Stewart gives tribute to the original band, saying afterwards that Paul Rodgers and Free are”one of the best rock and roll bands to come out of Britain.”
Afterwards they play the excellent “Young Turks” featuring another audience sing-along in the chorus in the middle and a mellow interlude.
Halfway through the concert Jeff Beck joins his old band mate for six songs. Beck was a guest star in the first six shows of the tour (July 3rd in Reno to July 13th in Calvary) after recording guitar solos on Stewart’s latest album (and appearing in the video for “Infatuation.”)
The first single is the first song they play “Infatuation.” It is still drenched in the disco rhythm, but Beck puts on an amazing display of stylistic virtuosity, playing funk, metal, and various other styles. “Good evening Jeffrey. We’ve not sung together in this part of the world in Seattle since 1968 or 1969.”
“People Get Ready” is a cover of the Curtis Mayfield tune. Beck would record the song, with Stewart on vocals, for his 1986 comeback Flash. Afterwards they play several songs from the first Jeff Beck Group album Truth, “Rock My Plimsoul” and “I Ain’t Superstitious.”
“In my opinion, still the best guitar player!” Stewart says before Beck introduces “The Pump.” Beck pulls out very strange and exotic sounds during the song which was used for the 1983 film Risky Business. The mini set ends with “Bad For You,” another song from Camouflage.
These were his first live appearance since the ARMS tour ended in New York the previous December and, except for a guest appearance with Sting in 1985, he wouldn’t make any more live appearances until he toured Japan in 1986.
“Passion” includes references to the president, Jesse Jackson and Michael Jackson. “Gasoline Alley” is referred to as the other end of Stewart’s musical spectrum and the tape ends with “Maggie May.” It’s played much more straight compared to the wired versions of the Foolish Behaviour tour. Afterwards Stewart thanks the audience for “your time and money.”
It’s hard to believe this is the entire show. It’s very rare he would end a show with “Maggie May” without playing his biggest hit “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” or “Some Guys Have All The Luck,” or not play popular encore numbers such as “You Wear It Well” or “Twisting The Night Away.” It’s a shame the rest isn’t present because it is a great show in wonderful sound quality.
No Ready Made Guys is a good release. It has all of the tape that is in circulation in excellent sound quality. The STTP label is inconsistent with their titles, but this is one of their better efforts. Until the rest of the show surfaces (or until another early show with Beck come out), this is the definitive statement from both Stewart’s and Beck’s July 1984 collaboration.