In a recent interview with Classic Rock, Rod Stewart mentioned that Jeff Beck faced challenges as the leader, although they stayed close until Beck passed away.
The singer said the following about the late guitarist:
“Jeff was a great guy, but he wasn’t a great bandleader. I mean, you have to look after your band. I remember when me and Ronnie [Wood, who played bass in the Jeff Beck Group] were staying in New York, and we never got a per diem; we just got our money every week, and sometimes that money would be very late in coming.”
He detailed their financial difficulties at the time:
“Not necessarily Jeff’s fault, but his manager. I think it was Peter Grant. So me and Woody would go up the corner from the Gorham Hotel where all the bands used to stay, and we’d go into shops and nick eggs – steal them. Sometimes Jimi Hendrix’s girlfriend would go and buy us breakfast because we had no money.”
Stewart also talked about Beck’s lack of ability to lead a band, especially in terms of handling finances while on tour, in his 2013 autobiography, ‘Rod: The Autobiography.’ He explained:
“I never felt he was going to put an arm around someone and check that they were all right. Sometimes, he would hop in his limo and leave me and Woody to call a taxi. He was in his own world.”
During a July chat with USA TODAY while discussing his relationship with the late guitarist, the rocker admitted that they weren’t super close as friends, and he thinks this might be because Beck had some personal problems or challenges that made him appear distant or not very open.
Beck and Stewart were members of the same band for approximately two years during the late 1960s. During this time, they achieved two Top 20 albums and went on several tours as part of the Jeff Beck Group.