Jeff Beck Was The Ultimate Bandleader, Cory Wong Explains

Cory Wong recently chatted with Guitar World and stressed that Jeff Beck was the band leader while discussing the fond memories the late rocker left him.

The guitar hero started his words by defining what an ideal band leader should be, discussing how an ultimate leader needed to be aware of the other leaders and how they acted. Proper communication was also important, as it strengthened bandmates’ bonds, improved working conditions, and helped them know when to interact with one another or the audience.

Wong then honorably noted some of his favorite band leaders, such as James Brown and Prince, while pointing out how much of an excellent band leader Beck was. However, how he coached his bandmates subtly set the late rocker apart from the other leaders, making Jeff’s leadership methods unique.

Cory recalled how the guitarist never needed direct commands to lead his band or the audience and let things flow successfully while subtly gesturing for his band to follow him. However, if Jeff had doubts about his directives, he would calmly and more noticeably gesture again to ensure everyone got his hints. So, it’s no doubt that Beck was a natural leader, always going with the flow while never losing control.

The rocker’s words on what a proper leader should be and Jeff’s unique leadership:

“To be a good bandleader, it’s essential to know what other good bandleaders do and what things need to be communicated to just the band versus what things need to be communicated to the band with the audience in consideration.

I’ve studied a lot of my favorite bandleaders and favorite guitar players, and when you look at somebody like Jeff Beck, he had the ability to lead in a way that’s probably more subtle than a lot of others but still communicated just as strongly. If you take a look at James Brown or Prince when they’re calling something out, it’s much more overt, and it’s inviting the audience in on it as well.”

Wong continued by recalling Beck’s natural talent to lead:

“Jeff had a way where his playing or his phrasing would suggest that it’s going somewhere. He’d phrase something just enough that you’d think it’s going to go to another thing, but then he’d make a gesture that confirms it. It’s not so overt, but if you’re listening and you’re watching, he’s giving his audience and his band just enough to keep them informed.”

So, there’s no doubt that Jeff’s subtleness in leading his band and the audience with ease was a natural trait, as much as his unique ways and talent with the six-stringed instrument. Cory felt that made Beck the ultimate band leader and set him apart from other talented frontpeople or lead guitarists.