Jeff Beck’s 1954 Oxblood-finish Les Paul is one of rock’s touchstone guitars, the legendary guitarist’s ax of choice in the early ‘70s and an instrument Gibson Custom recently recreated in loving, intricate detail.

But while concert video of Jeff playing the ’54 Les Paul is frustratingly scarce, these rare 1974 English TV clips not only showcase the instrument, but document an interesting transition in Beck’s career. During an era when Beck had variously split from the short-lived supergroup BBA and auditioned in Holland, but rejected an offer to replace the recently departed Mick Taylor in the Rolling Stones, he produced and played on sessions for the UK fusion band Upp.

Taped for the BBC’s Five Faces of the Guitar series, these videos not only feature Beck performing two songs – including a funkier, pre-Blow by Blow cover of the Beatles’ “She’s A Woman” – with Upp (Stephen Amazing on bass, Jim Copley on drums, Andy Clark on keys, with Jeff filling the slot of guitarist David Bunce), but also include an interview segment where the legendary guitarist talks about the signature ‘54 Les Paul, his effects pedals, feedback and slide techniques, and even showcases the “bag”/voice box he pioneered during the era.

“Down in the Dirt” – Upp featuring Jeff Beck


Jeff Beck interview segment

“She’s A Woman,” Upp featuring Jeff Beck