Brian was as insipid as I had expected, but the guitar player was astonishing. I had never seen anything quite like him. Playing rhythm and lead seamlessly with a fantastic sound. He was very cool-looking, quite scruffy, and had car grease ingrained in his hands. I grabbed Stu and asked where the hell he had found this guy. He and Brian had gone to see a band called the Tridents at Eel Pie Island, a popular venue on an island in the middle of the Thames at Twickenham. Being impressed with the guitar player, they approached him and asked if he would consider joining Brian's new band, the Nightshift. Everyone knew who Stu was, and I am sure that was the reason Jeff Beck agreed to join. The band did not last long, but Stu and Jeff became lifelong friends and he quickly became one of the crowd that would hang out at the house, as he lived a short distance away in Carshalton. There must have been something in the water locally, as you could have thrown a net over the small area that Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Stu came from.
Les Paul's records almost paled into insignificance when I heard "Rock Island Line" by Lonnie Donegan for the first time on the radio. I had heard nothing like it and rushed out and bought it the next day. This was the first record I ever owned, and it and the 10-inch album Donegan released shortly thereafter became my staple diet for the next few months. He started the skiffle craze, which led to a fairly short-lived dominance of the charts by several other bands that copied him, and led me to American folk music and on to the blues.
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