In his new tell-all memoir Rod: The Autobiography, former Jeff Beck Group frontman Rod Stewart has revealed the band missed a chance to appear at Woodstock due to Beck‘s concerns that his wife was having an affair with the gardener.
In an excerpt from the book published on Rollingstone.com, Stewart revealed that the band were nearing the end of their final U.S. tour, which he described as a “short jaunt up the East Coast in the summer of 1969.” They had just completed dates at the Fillmore East and the Newport Jazz Festival and were scheduled to make one final appearance at “some outdoor event or other in upstate New York.”
The band were apparently billeted at an airport adjacent to JFK and had plans to “hop over to the event and back and fly out to London on the same night.”
Unfortunately it was never to be as Stewart and the rest of the band, which included Ronnie Wood on guitar and Aynsley Dunbar on drums, got word that Beck himself had already departed back to London on an earlier flight. Apparently the former Yardbirds guitar hero heard a rumor that “his missus was having an affair with the gardener.”
Happily the rumor turned out to be false. But still, it’s a shame from the perspective of the Jeff Beck Group who never really succeeded in commanding the attention of the American rock market.
Beck of course went on to enjoy success as a solo artist while Stewart and Wood joined forces with the remnants of British mod band The Small Faces, to form The Faces.
As for missing out on a chance to appear at what was arguably the most iconic music festival of all time?
“Ah, well. Seen one outdoor festival you’ve seen them all,” said Stewart in his book.