On July 3rd, 1973, a brief encounter between two music legends occurred at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. David Bowie was concluding his Ziggy Stardust tour, and it would be remembered as one of his most infamous shows. Among the chaos, former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck made a surprise appearance as a guest star. While Bowie and his band were performing ‘The Jean Genie,’ Beck joined them on stage, playing along as the song transitioned to The Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’ before returning to ‘The Jean Genie.’
“That last night was probably one of the best shows we’d ever done,” in his autobiography titled “Spider From Mars: My Life with David Bowie”, the drummer Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey wrote. “It got even wilder when Bowie stepped up to the microphone and announced, ‘As this is our last concert of the tour, we thought we’d do something special for you, so we invited one of our friends, and I know you’ll give a big, warm welcome to Jeff Beck.’”
“Jeff walked on to thunderous applause, and Mick started the riff to ‘The Jean Genie’. It was a particularly special moment as Jeff Beck was one of Mick’s guitar heroes,” Woodmansey added. “We did an extended version of the song where they each took it in turn to solo back and forth. It was ‘The Jean Genie’ like we’d never played it before. Jeff stayed on for ‘Round And Round’ and then left the stage to great applause.”
Despite the entire concert being filmed, Beck’s appearance went unnoticed until the song was featured on Brett Morgan’s Moonage Daydream soundtrack. According to producer Ken Scott, Beck expressed his dislike for his guitar solos and requested to re-record them. However, it was later revealed that Beck was unaware that the show was being filmed, was unhappy with his outfit, and demanded payment for his participation. Additionally, there were disputes over who owned the film.
Check out a video of the ‘The Jean Genie’ and ‘Love Me Do’ medley below: