The Tridents were a Yardbirds-esque British R&B group that Jeff left when he joined the real Yardbirds on Tuesday, March 2nd 1965. This recording dates from late 1963 or Early 1964 [at best guess] & features a nineteen year old Jeff & his Telecaster with Ray Cook on Drums, Paul Lucas on Bass & Vocals and brother John Lucas on Rhythm Guitar & Vocals.
It appears that four demo tracks were recorded by the band. Two at Regent Sound & two at Oriole Studios in London – 'Wanderin' Man Blues', 'Trouble In Mind', 'Keep Your Hands Off My Woman' & a Tridents self-penned original 'That Noise!'
Of these tracks, very scratchy & noise reduced to hell & back versions of 'Trouble In Mind' & 'Wanderin' Man Blues' were finally released on the 'Beckology' compilation, having been taken from seriously scratchy acetates.
Originally the plan was for 'Keep Your Hands Off My Woman' & 'That Noise!' to be A sides & 'Wanderin' Man Blues' & 'Trouble In Mind' the B sides.
This acetate pairs 'That Noise!' & 'Wanderin' Man Blues', so this is from Oriole Studios, meaning that the other two tracks were the ones recorded at Regent Sound.
The only markings on this disc are the track titles & The Tridents, hand written in Chinagraph pencil at the centre. When we discovered it, the A side title was quite worn, but the B side was when my heart jumped into my mouth as I realised just what this might be.
It had to be played.
We played it. B Side first as it was the title I recognised. It was exactly what I'd hoped it was – The Tridents with Jeff Beck!
Clear, crisp, full range sonic beauty making the 'Beckology' version sound like it was recorded through a pile of old socks. By the looks of things, this can have been played no more than a handful of times.
The A Side was unknown to me at the time, but turned out to be a chugging R&B number very reminiscent of early Yardbirds. It had obviously been played a little more than the B Side, but even so it was still very clear & crisp.
At that point, I knew we'd stumbled upon something a little bit special.
So, here we have [in amazing condition for a delicate acetate], two Tridents tracks from 1963. One previously unreleased & one released in a C- audio quality where both of these tracks are A/A+. Hellfire, there are CYMBALS on these versions!
Over forty five years old & stored safely away for most of that time until our intrepid archaeologists re-discovered this ancient artifact, possibly unplayed since 1964 [until we played it to see what it was].
Given that the Beckology version was supposedly the best available to CBS/Epic, we can only conclude that no more than two copies of this acetate exist [as far as we are aware]. This is only the second acetate to surface & it is free from any notable marks or scratches, unlike the one owned by Paul Lucas that was loaned to CBS/Epic for the Beckology release. There are some light cosmetic scuffs to some areas of the disc, but because of the fragile nature of acetates this is inevitable & will be caused simply by removing the disc from its paper sleeve. These have no effect sonically, as we can attest to, having played both sides through.
The chances of Paul Lucas releasing his personal acetates are slim to nil, so this acetate becomes effectively a one-off.
In this amazing condition, it IS the best available recording of The Tridents available in the world.
Over the years, seeing many 'rare' & 'impossible to find' items turn up again & again here, you can get quite blasé about things. It takes something like this to remind yourself just why you do this for a living. It's the musical equivalent of finding an undiscovered Egyptian Tomb – And it takes your breath away.