In December of 1996 during the recording of the "All
The King's Men", Scotty and D.J. went to Dublin to record the
last track "Unsung Heroes" with Ron Wood, Jeff Beck and Ian
Jennings. The following text is an excerpt from an article that
appeared in the July 1997 issue of Guitar
Player magazine which describes the session well. The pictures
are from Scotty's collection but the article can also be viewed here
on the site.
Eric Krohel and Scotty - Dec. 1996
Scotty - Dec.
"In early December, Moore and Fontana traveled to Ron Wood's
Sandy Mount Studio outside Dublin, Ireland, to record the album's final
track with Wood, Beck and bassist Ian Jennings. 'It feels really good to
know these guys remember us,' says Scotty, relaxing on a barstool in
Wood's private pub while Ron, Jeff and others watch a tape of Elvis and
the boys in action. 'Makes you feel like what we did counts for
something after all these years.'"
Jeff Beck, Scotty and Ron Wood - Dec. 1996
Jeff Beck, Ron Wood, Scotty, Ian Jennings and D.J. - Dec. 1996
"Held in Ron Wood's converted sheep barn, the
session for 'Unsung Heroes' unfolded like many of the early Elvis dates.
Scotty settled into a chair in the center of the main room, plugging his
late-80's Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman into Boss delay and
chorus pedals and a tweed Fender Twin. Beck, hearing him warming up,
dashed from the control room and hurriedly unpacked his guitar while Ron
got him a vintage Vox AC30. 'I'd planned to bring a large rig from
London,' Beck smiled, 'but decided that ran counter to the spirit of the
meeting.' Instead, he showed up with only a Strat Plus and a 10-foot
chord. As D.J., Ron and Jennings joined in, Beck picked the melody of
'Blue Moon of Kentucky'. For nearly an hour, politeness prevented
everyone from suggesting any specific direction, and, as on the first
Elvis session, the players bogged down after jamming on a few standards.
A break was called, during which Scotty began to play around with a
funky lick that caught Ron's ear. 'What's that?' he asked. 'I dunno,'
Scotty replied, 'just something I was fooling with a week or so ago.'
Jeff Beck, Ron Wood, Scotty and Ian Jennings -
'Well, that's it! Keep that going!' With that Ron
grabbed a '54 Strat and started chunking rhythm and ad-libbing lyrics
about meeting his two heroes. Beck suggested an occasional line between
otherworldly bends and fills. Eventually, 'Unsung Heroes' became a song.
'This is incredible. It's just the way they used to do things-somebody
gets an idea and they just go with it. The amazing thing to me-and Jeff
was saying this too-is that Scotty and Bill came up with that original
stuff completely out of the blue. They didn't have any real precedent to
go on, and that's the very last time that happened in rock and roll.
Everyone who came along after that had those guys to listen to. You take
Jeff Beck-he and the Yardbirds were a big part of the British Invasion,
and he'll tell you they were bouncing off what they'd heard from
America. Then American bands bounced it back, and so on and so on. And
the guy sitting right in there (points through the control room window
to Scotty) started it all.'
Jeff Beck and Ron Wood - Dec. 1996
and Scotty Dec. 1996
autographing Jeff's guitar Dec. 1996
Later, over pints of Guinness, Scotty and his host
listen to a working mix of 'Unsung Heroes.' He and his contemporaries,
Scotty says as Ron Wood's eyes begin to mist, have done their part. 'You
guys have to carry the torch now-you and the younger guys. We did our
thing.'" In the film, Keith Richards answers for his
Mr. Moore, Mr. Fontana, Mr.
Black, the Hillbilly Cats—that’s the world’s greatest rock and
roll band. Without them,
there wouldn’t be any others. Give
thanks, give praises.”
Richards, Scotty, D.J. Fontana and Ron Wood - Nashville 1998
Watts and D.J. Fontana - Nashville 1998
"When we were in Ireland
doing the cut with Ron at his house, Mick Jagger called. He talked to
Ron and then I got on the line and he said, 'I had a feeling something
was going on over there. I didn't even know you guys were in the
country. How come you didn't ask me?' And I said, 'Well, we thought we
kind of pushed too heavy already by having Keith and Ron,' and Charlie
was going to do a drum thing with D.J. but he had the flu. Then Mick
said, 'Well if you do another one, I wanna be on it.' And every time we
see him, he always asks about it. We also made a few trips over to
Europe and did some touring over there. We hooked up with the Stones in
Hamburg in '98. They were playing at a racetrack and 95,000 people were
there. Even the Stones were awed by the crowd. Keith said, 'God! At our
age! Look at that crowd! What the hell are they here to see?' "
20, 2000 Rolling Stone Magazine