Elvis Presley's Guitarist Sets Up Home Near Berwick

HE has played to millions around the world as bass player for Elvis Presley and a host of other legends. But now Jerry Scheff has put the rock’n’roll lifestyle to one side to set up home in a small village near Berwick in Northumberland. As one of the world’s most in-demand session musicians, he has played with The Doors, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and John Denver, as well as the singer known as the King. But after meeting wife Natalie, he now splits his time between her house in the North and his native California.

Jerry first started playing with Elvis for his 1969 comeback special and spent eight years in his backing band until the star’s untimely death. He said: “Before I met Elvis I was not a fan. I didn’t really know many of his early songs, but he said to me ‘Do you know how to play the blues?’ and if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to play the blues.“We worked with other artists but you had to put Elvis first. “If you said you couldn’t make a job and went to work with another artist instead, he would never work with you again. He thought he was very loyal and expected the same in return. We had a lot of respect for each other.

“It was very exciting performing onstage with him. We just used to turn up, play for an hour and then be straight off on a flight to the next venue.” On one such trip, Jerry’s journey with the King ended: “The band were on a flight to Bangor, Maine, where we were going to meet Elvis and perform. “A stewardess came back and said we were going to make an early landing. “We touched down at this small airport with no one around and went into an office where we were told to ring Graceland and were told Elvis had died. We got back on the plane and flew back to LA and that was the end, just like that. It was a shock for us all.”

In recent years, Jerry has re-united with members of the TCB band that backed Elvis to tour with a show that combines them playing live music with old video footage of the King. He has also played with Roy Orbison, Crowded House and Dionne Warwick. Of his life in the North East, Jerry said: “It is a great life here in the North and the people are really nice. I am still surprised by the reactions of people to Elvis. I think it was the way he performed that captured people. When he sang, it went through his head, his heart and then out in his voice. “It was like he was singing to every individual in the crowd. He had a real connection with people.”

Jerry will be speaking about his life with Elvis at an event organised by the Tyne and Wear branch of the Elvis Presley fan club. He will be at the Companions Club on Leazes Park Road in Newcastle on November 20. Tickets cost £20 and are available on the doors which open at 7pm.

Source: Journallive / Updated: Nov 9, 2010 
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topogigo (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 11, 2010report abuse
Jerry, Thanks for your testimony. What you say is very exciting. I wish you well.
Mark S. (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 11, 2010report abuse
Cool pic of Jerry though! He's still The Man!
Sally_Coates (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 10, 2010report abuse
SuziB, unfortunately, it's one of the great realities of the Elvis world that many fans are somewhat 'educationally challenged'. Time and time again, so many seem to reinforce that all too obviously. Notwithstanding, the very clever fans eg yourself, Lex, Davrid, Steve etc, it is the less well endowed in the brains department, who tend to monopolise discussions here, and on other Elvis sites. ignorantly dismissing any view which even hints of education and learning. Sad but true.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 10, 2010report abuse
Wrong title ! Jerry was Elvis' bass player. James Burton was on leadguitar as we all know. Seems the person who wrote this article for "Journallive" thinks both instruments are the same. Always El.
SuziB (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 10, 2010report abuse
Deke Rivers, what on earth on you going on about? Other than the name, North Berwick (where I have a house in Dirleton) has absolutely nothing to do with Berwick Upon Tweed - it is 50 miles away, and other than being a sea side town has nothing in common whatsoever with Berwick Upon Tweed. You may as well say, he should visit anywhere in Scotland within the same distance. I work in London, so oh, yes, I may as well visit London Ontario as that also shares the same nominal root...

Scotland claiming Berwick Upon Tweed back? As a Scot, let me assure you this is complete nonsense. It was intended as a joke by the SNP. Besides Scotland can not claim anything back as it''s not a country, nor is England. They are both regions of the UK. Anyway, I believe Jerry actually lives in Scotland in Duns. The ignorance of some people who post here is simply mind-blowing
tracytcb (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 10, 2010report abuse
Anyone wanting more information on the fan club event with Jerry on 20th November in Newcastle can contact the branch leader Jim on 07592531324 (+447592531324) or find us on facebook under elvispresleytyneandwear. This is a rare opportunity to see Jerry on his own, reminiscing about his career and times with Elvis as well as playing some of the hits he's been associated with. This will be followed by an autograph session and a chance to meet and chat with the man himself. Tickets are limited, so get in quick
Deke Rivers 6 (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 10, 2010report abuse
Lovely part of England,and because he is so close to Scotland,he should visit North Berwick which is in Scotland. Berwick has interesting history,it has been IN Scotland then it was IN England,now the Scots are claiming it back,which would be better. Crossing Berwick-On-Tweed in marvellous,going over the bridge,I'm sure Jerry will love it. Good luck to him.

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