A Legendary Rock Guitarist Jeff Beck Dies At 78!
The Jeff Beck Group’s leader and renowned guitarist Jeff Beck, who also played with the Yardbirds, passed away at the age of 78, according to a statement from his agent.
The spokesman confirmed that Jeff Beck passed away on Tuesday after “suddenly getting bacterial meningitis”. They said, “His family asks for privacy as they absorb this enormous loss.”
Beck, who was hailed as one of history’s finest guitarists and whose fingers and thumbs were infamously insured for £7 million, was also regarded as a voracious innovator. Throughout his career, he invented jazz-rock, experimented with fuzz and distortion effects, and opened the path for stronger subgenres like psych-rock and heavy metal. He was a member of the Yardbirds and an individual artist who was elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was also an eight-time Grammy winner and the Ivor Novello award for outstanding contribution to British music.
Moments after the news broke, musicians and lifelong friends started paying their respects. The six-stringed Warrior is no longer present for us to marvel at the magic he could create around our earthly emotions, Jimmy Page stated on Twitter. Jeff was able to access ethereal music. His method is distinctive. His creativity seems to know no bounds. With your millions of fans, Jeff, I will miss you.
Mick Jagger wrote, “With the passing of Jeff Beck, we have lost a magnificent man and one of the finest guitar players in the world. We all miss him terribly.
Jeff Beck was on another planet . He took me and Ronnie Wood to the USA in the late 60s in his band the Jeff Beck Group
and we haven’t looked back since . pic.twitter.com/uS7bbWsHgW
— Sir Rod Stewart (@rodstewart) January 11, 2023
He was “one of the few guitarists that, while performing live, would truly listen to me sing and respond,” according to Rod Stewart, who toured with the Jeff Beck Group in the late 1960s. “You were the greatest, my man.” I appreciate everything.
It was “heartbreaking news,” according to Gene Simmons. Jeff was the best guitarist ever. Please obtain the first two Jeff Beck Group albums to witness excellence. RIP.”
With Jeff’s passing, Ronnie Wood wrote, “I feel like one of my band of brothers has departed this planet, and I’m going to deeply miss him.”
I can’t begin to tell you how devastated I am to hear of Jeff Beck’s demise, Ozzy Osbourne wrote in a tweet. What a tragic loss for his loved ones, friends, and countless fans. It was an enormous honor to have Jeff play on my most recent record and to have known him.
I can’t express how saddened I am to hear of @JeffBeckMusic’s passing. What a terrible loss for his family, friends & his many fans. It was such an honor to have known Jeff & an incredible honor to have had him play on my most recent album, #PatientNumber9.
Long live #JeffBeck pic.twitter.com/hG6O9tzfij
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) January 11, 2023
“I am devastated to hear the news of the passing of my friend and hero Jeff Beck, whose music has thrilled and inspired me and countless others for so many years,” Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour wrote. He will always have a place in our hearts.
Johnny Marr referred to him as “a pioneer and one of the all-time greats,” while David Coverdale of Whitesnake penned the song “Oh, My Heart… R.I.P., Jeff Already, you are missed.
Dave Davies of The Kinks tweeted, “I’m heartbroken. He seemed in great form. He was in excellent shape and playing well. I’m surprised and perplexed. I’m not getting it since it’s illogical. He was a brilliant guitarist and a dear friend.
Famous guitarists from all around paid homage to Beck’s talent and impact. Beck was referred to as a “wonderful soul” by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top who “was able to show me how this guitar playing thing should be addressed.” Joe Perry of Aerosmith called him “the Salvador Dali of guitar,” while Vernon Reid of Living Colour claimed there was “always room for him to grow.”
Jeff Beck was a pioneer of punk rock and one of the greatest guitarists of all time, according to The Edge of U2. He raised the bar for those of us who came after him. His legacy will endure.
Brian May of Queen expressed his “gut-wrenching” reaction to the news: “He was the Guv’nor. He was the absolute apex of guitar playing; unique and unreplaceable. And a great person.
In 1944, Geoffrey Beck was born as Jeff Beck in Wallington, a district of south London. He participated in a church choir as a youngster and picked up the guitar as a teenager after attempting to con a music store into a hire-purchase arrangement. There was this man who promised to serve as my guarantor despite not being old enough to be my father. In 2016, he stated to the New Statesman, “He said, “I’ll tell them I’m your stepfather.” They realized he had nothing to do with me after a month and promptly took the guitar back. They waived the remaining installments once my dad went along and said that we couldn’t afford it, and I was able to get the instrument.
After temporarily attending an art school in London, Beck started performing with Screaming Lord Sutch until Jimmy Page suggested Beck as Eric Clapton’s replacement after he quit the Yardbirds. The Yardbirds enjoyed a number of their biggest hits during Beck’s brief time in the group, including the 1966 album Yardbirds and the No. 3 single Shapes of Things, even though they were already well-known at that point. Beck barely spent 20 months with the Yardbirds before departing the band in 1966 as a result of conflicts that had developed between the bands during a US tour. (He would later remark that “in the Yardbirds, every day was a cyclone.”)
Truth, Beck’s debut solo album from 1968, combined elements of hard rock and blues to create a forerunner of heavy metal. The Jeff Beck Group issued an album with him the next year called Beck-Ola, but his solo career was halted by a head injury sustained in a vehicle accident.
Following his recovery from his skull injury in 1970, Jeff Beck reorganized his band and issued two records, 1971’s Rough and Ready and 1972’s Jeff Beck Group, that showed his early attempts into the jazz fusion sound that would later make him famous.
Beck toured with John McLaughlin’s jazz-rock band Mahavishnu Orchestra in the middle of the 1970s, and the experience fundamentally altered his perspective on music. In 2016, he stated, “Watching [McLaughlin] and the sax player swapping solos, I thought, ‘This is me’.”
Beck was moved, and with the George Martin-produced album Blow By Blow, he embraced jazz fusion. Beck’s most commercially successful album to date achieved platinum sales in the US and peaked at No. 4, yet he later voiced remorse. In 1990, he admitted to Guitar Player, “I shouldn’t have done Blow By Blow.” “I regret not sticking with earthy rock and roll. You’re in a prison and forced to play along with it when Max Middleton and Clive Chaman and other extremely musical folks are around you.
Beck experimented throughout the 1970s despite his later emotions about Blow By Blow, recording the platinum-selling jazz fusion albums Wired in 1976 and There and Back in 1980.
In a statement, Robert Plant remarked, “He embraced project after endeavor with boundless energy and passion.” He created magic throughout all the periods that have passed, always ready for the next, unforeseeable, improbable clash.
Because of his tinnitus, Beck’s production drastically decreased in the 1980s. He worked on occasional but noteworthy projects throughout the decade. In 1981, he appeared with Clapton, Sting, and Phil Collins at Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Other Ball benefit concerts. In 1985, he released Flash, his first solo album in five years. It was produced by Nile Rodgers of Chic, and it was a significant turning point for Beck because it mostly consisted of pop songs with vocals, as opposed to his predominantly instrumental work from the 1970s. One of Beck’s few hit songs released under his name, People Get Ready, a collaboration with Rod Stewart, reached the charts in the US, New Zealand, Sweden, Belgium, and Switzerland.
The 1989 record Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop was his final album as a solo artist for ten years, but he continued to perform and record throughout the 1990s, working with artists including Jon Bon Jovi, Kate Bush, and Roger Waters. In 1999, he released Who Else, a techno and electronic album.
Beck only put out a few albums in the 2000s and 2010s, but he started to establish himself as a respected authority and collaborator, performing with musicians like Kelly Clarkson and Joss Stone. Since 1976, he has resided on an estate in East Sussex. In 2005, he wed Sandra Cash, his second wife.
The joint album 18 that Beck and Johnny Depp produced last year includes Depp’s original compositions as well as renditions of iconic musicians like Marvin Gaye, the Velvet Underground, and others. The album received mixed reviews, although it is to Beck’s credit that, unlike other guitar heroes of the 1960s UK R&B boom, he has not retreated into coffee-table blues, according to Guardian’s Michael Hann, who gave it a two-star rating.
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was among the other musicians to praise Beck, calling him a “brilliant guitar player.” Billy Idol called him “sublime” and expressed his gratitude for being alive to witness his performance. Beck was hailed by Stevie Van Zandt as “a big influence” and “an unending source of delight throughout my lifetime.”
Beck was described as “a genius, a magnificent original” by Joe Satriani. He was the one guitarist who had more methods than anyone else to make you ask, “WTF was that? He had incredible talent and never stopped developing new techniques for the instrument.