Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck dies at 78 | Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck, the famous guitarist who played with and led the Yardbirds Jeff Beck Grubb, who died at the age of 78, confirmed his representative.

The actor confirmed that Beck died on Tuesday after “suddenly developing bacterial meningitis.” They added, “His family requests privacy while processing this terrible loss.”

Often described as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Beck was known to insure his fingers and thumbs for £7 million, and was known as a passionate innovator. He pioneered jazz and rock, experimenting with fuzz and distortion effects and paving the way for heavier subgenres like psych rock and heavy metal over the course of his career. He has won eight Grammy Awards, received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist and as a member of the Yardbirds.

The musicians began paying homage to them minutes after the news broke. Gene Simmons invited him “Heartbreaking news… no one ever played guitar like Jeff. Please pick up the first two Jeff Beck Collection albums and see the greatness. RIP.”

Black Sabbath guitarist Written by Tony Iommi that he was “completely shocked”. “Jeff was such a sweet person, an amazing guitarist, and a genius – there will never be another Jeff Beck. His playing was so special and distinctively great! We will miss him,” he wrote on Twitter.

Late 1960s Jeff Beck Group: (L-R) Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Mickey Waller, Jeff Beck.
Late 1960s Jeff Beck Group: (L-R) Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Mickey Waller, Jeff Beck. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Beck was born Geoffrey Beck in 1944 in Wallington, South London. As a child, he sang in a church choir, started playing guitar as a teenager, and got his first instrument after trying to con a music store in a hire purchase scheme. “There was this guy, he wasn’t old enough to be my father, but he offered to be my guarantor. I’m going to tell them I’m your stepfather,” he told the New Statesman in 2016. “Within a month, they found out I had absolutely nothing to do with it.” And they grabbed the guitar again. My dad went and explained we couldn’t afford it – so they waived the rest of the payment and I got the guitar.”

After briefly attending art school in London, Beck began playing with Screaming Lord Sutch even after Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds, Jimmy Page recommended Beck as his replacement. Although already successful at the time, the Yardbirds had several of their biggest hits during Beck’s brief time in the band, including 1966’s The Yardbirds – the band’s only UK-released album – and the No. 3 single Shapes of Things . Beck was in the Yardbirds for only 20 months, and left the group in 1966 due to tensions between the bands that arose during a US tour. (Later, he would say “Every day was a tornado in the Yardbirds”.)

In 1968, Beck released Truth, his first solo album, which drew on blues and hard rock to form a typical version of heavy metal. Three years later, he released an album with Jeff Beck’s group, Beck-Ola, but his solo career was derailed after he suffered a head injury in a car accident.

In 1970, after recovering from his skull fracture, Beck formed a new incarnation of The Jeff Beck Group, releasing two records – 1971’s Rough and Ready and 1972’s The Jeff Beck Collection – which showcased his early forays into the jazz fusion sound he would become known for.

In the mid-1970s, Beck supported John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra on tour, an experience that radically changed how he saw music. “Watch [McLaughlin] And the sax player was trading solos, I thought, ‘This is me,'” he said in 2016.

Inspired, Beck fully embraced jazz fusion in George Martin’s Blow By Blow. A platinum-selling hit in the US that peaked at No. 4, it was Beck’s most commercially successful album of all time, but he later regretted it. “I shouldn’t have done Blow By Blow,” he told Guitar Player in 1990. “I wish I’d stayed with earthy rock. When you’re surrounded by musical people like Max Middleton and Clive Shaman, you’re in prison, and you have to play along with that.” .

Jeff Beck on stage in London in 1972.
Jeff Beck on stage in London in 1972. Photo: Finn Costello/Redferns

Despite his later feelings about Blow By Blow, Beck continued to experiment throughout the 1970s, releasing two more platinum-selling jazz albums, Wired, in 1976, and There and Back, in 1980.

Beck’s output slowed dramatically in the 1980s, in part because he struggled with tinnitus. His projects over the decade were sporadic but notable: in 1981, he performed with Clapton, Sting, and Phil Collins at Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Other Ball concerts, and returned with his first solo album in five years, Flash, in 1985. From Producing Chic, Nile Rodgers introduced a dramatic shift for Beck in that he featured primarily vocal-led pop tracks, a change from his largely musical output of the 1970s. People Get Ready, a collaboration with Rod Stewart, became one of Beck’s rare number one hit singles under his own name, appearing in the United States, New Zealand, Sweden, Belgium and Switzerland.

Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop album was his last solo album for a decade, but he remained active through the 1990s, collaborating with Jon Bon Jovi, Kate Bush, and Roger Waters, among others; In 1999, he released Who Else, which combined techno and electronic elements.

In the 2000s and 2010s, Beck released only a handful of albums, but he began to settle into a role as a major statesman and acclaimed influence, performing with artists such as Kelly Clarkson and Joss Stone. He has lived on an estate in East Sussex since 1976, and married his sixth wife, Sandra Cash, in 2005.

Beck’s most recent project was 18 last year, a collaborative album with Johnny Depp that featured original songs penned by Depp and covers of Marvin Gaye, the Velvet Underground, and other classic artists. The album was widely criticized; In a two-star review, the The Guardian’s Michael Han described it as a “weird, wildly uneven record”, while noting that “it is to Beck’s credit that alone among the guitar heroes of the UK R&B boom of the 1960s, he didn’t regress into coffee-table blues”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *