Guitar god Jeff Beck, who inspired generations, dies at 78

New York (AP) — Jeff Beck The guitarist who pushed the boundaries of blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, influenced generations of shredders in the process, and came to be known as the guitarist’s guitarist has passed away. he was 78 years old.

Beck died Tuesday after “suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis,” his representative said in a statement issued Wednesday. I didn’t know where it was right away.

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi tweeted: “Jeff was such a nice guy, an outstanding, iconic and genius guitarist. Jeff Beck will be gone.

Beck first rose to prominence as a member of The Yardbirds before embarking on a solo career that encompassed hard rock, jazz, funky blues and even opera. He improvised and loved harmonics and was known for his favorite guitar, the Fender Whammy his Stratocaster.

“Jeff Beck is the best guitarist on the planet,” Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry told The New York Times in 2010. It appears only once in a generation or two. “

Beck was one of the late ’60s rock guitarist hall of fame, including Eric Clapton. Jimmy Page And Jimi Hendrix. Beck has won eight Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Once he was with the Yardbirds in 1992, and in 2009 he was selected again as a solo artist. He was ranked his fifth on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Guitarists”. time. “

Beck played guitar with various vocalists, including Luciano Pavarotti, Macy Gray, Chrissie Hynde, Joss Stone, Imelda May, Cyndi Lauper, Wynonna Judd, and Buddy Guy. and Johnny Depp. He made two records with Rod Stewart (1968’s “Truth” and 1969’s “Beck-Ola”), one being “Emotion & Commotion” with a 64-piece orchestra.

“I like the element of chaos in music. As long as you don’t have too much of it, that feeling is the best ever. It just felt like total organized chaos,” he told Guitar World in 2014. Chaos and beauty at the same time. “

Beck’s career highlights include joining bassist Tim Bogart and drummer Carmine Appice to form the Power Trio and releasing “Beck, Bogart, Appice” in 1973; Tour with Buddy Guy, tribute album to late guitarist Les Paul, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Party (Honoring Les Paul).’

Geoffrey Arnold Beck was born in Surrey, England and attended Wimbledon College of Art. His father was an accountant and his mother worked in a chocolate factory. As a boy, using a cigar box, a neck frame, and strings from a radio-controlled toy airplane, he built his first musical instrument.

He was in several bands, including the Night Shift and the Tridents, before joining the Yardbirds in 1965, replacing Clapton but giving way to Page just a year later. During his tenure, the band produced memorable singles “Heart Full of Soul”, “I’m a Man” and “Shapes of Things”.

Beck’s first hit single was the 1967 instrumental “Beck’s Bolero”, which featured future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, and future Who drummer Keith Moon. The Jeff Beck Group, in which Stewart sings, was later scheduled to appear at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, but the appearance was cancelled. Beck later said he had insecurities with the band.

“I could see the end of the tunnel,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in 2010.

Beck was friends with Hendrix and played with him. Prior to Hendrix, most Rock and his guitarists focused on similar stylistic and technical vocabularies. Hendrix blew it.

“He came over and reset all the rules overnight,” Beck told Guitar World.

Beck teamed with legendary producer George Martin (aka “The Fifth Beatle”) to create genre-blending jazz-fusion classics “Blow by Blow” (1975) and “Wired” (1976). supported the production of He teamed up with Seal on the Hendrix tribute “Stone Free” to form a jazz-fusion group led by synthesizer Jan Hammer and honored rockabilly guitarist Cliff Gallup on the album “Crazy Legs”. . In 2016, he released Loudhaler.

Beck’s guitar work is heard on the soundtracks of films such as “Stomp the Yard,” “Shallow Hal,” “Casino,” “Honeymoon in Vegas,” “Twins,” “Observe and Report,” and “Little Big League.” can do.

Beck’s career never reached Clapton’s commercial high. A perfectionist, he preferred to make his highly acclaimed instrumental records, avoided the limelight for a long time, and enjoyed restoring vintage his cars. He and Clapton had a strained relationship early on, but later became friends and toured together.

Why did the two wait 40 years to tour together?

“Because we were all trying to be big bananas,” Beck told Rolling Stone magazine in 2010.

Beck’s surviving wife is Sandra.


Mark Kennedy is