Jeff Beck Dies

One of the three greatest guitarists of all time that played with the Yardbirds!

Geoffrey Arnold Beck (Jeff Beck) was born June 24, 1944, to Arnold and Ethel Beck at 206 Demesne Road, Wallington, South London. As a boy, he sang in the choir and cited Les Paul as the first guitarist that impressed him.

Beck said that he first heard an electric guitar when he was six years old and heard Paul playing “How High the Moon” on the radio. He was briefly employed as a painter and decorator, a groundsman on a golf course, and a car paint sprayer.

With the death of Jeff Beck we have lost a wonderful man and one of the greatest guitar players in the world. We will all miss him so much.

Mick Jagger

Beck’s sister Annetta introduced him to Jimmy Page when both were teenagers. After briefly attending Wimbledon College of Art in London, Beck began playing with Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages in 1962 and they recorded “Dracula’s Daughter”/”Come Back Baby” for Oriole Records.

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 . He was one of the few guitarists that when playing live would actually listen to me sing and respond … you were the greatest, my man. Thank you for everything.

Rod Stewart

In 1963, after Ian Stewart of The Rolling Stones introduced him to R&B, he formed the Nightshift with whom he played at the 100 Club in Oxford Street and recorded a single, “Stormy Monday”/”That’s My Story”, for the Piccadilly label. Beck was the lead guitarist for the Rumbles, a Croydon, South London, band in 1963. Later that year he joined the Tridents, a Chiswick, West London band. He also took a session musician job on the 1964 Parlophone single by Fitz and Startz titled “I’m Not Running Away”/”So Sweet”.

They were really my scene because they were playing flat-out R&B, like Jimmy Reed stuff, and we supercharged it all up and made it really rocky. I got off on that, even though it was only twelve-bar blues.

Jeff Beck – on playing with the Tridents

Heartbreaking news … no one played guitar like Jeff. Please get ahold of the first two Jeff Beck Group albums and behold greatness. RIP.

Gene Simmons

In 1966 Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds and they tried to get Jimmy Page to replace him. Jimmy recommended Jeff Beck who they welcomed. He was with them for only 20 months but during that timespan, they recorded most of their Top 40 hits. He was the guitarist on one Yardbirds’ LP, Roger the Engineer (titled Over Under Sideways Down in the U.S.).

Now Jeff has gone, I feel like one of my band of brothers has left this world, and I’m going to dearly miss him

Ronnie Wood

In May 1966, Beck recorded an instrumental titled “Beck’s Bolero”. Rather than members of the Yardbirds, he was backed by Page on 12-string rhythm guitar, Keith Moon on drums, John Paul Jones on bass, and Nicky Hopkins on piano. In June, Page joined the Yardbirds, at first on bass and later on second lead guitar

I can’t express how saddened I am to hear of Jeff Beck’s passing. What a terrible loss for his family, friends & his many fans. It was such an honour to have known Jeff and an incredible honor to have had him play on my most recent album.

Ozzy Osbourne

This dual lead-guitar lineup was filmed performing an adaptation of “Train Kept A-Rollin”, titled “Stroll On”, for the 1966 Michelangelo Antonioni film Blow Up. Beck was fired during a U.S. tour for being a consistent no-show—as well as difficulties caused by his perfectionism and explosive temper.

I am devastated to hear the news of the death of my friend and hero Jeff Beck, whose music has thrilled and inspired me and countless others for so many years … He will be forever in our hearts.

David Gilmour

In 1967, he recorded several solo singles for pop producer Mickie Most, including “Hi Ho Silver Lining” and “Tallyman”, which also included his vocals.[29] He then formed The Jeff Beck Group, which included Rod Stewart on vocals, Ronnie Wood on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and Aynsley Dunbar on drums (replaced by Micky Waller).

I’m heartbroken he looked in fine shape to me. Playing great he was in great shape. I’m shocked and bewildered … it don’t make sense I don’t get it. He was a good friend and a great guitar player.

Dave Davies

The group produced two albums for Columbia Records: Truth (August 1968) and Beck-Ola (July 1969). Truth sold well (reaching No. 15 on the Billboard charts. Beck then had his career derailed after he suffered a head injury in a car accident. Nick Mason recalls that in 1967 Pink Floyd had wanted to recruit Beck to be its guitarist after the departure of Syd Barrett but “none of us had the nerve to ask him.” In 1969, following the death of Brian Jones, Beck was approached about joining the Rolling Stones.

[A] wondrous soul [who] was able to show me how this guitar playing thing should be approached.

Billy Gibbons

In 1970, after Beck had regained his health, he set about forming a band with the drummer Cozy Powell. By April 1971 Beck had completed the line-up of this new group with guitarist/vocalist Bobby Tench, keyboard player Max Middleton, and bassist Clive Chaman. The new band performed as “The Jeff Beck Group” but had a substantially different sound from the first line-up.

Gutted [to hear the news] He was the Guv’nor. He was inimitable, irreplaceable – the absolute pinnacle of guitar playing. And a damn fine human being.

Brian May

Rough and Ready (October 1971), the first album they recorded, on which Beck wrote or co-wrote six of the album’s seven tracks. A second album Jeff Beck Group (July 1972) was recorded at TMI studios in Memphis. Steve Cropper was the producer and the album displayed a strong soul influence, five of the nine tracks being covers of songs by American artists

In the mid-70s, Beck supported John McLaughlin’s jazz-rock group Mahavishnu Orchestra on tour, an experience that radically changed how he saw music. Beck’s output slowed dramatically in the 80s, in part due to his suffering from tinnitus[1]. Jeff would continue to record and play live with such as David Bowie, Tim Bogert, and Carmine Appice.

He embraced project after project with limitless energy and enthusiasm. He cooked up magic through all the passing eras, always up for the next, unknown, unlikely collision.

Robert Plant

Beck’s solo album Blow by Blow (March 1975) evolved from these sessions and showcased Beck’s technical prowess in jazz-rock. It would reach number 4 on the charts. He would join the Jan Hammer Group in 1976 and release the live album Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group Live (1977). He released the LP, There & Back in June 1980.

In the 1980s Jeff would make appearances with his Yardbirds predecessor Eric Clapton at the Amnesty International-sponsored benefit concerts dubbed The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball shows. Beck also featured prominently in an all-star band finale performance of “I Shall Be Released” with Clapton, Sting, Phil Collins, Donovan, and Bob Geldof.

Genius guitar player

Brian Wilson

In 1985 Beck released Flash, featuring a variety of vocalists, including Rod Stewart, and Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie). In the 1988 movie Twins, Jeff played guitar with singer Nicolette Larson. For his only 1980s album, he released the 1989 album Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop, the first album to feature Beck as a fingerstyle guitarist, leaving the plectrum-playing[2] style.

A genius, a stunning original. He was an astounding guitar player with more ways to make you go, ‘WTF was that?’ than anybody else. He was profoundly talented, and never stopped innovating on the instrument.

Joe Satriani

He remained active through the 90s, collaborating with Jon Bon Jovi, Kate Bush, and Roger Waters, among others; in 1999, he released Who Else, which incorporated techno and electronic elements. In the 2000s and 2010s, Beck only released a handful of albums, but began to settle into his role as an elder statesman and lauded influence, performing with artists such as Kelly Clarkson and Joss Stone.

[A] major influence [and] an infinite source of joy my entire ifetime

Stevie Van Zandt

Jeff’s first marriage was to Patricia Brown, who was married for four years, from 1963 to 1967. He lived on an East Sussex estate since 1976 and married his second wife, Sandra Cash, in 2005. Beck’s most recent project was last year’s 18, 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.

There’s a couple who very much helped to keep me alive and sane and happy through the weirdness… and that’s Jeff and Sandra.

Johnny Depp

Jeff Beck died on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, and the age of 78. Often described as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Beck – whose fingers and thumbs were famously insured for 8,441,464.47 dollars – was known as a keen innovator.

I was so saddened to hear that Jeff Beck had died. Jeff Beck was a lovely man with a wicked sense of humour who played some of the best guitar music ever to come out of Great Britain. He was a superb technician and could strip down his guitar and put it back together again in time for the show. His unique style of playing was something that no one could match, and I will always remember the great times we had together. He would come over to dinner at our place or he and his wife, Sandra, would host an evening at their house. Jeff had immaculate taste in most things and was an expert at rebuilding his collection of cars. His no nonsense attitude to the music business was always so refreshing and I will cherish forever the moments we spent together. Jeff Beck has left the building and it is a lonelier place without him, God bless Jeff and his family.

Paul McCartney


Footnotes
  1. Tinnitus is when you experience ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears. The noise you hear when you have tinnitus isn’t caused by an external sound, and other people usually can’t hear it. Tinnitus is a common problem. It affects about 15% to 20% of people and is especially common in older adults. Tinnitus is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury, or a problem with the circulatory system. For many people, tinnitus improves with treatment of the underlying cause or with other treatments that reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable. [Back]
  2. A plectrum is a small flat tool used for plucking or strumming of a stringed instrument. For hand-held instruments such as guitars and mandolins, the plectrum is often called a pick and is held as a separate tool in the player’s hand. In harpsichords, the plectra are attached to the jack mechanism. [Back]

Further Reading

Sources

Wikipedia
Mayo Clinic
Discogs
The Guardian
Billboard


Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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