Death of Jeff Beck: Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Jimmy Page… All hail a ‘brilliant guitarist’
The disappearance of famous British guitarist Jeff Beck at the age of 78 has shocked the world. Friends, artists and employees pay homage to him and pay tribute to a “brilliant musician”.
The music world mourns. The legendary rock, hard rock, blues and jazz guitarist, who rose to fame in the 1960s with the band The Yardbirds, died Tuesday of meningitis at the age of 78, we learned through a press release from his family on Wednesday night.
“On behalf of his family, it is with deep sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing. He passed away peacefully yesterday after suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis,” she wrote.
The disappearance of the man who has won no fewer than eight Grammy Awards in almost sixty years of career unleashed a wave of emotions, starting with Mick Jagger, leader of the Rolling Stones. He was “a wonderful man and one of the greatest guitarists in the world,” he said in a video on Twitter. Gene Simmons of hard rock band Kiss admitted that “nobody plays guitar like Jeff”.
With the death of Jeff Beck we lose a wonderful man and one of the greatest guitarists in the world. We will all miss him so much. pic.twitter.com/u8DYQrLNB7
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) January 11, 2023
His friend Tony Iommi, founder of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, emotionally confided that, quite simply, “there would never be another Jeff Beck”.
Devastated to learn of the sudden and tragic death of legendary guitarist Jeff Beck. He was loved by all who knew; the guitarist guitarist! My condolences to his family and friends RIP. pic.twitter.com/OcCv1jSNvx
— Paul Young (@PaulYoungParlez) January 11, 2023
Musician Paul Young said he was equally “devastated by the sudden and tragic death of the legendary guitarist,” adding that Geoffrey Arnold Beck, real name, is nothing short of “the guitarist’s guitarist.”
He was the equal of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix
Born near London in June 1944, Jeff Beck was considered one of the best guitarists, on a par with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. Jeff Beck joined Jimmy Page in the rock band The Yardbirds in 1965, shortly after Eric Clapton’s departure.
The duo established their legend with the albums and tracks “Shapes of Things” and “Over Under Sideways Down” before Jimmy Page formed Led Zeppelin. Taking to Instagram, the latter, now 79, hailed “the six-stringed warrior (who) is no longer here to admire the charms he could cast on our mortal emotions”.
Able to shift from one style to another and constantly renewing the sound of his instruments and his amps, he formed the hard rock group The Jeff Beck Group at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s with then-unknown British singer Rod Stewart and Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones.
Rod Stewart estimated Wednesday night that “Jeff Beck[came]from another planet.” “He took me and Ronnie Wood to the States in his band The Jeff Beck Group in the late 1960s and we haven’t looked back since,” he wrote on Twitter, along with a photo of the two men.
Jeff Beck was on another planet. He took me and Ronnie Wood to the US in the late ’60s with his band, the Jeff Beck Group
and we haven’t looked back since. pic.twitter.com/uS7bbWsHgW
— Sir Rod Stewart (@rodstewart) January 11, 2023
Jeff Beck then started a very long solo career, which he successfully celebrated in the mid-1970s with the album “Blow By Blow”. In the 1980s and 1990s he played with the biggest and chained concerts: Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Roger Waters, Jon Bon Jovi…
According to Rolling Stone, the fifth greatest guitarist of all time
During a 2009 Montreal jazz festival, the guitarist admitted that “it was very difficult to pinpoint the origin of (his) sound”. Rocker, bluesman, jazzman, he also said he was influenced by Les Paul, Ravi Shankar or Django Reinhardt. He was also famous for his distortion effects with his guitar, a sound being experimented with by Pete Townshend’s The Who at the same time.
In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him fifth on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He even released an album last July and performed alongside his friend, American actor and musician Johnny Depp.
Jeff Beck was not a fan of acoustic guitars, preferring the Fender and Gibson electric brands. The American manufacturer appreciated in a tweet that Beck “has always been and always will be a source of inspiration. Thanks for the music.”