Photo by Tour Bus Live
The world lost another guitar god. On Tuesday, legendary guitarist Jeff Beck passed away from bacterial meningitis at the age of 78. Beck’s Twitter page announced, “On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing.”
Geoffrey Arnold Beck (Jeff’s real name), was born on June 24th, 1944 in Wallington, London. His musical endeavors first began when sang in a church choir at the age of ten. However, the electric guitar he heard as B.B. King, Les Paul, and Steve Cropper played on the radio is what really pulled him in to music.
During the early ’60s, Beck played around in multiple groups until he replaced Eric Clapton in British rock band The Yardbirds. Alongside Jimmy Page, Beck displayed what was unknowingly possible with the guitar during his work with The Yardbirds. Before Beck came to the scene, rock ‘n’ roll was dominated by either clean, jangly British Invasion sounds or bluesy artists with not much room in between. Jeff’s experimentation with feedback and distortion pushed the boundaries of the electric guitar, which would change the course of the instrument forever.
Following The Yardbirds, The Jeff Beck Group formed in 1967 initially with vocalist Rod Stewart and rhythm guitarist Ronnie Wood and transitioned in 1970 to vocalist/guitarist Bobby Tench, keyboardist Max Middleton, drummer Cozy Powell and bassist Clive Chaman. Both lineups of The Jeff Beck Group released multiple albums consisting of heavy blues rock that would go on to influence popular music. In 1972, Beck formed a power trio with Vanilla Fudge’s bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice called Beck, Bogert & Appice. The band lasted two years and from then on, Beck never stopped writing and performing.
The loss of Jeff Beck was felt deeply throughout the music community. We are absolutely devastated at this news. While we are all going to miss him so incredibly much, Jeff Beck’s spirit will always be alive through his music.
To celebrate an amazing life, here’s some footage of Jeff Beck performing live on the BBC back in the day: