photo of legendary British guitar hero Jeff Beck in a studio playback session

Jeff Beck Is Gone But The Notes Linger On In The Infinite Universe

 

by Richard Cameron


 

Jeff Beck Is Gone But The Notes Linger On In The Infinite Universe

 

Geoffrey Arnold “Jeff” Beck  (June 24, 1944 – January 10, 2023)  Wallington, Surrey , is one of the top two of my rock musician idols with respect to the electric guitar. The other is Jimi Hendrix. Those two consist of the top tier and everyone else falls into the second tier or further below.

The news that the inimitable Beck, who won eight Grammys out of 17 total nominations and was inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, contracted a bad case of bacterial Meningitis and passed away yesterday, was a blow, despite the fact that I am ordinarily not prone to celebrity worship, to say the least.  And I am not. 

Jeff is in a different category – someone who was a credit to his profession and never made a stupid spectacle of himself on the public stage, or any stage.  Beck never had that marquee sort of ubiquitous public awareness that others among his contemporaries did for example, Eric Clapton.

“I’ve never made the big time, mercifully probably. When you look around and see who has made it huge, it’s a really rotten place to be when you think about it. Maybe I’m blessed with not having had that. And I have to look at it that way.”

Beck in a  Rolling Stone interview in 2018.

Eric Clapton was not and is not in the same stratosphere as a musician as Jeff Beck, but Clapton, early on, hitched his wagon to a world class promotional machine known as the Robert Stigwood Organization (RSO), and rode that wave of generated publicity and notoriety even when he was no longer serving up anything new or innovative. The two, however, have been friends since they were in their early twenties.

It is of value though, to examine Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck as a study in contrasts. Eric Clapton, minus the addition of heaped up stacks of Marshall amps (which Townshend had pioneered) and some adoption of effects, such as the wah wah pedal in Cream’s venture into psychedelia, had really cemented his basic approach to the guitar, idioms and phraseology by the time he joined British Blues impresario John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in 1966.

From that point, Clapton’s guitar habits were static and immutable and he had no further musical curiosity or impulse to expand technique or explore the breaking of new ground. All guitarists of the Eric Clapton school saw everything necessary to be seen in order to emulate him, before Cream disbanded in 1969.  Replicating Eric’s routine and conventional guitar breaks, was not astrophysics. 

On the occasions when Beck shares a stage with Clapton, Eric is the solid, predictable, largely inert ingredient staying strictly in the lane he’s always chosen for himself and Beck is the catalyst to drive the music forward and burn everything down in his path, which the last time I checked, was the idea of rock and roll to begin with.  In that sense, they do compliment one another as this performance from the “Secret Policeman’s Other Ball” concert demonstrates:

 

 

The guitarist that actually can also be said to have had a hand in revolutionizing the electric guitar during the same time span – Jimmy Page, was in fact a schoolmate and childhood friend of Beck’s and they grew up learning the instrument together.  

“[My parents] complained [about the guitar], but they didn’t stop me.  I suppose they thought, ‘If he’s got the guitar, he’s not going out stealing.’ The only friends I had were pretty low-life; most of them were one step away from jail.”

                                             – Jeff Beck, on the early days in Surrey, England

I probably should at this point, properly put Page in that first tier with Hendrix and Beck where he belongs.  Both men were stunned when they first witnessed Jimi Hendrix at the Speakeasy and the Bag O’Nails in London and were both quick studies of Hendrix.

The word about Hendrix spread quickly and every famous musician you can name, checked out Jimi and were floored as a consequence as one would expect – Hendrix was a force of nature.

Beck and Page were, if you will pardon the pun, electrified by Hendrix and Clapton was demoralized. That’s not to say that the arrival of Hendrix was not a rude awakening of sorts for Beck and Page as well as Pete Townshend.  

No one was producing sounds from a solid body electric like Jimi in late 1966 although Page and Beck, in particular, were certainly pursuing parallel tracks in that direction. Hendrix was well aware of Jeff Beck even prior to their first encounter.    

“Jeff Beck was punk rock before punk existed and one of the most inventive guitar players of all time. He set a very high bar for all of us who followed. His legend will live on.”

                                                                                   – U2’s The Edge.

If you are a student of Hendrix’ repertoire, you can spot some of the quotations of Beck’s that he drops in as an acknowledgment of his appreciation of Jeff – such as the one where Jimi on his song “In From The Storm”, tags on a riff from the Jeff Beck Group’s seminal metal riffing on a track called “Rice Pudding.”

Beck is on record, recalling that Hendrix even took the stage while Jeff Beck’s band was playing, pushing Jeff over onto the bass. He considered it an honor. You’ll search far and wide and not find a fellow musician during Hendrix’ brief tenure, who didn’t enjoy Jimi as both a musician and a person and the same can be said of Jeff, which we will see as we go forward.

No one played guitar like Jeff. Please get ahold of the first two Jeff Beck Group albums and behold greatness.”

                                                                        – Gene Simmons of KISS

Jeff had created some amazing sounds with the Yardbirds, that immediately changed the perception of the group when he took over from Clapton. With Clapton, the group was tethered to Blues workouts, mostly covers and little to nothing original.

 

photo of the original album cover for the Canadian release of the Yardbirds' epochal recording, "Over Under Sideways Down"
The original album cover for the Canadian release of the Yardbirds’ epochal recording, “Over Under Sideways Down”

 

Psychedelic music was just in its infancy when Beck created amazing effects employing feedback and distortion on Yardbirds tracks like “Shapes of Things”, “Heart Full Of Soul” and “Over Under Sideways Down”.

I encourage the reader to look into the U.K. issued Yardbirds LP, “Roger The Engineer” (1966), to sample the embryonic elements that found their way into the playing of many bands, not only in England at the time, but further abroad, especially “across the pond.” Check out the Shadows Of Knight’s “Psychotic Reaction” and you will immediately recognize the influence.

Jeff and Alice Cooper have been long time friends and Alice considers Jeff at the pinnacle of the rock guitar pantheon, stemming from all the way back to 1966 when Jeff and the Yardbirds were visiting Phoenix on their American tour:   

“When I was 16 years old, The Spiders, who became the original Alice Cooper band, opened for the Yardbirds. That night I experienced the greatest guitar player I had ever heard. Half a century later Jeff Beck is still the greatest guitarist, PERIOD.” The greatest of all time. He was a friend, and there will NEVER be another Jeff Beck. Ever.”

 

The Coop describes the impression Beck made on him and his bandmates:

“We played a local place called the VIP Club. Every band played The Beatles, or some played The Rolling Stones, we were The Yardbirds band. We played all Yardbirds songs. Being the house band, big bands would come in from England. So, we’re going to open for The Yardbirds — the real Yardbirds with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, both in the band.”

“Everybody says, ‘Who’s the best guitar player?’ This is what cinched it for me,” he continued, describing his memory of Beck holding the guitar in front of him and playing triplets as he slowly dropped it by its neck in his hand. “He catches it right on the last note where it’s feeding back, and we went, ‘What? That’s impossible!’ That was 1966, so how good is Jeff Beck now… He’s probably, technically, the best player.”

The only other guitarist that was experimenting with those elements in that time period was Pete Townshend of the Who, but with less of the overall vocabulary of sounds that Beck brought to public attention. This was 1965 and a lot of bands were gobsmacked at the transformation of the instrument. Then came Hendrix about a year and a half later.

social media post from Kinks' guitarist Dave Davies, on the shock of learning Jeff Beck passing away

Beck, for his part, moved on from the Yardbirds and with the space of another roughly year and a half, once again, set the stage for more acceleration into the emerging genres of hard rock and proto metal with his eponymous assembly of future rock icons, Rod Stewart and Ron Wood and two under recognized drummers, Mick Waller and Tony Newman along with keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, under the banner of the Jeff Beck Group

A story exists that seems to check out, is that simultaneous with this, Pink Floyd, because of their insurmountable problems with Syd Barrett’s psychological disintegration, wanted to recruit Jeff to the band, late ’67. No one, it is said, could muster the nerve to make the approach.

It’s just as well. David Gilmour was every bit the right fit and Jeff would not have stayed with them for more than a few albums and tours. Gilmour himself, said as much. “I suspect Jeff would have left after six months. I don’t think the compromises that one has to make to be in a group … I don’t think Jeff is that interested in compromise.”

 

an archival photo of Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck and Ron Wood during their run as the first version of the Jeff Beck Group

 

Beck relates an entertaining story of how he and young Rod the Mod, hooked up musically:

“Let’s not beat around the bush, I was pretty down at the time – I’d lost my girl, Hendrix had come and smeared everybody across the floor… it wasn’t looking too rosy. I’d fallen out with the Yardbirds – whatever happened I was out, and I’m facing a Monday morning just outside London thinking, What’s the point? It’s all gone against me.

So I went to the Cromwell Inn, which was my last hope of preventing anything silly happening.  It was the flattest, most boring Monday and I looked up and there’s a bloke in the corner like that [slumped over] with a beer and I thought, ‘I’m getting out of here’, so I said, ‘Hey mate, you all right?’ He looked up and it was Rod.  I said, ‘We’re both fucked. What about we go together and get a band?’ He went, ‘If you mean it, then put your number on this piece of paper.’

Beck released the album “Truth” in 1968, which caught the attention of everyone in the expanding universe of hard rock and psychedelic music – including Jimmy Page, who was just forming his own post Yardbirds super group, Led Zeppelin and who, upon closely examining “Truth”, adopted a number of its elements as a blueprint.

 

tweet from Ron Wood, Jeff Beck's bass player from the original Jeff Beck Group on Beck's passing

 

When the band toured America for the first LP, they made a devastating impression on up and coming rock icons, not the least of which was Billy Gibbons of Z.Z. Top, whose band at that time was known as the “Moving Sidewalks”.  Jeff recalls that, “Billy Gibbons, when he was in The Moving Sidewalks, said that when we appeared at this club, his life changed. I don’t know if it was for the better, but he’d never seen amps that touched the ceiling.”

 

Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin reacting on Instagram at the news of the death of his childhood friend Jeff Beck

 

Beck couldn’t help notice the influences that Jimmy Page took from “Truth”, when he first heard Led Zeppelin (I) and was a bit peeved for a period of time as a result. Despite that, “Truth” is notable for one episode that predated the main studio work that comprised the album.

This is the one off session that produced the track, “Beck’s Bolero”. In the studio for an improvised instrumental, were Jimmy Page, future Zep bassist and multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins and legendary Who drummer Keith Moon.

 

 

If you listen closely, you can hear the part of the number when Moon is so possessed with the manic intensity of the proceedings, he roars and then hits the crash cymbal with such mayhem that he sends it and the stand, literally crashing to the floor.  It’s the sort of complete abandon that Jeff embraces in his own playing.

“I play the way I do because it allows me to come up with the sickest sounds possible. That’s the point now, isn’t it? I don’t care about the rules. In fact, if I don’t break the rules at least 10 times in every song, then I’m not doing my job properly.”

                                                                               – Jeff Beck

photo of Jeff Beck Group, with Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Micky Waller and Jeff Beck
L-R, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Mick Waller and Jeff Beck, comprising the line up for Jeff Beck Group (Mk I)

 

The first edition of the Jeff Beck Group (referred to by fans as “Mk.1”), recorded one more ingenious LP, “Beck-Ola” and then, in a harbinger of Beck’s entire career, disbanded the group, with Stewart going solo, then shortly joining forces with Ron Wood in The Faces, a later iteration of the 60s mod band, the Small Faces.

 

Tweet from Rolling Stones' front man Mick Jagger on the passing of legendary rock guitarist Jeff Beck

Interestingly enough, Mick Jagger called Beck about a possible opening of a guitar slot for him in the Stones, but Beck said thanks but no thanks. It doesn’t take much to read into this, that Beck, with his propensity to follow his muse wherever it might lead, considered a job as a Stones sideman as something that would be a bit of a musical straitjacket, combined with his awareness of the craziness of the Stones’ touring menagerie which was not a great fit for Beck’s temperament.

Stewart, himself, was much more of a commercial success and a marketable commodity, while Jeff was more of a phenomena with musicians and people who were less into the flamboyance and image end of things.

Jeff and Rod would sporadically work together for short stretches throughout their careers, including their cover of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, “People Get Ready”, in 1985. It’s a powerfully emotional track and beside demonstrating the full scope of Beck’s powers, highlights Stewart’s voice as an instrument in its own right.

 

 

They did have a magic together that Beck was rarely able to duplicate with other lead singers. Beck would become enthusiastic about new projects, exhaust all the potential and possibilities and then move on before they got stale. That made him somewhat unique and at the same time, made it difficult for him to sustain a wider fanbase. 

“Jeff Beck was the Salvador Dali of guitar, to see him play was to hear the ultimate 6 string alchemist create magic in a world of its own. With his passing, the world is a poorer place. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Sandra. We share your sorrow.”

                                                                      -Joe Perry of Aerosmith

 

Next was a new iteration of the Jeff Beck Group (Mk 2), with an outstanding supporting cast of Max Middleton (keyboards), Bob Tench (vocals & guitar), Clive Chaman (bass) and the big beat of Cozy Powell behind the drum kit.

Two more great LPs – one of which featured another of Jeff’s own guitar influences – Steve Cropper of Booker T & The Mgs and Stax Records Memphis session fame in the producer’s chair. Solid reactions from Beck’s fanbase, some great takes on Stevie Wonder’s music and critically acclaimed, but no commercial breakout with either recording.  

“He was a great soul who did great music,” Wonder told the Detroit Free Press. “I’m glad that I was able to meet him and have him in my life, giving some of his gift to my music.”

                                                                               – Stevie Wonder

An interesting interlude during this time, was Beck and Stevie Wonder’s mutual admiration society. Beck sat in on some of Wonder’s sessions at Stevie’s invitation. One day, Beck was hanging out, waiting to work with Stevie on some demos and Jeff was noodling around on the drum set with an improvised rhythm. Wonder heard it as he came in the room and asked Jeff about it. Jeff was self effacing and dismissed the beats Wonder was intrigued with, but Wonder asked him to continue and moved over to the electric piano and began composing the intro to “Superstition”.

Stevie wanted Jeff to have the song to record, but Motown president Berry Gordy Jr., upon hearing the demo, put the kibosh on it, insisting Stevie record it himself and the rest is history, although Jeff did record it a year or two later.

“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. Polly‘s and my thoughts go out to his lovely wife Sandra. He will be forever in our hearts.”

                                                                       – Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour

Another example of this musical transience was his brief partnership with Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert of Vanilla Fudge and Cactus – “Beck, Bogert & Appice”.  Beck had actually agreed to team up with Bogert and Appice in a group they were forming, the aforementioned “Cactus” in around 1969, but Beck, driving one of his early muscle cars, got into a gnarly solo accident that year, which put him out of commission for another year and a half, during which time Cactus had to get out of the starting gate without him.

“BB&A” was another monster, supergroup recording, but also a one and out, although some subsequent bootleg recordings surfaced at later dates. Of note, most associate the original use of the “talk box” guitar effect with Peter Frampton on Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive” platinum double LP, but recordings exist of Beck using it a few years prior with BB&A.

Paul Stanley saluting the recently departed guitar icon Jeff Beck on Twitter

 

From there, Beck caught the bug of the emerging genre of fusion. He was not the first out of the gate with that style of music. Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis is considered the father of the musical form, which then produced the likes of Weather Report, Return To Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

But the Mahavishnu Orchestra was dreadful in the sense that there was virtually no discernable musical structure to it, but instead mostly consisting of self indulgent and soulless soloing, people playing over one another and a lot of notes at blinding speed with little to no inflection or context.

Jeff was fond of John McLaughlin and was impressed with the instrumental prowess of Mahavishnu, but when Jeff went into the studio to imagineer his concept of fusion, it was broadly speaking, a dramatic reset.

The musicians on the record, “Blow By Blow”, were all in on a highly compositional approach in which all the virtuosity was in support of the song structures and each musician, complimentary of one another. I was a fan of Fusion at the time, but since then, “Blow By Blow” is singularly the only well conceived and executed example of that trend that I can stomach out of all of it.

Beck’s taste and imagination are impeccable. Every note Beck plays has a purpose and the purpose is not to gratuitously showcase mastery of the instrument, but rather to drive the music forward into largely uncharted territory.

 

Joe Satriani's tweet on Jeff Beck as a prime guitar influence

 

But live, Jeff had the performance ethic of jazz players and Jeff actually incorporated Jazz guitar chord voicings and techniques in various of his performances, something that very few of his contemporaries ever dared to or aspired to attempt. He was totally in the moment and nothing if not improvisational.

Whatever impulse or emotion had possession of him in the moment, was realized on whatever guitar – Fender Telecaster, Strat or Les Paul Custom, he was playing.  Beck, early on, dropped the pick, in favor of letting flesh touch frets and strings nude, adding to his repertoire of incredible voices on the instrument.

Here, in an interview with Total Guitar, Beck describes his approach to the solid body electric:   

“My Strat is another arm, it’s part of me. It doesn’t feel like a guitar at all. It’s an implement which is my voice. A Les Paul feels like a guitar and I play differently on that and I sound too much like someone else. With the Strat, instantly it becomes mine so that’s why I’ve welded myself to that. Or it’s welded itself to me, one or the other.  Really you’ve got to hand it to the Fender Strat, because there are songs in [that guitar]. It’s a tool of great inspiration and torture at the same time because it’s forever sitting there challenging you to find something else in it, but it is there if you really search.   

In addition to Blues, Jazz, Fusion, Psychedelia, Hard Rock, Experimental and Proto-Metal, Jeff also demonstrated he could replicate to perfection, the early Rockabilly style of another of his influences, guitarist Cliff Gallup of Gene Vincent’s band, “Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps”, when he issued the recording of “Crazy Legs”.  Jeff was channeling his experience with Vincent’s music a pre-Yardbirds band he was in called “The Rumbles” in 1963.

Les Paul also was a guitar giant that captured Jeff’s imagination, in a tribute recording during his time with the Yardbirds on the track, “Jeff’s Boogie.”   

“Jeff was such a nice person and an outstanding iconic, genius guitar player – there will never be another Jeff Beck. His playing was very special & distinctively brilliant! He will be missed.”

                                                                     – Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath

 

It would be easier to list the singers and bands that Jeff has not collaborated with, than to name check all the ones he did. But, in the hopes that you will explore a little and take in the width and breadth of the diversity of styles he enhanced with his playing, we’ll go over a handful of them.

Only the most self confident of lead guitarists would invite Jeff onto their records, but Pink Floyd’s axe man David Gilmour didn’t hesitate. Jeff appeared on a few of Gilmour’s solo releases and the two enjoyed playing together in live appearances. Roger Waters also tapped Jeff to play on his “Amused To Death” recording.

Tina Turner was a fan and featured Jeff on her “Private Dancer” LP – both the single version and the extended mix of the title track and another standout with Jeff’s otherworldly modulations on the aptly titled, “Steel Claw.”

Brian Wilson was well aware of Jeff’s magic and brought Jeff in to play on a yet to be released double album set and also took Jeff with him on the road on Brian’s 2013 tour of 18 cities, leveraging Jeff’s wizardry on the remarkably diverse “Smile Suite”, which you can check out, here.

“I’m so sad to hear about Jeff Beck passing. Jeff was a genius guitar player, and me and my band got to see it close up when we toured with him in 2013. One of the highlights we did was ‘Danny Boy’ – we both loved that song. Love & Mercy to Jeff’s family.”

                                                                            – Brian Wilson

 

Even though Jeff rebuffed Mick’s advances on joining the Stones back in the 70s, Jeff did take Jagger up on his invitation to play on several tracks on Mick’s two solo LPs from the 80s, “Undercover” and “She’s The Boss”.

Kate Bush has enjoyed a resurgence in interest of late, after having been mostly absent for a few decades. Jeff played on her 1993 collection, “The Red Shoes” on the track, “You’re The One.”

The Beck edition Yardbirds weren’t only Alice Cooper’s favorite musical reefer. David Bowie was a Beck aficionado as well and you can hear this in David and Mick Ronson and the band’s rave up of “Shapes Of Things” on Bowie’s “Pinups” collection of Brit Invasion covers. As it turns out, Jeff would join David on stage in 1973 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, taking leads on  “The Jean Genie”/”Love Me Do” and “Around and Around.”

 

photo montage of Jeff Beck and legendary music producer George Martin

 

George Martin, the brilliant producer who brought the collective genius of the Beatles to life on the recordings that made them the center of the rock solar system, helped Jeff realize two of the great Jazz rock / Funk sessions, the aforementioned, “Blow By Blow” and its follow up, “Wired”.  Rolling Stone describes the effect the collaboration had on Jeff:  

That record, Blow by Blow, would turn out to be a milestone for Beck and Martin. Beck’s first all-instrumental record, it revived his stalled career, hitting Number Four on the pop chart in 1975, and it was also one of the high points of Martin’s studio adventures after the Beatles. “To work with someone of that caliber … he gave me a career,” Beck said of Martin. “Without him, who knows what would have happened.”

Beck returned the honor by adding his magic to George Martin’s swan song collection of Beatles covers, “In My Life” – performing an instrumental rendering of the Sgt. Peppers’ classic, “A Day In The Life.”

Beck contributed to two songs on Ozzy Osbourne’s Grammy-nominated album Patient Number 9, and Ozzy shared a tribute on Instagram Wednesday: “I can’t express how saddened I am to hear of @JeffBeckOfficial’s passing. What a terrible loss for his family, friends and his many fans,” adding, “It was such an honor to have known Jeff and an incredible honor to have had him play on my most recent album, Patient Number 9. I’ll remember him fondly. Long live #JeffBeck.”

We’ve scarcely scratched the surface of all the recordings Jeff has appeared on, but I don’t want to spoil all your fun in searching them out.   Brian May of Queen, a standout on six strings in his own right and a connoisseur of the best guitarists in the Golden Age of rock, is a disciple as well

“If you wanna hear his depth of emotion and sound and phrasing and the way he could touch your soul, listen to ‘Where Were You’ off the Guitar Shop album. Just Google ‘Where Were You Jeff Beck’ and sit down and listen to it for four minutes. It’s unbelievable.

“It’s possibly the most beautiful bit of guitar music ever recorded, probably alongside Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing.’ So sensitive, so beautiful, so incredibly creative and unlike anything you’ve ever heard anywhere else. Yes, of course he had his influences too, but he brought an amazing voice to rock music which will never, ever be emulated, or equaled.”

                                                                               – Brian May

 

In terms of who Jeff has influenced, that is a long list as well. Frank Zappa’s son, Dweezil, who is himself a highly accomplished practitioner of the six strings and credits Beck along with his father Frank as strong influences on his own playing, muses on Jeff Beck being more of the key inspiration of his friend, the late Eddie Van Halen’s playing, than Eric Clapton:    

I don’t hear Clapton in Ed’s playing, unless he’s playing straight up blues and he can clearly mimic Eric to a T. When Ed’s playing more like himself, I feel like the origin of some of his most exciting techniques and playing are linked to Jeff Beck. I hear it mainly showing up in phrases where he’s using the vibrato bar or he’s playing open string licks or the string bending that he does. His intonation and the way he gets to the notes is similar to Jeff.

Eddie was known to have been a fan of Jeff’s two Jazz rock LPs, “Blow By Blow” and “Wired.”

As Guns & Roses’ Slash told Rolling Stone in a feature where guitarists discussed their favorite guitarists, 

“It’s a lot easier to appreciate Beck’s guitar playing if you’re a guitar player. He just has such a natural control over the instrument. It’s the ability to make it do something that you’ve never heard anybody else do. Blow by Blow is the album I had when I was a kid. He would go from love songs to a really blistering, hard-rock, heavy-sounding guitar without ever going over the top.”

 

No less than Sir Paul McCartney, the great “Macca” responded to the untimely passing of Beck, with heartfelt praise:  

“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.”

 

And we’ll finish with a story I like from Joe Perry of Aerosmith, who shared Steven Tyler’s deep admiration for Jeff:

In 2020, Perry remembers sitting with Jimmy Page at the 2016 Classic Rock Awards in Tokyo and watching Beck do a sound check. “Somebody took a picture of us from behind, and we look like two fucking kids watching the sound check,” Perry enthused. “Every time that Jeff touched his guitar, I would elbow Jimmy and [say], ‘Did you hear that?’ And then he’d play something else, and he’d elbow me and go, ‘Did you hear that? He works on it. He still works on it.’”

 



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