Jeff Beck never stopped innovating. He always kept moving forward. He continued to expand the horizons of playing guitar. He was incredible.
A two-time inductee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Beck passed away Tuesday. He was 78.
He played with the Yardbirds. Rod Stewart was his singer. He fused jazz and rock. Beck’s playing was unforgettable, and you remembered it even if you didn’t realize it was him. For instance, the blackjack cheating scene in the movie “Casino.” “I Ain’t Superstitious.” That’s Beck with Stewart on vocals.
If you want to get a Jeff Beck primer, grab his two LPs with Stewart: “Truth” (1968) and “Beck-Ola” (1969). Amazing. Like Led Zeppelin, but different. “Truth” even includes “You Shook Me.” Beck and Stewart kill it.
Beck never went out of his way to pursue commercial success. As Beck famously said, “I’ve never made the big time, mercifully. When you look around and see who has made it huge, it’s a really rotten place to be.”
But Beck was respected and revered by his peers. He was the guitar player’s guitar player. Melodic, edgy, romantic, technical ecstasy…Beck had everything in his arsenal.
As Beck’s friend Jimmy Page said, “He’s having a conversation with you when he’s playing.”
Sadly, the conversation is over. Jeff Beck, RIP.
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