Jeff Beck, one of the greatest guitarists in history, dies at 78

Jeff Beck, one of the greatest guitarists of all time, died this Wednesday (11), aged 78. Bacterial meningitis suddenly affected the musician, causing his death. In a career spanning nearly 60 years, Beck was known as “the guitarist’s guitarist”, given the reverence with which he was treated by his instrument colleagues.

Beck began to make a name for himself playing in blues and Rhythm and Blues clubs and on recording sessions in London. His passport to fame came through an invitation to join the Yardbirds, replacing none other than Eric Clapton.


With him in the post, the band stopped playing only the blues to venture into other styles. He was only in the band for a year, but in that short period of time, he recorded memorable singles (“Shapes of Things”, considered the first great classic of psychedelia, is the greatest of them) and one of the great albums of the 60s (” The Yardbirds” or “Roger The Engineeer”, as he became more popularly known).

He also appeared in the Michelangelo Antonioni film “Blow Up”, destroying his guitar during a performance by the band. The film also immortalized the rare moment when he and another future guitar legend, Jimmy Page, were together in the group.

The next step was to form his own band. The Jeff Beck Group included a young singer named Rod Stewart and future Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood on bass. With an aggressive and direct sound, it can be said that the group was a pioneer in the hard rock scene, paving the way for bands like Led Zeppelin to shine in the following years. The album “Truth” (1968) shows this. This band lineup only lasted one more record. Soon after “Beck-Ola”, the band disintegrated.

In the 1970s, Jeff put together a second lineup of the Jef Beck Group, created a short-lived super-group, Beck Bogert & Appice, and reached his greatest peak of popularity when he embraced jazz fusion on the albums “Blow By Blow” and “Wired” from 1975 and 1976.

In the 1980s, he had a huge hit with a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” with vocals from his old pal Rod Stewart.

Even without releasing any album that has been hugely successful in recent decades, either with audiences or critics, Beck has maintained his status as a legend unchanged. He was twice a member of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame (with the Yardbirds and for his solo career) and was voted the fifth best guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone – ahead of him were just two other former Yardbirds, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, as well as Keith Rihards of the Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix, naturally, took first place. The musician released his latest work last year: “18”, in partnership with actor Johnny Depp.

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