Jeff Beck, one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time is dead. He passed on at the age of 78.
The British musician rose to fame as part of the Yardbirds. He replaced Eric Clapton, before forming the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart.
His tone, presence, and volume redefined guitar music in the 1960s and influenced movements like heavy metal, jazz-rock, and even punk.
Beck’s death was confirmed on his official Twitter page.
“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing,” the statement said.
“After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”
Speaking when he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the second time in 2009, Beck said: “I play the way I do because it allows me to come up with the sickest sounds possible.”
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Born Geoffrey Arnold Beck in Wallington, south London. The musician fell in love with Rock and Roll as a child, and built his first guitar as a teenager.
“The guy next door said, ‘I’ll build you a solid body guitar for five pounds’,” he later told Rock Cellar Magazine. “Five pounds, which to me was 500 back then [so] I went ahead and did it [myself].
“The first one I built was in 1956, because Elvis was out, and everything that you heard about pop music was guitar. And then I got fascinated. I’m sure the same goes for lots of people.”
After a short stint at Wimbledon Art College, he left to play with shock-rocker Screaming Lord Sutch and the Tridents.
When Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds in 1965, Jimmy Page suggested hiring Beck and he went on to play on hits like “I’m A Man” and “Shapes Of Things”, where his pioneering use of feedback influenced musicians like Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix.
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