Photo: Mandy Hall

Legendary Rocker Jeff Beck: Dead At 78

Considered by many of his peers and music fans to be one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, Jeff Beck has passed away at the age of 78.

In a statement posted to his official social media accounts:

“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing.” “After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

Beck rose to fame in the ’60s when he replaced Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds, but left the band a year later to launch The Jeff Beck Group, featuring (soon-to-be fellow superstars) Rod Stewart and Ron Wood.

One of a handful of musicians to receive the prestigious honor twice, Jeff was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 as part of the Yardbirds and inducted again in 2009 as a solo artist.

An eight-time Grammy winner, Beck earned his first statue in 1985 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “Escape,” one of five wins in this category throughout the years.

Some of Jeff’s most recognized compositions include “Heart Full of Soul,” (a 1965 single from the Yardbirds,) “I Ain’t Superstitious” (his debut solo 1968 album with The Jeff Beck Group,) “Truth,” and “Freeway Jam” (from his second album, “Blow by Blow” in 1975.)

In reaction to Beck’s death, Rod Stewart wrote on Twitter that Beck “was one of the few guitarists that when playing live would actually listen to me sing and respond.” “Jeff, you were the greatest, my man.”

Another of Beck’s former bandmates and current Rolling Stone, Ron Wood, took to Twitter on Wednesday (1.11) with “going to dearly miss him.” “I want to thank him for all our early days together in Jeff Beck Group, conquering America.” “Musically, we were breaking all the rules, it was fantastic, groundbreaking rock ‘n’ roll!” 

KISS bassist and co-frontman Gene Simmons called Beck’s passing “heartbreaking” and wrote “No one played guitar like Jeff.” “Please get a hold of the first two Jeff Beck Group albums and behold greatness. RIP.”

After the musician/actor duo recorded their ’18’ cover-oriented LP, Jeff Beck toured with Johnny Depp in 2022.

Originally from Great Britain, Jeff Beck is survived by his wife Sandra, according to his representative.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Mandy Hall