A host of rock luminaries have paid their respects to Jeff Beck.
The legendary guitarist died on Tuesday (January 10th), after contracting bacterial meningitis. In a statement, Jeff Beck’s family spoke of their “deep and profound sadness” as they processed this “tremendous loss”.
An astonishing musician, Jeff Beck first found fame as a member of the Yardbirds, latterly contributing to their twin-guitar attack alongside a certain Jimmy Page. The Jeff Beck Group practically invented heavy rock – with a then-unknown Rod Stewart on vocals, too – before the 70s brought mass fame, as well as electronic innovation.
In a note, Rod Stewart said his friend and sparring partner was “on another planet”.
The vocalist added: “He took me and Ronnie Wood to the USA in the late 60s in his band the Jeff Beck Group and we haven’t looked back since. He 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. Thank you for everything. RIP.”
Ronnie Wood added: “Now Jeff has gone, I feel like one of my band of brothers has left this world, and I’m going to dearly miss him. I’m sending much sympathy to Sandra, his family, and all who loved him. I want to thank him for all our early days together in Jeff Beck Group, conquering America.”
Mick Jagger knew the English guitarist for decades, and the Rolling Stones singer mourned his loss: “With the death of Jeff Beck we have lost a wonderful man and one of the greatest guitar players in the world. We will all miss him so much.”
Blues legend Buddy Guy mourned the loss of a friend and trailblazer: “The loss of our friend Jeff Beck is crushing. All our love and prayers go out to his family, his friends, and his fans around the world. Until we meet again, Jeff.”
Aerosmith’s Joe Perry called him “the Salvador Dali of guitar”, adding that “to see him play was to hear the ultimate six string alchemist create magic in a world of its own.”
ZZ Top founder Billy Gibbons looked back on meeting Jeff Beck as a teenager, and the profound impact his music would have on his own life. “I met Jeff Beck when I was 17 and I was glad to know a guy like that, a guy who was able to show me how this guitar playing thing should be approached and that’s still very much the case. Jeff was a wondrous soul and we already miss him tremendously.”
Jimmy Page performed alongside Jeff Beck in the Yardbirds, and the two maintained a close friendship over the years. Writing shortly after news was confirmed, he said:
“The six stringed Warrior is no longer here for us to admire the spell he could weave around our mortal emotions. Jeff could channel music from the ethereal. His technique unique. His imaginations apparently limitless. Jeff I will miss you along with your millions of fans. Jeff Beck Rest in Peace.”