The rock world is in mourning: British guitarist Jeff Beck, who rose to fame with the 1960s rock band The Yardbirds, died Wednesday of meningitis at the age of 78. Since then, tributes from the greatest rockstars on the planet have poured in to salute the memory of the one who served as a legend.
Starting with Mick Jagger. The leader of Rolling Stones posted on Instagram an excerpt from a performance during which he shared the stage with the guitarist:
Brian May, guitarist for Queen, also expressed his bitterness. “Disgusted, and so sad, to learn of Jeff’s death,” he wrote on the same social network, captioning a series of photos with him:
Born in June 1944 in London, Jeff Beck is considered one of the best rock, hard rock, blues and even jazz guitarists of all time, alongsideEric Clapton and of jimmy page with whom he played in the group The Yardbirds. He had also founded at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s the hard rock group The Jeff Beck Group with guitarist Ron Wood and singer Rod Stewartbefore a long solo career.
“He was one of the few guitarists who, when he played, really listened to me sing and answered me,” he concludes. “Jeff, mate, you were the best. Thanks for everything.”
Capable of switching from one style to another (rock, hard rock, blues, jazz) and constantly innovating with the sound of his instruments and amps, Jeff Beck was not a fan of acoustic guitars and played on electric guitars from Fender and Gibson. He was also renowned for his distortion effects with his instrument.
“No one played guitar like Jeff”
He experienced solo triumph in the mid-1970s with the album Blow By Blow. This success will never be denied and will earn him eight Grammy Awards. In 2015, the magazine RollingStone ranked him fifth on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
It is on this extraordinary talent that many of the musicians who pay tribute to him insist. Paul Young, in particular, salutes the memory of the “guitarist of guitarists”. Gene Simmons of the band Kiss adds that “no one played guitar like Jeff”. Paul Stanleyof the same formation, believes that he “had traced a path that was impossible to follow”.
Ozzy Osbourne, who had recently called on him, evokes a “terrible loss”: “It was such an honor to have known him and an incredible honor that he accepted to play on my last album, Patient Number 9.
One of Jeff Beck’s latest projects is the scrapbook 18released last summer, in collaboration with Johnny Depp. The actor’s music group, the Hollywood Vampirespays homage to a “legacy that will live on through his music” and salutes “a source of inspiration for all of us”.