Following Wednesday’s announcement of the death of English rock guitarist Jeff Beck, musicians and celebrities took to social media to remember the artist and his storied career. Among them, Gene Simmons, Mick Jagger and Rod Stewart shared their condolences and showed praise for the “distinctively brilliant” guitar maven.
Beck died on Tuesday after contracting bacterial meningitis, according to an official statement obtained by Variety and posted to his social media accounts. He was 78.
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In a Twitter post, Stewart thanked Beck for being “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.” Stewart was the vocalist of the Jeff Beck Group, a lineup that musically transcended the mere two years the band was actually together.
Jagger posted a recording of him and Beck sharing the stage in 2012 for a performance of “Commit a Crime” at the White House. “We have lost a wonderful man and one of the greatest guitar players in the world,” he wrote.
Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page, who had been friends with Beck since their early teens and played with him in the Yardbirds (and many times before and after), wrote on Twitter: “His technique unique. His imaginations apparently limitless. Jeff I will miss you along with your millions of fans.”
Eric Clapton, who with Beck and Page completed the Yardbirds’ classic triumvirate of guitarists (and with them constitutes the Mount Rushmore of British rock guitarists), wrote simply “Always and ever….”
Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi described Beck as “an outstanding iconic, genius guitar player,” in his post. The two shared major real estate on Ozzy Osbourne’s last album, “Patient Number 9” (2022), which received several nominations for the 2023 Grammy Awards including nods for Iommi and Beck in the best metal performance and rock performance categories.
“There will never be another Jeff Beck,” the note concludes.
“Heartbreaking news to report the late, great Jeff Back has sadly passed,” wrote Gene Simmons on Twitter. “No one played guitar like Jeff. Please get ahold of the first two Jeff Beck Group albums and behold greatness,” he said, referring to Beck’s 1968 debut “Truth,” and its successor, 1969’s “Beck-Ola.”
In an interview with Music Radar in 2017, Simmons was asked to list tracks that “blew his mind” and listed “Truth,” saying: “Even before Led Zeppelin and Cream, Beck took the blues and turned up the volume. But it wasn’t just decibels; Beck was pushing the envelope in all sorts of directions. Nuanced little jazz licks that caught you off guard… sophisticated, delicate melodies.”
He also told the publication it was the album he plays “right before I’m due to go on stage. Even if it came out today, it would grab your attention.”
Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet described Beck as the “absolute god of guitar… From rock to soul to jazz he was the greatest player in all genres.”
In her newsletter, Patti Smith sent out a video of Roger Waters’ “What God Wants, Pt. III,” in which Beck plays guitar, adding: “Tonight we lost Jeff Beck. He was quiet as moccasined feet, yet mercurial, innovative, impossible to categorize. One of the masters of my generation. A guitarist in the highest sense. Listen to him on this track, What God Wants, and say farewell.”
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