Guitar legend Jeff Beck, dead at 78

By Kate Stow

The music world was stunned Wednesday when the family of Jeff Beck posted on his Twitter account that the guitar great had passed. By midnight the post on @jeffbeck had reached over 13 million views.

 “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,” the statement read.

Beck, who got his start with Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton in the 1960’s with The Yardbirds, was ranked in the top five greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone. Beck earned wide critical praise and received the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance six times and Best Pop Instrumental Performance once. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: as a member of the Yardbirds (1992) and as a solo artist (2009).

Jeff Beck, Ron Chapman, 1966

The 78-year-old remained active, touring and recording consistently throughout his 50+ year career. His most recent project was the album “18” – a collaboration with actor/musician Johnny Depp that was released in April 2022. “Jimi Hendrix wouldn’t have played the way he did if it hadn’t been for this guy,” Depp said in a 2022 interview.

Musicians all over the globe are expressing their grief today, including some BUDDY Texas Tornados.

“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, “ 1978 Tornado Billy Gibbons posted on Twitter.

Dallas International Guitar-Fest Producer and 1982 Tornado Jimmy Wallace said “Jeff Beck. The Best Of The Best … His playing was lyrical, as compelling and commanding as a master vocalist, always emotional, transcendent, groundbreaking, inventive and even more incredible, he repeatedly took it to new heights in subsequent decades. Constantly reinventing himself, how remarkable that someone in their 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s could be better than they were at half that age.”

2017 Tornado Wes Jeans regarded Beck as “a musical giant, a trailblazer. He helped pave the way for some of the most legendary guitarists of all time and was loved and respected by them all. His touch, tone, and phrasing were so unique it’s like he was from another planet! He will be greatly missed by music lovers the world over.”

Texas guitar virtuoso Mark Lettieri told Buddy, “Beck was a true visionary. A real risk-taker, always pushing the boundaries of sound. He never settled in his pursuit of expression, ever refining his ability to conjure a multitude of human emotions on the instrument. And he did it in a way that sounded only like him. This kind of singular focus and dedication is something by which all musicians, not just guitarists, can be inspired.”

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