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Legendary Guitarist and Member of the English Rock Band The ‘Yardbirds’: Jeff Beck Passes Away at 78

jeff beck

Jeff Beck, the celebrated guitarist of the English rock band Yardbirds, passed away at the age of 78 on Tuesday. His publicist, Melissa Dragich, confirmed that the musician’s death was due to bacterial meningitis. He died in a hospital near his home in southern England.

Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck passes away at 78

Beck was often regarded as one of the greatest guitarists in history, with health insurance of £7M for his fingers. He joined the Yardbirds in 1965 to replace the former guitarist, Eric Clapton. Even before he joined the team, the English band was already making waves. Though, his exceptional talent added more elements to the band’s signature music style.

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Yardbirds’ Jeff Beck Was A Legendary Music Genius

Jeff Beck was born in 1944 in Wallington, London. Early in his childhood, music was already his passion. He sang in the church choir and played guitar as a teenager. Beck told New Statesman in 2016:

There was this guy, he wasn’t old enough to be my dad but he offered to be my guarantor. He said, ‘I’ll tell them I’m your stepfather’. Within a month, they’d sussed out he was nothing to do with me whatsoever and they snatched the guitar back. My dad went along and explained that we couldn’t afford it – so they waived the rest of the payments, and I got the guitar.”

The late guitarist attended art school in London before he became part of the Yardbirds. The band was already successful, but they became more prominent during the time Beck was on their team. He stayed with the band for 20 months, then left the group due to issues that came up during their US tour.

Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck

In 1968, Beck released a solo album where he exhibited his prowess on hard rock and blues. A year after his debut album, he formed his own band Jeff Beck Group. Unfortunately, Beck suffered a head injury due to a car accident. When the musician recovered, he introduced the rebirth of the Jeff Beck Group.

Beck had a fruitful career in the music industry. Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers said in an article for Rolling Stone:

Even in the Yardbirds, he had a tone that was melodic, but in your face — bright, urgent, and edgy. It’s like he’s saying: ‘I’m Jeff Beck. I’m right here. You can’t ignore me.” This was for a poll that mentioned Beck as the fifth greatest guitarist in the world.

Despite his incredible talent and accomplishments, Beck was never considered as popular or profitable as other legendary guitarists. When asked about this in 2009, Beck told the website Elsewhere that he never attempted to go mainstream.

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Guitarist Jeff Beck Left A Legacy In The Rock Music Industry

Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck

Beck earned eight gold albums in a span of six decades. He also brought home seven Grammys, six for the best rock performance category, and one for the best pop collaboration. The former guitarist was also inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame; first, when he was part of the Yardbirds, and second when he became a solo artist.

His passing was greatly mourned by several musicians and longtime friends in the industry. Many artists such as Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, and David Gilmour offered their condolences and messages of appreciation on social media.

Source: The New York Times, New Statesman, Rolling Stone

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Content writer at FandomWire.