British guitar legend Jeff Beck, who has died at the age of 78, redefined guitar music in the 1960s.
He rose to fame as part of The Yardbirds, where he replaced Eric Clapton, and later formed the Jeff Beck group with Rod Stewart, becoming one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time.
It was Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page who suggested to The Yardbirds that Beck was the right fit for the band after Eric Clapton left in 1965.
He played on massive hits like I’m A Man and Shapes of Things.
After releasing a solo single, he formed the Jeff Beck Group with singer Stewart and bassist Ronnie Wood, but they parted ways in the 70s.
After putting his career on hold after being involved in a car accident, Beck formed a new line-up of his band, but their commercial success didn’t match the original group.
Fast forward to the 80s and he worked with Nile Rodgers on an album called Flash, which contained his first hit single – a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready with Stewart on lead vocals – which earned him a Grammy Award.
Aretha Franklin, Eva Cassidy and Bob Marley all recorded a version of the song too.
Beck has been described as a huge influence for movements like heavy metal, jazz-rock and even punk.
Page called him the “six-stringed warrior” in a tribute to his friend, adding he could “channel music from the ethereal”.
In 2014 Beck was awarded an outstanding contribution to British music award, which was presented to him by Page.
Queen Elizabeth II hosted a tribute to the British music industry in 2005, bringing together rock and roll greats.
Over in the US in 2012, Beck, along with BB King amongst others, was invited to play in front of the then American president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
It was billed as Red, White & Blues, organised to celebrate blues music, and Obama couldn’t resist joining in.
Beck was given two honorary degrees from British universities for his contribution to music.
One was from the University of the Arts London, and the other from the University of Sussex, for which he said he was “truly grateful for this unexpected honour”.
He leaves an incredible music legacy, and as Eric Clapton simply tweeted: “‘Always and ever’…….. ec”.
Guitar legend Jeff Beck dies aged 78
4 hours ago