“My friends were outcasts, the guitar saved me”
Of the 78 years that Jeff Beck lived, 60 were dedicated to music. From joining the Yardbirds as Eric Clapton’s replacement to his association with Johnny Depp, he has become instrumental music’s greatest guitarist. Without him, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen probably wouldn’t exist.
In an interview with Kory Grow for Rolling Stone, he recalled that it was his love for music that saved him from crime: “The only friends I had were pretty marginal. They were one step away from jail, all of them. The guitar saved me. I never made it big, fortunately, probably. When you look around and see who made it big, it’s a pretty depressing place, if you think about it. Maybe I was lucky not to have been a part of it.”
Jeff Beck sang in a church choir at age 10, but knew guitar was his thing from the moment he first heard Les Paul at age six. He learned to play in his teens on a borrowed guitar, while trying in vain to make one at home. At art school he met Jimmy Page in 1962, with whom a few years later he would play in the Yardbirds.
Who was Jeff Beck?
Jeff Beck is a British guitarist, known for his work in bands like The Yardbirds and his solo career. Born in 1944, Beck began his career in the 1960s as a guitarist for The Yardbirds, a rock and roll and blues band. During his time in the band, Beck was noted for his virtuosity on the guitar and for his ability to incorporate elements of jazz and experimental music into his style.
In 1968 Beck left The Yardbirds to form his own band, the Jeff Beck Group. With this band, Beck continued to explore new ways of playing the guitar, incorporating elements of funk, soul, and electronic music. The band released several successful albums and had several chart hits.
However, despite the band’s success, Beck decided to dissolve it in 1972 to pursue his solo career. Over the next few decades, Beck released several solo albums and collaborated with a wide variety of artists, including Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, and members of Pink Floyd.
Throughout his career, Beck has been known for his ability to fuse different musical styles and for his ability to constantly innovate. He has been praised for his impeccable technique and for his creativity in creating melodies and arrangements. He has also been praised for his ability to incorporate elements of technology into his music, such as the use of effects and samples.
Beck has also been recognized with several awards and honors throughout his career, including the Grammy Award for Musical Excellence in 2009, and in 2015 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has also been included in several lists of the greatest guitarists of all time, being considered by many as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.