Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck has died at the age of 78. Beck passed away on Tuesday (January 10) after “suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss,” according to the official statement.
Having cultivated one of the most influential careers in rock history, Beck was universally acknowledged as one of the most talented and significant guitarists in the world, and has played alongside some of the greatest artists of rock, blues and jazz. Over the course of his distinguished 50-plus-year music career, he had earned an incredible eight Grammy Awards, been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time,” and been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame twice — once as a member of THE YARDBIRDS and again as a solo artist. In the summer of 2016, the guitar virtuoso celebrated his five decades of music with an extraordinary concert at the famous Hollywood Bowl.
Beck famously replaced Eric Clapton as THE YARDBIRDS‘ lead guitarist in 1965 and later went on to form THE JEFF BECK GROUP, which featured Rod Stewart on vocals and Ron Wood on bass. Their two albums — “Truth” (1968) and “Beck-Ola” (1969) — would become musical touchstones for hard rockers in the years to come.
The constantly evolving Beck‘s next move — a power trio with bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, which released “Beck, Bogert And Appice” (1973), once again shattered people’s preconceptions of what a rock guitarist was supposed to sound like.
Beck‘s astonishing 2010 solo album, “Emotion & Commotion”, brought about two additional Grammy Awards. He was nominated in five categories before bringing home three: “Best Rock Instrumental Performance” for “Hammerhead” and “Best Pop Instrumental Performance” for “Nessun Dorma”, both from “Emotion & Commotion”, and “Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals” for “Imagine”, his collaboration with Herbie Hancock.
His “Rock ‘N’ Roll Party (Honoring Les Paul)” album was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for “Best Rock Album”. In 2016 he released “Loud Hailer” and in 2017 “Jeff Beck: Live At The Hollywood Bowl” was released, both to widespread critical acclaim.