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Jeff Beck Was Truly One of a Kind Guitar Virtuoso

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck

On January 10th, 2023 the legendary English Rock Guitarist Jeff Beck passed away at age 78. I was truly touched by his passing. I was in awe of his talents since I was a teenager when I dabbled with the guitar.

From his early days with the Yardbirds, a band that included fellow guitar great Jimmy Page, to his days with the Jeff Beck Group, a band that included Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, to Beck, Bogart & Appice, to a long solo career, he left behind many mesmerizing performances.

His influences were wide-ranging from Les Paul to Roy Buchanan to B.B. King to Lonnie Mack to Ravi Shankar. His music style also incorporated Blues, Jazz and he was a master Technician.

I saw him in concert just once, at Hofstra University Playhouse in the 1970s. His performance that night was mesmerizing. The only disappointment was he didn't come out for an encore.

Growing up, I remember listening over and over to "Cause We Ended As Lovers" off his "Blow by Blow" album. Then years later watching him in amazement perform the Beatles' "Day in the Life." And afterward, you couldn't help but say to yourself how did he do that? I'd encourage you to watch both of these performances on YouTube. The performance I like the best is from a Crossroads concert of "Cause We Ended As Lovers" which is 4:21 in length.

Other Beck personal favorites are "Freeway Jam", "People Get Ready" and "Beck's Bolero."

Eric Clapton once said about Jeff Beck "He's the most unique and devoted guitar players. It's like he's pulling the strings." When he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 by Jimmy Page, he said how "Jeff keeps getting better and better even as he aged", and he did. He was truly amazing. It was the second time Beck was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 1992 he was inducted as a member of the Yardbirds.

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His sound was so unique. Since the 1980s he played without a guitar pick. His use of the whammy bar on his Fender Stratocaster was masterful as were his volume control skills. No guitarist can or will be able to copy his style. What's also amazing is Beck's passion for American cars, especially roadsters which is worked on himself with his skillful hands. I don't mean just washing the cars. I am saying rebuilding and restoring these vintage cars himself. For proof positive, watch him on two YouTube videos when he did a part 1 and part 2 interview on "Car Crazy."

Jeff Beck will forever remain a guitar icon that will be missed. Many of us will never forget the God-given talent that he perfected thru lots of practice.

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