Jeff Beck: Rock royalty pays tribute to guitar genius

Finding fame as a member of The Yardbirds, he helped launch the career of 78-year-old Sir Rod Stewart, who said: “Jeff Beck was on another planet.

“He brought me and Ronnie Wood to the US in the late ’60s with his band the Jeff Beck Group and we haven’t looked back since. He was one of the few guitarists who, when he played live, would actually hear me sing and respond. Jeff, you were the best.”

Led Zeppelin guitarist Page, 79, said: “Jeff could channel music from the ethereal.”

And Chrissie Hynde, 71, of The Pretenders said: “The guitar hero of guitar heroes has left to join the greatest musicians. A true and loyal friend. I will always love you, Jeff.”

Beck carved out a stellar solo career, winning eight Grammy Awards and collaborating with stars while championing newcomers. Fearless of risk, he effortlessly transitioned from blues-rock to jazz fusion, pop to hardcore techno, while his ever-expanding technique had guitarists spellbound.

Offstage, the mild-mannered vegetarian, who lived in East Sussex, was a champion of wildlife rescue, but he also loved building American hot rods.

He died peacefully Tuesday after contracting bacterial meningitis, a family statement said.

Actor friend Johnny Depp, who recorded and toured with Beck, inset, was at his bedside before he died and is “devastated.”

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, 75, said: “One of my band of brothers has left this world, and I’m going to miss him dearly.”

His partner Stone Sir Mick Jagger, 79, said: “We have lost a wonderful man and one of the best guitarists.”

Queen guitarist Sir Brian May, 75, added: “He was the Guv’nor. He was inimitable, irreplaceable: the absolute pinnacle of the guitar. And a damn good human being.

David Gilmour, 76, of Pink Floyd, recalled that Beck’s music “moved and inspired me and many others.”
for so many years.”

Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, 80, said: “Jeff Beck was a charming man with a wicked sense of humour.

“His unique style was something that no one could match. Jeff Beck has left the building and it’s a lonelier place without him.”

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