Every time a celebrity dies there is usually someone posting something along the lines of “I don’t usually post about this kind of thing, but…” and I guess that moment has finally come for me.
Growing up, I didn’t really know anyone who had even heard of Jeff Beck, let alone anyone who listened to him or would call themselves a fan. That’s partly due to my age group; the typical response I would get when bringing his name up would be along the lines of: “like Beck? The guy who sings Loser?” Even now, in circles where he is more well known (especially with an older crowd—no offense) he’s extremely underrated. A large part of this is due to the fact he mostly diverged from pop music and released jazz fusion and instrumental albums that never charted in the way his peers in the Stones or Zeppelin did.
One of the first things I ever wrote on the internet (on a now defunct blog) was essentially a (terribly written) ode to Jeff Beck1. And in my humble opinion, Jeff Beck is the greatest guitar player ever. Period.
I’ve been lucky enough to see him live a handful of times; the last being 2018 in Chicago and he was still playing like an absolute fucking legend at 74. However, the most notable performance for me was the Crossroads Guitar Festival put on by Eric Clapton in 2010. When Beck took the stage, all the previous performers came out from behind the stage to watch the master at work, even to something as simple as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.
Do yourself a favor and bathe in the way he makes his guitar sing:
Live at Ronnie Scott’s is also a great place to dig in.
Maybe I’ll dig this up for old times sake.↩︎