Jeff Beck Dead at 78

Guitar virtuoso and English rock titan Jeff Beck has died at age 78.

“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing,” a statement from the guitarist’s publicity firm reads. “After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.

Beck first rose to prominence as a member of the Yardbirds, where he replaced Eric Clapton. Beck played with the band from 1965-66, and his tenure briefly overlapped with Jimmy Page, who initially played bass in the group and then switched to second guitar. With Beck in the band, the Yardbirds scored several Top 10 hits in their native United Kingdom, including “Heart Full of Soul,” “Evil Hearted You” and “Shapes of Things.”

After being fired from the Yardbirds, Beck embarked on a brief solo career and then formed the Jeff Beck Group, which included Rod Stewart on vocals and Ron Wood on bass. He reached the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 with late-‘60s albums like Truth and Beck-Ola. His major solo breakthrough came in 1975 with Blow by Blow, a mostly instrumental album that peaked at No. 4 in the U.S. and went platinum.

After releasing 1976’s Wired, Beck’s output became more sporadic and he experienced a decline in commercial success. Still, he remained a classic rock fixture and was widely cited by fans, critics and musical peers as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. His most recent release was the Johnny Depp collaborative album 18, released in 2022.

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Author: showrunner