JOE BONAMASSA: JEFF BECK 'Was The Greatest Rock Guitar Player Of All Time'

November 2, 2023

In a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station, Joe Bonamassa was asked about iconic guitarist Jeff Beck's musical legacy. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I've done a bunch of shows with him in Europe, festivals we did, these bills with him. And his show was always amazing. To me, he was the greatest rock guitar player of all time, because for six decades he would reinvent himself every decade and come up with something that I'd go, 'Oh, man. I wish I thought of that.' He was just so creative and so influential. I mean, when [David] Gilmour says Beck is his favorite… Beck's at the top of everybody's lists — it's either Eddie [Van Halen] or Jeff, and sadly they're both gone. I mean, it's, it's crazy, this world now."

He continued: "But I will say this about Jeff Beck: the most entertaining and the most incredible guitar playing I've ever heard was when Jeff was just sitting in his dressing room. He had a little guitar amp and he had his guitar and he was just playing to kill time before the show. And you just hear everything from Cliff Gallup to these insane phrases and melodies. And you're, like. 'The guy's not human. He's not human.' And it would just be improv. And he would call me in every once in a while and be, like, 'Hey, check this thing out.' And he'd hand me his guitar. And it played high action and it was set up for him. And you'd just go, this guy, he lives in rarefied air, talent wise, that not a lot of people will experience in their life."

Beck, who rose to prominence with THE YARDBIRDS, died "suddenly" on January 10, 2023 after contracting bacterial meningitis, his representative said.

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.

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