MARTY FRIEDMAN: 'With JEFF BECK's Passing, A Huge And Tangible Void Has Been Left In The World Of Music'

January 12, 2023

Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman was among the musicians who paid tribute to British guitar legend Jeff Beck following his death on Tuesday (January 10).

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer, who rose to prominence with THE YARDBIRDS, died "suddenly" after contracting bacterial meningitis, his representative said.

Friedman took to his social media on Wednesday to write: "With Jeff Beck's passing, a huge and tangible void has been left in the world of music. Thankfully through his profound influence on an astronomical number of musicians, his sweet notes will continue to ring loudly, for generations to come.

"I became aware of Jeff Beck a bit late in the game, through my dear friend Jason Becker who was constantly extolling Jeff's many virtues to me. Jeff Beck is a peerless role model, especially in the sense that his playing identifies him immediately--and it is always played with so much finesse, and the depth of a master.

"I knew how much Jason admired Jeff, so I made the rather foolish decision to play a Jeff Beck song for Jason at one of the first Jason Becker tribute concerts in Chicago. Doing that sounds nice on paper, but Jeff's touch is inimitable, you would have to literally live his life and go through his experiences to play like that. And then you would need a masters degree in unique techniques that he invented and polished over the years. Still, I love Jason, so after playing a bunch of my own songs, I threw caution to the wind and ended my set with Jeff Beck's 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers'.

"The song itself is a relatively simple and familiar melody that many guys have played pretty well, as it is kind of a 'guitar standard'. The thing is, the simpler a melody is, when it is in the hands of a master like Jeff Beck, the more exponentially difficult it becomes for others to interpret on the same instrument, because the feelings, inflections and emotions in the original version are Jeff's and Jeff's alone.

"The bill was full of super guitar players, including Eddie Van Halen who was to follow my set, and many others. Imagine the tremendous stupidity (or balls...but probably leaning toward stupidity) I must have had to play a Jeff Beck song in front of Eddie Van Halen...and just before his set no less.

"So I play the song, and survived it, maybe it was passable at best. Most likely it just plain sucked. I am pretty sure it was the latter.

"My point here is to point out just what an extremely unique and special identity Jeff Beck is, and how playing his music further inspired me to try to carve out my own musical road.

"I'm not the only one Jeff inspired in this way. There might be something in the fact that when many of us tried to play some of Jeff's material, we just gave up, and sat there in wonder thinking, 'Who am I kidding...I'll never be able to play like that.' I'm sure we have Jeff to thank for a lot of us taking inventory of what we could do on our own."

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.

Speaking when he was inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for the second time in 2009, Beck said: "I play the way I do because it allows me to come up with the sickest sounds possible. That's the point now, isn't it? I don't care about the rules. In fact, if I don't break the rules at least 10 times in every song, then I'm not doing my job properly."

Beck famously replaced Eric Clapton as THE YARDBIRDS' lead guitarist in 1965 and later went on to form THE JEFF BECK GROUP, which featured Rod Stewart on vocals and Ron Wood on bass. Their two albums — "Truth" (1968) and "Beck-Ola" (1969) — would become musical touchstones for hard rockers in the years to come.

The constantly evolving Beck's next move — a power trio with bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, which released "Beck, Bogert And Appice" (1973),once again shattered people's preconceptions of what a rock guitarist was supposed to sound like.

1985's "Flash" kept Beck in the spotlight as he earned the "Best Rock Instrumental" Grammy for the song "Escape". A second Grammy came with Jeff Beck's "Guitar Shop" with Terry Bozzio and Tony Hymas, and a third for "Dirty Mind" from the "You Had It Coming" album in 2001. 2009 saw the release of the platinum-selling "Performing This Week… Live at Ronnie Scott's", which earned a Grammy for "A Day In The Life".

Beck's astonishing 2010 solo album, "Emotion & Commotion", brought about two additional Grammy Awards; Beck was nominated in five categories before bringing home three: "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" for "Hammerhead" and "Best Pop Instrumental Performance" for "Nessun Dorma", both from "Emotion & Commotion", and "Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals" for "Imagine", his collaboration with Herbie Hancock.

His "Rock 'N' Roll Party (Honoring Les Paul)" album was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for "Best Rock Album". In 2016 he released "Loud Hailer" and in 2017 "Jeff Beck: Live At The Hollywood Bowl" was released, both to widespread critical acclaim.

The eight-time Grammy winner is survived by his wife Sandra.

With Jeff Beck's passing, a huge and tangible void has been left in the world of music. Thankfully through his profound...

Posted by Marty Friedman on Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Find more on Marty friedman
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).