Former DEEP PURPLE and current RAINBOW guitarist Ritchie Blackmore has 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.
Ritchie took to his social media on Thursday (January 12) to write: "First met Jeff Beck around 64-65 and it was a session where we were both playing guitars and Jimmy Page was producing. I couldn't believe how incredible he was, not only with his technique but his sound too. I became a fan of his ever since. He could reach up into the stars and make magic with his playing. His choice of notes were always absolutely perfect.
"This whole thing is a shock. We shall always remember Jeff as the best rock and roll player."
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.
First met Jeff Beck around 64-65 and it was a session where we were both playing guitars and Jimmy Page was producing. I...
Posted by Ritchie Blackmore Official Site on Thursday, January 12, 2023