URIAH HEEP's MICK BOX On JEFF BECK: 'He Was My All-Time Favorite Guitarist'

February 14, 2023

In a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station, URIAH HEEP's Mick Box was asked if he was a fan of Jeff Beck, the legendary guitarist who recently passed away. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "A fan? I think that's understating it. I love everything that Jeff did. He was my favorite guitarist, all-time guitarist. From 'Hi Ho Silver Lining' from the early '60s to when he worked with THE YARDBIRDS. And my probably two favorite albums, if I put them in the Top 20, would be 'Truth' and 'Beck-Ola', of the JEFF BECK GROUP, with Rod Stewart singing, Ronnie Wood on bass, Micky Waller on drums and Nicky Hopkins on piano. And you listen to them, and they're just real records. They're four guys, five guys in the studio, all going for it, one time, one take. That's what you're listening to. It's fantastic. I love it."

Asked if he ever got a chance to meet Beck, Box said: "Yeah, a few times. A few award ceremonies. Out in Germany where BECK, BOGERT & APPICE were playing. Yeah, a few times. [He was] a lovely guy."

Mick added: "The funny thing about loving everything he did, I never sat down and learned one of his licks. I always saw it as a fan, which was unusual. But that's how I viewed it. And he took the guitar playing to areas that nobody else went. And he embraced every genre and then came up with something new with it. So he was amazing."

Beck, who rose to prominence with THE YARDBIRDS, died "suddenly" on January 10 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.

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.

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