Earlier this week, it was revealed that Jeff Beck passed away at the age of 78. The news came through the musician’s social media profiles and was shared by the representatives in Jeff’s name, most likely his family, revealing that he died on Tuesday, January 10. Among many famous guitar legends to share their tributes was also Queen’s Brian May who, in a new video, paid tribute to Beck.
One thing that May reflected on was what he says is “possibly the most beautiful bit of guitar music ever recorded.” Queen guitarist said (transcript via Loudwire):
“If you wanna hear his depth of emotion and sound and phrasing and the way he could touch your soul, listen to ‘Where Were You’ off the ‘Guitar Shop’ album.”
“Just Google ‘Where Were You Jeff Beck’ and sit down and listen to it for four minutes. It’s unbelievable.“
The song in question comes from Beck’s 1989 album “Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop.” For this one, the guitarist was accompanied by drummer Terry Bozzio and keyboardist Tony Hymas. You can check out the piece below.
“It’s possibly the most beautiful bit of guitar music ever recorded, probably alongside Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing.’ So sensitive, so beautiful, so incredibly creative and unlike anything you’ve ever heard anywhere else.“
“Yes, of course he had his influences too, but he brought an amazing voice to rock music which will never, ever be emulated, or equaled.”
“Jeff was completely and utterly unique, and the kind of musician who’s impossible to define. And I was absolutely in awe of him.”
In the video, Brian also looked back on a collaborative piece that he and Jeff Beck recorded, titled “The Guv’nor.” May wrote it for Jeff and it came out on the Queen guitarist’s 1998 solo album “Another World.” Brian said:
“He came over to my place here in the studio, played it with me, and we had a laugh. And he played some incredible stuff. Again, my jaw dropped.
“I couldn’t really pick up a guitar when he was in the room, because he was so incredible, I just wanted to watch and listen. So he played on the track, and he was, like, ‘Oh, yeah, whatever.'”
To sum things up, Brian said:
“Jeff Beck is so unique, so influential on every guitarist I’ve ever met in my life. The loss is incalculable. It’s so sad not having him in the world anymore. I still can’t quite compute it in my head.”
After the news of Jeff Beck’s passing came out, plenty of famous guitar players wrote heartfelt tributes on their social media profiles. Among them was also Joe Satriani who said:
“Jeff Beck was a genius, a stunning original. He was an astounding guitar player with more ways to make you go, ‘WTF was that?’ than anybody else. He was profoundly talented, and never stopped innovating on the instrument. R.I.P. Jeff.”
Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi said:
“I was totally shocked to hear the very sad news of Jeff Beck’s passing. Jeff was such a nice person and an outstanding iconic, genius guitar player – there will never be another Jeff Beck. His playing was very special & distinctively brilliant! He will be missed. RIP Jeff”
Bernie Marsden, the original Whitesnake guitar player, wrote:
“It’s with great sadness I post this photo. I first saw Jeff when my band opened for the Jeff Beck Group in 1968. After that I soon realised his sheer genius, a genius that continued for all his life. Now he’s gone, the best of the best. I’m devastated.”
“I was fortunate that we became quite close, especially when the great drummer Jimmy Copley died in 2017. Jeff produced & played with Jim’s band Upp. We were regular hospital visitors & bonded in our anxieties over our dear friend. Tonight I’m raising a glass to him, Jimmy & Cozy.”
“He always warmly welcomed me at his gigs over the years, as interested in my car as he was guitars, he was very funny to hang out with and easy to be around, which is perhaps different to what his image suggested – he loved that. My deep condolences to his wife Sandra.”