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Rock Legends React to News of Jeff Beck’s Passing, Share Last Farewells and Pay Tribute

On Tuesday, January 10, 2023, rock fusion guitar legend Jeff Beck passed away at the age of 78. The news of Jeff’s death was shared through his official social media profiles a day later, on January 13, revealing that the cause was bacterial meningitis. The statement reads:

“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing. After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask[s] for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

Countless musicians and fans have shared their tributes through social media, paying their respects to the game-changing guitarist who made his first breakthrough with the Yardbirds back in the 1960s.

ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons wrote:

“I met Jeff Beck when I was 17 and I was glad to know a guy like that, a guy who was able to show me how this guitar playing thing should be approached and that’s still very much the case. Jeff was a wondrous soul and we already miss him tremendously.”

Official ZZ Top camp said:

“We mourn the loss of Jeff Beck, a brilliant musician and friend. Our tours with Jeff were delights from both personal and sonic perspectives. We’re thankful that we were privileged to share so many stages with him over the years and will truly miss his artistry and personality.”

Jeff Beck and ZZ Top - Ernie Ford's SIXTEEN TONS

Buddy Guy and his representatives said:

“The loss of our friend Jeff Beck is crushing. All our love and prayers go out to his family, his friends, and his fans around the world. Until we meet again, Jeff.”

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi expressed his sadness by saying:

“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”

Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne wrote:

“I can’t express how saddened I am to hear of @JeffBeckMusic’s passing.  What a terrible loss for his family, friends & his many fans. It was such an honor to have known Jeff & an incredible honor to have had him play on my most recent album, #PatientNumber9. Long live #JeffBeck”

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler offered:

“Shocked to hear of the sudden death of Jeff Beck. Truly one of the greats. First time I saw him was in 1966 with the Yardbirds. Brilliant, unique guitarist. RIP”

Joe Satriani, guitar virtuoso who often cited Beck as an influence, wrote:

“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.”

The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood comments:

“Now Jeff has gone, I feel like one of my band of brothers has left this world, and I’m going to dearly miss him. I’m sending much sympathy to Sandra, his family, and all who loved him. I want to thank him for all our early days together in Jeff Beck Group, conquering America.”

Wood’s bandmate and the Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger said:

“With the death of Jeff Beck we have lost a wonderful man and one of the greatest guitar players in the world. We will all miss him so much.”

Mick Jagger & Jeff Beck Perform "Commit a Crime" at In Performance

The Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson said:

“I’m so sad to hear about Jeff Beck passing. Jeff was a genius guitar player, and me and my band got to see it close up when we toured with him in 2013. One of the highlights we did was ‘Danny Boy’ – we both loved that song. Love & Mercy to Jeff’s family.”

The official Guns N’ Roses camp wrote:

“Legendary. Rest in peace Jeff Beck.”

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry said:

“Jeff Beck was the Salvador Dali of guitar, to see him play was to hear the ultimate 6 string alchemist create magic in a world of its own. With his passing, the world is a poorer place. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Sandra. We share your sorrow.”

JEFF BECK, JIMMY PAGE, RON WOOD, JOE PERRY & METALLICA - Train Kept A Rollin'

Rod Stewart‘s statement reads:

“Jeff Beck was on another planet. He took me and Ronnie Wood to the USA in the late 60s in his band the Jeff Beck Group and we haven’t looked back since.”

“He was one of the few guitarists that when playing live would actually listen to me sing and respond. Jeff, you were the greatest, my man. Thank you for everything. RIP

Pink Floyd legend David Gilmour said:

“I am devastated to hear the news of the death of my friend and hero Jeff Beck, whose music has thrilled and inspired me and countless others for so many years. Polly‘s [Samson, David’s wife] and my thoughts go out to his lovely wife Sandra. He will be forever in our hearts.”

Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule and The Allman Brothers Band writes:

“So, now when someone asks me ‘Who’s your favorite guitarist — living or dead?’ I will say what I always say: ‘I can’t answer that.’ But my very short list will include Jeff. There will never be another Jeff Beck. RIP.”

Jeff was also known for wielding Gibson Les Paul guitars in the past and the guitar brand paid their tribute by saying:

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Jeff Beck’s passing. He was and always will be an inspiration. Our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and fans. Rest easy, Jeff.  Thank you for the music.”

Jeff Beck - She's A Woman (Live) (High Quality)

Of course, Beck was a famous Fender Stratocaster player and Fender also shared an official statement, saying:

“The impact @jeffbeckmusic had on music is immeasurable. The Fender Family is deeply saddened by his passing, and we’re keeping his loved ones in our thoughts during this difficult time. Thank you, Jeff, and may your legacy continue to pave the way for generations to come.”

Among other guitar brands, Ernie Ball also said their last farewell. They wrote:

“The Ernie Ball company would like to express our deepest condolences to the Jeff Beck family and fans around the world. For over 40 years, Jeff was an invaluable member of our artist family. His extraordinary guitar style and legendary musical contributions will be greatly missed.”

Jeff Beck - Pork Pie (From "Performing This Week Live at Ronnie Scotts")

George Thorogood and The Destroyers had this to say:

“We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Jeff Beck, one of the greatest ever. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.”

Bernie Marsden, a blues rock maestro known and the original Whitesnake guitarist, wrote a tribute in a few Tweets:

“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.

Dave Davies of The Kinks was in disbelief, saying:

“Is this true about Jeff Beck is this really happening I’m in fucking shock I can’t believe it.”

Among many Tweets that Davies shared, one read:

“I’m heartbroken he looked in fine shape to me. Playing great he was in great shape. I’m shocked and bewildered. Deepest sympathy to his wife friends close ones I’m bewildered Jeff Beck it don’t make sense I don’t get it. He was a good friend and a great guitar player.”

Mike McCready of Pearl Jam said:

“Saddened to hear Jeff Beck has passed away. I was lucky to see him once and I stood in awe of his genius. Thank you, Jeff, for being amazing to us guitar players…”

Photo: Mandy Hall (Jeff Beck EnmoreTheatre)

Author

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.