It's impossible to miss the sudden death of Jeff Beck, a phenomenal musician with a career path as brilliant as it was messy. Jeff Beck died on January 10th, 2023 at the age of 78, the British guitar legend is no more.
Farewell to Jeff Beck
I really discovered him in 1988 during a trip to the United States since I had bought the cassette (yes, it was the glorious time of the Walkman!) of his album Blow by Blow which accompanied me in all the American West.
Six years later, I saw him in concert at La Cigale in Paris in 1994 when he accompanied the Big Town Playboys following the release of a tribute album to Gene Vincent. The best moment of the concert was when Jeff Beck traded his Duo Jet Grestch for an Esquire and played one or two songs alone on guitar. A pure moment of grace.
Almost 15 years passed before I saw Jeff Beck on stage again. This time it was in the mythical Royal Albert Hall in London. Another moving memory with, among others, his instrumental version of Nessun Dorma from Puccini's opera Turando.
I never had the opportunity to meet Jeff Beck for an interview. However, in 2018 I interviewed the super talented Jennifer Batten who has accompanied him on stage and in the studio for several years. So here is below her fascinating interview, I dare say!
Here is a very personal selection of 3 albums to listen to :
- Blow by Blow (1975) : for the instrumental side very advanced on its time. Song to listen imperatively : "Cause We've Ended As Lovers".
- Guitar Shop (1989) : for the same reasons as Blow by Blow ! Song to listen to imperatively : "Where Were You".
- Flash (1985) : this is an unloved Jeff Beck album but I listened to it when it came out so I have strong memories associated with it. Must-listen track: "People Get Ready".
My very modest and improvised tribute on "People Get Ready
On the Flash album, Jeff Beck covers this song composed by Curtis Mayfield of the Impressions. It is his old friend Rod Stewart who sings.
Here is a video extracted from a live broadcast reserved for subscribers where I replayed this fabulous intro of Beck.
Gear used :
- Guitar: Strat Fender Paisley Japan
- Effect: Echo Baby Lovepedal
- Ampl: V-Twin Kelt
- Sound: OX Box Universal Audio
- Console: Hall Reverb
Jennifer Batten interview
As a tribute to Jeff Beck, I'm making available for free the complete 2017 interview of Jennifer Batten. Normally it is only accessible to paying subscribers of The Guitar Channel.
Audio version available on The Guitar Channel Radio
Farewell Jeff and thanks for all the great music!
Until the next interview, keep on playing the guitar!