Rock Icon Jeff Beck Dies at 78

Venla Shalin/Redferns

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

Guitar legend Jeff Beck tragically died on January 10, 2023, after contracting bacterial meningitis, according to a post that was shared on his Instagram. “On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing,” said the Instagram post. “After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

The 78-year-old spent the summer touring with Johnny Depp in Europe and released his final album, 18.  Their catalog was in the works for a total of three years and included several covers of Motown musicians, including songs from John Lennon, Beach boys, and Velvet underground.

Jeff Beck Dies

“When Johnny and I started playing together, it really ignited our youthful spirit and creativity,” the rocker told The Sunday Times last year. “We would joke about how we felt 18 again, so that just became the album title too.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean star began touring with Beck in the middle of his defamation trial against Amber Heard. The duo began playing together back in 2016 when Jeff visited Johnny’s band, The Hollywood Vampires. They quickly began recording together in 2019.

“It’s an extraordinary honor to play and write music with Jeff, one of the true greats and someone I am now privileged enough to call my brother,” Depp said in a statement

Beck rose to fame as part of the Yardbirds, replacing Eric Clapton, before he formed his Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart. His presence, tone, and volume redefined guitar music in the 60s and influenced movements such as jazzy rock, punk, and heavy metal.

One of his best interviews came when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the second time in 2009. Beck stated at that time, “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.”

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