My Tribute To Jeff Beck (Jan 11, 2023)
(This is the tribute I (Doug Perkins) did on Facebook the day after Jeff Beck died (Jan. 10, 2023), I have included all the links I put in the comments so others could see the very wide range of music this man was able to cover in his 78 years on the planet – DP)
Well, I’m not one to do something when I know full well all the rest of the world is going to do it too, but I can’t let the passing of the unique genius guitarist that was Jeff Beck go by without paying my own respects on his huge body of musical work.
I know lots of people think that I am exclusively a jazz guitarist, but that’s not at all true. There are only a few of my early influences that I continued to listen to since my early days as a guitarist, but Beck was honestly the one guitarist from his generation who kept progressing and evolving as the years when on.
He went from a brash mod rocker who could always provide “a bit of flash” as he used to describe it with something musically out of the ordinary – which is and will always be the primary requirement for musicians that catch my ear. He evolved into his R&B influenced period with the keyboard version of the Jeff Beck Group that included playing and recording with Stevie Wonder, explored early 70s/80s fusion rock with Jan Hammer and the other up and coming from that ilk, and then went off on his own into his “Guitar Shop” period which was my favorite because of the harmonically adventurous songs he was coming up with collaborating with his keyboard players and his own in-born ability to get extraordinary sounds out of his guitar with actually pretty basic sound gear.
He was the only guitarist that I can honestly say that would sometimes play things that when I heard them I absolutely could not visualize how he did it – and I’m not the only seasoned guitarist that I have heard say exactly that.
Because of this, he was the living embodiment of what the musical instrument industry never wanted anyone to find out – that the sound is in your hands, ears and mind, not the equipment.
There’s lots of great tracks from Jeff, but this one “Where Were You” from his later period to me was the obvious choice to post as a tribute. One of the things that’s particularly poignant to me is how this track ends harmonically – unfinished, like he will soon play something else even better:
(Where Were You” – Live version:)
Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck: “Moon River”:
The famous “guitar smash” scene from the 60’s film “Blow Up”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSJGEn4FDys&list=RDjSJGEn4FDys&index=2
Jeff Beck & Johnny Depp “This Is A Song For Miss Hedy Lamarr”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maa1xTKu7aQ
Jeff Beck & Johnny Depp “Isolation”:
Jeff Beck & Stevie Wonder “Superstition”:
Jeff Beck & his band in Tokyo (with Jennifer Batten on second guitar): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3qBsVZkIXQ&list=RD_3qBsVZkIXQ&index=2
Jeff Beck Band Featuring Jan Hammer “StarCycle”:
Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck performs the National anthem:
Jeff Beck Group: “Definitely Maybe” (album track):
Jeff Beck “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”:
Jeff Beck on the Jools Holland Show “Drown In My Own Tears”:
Jeff Beck – Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony (audio only):