Monday, June 24, 2013

June 26: English rock guitarist Jeff Beck – Yardbirds, Honeydrippers, Beck - is 68 years-old today.

Jeff Beck is considered one of the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music. While Beck was not the first rock guitarist to experiment with electronic distortion, he nonetheless helped to redefine the sound and role of the electric guitar in rock music.

He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.

Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck was born 24 June 1944 in Wallington, England. As a ten-year-old Beck sang in a church choir. As a teenager he learned to play a borrowed guitar and made several attempts to build his own instrument, first by gluing and bolting together cigar boxes for the body and an unsanded fence-post for the neck with model aircraft control-lines and frets simply painted on.

Beck has said that he first heard an electric guitar when he was six years old and heard Les Paul playing "How High the Moon" on the radio. He asked his mother what it was, and after she replied it was an electric guitar and was all tricks, he said, "That's for me."

Upon leaving school he attended Wimbledon College of Art. Beck's sister Annetta introduced him to Jimmy Page when both were teenagers.

Much of Beck's recorded output has been instrumental, with a focus on innovative sound, and his releases have spanned genres ranging from blues rock, heavy metal, jazz fusion and an additional blend of guitar-rock and electronica. Although he recorded two hit albums (in 1975 and 1976) as a solo act,

Beck has not established or maintained the sustained commercial success of many of his contemporaries and bandmates. Beck appears on albums by Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Morrissey, Jon Bon Jovi, Malcom McLaren, Kate Bush, Roger Waters, Donovan, Stevie Wonder, Les Paul, Zucchero, Cyndi Lauper, Brian May, Stanley Clarke and ZZ Top.

He was ranked 5th in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and the magazine has described him as "one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock.” MSNBC has called him a "guitarist's guitarist.”

Beck has earned wide critical praise and received the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance six times and Best Pop Instrumental Performance once. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: as a member of the Yardbirds (1992) and as a solo artist (2009).

Beck's recent album, Emotion & Commotion, was released in April 2010. It features a mixture of original songs and covers such as "Over the Rainbow" and "Nessun Dorma Two tracks from Emotion & Commotion won Grammy Awards in 2011: "Nessun Dorma" won the Grammy.

In 2013, it was anounced that he will be performing on Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson's new solo album along with Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks.

For more about Jeff, visit his Website at –


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