Legendarily innovative guitarist Jeff Beck, a two-time inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 78.
A statement from Beck’s family 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 for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”
As Variety reports, “Beck brought formidable instrumental firepower to British band the Yardbirds, which he joined in 1965 as a replacement for Eric Clapton. Entirely at home with the group’s blues roots, he burnished their pop hits with an adventurous and virtually unprecedented use of feedback, sustain and fuzz. After a precipitous exit from the Yardbirds — where he had been joined by another future guitar star, Jimmy Page – Beck established his own band, the Jeff Beck Group, which was fronted by vocalist Rod Stewart, soon to become a solo star. The unit proved as unstable as it was powerful, and lasted for just two albums. During the ’70s, Beck assembled a second, more R&B-oriented edition of his group, and briefly formed a short-lived power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice with bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge and Cactus.”
Beck received seven Grammy Awards for instrumental performances, and an eighth for his 2009 work on Herbie Hancock’s The Imagine Project. He had recently completed a tour supporting his album with Johnny Depp, 18.
Beck was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Acknowledged as a member of the Yardbirds in 1992, he said in a brief speech, “They kicked me out… f**k them!” He entered the Hall as a solo act in 2009.