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News > United Kingdom

Legendary Rock Guitarist Jeff Beck Dead at 78 From

  • Legendary Rock Guitarist Jeff Beck Dead at 78 From
Published 11 January 2023

The legendary British guitarist Jeff Beck, considered one of the most virtuosic and influential instrumentalists of rock and blues, died of a sudden bacterial meningitis, sources close to him confirmed Wednesday.

His family confirmed his death on Twitter, writing: "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."

After playing with the Yardbirds, Beck went on to front his own band named the Jeff Beck Group. He pioneered jazz-rock and experimented with fuzz and distortion effects while opening doors for heavier subgenres like psychedelic rock and heavy metal. The eight-time Grammy winner even had each of his fingers insured for £700,000.

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Musicians began immediately posting to Twitter after news of Beck's death broke. Black Sabbath guitarist Tommy Iommi wrote that he was "shocked" to hear the "very sad" news, adding: "Jeff was such a nice person and an outstanding iconic, genius guitar player - there will never be another Jeff Beck. His playing was very special & distinctively brilliant! He will be missed."

The rock legend was ranked fifth in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

Beck, who was born in 1944 in Wallington, south London, sang in a church choir as a boy before he started playing the guitar as a teenager. He then went on to replace Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds on Page's recommendation and left the band after 20 months.

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