10 Jeff Beck Facts
Jeff Beck is undeniably one of the best guitarists out there. He is not only an established icon of British blues from the 60’s and 70’s but also shattered genre-specific classification by diving into rock, jazz, and even electronic music.
Like many other established guitar gods including Hendrix, Clapton, Page, and others, Beck has proved to be a permanent staple in rock and guitar culture. He and his music will never go out of style and will continue to influence newer generations and be a guiding example of great era-defining music.
With that being said, lets take a deeper look into some things you may not know about this iconic rock icon with 10 interesting Jeff Beck facts.
Paint Brush or Guitar?
Many creative individuals are talented at more than one specific art form. Creative expression can manifest itself in various ways and many people try to embrace all of their natural talents. Besides begin a sensational musician, Jeff Beck is also a great visual artist who had a passion for drawing, painting, and other art forms.
Beck had already been playing guitar avidly for a few years but was still uncertain about his future in music. So, he decided to head to college for art at the Wimbledon School of Art where he stayed for two years. Luckily for us, Beck decided his heart lied more with guitar than with the paint brush.
Beck Tries Shock Rock
David Sutch, known in the music world as Screaming Lord Sutch, was a shock rock singer in the 60’s, popular for his horror stage show and over the top antics. He is said to have influenced musicians such as Alice Cooper and Marylin Manson who are among the most popular shock-rock artists.
Lord Sutch’s first album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends indeed featured some heavy hitting musicians including Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Noel Redding, and Jeff Beck. With a whose who list of British musicians, you would think this album would be incredible. Unfortunately, it flopped and is considered one of the worst albums of all time.
Playing With Hendrix
Back in the 60’s there was a plethora of dynamite guitarists coming to the US from Britain. They all seemed to know each other and would collaborate in various scenarios. One player that they all seemed to be awe-struck by was god-like Jimi Hendrix.
Beck first witnessed Hendrix’s other worldly guitar playing while in London and thought “well I used to be a guitarist.” Hendrix would occasionally show up in New York at Beck’s gigs. One night, he forgot his guitar and Beck let him play his and played bass for the night!
When a musician finds a stable and beneficial record label, they aim to maintain the relationship. This task is not always easy, for both label or artist. For Jeff Beck, he found a reliable partner in Epic Records for almost 35 years! From 1967-2002 Beck recorded many albums with Epic and is one of their longest held musicians.
Just Say No To Festivals
Jeff Beck is one of the only musicians to be invited to play both Woodstock music festivals in 1969 and 1999 and cancel both! The Jeff Beck group was on the schedule but broke up right before the event. Then in 1999, scheduling conflicts forced Beck to decline the invitation.
Not Just Once…
It is always an honor for musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It signifies a successful and historic career and portrays legendary status in music. Jeff Beck, deservingly, was inducted into the Hall not just once, but twice!
First, in 1992, Beck was inducted as part of the British rock band The Yardbirds, which hosted other guitar greats Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. Then, he was inducted again in 2009 as a solo artist.
Beck was known for being reckless both in life and as a guitar player. Part of this translated into his driving which resulted in three major car-related accidents.
The most significant crash occurred in 1969. Beck sustained major injuries including a fractured skull. Before this, Beck had plans to create a band with members of the band Vanilla Fudge. During his recovery, the members decided they couldn’t wait and went elsewhere.
Jeff + Jenn
Back in 1999 after Beck had experimented with various forms of music throughout many years, he almost decided to call it quits from music. Although this probably would have never happened, Beck credits sensational rock guitarist Jennifer Batten for essentially “pulling me out of retirement.”
Batten toured with Beck from 1999-2001 and appeared on two albums and wrote some songs for the albums. With these albums, Batten helped Beck dive into more electronica and experimental rock music!
Hot Rod Obsession
For some reason, music and cars seem to gel very well together. In fact, a lot of celebrities and musicians end up having very impressive car collections.
Beck’s auto obsession lies in vintage hot rods, boasting a large collection of beautiful cars. Beck is also a seasoned mechanic, building a lot of the vehicles he drives.
Can you think of another blues rocker with an interest in vintage cruisers?
You Know His Biggest Fan
If you are a guitarist, not only do you know of Jeff Beck, but chances are, he is among your top 5 list of greatest guitarists. But, do you know who is perhaps his biggest admirer?
Our very own Joe Bonamassa!
That’s right, not only does Joe consider Beck to be one of the best Strat master of all time, but also the “greatest rock guitar player of every generation.” There you have it, directly from the blues-rock titan himself.
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