Jeff Beck, one essentially the most acclaimed guitarists in rock and roll historical past, died Tuesday after contracting bacterial meningitis, in line with his household. He was 78 years outdated.
JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:
Guitarist Jeff Beck has died. In keeping with a launch from his household, the 78-year-old musician died instantly yesterday after contracting bacterial meningitis. Beck was a part of the so-called British Invasion of the Sixties and was broadly revered nicely into his 70s. NPR’s Felix Contreras has this report.
FELIX CONTRERAS, BYLINE: The British Invasion was fueled largely by American blues, and Jeff Beck was an enormous blues fan.
(SOUNDBITE OF THE YARDBIRDS SONG, “TRAIN KEEP A ROLLIN”)
CONTRERAS: His identify pops up all through that early Sixties historical past, first as a substitute for Eric Clapton within the legendary British rock group The Yardbirds, then because the chief of the Jeff Beck Group with a really younger Rod Stewart. Not like his British contemporaries who made their names enjoying with one band again then – musicians like Jimmy Web page and Led Zeppelin and Pete Townsend in The Who – Jeff Beck was related to a wide range of bands and configurations all through his profession, usually invited to carry out as a visitor musician for artists like Stevie Marvel and jazz fusion musician Jan Hammer. He was a relentlessly inventive musician, exploring not simply rock ’n’ roll but in addition jazz, blues and R&B. In 1976, he launched “Blow By Blow,” a solo album that was his most commercially profitable report.
(SOUNDBITE OF JEFF BECK SONG, “CAUSE WE’VE ENDED AS LOVERS”)
CONTRERAS: Jeff Beck was a infamous loner, and that’s – he largely prevented the highlight that different rock stars had been used to, preferring as an alternative to spend time along with his assortment of classic hotrod vehicles at his residence in England. He defined why in an interview with USA In the present day in 2012.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
JEFF BECK: After I’m there, it is – there’s one thing within the storage. There is a sure place. I do not know the place it’s, someplace in direction of the again of it. A ray of hope comes over me, you recognize, even when it is raining. I simply assume, this can be a good place. Shut the door. Get on with it.
CONTRERAS: As a guitarist, he was admired for his one-of-a-kind sound, which he created by manipulating his amplifiers, the best way he picked his strings utilizing solely the fleshy a part of his proper thumb and a singular use of the tremolo or whammy bar that caught out from his well-known Fender Stratocaster guitar.
(SOUNDBITE OF JEFF BECK AND ROD STEWART SONG, “PEOPLE GET READY”)
CONTRERAS: Jeff Beck was really one of many final guitar heroes who got here of age increasing the technical capabilities of the electrical guitar. In his fingers, it was as expressive because the human voice.
Felix Contreras, NPR Information.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “PEOPLE GET READY”)
ROD STEWART: (Singing) There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner…
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