Jeff Beck Sheffield: Who is Geoffrey Arnold Beck – after his Town Hall gig with Johnny Depp
For rock and roll fans, Jeff Beck needs no introduction. Arguably one of the most naturally gifted guitarists of all time, he is synonymous with classic rock.
He’s got 15 albums under his belt (17 if you count collaborative efforts), but that’s not even beginning to scratch the surface. Described by some as a “guitarist’s guitarist”, let’s see how it all started for this rock god.
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Early career and The Yardbirds
Jeff Beck’s first foray into music might not be what you think – he started singing for his local parish church choir at the age of ten.
It was after hearing Les Paul’s “How High the Moon” that Beck decided his destiny lay in the world of rock.
His obsession with guitars ran deep, as he even went so far as to attempt to make his own – with varying degrees of success.
How does Jeff Beck know Jimmy Page?
He found employment as a painter and golf course gardener before being introduced to the legendary Jimmy Page (who would go on to form Led Zeppelin).
Page was setting out to put together a supergroup – after hearing Beck play for several local bands as a session guitarist, he recruited him into The Yardbirds, succeeding Eric Clapton.
He also played a part in the album Little Games – which, ultimately, was one of the least critically acclaimed entries in The Yardbirds’ extensive catalog.
Who is the Jeff Beck Group?
After leaving The Yardbirds on bad terms at the end of 1967, Beck formed his own band – The Jeff Beck Group.
The Jeff Beck Group has featured many musicians over the years, but the most notable (apart from Beck himself) were Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.
Together, the group Jeff Beck produced four studio albums: Truth, Beck-Ola, Rough and Ready and the eponymous group Jeff Beck. Although they were never one of the most successful bands in the world, they were still critically acclaimed – a testament to Beck’s talents.
Solo career and other ventures
After the Jeff Beck band disbanded, Beck embarked on several side projects, including returning to his rhythm and blues roots – the genre that began his love affair with music.
From 1972 to 1974, he played guitar and sang for Beck, Bogert and Appice, alongside Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice. This is widely regarded as Beck’s least successful venture. They only released one album – a self-titled effort – which received mixed reviews, at best.
Beck didn’t let this slight misstep deter him. Since then, he has been recording and releasing music, with his last album (Loud Hailer) being released in 2016.
He remains one of the mainstays of British rock – he was ranked number five on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists of all timeabove the likes of Chuck Berry, his idol Les Paul and Sheffield’s Alex Turner.