English rock guitarist Jeff Beck, who is often hailed as one of the great guitarists of the genre for his work throughout the ’60s and ’70s with various bands including the Yardbirds and Beck, Bogert & Appice, has died at the age of 78, according to a statement from his representation given to Variety. It 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 (January 10). His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”
Beck had most recently released 18, a collaborative album with Johnny Depp, in July 2022, completing a tour for the album that year. Throughout his career, he won six Grammy Awards for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, as well as one for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both as a solo artist and as a member of the Yardbirds. After leaving the ‘Birds in 1967, he formed the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart on vocals, producing two albums and a handful of hits before breaking up in 1969.
In the ’70s, along with bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, he formed Beck, Bogert & Appice, and over the past few decades, Beck shifted to playing mainly instrumental music and continued releasing albums right up until last year. He was given a pair of honorary degrees from British universities and was credited with popularizing the use of feedback and distortion as an effect in rock guitar techniques. He’s survived by a wife, Sandra Cash, whom he married in 2005.
Jeff Beck is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.