Legendary Rock Guitarist Jeff Beck Dies Aged 78

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Some of Beck’s most well-regarded songs include: “Heart Full of Soul”, a 1965 single from the Yardbirds; “I Ain’t Superstitious” off his debut solo 1968 album with The Jeff Beck Group; “Truth”; and “Freeway Jam” from his second album, “Blow by Blow” in 1975.

Jeff Beck, one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time, has died, according to a statement released on his official Twitter account, at the age of 78.

“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing,” the statement said. “After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family asks for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

Beck rose to fame in the ’60s when he replaced Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds, before leaving a year later to form the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood. His tone, presence, and volume redefined guitar music in the ’60s, influencing movements like heavy metal, jazz-rock, and punk.

The British musician, who was born Geoffrey Arnold Beck in Wallington, Surrey, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 as part of the Yardbirds and inducted again in 2009 as a solo artist.

The eight-time Grammy winner won his first in 1985 for best rock instrumental performance for “Escape” and went on to win five more times in that category.

Responding to news of Beck’s death, Stewart twitted: “He was one of the few guitarists that when playing live would actually listen to me sing and respond.

“Jeff, you were the greatest, my man. Thank you for everything. RIP.”

Wood also wrote on Twitter saying he was “going to dearly miss him.

“I want to thank him for all our early days together in Jeff Beck Group, conquering America,” Wood said. “Musically, we were breaking all the rules, it was fantastic, groundbreaking rock ‘n’ roll!”

Members of KISS, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, also expressed their shock, with Simmons calling Beck’s death “heartbreaking” and adding: “no one played guitar like Jeff” and Stanley also calling Beck “one of the all-time guitar masters" and saying he had “blazed a trail impossible to follow. Play on now and forever”.

Beck is survived by his wife Sandra, according to his representative.