One of the most skilled, admired and influential guitarists in rock history, Geoffrey Arnold Beck well known as Jeff Beck died at a Riverhall in southern England at the age of 78.
Beck rose to rock and roll stardom with the 1960s supergroup the Yardbirds and later enjoyed a prolific solo career “Blow by Blow.”
“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,” a statement on the English-born musician’s website said.
Born on June 24, 1944, in England, the self-taught artist began tinkering on a borrowed guitar and even tried building his own.
Barrons.com reported he’s cited guitarists from Les Paul to Ravi Shankar to Django Reinhardt as influences, and built a life off of experimenting with new sounds and fusions that pushed rock’s boundaries.
By the 1980s he’d discontinued the regular use of a guitar pick, producing innovative sounds by plucking with his thumb.
More recently he worked with actor Johnny Depp, who shortly after his controversial defamation suit teamed up with the rocker for an album primarily composed of covers.
In 2015 Rolling Stone magazine placed the artist at number five on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.