‘The Salvador Dali of guitar’: Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osbourne and David Gilmour lead tributes to Jeff Beck

Tributes are pouring in for the late Jeff Beck after his death was announced on Wednesday (11 January).

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer died “suddenly” aged 78 after contracting bacterial meningitis, his representative said.

The Grammy-winning artist is known for his time in the 1960s rock group The Yardbirds and was widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Fellow rock icon Ozzy Osbourne was one of the first to pay tribute to Beck on social media, writing: “I can’t express how saddened I am to hear of Jeff Beck’s passing. What a terrible loss for his family, friends & his many fans.

“It was such an honor to have known Jeff & an incredible honor to have had him play on my most recent album, Patient Number 9. Long live Jeff Beck.”

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger also shared his condolences, tweeting: “With the death of Jeff Beck we have lost a wonderful man and one of the greatest guitar players in the world. We will all miss him so much.”

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Jagger’s bandmate Ronnie Wood added: “Now Jeff has gone, I feel like one of my band of brothers has left this world, and I’m going to dearly miss him. I’m sending much sympathy to Sandra, his family, and all who loved him. I want to thank him for all our early days together in Jeff Beck Group, conquering America.”

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Rod Stewart, who performed with Beck in his eponymously titled Jeff Beck Group in the late Sixties and early Seventies, wrote: “Jeff Beck was on another planet. He took me and Ronnie Wood to the USA in the late 60s in his band the Jeff Beck Group and we haven’t looked back since.

“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.”

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“RIP Jeff Beck. A pioneer and one of the all time greats,” Johnny Marr tweeted.

Meanwhile, Kiss singer Gene Simmons wrote: “Heartbreaking news to report the late, great Jeff Back has sadly passed. No one played guitar like Jeff. Please get ahold of the first two Jeff Beck Group albums and behold greatness. RIP.”

(Clive Gee/PA) (PA Wire)
(Clive Gee/PA) (PA Wire)

Guitarist David Gilmour wrote: “I am devastated to hear the news of the death of my friend and hero Jeff Beck, whose music has thrilled and inspired me and countless others for so many years. Polly’s and my thoughts go out to his lovely wife Sandra. He will be forever in our hearts.”

Joe Perry added: “Jeff Beck was the Salvador Dali of guitar, to see him play was to hear the ultimate six-string alchemist create magic in a world of its own. With his passing, the world is a poorer place. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Sandra. We share your sorrow.”

In a statement, Beck’s representative wrote: “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.

“His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”