Jeff Beck Dead At 78

Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck died on January 10th at age 78, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

His family issued a statement, which reads: “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.”

Jeff Beck will forever be remembered for his pioneering work in the Yardbirds after replacing Eric Clapton; the Jeff Beck Group — which originally featured Rod Stewart and Ron Wood; Beck, Bogart & Appice, and on his own.

Jeff Beck’s former Yardbirds bandmate Jimmy Page told us a while back that Jeff Beck’s influence cannot be overstated: “He’s been instrumental in pioneering a whole blueprints that was totally unique to him for everyone else to learn from. I mean, no one’s ever equaled what Jeff’s done, but he’s — he really shifted the whole sound and face of the electric guitar music, y’know?”

Jeff Beck said on more than one occasion that he’d rather work on his cars than be in the studio. We pressed him as to why his albums seem to be coming out so quickly these days. He said it’s a combination of a sense of his own mortality, as well as a realization that his fans want to hear new music from him: “Time’s getting on, isn’t it? People are dying, and (I) look ’round and go, ‘What the hell’s going on here,’ y’know? And I enjoy playing, and, y’know, there’s no real excuse for me not to be doing something. People seem to enjoy what I do.”

Out now is Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp‘s joint album, titled, 18. The pair mixed new originals with covers by the likes of John Lennon, the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, the Velvet Underground, Killing Joke, the Everly Brothers, and more.