Jeff Beck Sheffield: Who is Geoffrey Arnold Beck - following hs gig at City Hall that featured Johnny Depp

Jeff Beck is a legend of the British rock scene – and he was recently in Sheffield!

By jimmy johnson
Monday, 30th May 2022, 12:31 pm

To fans of rock and roll, Jeff Beck needs no introduction. Arguably one of most naturally gifted guitarists of all time, he’s synonymous with classic rock.

He has 15 albums to his name (17 if you count collaborative efforts), but this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Described by some as a “guitarist’s guitarist”, let’s see how it all began for this rock god.

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Jeff Beck is one of the most celebrated guitarists in British history.

Early Career and The Yardbirds

Jeff Beck’s first foray into music may not be what you think – he began singing for his local parish church’s choir when he was ten years old.

It was after he heard Les Paul’s “How High the Moon” that Beck decided that his destiny laid within the world of rock.

His obsession with guitars ran deep, as he even went as far as to attempt to craft his own – to varying degrees of success.

How does Jeff Beck know Jimmy Page?

He found employment as a painter and a golf course groundsman before being introduced to the legendary Jimmy Page (who would go onto form Led Zeppelin).

Page was setting about assembling a supergroup – after hearing Beck playing for several local bands as a session guitarist, he recruited him into The Yardbirds, succeeding Eric Clapton.

He played guitar and lead vocals on Roger the Engineer, which ranked at 350 on Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time.

He also played a part in the album Little Games – which, ultimately, was one of the lesser critically acclaimed entries into The Yardbirds’ extensive catalogue.

Who are the Jeff Beck Group?

After leaving The Yardbirds on reportedly bad terms in late 1967, Beck formed his own group – The Jeff Beck Group.

The Jeff Beck Group has featured numerous musicians over the years, but the most notable (besides Beck himself) were Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.

Together, The Jeff Beck Group produced four studio albums: Truth, Beck-Ola, Rough and Ready and the self-titled Jeff Beck Group. While never one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, they were consistently critically praised – a testament to Beck’s talents.

Solo career and other ventures

After the dissolution of The Jeff Beck Group, Beck embarked on several side projects, including returning to his rhythm and blues roots – the genre that began his love affair with music.

From 1972-74, he played guitar and sang for Beck, Bogert and Appice, alongside Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice. This is widely seen as Beck’s least successful venture. They only released one album – a self-titled effort – which received mixed reviews, at best.

Beck didn’t let this slight misstep discourage him. He has been recording and releasing music ever since, with his last album (Loud Hailer) being released as recently as 2016.

He remains as one of the pillars of British rock – he was ranked at number five on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time, above the likes of Chuck Berry, his idol Les Paul and Sheffield’s Alex Turner.