The British guitarist Jeff Beck died on Tuesday at the age of 78 after “suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis,” his family reported.
“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck's passing,” the family of the guitarist shared in a statement posted on social media on Wednesday.
“After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday,” the statement continued. “His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”
Beck's sudden passing came as a shock to many, as Beck recently appeared in various shows in England together with his long-time friend, actor Johnny Depp—after the Pirates of the Caribbean star's court victory over Amber Heard in the United States.
The legendary guitarist, who made waves in the 1960s as a member of the English rock group the Yardbirds, is considered “one of the greatest guitarists of all time,” the Hollywood Reporter noted.
Beck holds the record for the most Grammy Awards for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, with six. Beck also won Best Pop Instrumental Performance and was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The condolences poured in on social media in the wake of the news of Beck's passing.
“A sad day for music,” guitarist Nick Perri wrote. “The Jeff Beck Group LP, opening with Ice Cream Cakes, was the first blues rock album I ever heard. It had a tremendous impact on me. Still does. RIP to a legend amongst legends.”
“I'm completely gutted, a true guitar genius and a sweet man,” guitarist Davey Johnstone commented. “Love and sympathy to his family.”
I was totally shocked to hear the very sad news of Jeff Beck’s passing. Jeff was such a nice person and an outstanding iconic, genius guitar player—there will never be another Jeff Beck. His playing was very special & distinctively brilliant! He will be missed. RIP Jeff -Tony pic.twitter.com/0mn2gtTj5Z
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) January 11, 2023
Eric Alper tweeted:
“Jeff Beck, one of the greatest guitarists of all time, has died. He was 78.
“He won eight Grammys and ranked fifth on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists, and influenced everyone–literally everyone–that came after him.
“He will be sadly missed.”
Paul Young also took to Twitter:
“Devastated to hear of the sudden and tragic death of legendary guitarist Jeff Beck. He was loved by everyone in the know; the guitarists guitarist! My condolences to his family & friends RIP.”
Dave Davies added his condolences via Twitter:
“I’m heartbroken, he looked in fine shape to me. Playing great he was in great shape. I’m shocked and bewildered. Deepest sympathy to his wife friends close ones I’m bewildered Jeff Beck it don’t make sense. I don't get it. He was a good friend and a great guitar player.”
And, finally, from Bill Burr on Twitter:
“Rest in peace to the GREATEST of them all: Jeff Beck!!!!”