Happy Birthday Jeff Beck! (6/24/1944)

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Hi WA Friends!

Please help me celebrate the birthday of one of my absolute favorite guitar players, Jeff Beck. He has been called "The Govenor," and "The Axe Murderer" (axe meaning guitar) by some of the best guitar players on the planet!

Nothing here to learn about online marketing, but if you like music (and who doesn't), then use this opportunity to take a break and enjoy it with your favorite beverage. I'm publishing this one day early since I've already started celebrating! Lol 😎

A Little History

Jeff Beck, born Geoffrey Arnold Beck on June 24, 1944, in Wallington, Surrey, England, is revered as one of the most innovative and influential guitarists in rock history. Jeff's career began to take shape in the early 1960s and first gained widespread attention in 1965 when he replaced Eric Clapton as the lead guitarist for The Yardbirds, a seminal British rock band. Jimmy Page would then replace Jeff in the "New Yardbirds" before Jimmy left to form Led Zeppelin! With Jeff, The Yardbirds produced several hits, including "Heart Full of Soul" and "Shapes of Things," which showcased his groundbreaking use of feedback and distortion.

After The Yardbirds, Jeff formed the Jeff Beck Group in 1967, which featured a young Rod Stewart on vocals and Ron Wood (of The Rolling Stones fame) on bass. Their albums "Truth" (1968) and "Beck-Ola" (1969) are considered pioneering works in the development of heavy metal and hard rock. Despite the band's critical success, internal conflicts led to their disbandment.

Jeff's career took another significant turn in the mid-1970s with the release of the instrumental albums "Blow by Blow" (1975) and "Wired" (1976). These records, produced by George Martin of Beatles fame, were pivotal in the fusion of rock and jazz, establishing Beck as a virtuoso guitarist with a unique sound. Over the ensuing decades, Beck continued to explore diverse genres, from blues to electronica, constantly reinventing his style.

Throughout his career, Jeff played with numerous other legendary musicians, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlo Santana, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, and Mick Jagger. Jeff essentially disappeared for about five years to work on his hot rods but returned and remained an innovative force in the music industry until his passing in 2023 from bacterial meningitis.

Jeff's death left a hole in my musical world, and I'm still devastated each time I look at any of his albums that hang on the walls of my music studio!

Over the years, I've had the honor of seeing Jeff play live at least a dozen times! I saw Jeff on tour with Stevie Ray Vaughan and again with Santana. My wife and I saw him play in Boston, Connecticut, and New York. We made a fun day of it by taking a limo early in the morning to spend a day shopping, seeing Jeff, and then indulging in fine dining.

Equipment Used (For all you WA Gearheads!)

(Courtesy of ChatGPT & Me)

Guitars

  • Fender Stratocaster: Jeff Beck is most closely associated with the Fender Stratocaster, especially his signature model. His preferred Strats often featured modifications like noiseless pickups and custom neck shapes.
  • Gibson Les Paul: Beck also frequently used a Gibson Les Paul, particularly in the early days with The Yardbirds and during his time with the Jeff Beck Group.
  • Fender Telecaster: Another staple in Beck's collection, often used for its distinct twangy tone.
  • Gretsch Duo Jet: Played during his Yardbirds tenure and for specific recording sessions, like "Jeff Beck and the Big Town Playboys" (his tribute to Cliff Gallup).
  • Jackson Soloist: Used during the 1980s and into the early 1990s, reflecting his foray into more modern rock sounds.

Amplifiers

  • Marshall Amplifiers: Known for their powerful and distinctive sound, Beck often used Marshall stacks, particularly the JTM45, Plexi models, and the JTM 2,000.
  • Fender Tweed Deluxe: A favorite for studio work due to its warm, rich tones.
  • Vox AC30: Used occasionally for its distinctive British chime, especially during his early career.
  • Hiwatt Custom 100: Preferred during the Jeff Beck Group era for its clean headroom and punchy sound.

Effects

  • Pro Co RAT Distortion: Used for its aggressive distortion and sustain.
  • Electro-Harmonix Big Muff: Another distortion pedal that Beck employed to achieve his searing lead tones.
  • Vox Wah-Wah Pedal: Beck's expressive use of the wah pedal is legendary, particularly in live performances.
  • Snarling Dog Wah-Wah Pedal: A more recent replacement for the Vox unit.
  • MXR Phase 90: A staple in his rig for adding subtle phase effects to his solos.
  • DigiTech Whammy: Used in later years to add pitch-shifting effects to his playing.

Honors and Awards (courtesy of ChatGPT)

Jeff Beck's extraordinary contributions to music have been recognized with numerous honors and awards:

  • Grammy Awards: Eight Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Instrumental Performance and Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Inducted twice, once as a member of The Yardbirds in 1992 and as a solo artist in 2009.
  • Ivor Novello Award: Awarded for Outstanding Contribution to British Music in 2014.
  • MOJO Les Paul Award: Given in 2010 for his technical prowess and influence.
  • Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards: Multiple awards, including Living Legend Award in 2011.

Discography (courtesy of ChatGPT)

I highly recommend you check out each album, but if you have to listen to just one, check out Wired (1976), Blow by Blow (1975), There and Back (1980), Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop (1989), or Emotion and Commotion (2010).

Jeff's guitar work on "Corpus Christi Carol," 'Over the Rainbow,' AND "Nessun Dorma" (all on the Emotion and Commotion album) will absolutely blow you away!

With The Yardbirds

  • For Your Love (1965)
  • Shapes of Things (1965)
  • Jeff's Blues (1965)
  • Mr. You're A Better Man Than I (1965)

Jeff Beck Group

  • Truth (1968)
  • Beck-Ola (1969)
  • Rough and Ready (1971)
  • Jeff Beck Group (1972)

Solo Albums

  • Blow by Blow (1975)
  • Wired (1976)
  • There & Back (1980)
  • Flash (1985)
  • Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop (1989)
  • Crazy Legs (1993)
  • Who Else! (1999)
  • You Had It Coming (2001)
  • Jeff (2003)
  • Emotion & Commotion (2010)
  • Loud Hailer (2016)

Collaborations

  • Frankie's House with Jed Leiber (1992)
  • The Honeydrippers: Volume One with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (1984)
  • Amused to Death with Roger Waters (1992)
  • 18 ( Jeff & Johnny Depp)

My Jeff Beck Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt Guitar

I have five Jeff Beck Fender Signature Stratocasters, one of which I modified with high-end hardware and electronics, and another very special Fender Custom Shop guitar, Masterbuilt by Todd Krause. Todd builds all of Eric Clapton's and Jeff Beck's guitars (before Jeff passed away).

I was able to snag this guitar after Todd built several for Jeff, but he needed one less. It went up for private sale, and I was in the right place at the right time. It has the Wilkinson nut with the slanted-down bass string configuration that is almost impossible to get today. Todd kept a collection of these nuts in reserve at the custom shop for Jeff's guitars only when they were no longer made.

Front view with Wilkinson nut

Rear View with Sperzel locking tuners- Signed by Todd & Jeff

Close-up of headstock & neck plate

Tell Me What You Think

Have you heard Jeff's music or ever seen him in concert? Who's playing did you like best in the Yardbirds, Eric, Jeff, or Jimmy?

What else is on your mind, musically speaking?

I'll be listening to Jeff's playing all day, playing one or more of his guitars, and watching a few of his concerts on video. In the evening, we are having a party in his honor with friends and plenty to eat and drink.

Happy Birthday, Jeff! πŸŽ‚

Keep On Rocking!🀘
Frank 🎸

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Recent Comments

34

Hi Frank,

Wow, you were in the right place at the right time!! 🎸 That is a treasure for sure! Why did you even take it out of it's glass case?! πŸ˜‚

Happy Birthday to one of, if not the most, iconic guitar players that has ever walked the earth!

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Thanks for sharing Frank and as always....Keep on Rockin!! 🎸😎🎡

Tim 🎼

Yup, I really lucked out on grabbing that guitar, Tim!

You're right; the guitar would be worth more if it were untouched by human hands, but I'm a player, not a collector! Lol 😎

You might be thinking of this (the color is actually olympic white): πŸ˜‚ 🀣 πŸ˜†
https://youtu.be/vd4zwINEcLY?si=s66CaLUw--Tqm-1_

Rock On! 🀘
Frank 🎸

Haha, that is such a great movie! Now I'll have to watch it again!

Keep Rockin, Frank!! 🎸😎🎢

Tim 🎼

Hi Tim

I watched Wayne's World again after I sent you the email you just read. Great guitar-playing minds think alike! Hahaha πŸ˜‚ 🀣 πŸ˜†

Rock On! 🀘
Frank 🎸

Hi Frank! Very cool guitar…thanks for all the info as well. I hope you had a fantastic party. πŸŽ‰πŸ‘πŸ»

Rock on,
Susan 🎸😎🎢

Thanks, Susan!

That guitar is one of my favorites, so it tends to get more than its share of playtime. Haha 😎

The best way to retain the highest investment value would be to keep a guitar like this in its case or display it, but I'm a player, not a collector. Some of the biggest collectors of rare and vintage guitars don't even know how to play the guitar. It's just a business for them.

The weekend was fabulous! I started listening to Jeff's musical catalog in chronological order on Friday night. So, it was three nights and two whole days of nothing but his albums and concert videos in an attempt to get through everything. I have three bootleg albums to listen to today, and I'm done!

Don't try this with Frank Zappa's music, with over 70 albums alone! I guess this is the kind of thing someone who's almost fully retired can do, although we've always celebrated the birthdays of our favorite artists. Lol πŸ˜†

We did also manage to see three non-musical movies: Anaconda I (With Jennifer Lopez Lol), The Mummy (with Tom Cruise), and Rocky II (with Mr. T).

Stacy made pizza, which we had with antipasto, some salads, and her apple pie. She paired the pizza with a delicious chianti she recently discovered or beer and margaritas for those non-wine lovers. See the screenshots below.

Rock On! 🀘
Frank 🎸

Hi Frank! Sorry for the delayed response. I am having trouble again retrieving feedback to my messages here. Wow...that's all I can say...that is quite a spread of incredible eats! I'd love the recipe for the chickpea salad. Do you make your own pizza crusts? Drooling over here. Looks like a fabulous time. Nobody does a party quite like you!

Rock On,
Susan 😎🎸🀘

No worries, Susan.

Stacy said that salad had:
Chick peas
Pearl couscous
Feta cheese
Dill
Tomato's (baby)
Kalamata olives
Extra virgin olive oil
English cucumber
Capers (not a lot)
Fresh garlic
Coarse finishing sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

No specific measurements, she just uses the ingredients she has in the kitchen and mixes them β€œto taste.”

It’s the way my mother taught her to cook, which is how my grandmother did it. Lol

Yes she makes the pizza crusts.

Yeah, we love to eat and have a good time, and Stacy loves to cook! Haha
Of course I help her all I can by going to the store to pick up things she might need and cleaning up after her in the kitchen. It’s amazing how many pots, pans, and various cooking utensils she can dirty. Thank God for the dishwasher, but I wash a lot of things by hand.

Life is short, so enjoy it as much as possible! πŸ₯³

Rock On! 🀘
Frank 🎸

Thank you so much to you both! That sounds simple enough. I always like to try some new cold salads in the summer. And I get the mix to taste. That's the old school way to do it. 😎

It's nice when you can eat well and one person can do the cooking, the other the cleaning...the best of both worlds!

Most agreed...enjoy life to the fullest! Thanks again. πŸ₯³πŸ‘πŸŽΈ

You’re welcome, Susan. 😎

Yeah, it makes cooking a lot less of a chore and we have some fun in the process, too.

My dad helped my mom quite a bit that way so it just seems like the thing to do.

How was your Canada Day?

I’m looking forward to all the food and fireworks, which has been going on for a few days, but Thursday is the big night!
πŸ§¨πŸŽ†πŸ’£πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Frank 🀘🎸

Hi Frank...I grew up like that too and it's great to be that way. It was a quiet day but sometimes we need just that. I hope you have some great plans for Thursday! It should be a blast lol. πŸ˜ŽπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’₯

Hi Susan

Yeah, I always have fun on the 4th of July. The little kid in me comes out with all those fireworks!

My dad and uncles loved setting off fireworks for all the kids and they would have trunk loads of them in their cars.

Many kids that age don’t like all the noise, but I couldn’t figure out why they didn’t light them off every night! Haha, sounds like me, I was so hyperactive, without the attention deficit.

We got to hold those β€œsparkle thingys;” that was about it. These days, I’m just a fireworks spectator again. Lol

Rock On! 🀘🧨
Frank 🎸

Sounds like some great memories, Frank! I remember the sparkler days as well and like you, only observe now lol. But it’s still special to be a part of. Have a blast!! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸŽΈπŸ§¨

Hi Susan

We were on a boat last night with friends and saw a spectacular fireworks display over Newport.

More fireworks tonight, I still never get tired of them! Lol😎

Rock On! 🀘
Frank 🎸

Hi Frank...that sounds like fun! Hope you've had an amazing evening. πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘

Hi Susan

Yeah, lots of cleaning up to do today, with more fun tonight.

I love holidays that fall on a Thursday because they roll right into a long weekend! Lol 😎

Frank 🀘🎸

Those are definitely the best, Frank! Enjoy all the leftover eats and have some more fun! πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸŽΈπŸ€˜

πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜ŽπŸ€˜πŸŽΈ

Happy Birthday, Jeff Beck!πŸŽ‚

Jeff 🀘🎸

Thanks for reading, Jeff!

Check out some of his tunes if you get a chance. 😎

Rock On! 🀘
Frank 🎸

Will do, Frank!

Jeff 🀘🎸

πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜Ž

Wired, a favourite album. Was that really nearly half a century ago.
Bux

Hi Bux.

Wired is an exceptional album! My favorite song is "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." The guitar dynamics and bends are pure genius! WOW!! NOBODY else can play like that!!! Lol πŸ˜† πŸ‘πŸ‘

Rock On! 🀘
Frank 🎸

This is an awesome Fender; one of a kind! I've been playing electric for 10-ish years, and my favorite guitar to play on is a Gretsch. Happy Birthday, Jeff!

Hi Jessica

Yeah, I beat out a big guitar collector, who then offered me an extra $2,000 for the guitar. I refused to sell and I play it every chance I get.

Gretsch guitars really rock, and no other guitar has their sound. Listen to the Crazy Legs album, during which Jeff plays Cliff Gallup's original Duo Jet and, of course, Brian Setzer, who has a few Gretsch signature guitars.

Great to meet another guitar player on WA! 😎

Rock On! 🀘
Frank 🎸

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