Jan 19 2023
By Experience Hendrix.
Experience Hendrix and the family of Jimi Hendrix are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our good friend, legendary guitarist Jeff Beck. Jeff was an unparalleled innovator who never stopped pushing the envelope. He came to prominence first with the Yardbirds, but he would follow his own unique creative path for the next five decades. His extraordinary improvisational skills earned him admiration from fellow musicians to his global, multi-generational fan base.
Jimi Hendrix’s arrival in London in 1966 quickly caught Jeff’s attention. Jimi became a fan of the Jeff Beck Group and encouraged Beck to keep pushing the boundaries of the guitar. That mutual respect would lead to occasional jam sessions and an enduring friendship.
“The thing I noticed when I saw him was not only his amazing blues but his physical assault on the guitar,” Beck once recalled in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “He hit me like an earthquake when he arrived.”
“It was probably one of the first shows he did (in London),” recalled Beck in a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone. “It was in a tiny downstairs club in Queensgate. It was a fashion club – mostly girls, 18 to 25, all dolled up, hats and all. Jimi wasn’t known then.”
“He came on, and I went, ‘Oh, my God.’ He had the military outfit on and hair that stuck out all over the place. They kicked off with ‘Like A Rolling Stone,’ and I thought, ‘Well, I used to be a guitarist.’”
“I was intimidated by Jimi when I first saw him.”~ Jeff Beck
“I was intimidated by Jimi when I first saw him. But when I put myself together coming out of this small club I just thought, ‘What are you gonna do? Are you going to fight or fly?’ And there wasn’t anything else I wanted to do. And the fact that he’d actually knew me at all was enough to get me through.”
Following the Jeff Beck Group’s US debut in June 1968, the band was invited – as a last minute replacement for The Grateful Dead at the Daytop Under The Stars festival on Staten Island (June 16) – where Jimi Hendrix would join the group on stage.
“It was a concert for reformed drug addicts, but that was the least of it,” explained Beck in a 1973 interview with Time Out. “They were fantastic people, they just sat for two hours and Jimi played ‘Foxey Lady.’ He was playing bass and he played a couple of my things. It just went on and on, we were jumping all over the place.”
“Hendrix is the best jam I’ve ever had!”~ Jeff Beck
Following Daytop festival, Hendrix joined the Jeff Beck Group onstage on multiple nights during their scheduled run of shows—June 17-22—to jam at the popular Scene club on New York’s 46th Street. Beck later recounted that “Hendrix is the best jam I’ve ever had!”
Jeff never failed to acknowledge his admiration for Jimi. He often performed “Little Wing” in his concerts and would tear into other Hendrix classics such as “Foxey Lady” joined by artists ranging from Mick Jagger to Billy Gibbons to Johnny Depp.
Beck once acknowledged that the guitar riffs on “Scared for the Children” were inspired by Hendrix, saying “I’ve never loved Hendrix more than I do now. Ever since I learned the chords to ‘Little Wing,’ nobody can shut me up.”
In addition to paying tribute to Jimi Hendrix on a regular basis during live concerts throughout his career, Jeff provided one of the highlights for the 1993 Stone Free: A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix album produced by John McDermott and Eddie Kramer. “Jeff was really enthusiastic about recording a Jimi song,” John McDermott explains. “He recorded a brilliant version of ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ but he so enjoyed the process that he asked to put that aside and went back and cut the incredible rendition of ‘Manic Depression’ that is featured on the album.”
“Jeff was an incredible musician who made magic happen with a guitar.”~ Janie Hendrix
In June 2022, Jeff Beck joined Janie Hendrix and Experience Hendrix in London to help unveil a commemorative Blue Plaque placed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Jimi Hendrix’s honor.
“Jeff was an incredible musician who made magic happen with a guitar,” describes Janie Hendrix. “Each note emanated from his soul! It was an honor to have him join us for the Jimi Hendrix Blue Plaque unveiling at the Hard Rock in London. But he was more than a musician. We knew him to be kind, generous with his time, a spreader of light, and an absolute joy to be around. Jeff will be missed terribly. He will also be fondly remembered and celebrated as our eternal friend! Rest In Peace, Jeff your music plays on!”
The multi-Grammy Award winning guitarist is a two-time inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame—he will forever be remembered for his friendship and will be greatly missed. Fly on sweet angel.