All my musician friends across the board are gutted about the loss of Jeff Beck; all the people I know who aren’t musicians are basically “I don’t know who that is…never heard of him.”
For the guitar community particularly this is like what losing Bowie was to the wider music world a few years back. The Magician has left the planet. The one guy who took the other path to the mountain top, told us what he saw along the way in an utterly unique language that none of us could repeat exactly, although it was said in the plainest words? Who found a more meaningful lyrical signal amongst all the noise? Who found the fabled treasure on the depths of the sea floor?
That’s who just left.
Unbelievably he got better the older he got. Becoming more of himself and less of who he wasn’t every year. Defying the universal laws of entropy, somehow chunks of things that weren’t Jeff Beck fell off revealing more, brighter Jeff Beck underneath.
As an artist & an instrumentalist, he was an unequaled, incomparable, and ultimately completely influential peer among a legendary generation of artists, and to all the generations after, across decades. And on top of it, he was a thoughtful & kind human, seeing through the ridiculous rock pretense by simply not playing the game.
Yeah, losing Beck hurts. Because we still don’t have the perspective to know what we just lost.