Author Topic: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?  (Read 3911 times)

Hepcat

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Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« on: May 10, 2019, 03:02:04 PM »
So is Jeff Beck the greatest guitar player of them all? What do you think?







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Mord

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 03:27:22 PM »
Hell yeah! Ive never thought otherwise. Even Page was blown away , when he first heard him.

Hepcat

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2019, 03:52:40 PM »
So beginning here with some early evidence:



Yardbirds' manager Giorgio Gomelsky had initially hired a sitar player for the lead riff.  But according to Jeff Beck the sitar playing "... just didn't have any groove to it. The sitar player couldn't get the 4/4 time signature right; it was a hopeless waste of time. So I said, 'Look, is this the figure?' I had the fuzz machine, a Toneblender [sic], going. We did one take, it sounded outrageous."

Said rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja "I mean Beck just nailed it". Beck was able to achieve the sitar-like hook by bending the higher notes on his guitar.

And here's another early Yardbirds favourite of mine:



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Mike Scott

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2019, 04:15:45 PM »
My favorite YB period, with OUSD, Shapes of Things, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago and all those other great songs!
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Wicked Lester

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 09:30:37 AM »
I could name a handful of metal/thrash,death metal guitarists that could smoke Jeff. For the sake of argument I'll toss in Robin Trower. My god,first time I heard this was maybe a year after it came out. I had done a couple bongs and hit of microdot and it changed my entire world,at least for that sunny summer day hanging out with about 15 friends in the woods. 


Hepcat

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 09:34:09 AM »
I could name a handful of metal/thrash,death metal guitarists that could smoke Jeff.

A good guitarist though is largely defined not by what he plays, but by what he knows enough NOT to play.

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Hepcat

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2019, 09:36:06 AM »
More early Jeff Beck from his days with the Yardbirds:





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marsattacks666

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2019, 10:06:22 AM »
Since I am not a Jeff Beck fan, I'll keep my opinion to myself.  :) However, I do respect the fact Mr. Beck has influenced many guitarists/musicians.🎸
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ChristineBCW

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2019, 10:23:28 AM »
I wish the criteria would be listed in order to validate "greatest" entitlements.

Hepcat

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2019, 10:57:26 AM »
The very same criteria used to compile all the other "Greatest" lists found in Rolling Stone magazine and elsewhere (whatever they are).

Since I am not a Jeff Beck fan, I'll keep my opinion to myself.  :) However, I do respect the fact Mr. Beck has influenced many guitarists/musicians.🎸

"Most influential" and "best respected within the music industry" would be two very good ones though!

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« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 12:08:21 PM by Hepcat »
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ChristineBCW

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2019, 07:36:05 PM »
"Most influential" - well, list every guitarist that has 100 or more other professionally successful guitarists listing them as influences.  That should be easy, right?  Surely you have that list for all guitarists available. 

Same with "Best respected".  Show the numbers that qualify all guitarists as receiving highest respect-levels from all other guitarists. 

Maybe you'll use "notes played per second"?  "Best selling guitar-based compositions"? 

Or maybe something like "Most re-recorded versions of guitar compositions"?

marsattacks666

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2019, 08:30:50 PM »
As it stands, now, and sorry to burst the proverbial bubble.

Most influential and well know in terms of guitarists.

Keith Richards.....first and foremost.

1. Eddie Van Halen(Let's all be honest. Prior to 1978 and the debut of Van Halen(1978)self-titled album. The guitar world changed, because of Eddie Van Halen. Literally thousands of guitarist copied or wanted to become the next Edward Van Halen.

2.Randy Rhodes, 'Nuff said( Ozzy Ozbourne)

3.Tony Iommi(Black Sabbath) Because of his finger accident in a foundry, Iommi's guitar tone also influenced
the future of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.

4. Jimi Hendrix

5. Jimmy Page(Led Zeppelin)

6. Eric Clapton(Cream)

7. Stevie Ray Vaughan

8. Ace Frehley(KISS...and yes, believe it or not Ace also inspired thousands of would-be guitarists)

9. Darrell Abbott(Dime Bagbag Darrell, Pantera)

10. Yngwie Malmsteen

.................................................................................................

Overrated Guitarist-

Slash(Guns 'n' Roses)
Eric Clapton(Cream)
John Mayer
.................................................................................................

Underrated

Al Di Meola
Uli Jon Roth
Steve Lukather(Toto/Boz Skaggs/Studio Musician)
Walter Becker(R.I.P.,Steely Dan)
Brian May(Queen)
Mick Ronson(David Bowie)
Rick Nielsen(Cheap Trick)
Neil Young
Gary Moore(R.I.P.,Thin Lizzy/Solo Artist)
Scott Gorham(Thin Lizzy)
Michael Schenker(UFO, Scorpions)



« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 08:40:09 PM by marsattacks666 »
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ChristineBCW

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2019, 07:17:12 AM »
I'm not considering a list of guitarists YOU know... I'm looking for those guitarists' lists of THEIR named influences.  "4. Jimi Hendrix" doesn't prove that HE was listed by all of these guitarists as THEIR 4th most influential guitarist.

And when using "most" or "best" or "greatest", I expect to see the numeric PROOF, not the subjectively enumerated listing. 

Now, if someone wants to use the word "favorite" and take credit for their OWN opinion, instead of acknowledging their inability to enumerate or collect quantified rationale, that's fine.  Stand up - be a man.  Take credit for one's favoritism instead of hiding behind the lack of facts and cloaking it with terms like "best" and "greatest". 

What's wrong with stating one's own favorites?  Why isn't one's character strong enough to do that?

Hepcat

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2019, 12:07:09 PM »
"Most influential" - well, list every guitarist that has 100 or more other professionally successful guitarists listing them as influences.  That should be easy, right?  Surely you have that list for all guitarists available.

No I do not have such a list. Nor am I in any way inclined to provide such a list. If you're as interested in viewing such a list as you seem, you'll have to do the legwork yourself.

Same with "Best respected".  Show the numbers that qualify all guitarists as receiving highest respect-levels from all other guitarists.

Why should I? Once again why are you asking me to do the legwork on your behalf?

Maybe you'll use "notes played per second"?

Huh?! Why would I? Did you not read my statement above that "A good guitarist though is largely defined not by what he plays, but by what he knows enough NOT to play"? That would imply that finger speed is not a cardinal consideration on my part.

"Best selling guitar-based compositions"? 

Or maybe something like "Most re-recorded versions of guitar compositions"?

Once again, if you're interested in such minutiae, you're free to look them up for yourself.

Knowledge of such isn't required to cast a vote in my poll. My poll doesn't require that you be a music business professional. Neither does it require a Ph.D. in music. It's actually very much like any election in Canada or the United States wherein electors can cast their ballots on whatsoever basis they so choose, whether this be learned opinion, longstanding bias or casual whim. This poll requires only being a properly registered member of the UMA.

I'm not considering a list of guitarists YOU know... I'm looking for those guitarists' lists of THEIR named influences.

Well then look elsewhere. This is NOT by any means the proper place to find in depth research. Why would it be?

And when using "most" or "best" or "greatest", I expect to see the numeric PROOF, not the subjectively enumerated listing.

Tough. I see no reason whatsoever to live up to, or down to, your expectations. I started this poll in response to another poster's mention of Jeff Beck in another thread and it's intended for amusement/discussion purposes only. It doesn't go beyond that.

Now, if someone wants to use the word "favorite" and take credit for their OWN opinion, instead of acknowledging their inability to enumerate or collect quantified rationale, that's fine.

Huh?! "...enumerate or collect quantified rationale?" Now you're really being silly.

If the use of the word "greatest" is a pet peeve of yours, you've come to the wrong place with it. Take it to Rolling Stone magazine or somewhere, anywhere(!) else. Because I'm the last person from whom you're going to get a polite response. "Blunt" is more my style.

Stand up - be a man.  Take credit for one's favoritism instead of hiding behind the lack of facts and cloaking it with terms like "best" and "greatest". 

What's wrong with stating one's own favorites?  Why isn't one's character strong enough to do that?

Like I say, this poll is for amusement/discussion purposes only. I most assuredly didn't intend it to be either a test of manliness or character.

All that being said, if you can't decide which way to vote on the basis of the admittedly limited evidence I've been capable of providing, I very considerately provided options 6, 7 and 8.

 cl:)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 12:38:15 PM by Hepcat »
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Hepcat

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Re: Is Jeff Beck the greatest guitarist of them all?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2019, 12:26:57 PM »

Overrated Guitarist-

Slash(Guns 'n' Roses)
Eric Clapton(Cream)
John Mayer


I attended the Eric Clapton/Jeff Beck concert on 21 February 2010 in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre (a venue built primarily for hockey games I might add). Here's the review I wrote a few days later:

1. The joint "tour", immortalized already of course in t-shirts, was the second most curiously abbreviated tour of which I'm aware. (The Cream's reunion tour was the shortest.) This Clapton/Beck tour was confined to London, New York, Toronto and Montreal. Eric will now be performing a few concert dates with Roger Daltrey while Jeff is heading off to tour Australia with his band.

2. An old buddy of mine, Dave, and his older brother had come in from out of town for the show. Their college age kids had chipped in together to buy the two of them nosebleed tickets for the concert. The kids though had no interest in attending the show....

3. The stage was set up at one side of the rink. Floor tickets and lower level seats up to the end boards were all $225. I passed on the $225 tickets since the only ones that were still available ten days before the concert were in the corner seats at the opposite end of the rink. I had mixed feelings about attending the concert in a hockey barn but I finally broke down and bought a pair. Mine were $150 tickets fifteen rows up at the other end of the rink.

4. I'm not entirely convinced that the show was completely sold out. There might have been some empty $225 seats at the sides of the arena.

5. The view from that distance was helped along by a pair of TV screens although these weren't that big compared with the huge monitors at say Stones' concerts.

6. The tickets gave a start time for the concert of 7:30 PM and start at 7:30 it did with Jeff Beck taking the stage. He cleverly ensured a standing ovation when he came out by playing the first few notes of "Oh Canada", which of course had the crowd rising to their feet.  He then broke into "Eternity's Breath".

7. He was accompanied by Montreal native Rhonda Smith on bass, a drummer and a twelve piece orchestra complete with conductor. No singer though. This is the fourth time I've seen Jeff in the last fifteen years and he's never had a singer so I wasn't surprised. I would of course have sneered at any less sophisticated fan who was expecting vocals. Jeff's style is to have his guitar take the place of vocals, substituting his notes for the words of a singer.

8. It was therefore Jeff's guitar playing that carried the melody on such classical pieces as “Corpus Christi Carol” and “Nessun Dorma”. He often used a whammy bar, a.k.a. a tremolo arm, and I found the notes that flowed so freely from his guitar to be both plaintiff and spellbinding.

9. He introduced his band mates at one point and Rhonda Smith launched into an extended bass solo version of "Voodoo Child".

10. Jeff ended his set with his crowd pleasing cover of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life". He ended up playing for exactly 45 minutes.

11. But because there were no vocals, the focus of his set was entirely on his guitar playing. I therefore knew that Eric Clapton would be very hard pressed to top Jeff's set when it came to straight forward guitar playing.

12. I had taken in a fabulous Eric Clapton concert at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1995(?) which consisted entirely of Eric covering old blues classics. A set of old blues classics into which Eric could intersperse searing guitar licks would have been a more than adequate way to follow-up Jeff's blistering fusion guitar set.

13. The break between Jeff's set and Eric's set wasn't much more than fifteen minutes. The fellow alley dweller known as Red that I'd brought with me was a big Eric Clapton fan and she was waiting for her idol's appearance with rapt anticipation.

14. Eric arrived backed by a bass player, drummer, Chris Stainton on keyboards (both piano and organ), another keyboardist who may have been handling both synthesizer and mellotron duties since I detected strings that I hoped weren't canned at points during Eric's set, and two black female backup singers. He never did introduce his band though.

15. The first two numbers Eric performed were acoustic - "Driftin' Blues" and the unplugged version of "Layla" which has always struck me as being a completely emasculated version of the original. After a set of Jeff's blistering guitar leads though, I found Eric's opening numbers to be a letdown.

16. Now Eric was never a great singer but he's evidently been losing his voice lately which is why he needed the backup singers to add some punch/projection.

17. After he electrified his most crowd pleasing numbers was the reggae influenced "I Shot the Sherriff" which Eric performed as a full fledged calypso number with the aid of his backup singers. It was about the liveliest number he performed.

18. He played "Cocaine" but I could not have found it all that inspiring because I just had to check to make sure it really had been part of his set. In fact, I didn't notice Eric playing any seering extended guitar solos at all. Red was disappointed in the omission of "Bell Bottom Blues" and "I Can't Stand It" from his set.

19. Eric played for about 45 minutes before being joined on stage by Jeff Beck. With both of these guitar legends sharing the stage together, I expected some serious joint guitar pyrotechnics. But it was not to be. Eric played the bandleader and front man, but Jeff was the hotshot young guitar god throughout the rest of the performance. While Jeff pealed off solos, Eric was content to strum rhythm guitar. Jeff was the flashy one, while Eric was workmanlike. I guess that's why they call Eric "Slowhand".

20. One of the numbers they performed was a very interesting instrumental cover of "Moon River" with Jeff's guitar and whammy bar taking the place of the vocals.

21. Their cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher" was a crowd pleaser. The backup singers certainly got into that one. My buddy Dave had a dissenting opinion though. He didn't think the tune was done justice without the presence of brass.

22. They performed a well received version of "Crossroads" as their encore in which Eric finally traded some guitar licks with Jeff.

23. They never did perform the original version of "Layla" though which was a big disappointment since Jeff was there to fill in Duane Allman's guitar parts. Neither did they perform Jeff's signature "Beck's Bolero" which was also quite the disappointment since Eric would have been there to fill in the guitar parts that Jimmy Page had originally added to the track.

24. The show was over by 10:35 PM.

25. Red professed her profound disappointment in Eric's performance. In her own words, Eric looked "old and tired" in comparison to Jeff. She had come in with the expectation that Eric would prove to be the star of the show but she left with a newfound appreciation for Jeff.

26. My buddy Dave disagreed. He thought Eric was just fine. But Red and I later agreed that since Dave had probably not seen a big time act for over thirty years and had never even seen any kind of event at the Air Canada Centre, he wasn't going to be difficult to impress.

27. Now Jeff Beck has for many years been my favourite guitarist so I wasn't the least bit surprised. But I'll reiterate a point I've made on a number of occasions. Jeff delivers his best music playing for someone else. Whether for the Yardbirds, Donovan ("Goo Goo Barabajagal"), Rod Stewart ("Infatuation"), Buddy Guy ("Mustang Sally") or Mick Jagger, that's when Jeff comes off the best musically. Unfortunately, Jeff doesn't take direction well from others. That's why he could never have made beautiful music as part of the Rolling Stones for very long. Mick and Keith being control freaks, Jeff would sooner rather than later have ended up clubbing one of the two over the head with his guitar.

It's therefore a good thing that Jeff typically needs no direction when it comes to adding the guitar parts that take a song from the ranks of the very good to the transcendent. The problem is that on his own he very rarely provides himself with any good songs. His signature piece, "Beck's Bolero", was actually written by Jimmy Page. Jeff is a great guitarist, but his music is too outré to capture the imagination of the record buying public. Sometimes I actually think he should be left to experiment by himself in the basement of some monastery.

28. So my final verdict was the same as the one I held before buying the ticket - Jeff is the better guitarist, but Eric remains the better musician.


Here's a video clip of their performance of Moon River that evening:



Here as well from their earlier show in London, England:



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« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 12:34:05 PM by Hepcat »
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