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Jeff Beck

On 24/06/1944: Jeff Beck was born. He was born in Wallington, England. Les Paul was one of his first influences, hearing him on the radio when he was six. At the age of ten, he was singing in the church choir. During his teens, he learned to play the guitar on a borrowed instrument and made several attempts to build his own instrument. After leaving school he studied at Wimbledon College of Art. He had jobs as a painter and decorator, a golf course groundsman and a car paint-sprayer. During his teens, his sister Annetta introduced him to Jimmy Page.
In the early sixties, Beck moved from band to band, doing only short stints with each. His first more regular group was the R'n'B group The Night Shift, which he was a part of from 1963 to 1964. After leaving them he joined The Tridents.
In 1965 Clapton left the Yardbirds and Jimmy Page recommended Beck to replace him. With the Yardbirds he only recorded one album "Roger the Engineer", but he was also present for most of the Yardbirds top 40 hits. Towards the end of 1966, he and Page would start to share lead guitar, after Page had initially started on bass. Jeff was fired from the Yardbirds during a US tour.
After the Yardbirds he recorded a few singles as a solo act including "Beck's Bolero", "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and "Tallyman". He then formed The Jeff Beck Group, which featured Rod Stewart on vocals and Ronnie Wood on bass. They released two classic albums: "Truth" and "Beck-Ola".
His reputation as a guitarist grew and other high profile acts wanted to recruit him. In 1967 Pink Floyd wanted him to replace Sid Barrett (but didn't dare approach him) and in 1969 he rejected The Rolling Stones after they asked him to join. In 1969 The Jeff Beck Group split up and he joined bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice. Unfortunately, Beck was involved in a car crash and had to cancel his plans to regain his health.
In 1970 he had regained his health and went with drummer Cozy Powell to record in the US. The resulting recordings remain unreleased. The next year he formed a new version of The Jeff Beck Group with Bobby Tench, Max Middleton and Clive Chaman. They recorded the album "Rough and Ready" in 1971 and "Jeff Beck Group" in 1972 before dissolving soon after. Bogert and Appice were now available after their band Cactus had split up and Beck joined them to form a group. They originally formed part of The Jeff Beck Group before they became a trio known as Beck, Bogert & Appice. They released one album, "Beck, Bogert & Appice". They dissolved in 1974 before they had finished work on a second album.
Jeff met the band Upp whilst at Underhill Studio and recruited them as a backing band for an appearance on BBC's Guitar Workshop. He would play on and produce their first two albums.
Later in 1974 he would record instrumentals at AIR Studios with Max Middleton, Phil Chen, Richard Bailey and with George Martin producing. This evolved into the solo album "Blow by Blow".
In 1976 he followed that up with "Wired". During this time he was a tax exile and stayed in the US until late 1977. In 1979 he worked on "There & Back", releasing it in early 1980.
In 1981 he appeared with Eric Clapton in Amnesty International's benefit concerts called The Secret Policeman's Other Ball shows.
In 1983 he released "Flash" which saw a reunion with Rod Stewart on the track "People Get Ready".
After a four year break he released "Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop" in 1989.
In 1992 he featured on Roger Water's album "Amused to Death" and recorded instrumental soundtrack album "Frankie's House". Also in 1992 he rehearsed with Guns and Roses for a concert. He didn't appear however as a loud cymbal crash caused him to go temporarily deaf. It was also in that year that the Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His acceptance speech poked fun at his dismissal from the band. In 1993 on Kate Bush's album "The Red Shoes" as well as his own rockabilly album "Crazy Legs" and joined Paul Rodgers on "Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters".
In 1999 he released "Who Else!" that featured Jennifer Batten.
In 2001 he released "You Had It Coming" which was followed in 2003 with "Jeff".
In 2007 he accompanied Kelly Clarkson on American Idol.
In 2004 and 2007 he would appear at Eric Clapton's Crossroads festival. In the 2007 appearance, he would be backed by Vinnie Colaiuta, Jason Rebello, and Tal Wilkenfeld. Throughout 2009 he would tour with the same musicians and would perform for a live recording at Ronnie Scott's in London. Also in 2009 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.
In 2010 his album "Emotion & Commotion" was released. He would also be a part of Herbie Hancock's album "The Imagine Project" in the same year.
In 2011, Beck received a fellowship from University of the Arts London and an honorary doctorate from University of Sussex.
In 2014 he joined Joss Stone at The Royal British Legion's Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
In July 2016 he will release his new album "Loud Hailer".

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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