(Gibson) Jeff Beck is one of the most versatile guitarists in music. A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer twice over (as a Yardbird and a solo artist), Beck has worked in rock, blues, jazz and other genres – often blending them together effortlessly. But where did this guitar guru first realize his love of music?
He was born Geoffrey Arnold Beck to Arnold and Ethel Beck in Wallington, England on this day in 1944. One of his first musical memories was hearing Les Paul and Mary Ford play "High How the Moon" on television.
"I think I was six. We're talking about 1950. And there was a signature tune to a weekly [program], 'How High to the Moon,'" Beck told Gibson.com in 2010. "And I remember sitting up and listening to it at night and my mom said, 'Don't get too excited, it's all done with tricks.' [Laughs] So that was first introduction to it. And from the minute she told me not to take it serious, I took it seriously."
Indeed he did. His interest in music led him to sing in the church choir at the age of 10, and then explore the guitar in his teenage years. Inspired by Les Paul, Beck learned to play a borrowed guitar, before setting out to build an electric instrument of his own. His first attempt consisted of a bunch of cigar boxes stuck together for the guitar's body and a fence post for the neck. He painted on the fret lines. more on this story