"An outstanding, iconic, genius guitar player": Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi lead rock world tributes to Jeff Beck

The late Jeff Beck, onstage at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2014
(Image credit: Phil Bourne/Redferns via Getty Images)

Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart, David Gilmour, Brian May, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Ronnie Wood are among the musicians paying tribute to English guitar legend Jeff Beck, whose death, at the age of 78, was announced today.

A short statement from Beck's family stated that the iconic guitarist passed away yesterday, January 10, after suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis.

Fellow musicians have been quick to pay tribute to the late guitarist for both his musicianship and his character.

Beck's great friend, and fellow Yardbirds alumni, Jimmy Page tweeted, "The six stringed Warrior is no longer here for us to admire the spell he could weave around our mortal emotions. Jeff could channel music from the ethereal. His technique unique. His imaginations apparently limitless. Jeff I will miss you along with your millions of fans. Jeff Beck Rest in Peace."

The guitarist's former bandmate Rod Stewart writes, "Jeff Beck was on another planet . He took me and Ronnie Wood to the USA in the late 60s in his band the Jeff Beck Group and we haven’t looked back since . He was one of the few guitarists that when playing live would actually listen to me sing and respond . Jeff, you were the greatest, my man . Thank you for everything . RIP"

Ronnie Wood posted: "Now Jeff has gone, I feel like one of my band of brothers has left this world, and I’m going to dearly miss him. I’m sending much sympathy to Sandra, his family, and all who loved him. I want to thank him for all our early days together in Jeff Beck Group, conquering America."

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger added: "With the death of Jeff Beck we have lost a wonderful man and one of the greatest guitar players in the world. We will all miss him so much."

Paul McCartney tweeted "I was so saddened to hear that Jeff Beck had died. Jeff Beck was a lovely man with a wicked sense of humour who played some of the best guitar music ever to come out of Great Britain."

Guns N' Roses, who shared a Paris stage with Beck in 1992, simply tweeted "Legendary. Rest in peace Jeff Beck."

Former Pink Floyd leader David Gilmour too expressed his sadness, posting a photo of himself and Beck, beneath a tribute saying "I am devastated to hear the news of the death of my friend and hero Jeff Beck, whose music has thrilled and inspired me and countless others for so many years. Polly‘s and my thoughts go out to his lovely wife Sandra. He will be forever in our hearts."

Ozzy Osbourne writes, "I can’t express how saddened I am to hear of Jeff Beck's passing. What a terrible loss for his family, friends & his many fans. It was such an honor to have known Jeff & an incredible honor to have had him play on my most recent album, Patient Number 9. Long live Jeff Beck."

Posting on Twitter, Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi shared similar sentiments, posting a photo of the pair together, and writing: "I was totally shocked to hear the very sad news of Jeff Beck’s passing. Jeff was such a nice person and an outstanding iconic, genius guitar player - there will never be another Jeff Beck. His playing was very special & distinctively brilliant! He will be missed. RIP Jeff."

And Geezer Butler too paid tribute, calling Beck "one of the greats".

"Shocked to hear of the sudden death of Jeff Beck," Butler tweeted. "Truly one of the greats. First time I saw him was in 1966 with the Yardbirds. Brilliant, unique guitarist. RIP"

"My forever guitar hero has gone," wrote Brian May. "I can’t even begin to tell you all how much his music inspires me and millions of others. Beck was the king. All of my love to his family and loved ones."

On Instagram, May added: "Gutted, so sad, to hear of Jeff’s passing. He was the Guv’nor. He was inimitable, irreplaceable - the absolute pinnacle of guitar playing. And a damn fine human being. I’m sure I will have a lot to say, but right now …. Just lost for words."

Kiss vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley also expressed his sorrow upon hearing the news, tweeting "WOW. What awful news. Jeff Beck, one of the all time guitar masters has died. From The Yardbirds and The Jeff Beck Group on, he blazed a trail impossible to follow. Play on now and forever."

Kiss bandmate Gene Simmons posted his own tribute: "Heartbreaking news to report the late, great Jeff Back has sadly passed. No one played guitar like Jeff. Please get ahold of the first two Jeff Beck Group albums and behold greatness. RIP."

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett tweeted, "Devastating news about the loss of much loved, influential guitar legend Jeff Beck. He made the electric guitar sing… a powerful influence on myself and many others."

The Kinks guitarist Dave Davies also paid tribute, saying he was "heartbroken" at the shock news.

Davies tweeted, "I’m heartbroken he looked in fine shape to me. Playing great he was in great shape. I’m shocked and bewilderedDeepest sympathy to his wife friends close ones I’m bewildered Jeff Beck it don’t make sense I don’t get it. He was a good friend and a great guitar player."

Beach Boy Brian Wilson recalled working with Beck, saying he was "so sad" to hear the news. 

"Jeff was a genius guitar player, and me and my band got to see it close up when we toured with him in 2013," Wilson tweeted. "One of the highlights we did was Danny Boy – we both loved that song. Love & Mercy to Jeff’s family."

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready was another to pay tribute, saying "Saddened to hear Jeff Beck has passed away. I was lucky to see him once and I stood in awe of his genius. Thank you, Jeff, for being amazing to us guitar players."

"I first saw Jeff when my band opened for the Jeff Beck Group in 1968," wrote Bernie Marsden. "After that I soon realised his sheer genius, a genius that continued for all his life. Now he’s gone, the best of the best. I’m devastated."

Sammy Hagar tweeted, "Absolutely one of my favourite guitarist of all time! The Truth album changed my life. As a singer and guitarist, I wanted to be Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart rolled into one - we all did. What a loss. We will all miss Jeff. My love and condolences to his family and loved ones."

Ex-Spandau Ballet man Gary Kemp, currently playing with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets described Beck as "An absolute god of guitar."

"No one can replace him," Kemp tweeted. "From rock to soul to jazz he was the greatest player in all genres. Unique. Such awful news but thank you Jeff for all you gave us."

US guitarist Tyler Bryant described Beck as "my hero" before adding, "A giant among men. I felt so lucky to call him a friend. I’m gonna miss him so much. Love to his family during this time of great loss."

Billy F Gibbons: "I met Jeff Beck when I was 17 and I was glad to know a guy like that, a guy who was able to show me how this guitar playing thing should be approached and that’s still very much the case. Jeff was a wondrous soul and we already miss him tremendously."

Rick Springfield: "The great Jeff Beck has taken his genius and gone home. My guitar idol since age 15. For the uninitiated, check out his amazing work on (where do I begin) Roger Waters Amused to Death. His gift was impossible to copy and won’t be repeated. Thankful for huge legacy. God speed JB."

Skid Row: "“The loss of Jeff Beck is a crushing blow to the music & guitar community. He had a profound impact on myself as a musician. On behalf of myself and Skid Row we thank you Jeff Beck. Godspeed.”

Patterson Hood, Drive-by Truckers: "I had a babysitter play me (and explain) Beck’s Bolero when I was 8 or 9. I had a poster of Wired on my bedroom wall at around 11. Jeff Beck was truly one of the all time greatest and one of the few who continued to grow and innovate until at least last week. RIP."

Hollywood Vampires: "We are saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend and guitar legend Jeff Beck. Jeff's incredible musicianship and passion for guitar has been an inspiration to us all. He was a true innovator and his legacy will live on through his music. Rest in peace, Jeff."

Warren Haynes: "So, now when someone asks me 'Who’s your favorite guitarist — living or dead?' I will say what I always say: 'I can’t answer that.' But my very short list will include Jeff. There will never be another Jeff Beck. RIP."

Stevie Van Zandt: "RIP Jeff Beck. Having trouble processing this. Not only was he a major influence, and his genius an infinite source of joy my entire lifetime, he was in great spirits when we spoke a few weeks ago having done a flawless show with Johnny the night before at the Capitol. Unreal."

Black Star Riders: "RIP Jeff Beck. A true trailblazer! Go see your heroes before you can’t!"

More tributes from friends including poignant messages from Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale and pop-country singer/songwriter LeAnn Rimes, are listed below.

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