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Watch Jeff Beck’s Final Performance With Rod Stewart

The shocking news of Jeff Beck’s death came down late Wednesday afternoon. The news initially circulated Tuesday when Patti Boyd shared it on Twitter, but it was dismissed as just another social media hoax. Tragically, it was true. “After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday,” his family said in a statement. “His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

Beck initially found fame in 1965 when he replaced Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds. Two years later, the guitarist formed the Jeff Beck Group with vocalist Rod Stewart and bassist Ron Wood. This lineup lasted a mere two years, but their unique fusion of blues and rock paved the way for Led Zeppelin and countless other groups that followed in their wake.

Rod Stewart became a household name in the Seventies thanks to the Faces and his solo career, but he never totally lost touch with Beck. In 1984, Beck played guitar on Stewart’s hit “Infatuation.” They next year, they teamed up to record a cover Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.” They also attempted to tour together, but it didn’t go very well.

“The problem with this, from the outset, was that it all too obviously cast Jeff in a supporting role, which he was pretty much guaranteed to hate, however handsomely remunerated,” Stewart wrote in his memoir. “The tour was set for 74 dates over four months. Behind the scenes, a lot of people were muttering and saying, ‘This is doomed — he won’t last two shows.’ But they were all wrong. He lasted three. And then he left, saying something about how the audience were all housewives, which was a little bit rude of the old scamp.”

It seemed like the end of their story until 2009, when Stewart came out at the end of a Beck solo show at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles to play “People Get Ready” and “I Ain’t Superstitious.” In the aftermath, they both talked to the press about a possible collaborative blues record, but it never came to pass.

In 2018, Stewart told Rolling Stone he still hoped to find a way to reunite with Beck on record. “My voice and his guitar is a match made in heaven,” he said. “It would be a lovely thing to do. It’d be a complete lefthand turn. We did try it once, but we couldn’t see eye to eye — I mean, a serious clash of egos, but you know, never say never. I know it’s a cliché, but really, I’m up for it if he’s up for it. The thing is, we both want to produce. That’s the thing.”


The next year, they announced a special one-off show together at the Hollywood Bowl. It began with Stewart and his solo band playing a long set of hits, and Beck came out for an extended encore that featured their first renditions of “Morning Dew,” “Rock My Plimsoul,” and “Blues De Luxe” since July 1969. They also revived “People Get Ready” and “I Ain’t Superstitious.”

The two icons will never have the opportunity now to come together for an album, but at least they managed to play this final show. As you can see from the fan-shot video, their voice and guitar were indeed a “match made in heaven.”

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