Bernie Marsden reflects on the Jeff Beck he knew: “He was so inspirational and yet I knew that I could never go anywhere close to what he did”

Marsden was a great friend of Beck’s, and says that losing him felt like “losing a member of the family”.

Bernie Marsden and Jeff Beck

Images: C. Brandon and David Redfern / Getty

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Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden has reflected on the Jeff Beck he knew and admired during their longterm friendship.

Beck sadly passed away last month on 10 January from meningitis, his sudden loss shook the world of music and a multitude of artists have since shared their admiration for Beck and their sorrow at his death.

In the new print edition of Guitarist magazine, Marsden shared the fond memories he has with Beck during their friendship, including his “overlooked sense of humour”, and how his performances often had those around him in floods of tears.

“He was really funny, you know? Because he had this reputation of being difficult,” he said. “I mean, my overriding memory of Jeff – apart from being a genius guitar player – was his sense of humour. He was very funny, very quick.”

Marsden was later asked what guitar he thought suited Beck best, other than his beloved Strats. And as many of his fans would agree, Marsden argued that whatever he played always sounded fantastic, but he did find one particular era in his catalogue to be truly magical: “I personally loved what he did in the Truth period [1968] with his Les Paul and the Marshalls.”

He added, “And you can never forget when he picked up that old Esquire of his, which was magical. He had me in tears a few nights just from playing Over The Rainbow, you know?”

Marsden also recalled in the interview how sometimes, Beck would brand his own performances as a “bit messy”. Even though those around him felt he sounded fantastic, they weren’t one to argue with the Guitarists’ Guitarist. Marsden concluded: “He was so inspirational and yet I knew that I could never go anywhere close to what he did.”

You can read more tributes to Jeff Beck here.


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