Host of stars including Johnny Depp turn out for Jeff Beck's funeral

Farewell to one of rock’s all time greats: Host of stars turn out for Jeff Beck’s funeral – with close friend Johnny Depp joining Rod Stewart, Chrissie Hynde, Tom Jones and Ronnie Wood among mourners

  • Late star Jeff Beck was laid to rest at St Mary’s Church in Beddington on Friday
  • Beck died on January 11, aged 78, after contracting bacterial meningitis

Johnny Depp, Sir Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood turned out to say a final farewell to one of rock’s all time greats Jeff Beck at his funeral on Friday.

The late star was laid to rest at St Mary’s Church in Beddington with a host of rock royalty attending to pay their final respects.

Also in attendance was The Pretenders’ founding member Chrissie Hynde, Welsh singing legend Sir Tom Jones, blues-rock guitarist Eric Clapton and Boomtown Rats lead singer Sir Bob Geldof.

Beck passed away ‘peacefully’ on January 11, aged 78, after contracting bacterial meningitis.

His family shared the heartbreaking news on his Twitter page along with a picture of the star on stage with his trademark shades and guitar.

Close friend Johnny Depp attended Jeff Beck’s funeral

Sir Rod Stewart and his wide Penny Lancaster were also in attendance

As was Sir Tom Jones, who was seen talking to Eric Clapton outside the church were Jeff Beck was laid to rest

Eric Clapton attended the funeral of Jeff Bec

Jeff Beck pictured in October 1984

Weeks prior, the former Yardbirds star finished a transatlantic tour with Johnny Depp as they promoted their debut album ’18’.

The album is nominated for three Brit Awards in the UK.

A representative for the man regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, said that Beck had been ill over the holiday period and passed away at a hospital close to his home in Surrey. 

Chrissie Hynde was also at the funeral of legendary guitarist Jeff Beck

Ronnie Wood was seen in attendance with his wife Sally Humphries 

Later Ronnie Wood was seen talking to Sir Bob Geldof outside the church where Jeff Beck’s funeral was held

Comedian Vic Reeves also attended Jeff Beck’s funeral

Deep in conversation: Ronnie Wood and Sir Bob Geldof were seen speaking outside Jeff Beck’s funeral

Filmmaker and animator Tim Burton was also there 

Beck is survived by his sixth wife, Sandra.

The pair married in 2005 when he was 61 and Sandra was 41 in Tunbridge Wells with Sir Paul McCartney among the guests. 

Sandra designed the album cover artwork for Beck’s collaboration with Depp, 18, which features the pair as teenagers on the cover.

Beck said of the sleeve: ‘When Johnny and I started playing together, it really ignited our youthful spirit and creativity. We would joke about how we felt 18 again, so that just became the album title too.’ 

The two played songs from the debut album they released together, titled ’18’, in New York in October 

Beck and Depp first met in 2016 and bonded over their love of guitars. They finally agreed to work on an album together in 2019. 

They became close friends in recent years and were seen out drinking in Britain together late last year. 

In June 2014, Beck was forced to cancel a European tour after being rushed to a hospital for an undisclosed medical procedure.

Despite this, he only took a break for six weeks and returned to touring that August. 

Beck was nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for his work on Ozzy Osbourne’s Patient Number 9. 

Beck, on the left pictured with fellow Yardbirds members, Paul Samwell-Smith, Keith Relf, Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja

Beck pictured in 1967 prior to the release of his first solo single, Tallyman

Rock star Jeff Beck was the self-made son of working class parents who literally built himself into a guitar legend and became known as an outlier in an age of excess, while still dating his share of glamorous women along the way.

Beck, a virtuoso who became known as the ‘guitar player’s guitar player,’ died Wednesday after ‘suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis.’ He was 78.

Geoffrey Arnold Beck was born in Surrey, England, and attended Wimbledon Art College.

He sang in his church choir at the age of 10 before becoming obsessed with the guitar.

His father was an accountant, and his mother worked in a chocolate factory. As a boy, he built his first instrument, using a cigar box, a picture frame for the neck and string from a radio-controlled toy airplane.

Beck is survived by his wife, Sandra, with whom he had no children.

He was married to first wife Patricia Brown from 1963 – when Beck was just 19 – to 1967.

He previously dated model Celia Hammond, who spent her life after a model saving thousands of cats and opening animal shelters.

The rock icon remained friendly with Hammond and even became a patron of one of her animal shelters as part of the Celia Hammond Animal Trust. 

Beck the musician was known for his improvising, love of harmonics and the whammy bar on his preferred guitar, the Fender Stratocaster.

Rock star Jeff Beck – seen here with his now-widow and second wife Sandra Cash

Beck and fellow guitar hero Eric Clapton had a tense relationship early on but became friends in later life and toured together. Beck said in 2018 that it was over his collaborations with Stevie Wonder

Jeff Beck was hailed a guitar virtuoso who pushed the boundaries of blues, jazz and rock `n´ roll, influencing generations of guitarists along the way and becoming known as the ‘guitar player’s guitar player’

In perhaps the most legendary era of rock n’ roll excess, Beck was a bit of an teetotaler, telling Rolling Stone in 2018 he’d never performed under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

‘I understand how easily one could go down that road. But I’m one of those people that could never even imagine walking on a stage [intoxicated]. I did it one time, albeit in a small village hall, and my legs gave way as I walked up the steps,’ he joked.

He first came to prominence as a member of the Yardbirds – replacing Eric Clapton at the recommendation of friend Jimmy Page and then went out on his own in a solo career that incorporated hard rock, jazz, funky blues and even opera.

Beck was among the rock-guitarist pantheon from the late ´60s that included Clapton, Page – who was introduced to Beck by his sister Annetta when they were teenagers – and Jimi Hendrix.

He and fellow guitar icon Clapton had a tense relationship early on but became friends later in life and toured together.

Beck said in 2018 that Clapton’s tense feelings was over his collaborations with Stevie Wonder.

Jeff Beck died in January, aged 78

‘I found out later from Pattie, his wife, that there definitely was [rivalry] – especially with the Stevie Wonder stuff. He was not too amused about me doing something successful with Stevie. I think that maybe got under his skin a bit.’

Beck’s career never hit the commercial highs of Clapton. A perfectionist, he preferred to make critically well-received instrumental records and left the limelight for long stretches, enjoying his time restoring vintage automobiles.

Beck said Wonder ‘basically wrote it for me, but the story goes that he loved it a bit too much. No, he played it to Motown, and they said, ‘No way is Beck getting this song, it’s too good’ and, as they had the right to say what Stevie released at that time, I lost the song as an original.’

The legendary piano player’s version of the story suggested that he was going to allow Beck to release his version of the song first, but it was bogged down by delays. 

The two eventually made peace and continued to collaborate together, even performing ‘Superstition’ together at the 25th anniversary of the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. 

‘That was the right decision but we were gutted, you know, totally,” he said. “We would have had a monstrous, monstrous hit.’

He also made two records with Rod Stewart – 1968’s ‘Truth’ and 1969’s ‘Beck-Ola’ – and one with a 64-piece orchestra, ‘Emotion & Commotion.’

Later in his career, he appeared playing guitar on Jon Bon Jovi’s ‘Blaze of Glory,’ which won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song from a motion picture. 

Beck – seen here in 1984 – died Tuesday after ‘suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis,’ his representatives said in a statement released Wednesday

Beck (pictured right) first came to prominence as a member of the Yardbirds and then went out on his own in a solo career that incorporated hard rock, jazz, funky blues and even opera

Beck with Queen guitarist Brian May at an awards show in London in 2006

‘I like an element of chaos in music. That feeling is the best thing ever, as long as you don’t have too much of it. It’s got to be in balance. I just saw Cirque du Soleil, and it struck me as complete organized chaos,’ he told Guitar World in 2014. 

‘If I could turn that into music, it’s not far away from what my ultimate goal would be, which is to delight people with chaos and beauty at the same time.’

Beck career highlights include joining with bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice to create the power trio that released ‘Beck, Bogert and Appice’ in 1973, tours with Brian Wilson and Buddy Guy and a tribute album to the late guitarist Les Paul, ‘Rock `n´ Roll Party (Honoring Les Paul).’

He was in a few bands – including Nightshift and The Tridents – before joining the Yardbirds in 1965, replacing Clapton but only a year later giving way to Page. 

During his tenure, the band created the memorable singles ‘Heart Full of Soul,’ ‘I´m a Man’ and ‘Shapes of Things.’

Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger (right) pose together at the mixing desk in Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands while working on Mick Jagger’s solo album, Primitive Cool in 1986

Jeff Beck performs during ‘Stars Align Tour’ at Chastain Park Amphitheater on August 22, 2018 in Atlanta

Beck´s first hit single was 1967´s instrumental ‘Beck´s Bolero,’ which featured future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, and future Who drummer Keith Moon. 

The Jeff Beck Group – with Stewart singing – was later booked to play the 1969 Woodstock music festival but their appearance was canceled. Beck later said there was unrest in the band.

‘I could see the end of the tunnel,’ he told Rolling Stone in 2010.

Beck was friends with Hendrix and they performed together. Before Hendrix, most rock guitar players concentrated on a similar style and technical vocabulary. Hendrix blew that apart.

‘He came along and reset all of the rules in one evening,’ Beck told Guitar World.

English guitarist Jeff Beck performing at a Crystal Palace Garden Party event, Crystal Palace Bowl, London, 1972

Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughn pose for a portrait circa 1985 in Los Angeles

Roger Taylor, Brian May and Jeff Beck attend the Freddie For A Day 65th birthday anniversary party at The Savoy Hotel on September 5, 2011 in London

Beck teamed up with legendary producer George Martin – a.k.a. ‘the fifth Beatle’ – to help him fashion the genre-melding, jazz-fusion classic ‘Blow by Blow’ (1975) and ‘Wired’ (1976). 

He teamed up with Seal on the Hendrix tribute ‘Stone Free,’ created a jazz-fusion group led by synthesizer player Jan Hammer and honored rockabilly guitarist Cliff Gallup with the album ‘Crazy Legs.’ He put out ‘Loud Hailer’ in 2016.

Beck’s guitar work can be heard on the soundtracks of such films as ‘Stomp the Yard,’ ‘Shallow Hal,’ ‘Casino,’ ‘Honeymoon in Vegas,’ ‘Twins,’ ‘Observe and Report’ and ‘Little Big League.’

He was most recently seen touring in 2022, making headlines along the way as he would bring Johnny Depp onstage to perform with him in the wake of Depp’s defamation trial with Amber Heard.

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