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BBC – Jeff Beck: Still on the Run (2018)

BBC Jeff Beck Still on the Run

For many people, musicians and fans alike, Jeff Beck is the greatest ever British guitarist. For more than 50 years he has blazed an uncompromising trail across the musical landscape. Always an innovator, never a follower, Jeff has steadfastly refused to pander to the demands of the record industry. This maverick attitude required some difficult career decisions; he left The Yardbirds at the height of their popularity, deserted his own group days before their billed appearance at Woodstock and often shifted his attention to his other great passion of building hot rods rather than continuing a tour or returning to the studio.

Jeff’s adventurous spirit led him to embrace a wide range of musical styles and he is one of a handful of artists who have transcended and redefined the limitations of their instrument, be it the Fender Telecaster, Esquire, Strat or Gibson Les Paul. He pioneered the use of feedback on record and his ability to capture the zeitgeist made The Yardbirds forerunners of psychedelic blues. With The Jeff Beck Group and the album Truth, he nurtured two of rock music’s finest performers, Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, and gave birth to a sound that would later mutate into heavy metal.

He turned even the loss of Rod Stewart to his advantage by almost single-handedly inventing the guitar instrumental album with the release of Blow By Blow, which embraced the influences of Jan Hammer and John McLaughlin whilst developing a sound that was uniquely his own. Moving forward Jeff continued to push the envelope, amassing a fantastic body of work spanning many musical genres whilst constantly developing and evolving his inimitable approach and technique.

This film tells Jeff’s story from his earliest days growing up in Wallington, Surrey with his homemade guitars, teenage friendship with Jimmy Page and the influences of guitarists such as Les Paul, Cliff Gallup and James Burton. With essential tracks from throughout his career it follows his journey from art school and early bands, through his various groups, musical ventures and passion for hot rods, to the release of his latest album and sell-out show at the Hollywood Bowl. We hear testimony to the genius of Jeff Beck from musicians who have recorded and played alongside him such as Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Jennifer Batten, Beth Hart, Joe Perry and Slash, who all shine a light on his ever-evolving guitar style and reveal why to this day he remains not only a musical visionary but also the most influential and highly rated guitarist of his generation.

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