Beck wrote on his blog, 14 November 2011: "So, I received a Living Legend Award from Classic Rock on 9 November. I was completely blown away by the night and the kind words people said. Honestly I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support from my fans. THANK YOU!"
Like his fellow guitar legends, Clapton and Page, Beck is still working, touring, recording and is remembered as a great. In his book about John Peel, Michael Heatley wrote (2004) that former grave-digger Rod Stewart only got into the Faces as singer because "he had achieved a degree of fame with the Jeff Beck Group in the 1960s."
Beck has become what is styled ‘a guitarist’s guitarist’, as he has the respect of his peers as a virtuoso. His work, mainly instrumental, has spanned numerous genres, while he has played with Kate Bush, Mick Jagger, Roger Waters, Donovan, Stevie Wonder, Brian May and ZZ Top.
Born in June 1944 in Wallington in the South London Borough of Sutton, he sang in a church choir as a child, was taken with the sound of electric guitar on the radio and learned to play on a borrowed guitar and tried to make one himself. The blues was a strong early influence.
He went from school to Wimbledon College Of Art (art was certainly a common linking theme among the guitar trio), painted and decorated and spray-painted cars. His sister Annetta introduced him to Jimmy Page when they were teenagers.
His first band was The Rumbles where he showed a talent for guitar mimicry, then worked as a session man, before replacing Clapton in The Yardbirds in March 1965. He had twenty months with them, during which time most of their hit singles were cut.
Beck’s star and reputation remained high. Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason wrote in his autobiography, A Personal History of Pink Floyd (2004), that when Syd Barrett left Floyd in 1967, they’d wanted to recruit Jeff Beck but "none of us had the nerve to ask him!" That was the status he had, even then.