The late Jeff Beck’s career was marked by an abundance of excellence. And surprises.
From his playing choices to his stylistic maneuvering and frequent changes of personnel, Beck made a career out of keeping everyone guessing — including those who played with him. He was a restless chameleon, starting in rock and blues and then incorporating jazz – mostly of the ‘70s electric fusion variety – into his mix, achieving mastery on all fronts. But it was never just for change’s sake; Beck’s experiments and diversions almost always had purpose.
It worked out, of course. Beck – who passed away Tuesday (Jan. 10) at the age of 78 in England – was a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (with The Yardbirds in 1992 and on his own in 2009) and won eight Grammy Awards, five of them for best rock instrumental performance. He also received the British Academy’s Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music in 2014 along with a slew of other honors. He’s universally acknowledged as one of the greatest guitar players of all-time, in any genre.
His skill on the instrument could and often did leave our jaws on the floor. But some of his decisions did the same — or at least made us raise our eyebrows. As we continue to celebrate one of (and to some, the) best proponent of the electric guitar, here’s a look back at a dozen of the most surprising moments in Beck’s long career.
This story originally Appeared on billboard.com