Neil Giraldo: “As much as I loved Jeff Beck, I never wanted to be him. I wanted to be Pete Townshend. I wanted to be the writer. I wanted to play chords”

Neil Giraldo
(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

At the start of our interview, Neil Giraldo wants to first talk about Jeff Beck, whom he calls his “top, number one influence,” beginning with the British legend’s time in the Yardbirds. 

“Early on, I heard the way Jeff attacked the instrument – it was like a compressor,” he says. “It’s not that it was loud, but it was right there, always. There are so many beautiful things about his playing. He started out playing one way, but he evolved into a whole other type of playing. That’s such a special thing to be able to grow like that, and he did it spectacularly. He could play a symphony with one string.”

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.