Phil Collen on Jeff Beck: “Jeff’s amp blew up and his pedalboard didn’t work, so they just brought in another Marshall – he sounded exactly the same. He didn’t even flinch”

Phil Collen and Jeff Beck
(Image credit: Future / Kevin Nixon)

“Jeff Beck has always been one of my idols because he’s unique. No-one sounds like him, no-one plays like him, and you’ve got to respect that more than anything else. Everyone else you ever play with, there’s always a tip of the hat to the archetype they learned from. Beck is an archetype, like Jimi Hendrix is an archetype. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. No-one was able to get anywhere close to that.

“All your idols, you think they’re gonna last forever. When Bowie went, when Prince went, I’m like, ‘What do you mean they’re not here?’ This was like that. When my dad died, he was 81 and he had a good 15 years left in him. He was just getting going. Jeff Beck was like that. There was so much life in him, in his playing and in him personally.”

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Jenna Scaramanga

Jenna writes for Total Guitar and Guitar World, and is the former classic rock columnist for Guitar Techniques. She studied with Guthrie Govan at BIMM, and has taught guitar for 15 years. She's toured in 10 countries and played on a Top 10 album (in Sweden).