An unpublished Jeff Beck interview and his 10 favorite guitars (with rare photos) – only in the new Guitar World

April 2023
(Image credit: David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images)

Besides Stevie Ray Vaughan (and a few other awesome people), my favorite guitarists when I was a whippersnapper in the Eighties were gents from the Sixties.

Sometimes I’d be embarrassed by that because, when I’d extol the virtues of Clapton, Page, Hendrix, Mick Taylor and Clarence White, and spend days learning the Bluesbreakers’ Hideaway, Steppin’ Out and Snowy Wood note for note, I was often made to feel that I was living in the past.

But I never felt that way when I told people that I loved Jeff Beck, because Beck – even though he was just as much “a Sixties guy” as, say, Dave Davies, Eddie Phillips or Hilton Valentine – always seemed as though he was from the distant future.

Besides, his style and tone had evolved and changed so drastically during the years since the Sixties had ended – to the point that absolutely none of the popular Eighties guitarists that my friends worshiped had anything at all on Beck.

He was timeless, a guitarist without “a decade” tied to his ankle like a ball and chain.

All of which leads me to the latest issue of Guitar World, which is – as you’ve probably guessed by now – dedicated to Beck, who passed away January 10 at age 78. The issue includes:

>>>Farewell to the Guv’nor: Alan di Perna bids a fond farewell to Beck, who he was fortunate enough to have interviewed several times over the decades. It even kicks off with a rather personal encounter at NYC’s Drake Hotel in 1999…

>>>Emotion & Commotion: Guitar stars from every era provide exclusive tributes to Beck, including Joe Perry, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Ace Frehley, K.K. Downing, Phil Collen, Zakk Wylde, Buzz Osborne, Jennifer Batten, Jackie Venson, Bruce Kulick and many many, more.

>>>Heart Full of Soul: In this candid, truthful and previously unpublished interview, Beck reveals the blues behind his 1999 comeback album, Who Else! 

>>>Guitar Shop: A closer look at 10 of Beck’s most historically important and personal favorite guitars throughout his career – with exclusive photos and insight.

>>>Deep Impact: A look at the often-overlooked recordings that reveal Beck’s genius and vision.

>>>Shapes of Things: Four guitar tricks you can learn from Beck’s blossoming late-Sixties-era style (aka, his Les Paul era)  – with tabs and video.

This issue is available right here, right now.

april 2023

(Image credit: David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images)

Elsewhere in this issue...

In a meaty exclusive interview, Megadeth main man Dave Mustaine discusses his influence over Metallica, the legacy of Countdown to Extinction – and the player who gets his vote for Megadeth’s best-ever guitarist

In another exclusive, John Fogerty reflects on his Creedence Clearwater Revival-era gear – and the long-awaited release of the band’s famed 1970 Royal Albert Hall show.

We also interview Imagine Dragons' Wayne Sermon, Eddie 9V, Chicago blues legend John Primer (Muddy Waters' last lead guitarist), Kamelot's Thomas Youngblood, the guitarists from Narrow Head, Hannah Murphy and Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch (who shows off his rarely seen pedalboard), plus the Introducing and Playlist columns and the photo/quote/flashback of the month. 

Meanwhile, Joe Bonamassa provides a new lesson (with tab and video) based on the wonders of the 1954 Gibson Les Paul goldtop, Andy Aledort shows you how to get even more out of oblique bends, and Josh Smith and Andy Timmons show you how to play some pretty cool tunes.

This month’s transcriptions are Halestorm's Love Bites (So Do I), Breath by Breaking Benjamin and Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin. Why are there no Jeff Beck transcriptions, you ask? As I've said before, it takes weeks or months to get song approvals, and Beck passed away only 11 days before our shipping/printer date – but we promise to have some Beck tunes in the May issue!

We have reviews of the Hologram Microcosm; the V1 Copper, V1 Duchess and V1 Sheriff pedals by Victory Amps; the Kernom Ridge Overdrive and the EarthQuaker Devices Sunn O))) Life Pedal V3. In Power Tools, Chris Gill explores the history and lore of the 1975-present Roland JC-120.

Hope you enjoy it! See you in four-ish weeks!

You can buy new issues of Guitar World at Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Hudson News, Books a Million and other stores – and online from Magazines Direct. And, while you're at it, why not save on every issue by subscribing?

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.