Watch Jeff Beck’s flawless jam of Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing with Johnny Depp on rhythm guitar

Jeff Beck
(Image credit: Lionel FLUSIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Jeff Beck completed his 2022 tour of the US, which saw the electric guitar icon team up with actor/guitarist and new-found bandmate Johnny Depp for a stint of dates across October and November.

During his trip across the country, Beck routinely included a handful of covers in his setlist, from Davy Spillane’s Midnight Walker to Robert Johnson’s Me and the Devil Blues.

One of the most notable setlist stalwarts Beck selected, though, was Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing, which the 78-year-old performed on numerous occasions throughout the tour.

Now, footage of Beck’s show at New York’s Capitol Theatre from October 8 has made its way online, showcasing the Stratocaster master’s flawless treatment of the 1967 classic in all its glory.

With his reverse headstock-equipped Custom Shop Fender Stratocaster in tow, Beck takes listeners through the song’s instantly recognizable melody, but treats the track to some of his own unique sonic spice.

Additional flair arrives courtesy of Beck’s dynamic thumb strumming and subtle whammy bar tugs, both of which help the blues rock legend make Little Wing his own. Indeed, it’s Beck’s right-hand thumb that does the heavy lifting for the jam, plucking out tasty gain-laden licks that embellish the track.

The cover is not even three minutes long, but it’s more than enough time for Beck to demonstrate his devastating dynamics and effortless box-breaking abilities, all of which culminate in a final solo at the 1:10 mark.

It’s not the first time footage of Beck playing Little Wing has been posted online. Back in May, when the guitarist first ignited his relationship with Depp and invited the actor onstage during a show in Sheffield, UK, the pair performed the Hendrix cut alongside a host of other covers.

Since then, the duo have gone on to release a collaborative album – which was embroiled in some high-profile legal controversy – as well as tour together.

Elsewhere on the setlist for the Capitol Theatre gig – and on setlists throughout the tour – was a cover of Link Wray’s Rumble. The 1958 song was also the focus of Beck’s recent Fender Sessions appearance, which saw him perform the once-banned track using a Fender American Vintage II ‘57 Stratocaster.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.