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Steve Vai says Jeff Beck's guitar playing is as wondrous as a transparent-headed fish

Jeff Beck (l) and a Barreleye Fish (r) © Rex/Shutterstock & BBC Earth

Steve Vai has taken to social media to lavish ‘incredible phenomenon’ Jeff Beck with high praise.

Vai, who lists Jeff Beck as among his defining influences, recently attended a show on The Yardbirds legend’s Stars Align Tour in North America and afterwards felt compelled to wax lyrical about Beck’s ‘spell-binding’ musicianship.

Agape at Beck’s mercurial talents, Vai wrote about his fellow guitar virtuoso: “Every single note (Beck) plays has its own personality. It’s as if they have a direct line to your emotional equilibrium. He is unique, in the most superlative use of the word.”

He added elsewhere in his Facebook post: “His touch, mastery and craftsmanship is inspiring beyond beyond. Thomas Nordegg and I refer to him as “The Chosen One”, but perhaps another way to describe him is “The One, Alone”.

“I can’t be more grateful to the Universe for the way this man can express himself through the guitar.”

In fact, Vai compared the experience of witnessing Beck in his live glory to watching the astonishing footage of a Barreleye Fish on David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II. The deep-sea fish has tubular eyes and a transparent head so it can see prey above it.

Vai explains: “It’s a complete confounding mystery how evolution could create such a creature. When looking at it I was in a state of stunned amazement and awe. How on earth could something so unique and sophisticated exist? And that’s when it hit me, that’s what I feel about Jeff Beck’s guitar playing.”

Steve Vai’s full post reads:

The other night Andy and I went to see Jeff Beck perform. I try to catch him whenever we are in the same town. The band was just astonishing, and I was able to hook up with my old buddy Vinnie Colaiuta (from my Zappa days) which was really nice since we seemed to have missed each other through the decades.

As usual, Jeff was spell binding, quite stunning really. For myself, and many others, he is an incredible phenomenon. It was an outdoor concert and the sound from the PA was flawless and pristine. His tone, a Strat directly into a few amps with the occasional rare distortion or delay added for a few notes, was as clear and friendly as any tone I ever heard. Every single note he plays has its own personality. It’s as if they have a direct line to your emotional equilibrium. He is unique, in the most superlative use of the word.

I found an analogy. The other night I was watching Blue Planet II, “The Deep”. There was this fish that is called “Barrel Eyes” that was a real shocker. It has a see-through skull with a pair of eyes inside of its head that can look out through its head. You would have to see this thing to believe something like it exists on the planet. It’s a complete confounding mystery how evolution could create such a creature. When looking at it I was in a state of stunned amazement and awe. How on earth could something so unique and sophisticated exist? And that’s when it hit me, that’s what I feel about Jeff Beck’s guitar playing. How is it that he could continually evolve into deeper and deeper layers of intimate expression? His touch, mastery and craftsmanship is inspiring beyond beyond. Thomas Nordegg and I refer to him as “The Chosen One”, but perhaps another way to describe him is “The One, Alone”.
I can’t be more grateful to the Universe for the way this man can express himself through the guitar. If you are a guitar lover, I highly recommend checking Jeff out with his current line-up, or any line-up.

 

The other night Andy and I went to see Jeff Beck perform. I try to catch him whenever we are in the same town. The band...

Posted by Steve Vai on Monday, 23 July 2018

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