Before there was Beck, there was ahem Beck
. Not the smooth-crooning hipster but rather Jeff Beck,
the guitar god extraordinaire, who courted rock reverence by virtue of the searing fretwork that defines his signature style. Whereas early contemporaries Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page were cast in the company of others Clapton in Cream and Page in Led Zeppelin Beck's brilliance was self-made and self-contained. Like his colleagues, he attained his pedigree as a member of the Yardbirds, but in 1967, he graduated to individual acclaim by inaugurating the first of several incarnations of the Jeff Beck Group, a band that was also notable for launching the career of a young Rod Stewart. Beck has repeatedly reinvented himself over the years, veering from rock and rockabilly to fusion and jazz, but his refusal to compromise remains his constant. A musical institution and a singular genius to boot, Beck's reputation still rests equally on music and mystique.
Jeff Beck performs Thursday, September 7, at the Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $50 to $80. Call 954-523-3309, or visit www.ticketmaster.com.