Tributes have been pouring in after it was announced that legendary UK guitarist Jeff Beck has sadly passed away.
His management confirmed he died at the age of 78 after contracting bacterial meningitis.
A statement announcing his death on social media yesterday reads: “On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing. After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday.
“His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”
Born Geoffrey Arnold Beck on 24 June 1944 in Wallington in Surrey, he first rose to prominence as a member of rock band The Yardbirds, before releasing his first solo single, Hi Ho Silver Lining, in 1969, and then switching to a mainly instrumental style in 1975.
He has released genre-spanning music ranging from blues rock, hard rock, jazz fusion, and a blend of guitar-rock and electronica.
A truly revered musician, Beck earned wide critical praise throughout his career, and has received eight Grammy Awards, the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music in 2014, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – one time as a member of the Yardbirds in 1992, and again as a solo artist in 2009.
Many may also remember Beck released a collaborative album with Johnny Depp last year ahead of the Hollywood actor receiving the verdict of his defamation battle with ex-wife Amber Heard.
Tributes to Beck following his sudden passing have been flooding in from some of the most famous names in the music industry.
Johnny Marr, Mick Jagger, and Brian Wilson are just some of the names to offer condolonces.
The Smiths’ former guitarist Johnny Marr called Beck “a pioneer” and “one of the all time greats”, while Mick Jagger wrote on Twitter: “With the death of Jeff Beck we have lost a wonderful man and one of the greatest guitar players in the world. We will all miss him so much.”
Brian Wilson, frontman of The Beach Boys, also wrote on Twitter: “I’m so sad to hear about Jeff Beck passing. Jeff was a genius guitar player, and me and my band got to see it close up when we toured with him in 2013.
“One of the highlights we did was ‘Danny Boy’ – we both loved that song. Love & Mercy to Jeff’s family.”
“I can’t express how saddened I am to hear of Jeff Beck’s passing,” Ozzy Osbourne wrote on Twitter.
“What a terrible loss for his family, friends & his many fans. It was such an honor to have known Jeff & an incredible honor to have had him play on my most recent album, Patient Number 9.
“Long live Jeff Beck.”
Ronnie Wood from The Rolling Stones also shared a tribute, which reads: “Now Jeff has gone, I feel like one of my band of brothers has left this world, and I’m going to dearly miss him. I’m sending much sympathy to Sandra, his family, and all who loved him.
“I want to thank him for all our early days together in Jeff Beck Group, conquering America.”
Pink Floyd’s frontman David Gilmour wrote in tribute: “I am devastated to hear the news of the death of my friend and hero Jeff Beck, whose music has thrilled and inspired me and countless others for so many years. Polly‘s and my thoughts go out to his lovely wife Sandra. He will be forever in our hearts.”
“I am saddened by the news of Jeff Beck’s passing,” Donny Osmond wrote.
“Here’s a clip of a video I did with him in ‘85. It was this video that really paved the way for the success of my hit, Soldier of Love.
“I’ll always be grateful to Jeff for that opportunity. RIP, my friend.”
Lee Rigby’s son is raising tens of thousands for charity in honour of his dad
Jack Rigby, the son of soldier Lee Rigby, is raising an absolutely huge amount of money for charity in memory of his father.
Rigby, a former Royal Fusilier who served in Afghanistan for three years, was tragically murdered by extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale outside the Woolwich Barracks in May 2013 and now, over a decade after his death, his son is hoping to raise as much as possible in his honour.
His dad was 25 when he was killed and Jack himself was only two-years-old at the time. Now 13, the inspiring young man set out on his fundraising journey earlier this year, completing a marathon on behalf of Scotty’s Little Soldiers back in May, a military bereavement charity.
Setting himself the goal of reaching the ‘Scotty’s March’ £10k target — i.e. hoping to raise a £1,000 for each year since his passing — Jack and his family have been blown after the fundraiser has already amassed over £55k in donations.
With the goalposts now being moved to £60,000 after Jack and his mum Rebecca’s efforts have led to nearly £55k in contributions to the specialised bereavement organisation to support grieving military children and young people up to the age of 25.
Writing in his post when the fundraiser was first set up, Jack said, “This year marked the 10-year anniversary, it’s never easy but this year felt even harder for some reason. To help me through this year I have been concentrating on raising funds and awareness for Scotty’s Little Soldiers…
“This [has] really helped me to concentrate on something positive at a very difficult time while helping this amazing charity“, an intitiave he has been a part ever since he was a young child, adding that he named his dog Scotty in tribute to their important work for military families across the UK.
It was only earlier this year that the teenager spoke out about his father for the first time having already smashed his fundraising target before he had even run his marathon.
As for mum, she said: “Jack was so excited to see the amount grow and seeing how much each donation made him smile meant the world to me. He and I read all the messages of support and were thankful for them all. We honestly couldn’t believe how kind and generous people were being.”
Featured Image — Gov.uk/Jack Rigby (via Scotty’s Little Soldiers)
Greater Manchester’s volunteer police officers are now trained to deal with ‘high tension’ events
Dozens of volunteer police officers across Greater Manchester are now being given public order training to deal with “high tension” events.
In case you aren’t too familiar, Public Order Public Safety (POPS) is an arm of policing that covers a wide range of events and operations that could present instances of high or increased tension, according to Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
Some events of this nature include protests, festivals, sporting events, and disorder – basically, anywhere where there may be a risk to public safety.
In order to make sure there’s more hands on deck when these situations arise, GMP has now confirmed that it’s beginning the process of training up its volunteer workforce – formally known as Police Specials, of which there are currently about 200 employed to work 16-hours each month – to be able to work such events.
This is so they know how to correctly handle and manage potentially tension-filled situations.
GMP says that around 30 Police Specials completed their level two training over four days at the police force’s specialist training centre in Openshaw this week.
This means they can now be deployed at high-profile events.
Chief Superintendent Chris Hill, who is the strategic lead at GMP, say Police Specials play an “important role” for the police force, as they often join response teams or are put to good use by providing a link between local Greater Manchester communities and GMP.
“Special constables have the same powers and look the same as regular officers,” CS Hill explained, “but the difference is they are volunteers and can have regular jobs as well.
“The specials that completed the training are now highly-trained in tactics, as well as how to use equipment including helmets and shields, and can be deployed to high-profile football matches and events or demonstrations where there is an increase in tension.
“We hope this will make joining GMP as a special a more interesting and exciting prospect.”
Mike Walmsley, who is GMP’s Chief Officer and oversees the Special Constabulary, added how great it is to see a “continued investment” in the special constables.
He continued: “Having a team trained to public order level two allows us to further support our colleagues.
“[It will also] unlock more of the potential that the Special Constabulary has.
“We have already started to map out structured learning and supplied them with laptops and, coupled with further opportunities, this will allow our officers to develop further and support in existing and new areas.”