Legendary Musicians Dying in 2023 

Sawyer Ramsay ’24

Copy Editor

It is only a few months into the year and numerous legendary and fundamental musicians have already passed away. Whether this year is cursed or not, hopefully it will not become a routine. COVID-19 was bad enough as it is, but, recently, big names in the music industry like Jeff Beck and David Crosby have passed away.  

Jeff Beck is considered among the greatest guitarists who ever lived. After being in a variety of small bands playing Buddy Holly songs, his first recognition began when he replaced legendary guitarist Eric Clapton as lead of the Yardbirds in 1965. He left the group in 1966 and was replaced by Jimmy Page who is also considered one of the greatest of all time, being the guitar player for Led Zeppelin. After leaving the Yardbirds, he formed the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart on vocals, as well as the Beck, Bogert and Appice group.  

Jeff Beck also went on to have an extensive solo career. He is listed in Rolling Stone’s Top 5 Guitarists of all time, and he is known to have a unique and inspiring guitar tone where he uses string bending and the whammy bar to create a dreamy, and mystical tone. He has been incredibly influential and many famous guitar players were inspired by him due to his longevity in a competitive space. Beck has explored a wide variety of genres including Rock and Jazz Fusion, and he has created some of the most memorable guitar sounds ever. It was devastating to hear of his passing and his death was acknowledged by guitar players and music lovers all around the world.  

David Crosby was no less influential than Jeff Beck, being a member of two of the world’s most famous rock bands of all time. Crosby first became recognized as a founder of the iconic folk-rock group “The Byrds”. The Byrds were among the pioneers of psychedelic folk-rock music, turning folk songs electric. Their pioneering of folk gave them the classic 1960s sound like that of the Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas, and the Eagles. Crosby was a guitar player, backup singer, and song-writer for the band who contributed to what became known as the California sound. Additionally, Crosby was a founding member of Crosby, Stills, and Nash who often played with Winnipegger Neil Young in Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. This band also pioneered 60s and 70s psychedelic folk-rock sound, releasing timeless songs like “Ohio” and “Teach Your Children”. Crosby was a very important musician who helped create a summertime sound with his contributions to both these bands and more. 

It has not been the best year so far for music fans of these musicians. People like Canadian country icon, Ian Tyson, and American composer, Burt Bacharach, have also passed away recently, causing even more sorrow. 

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