Classic rock legend Jeff Beck had a close friendship with actor Johnny Depp. They formed a deep connection through music. Here’s a look inside their relationship.
Beck died on January 10, 2023, at the age of 78. His cause of death was reportedly bacterial meningitis. News of his passing was shared on Instagram.
“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing,” said the statement. “After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”
Depp was reportedly “devastated” after the death of his friend. The two grew close over the years, so this was a difficult loss. A source told Entertainment Tonight that Depp was “still processing the news and mourning the loss of his close friend and collaborator.” The source added that “Depp and Beck had an extremely close friendship and became closer touring together.”
Another source tells People that Depp was at Beck’s bedside before he died. “They had a really tight friendship,” says the source. “They were extremely close, and he got even closer over this past summer when they were touring together. The sickness came on really quickly and it all deteriorated rapidly in the last couple weeks.”
Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp’s friendship
During a July 2022 interview, Depp spoke with Greg Williams about his relationship with Beck. He says Beck and his wife Sandy Cash helped him stay “sane.”
“There’s a couple who very much helped to keep me alive and sane and happy through the weirdness,” says Depp. “And that’s Jeff and Sandra.”
Depp says he and Jeff had such a strong connection that there were times when they didn’t even have to talk. “Once you’ve connected on some sort of level and you become that tight, you practically don’t have to say anything. It’s an eyeball glance and you’re both on the floor laughing.”
Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck shared a love of music
Back in 2019, Beck appeared on Rise, an album by Depp’s group Hollywood Vampires. Last year, Depp and Beck collaborated on an album titled 18. The late musician spoke about working with Depp and how they thought of the album title.
“When Johnny and I started playing together, it really ignited our youthful spirit and creativity,” said Beck in a statement around the time the album was released. “We would joke about how we felt 18 again so that just became the album title, too.”
Beck continued, “I haven’t had another creative partner like [Depp] for ages. He was a major force on this record. I just hope people will take him seriously as a musician because it’s a hard thing for some people to accept that Johnny Depp can sing rock ‘n’ roll.”
Depp expressed his appreciation for Beck and shared how excited he was to make music with his close friend. Said Depp in a statement, “It’s an extraordinary honor to play and write music with Jeff, one of the true greats and someone I am now privileged enough to call my brother.”