Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck is to be made an Honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Sussex, following his nomination for the honour by BIMM, the UK's leading rock college.
Beck will receive his award at the University's graduation ceremony for the School of Media, Film and Music, which takes place at 3.30pm, on Thursday, 21st July, 2011 at the Brighton Dome. Beck will be presented for his degree at the ceremony by BIMM Education Director Bruce Dickinson.
Students who study for the BA Honours in Professional Musicianship at BIMM have their degree validated and awarded by the University of Sussex. The honorary doctorate bestowed on Jeff Beck acknowledges an outstanding musical career and celebrates the relationship between the University and BIMM, where Jeff has proved to be an inspiration and support to future generations of musicians.
The word 'legendary' is not chosen lightly. While the most casual observer might acknowledge Jeff Beck as a guitar hero in the time-honoured tradition, his contribution in mapping the musical landscape is much greater than that. Beck was a prime mover in the invention of rock music as we know it.
Beck was one of three noted guitarists, with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, to have played with The Yardbirds and he went on to form The Jeff Beck Group with Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart. Such was the level of his musicianship that Pink Floyd's Nick Mason recalls that the band were too daunted to ask Beck to join them after the departure of Syd Barrett.
Beck's guitar playing has been a huge influence and inspiration, but when you need someone to play like Jeff Beck, you have to ask Jeff Beck. He's been called upon to collaborate with a legion of artists -a random selection includes Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Steve Wonder, Kate Bush and Morrissey.
He is one of a relative handful of musicians to have been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - both as a member of The Yardbirds and as a solo artist - and has received the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance an astonishing six times.
Bruce Dickinson, Education Director at BIMM, says, "Jeff Beck is as much of an inspiration to the new generation of musicians as he was in previous decades. In 2010, Jeff found time to visit BIMM and deliver a now legendary Masterclass. Those of us present will never forget the experience, as in his hands, a borrowed standard Fender Strat and Marshall amp produced the most incredible guitar tone and performance that we have ever heard. As Eric Clapton said, "with Jeff, it's all in the hands."
Harvey Goldsmith, CBE, Jeff Beck's Manager, says, "Jeff Beck is today considered to be the finest guitarist in the world. He has inspired generations of young guitarists and is delighted to be recognized for his work".
University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Farthing furthers, "We are delighted to welcome Jeff Beck to the University of Sussex as Honorary Doctor of Music. While BIMM students benefit from the academic rigour provided by Sussex in validating their degree studies, they also undoubtedly benefit at BIMM from privileged contact with musicians of high calibre and reputation, such as Jeff Beck."
To find out more about the ceremony or to watch it live online, please go to