Billy Joel was back at New York’s Madison Square Garden Friday night and Rolling Stone reports he took some time out of his residency to pay tribute to the late Jeff Beck, who died Tuesday at the age of 78.
“He was a musician that I always loved. He was the best. Jeff Beck just passed away…,” Joel told the audience at his 86th MSG show. “I couldn’t let the night go by without doing something by Jeff.”
Billy then performed the track “People Get Ready,” which Beck recorded with Rod Stewart for for Beck’s 1985 album, Flash.
He paid tribute to Beck again later in the evening after the night’s last song, “You May Be Right,” with the band playing a jam session that morphed into “Going Down,” a track that appeared on the Jeff Beck Group’s 1972 self-titled third album. Noted Billy, “we should have rehearsed this today.”
Following the news of Beck’s death, Billy posted a tribute to him on social media, calling him “one of my heroes,” and noting, “I was fortunate to meet him recently and I’m very grateful now that I was able to tell him how much I admired his musical skill. This is the end of an era.”
(A previous version of this story published on 1/16/23 misspelled Jeff Beck’s name in the headline. The text above has been updated to correct the error.)
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