Revisiting Jeff Beck’s Final Concert
On Nov. 12, 2022 Jeff Beck took the stage in Reno, Nev. for what would turn out to be the final concert of his illustrious career.
The performance was the guitar great’s last tour date alongside actor-turned-rocker Johnny Depp. The two men became friends in 2016, later becoming collaborators. “When Johnny and I started playing together, it really ignited our youthful spirit and creativity,” Beck explained, calling the Hollywood star a "kindred spirit."
In 2020, the duo released their first song together, a cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation.” Depp later admitted that Beck helped keep him “alive and sane and happy” through his chaotic defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
Watch Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp Perform 'Time' During Their Nov. 12 Show
The 2022 tour was in support of 18, Beck and Depp’s collaborative album made up largely of covers. Many of those tunes made it into the set list during that final performance, including the Beach Boys’ “Caroline, No” and the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs.”
Plenty of Beck originals were also featured in the set. The night’s opening song was “Freeway Jam,” the guitarist’s famous instrumental from 1975. “Loose Cannon,” “Big Block,” “Star Cycle” and “You Never Know” were the other Beck tunes performed that night.
The lone Depp original in the set list was “This Is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr,” a tune the actor slyly coaxed Beck to record for their album.
Watch Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp Perform 'This Is a Song for Miss Heddy Lamarr'
“I sent a very cheeky text to Jeff and said, 'Hey, don’t think that I’m asking you to play on this because I’m really not,'” Depp recalled to Hollywood Authentic. “'Don’t feel any pressure at all. I’m just sending you this song that I wrote. Of course, if you wanted to play on it, that’s fine. But I’m not saying you should, and I’m not asking you to, because I wouldn’t do that to our friendship.'”
Beck’s response? “Send me the stems, you fucker.”
By all accounts, the Reno performance was a triumphant end to the duo’s tour. More than 2,500 people turned out to watch the gig, including Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale, who raved about the show.
The final tune of the night was a rendition of Killing Joke’s “Death and Resurrection Show.” Tragically, song's title that would carry much more weight just two months later, as Beck died at the age of 78.
Watch Jeff Beck Take His Final Bow