Jeff Beck Explains Why Eric Clapton Was A Bit Jealous Of Him


In his recent interview with Louder Sound, The Yardbirds former guitarist Jeff Beck recalled his memories with some of the rock legends such as Mick Jagger, Roger Waters, Brian May, and Eric Clapton. Beck revealed that Eric Clapton was jealous of him when he took his place in The Yardbirds.

The Yardbirds was considered as the milestone of the professional musical careers of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. The band gained great success and fame after they had released ‘For You Love’ in March 1965. The song became a major hit and commercial success by being very popular all around the world and reached the top on both the UK and Canada charts.

Eric Clapton decided to leave the band in 1965 because he was displeased with the change in The Yardbirds’ sound from blues to pop-rock. Even though he wanted to see Jimmy Page as the new guitarist of the band, Page didn’t accept the band’s offer due to his health problems and the recent departure of Clapton. He recommended Jeff Beck to take the place of Clapton in the band. Shortly after, Beck joined The Yardbirds as their new guitarist.

During a recent interview, Jeff Beck talked about the time he joined The Yardbirds after Clapton’s departure and suggested that the iconic rock and blues guitarist got jealous. According to Beck, everyone, including Eric himself, thought that The Yardbirds was finished when Clapton left. However, Jeff managed to prove to them The Yardbirds could exist without him. Particularly after their success in the United States, Eric was ‘pissed off big time,’ Beck recalls.

Jeff Beck stated about Clapton in the interview that:

“I know he didn’t like the fact that I took over from him in the Yardbirds and we did great. The general buzz of the band was that they thought they were finished when Eric left. At my debut with The Yardbirds at the Marquee, I showed them what was what and I got a standing ovation, so that was the end of that.

Two months after that things took off in the States, which pissed Eric off big time. I think he was hankering after going there – like we all were. That was our holy grail, going to America to see the blues players. Within a week we were down in Chicago looking at Howlin’ Wolf. So I think Eric was a bit jealous on that front. But then along came Cream and he blew everybody away.

Nowadays he’s a changed person. He seems a lot more mellow and happier with himself. I think he’s realized that you don’t have to be mean or in any way guarded, you can offer yourself in so many ways. And he’s given so much pleasure with his playing and deservedly got the accolades.”

Moreover, Jeff Beck drew attention to the change in the personality of Eric Clapton. Beck stated that Clapton is a happier and more optimistic person now with the help of realizing that he doesn’t need to treat people badly to be the best in the industry.