Jeff Beck’s First Impression On People Was Misleading, Styx’s Ricky Phillips Explains

In a recent candid chat reported by Ultimate Guitar, Styx’s bassist Ricky Phillips opened up about his first encounter with Jeff Beck, admitting that he felt intimidated at first. Having the opportunity to open for Beck not too long ago, Phillips shared his experiences of meeting the guitarist and how that initial concern soon turned into a memorable friendship.

Phillips first met Jeff Beck when his band, Bad English, was put together, and they were sent to Japan to open for the guitar virtuoso. Those first shows marked the beginning of a friendly relationship between the two musicians, which even led to Ricky being invited on stage to play bass during one of Beck’s performances. The experience was surreal for the bassist, as he got to share the stage with other talented artists, such as John Waite, Steve Lukather, and Neil Schon, playing ‘Going Down’ from the Yardbirds catalog.

In the conversation, the Styx bassist described how he found it challenging to talk to Jeff Beck at first, being in awe of the master guitarist. Despite his initial intimidation, Phillips mentioned that they had a great time on tour together. They never recorded any music together, but they did have the chance to catch up and chat during their encounters.

The Styx bassist detailed his memory of the late Jeff Beck:

“Jeff was a guy I was really intimidated by at first, and I had trouble talking to him. I felt like a kid with the master, and rightfully so. But we had a really good time on that tour. I saw him a few years ago, thank God before he passed, he came to Austin, and I caught his show and went backstage after and I was able to talk with him for a bit, and he was just a sweetheart.

He was just such a wonderful human being and an amazing talent. I didn’t ever record with him, but just having Jeff Beck know who I was and being such a huge fan of his – ‘Blow By Blow’ that’s my stranded island record if I had to have one. I wore out several copies of that record.”

Though the legendary Jeff Beck has since passed away from a bacterial meningitis infection on January 10, 2023, at the age of 78, his immense talent and impact on the world of music will surely be remembered. Beck is such a powerful influence on artists like Ricky Phillips, the memories of sharing the stage and forming a connection.