Jeff Beck Talks About His Early Rivalry With Eric Clapton


British rock legends Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton launched their careers about the same time, so they crossed one another’s path more than once. Like Bird and Magic or the Stones and the Beatles, their competition made them both better.

In the new documentary, Jeff Beck: Still on the Run, Eric Clapton contributed for his old friend and enemy. After all, their fierceness has mellowed some over the years, so now they can both look back and reflect on the rivalry.

“I never expected him to bother to be in it,” said Beck about Clapton. The subject was pleasantly surprised to see Clapton in the final cut.

Jeff Beck Talks Eric Clapton Contribution

Jeff Beck | Photo Credit Beck Doc

“I studied his face over and over, just to make sure there wasn’t something else going on,” joked Jeff Beck about Eric Clapton’s segment. “But not, it was just overwhelming.”

The duo has come a long way since Clapton left the Yardbirds and Beck took his spot. Beck joked that the band was playing for American audiences while Clapton was strumming his guitar in clubs with John Mayall for eight people.

“Lo and behold, he comes out with Cream and swipes us all around the head,” joked Beck about Clapton’s rise to fame. Beck later told Rolling Stone he got a little emotional seeing his friends talk about his career.

“I must admit there was a tear, especially with Eric,” said Beck. “I never expected him to bother to be in it.” Clearly, rivalries can change people, but it’s good to know the respect has always been there between these two guitar icons. 

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