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Beck was born in Los Angeles, California, to David Campbell, a Canadian-born musician, and Bibbe Hansen, a visual artist and former Warhol superstar. Bibbe's maternal grandmother was Jewish, while Bibbe's father, Al Hansen, was partly of Norwegian descent. Beck has said that he was "raised celebrating Jewish holidays", and that he considers himself Jewish. Beck's mother grew up amid New York's Andy Warhol Factory art scene of the 1960s, but moved to California at age 17, where she met Campbell. His father is a Canadian-born arranger, composer and conductor who worked on hundreds of albums and numerous films.

Beck began life in a rooming house near downtown Los Angeles. As a child, he lived in a declining neighborhood just off Hollywood Boulevard. "By the time we left there, they were ripping out miles of houses en masse and building low-rent, giant apartment blocks," he later recalled. The lower-class family struggled financially, moving to Hoover and Ninth Street, a neighborhood populated primarily by Koreans and Salvadorian refugees. He was sent for a time to live with his paternal grandparents in Kansas, with Beck later remarking that "I think they were kind of concerned" about his "weird" home life. Since his paternal grandfather was a Presbyterian minister, Beck grew up influenced by church music and hymns. Beck also spent time in Europe with his maternal grandfather, Al Hansen, a visual collage artist and a pioneer in the avant-garde Fluxus movement.

After his parents separated when he was ten, Beck stayed with his mother and brother in Los Angeles, where he was influenced by the city's diverse musical offerings—everything from hip hop to Latin music and his mother's art scene—all of which would later reappear in his recorded and published work.Beck obtained his first guitar at 16 and became a street musician, often playing Lead Belly covers at Lafayette Park. During his teens, Beck discovered the music of Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore and X, but remained uninterested in most music outside folk until many years into his career. The first contemporary music that made a direct connection with Beck was hip hop, which he first heard on Grandmaster Flash records in the early 1980s. Growing up in a predominantly Latin district, he found himself the only white child at his school, and he quickly learned to breakdance. When he was 17, Beck grew fascinated after hearing a Mississippi John Hurt record at a friend's house, and spent hours in his room trying to emulate the finger picking of the country-blues guitarist. Shortly thereafter, Beck explored blues and folk music further, discovering Woody Guthrie and Blind Willie Johnson.

Feeling like "a total outcast", Beck dropped out of school after junior high. He later said that although he felt school was important, he felt unsafe there. When he applied to the new performing arts high school downtown, he was rejected. His brother, Channing, took him to post-Beat jazz places in Echo Park and Silver Lake. He hung out at the Los Angeles City College, perusing records, books and old sheet music in its library. He used a fake I.D. to sit in on classes there, and he also befriended a literature instructor and his poet wife. He soon began a stream of menial jobs, including loading trucks and operating a leaf blower.

Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell, July 8, 1970) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist known by the stage name Beck.
Beck is the son of '60s underground film actress Bibbe Hansen, who worked with Andy Warhol on a number of projects including his film Prison. Beck's grandfather Al Hansen was a member of the Fluxus art movement, which also included Yoko Ono.
Born in Los Angeles, Beck moved to New York when he was 17 and joined the Folk scene. He returned to Los Angeles when he ran out of money and began playing area coffeehouses, which is where he made a name for himself.
He is a regular musical guest on Saturday Night Live. By 2007, he had been on 6 times.
During 1998, Beck's art collaborations with his grandfather Al Hansen were featured in an exhibition entitled "Beck & Al Hansen: Playing With Matches", which showcased solo and collaborative collage, assemblage, drawing and poetry works.
From 1991 to 2000, Beck was in a relationship with designer Leigh Limon. Their breakup is said to have inspired his 2002 album, Sea Change. He wrote most of the songs for the album in one week after the breakup.
Beck has been involved in Scientology for most of his life; his wife is also a second-generation Scientologist. Marissa and her twin brother, Giovanni, were delivered by Beck's mother, Bibbe. Beck publicly acknowledged his affiliation with the controversial Church of Scientology for the first time in an interview published in the New York Times Magazine on March 6, 2005.


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