97 fans have purchased tickets today to The Yardbirds concerts.
|Event||Date & Location|
Jim Thorpe, PA , Friday
Canyon Club - CA
Agoura Hills, CA , Thursday
Beverly Hills, CA , Sunday
The Yardbirds are a British blues/rock band from London, England, best known for their work in the 60s. This group spawned some of the worlds most renowned rock virtuosos, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck and acted as a catalyst for a new breed of rock.
The time spanning from the Yardbird’s formation in 1963 to their eventual demise in 1968 was filled by several but nevertheless severe line up reconfigurations. The group was originally formed by Keith Relf and Paul Samwell-Smith (previously of the Metropolitan Blues Quartet) and expanded to include Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, and Top Topham. During this time the group backed Cyril Davies and performed under the name Blue-Sounds. They later settled on the Yardbirds, which was a homage to their hero Charlie “Yardbird” Parker and also a reference to hobo subculture. Much of the group’s setlist at the time were comprised of blues covers by artists like Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, and Smokestack Lightning.
Within a year of their emergence Topham was replaced by Eric Clapton and Giorgio Gomelsky became the group’s manager. In February 1964 they signed to EMI’s Columbia label and proceeded to issue their studio debut “Five Live Yardbirds”. The album was a moderate success, but it wasn’t until their 1st major single “For Your Love” that the group certified themselves as rock icons.
The band greatly capitalized on their pop oriented sound; however, Clapton was disheartened with this direction and left to focus on blues music in the band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Page was scheduled to take Clapton’s position, but due to his current health constraints he referred Jeff Beck to fill the vacancy.
Beck played an essential role in shaping the Yardbirds sound. He experimented with and spiced up the band’s preconceived pop structure, introducing ideas based on Gregorian Chants and Asian musical forms as well as unique sonic textures, which helped define the fuzz tone technique. With Beck as their lead guitarist the Yardbirds went on to release several important hit songs as well as three critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums (all within a two year span): “For Your Love” (1965), “Having a Rave Up” (1965), and “Roger the Engineer” (1966). During this hectic, but productive period the band departed for their 1st US tour, which was followed by three more additional US tours as well as a European tour.
Jimmy Page joined the Yardbirds in June 1966, initially as the group’s bassist, but eventually graduated to 2nd lead guitarist alongside Beck. John Paul Jones took the role as bassist. During this period the group started implementing sounds of counter-cultural psychedelia, evidenced in songs such as “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” and “Psycho Daisies”. Though the Beck-Page incarnation of the Yardbirds recorded very little material, what managed to surface has not been easily forgotten. In 1966 they recorded a version of “Train Kept A Rollin’” for the Michelangelo Antonioni film “Blowup” (in which they also cameoed) as well as a cover of Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man” and the Ravel inspired piece “Beck’s Bolero”.
Later that year Beck was fired from the band, leaving Page as the principal lead guitarist. Unsurprisingly the group’s sound began shifting as Page exhibited more creative control and stylistic input, mastering his technique of the bowed guitar as well as his use of the fuzzbox and wah-wah pedal. Despite the group’s effort in carving out a new and exciting sound their consecutive releases were commercially declining. In July 1967 the group issued their last studio album “Little Games” before breaking up. The band spent the remainder of the year touring the US under the management of future Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant. By this time the member’s interest were pulling in different directions Relf and McCarty wanted to focus on folk and classical music, Page wanted to pursue hard rock and Dreja became interested in photography. The Yardbirds played their final show on 7 July 1968 at the College of Technology in Luton, Bedfordshire.
In 1992 the Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which resultantly led to the reformation of the group and in effect gave way to several years of touring. The newly reformed line up consisting of Chris Dreja, Alan Glen, John Idan, Gypie Mayo, and Jim McCarty released their 1st album of original material in 36 years, “Birdland” (2003). The core members of the line-up continued to tour up until 2014, but as of 2015 Jim McCarty and Anthony Topham remain as the only original members.