Monday, January 29, 2007
And The Groupies Proclaimed...
The Yardbirds are one of the most amazing groups in rock history and also one of the most horribly overlooked. It shouldn't surprise us this band pioneered some unique guitar effects for its time, including innovative uses of fuzz, feedback, and distortion. After all at one time or another it claimed as its members the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. The Yardbirds, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and the Spenser Davis Group were raw bluesy rock, putting out an energy that would shape the world of album oriented rock and give Americans back the blues championed in the south, but now heard through an electronic, distorted filter.
If we were to write a bible it might run thus:
So The Yardbirds did give birth to Eric Clapton who went forth to join John Mayall, and onward to Cream, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominoes. And the groupies proclaimed: "It was good".
And from the loins of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers came Peter Green, who would cofound Fleetwood Mac. The groupies would proclaim him: "Questionable".
But Mayall also gave forth Mick Taylor, who met up with Mick Jagger who sought to replace Brian Jones in 1969 and so Taylor became one of the Rolling Stones, and the groupies pronounced: "It was good..very."
And still The Yardbirds gave forth talent. And The Yardbirds begat Jimmy Page, and Jimmy Page begat Led Zepplin. And the groupies pronounced: "It's really good. Pass the joint."
While most of you have probably wandered off, let me assure you I am always fascinated by the history of popular music, and watching how one band gives birth to another. Looking at a cd, I am always checking who the studio musicians are and who wrote certain songs.
Let me close by saying that if you like Led Zepplin, or Cream, or Steve Winwood, you owe it to yourself to check out some of the members' earlier works with the likes of Spencer Davis Group, Yardbirds, or the John Mayall. Blue Eyed Blues..sweet guitar licks, moody music, primal. Pictured:(top) Jimmy Page, (middle) Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton as Cream, and (bottom) Mick Taylor with the Rolling Stones.