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.

18 comments:

Christina Rundle said...

You always find the best pictures to go along with your posts. So artistic and interesting to look at.

So, um, when are you going to work on the Bible? Any time soon?

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading this. What about
King Crimson (Greg Lake)? Later to be known as ELP. Emerson, Lake and Palmer. MW

Stewart Sternberg said...

Yes, King Crimson: Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Greg Lake. I remember sitting in my bedroom and hearing "In The Court of the Crimson King" on the radio one night. Ran out and bought the album the next day. This is still one of my favorite albums, and that one of my favorite songs.

Christine..it's one of those bibles that people might enjoy reading. And I won't advocate anything icky.

Avery said...

I saw the New York Dolls fall like lightening from heaven. Behind them fell The Ramones, The Clash and The Sex Pistols. They were brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. And, forevermore, those who saw them would stare at them, and ponder over them.

Travis said...

Turnberry showed me the path to your doorstep, and I've been lurking all weekend.

I'm so glad I grew up in a household that was full of great music. I was raised on these sounds and I know The Yardbirds. Thank you for sharing this rich history.

Sidney said...

I like Court of the Crimson King a lot too. It's used on the "Children of Men" soundtrack.

jedimerc said...

I like the Biblical phrasing... nice tribute to bands that gave us some of the more well known bands... I am sure I have heard some Yardbirds and John Mayall, it has been awhile though. (of course, I listen to mostly classic rock, so I could have heard them randomly on the radio stations I listen to)

Christina Rundle said...

Avery! You kick ass! That was great. I was wondering what you were talking about, then towards the end I realized what you were saying. See how much I know about the Bible. Jokes go right over my head sometimes.

James Burnett said...

Very educational and a very good read. Made me want to go out and find the tunes and listen. I've got some guitar work by Jimmy Page. But that's about it.

Pythia3 said...

Where do I sign up to convert to Yardbirdism?
Hello, Stewart! You have the most interesting blog.
Hope all is well, Lindy.

Charles Gramlich said...

And yeah though the music was good, it lacked something thereof, and lo, there came riding the four horsemen, upon apocalyptic thunder, from the town of Steel. And verily they were called: "Black Sabbath." And at last there was metal from the rock.

molly said...

very interesting post. and entertaining... "and the groupies said"

im into king crimson right now too


"confusion will be my epitaph"

Sphinx Ink said...

Thou knowest whereof thou speakest. Yea, the prophet shall not wander in the wilderness without succor. Shall not the people cry unto the prophet, "Give us their words!"? And shall not the prophet say unto them, "Their words shall fall into thine ears...and "The Yardbirds - Greatest Hits: Vol I, 1964-1966" may be purchased on CD for $12.99 at Amazon.com."

Bird on a Wire said...

How does one go about getting a new book added to the bible? I want to petition for "The Gospel of Sternberg."

Great post.

Donnetta Lee said...

Amen, brother. Donnetta

Stewart Sternberg said...

And Avery, you forget the Patron Saints of the Dolls, The Clash, and the Sex Pistol. The verse reads: And to herald the End Times, there will come a man called Iggy, and Iggy will go leave Michigan and find in New York his minions. And among his Minions and Contemporaries, Iggy will know Lou and Lou will know the Velvet Underground.

Lurk no more Travis. This is a "No-Lurking Zone".

Jedi, thou knowest well the sound of the album, and so thou art most blessed.

pythia and james, to enter the Kingdom of the Yardbird, one only has to groove and chant the mantra: "Vinyl".

Amen, Sister Sphinx. Brother Charles, I owe you a posting on metal. From Ozzie to Ronnie and back again through Izzy. Sounds like Santa's reindeer, doesn't it? On Ozzie, on Ronnie, On Izzy Stradlin, On Axel and Bruce, On Blackmore and Slayer.

Holly Kennedy said...

Great post, Stewart.
Your passion for music is apparent...I grew up so poor that my exposure consisted mostly of the radio and nothing more, which meant I was pretty much at the mercy of my parents, who were country music freaks.

Sadly, this leaves me with music-envy as I know little or nothing about anyone you've mentioned today! How embarassing.

Lori Witzel said...

In response to Charles and the incipient Metal post:

http://www.calaquendi.org/tofs/
organigramme_metal.gif