There are times when life throws the oddest little coincidences at you. When I took part in the RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch over last weekend what do you think had found its way to the top of my to play CD pile by the computer?
No it wasn’t the latest epic from Chreyl Cole or Miley Cyrus, but some real music in the shape of The Very Best of the Yardbirds. I’m not going to bore you with a cut and paste biog. lifted from Wikipedia (you can just read that here) but at some time three of rock’s greatest guitar slingers passed through the band, namely Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.
Now I’m going to break with the received wisdom of the rock pundit here. While I enjoy listening to the band playing the blues, I think I actually prefer the hit singles like For Your Love and Heart Full of Soul
and especially Evil Hearted You, all of which were written by Graham Goouldman who was a bit of one man hit factory in the 1960s before becoming part of 10cc. What I like about these records, aside from them being consummate catchy pop songs is the experimentation with other forms of music like Gregorian Chant (see Still I’m Sad)
and Indian raga that creep in to the mix. Sort of sums up the whole adventure of 60s psychedelia that was about to morph into prog and metal in the 70s.
Naturally I took this happy coincidence as yet another shameless opportunity to post some pictures of my back yard birds, conflate that with the title of the band’s live album,
and add some videos of some of my favourite bits of music. Now one of the Yardbird’s live favourites was the old Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay, and Lois Mann jump blues number Train Kept A-Rollin When the band imploded in 1968 Jimmy Page formed Led Zeppelin and although Zeppelin never recorded the song it was the very first number they ever performed live. It was also a staple of Motorhead‘s early set list and has been covered by loads of other artists including Aerosmith and Imelda May. I think this one is pretty cool from Metallica‘s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (hence the suits), with some extra special guests including Ron Wood, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.
Great solo from Jeff Beck, but doesn’t Page just look the Rock’ n Roll business?