Sunday, October 5, 2014
I always find it interesting when one of the bands from my generation reforms to play once again. Here we have the legendary Yardbirds. This group was one of the most influential group of musicians from the mid sixties. Starting as a blues based Band they evolved into one of the front runners in psychedelic music. I myself will never forget the impact their songs made on my choice of the music I listened to. They of course gave birth to 3 legendary guitarists....Clapton, Beck and Page. But it is the other members who kept the band together through time and changes, They played a stint as the Box of Frogs during the 80's Those founding members...McCarty and Dreja back the band in the 90"s original Lead singer Keith Relf ( unfortunately) passed away in 1976.Relf was 33 when he died from electrocution, at his home, while playing his improperly earthed (i.e., grounded) guitar. At the time, Relf was rehearsing new material for the regrouping of the original Renaissance line-up, called Illusion.
In 1992, Peter Barton from Rock Artist Management contacted Jim McCarty about the prospect of reforming the Yardbirds. McCarty was interested but only if Chris Dreja would agree, but at the time he thought it highly unlikely that Dreja would want to tour again. Barton then contacted Dreja, who agreed to give it a try. Their debut gig was booked at the Marquee Club in London along with the newly reformed Animals. It was a great success. The lineup featured John Idan handling bass and lead vocals. Barton managed the band and booked all their dates for over a decade; he still works with the band on occasion.
In 2003, a new album, Birdland, was released under the Yardbirds name on the Favored Nations label by a lineup including Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty and new members Gypie Mayo (lead guitar, backing vocals), John Idan (bass, lead vocals) and Alan Glen (harmonica, backing vocals), which consisted of a mixture of new material mostly penned by McCarty and re-recordings of some of their greatest hits, with guest appearances by Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Slash, Brian May, Steve Lukather, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, John Rzeznik, Martin Ditchum and Simon McCarty. Also, Jeff Beck reunited with his former bandmates on the song "My Blind Life". And then there was the rare and improbable guest appearance on stage in 2005 by their first guitarist from the 1960s, Top Topham.
The Yardbirds were inducted into the rock hall of fame in 1992