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Under the Hood: Jim McCarty on the Origin of the Yardbirds

The Yardbirds.  One of the seminal bands of the British invasion, it started the careers of three legendary guitar players: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.  The Yardbirds also gave the world some classic hits, including “For Your Love,” “I’m a Man,” and “Heart Full of Soul.”  Drummer Jim McCarty tells us how it all began.

“Well first of all there was two bands.  Keith Relf, the singer and Paul Samwell Smith, the bass player, and they were in a band called the Metropolis Blues Quartet.  And they played sort of country blues.  And then the band that we had we just sort of played with them.  We were there was myself, Chris Dreja and Top Topham, who was the original lead guitar player. And we played a couple of gigs with them and then we decided to you know amalgamate and so you know three of us from one band and two from the other all went together and we called it the Yardbirds.” - Jim McCarty