Friday, June 24, 2005

The New Yardbirds?

The Yardbirds were a pivotal R&B group that quickly amassed a loyal following with their classic Chicago Blues style. After Eric Clapton departed, the group adopted the expermential twin-lead guitar formant with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Although their success was brief, no other band other than the Beatles or Stones had such a profound impact on Rock music as The Yardbirds. (Page in black with hat and Beck in white)


Following the demise of The Yardbirds, guitarist Jimmy Page was eager to fulfill booking engagements that were committed prior to the bands breakup. Page along with respected session musician John Paul Jones bonded together to form the nucleus of a group when Page contacted vocalist Terry Reid (Super Lungs) to join the band. But Reid turned-down the offer to peruse a solo career. However it was Terry Reid that suggested the contacting of vocalist Robert Plant who's career was struggling and uncommitted at the time. Upon Jimmy Page's offer, Plant accepted to join the band and brought aboard his drummer John Bonham to seal the deal. Immediately the band jellied as a foursome and hit the road calling themselves The New Yardbirds. But it was drummer Keith Moon of the Who that laughed when he heard of a patched-together band and impersonating as The New Yardbirds and suggested that Page's idea would "go down like a led Zeppelin." Thus the bands name, Led Zeppelin.

At the time Atlantic Records was closely monitoring the UK music scene when Zeppelin scored an entrance level artist contract with the record label based upon two key elements. First, Jimmy Page had developed a reputation as the lead with The Yardbirds, a band known for avant-guard guitarist. And second was the intangible twist. Atlantic Records recording artist Dusty Springfield who was currently riding the charts with success had mentioned to Atlantic VP Jerry Wexler about Jimmy Page's impressive session work and notable reputation. But check this out. Strong rumor inhouse at Atlantic has it that Wexler agreed to have the band signed founded purely upon Dusty Springfield's suggestion and without hearing tapes of the band. If this story is true, which doesn't surprise me and based upon Wexler's musical taste and lack of appreciation towards the English rock invasion, the signing of Led Zeppelin to the record label was an absolute whim. Upon receiving strong FM airplay support and immediate retail chart success, Chairman Ahmet Ertegun quickly shuffled to arrange a photo session with himself and Jimmy Page to publicly acknowledge the bands signing.

2 Comments:

Blogger purplehaze15 said...

i just heard two songs from the new yardbirds and i have to say i was impressed with robert plant's very young lyrics. I would love to find more songs from that album theat was released then stopped. it may be raw, but some of us zepp heads would like to hear more before we get too old to remember.there has to be more unreleased music in their files that we would enjoy, also alot of concerts that i would gladly pay spend money on for a few dvd's.
bill morin
vernon connecticut

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wenaz, yo soy chileno y no tenia idea de que existian los yardbirds o the band of joy, bueno soy un amante de zeppelin y me parecio bueno haber sabido esto.

bacan loco.
Viva chile

11:57 AM  

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