Remembering The Yardbirds With Jim McCarty

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YardbirdsThis story is featured in the July issue of 519 Magazine, which can be picked up at more than 200 locations in Windsor-Essex, Chatham, Leamington, Sarnia and London.

The Yardbirds are best known as the band that honed the skills of future guitar gods. Their experimental explorations also provided the crucial link between British R&B, Psychedelic Rock and Heavy Metal.

The only member to have played in every incarnation of the legendary rock band is coming to Windsor. Jim McCarty, the innovative drummer behind such classic rock tracks as Train Kept A Rollin’ and For Your Love, will be performing in Windsor #YQG on July 8 at Rockstar Music Hall.

McCarty has played with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, among others.
“Jeff was responsible for the work ethic of the group in 1966/67, when most of our hits emerged” Jim recalled in an interview with 519 Magazine. “Jimmy Page was much more businesslike – a really fun chap because he was used to playing in the studio. He played what was required of him, that sort of thing, so there wasn’t so much off the top of his head. Eric was just sort of in the process of starting, but he was the great blues purist – very dedicated. He worked very hard on his playing and his image as well.”

But as McCarty explained, there was more than just a love of guitar between those legends.

“We were very luckily,” he said. “Before Eric there was Anthony “Top” Topham – he was just too young to be in the band and his parents wanted him to carry on with his art studies, so he wasn’t there long. Eric went to the same art school as him, as did Keith and Chris. So they all knew Eric and Eric was up for joining the band at that point, so it was an easy switch. At the same time, Jimmy Page used to come and watch us. The strange thing is that Eric, Jeff and Jimmy all lived within 20 to 30 miles of each other in the same area. I don’t know if they were actual friends, but they were acquaintances. The three of them, the best guitar players ever, and they were all living in the same area.”

Along with legendary guitarists, The Yardbirds were respected for Jim’s innovative drumming styles which he introduced into rock music, particularly psychedelic music during the 1960s. Jim’s drumming influenced others to play styles other than early rock ‘n roll, and he is especially recognized for his early career innovations.

In Windsor, McCarty will celebrate the release of his new CD Walking In The Wild Land and his new book Nobody Told Me: My Life With The Yardbirds, Renaissance and Other Stories.

The band will perform songs from the new disc, Jim will read a short excerpt from his book, and they might finish the night with a Yardbirds tune or two. Also performing at the show is Windsor band British Beat 66. Tickets are $25.00 at the door and are currently available at Rockstar.