The ‘Yardbirds’ cut two singles in the 1960’s. One of these – “For Your Love” – sold over a million copies and was their first recording success. The single was written by multi-instrumentalist and composer Graham Gouldman – later of 10cc. (Gouldman also wrote the Sixties chidren’s favourite “No Milk Today” for ‘Herman’s Hermits.’)
The Gouldman song was a Beatles-style, pop influenced song. It had bongo rhythms and simple strumming chords. It had a catchy chorus and a shimmy-shimmy beat that caused the girls to scream. It was a great song. But Eric Clapton did not see the single that way. He thought it was a sell-out and a rip-off. He figured he had joined the ‘Yardbirds’ to play the blues. And he felt robbed and cheated by the change of direction. In a fit of pique he left the band in protest. Never to look back.
Clapton continued to participate in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and later he joined the line-up of ‘Cream.’ But his sudden departure from the ‘Yardbirds’ left an opening for a lead guitarist. And Clapton had already recommended, as a fitting replacement, the session man he had met at the Marquee – Jimmy Page.
But Page was still worried about his poor state of health and reluctant to give up his lucrative day job as a session-man. So, in turn, he recommended his pal, Jeff Beck, for the job in the band. Just a couple of days after Clapton’s departure – in March 1965 – Beck played his first gig with the ‘Yardbirds.’
- The Yardbirds- Greatest Hits (mooneyrock.wordpress.com)
- Two aspects of Eel Pie Island on the Thames (molinabarrios.wordpress.com)
- Bleakest day: Rocker Jeff Beck tells of pain at being dropped from The Yardbirds (express.co.uk)
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