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Yardbirds Exalted Drummer and Songwriter Shares an afternoon With Me

I used a pleasant Thursday afternoon chatting on Skype with famous drummer Jim McCarty. McCarty is usually a gifted songwriter as well as a brilliant drummer who is finest called a founding member for British Invasion rockers The Yardbirds as well as for groundbreaking progressive rock with his band Renaissance.best gift for drummer lover

Moreover currently being just about the most commercially prosperous and revolutionary bands while in the 60’s, the Yardbirds also developed three on the greatest rock guitarist in the world with Clapton, Beck and Webpage. The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

It’s ironic how the Brits were influenced by American R&B- while Americans ended up captivated by the Brits playing their electrified versions of American R&B music.

I found Mr. McCarty to be enchanting, ingenious and spiritual. (And just a heck of a nice guy)

Here’s my interview with Jim McCarty.

First I’d like to say, thank you Jim for taking the time to spend a few moments with me today.

“It’s my pleasure.”

I’ve always thought that you have been a great drummer. And if it were you that had been Led Zeppelin’s drummer from the start, I believe you would have done just as good a job as Mr. Bonham.

“Thank you Ray that’s very nice of you to say.”

How long have you lived in France Jim?

“About seven or eight years now, I’m down from the South of France in Provence, we love it, very inspirational, makes it very nice to write music and songs.”

First of all, I think the Yardbirds were in a class of their own and definitely way ahead of their time.The band had that bad boy image much like the Animals and the Stones. And it didn’t hurt to have a few from the biggest guitarist in the world while in the group.

“Funniest thing of those a few guitar players that are big worldwide stars now, they had been born within a radius of 20 or 30 miles from each other. Isn’t that odd? They all played during the same band and became worldwide regarded.”

Keith Relf and Paul Samwell-Smith were being originally in a band called the Metropolitan Blues Quartet. Then you, Chris Dreja, and Anthony “Top” Topham joined in late May 1963. Did you have to audition for the band?

“No. Paul had this blues group with Keith. Then myself and “Top” Topham the original guitar player and Chris Dreja we ended up starting another band because we all use to go see the Stones as well. We all use to listen to this blues music coming in from America, it was all very underground at the time and we have been all very excited about it. Paul wanted me to come in and play drums; he knew I was more of a rocker. They wanted to extend country blues into a blend of rock R&B. That blues quartet -they have been the four runners on the band. Paul and I went to Hampton Grammer and played while in the school group and we did the whole holiday camp thing… and it was very funny. We put the two bands together, they joined up with our band and some on the guys had to go. We made just one band out of two.”

I heard that the name Yardbirds was an expression for hobos hanging around rail yards waiting for a train? Who came up with the name?

“Keith thought it up.”

Original lead guitarist Anthony “Top” Topham left and in came Eric Clapton in 1963. Did you know Clapton prior to joining the band?

“No I didn’t actually, Chris and Keith did because at the Art school where they went in Kingston. (Referring to Kingston University- Clapton did not graduate) I don’t know how well they knew him. I didn’t know him until he came to the audition.”