The Yardbirds (1963-1968, 2003-)
Keith Relf (vocals)
Chris Dreja (guitar)
Paul Samwell-Smith (bass)
Jim McCarty (drums)
Eric Clapton (guitar) 1963-1965
Jeff Beck (guitar) 1965-1966
Jimmy Page (guitar) 1966-1968
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One of the lesser known British Invasion bands, The Yardbirds produced three of the greatest guitarists of all time: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Their heavy guitar sound and experimental approach was a huge influence on Cream, The Jeff Beck Group, and Led Zeppelin. When the band broke up, Page reformed as The New Yardbirds before Led Zeppelin came together.
Relf was 32 years old when he was electrocuted in 1976. His electric guitar was not properly grounded, and he died while playing it in his home studio.
They opened for The Beatles in 1964.
They popularized the "Rave-up," which is an unstructured jam session where the musicians don't solo, but play in tandem, often for up to 30 minutes, before climaxing and returning to the song.
In 1963 they became the house band at the Crawdaddy Club in London, replacing The Rolling Stones.
Dreja and McCarty put together a new version of the band in 2003 and released the album Birdland. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for all above)
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