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mrlowry

Jimmy Page and July 7th

58 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, SteveAJones said:

Russo is pro-Yardbirds, pro-Dreja and pro-McCarty. He is not necessarily anti-Page but IMHO he is not pro-Page. I say that as someone who contributed dates to the 3rd ed of Russo's book and corresponded back and forth for a couple of years. If Dreja or McCarty merely tell him they recall a Luton gig in July 1968 he'll accept it at face value.Yet as I mentioned, the speculation did not originate with Russo.

"Critics of The Yardbirds" are simply those who say had the group not featured Clapton, Beck & Page they'd be a footnote in the annals of British rock, known for their at the time unprecedented longevity more than anything else. I imagine at the other end of the spectrum are those who'd say were it not for misfortune the group could have been nearly as big as The Beatles.

Yes, Russo very pro-Yardbirds, which is why I think McCarty and Relf may have done something at Luton - maybe had a cup of coffee? I sent messages to McCarty on facebook and on his Jim McCarty & Co youtube page in hopes of getting to the bottom of this. 

As one who is close to "the other end of the spectrum" on the Yardbirds, I see them as inventing British psychedelia, furthering the development of American punk rock (the Stooges and the MC5) and walking arm and arm with the Velvet Undergound in creating art-skronk noise aesthetic. Whether they could ever have rivaled the Beatles, I doubt it. They were on the same label as the Fab Four and what did EMI do? They cut the yardbirds balls off and sabotaged the seminal "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"/"Psycho Daisies" single. To quote the late great Lester Bangs: "The Yardbirds changed EVERYTHING." ...   and he wrote that referring to the 1965 single "I'm A Man" which wasn't even released in the UK.

Edited by Mercurious

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Not surprise no one can remember if they played Luton. Awful place. 

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On 10/07/2017 at 5:04 AM, SteveAJones said:

I don't understand why Grant or anyone else was still booking dates for a band that was disbanding at the end of the USA tour. Wishful thinking perhaps.

I wonder if colleges paid money up front for gigs back then? Interest rates were very high in the late '60s, and take the money for a month and then return it when/if the gig is cancelled, and you've earned one month's worth of interest! ;)

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Posted (edited)

STOP THE PRESSES!!  45 minutes ago, Jim McCarty messaged me back today via facebook and confirmed the July 7 show did in fact happen. I'll follow up to ask if there is any specific reason Grant might not remember it, but there we have it from one of the three living band members.

McCarty confirms July 7 1968 Yardbirds show.jpg

Edited by Mercurious

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Jim adds that he doesn't know why Grant would not remember: "Perhaps he had a memory lapse."  Case solved.

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WOW...this is huge!  Thanks Mercurious!

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Stryder1978 said:

WOW...this is huge!  Thanks Mercurious!

No problem!  Love doing research!  Only thing is, now I have to go back into wikipedia and let ojorojo know that he/she was right all along and that I did put undue weight on Grant's memory. 

And how frustrating this must have been for Page, to go back and play one last show in the suburbs (or wherever bedfordshire is) only to have McCarty and Relf refuse to do the ulltimate London show - the all-night multi-media performance scheduled at the Middle Earth club on the 12th of July. That show could have been legendary, one last farewell to London but, apparently they refused and Grant had to instead get the "it's really over now" press release out. So much wasted potential in the Yardbirds. 

Edited by Mercurious

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9 hours ago, Mercurious said:

STOP THE PRESSES!!  45 minutes ago, Jim McCarty messaged me back today via facebook and confirmed the July 7 show did in fact happen. I'll follow up to ask if there is any specific reason Grant might not remember it, but there we have it from one of the three living band members.

McCarty confirms July 7 1968 Yardbirds show.jpg

No offense to Jim McCarty or anyone else, but I require substantiation beyond a reasonable doubt...a ticket stub, a photo, a poster, a contract. 

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14 minutes ago, SteveAJones said:

No offense to Jim McCarty or anyone else, but I require substantiation beyond a reasonable doubt...a ticket stub, a photo, a poster, a contract. 

Don't have anything that good, but I did find the relevant passage in Clayson's book The Yardbirds (Backbeat Books, 2002, pg. 118) Clayson wrote:

"Supported by the otherwise unsung Lynton Grae Sound, the Yardbirds downed tools as a working band on 7th July 1968, a drizzling Sunday evening. In the inauspicious setting of Luton Technical College, they'd run through this final evensong any old how; Keith forgetting words and Chris fluffing one or two bass runs while Jimmy tried to make a show of it."  (LINK to book PAGE, hope it works).

OK, understood that Jim McCarty might be source of that passage, but we have detail of an opening band, at least, and a weather report.  Then there's this detail on Page's "On this day" feature about the 1 June 1968 Shrine Expo Hall show in L.A. -- "This was not the last date of the US tour, we had two more dates, both at the Montgomery International Speedway in Alabama, before the curtains would close on this incarnation of the Yardbirds in the USA." (My italics added). This implies that the curtain wasn't yet closed outside of the USA. No, Page's note isn't direct confirmation, but it does suggest at least one more performance for the band.

Put it all together: Jim, Clayson, the mention of the opening band, and a nod from Jimmy, and I think it's enough to say the show 7 July 1968 in dreary Luton did go on.

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7 hours ago, Mercurious said:

Don't have anything that good, but I did find the relevant passage in Clayson's book The Yardbirds (Backbeat Books, 2002, pg. 118) Clayson wrote:

"Supported by the otherwise unsung Lynton Grae Sound, the Yardbirds downed tools as a working band on 7th July 1968, a drizzling Sunday evening. In the inauspicious setting of Luton Technical College, they'd run through this final evensong any old how; Keith forgetting words and Chris fluffing one or two bass runs while Jimmy tried to make a show of it."  (LINK to book PAGE, hope it works).

OK, understood that Jim McCarty might be source of that passage, but we have detail of an opening band, at least, and a weather report.  Then there's this detail on Page's "On this day" feature about the 1 June 1968 Shrine Expo Hall show in L.A. -- "This was not the last date of the US tour, we had two more dates, both at the Montgomery International Speedway in Alabama, before the curtains would close on this incarnation of the Yardbirds in the USA." (My italics added). This implies that the curtain wasn't yet closed outside of the USA. No, Page's note isn't direct confirmation, but it does suggest at least one more performance for the band.

Put it all together: Jim, Clayson, the mention of the opening band, and a nod from Jimmy, and I think it's enough to say the show 7 July 1968 in dreary Luton did go on.

It's all hearsay. Clayson suggests specifics but cites no source whatsoever and Page's On This Day entries are often incorrect. 

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for me the most important citation would be a ticket stub

I collect a great deal of of jazz and historic country western memorabilia and the item that is usually available for rare or "in doubt/cancelled" events is a ticket stub.  People hang on to them.

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Does anyone know if the smaller gig's back in those halcyon days of rock sometimes did not issue tickets before the show? In other words you would show up, pay to get in and that's it, no ticket, first come first served so to speak? If so that would explain a lack of ticket stubs however it does not explain a lack of promotion unless the band actually did not want to promote the gig and just wanted to get it over with and move on.

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Isn't it  possible that a smaller concert wouldn't have printed posters or that no one would have saved the posters?  As for tickets maybe they were a generic ticket that didn't list the band name or date so no one saved them.  If the school had a news paper maybe there were ads for the show or a review after the fact. 

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10 hours ago, IpMan said:

Does anyone know if the smaller gig's back in those halcyon days of rock sometimes did not issue tickets before the show? In other words you would show up, pay to get in and that's it, no ticket, first come first served so to speak? If so that would explain a lack of ticket stubs however it does not explain a lack of promotion unless the band actually did not want to promote the gig and just wanted to get it over with and move on.

The promoter would have insisted on promoting the gig, lest he lose money. 

6 hours ago, mrlowry said:

Isn't it  possible that a smaller concert wouldn't have printed posters or that no one would have saved the posters?  As for tickets maybe they were a generic ticket that didn't list the band name or date so no one saved them.  If the school had a news paper maybe there were ads for the show or a review after the fact. 

See above. Additionally, it's likely someone would have snapped a photo or two.

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On 7/12/2017 at 8:32 AM, SteveAJones said:

It's all hearsay. Clayson suggests specifics but cites no source whatsoever and Page's On This Day entries are often incorrect. 

McCarty says he played the gig. McCarty is also a key source for Clayson. That's hardly hearsay. Good enough for the news, for biographical purposes and for the wikipedia page. If anyone has a line to Jimmy or Chris, one may just want a send a note.

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Anybody have a Luton library card?

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10 hours ago, Mercurious said:

McCarty says he played the gig. McCarty is also a key source for Clayson. That's hardly hearsay. Good enough for the news, for biographical purposes and for the wikipedia page. If anyone has a line to Jimmy or Chris, one may just want a send a note.

By this logic, Ronnie Wood formed Led Zeppelin. After all, Ronnie Wood says so. 

Note also ANYONE with an internet connection can enter ANYTHING into Wikipedia. 

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We get it Steve, you want physical proof and I respect that. Jim McCarty's word is good enough for me. He's not claiming he formed Led Zeppelin, cured polio or invented the Atom bomb. What does he gain by making this up? Why would he care either way?  He seems to recall the gig quite clearly. It is odd that you can't find anything like a review or ticket stub, but the man who played drums says he was there and it happened. 

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10 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

By this logic, Ronnie Wood formed Led Zeppelin. After all, Ronnie Wood says so. 

Maybe, but Ronnie Wood doesn't have at least three biographers -- Russo, Clayson and Power (No Quarter: The Three Lives of Jimmy Page). plus other book sources, confirming his statement. McCarty does. Clayson's even given readers a Luton weather report and an opening band. And Jimmy says the two Montgomery (Ala.) Speedway shows were the last Yardbirds performances "in the USA" -- not the final, curtain-closing shows. That's a preponderance of support for Jim's confirmation that the Luton show went on. Everybody could be wrong or mistaken, but Jim says they played the gig.

11 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

Note also ANYONE with an internet connection can enter ANYTHING into Wikipedia. 

Not necessarily true, but you certainly could because you care about the Yardbirds, you can probably back up any changes you might make, you're not going to vandalize our Yardbirds pages and you'll stick to the wikipedia good faith rules (I assume so, anyway). I deleted the note about Grant's doubts about the Luton gig from the text but would be willing to make a reference note about it, or you can. Cheers!

9 hours ago, the chase said:

We get it Steve, you want physical proof and I respect that. Jim McCarty's word is good enough for me. He's not claiming he formed Led Zeppelin, cured polio or invented the Atom bomb. What does he gain by making this up? Why would he care either way?  He seems to recall the gig quite clearly. It is odd that you can't find anything like a review or ticket stub, but the man who played drums says he was there and it happened. 

I think it should be taken on good faith that no one is making things up or has weird motivations - not McCarty, Grant, Page, Clayson or any of us. I also agree with Steve up to a certain point. Chris Welch, Grant's biographer, should have done some leg work on this and nailed it down if he was going to publish doubts that all preceding biographers and sources were wrong about the show happening. But he didn't, this isn't criminal court, there's no "beyond a reasonable doubt" test in biography and until Jimmy or Chris steps forward to say yea or nay, I'll take the drummers word for it.

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23 minutes ago, Mercurious said:

Clayson's even given readers a Luton weather report and an opening band.

Sounds about right too ("drizzle"), as 1968 was one of Britain's wettest summers of the 20th century.

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For what it's worth, Jimmy's photo book lists the Luton date as "unconfirmed".

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5 hours ago, Mercurious said:

Maybe, but Ronnie Wood doesn't have at least three biographers -- Russo, Clayson and Power (No Quarter: The Three Lives of Jimmy Page). plus other book sources, confirming his statement. McCarty does. Clayson's even given readers a Luton weather report and an opening band. And Jimmy says the two Montgomery (Ala.) Speedway shows were the last Yardbirds performances "in the USA" -- not the final, curtain-closing shows. That's a preponderance of support for Jim's confirmation that the Luton show went on. Everybody could be wrong or mistaken, but Jim says they played the gig.

Not necessarily true, but you certainly could because you care about the Yardbirds, you can probably back up any changes you might make, you're not going to vandalize our Yardbirds pages and you'll stick to the wikipedia good faith rules (I assume so, anyway). I deleted the note about Grant's doubts about the Luton gig from the text but would be willing to make a reference note about it, or you can. Cheers!

I think it should be taken on good faith that no one is making things up or has weird motivations - not McCarty, Grant, Page, Clayson or any of us. I also agree with Steve up to a certain point. Chris Welch, Grant's biographer, should have done some leg work on this and nailed it down if he was going to publish doubts that all preceding biographers and sources were wrong about the show happening. But he didn't, this isn't criminal court, there's no "beyond a reasonable doubt" test in biography and until Jimmy or Chris steps forward to say yea or nay, I'll take the drummers word for it.

Three pro-Yardbirds biographers accept McCarty's recollections at face value...none of them have actually confirmed the Luton gig happened.

Believe me, anyone with an internet connection can revise a Wikipedia page. It is for that reason Wikipedia is not a credible source for scholarly reference work.

As I have said, I have no agenda. I merely want the irrefutable truth of the matter. However, my threshold for substantiation is higher than "the drummer said".

3 hours ago, zeplz71 said:

For what it's worth, Jimmy's photo book lists the Luton date as "unconfirmed".

I rest my case.

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4 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

Three pro-Yardbirds biographers accept McCarty's recollections at face value...none of them have actually confirmed the Luton gig happened.

Are you saying McCarty and Clayson are lying?  For you to be right, Clayson would have had to lie in a book he wrote, for no apparent reason. Is that what you're saying? 

 

4 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

Believe me, anyone with an internet connection can revise a Wikipedia page. It is for that reason Wikipedia is not a credible source for scholarly reference work.

"Believe me" -- if you do anything rotten to the Yardbirds page, please do it to the Eric Clapton section, not to the Beck or Page sections, and certainly not to the 1992-to present sections (which appear to be written by people who were in those bands or associated with them etc). In any case, where did you get the idea an encyclopedic website is supposed to be good enough for scholarly research? And who cares about scholarly research in rock & roll? We're not discussing a cure for cancer or the impeachment of Trump here. Or even a simple county budget item.

And are you now saying that Jimmy says he did not play that date?  If you know something, please tell us. If it's something like "Jimmy says he didn't play" that's good enough, and much better than the vacuum you've presented so far, which, with all due respect, hasn't been good enough to upend anything McCarty said or Clayson wrote. If you're the person responsible for the "unconfirmed" citation in Jimmy's book, are you then saying Jimmy said he didn't play that show?

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What confuses me is that on Jimmy's website he lists the last Yardbirds US date as Nov 1967 and the last ever date as in March 1968. 

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Not on Facebook, but maybe someone who is could see if there's a group for alumni of Luton College of Tech. I know it's a long shot but if we're going to take it this seriously why not see if anyone's online who was a student at the time & remembers the gig? I've seen online reminisces of a similarly obscure show at an RAF base (!) from '67, so surely someone who was in the audience would remember?

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