Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Miar

The Yardbirds

Recommended Posts

PLAYING IN PEORIA: JIMMY PAGE & THE YARDBIRDS AT THE EXPO GARDENS YOUTH BUILDING DEC. 28, 1966

by Mike Foster

The obit beat was dead on arrival Dec. 28, 1966.

At the Peoria Journal Star, I was a 1964 scholarship brat home for Christmas, working the nightside newsroom. That Wednesday, I slogged into work in my dad’s Chrysler through the beginning of a blizzard that deepened as the afternoon wore on. It was my twentieth birthday.

I drew obituaries. Making my phone rounds, I collected the few due that day. An obit may be routine and formal, but it’s also the only newspaper story that most ordinary folks get in their entire lives. It’s a serious beat.

But by 6 p.m., I was also seriously done. Morticians are a cheerful lot, and one guy had said, “No, nothing again today. Guess I’ll have to go out and kill somebody.”

So I went to the city editor and said, “Hey, I’m done. I could stay here and breathe up your valuable air or I’ve got another idea. This kind of cool English band is playing a show at Expo Gardens tonight and I could go and do a review of them.”

These days, that bird wouldn’t fly. The story wasn’t on the budget, no allotment for the column inches or the Alan Harkrader photo that would run with it.

But 46 years ago, the editor shrugged and said sure.

And off I went, fishtailing in the heavy snow.

I missed the opening local bands, The Furniture and The Coachmen, Dan Fogelberg’s quintet, who dressed like a Woodruff High School version of Paul Revere & The Raiders.

The show had been billed as a teen dance, meaning no seating, no stage lighting.

Nobody danced.

What nobody knew was that Jeff Beck had quit the band before this Dec. 26-28 USA tour. Jimmy Page had been hired as the bass player when Paul Samwell-Smith left. So when the four Yardbirds leapt on stage, I was disappointed.

Not for long.

Page was playing the battered butter-colored Fender Esquire that Beck had bequeathed him as a farewell apology gift. It was adorned with shimmering psychedelic circle stickers, and the back of it, as I saw when I interviewed the band after the show, was thick with primitive semi-pornographic drawings.

Dressed in a striped collarless mattress-ticking shirt, a functional scarf, and a long Civil War navy blue great coat, Page kicked into “Shapes Of Things.” Any disappointment vanished with the first chords. Paisley-shirted Chris Dreja (moved from rhythm guitar to bass), sweatshirted drummer Jim McCarty, and singer Keith Relf, were bundled against the bitter cold of the underheated Expo Youth building.

Relf was sick, hoarse with asthmatic strep throat, self-medicating by soaking his harmonicas in Scotch whisky. This night, he would begin a song, do a verse or two, then McCarty would take the vocals. Former pop puff pieces like “For Your Love” turned into long instrumental rave-ups.

“Train Kept A-Rollin’” and “Mr., You’re A Better Man Than I” stood out as other Page Telecaster-master classes in feedback and fuzzboxing.

Woefully underdressed for a cold, snow-dogged tour, the band had flown into New York. Bereft of any entourage except roadie Brian, they’d driven upstate to a gig at the University of Rochester Dec. 26. After that, they headed west to Detroit for a club gig into the freezing fangs of a blizzard Dec. 27.

Then they pointed southwest to Peoria, where they’d been booked for two shows, 4 to 7:30 and 8 to 11:30.

Jeff Putnam, co-founder of A Fine Kettle of Fish and currently guitarist for Irish band Turas, saw both: his mother Sarah Putnam had given him tickets as Christmas presents.
“I don’t remember how much the tickets cost,” Putnam recalls. By the afternoon show, the blizzard was already drifting. I wondered if the Yardbirds would make it at all.”
They did, but not many people did: “maybe 40.”

“They did all their hits, but the singer had a very bad throat. So he’d do a verse, a chorus, then he’d play harmonica and they’d do one of their rave-ups. ‘Heart Full Of Soul,’ I really liked that. “New York City Blues’ was another good one. I had all their albums so I knew all of their songs.”

Putnam went home and came back after supper for the second show.

“There were a lot more people at the second show. I heard that [veteran Peoria guitarist] Greg Williams had loaned Page a guitar amp.

“They were set up on these portable risers. It was very plain and simple compared to The Who’s show the next year.
“I was disappointed that Beck wasn’t there. But Page was impressive.”

Indeed he was. Jimmy Page, the most articulate guitar player I ever interviewed, punctuated his answers with emphatic riffs on his unplugged Telecaster. Every trick he later played with Led Zeppelin—controlled feedback, bowing the guitar with a violin bow—he did during their ten-minute closing rave-up on ‘I’m A Man.’”

“That song should go on for ten minutes every time,” Relf said in the post-show interview. Page and McCarty did most of the talking. Relf, mute and sick, said little. They liked the Mothers of Invention and loathed copycat California band Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction.”

I invited them to join a midnight party thrown by old friends The Heard (Jim Croegaert, Paul Burson, Ron Bednar, and Bill Sutton) but Page politely demurred, excusing himself and the band on grounds of illness and exhaustion. They had played for 40 minutes.

The next day, worn down and out by grim weather and small turnouts, the four Yardbirds packed the tour in and flew home.

I saw the band once more in Chicago on a rainy April night in 1968. By then, Antonioni’s film "Blow Up," featuring the band with Beck doing a version of “Train Kept A-Rollin’” they called “Stroll On,” had appeared and Page was clearly the main attraction for many.

A March 30 show in a declining New York City movie palace, The Anderson Theater, was recorded and released on the Yardbirds Epic label several years later, capitalizing on Led Zeppelin’s burgeoning fame. It was swiftly pulled from circulation and has never been officially re-released.

Chris Dreja, offered a chance to join “The New Yardbirds” with Page, John Bonham, and Robert Plant, declined on the offer. McCarty joined a duo with Relf, but then withdrew. Electrocuted at home while playing an improperly grounded electric guitar, Keith Relf died on May 14, 1976. He was only 33.

In 1988, Peoria bassist and used record shop entrepreneur Craig Moorebrought McCarty back here for radio appearances and a Yardbirds tribute show featuring many of the bluesbreaking band’s acolytes from those 1966 shows. Moore and McCarty also recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis.


Edited by SteveAJones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PLAYING IN PEORIA: JIMMY PAGE & THE YARDBIRDS AT THE EXPO GARDENS YOUTH BUILDING DEC. 28, 1966

by Mike Foster

The obit beat was dead on arrival Dec. 28, 1966.

At the Peoria Journal Star, I was a 1964 scholarship brat home for Christmas, working the nightside newsroom. That Wednesday, I slogged into work in my dad’s Chrysler through the beginning of a blizzard that deepened as the afternoon wore on. It was my twentieth birthday.

I drew obituaries. Making my phone rounds, I collected the few due that day. An obit may be routine and formal, but it’s also the only newspaper story that most ordinary folks get in their entire lives. It’s a serious beat.

But by 6 p.m., I was also seriously done. Morticians are a cheerful lot, and one guy had said, “No, nothing again today. Guess I’ll have to go out and kill somebody.”

So I went to the city editor and said, “Hey, I’m done. I could stay here and breathe up your valuable air or I’ve got another idea. This kind of cool English band is playing a show at Expo Gardens tonight and I could go and do a review of them.”

These days, that bird wouldn’t fly. The story wasn’t on the budget, no allotment for the column inches or the Alan Harkrader photo that would run with it.

But 46 years ago, the editor shrugged and said sure.

And off I went, fishtailing in the heavy snow.

I missed the opening local bands, The Furniture and The Coachmen, Dan Fogelberg’s quintet, who dressed like a Woodruff High School version of Paul Revere & The Raiders.

The show had been billed as a teen dance, meaning no seating, no stage lighting.

Nobody danced.

What nobody knew was that Jeff Beck had quit the band before this Dec. 26-28 USA tour. Jimmy Page had been hired as the bass player when Paul Samwell-Smith left. So when the four Yardbirds leapt on stage, I was disappointed.

Not for long.

Page was playing the battered butter-colored Fender Esquire that Beck had bequeathed him as a farewell apology gift. It was adorned with shimmering psychedelic circle stickers, and the back of it, as I saw when I interviewed the band after the show, was thick with primitive semi-pornographic drawings.

Dressed in a striped collarless mattress-ticking shirt, a functional scarf, and a long Civil War navy blue great coat, Page kicked into “Shapes Of Things.” Any disappointment vanished with the first chords. Paisley-shirted Chris Dreja (moved from rhythm guitar to bass), sweatshirted drummer Jim McCarty, and singer Keith Relf, were bundled against the bitter cold of the underheated Expo Youth building.

Relf was sick, hoarse with asthmatic strep throat, self-medicating by soaking his harmonicas in Scotch whisky. This night, he would begin a song, do a verse or two, then McCarty would take the vocals. Former pop puff pieces like “For Your Love” turned into long instrumental rave-ups.

“Train Kept A-Rollin’” and “Mr., You’re A Better Man Than I” stood out as other Page Telecaster-master classes in feedback and fuzzboxing.

Woefully underdressed for a cold, snow-dogged tour, the band had flown into New York. Bereft of any entourage except roadie Brian, they’d driven upstate to a gig at the University of Rochester Dec. 26. After that, they headed west to Detroit for a club gig into the freezing fangs of a blizzard Dec. 27.

Then they pointed southwest to Peoria, where they’d been booked for two shows, 4 to 7:30 and 8 to 11:30.

Jeff Putnam, co-founder of A Fine Kettle of Fish and currently guitarist for Irish band Turas, saw both: his mother Sarah Putnam had given him tickets as Christmas presents.

“I don’t remember how much the tickets cost,” Putnam recalls. By the afternoon show, the blizzard was already drifting. I wondered if the Yardbirds would make it at all.”

They did, but not many people did: “maybe 40.”

“They did all their hits, but the singer had a very bad throat. So he’d do a verse, a chorus, then he’d play harmonica and they’d do one of their rave-ups. ‘Heart Full Of Soul,’ I really liked that. “New York City Blues’ was another good one. I had all their albums so I knew all of their songs.”

Putnam went home and came back after supper for the second show.

“There were a lot more people at the second show. I heard that [veteran Peoria guitarist] Greg Williams had loaned Page a guitar amp.

“They were set up on these portable risers. It was very plain and simple compared to The Who’s show the next year.

“I was disappointed that Beck wasn’t there. But Page was impressive.”

Indeed he was. Jimmy Page, the most articulate guitar player I ever interviewed, punctuated his answers with emphatic riffs on his unplugged Telecaster. Every trick he later played with Led Zeppelin—controlled feedback, bowing the guitar with a violin bow—he did during their ten-minute closing rave-up on ‘I’m A Man.’”

“That song should go on for ten minutes every time,” Relf said in the post-show interview. Page and McCarty did most of the talking. Relf, mute and sick, said little. They liked the Mothers of Invention and loathed copycat California band Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction.”

I invited them to join a midnight party thrown by old friends The Heard (Jim Croegaert, Paul Burson, Ron Bednar, and Bill Sutton) but Page politely demurred, excusing himself and the band on grounds of illness and exhaustion. They had played for 40 minutes.

The next day, worn down and out by grim weather and small turnouts, the four Yardbirds packed the tour in and flew home.

I saw the band once more in Chicago on a rainy April night in 1968. By then, Antonioni’s film "Blow Up," featuring the band with Beck doing a version of “Train Kept A-Rollin’” they called “Stroll On,” had appeared and Page was clearly the main attraction for many.

A March 30 show in a declining New York City movie palace, The Anderson Theater, was recorded and released on the Yardbirds Epic label several years later, capitalizing on Led Zeppelin’s burgeoning fame. It was swiftly pulled from circulation and has never been officially re-released.

Chris Dreja, offered a chance to join “The New Yardbirds” with Page, John Bonham, and Robert Plant, declined on the offer. McCarty joined a duo with Relf, but then withdrew. Electrocuted at home while playing an improperly grounded electric guitar, Keith Relf died on May 14, 1976. He was only 33.

In 1988, Peoria bassist and used record shop entrepreneur Craig Moorebrought McCarty back here for radio appearances and a Yardbirds tribute show featuring many of the bluesbreaking band’s acolytes from those 1966 shows. Moore and McCarty also recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis.

Interesting stuff. It appears The Yardbirds relied upon Page's guitar wizardry to carry their concerts when Keith Relf's voice was under the weather. I'd love to know exactly what the semi-pornographic drawings were on the back of Page's guitar. Did he draw them of were they already there when Jeff Beck gave him that guitar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Interesting stuff. It appears The Yardbirds relied upon Page's guitar wizardry to carry their concerts when Keith Relf's voice was under the weather. I'd love to know exactly what the semi-pornographic drawings were on the back of Page's guitar. Did he draw them of were they already there when Jeff Beck gave him that guitar?

Very interesting indeed.  Page turned down an invitation to party for both himself and the band.  How things would change within a few years!  Also, I didn't know that Jim McCarty sang well enough to relieve Keith Relf on lead vocals.  I should read up on his post-Yardbirds career.  Did this concert take place before Page painted the fire breathing dragon on the front of his Telecaster?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new (unknown) date with Jimmy Page, Jan 7th, 1967:

F85wOmMqlt3zHffMYSYJUiQVwUPIKj1927C6Rlq6

So if they were in New England in early January 67 where else did they play?

Edited by thozil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new (unknown) date with Jimmy Page, Jan 7th, 1967:

F85wOmMqlt3zHffMYSYJUiQVwUPIKj1927C6Rlq6

So if they were in New England in early January 67 where else did they play?

Here's the other dates in Greg Russo's book from Jan. '67. 

yardbirds-jan67.thumb.jpg.6b831dded7d19b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Sam...I don't have Greg Russo's book (yet)...but I was seeing Danish dates on other sites, so assumed this was an unknown date. I wonder what they did from Jan 3rd to 6th? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deborah this one's for you...

New (forgotten) date for the Yardbirds, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota April 18, 1968 ( I haven't seen this date or these photos anywhere).

The review is interesting. Many people walked which probably added to Keith and Jim's disatisfaction.

 

YB_ad_Winonan_Apr12_68.jpg

YB_review_Winonan_Apr26_68.jpg

YB_photos_Winonan_Apr26_68.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/11/2016 at 9:20 PM, thozil said:

Deborah this one's for you...

New (forgotten) date for the Yardbirds, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota April 18, 1968 ( I haven't seen this date or these photos anywhere).

The review is interesting. Many people walked which probably added to Keith and Jim's disatisfaction.

 

YB_ad_Winonan_Apr12_68.jpg

YB_review_Winonan_Apr26_68.jpg

YB_photos_Winonan_Apr26_68.jpg

Nice one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thozil!!! THANK YOU so much.  I actually read this just before logging in today. What a great read and find. You truly are a tremendous contribitor to the forum:-)

^Hi Jeff:-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More info on the April 1967 Scandinavian tour. Music  Box - Oslo, Norway. April 11, 1967:

(Google Translator)Odd "Oddemann» Gulbrandsen live in one of the apartments that are rented out at the People's House Abildsø. He is said to be one of Norway's most famous roadie, and was a driver for many great artists who visited Oslo until 90s. Oddemann says that in an April day in 1967 brought his bandmates in The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page, one of rock history's greatest stars, to the venue in Oslo East. On the tiny stage at Abildsø House of the People played the Yardbirds together with the Norwegian band The Misfits. After the concert Jimmy Page with the rest of the band have been home to the mother of Oddemann on Boler for eating meatball with pea stew. The Yardbirds renamed The New Yardbirds in 1968, before they were one of the biggest rock band later that year, namely, Led Zeppelin.

oslo67-yardbirds.jpg.cb78d35083f9c4364d6
 

musicbox-oslo.jpg.8b3afce5630bd796085b56

https://social.shorthand.com/FriFagbevegelse/jCJY5IRA9DY/musikkboksen-pa-oslos-ostkant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New Page-era Yardbirds date confirmed in the April 2016 issue of Record Collector:

2016%2004%20Record%20Collector%20UK%201_

RAF%20Hullavington_zpsoiar7ayp.jpg

Edited by SteveAJones
add photo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, thozil said:

Nice find Sam! Too bad about the watermark. Are there any more?

Yes, supposed to be more coming, without the large watermark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! I can't believe it...new Yardbirds footage! Chaville France, April 30, 1967. Amazing, thanks for posting that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/12/2016 at 11:06 AM, sam_webmaster said:

There they are :)

Outstanding! Always great to see Page-era Yardbirds photos surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...