ON THIS DAY… 18 DEC 1966

BLOW UP PREMIERED IN NEW YORK

The award-winning Michaelangelo Antonioni film, Blow Up, was premiered on this day in 1966 in New York and went on general release. Although The Yardbirds were not invited to any of the premieres, some of us lined up with everybody else sometime after the event to see the film. Apart from the section we had recorded, we knew very little about the film. The production team seemed to know as little about the plot as we did: in fact, it was said that Mr Antonioni had been asked what was the ‘Blow Up’ during the shoot and he replied ‘This is the blow up’, referring to the guitar breaking scene. I remember a very tall, statuesque in the line waiting to see the film, it was in fact Veruschka, a famous model of the time who featured in the film.

For Blow Up, The Yardbirds recorded the track ‘Stroll On’ at IBC studios in London. It was the first time Jeff Beck and I got to record with the guitars.

18 December 1966

18 December 1966

I PLAYED THE FILLMORE AUDITORIUM, SF WITH THE YARDBIRDS

The Yardbirds played in the afternoon at the Fillmore, San Francisco and it was an amazing show. Jeff Beck and I got a lift from the venue with some guys and one of them had recorded the show. It was a pleasant surprise to hear it played back en route from the gig. The recording quality was poor from the small dictaphone type recorder, but the playing of the band was great, I guess this tape just disappeared into the ether.

I PLAYED THE FILLMORE AUDITORIUM, SF WITH THE YARDBIRDS

The Yardbirds played in the afternoon at the Fillmore, San Francisco and it was an amazing show. Jeff Beck and I got a lift from the venue with some guys and one of them had recorded the show. It was a pleasant surprise to hear it played back en route from the gig. The recording quality was poor from the small dictaphone type recorder, but the playing of the band was great, I guess this tape just disappeared into the ether.

23 October 1966

23 October 1966

ON THIS DAY… 21 OCT 1966

THE YARDBIRDS RELEASED ‘HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS TIME AGO’

Today in 1966, The Yardbirds played at The Comic Strip in Worcester, Massachusetts; the same day that the single ‘Happenings Ten Years Time Ago’ was released.

‘Happenings Ten Years Time Ago’ featured Jeff and myself on electric guitars. In fact, this is the only single that featured this arrangement and I had something to do with writing this. It’s an intriguing interplay of the guitars; Jeff is in fantastic form on this one. The Yardbirds had had a run of hits but, as cool as this single was, it didn’t continue the run of chart success for the band.

AUDIO: Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (The Yardbirds)

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ON THIS DAY… 21 OCT 1966

THE YARDBIRDS RELEASED ‘HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS TIME AGO’

Today in 1966, The Yardbirds played at The Comic Strip in Worcester, Massachusetts; the same day that the single ‘Happenings Ten Years Time Ago’ was released.

‘Happenings Ten Years Time Ago’ featured Jeff and myself on electric guitars. In fact, this is the only single that featured this arrangement and I had something to do with writing this. It’s an intriguing interplay of the guitars; Jeff is in fantastic form on this one. The Yardbirds had had a run of hits but, as cool as this single was, it didn’t continue the run of chart success for the band.

AUDIO: Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (The Yardbirds)

21 October 1966

21 October 1966

23 SEP 1966

I PLAYED WITH THE YARDBIRDS AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

I was appearing with The Yardbirds on The Rolling Stones tour. The first half opened with Long John Baldry, then the Ike & Tina Turner Review closed the first half. I was playing bass primarily but got to play guitar with Jeff for a couple of numbers with Chris Dreja crossing over to bass. This was a wild show with teenage stage invasions for The Yardbirds and mobbing for the Stones. Apparently Michelangelo Antonioni attended this concert and decided on The Yardbirds to appear in his forthcoming film ‘Blow Up’.

23 September 1966

23 September 1966

21 SEP 1983

I MET PRINCESS DIANA AT THE PRINCE’S TRUST EVENT AT THE ALBERT HALL

After yesterday’s euphoria at The Albert Hall, the second night was played to benefit The Prince’s Trust, Prince Charles’ charity. With the attendance of Prince Charles, and the newly on-the-scene Lady Diana Spencer, we were introduced to the royal couple before the show. Lady Diana told me she had attended a Duran Duran concert at The Albert Hall and I thought ‘Oh boy, are you in for a shock tonight!’

AUDIO: LAYLA (LIVE AT THE ALBERT HALL)

20 SEP 1983

I PLAYED THE FIRST ARMS CONCERT AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Stew (Ian Stewart from the Rolling Stones) had invited me to do this concert at a party at Jeff Beck’s country home. It was to be for Ronnie Lane and the Action Research into Multiple Sclerosis, a condition to which he unfortunately had become a victim.

It had been outlined that the three former Yardbirds would be playing separate sets and maybe play together at the end of the evening. Steve Winwood was also to perform. I agreed enthusiastically to commit to the show, it was only the following day that it dawned on me that I was the only one not to have a solo career with the exception of the Death Wish II soundtrack which made putting a set together for this event an interesting and challenging experience.

The opening number was ‘Prelude’, a re-arranged Chopin prelude in E Minor, performed specifically to employ the house in-built Victorian pipe organ into the set. It was played magnificently by American James Horner. ‘City Sirens’ and ‘Who’s to Blame’ from the Death Wish II album had Steve Winwood graciously supplying vocals.

The set culminated in an instrumental version of Stairway to Heaven - the first time I had performed this on my own. Simon Phillips threw me a wink and surprised me with a double bass drum pattern to great effect.

20 September 1983

20 SEP 1983
I PLAYED THE FIRST ARMS CONCERT AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Stew (Ian Stewart from the Rolling Stones) had invited me to do this concert at a party at Jeff Beck’s country home. It was to be for Ronnie Lane and the Action Research into Multiple Sclerosis, a condition to which he unfortunately had become a victim.
It had been outlined that the three former Yardbirds would be playing separate sets and maybe play together at the end of the evening. Steve Winwood was also to perform. I agreed enthusiastically to commit to the show, it was only the following day that it dawned on me that I was the only one not to have a solo career with the exception of the Death Wish II soundtrack which made putting a set together for this event an interesting and challenging experience.
The opening number was ‘Prelude’, a re-arranged Chopin prelude in E Minor, performed specifically to employ the house in-built Victorian pipe organ into the set. It was played magnificently by American James Horner. ‘City Sirens’ and ‘Who’s to Blame’ from the Death Wish II album had Steve Winwood graciously supplying vocals.
The set culminated in an instrumental version of Stairway to Heaven - the first time I had performed this on my own. Simon Phillips threw me a wink and surprised me with a double bass drum pattern to great effect.

20 SEP 1983

I PLAYED THE FIRST ARMS CONCERT AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Stew (Ian Stewart from the Rolling Stones) had invited me to do this concert at a party at Jeff Beck’s country home. It was to be for Ronnie Lane and the Action Research into Multiple Sclerosis, a condition to which he unfortunately had become a victim.

It had been outlined that the three former Yardbirds would be playing separate sets and maybe play together at the end of the evening. Steve Winwood was also to perform. I agreed enthusiastically to commit to the show, it was only the following day that it dawned on me that I was the only one not to have a solo career with the exception of the Death Wish II soundtrack which made putting a set together for this event an interesting and challenging experience.

The opening number was ‘Prelude’, a re-arranged Chopin prelude in E Minor, performed specifically to employ the house in-built Victorian pipe organ into the set. It was played magnificently by American James Horner. ‘City Sirens’ and ‘Who’s to Blame’ from the Death Wish II album had Steve Winwood graciously supplying vocals.

The set culminated in an instrumental version of Stairway to Heaven - the first time I had performed this on my own. Simon Phillips threw me a wink and surprised me with a double bass drum pattern to great effect.

ON THIS DAY… 10 SEP 1966

I PLAYED THE BALTIMORE CIVIC CENTER WITH THE YARDBIRDS

The Yardbirds played as a four-piece at the Baltimore Civic Center without Jeff Beck who was “sick” in LA. This led to the eventual cancellation of the second night there on the 11th. 

10 September 1966

10 September 1966