ON THIS DAY… 21 JUN 1966
I PLAYED MY FIRST SHOW WITH THE YARDBIRDS AT MARQUEE CLUB, LONDON
In the summer of 1966, Jeff Beck had invited me to a Yardbirds show at the May Ball at Queen’s College, Oxford, where the band were to perform in a giant marquee. They were really playing well that night but the audience of penguin-suited university bods were mainly unreceptive and too busy being loud drunks. During the set, Keith Relf became disenchanted with the audience and morphed into what would later be termed a punk, with colourful language and insults to what was a drunken bunch of Hoorays. Keith was wobbling but he finished the set with suitable angst. I thought he was brilliant under the circumstances, but Paul Samwell Smith left the band that evening.
Three days after the Oxford gig, on this day in ‘66, The Yardbirds had this date at London’s Marquee club with no bass player. In the event that Paul was not going to return, I volunteered to play bass with them. This was my debut. It was not an easy job to fill the massive powerhouse role set by Paul Samwell Smith, but I pulled it off.