18 JAN 1969

I PLAYED AT THE GRANDE BALLROOM, DETROIT WITH LED ZEPPELIN

I returned with Led Zeppelin to play three nights at the underground venue, The Grande Ballroom in Detroit, and this was the second of three nights. These were spirited shows to a spirited audience and on each night we extended our set with encore after encore. I played the Grande with The Yardbirds eight months earlier.

18 January 1969

18 January 1969

ON THIS DAY… 17 JAN 1967

I PLAYED IN SINGAPORE WITH THE YARDBIRDS

En route to Australia, The Yardbirds played at the National Theatre in Singapore. The National Theatre is in fact an open-air venue and there was a stage fronted by curtains, which we duly set up behind, and eventually it was time to play. The curtains opened to reveal the Yardbirds to the Singapore audience and we were greeted by males and females, all screaming. It was clear that they were still in the Beatles era and the screaming continued for the majority of the set. It was after this show that I met a brother of a friend of mine from Epsom. He was only a couple of years older than me and he was serving in the British army over there. It really brought home to me how close I and my peers had been to conscription, and if that had continued it would have dramatically changed the face of British fashion, rock and pop music, and the ensuing culture. The Yardbirds stayed at the wonderful Raffles Hotel.

17 January 1967

17 January 1967

ON THIS DAY… 14 JAN 1966
‘WILL YOU FOLLOW ME’ / ‘HEAD DEATH’ WAS RELEASED BY PAUL

Today saw the 1966 release of the Dylan-esque ‘Will You Follow Me’, written and sung by Paul Bedford; a guitar-playing troubadour and street musician who was playing in London’s Soho.
It was produced in a vein of all that was apparently current at that time on the tightest of budgets, but he had a talent for writing narratives like ‘Head Death’. I lost touch with him when I joined The Yardbirds. His uncle, Brian Bedford, was in the Oscar-winning film Grand Prix.

AUDIO: Head Death (Paul)

ON THIS DAY… 14 JAN 1966

‘WILL YOU FOLLOW ME’ / ‘HEAD DEATH’ WAS RELEASED BY PAUL

Today saw the 1966 release of the Dylan-esque ‘Will You Follow Me’, written and sung by Paul Bedford; a guitar-playing troubadour and street musician who was playing in London’s Soho.

It was produced in a vein of all that was apparently current at that time on the tightest of budgets, but he had a talent for writing narratives like ‘Head Death’. I lost touch with him when I joined The Yardbirds. His uncle, Brian Bedford, was in the Oscar-winning film Grand Prix.

AUDIO: Head Death (Paul)

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ON THIS DAY… 14 JAN 1966

‘WILL YOU FOLLOW ME’ / ‘HEAD DEATH’ WAS RELEASED BY PAUL

Today saw the 1966 release of the Dylan-esque ‘Will You Follow Me’, written and sung by Paul Bedford; a guitar-playing troubadour and street musician who was playing in London’s Soho.

It was produced in a vein of all that was apparently current at that time on the tightest of budgets, but he had a talent for writing narratives like ‘Head Death’. I lost touch with him when I joined The Yardbirds. His uncle, Brian Bedford, was in the Oscar-winning film Grand Prix.

AUDIO: Head Death (Paul)

14 January 1966

14 January 1966

ON THIS DAY… 30 DEC 1968

I played Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA with Led Zeppelin

Reputed to be the first primitive Led Zeppelin bootleg, it seems unusual that a support band with limited billing might be recorded before the main attraction, but I think it may well have been a guitar fan in the wake of The Yardbirds who might have recorded this. The Americans were quite muso and would follow the onwards incarnations of musicians on their journey.

Dazed and Confused from Gonzago (9 minutes and 42 seconds long) getting in training for a number that will get to around 13 minutes in a couple of years, with all the movements of a classical symphony.

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ON THIS DAY… 30 DEC 1968

I played Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA with Led Zeppelin

Reputed to be the first primitive Led Zeppelin bootleg, it seems unusual that a support band with limited billing might be recorded before the main attraction, but I think it may well have been a guitar fan in the wake of The Yardbirds who might have recorded this. The Americans were quite muso and would follow the onwards incarnations of musicians on their journey.

Dazed and Confused from Gonzago (9 minutes and 42 seconds long) getting in training for a number that will get to around 13 minutes in a couple of years, with all the movements of a classical symphony.

30 December 1968

30 December 1968

24 DEC 1966

I travelled to New York for an American tour with The Yardbirds

Twas the night before Christmas in 1966 and I was to leave from England with The Yardbirds to New York to begin a short American and Canadian tour with Keith Relf, Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja on board.

24 December 1966

24 December 1966

ON THIS DAY… 23 DEC 1968

IT WAS LED ZEPPELIN’S FIRST JOURNEY TO THE UNITED STATES

The members of Led Zeppelin enter the United States for their first American Tour, and we stayed at one of my old Yardbird haunts – The Chateau Marmont. I had been used to touring the States with The Yardbirds over the previous two years, but for first timers Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones, it was not going to take long for them to be initiated in to the ways of the US. 

23 December 1968

23 December 1968

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.