Saturday, May 10, 2014

40 Year Itch : Catching Up With Yardbirds Guitarists

On May 10, 1974 recovering heroin addict Eric Clapton recorded his cover version of Bob Marley's " I Shot the Sheriff", his first and only #1 hit. It appeared on his comeback album 461 Ocean Boulevard, which he recorded with J J Cale pals The Tulsa County Band.  

       Backing vocalist Yvonne Elliman says when the band wasn't recording in Miami, they were off sailing and not every journey was pleasant and mellow

"We were in the Bermuda Triangle. It freaked me out, because we had a terrible storm out there. We were all drunk, we were terrible. And the captain was quite straight. He was saying "We can't go any further!" And I was going "Sail on! Come on! Let's hit the storm! Let's get bounced around and have a good time!" And the guy said "I'm sorry, but we have to turn back, and as captain of this ship what I say goes".

    Also on May 10, Jimmy Page and friends attended a party to celebrate the launch of Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label at Los Angeles’ Bel Air Hotel ends with the guests tossing food and chinaware at one another. 

The next day Robert Plant and Jimmy Page met the King after Elvis’ L.A. Forum concert.By some accounts, Page and Presley sang "Love Me " together. In other stories, Presley grilled the boys about their sordid stories on the road. This account comes from an Australian Elvis fan blog:

   Elvis finally turned to them. 'Is it true', he said, 'these stories about you boys on the road?' Plant answered, 'Of course not. We're family men. I get the most pleasure out of walking the hotel corridors, singing your songs'. Plant offered his best Elvis impersonation. 'Treat me like a fool, treat me mean and cruuuuel, but looooove me...'. For a moment Elvis Presley eyed them both very carefully. Then he burst out laughing. Then his bodyguards burst out laughing. For two hours he entertained them in his suite. He had never heard their records, he said, except for when his stepbrother played him 'Stairway to Heaven'. 'I liked it', said Presley. Later, walking down the hallway from the hotel room, Page and Plant congratulated themselves on a two-hour meeting with the King. 'Hey', came a voice from behind them. Presley had poked his head out the door. 'Treat me like fooool...'.

“When Led Zeppelin started doing huge concerts, I was just sitting in my garage listening to the radio. I was like, ‘What’s going on? I started this shit and look at me!’” - Jeff Beck

  Five months before sessions began for his Fusion masterpiece Blow By Blow, Jeff Beck was most likely producing and playing some guitar on the self titled debut album of the young British rock jazz fusion band Upp. I say "most likely' because there is no mention of Beck's involvement on Upp in the liner notes.

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