Say It's Your Birthday: Yardbirds' Jim McCarty

Today is the birthday of Jim McCarty born on this day in 1943. McCarty

was

a founding drummer of the extremely influential Yardbirds. (Their name

came from the designation given

to hobos in a Jack Kerouac novel) During the course of their career,

the

Yardbirds featured three of rock's greatest guitarists: Eric Clapton,

Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. During their early period with Clapton they

pursued a highly charged style of electric blues, highlighted best on

Five Live Birds. Clapton split when he sensed the band was

becoming

"too pop," with the release of their first single, "For Your Love."

Jeff Beck brought on phase two of the band's development with a highly

experimental style that pioneered the use of feedback, fuzz, and

unusual

melodic scales. It was here that many said the Yardbirds reached their

creative peak, with songs like "I'm A Man," "Evil Hearted You," and

Shape

Of Things."

At this point, Beck began unraveling at the seams so Jimmy Page

stepped in,

and for a very brief time, the Yardbirds had a dream twin-guitar

lineup ("Happening Ten Years Time Ago" and "Stroll On" form the movie

Blow

Up). Beck exited (soon forming the Jeff Beck Group with an unknown

singer named Rod Stewart), and Page hung on for another year,

recording the feeble

Little Games before exiting to form Led Zeppelin. After which

it was

only a matter of time before the Yardbirds officially broke up.

McCarty and

lead singer Relf formed the duo Together which eventually turned into

Renaissance. Bassist Paul Samwell-Smith went on to a successful

production

career for artists like Cat Stevens and Carly Simon. It is also the

birthday of Mark Clarke (Uriah Heep), Manuel Charlton (Nazareth), and

Walter Brennan.