The Yardbirds and screaming girls singing their biggest hit, For Your Love in 1965 with singer Keith Relf looking very cool and ahead of his time. The song was written by Graham Gouldman, later bassist with 10cc. Gouldman also wrote sixties classic, No Milk Today For Herman’s Hermits and Look Through Any Window and Bus Stop for The Hollies. This version of The Yardbirds features Jeff Beck on guitar, Keith Relf on vocal, Paul Samwell-Smith on bass, Chris Dreja on rhythm guitar and Jim McCarty on drums.
For Your Love reached No.3 in the UK chart and No.6 in the USA. Although it’s Jeff Beck in the video, it was Eric Clapton playing on the single, along with Brian Auger on harpsichord, allegedly due to there being no organ or piano in the studio for the session and of course this unplanned, unusual sound was a contributing factor to the songs popularity – a genuine instrumental hook.
Jeff Beck went onto being one of the world’s greatest guitarists, Dreja went into photography, Samwell-Smith became a successful producer, producing Cat Stevens biggest albums, Jethro Tull, Renaissance and the first two All About Eve albums. Jim Mcarty continued as a drummer playing with Renaissance and eventually reforming the Yardbirds with Dreja. In 1976, Keith Relf was tragically electrocuted at home whilst playing guitar in his basement in 1976, he was just 33 years old.
To think that Charlie Parker might have an influence on such band seems unlikely, but apparently Bird or Yardbird as he was known, gave his nickname to the group.
The three dictionary definitions of Yardbird are:
1 a new military recruit, esp. one assigned to menial tasks.
2 a convict.
3 a chicken.
” an expression for hobos hanging around rail yards waiting for a train”.
With Jimmy Page joining later, it was his version of The New Yardbirds that eventually became Led Zeppelin.