The Yardbirds

Perhaps, the biggest impact this band had on the British music industry was to birth three of the most influential rock guitarists of all time. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, who would later rank among Rolling Stone’s top five guitarists of all time, began their careers in this band.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Yardbirds's Good Morning Little School Girl at
The Yardbirds
The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds, formed in 1963, were a major part of the British blues era during the 1960s. Although they were originally noted as a blues-based band, they delved into pop, hard rock, and psychedelic rock.

With their distinct signature instrumental “rave-up” breaks and their many other creative formations using the electric guitar, they are considered one of the most influential bands even for later trends such as progressive rock, heavy metal, and punk rock.

The band’s classic line-up was made of William Keith Relf (Late), James Stanley McCarty, Christopher Walenty Dreja and Paul Samwell-Smith.

The current members (as of the year 2020) of the London originated band however consist of:

  • drummer James Stanley McCarty
  • lead singer John Idan
  • bass guitarist Kenny Aaronson
  • lead guitarist Godfrey Townsend
  • percussionist and backing vocalist Myke Rocco Scavone


Their song For Your Love peaked at Number 1 on the Canada Singles chart, Number 3 on the UK Singles charts, and Number 6 on the United States Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1965.

The group received a nomination for Best Music from the St. Louis Film Critics Association, US.

They were ranked number 89 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and number 37 on Video Hits One’s (VH1) list of 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

The Yardbirds received an induction into the highly prestigious Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame somewhere in 1992.

Interesting Facts about The Yardbirds

  • The name of the band, The Yardbirds, was derived from Jack Kerouac’s book titled “On the Road”. Initially known as Blue-Sounds, they renamed the group in September 1963.
  • The group disbanded in 1968 for 22 years before reuniting in 1992 to continue their career.
  • The band’s breakthrough occurred with their single For Your Love which became a commercial hit, topping the charts in Canada and the UK. For a short period between 1982 and 1983, the band tried regrouping but it was to no avail.
  • Former band member Eric Clapton quit the band after he was allegedly displeased with the arrangements for their song For Your Love. He left the group a day before the single was released.
  • In 1964, the band performed as an opening act for The Beatles.
  • Eric Clapton was an alcoholic and almost lost his life in 1981 on a US Tour. He collapsed when getting offstage after one of his performances. He was later diagnosed with five different kinds of bleeding ulcers. The life-threatening fact about his condition at the time was that one of the ulcers was pressing on to his pancreas, and could have burst and killed him easily.
  • In 1966, the group featured in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film titled Blow Up.
  • Former member Jimmy Page is known to have worked on eponymous albums for bands such as The Pretty ThingsThem, the Kinks, and the Rolling Stones.
  • Legendary English musician and songwriter, David Bowie, did a cover of their song, Shapes of Things and I wish You Would with most of the band’s arrangement.
  • For a period in the career of the band, they were left in hibernation by the Britain Music Industry and their British fan base. This was because the group was focusing almost entirely on the United States.
  • Keith Relf died of electrocution at age 32, in 1976. Apparently, his electric guitar was not well-grounded, thus he died while playing the instrument at his home studio.
  • They replaced The Rolling Stones as the house band at the Crawdaddy Club in 1963.
  • Relf and McCarty went on to form the progressive rock group known as Renaissance, while Jimmy Page formed the popular English band, Led Zeppelin. This was after the band had split in 1968.

Brief Conclusion

The Yardbirds carry the unique reputation of being both under-appreciated and celebrated in the rock music scene at the same time.

The British band is recognized for innovatively converting rhythm and blues into rock, and will forever be remembered for producing three of their countries’ most skilled guitarists. The group continues to perform actively.

Famous Songs by The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds

  • “A Certain Girl”
  • “Boom Boom”
  • “Drinking Muddy Water”
  • “Evil Hearted You”
  • “For Your Love”
  • “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”
  • “Goodnight Sweet Josephine”
  • “Got to Hurry”
  • “Ha Ha Said the Clown”
  • “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago”
  • “Heart Full of Soul”
  • “Honey in Your Hips”
  • “I Ain’t Got You”
  • “I Wish You Would”
  • “I’m a Man”
  • “Jeff’s Boogie”
  • “Little Games”
  • “New York City Blues”
  • “Over Under Sideways Down”
  • “Paff…Bum”
  • “Psycho Daisies”
  • “Puzzles”
  • “Questa Volta”
  • “Shapes of Things”
  • “Steeled Blues”
  • “Still I’m Sad”
  • “Ten Little Indians”
  • “The Nazz Are Blue”
  • “Think About It”
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor”
  • “You’re a Better Man Than I”

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