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  1. #1

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    OK I'm just throwing this out there--doing some binge listening to the Yardbirds, whom of course I know but haven't listened to so intently in a long time.

    Great band, 3 of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, very influential.

    Here's the question--is there another band that rocked so hard and experimented so much in the mid-60's?

    Yeah, I know, the Stones, Kinks, Byrds, Beatles--but none of them (except the Stones) started out so steeped in the blues, yet within a short time (2 years) were moving into full-blown psychedelia.

    Anyway, just throwing it out there. Any Yardbird fans here?

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  3. #2

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    love the yardbirds...beck on roger the engineer was eye opening...pagey era was equally interesting


    mayalls bluesbreakers only thing comparable...had ec (post yardbirds), the sensational peter green (my fave) and young mick taylor

    antonioni-



    cheers

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    OK I'm just throwing this out there--doing some binge listening to the Yardbirds, whom of course I know but haven't listened to so intently in a long time.

    Great band, 3 of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, very influential.

    Here's the question--is there another band that rocked so hard and experimented so much in the mid-60's?

    Yeah, I know, the Stones, Kinks, Byrds, Beatles--but none of them (except the Stones) started out so steeped in the blues, yet within a short time (2 years) were moving into full-blown psychedelia.

    Anyway, just throwing it out there. Any Yardbird fans here?
    Check out the double LP they made w/Sonny Boy Williamson. Great stuff. I believe Clapton was in the band...

  5. #4

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    I wonder what they'd have sounded like if produced by Page.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack
    Check out the double LP they made w/Sonny Boy Williamson. Great stuff. I believe Clapton was in the band...
    Yes, he was. They got off to a bad start when Sonny Boy declared “these British want to play the blues so bad and they play the blues so bad!”

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    love the yardbirds...beck on roger the engineer was eye opening...pagey era was equally interesting


    mayalls bluesbreakers only thing comparable...had ec (post yardbirds), the sensational peter green (my fave) and young mick taylor

    antonioni-



    cheers
    So far ahead of its time in so many ways.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  8. #7

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    becks use of feedback kept garage musicians working overtime...his solo on "over under sideways down" needs some careful attention (transcript) to get his abilities way back when..

  9. #8

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    I'm in learning mode here. This clip helps:

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Yes, he was. They got off to a bad start when Sonny Boy declared “these British want to play the blues so bad and they play the blues so bad!”
    All except for Derek & Clive.

  11. #10

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    They were pretty raw in the beginning. The stuff with EC is OK, but not my favorite. I can see why the Brits dug it though.

    You can really see Beck developing as a player after he joins. The guys get more polished and more innovative in the studio as well, though by the time of Page they were moving away from their fan base.

    Unfortunately, psychedelic rock excites the druggies and the guys with horn rims that write esoteric rock mags, but it's never really been a huge seller.

    The evolution of guitar sounds, as well as bass and drums, with the Birds is impressive. Again, there weren't a lot of other groups out there this far out in '65-66. The Stones were not very experimental at all, at least sonically. The Beatles moved that direction a little after the Yardbirds--much as I love them, they were not instrumental virtuosos and were creative in the hermetic studio sense, not performance-wise.

    As far as the Bluesbreakers, to be honest I don't know enough of them to give a fair assessment, but they seem to stick strictly to blues-based rock. Of course they've had great guitarists!

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Yes, he was. They got off to a bad start when Sonny Boy declared “these British want to play the blues so bad and they play the blues so bad!”
    Ha ha. Guess he was just 'fattenin' frogs for snakes'...

  13. #12

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    I always admired the Yardbirds. To me that was the beginning of all things Hard Rock. The rave ups, man, thats what called the hard driven instrumental parts of the songs!

    I dare to say the real Rock was a British thing. Or European. They got the feel just right. I cant thing of any American bands that rocked harder than British. At least in the 60s and 70s.

    Yardbirds- Led Zeppelin- Black Sabbath- Iron Maiden/NWOBHM, there was definitely a trend there.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff

    As far as the Bluesbreakers, to be honest I don't know enough of them to give a fair assessment, but they seem to stick strictly to blues-based rock. Of course they've had great guitarists!

    peter green- the super-natural!




    cheers

  15. #14

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    For a long time I liked Jeff Beck's lyricism and sound, but also considered him a bullshitter. Lots of going up one string, which to me isn't musical. I felt Beck's Boogie was a trick bag, and a copy of Les Paul. I even put down his solo on Stevie Wonder's Lookin' For Another Pure Love on Talking Book b/c he did that for a passage. I thought Buzzy Feiten, my boyhood hero, should have gotten that solo instead.

    Well, I listened again and I was totally wrong. That's a beautiful solo he played. I think Jeff Beck and Santana are the 2 most melodic rock players. Their solos resonate and stay in your ears.

    The Yardbirds were cool. Good group...

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    peter green- the super-natural!




    cheers
    That was one LP I wore out as a youth. I love Peter Green. (So did B.B. King, who said he was 'the only white boy blues player who gives me chills'). Good singer, too.

    I recently got many of my old LPs back from a friend who was storing them for me. Alas, I think most of my blues collection is lost to the 4 winds---but I still have A hard Road!

  17. #16

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    Early Fleetwood Mac with Green, Spencer, Kirwan on guitars
    Stepped off the beaten track with things line "oh well" "green manalishi", "man of the world" as well as some definktive blus numbers like "need your love so bad" (for me one of Green's best ever solos - understated, restrained, measured and heartbreakingly beautiful)
    I even remember sitting with a Kasuga acoustic guitar trying to decipher by ear "oh well" from the radio

    A nod also to my transatlantic cousins for Terry Kath - early Chicago (Transit Authority in those days). Died tragically early. Listen to that blazing innovative solo on 25 or 6 to 4 - how many 60s rock guitarists were incorporating dorian mode or diminished runs in this relatively new medium?

    Electric Flag also well worth a mention - Bloomfield sits on the same pedastel as Peter Green in my book of 60s great innovative blues guitarists
    Last edited by Ray175; 08-27-2017 at 03:41 AM.

  18. #17

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    I got to hear The Yardbirds live back around 1966 in Baltimore, MD when Jeff Beck was the lead guitarist. He was the first guitarist I had ever heard that was using feedback, doing pick slides, and playing with one hand while drinking a coke with the other.

    And his playing had such an edge to it - raw but very clean and downright exciting!

  19. #18

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    The interesting thing I get from binge listening to the Yardbirds is that they were an uneven band. A lot of their songs are just not very good--cute but not great songs. Kind of like Cream--I think a lot of groups of that time were more interested in a sound or a vibe than actually writing good songs that would stand the test of time.

    The rhythm section got better as time went on but didn't have the tightness of Ringo and Paul or Charlie and Bill, or the chops of Baker and Bruce. Keith Relf wasn't a bad singer, either, but I don't think he stands out among the other belters of his day--Eric Burdon, Mick Jagger, etc.

    That doesn't mean they weren't a great and very influential group. The innovative guitar work and their willingness to experiment was quite groundbreaking at the time. It was such a change from the Brill Building, 4-to-the-bar, AABA, clean minimally overdriven bridge pickup guitar sound that was prevalent at the time.

  20. #19

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    don't mix-up business and mis-management with musical talent... or youthful musical vision


    the 60's uk beat/r&b business scene wasn't based on talent..is any commercial music really ever???


    yardbirds were blues 'n jazz lovers...hence the name "yardbirds"....clapton quit over being "forced" to do overtly "pop" song-for your love...which IS a great pop song nevertheless!...but they were forced to do "commercial" things they wouldn't ordinarily ever want to do...young kids all


    the fact that they released such mind-blowing music is testament to the admiration and devotion to the music they loved...american blues, r&b, & jazz

    same with stones...when they played usa popular teen show -shindig-...brian jones and rest insisted that howlin wolf be on show...and he was!!!




    and with maestro james burton on guitar!!!


    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 08-27-2017 at 07:57 PM.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    OK I'm just throwing this out there--doing some binge listening to the Yardbirds, whom of course I know but haven't listened to so intently in a long time.

    Great band, 3 of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, very influential.

    Here's the question--is there another band that rocked so hard and experimented so much in the mid-60's?

    Yeah, I know, the Stones, Kinks, Byrds, Beatles--but none of them (except the Stones) started out so steeped in the blues, yet within a short time (2 years) were moving into full-blown psychedelia.

    Anyway, just throwing it out there. Any Yardbird fans here?
    I was going to say Fleetwood Mac, but they're really a later evolution of what the Yardbirds were up to. By the time they formed, bluesmen-evolving-into-psychedelia was a full-blown genre (Are You Experienced and Fresh Cream were both out already, e.g.), and they were part of that, as opposed to being part of its roots as a band (even if they all were as individuals in earlier bands). If the parameters are Yardbirds contemporaries, bluesy/r&r progenitors of psychedelia, here are some.

    Top of my list would be:
    The Blues Project
    Butterfield Blues Band
    Big Brother and the Holding Company
    Grateful Dead

    Some more tenuous (not sure about the timelines, not as purely bluesy) examples might be:
    Jefferson Airplane
    Zappa
    Quicksilver Messenger Service
    Paul Revere and the Raiders
    Young Rascals
    Lovin' Spoonful

    There are also soul/R&B acts that were headed toward experimentation by then, like Curtis Mayfield, and the Parliaments. And some of the Motown guys probably would have been if Gordy would've allowed it (e.g., Marvin Gaye)

    There are also several blues guys who were headed in a more experimental direction, but this is not really captured on recordings from the period. The most obvious example is Hendrix (who was pretty fully formed by ~65), but also Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, Earl Hooker. Buddy has said in interviews that these guys were all doing Hendrix before Hendrix.

    All that, plus who ever is on "Nuggets".

    John

  22. #21

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    British comic Lenny Henry (as bluesman Lowdown Finger Lickin' Dirty Hound Dog Smith) + Jeff Beck:

  23. #22

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  24. #23

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    The Butterfield Blues Band was moving from blues into a more experimental direction at approximately the same time--'65-66. They had a couple of virtuoso guitarists--Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop--and were moving into an Eastern-influenced direction with their album East-West. While considered groundbreaking and highly influential, it didn't sell many copies.

    The subsequent careers of the BBB members, while respectable, did not approach those of the Yardbirds alums.

    Nevertheless, I find it interesting that virtually simultaneously there was a blues-based movement in England and the US that was absorbing influences from Indian music and other sources and moving into psychedelia.

    As far as the other San Fran bands, there was obviously a lot of ferment going on, but in '65-66 they were still in the folk/jug band phase of their evolution, and as others have pointed out, at that time were not very good musicians (Jerry Garcia included). Bloomfield was far and away the best guitarist in that scene.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    The Butterfield Blues Band was moving from blues into a more experimental direction at approximately the same time--'65-66. They had a couple of virtuoso guitarists--Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop--and were moving into an Eastern-influenced direction with their album East-West. While considered groundbreaking and highly influential, it didn't sell many copies.

    The subsequent careers of the BBB members, while respectable, did not approach those of the Yardbirds albums...
    I was a HUGE Butterfield fan as a teen, b/c I fancied myself a blues player. Not only was the band great, but they created a pathway for me to get into the black innovators of blues and blues guitar. They were jazz-influenced, too: East West had long vamps that swung in their own way.

    I don't know that the members didn't do well afterwards. Buzzy Feiten, very deservedly, became the hottest studio ticket on guitar. And Full Moon, with 3 ex-Butterfield guys, made a memorable album and probably had a small but devoted following. That ain't applesauce.

    I heard a funny story about how he got the gig:

    Butterfield was hot and holding auditions for guitar. A lot of name players showed up to try out. So this cocky 17-year-old from Long Island, Howard Feiten, waltzes in. He waited about an hour, then got restless. So he walked right up to Butterfield and said:

    'I'm tired of waiting. Let me play RIGHT NOW, or f you, I'm going home!'

    They looked at each other, shrugged, probably chuckled.

    'What the hell, let the kid play'.

    We all know the rest...
    Last edited by fasstrack; 08-29-2017 at 11:03 AM.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot
    British comic Lenny Henry (as bluesman Lowdown Finger Lickin' Dirty Hound Dog Smith) + Jeff Beck:
    That's the same guy that starred in Chef, right? That show was funny as hell...

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack
    That's the same guy that starred in Chef, right? That show was funny as hell...

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic


    and with maestro james burton on guitar!!!


    cheers
    Wow. Killin' band and performance. I hope the Stones listened and learned. They're SO annoying...

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot


    'I was abandoned on a doorstep by my foster parents'.

    Gonna steal that one.

    Reminds me of what the late Jim Hall supposedly told people to get out of jams:

    'Have pity on me. I come from a broken home'...

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    The Butterfield Blues Band was moving from blues into a more experimental direction at approximately the same time--'65-66. They had a couple of virtuoso guitarists--Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop--and were moving into an Eastern-influenced direction with their album East-West. While considered groundbreaking and highly influential, it didn't sell many copies.

    The subsequent careers of the BBB members, while respectable, did not approach those of the Yardbirds alums.

    Nevertheless, I find it interesting that virtually simultaneously there was a blues-based movement in England and the US that was absorbing influences from Indian music and other sources and moving into psychedelia.

    As far as the other San Fran bands, there was obviously a lot of ferment going on, but in '65-66 they were still in the folk/jug band phase of their evolution, and as others have pointed out, at that time were not very good musicians (Jerry Garcia included). Bloomfield was far and away the best guitarist in that scene.
    I saw the Butterfield band twice in early 66 at the Fillmore in SF. The second time was right after East West came out and Bloomfield took a tremendous solo on East West. In the middle of the solo someone came on stage and handed him a large flaming swab which he swallowed and then resumed his solo.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcee
    I saw the Butterfield band twice in early 66 at the Fillmore in SF. The second time was right after East West came out and Bloomfield took a tremendous solo on East West. In the middle of the solo someone came on stage and handed him a large flaming swab which he swallowed and then resumed his solo.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    The Butterfield Blues Band was moving from blues into a more experimental direction at approximately the same time--'65-66. They had a couple of virtuoso guitarists--Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop--and were moving into an Eastern-influenced direction with their album East-West. While considered groundbreaking and highly influential, it didn't sell many copies.

    The subsequent careers of the BBB members, while respectable, did not approach those of the Yardbirds alums.
    At the risk of being flippant, Clapton, Page, and Beck had big careers; the rest of the Yardbirds, not so much (I'm not a big Renaissance fan ...). I'd quibble a bit about calling Elvin Bishop a virtuoso, too. Barely adequate with Butterfield, IMO. As to post BBB careers of its alumni, some of the post-Bloomfied BBB is great (Pigmeat Crabshaw, the Feiten stuff); IMO, the equal of the Bloomfield stuff. The first Electric Flag album has some great moments.

    I'm a bit of a Bloomfield nut myself and still listen to him quite a bit. His _career_ was a mess (because he was an independenly wealthy mess who didn't need to make a living from music), but his music was shot through with brilliance (if not sustained brilliance) throughout, IMO. I actually like the rootsy stuff he was doing at the end a lot. One of the Takoma albums called Between the Hard Place and the Ground is one of my most treasured possessions. And there a couple of recently released live recordings that are off the hook.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Nevertheless, I find it interesting that virtually simultaneously there was a blues-based movement in England and the US that was absorbing influences from Indian music and other sources and moving into psychedelia.

    As far as the other San Fran bands, there was obviously a lot of ferment going on, but in '65-66 they were still in the folk/jug band phase of their evolution, and as others have pointed out, at that time were not very good musicians (Jerry Garcia included). Bloomfield was far and away the best guitarist in that scene.
    Yup.

    John

  33. #32

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    [QUOTE=John A.;798598....I'd quibble a bit about calling Elvin Bishop a virtuoso, too. Barely adequate with Butterfield, IMO...John[/QUOTE]I saw the band live at the Fillmore w/Elvin, and would hardly call him 'barely adequate'. Fit right in, did a fine job----good singer and entertainer, too.

    With all due respect, c'mon...

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack
    I saw the band live at the Fillmore w/Elvin, and would hardly call him 'barely adequate'. Fit right in, did a fine job----good singer and entertainer, too.

    With all due respect, c'mon...
    I should qualify that by saying that I'm talking about the first two records and that Butterfield, Bloomfield and Bishop himself all said much the same. He became a much better player later, and yes, a good singer too (I'm listening him live at Winterland in 73 on youtube now. Miles ahead of where he was in '65-6). All of these guys evolved a lot in a very short span.

    John

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I should qualify that by saying that I'm talking about the first two records and that Butterfield, Bloomfield and Bishop himself all said much the same. He became a much better player later, and yes, a good singer too (I'm listening him live at Winterland in 73 on youtube now. Miles ahead of where he was in '65-6). All of these guys evolved a lot in a very short span.

    John
    He probably was young when he got the gig. I remember liking his solo on Drifting and Drifting, very B.B.-influenced, unsurprisingly...

  36. #35

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    All these guys matured quickly in the hothouse of mid- to late-60's rock scene--look and listen to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia--none of them emerged fully-formed guitar gods. They all started out awkward but energetic til their breakout moments.

    Listening to East-West this morning--wow, what a piece. Obviously influenced more by free-form and modal jazz than pop music. According to the Wiki entry, "the tune was inspired by an all-night LSD trip that East-West's primary songwriter Mike Bloomfield experienced in the fall of 1965, during which the late guitarist 'said he'd had a revelation into the workings of Indian music.'" Though it didn't sell many copies, this album and the live performances obviously set the template for the long, extended jam-based riffing that came out of San Francisco.

    Meanwhile, the Yardbirds introduced distorted guitars, psychedelic imagery and longer forms with their live "raves" into the rock vocabulary. The Beatles followed a little later and got more credit for it, but the Birds did it first and arguably better from an instrumental vantage point.

    From what I've read and heard in interviews, all these guys (and to be honest they were all young men) were listening to each other and everything they could get their hands on--old blues, Indian raga music, Coltrane--and trying to fit it into the rock context.

  37. #36

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    My favorite story about influence and origins from that era is the one that David Van Ronk tells about Bob Dylan. (In the Scorcese Dylan documentary.) In Greenwich Village, he and Bobby were playing the coffeehouse scene in the early 60's, and Van Ronk was doing an updated version of the old song House of the Rising Sun. Well Dylan "stole" Van Ronk's version and recorded it. Eventually the Animals copied Dylan's "stolen" arrangement and had a huge hit with it.

    Back in GV when Van Ronk performed HOTRS everyone asked him why he was copying from Dylan...

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack
    Check out the double LP they made w/Sonny Boy Williamson. Great stuff. I believe Clapton was in the band...
    I don't have any idea of what the "real" facts are, but the way Randy Newman tells the story, Sonny Boy Williamson was a very early victim of identity theft and the guy who recorded with the Yardbirds was an impostor.

    Randy Newman Honors Chicago Blues Great 'Sonny Boy' Williamson on New Song | Billboard

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by unknownguitarplayer
    I don't have any idea of what the "real" facts are, but the way Randy Newman tells the story, Sonny Boy Williamson was a very early victim of identity theft and the guy who recorded with the Yardbirds was an impostor.

    Randy Newman Honors Chicago Blues Great 'Sonny Boy' Williamson on New Song | Billboard
    The facts are that there were two blues harmonica player/singers who called themselves Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Williamson, Sonny Boy Williamson I and Rice Miller, (AKA Aleck), Sonny Boy Williamson II. The story I've heard is that Miller got a gig on the radio in the early 40s sponsorsed by a flour company; the company decided to say he was SBW because at that point SBW was fairly well known and they thought it would sell more flour. I don't think anybody knows what Miller thought of that. When his recording career got going in the early 50s he called himself the "real and only" SBW. He was the older of the two, but Sonny Boy Williamson I had a successful career significantly earlier. Sonny Boy Williamson I died in 1948, and by the time the Yardbirds came along Miller's records in a more modern, electric Chicago blues style were better known.

    John

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    The facts are that there were two blues harmonica player/singers who called themselves Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Williamson, Sonny Boy Williamson I and Rice Miller, (AKA Aleck), Sonny Boy Williamson II. The story I've heard is that Miller got a gig on the radio in the early 40s sponsorsed by a flour company; the company decided to say he was SBW because at that point SBW was fairly well known and they thought it would sell more flour. I don't think anybody knows what Miller thought of that. When his recording career got going in the early 50s he called himself the "real and only" SBW. He was the older of the two, but Sonny Boy Williamson I had a successful career significantly earlier. Sonny Boy Williamson I died in 1948, and by the time the Yardbirds came along Miller's records in a more modern, electric Chicago blues style were better known.

    John
    That's what I read, as well. IIRC, SBWI was found dead in a snowstorm, having been stabbed. I used to do a couple of SBWII's tunes in my blues sets. "Eyesight to the Blind" and "Nine Below Zero" were crowd pleasers. The only SBWII cd I have was given to me by a fan who liked my version of EttB but found RM's other stuff not to her taste. Her loss, my gain. Rice Miller, as "Sonny Boy Williamson" found greater success in Europe than in the US, as so many blues greats had. My first Blues LP was Howlin' Wolf: the London Sessions with Eric Clapton duplicating Hubert Sumlin's inimitable lines, to his and HS' mutual bafflement. The liner notes had a quote from one of the engineers saying that Wolf was "bone stupid" - a remark as inaccurate as it is offensive. Any man who could challenge Muddy Waters in his prime for the title of "King of Chicago Blues" was very far from "stupid". The phrase "glass houses" come to mind. Chester Burnett was notable for his business acumen and his personal integrity with his band mates - insisting, for instance, on their buying health insurance for their families as a condition of employment. His continuing heartbreak was his mother's refusal to accept any money from him because she accepted the canard about the blues being "the Devil's Music".

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    That's what I read, as well. IIRC, SBWI was found dead in a snowstorm, having been stabbed. I used to do a couple of SBWII's tunes in my blues sets. "Eyesight to the Blind" and "Nine Below Zero" were crowd pleasers. The only SBWII cd I have was given to me by a fan who liked my version of EttB but found RM's other stuff not to her taste. Her loss, my gain. Rice Miller, as "Sonny Boy Williamson" found greater success in Europe than in the US, as so many blues greats had. My first Blues LP was Howlin' Wolf: the London Sessions with Eric Clapton duplicating Hubert Sumlin's inimitable lines, to his and HS' mutual bafflement. The liner notes had a quote from one of the engineers saying that Wolf was "bone stupid" - a remark as inaccurate as it is offensive. Any man who could challenge Muddy Waters in his prime for the title of "King of Chicago Blues" was very far from "stupid". The phrase "glass houses" come to mind. Chester Burnett was notable for his business acumen and his personal integrity with his band mates - insisting, for instance, on their buying health insurance for their families as a condition of employment. His continuing heartbreak was his mother's refusal to accept any money from him because she accepted the canard about the blues being "the Devil's Music".
    I still do "Help Me". I used to Eyesight to the Blind occasionally, but it has been quite a while.

    I guess I have to dig out my copy of the London Sessions and re-read the liner notes, because I don't remember those quotes. I always assumed the stuff that sounds like Sumlin on it IS Sumlin and that the credits (which had Sumlin on rhythm and Clapton on Lead on all tracks) were wrong. Anyway, I think the best solo on that album is Stevie Winwood's organ solo on Who's Been Talking.

    I don't recall exactly what was the first blues record I got into. My father had fairly eclectic tastes in music, including some blues and blues-rock records -- e.g., Fathers and Sons (Muddy with Butterfield, Bloomfield, Sam Lay and Duck Dunn), Get Your Ya Yas Out, Blues Project at the Cafe Au Go Go, Goodbye Cream, and Blind Faith, Ledbelly and Josh White. So it was in the air without my being aware of blues being a distinct genre at first. IIRC, Cream is probably what caught my ear first and that led me to other things. When I was about 16, I took a few lessons from Danny Kalb (the lead guitar player in the Blues Project), and he gave me a basic collection of licks and turnarounds, fills, and finger picking patterns, and got me to sing while playing. In my high school there was a whole slew of kids getting into blues harp, but for some reason not too many guitar players (or rather, because it was 1978, the guitar players were mostly playing Ramones songs ...), and I wound up being the go-to accompanist when we cut class to jam ... uh, I mean did independent research off campus. There were also several used/cut-out record stores in my neighborhood where you could find this stuff for a dollar or two, so I got deep into it and all the different bules and blues rock styles kind of hit me at once.

    John

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    The facts are that there were two blues harmonica player/singers who called themselves Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Williamson, Sonny Boy Williamson I and Rice Miller, (AKA Aleck), Sonny Boy Williamson II. The story I've heard is that Miller got a gig on the radio in the early 40s sponsorsed by a flour company; the company decided to say he was SBW because at that point SBW was fairly well known and they thought it would sell more flour. I don't think anybody knows what Miller thought of that. When his recording career got going in the early 50s he called himself the "real and only" SBW. He was the older of the two, but Sonny Boy Williamson I had a successful career significantly earlier. Sonny Boy Williamson I died in 1948, and by the time the Yardbirds came along Miller's records in a more modern, electric Chicago blues style were better known.

    John
    You are correct, sir. It was King Biscuit. I think the story about 'identity theft' is fiddle-faddle. I HAD that LP. It's Sonny Boy...

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    My favorite story about influence and origins from that era is the one that David Van Ronk tells about Bob Dylan. (In the Scorcese Dylan documentary.) In Greenwich Village, he and Bobby were playing the coffeehouse scene in the early 60's, and Van Ronk was doing an updated version of the old song House of the Rising Sun. Well Dylan "stole" Van Ronk's version and recorded it. Eventually the Animals copied Dylan's "stolen" arrangement and had a huge hit with it.

    Back in GV when Van Ronk performed HOTRS everyone asked him why he was copying from Dylan...
    Here's another I like, told to me by the late Eddie Diehl:

    The Folklore Center on 6th Ave. and W. 3rd in the Village was a hangout for folkies. (Eddie had a repair concession). One day Joni Mitchell wandered in, and a conversation ensued. A casual and unmemorable reference to drinking was made. She left after a while.

    After 20 minutes or so, a wide-eyed Joni, deep in thought came back and asked

    'Do you think I DRINK too much?'...

  44. #43

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    there were definitely two sonny boy williamsons

    goes to show you what commercial radio sponsors thought of the talent


    like replacing darrens in bewitched

    back then on radio, shows were all sponsor driven...palmolive presents or lucky strike hour...they replaced the lead players ie actors and musicians without a second thought...

    cheers

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    ...like replacing darrens in bewitched...cheers
    Ha ha. Or Lionel in The Jeffersons...

  46. #45

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    Lots of borrowed identities in the blues community. The two Sonny Boys as already famously noted. But the story doesn't end there. Albert King's real name was Albert Nelson, but he claimed to be B.B.'s half brother and used BB's nickname "Blues Boy" early in his career.

    Earl King of New Orleans whose "Come On" was covered by Jim Hendrix was born Earl Silas Johnson IV. When Guitar Slim was injured in an automobile accident as his "The Things You Used to Do" was atop the r&b charts, the label sent King/Johnson out on tour as "Guitar Slim."

    Many early blues artists recorded under different names for different labels. Blind Wille McTell ("Statesboro Blues") and John Lee Hooker are two examples.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by unknownguitarplayer
    I don't have any idea of what the "real" facts are, but the way Randy Newman tells the story, Sonny Boy Williamson was a very early victim of identity theft and the guy who recorded with the Yardbirds was an impostor.

    Randy Newman Honors Chicago Blues Great 'Sonny Boy' Williamson on New Song | Billboard
    I have a friend who's passionate about Sonny Boy Williamson's records with The Yardbirds (from which he says he learned to play the harmonica).

    I told him about this story and the song (he doesn't speak English), and he just shrugged. He knew all about there having been both Sonny Boy Williamson I and II, though.

    But he showed me some vinyl albums (all Charly label), and I now intend to do my best to get past my prejudices* and give them a sympathetic hearing.

    *EDIT Eric Burdon's accent (when singing) irritates me - and I've just realised that I'd been confusing The Yardbirds with The Animals.
    Last edited by destinytot; 09-03-2017 at 12:56 PM.

  48. #47

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    my fave yardbirds were post clapton..he really hit his stride in his next band...mayalls bluesbreakers..the beano album...thats the one that made him a legend

    the great yardbirds lp with jeff beck is called- roger the engineer..yardbirds were pretty nice solid rhythm n blues band...but beck was the rainbow icing on the cake...he just plays all over them..all his outlandish tricks already intact....this was a mindblowing lp for a lot of players...myself included



    next great yardbirds album was little games..this time with jimmy page...he upped the production and played some great and adventurous stuff..pagey was always into alt tunings and layering guitars..very smart...this is the band that eventually morphed into led zepp (for better or worse!!..haha)

    here's lead off track



    yer yardbirds primer..hah

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 09-03-2017 at 07:34 PM.

  49. #48

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    Love Beck Yardbirds. His playing was so much fun back then. (Still is, for that matter.)