An official promotional video for “Yardbirds ’68,” the re-released Anderson Theatre show by The Yardbirds, gives us a glimpse of what could be text from the booklet included with the album.
The video shows Jimmy Page, Chris Dreja, and Jim McCarty sitting around a table with early copies of the vinyl release of the album as well as multiple copies of a document.
At one point in the video, McCarty turns the page of the text, briefly showing it to the camera.
LedZepNews took stills from the promotional video and used them to see the text quoted below. It’s not clear exactly what this text is, but it seems likely to be a section of the text from the booklet that will come with “Yardbirds ’68.”
Page says on his website that the sleeve notes for the album were written by himself, Dreja, and McCarty, so presumably this is from the booklet. That’s backed up by a section of the video which shows the men selecting photos, presumably to accompany the text in the booklet.
Read the text here:
“pin-up status among female fans, but his look and along with his vocal delivery, onstage charisma and harmonica playing had also inspired a number of fellow musicians.
‘Keith was always very confident of what he was and what he did,’ agrees Page, today. ‘He had the image with his shades and the clothes, and he was a real individual. But his harmonica playing was utterly dazzling. He had that real agility and he liked to push things live. His presence is so strong. You can hear that on the Anderson Theatre performance. In fact, all four band members are playing really well.’
Indeed, this document of the band’s final tour underlines the well-drilled manner of the band back in ’68. Chris Dreja’s switch from rhythm guitar to bass added a certain precision to The Yardbirds sound without losing any of the band’s flair. ‘You can hear real character playing from Chris,’ nods Page. ‘There’s different tones that he uses on a lot of what you can hear on this collection. It’s great playing.’
The man stoking the fire in The Yardbirds engine room, meanwhile, is drummer Jim McCarty, whose playing is innovative, experimental and fiery. ‘He brought in a lot of swing and a lot of drive to what we did,’ confirms Page. ‘And he also wrote material in a really fantastic, unique way.’
McCarty’s contribution to The Yardbirds’ songwriting is also evident on the studio sketches that are presented on Disc Two of this collection. These recordings were made in in [sic] a few days in New York beginning on April 3, 1968, as the band attempted to start work on material that could be included on the follow-up to Little Games, the album released in the summer of ’67. Page – who himself added grit, heft, power to the band’s sound, as well as newfound sense of direction – became the de facto producer of these sessions, of which there are obvious highlights.
The opening track, Avron Knows, is an over-driven post-psych, heavy-duty number named after one of Keith Relf’s friends and all-round hipster. The lyrics – written largely by McCarty – are tongue-in-cheek as the drummer and frontman indulge in a playful call-and-answer vocal. Indeed, McCarty’s busy percussive style is also evident on this tune where Page also cuts loose.
McCarty’s lyricism is further evident on the first version of Spanish Blond included here. An acoustic showcase for Page, McCarty – whose Beat-inspired wordplay also animated the sleeve notes to the aforementioned Roger The Engineer – contributes a striking piece of spoken word to the final section of the track, creating a sense of sensual melodrama.
Page himself contributes further to the band’s songwriting with Knowing That I’m Losing You, a beautifully conceived acoustic track which Led Zeppelin fans will recognise as having been re-titled Tangerine Zep’s third studio album, released in October 1970.
All the tracks from these sessions are not fully completed, and are [unknown]. And yet, they possess a distinct character, lending the listener [unknown] have happened had this line-up of The Yardbirds continued to play together.
“Yardbirds ’68” is scheduled to be released on November 5, and is available to purchase from Jimmy Page’s website.
There are three available formats for the album:
Here’s the album cover:
And here’s the inside of the gatefold sleeve: