Band set to play concerts in northeastern U.S.
By Mindy Rochwerg
February 13, 2015
Though the most recent version of the Yardbirds dissolved late last year, a new lineup has been announced for their spring tour to start on April 3 in Norfolk, CT.
The band will consist of founding member Top Topham (lead guitarist) together with Jim McCarty (drums), Kenny Aaronson (bass), Myke Scavone (blues harp, vocals and percussion), and John Idan (lead guitarist/singer), who performed on the Yardbird’s 2003 album Birdland.
The band was first established in London in 1963 by Topham, together with singer Keith Relf, rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja and bassist Paul Samwell-Smith. They were first known as the Metropolitan Blues Quartet, then as the Blue-Sounds, before finally becoming the Yardbirds. The name is a nod to jazz saxophone player Charlie “Bird” Parker and the freight train vagabonds who frequented the London rail yards.
According to Guitar World, Topham left the band when his parents disapproved of his career choice and missed out on all of the acclaim. Eric Clapton took his place, but he too eventually left and was replaced by Jeff Beck. Jimmy Page joined the band, first as its bass player, but took over as lead guitarist when Beck left to start his own group. The band eventually became the New Yardbirds, then Led Zeppelin.
Original bassist, Samwell-Smith, who had co-produced and engineered many of the band’s songs, left the band in 1966 to pursue a career in music production.
The band, whose first big hit was “For Your Love,” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and reformed later in the ‘90s.
Bassist Kenny Aaronson, who is in the lineup for the spring tour, was named “Bassist of the Year” by Rolling Stone magazine in 1988 and has toured and recorded with the likes of Bob Dylan, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Billy Squier, Foghat, HSAS (Sammy Hagar, Neil Schon, Kenny Aaronson, Michael Shrieve), Brian Setzer, Mick Taylor, Dave Edmunds, Robert Gordon, Graham Parker, Hall & Oates, Edgar Winter, Leslie West Band, Rick Derringer and more.