The Yardbirds Announce New Lineup — Including Pre-Eric Clapton Guitarist Top Topham — and 2015 Tour Dates

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2015 at 4:10pm

They've had Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page in their ranks—and let's not forget the late Gypie Mayo and Hellecasters guitarist Jerry Donahue.

Now the Yardbirds are back in action, with a set of tour dates and a new lineup that features the group's pre-Clapton lead guitarist, Top Topham. He joins founding member and drummer Jim McCarty, keeper of the band's flame.

In addition to Topham and McCarty, the group's lineup now includes bassist Kenny Aaronson, Myke Scavone on blues harp, vocals and percussion and lead guitarist/singer John Idan, who performed on the Yardbirds' 2003 album, Birdland.

Of course, it is the Yardbirds' Sixties output for which the group remains famous. McCarty cofounded the band in London in 1963 with singer Keith Relf, rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, bassist Paul Samwell-Smith and Topham. The band went through a series of names—the Metropolitan Blues Quartet and then the Blue-Sounds—before settling on the Yardbirds as a tribute to jazz saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker and the freight-train vagabonds who hung around the London train yards.

Topham was just a lad when the Yardbirds formed. When his parents disapproved of his music career, he left the band and continued his studies, watching from the sidelines while the Yardbirds found fame during the British Invasion.

His spot was filled by a young electric blues protege—Clapton. Soon after, the band began to turn away from blues and toward the more lucrative opportunities presented by pop music. Unhappy with the band's new direction, Clapton departed and was replaced by Beck. Jimmy Page joined the lineup as a bass player, but when Beck went off to start his own group, Page assumed lead guitar duties. Eventually, he found himself leading the group, which then morphed into the New Yardbirds before becoming Led Zeppelin.

McCarty, Dreja and Samwell-Smith regrouped for a 25th anniversary show in 1985 and went on to form the band Box of Frogs, which occasionally included Beck and Page. The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and reformed later in the Nineties.

The group's tour itinerary is below. More dates will be announced shortly.

2015 Yardbirds Tour Dates

April 03 - Norfolk, CT - Infinity Hall
April 04 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun
April 06 - New York, NY - BB King Blues Club & Grill
April 09 - Bethlehem, PA - Musikfest Cafe
April 10 - Beverley, MA - Larcom Theatre
April 11 - Plymouth, NH – The Flying Monkey
April 12 - Newton, NJ – The Newton Theatre


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

The Rolling Stones Premiere "Brown Sugar" Outtake Featuring Eric Clapton on Slide Guitar (6/3/2015)
The Rolling Stones have released a mesmerizing outtake of "Brown Sugar," featuring none other than Eric Clapton on slide guitar. It will appear on the upcoming reissue of the band's legendary 1971 album, Sticky Fingers. The outtake was recorded...
John Lennon and Eric Clapton Perform The Beatles' "Yer Blues" in Toronto — Video (9/14/2015)
This week in 1969—September 13, 1969, in fact—John Lennon performed at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, Canada, with a hastily assembled backing band. The band, which performed under the "Plastic Ono Band" moniker, included Eric Clapton on lead guita...
George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr Reunite to Play The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" in 1987 — Video (7/29/2015)
As any rock fan knows, the Beatles never got back together. What you might not know is that even partial Beatles reunions and "near misses" were frustratingly rare back when such things mattered (prior to George Harrison's death in 2001). Which ...
Eric Clapton's 10 Best Guitar Moments (8/14/2015)
There was a time when the name Eric Clapton meant one thing and one thing only: guitar god. His six-string exploits with the Yardbirds, followed by a pair of mind-blowing 1966 albums—Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton and Fresh Cream—briefly put ...
Eric Clapton Plays “Cocaine” at Royal Albert Hall in a Preview from 'Slowhand at 70' — Video (9/10/2015)
Eric Clapton has just posted the first full-length clip from his upcoming concert film, Eric Clapton: Live at the Royal Albert Hall—Slowhand at 70. It shows him and his band playing the JJ Cale classic “Cocaine,” and you can watch it below. Slow...
Eric Clapton Borrows The Beatles' "Day Tripper" Riff in Cover of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" (9/22/2015)
The late Ray Charles—the great American singer, songwriter, musician and composer—was born on this date (September 23) in 1930. No, this factoid doesn't have a lot to do with guitars. It does, however, remind me of John Mayall and the Bluesbrea...
Dear Guitar Hero: Todd Rundgren Talks Eric Clapton's Psychedelic Gibson SG, Changing Influences and More (6/16/2015)
He’s a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer who’s had his own hits and worked with such artists as Cheap Trick, Sean Cassidy and Meat Loaf, but what Guitar World readers really want to know is… A lot of what I’ve heard of your new albu...
Cream-Era Eric Clapton Explains How His Gibson 'The Fool' SG Works — Video (9/17/2015)
Did you know "the electronic guitar is often dismissed as nothing but a jangling noise machine incapable of subtlety or delicacy"? Neither did I—until I saw this 1968 video of Eric Clapton sitting peacefully on stage prior to a Cream show as bas...
Eric Clapton and Duane Allman's Isolated Guitar Tracks from "Layla" (4/13/2015)
We recently shared our story about Eric Clapton's isolated lead guitar track from the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." This, of course, reminded us of the equally fascinating lead guitar and vocal track from Derek and the Dominos' classi...
Eric Clapton to Be Inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame (2/19/2015)
Eric Clapton has been tapped for induction in the Blues Hall of Fame. He joins Fifties rock and roller Little Richard and Atlanta blues singer Tommy Brown as a 2015 inductee. In selecting Clapton, the Blues Foundation noted not only his many mus...
Eric Clapton Premieres Jack Bruce Tribute Song, "For Jack" (10/27/2014)
As we reported over the weekend, former Cream bassist Jack Bruce died Saturday, October 25, at age 71. Earlier today, his former Bluesbreakers, Powerhouse and Cream bandmate, Eric Clapton, shared a brief instrumental track in honor of Bruce. You...
Is Eric Clapton's New 'Planes, Trains and Eric' DVD His Final Tour Document? (8/8/2014)
A forthcoming film of Eric Clapton's 2014 world tour might just be a document of the guitarist's final tour — ever. The DVD, which is titled Planes, Trains and Eric, documents the Far and Middle Eastern leg of Clapton's tour, intercutting backst...
Eric Clapton Premieres New Song, "Train to Nowhere," from J.J. Cale Tribute Album 'The Breeze' — Exclusive (7/22/2014)
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Train to Nowhere," a track from The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. The album, which will be released July 29 by Bushbranch Records/Surfdog Records, features 16 Cale songs—from "Call...
Eric Clapton Discusses His Star-Studded J.J. Cale Tribute Album, 'The Breeze' — Exclusive Interview (7/22/2014)
This is an excerpt from the September 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus features on the Black Keys, Judas Priest, 17 Amazing practice amps, columns, tabs and reviews of new gear from Epiphone, ESP Guitars, Visual Sound...