5 Questions: Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds

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To purchase tickets to see the Yardbirds (www.theyardbirds.com) perform at the Lynn Auditorium, along with Eric Burdon and The Animals, on May 10, 2018, visit www.lynnauditorium.com

5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –

The Yardbirds are more than a Rock band…they are an institution…which, in the brief period from 1963 to 1968, made an indelible mark on the “Shapes of Things” to come.

The Yardbirds — electrifying, eclectic and way ahead of their time – melded heavy rock, wild jams, and an improvisatory feel, and continue to influence generations of bands. Go to a Yardbirds show and you’ll find crowds filled with 20-somethings to baby boomers all thrilling to this band’s legendary power. Watching The Yardbirds in action is experiencing rock’n’roll history.

SD: How did the drums become your instrument of choice?

JM: When I was a teen, I was in a semi-military Boy’s Brigade. I played the snare drum. I quite liked it and it led me to become a rock n roll drummer. After hearing music from Elvis, Johnny Cash, and the Everly Brothers, I knew I wanted to be a professional drummer. 

SD: You have a new CD “Walking in the Wild Land” and a new memoir coming out. Which one excites you more?

JM: I am not sure. I am excited about them both. This is my third solo album and I feel like it has really progressed and definitely sounds better than the first two. I feel like we really captured a great sound on my vocals. The book is exciting too. It’s been in the works for a long time and I had a great time writing it. I‘ve had so some many stories and I was always being asked to pen them.  I worked with English author Dave Thompson and he really helped me put all my thoughts down and make a book.

SD: The Yardbirds have had some great line-ups over the years. Do you have a favorite one?

JM: Musically, I would say when Jeff Beck was part of the line-up. We had great chemistry and during that time is when most of our hits were made. It was with that line-up (myself, Chris Dreja, Jeff Beck, Paul Samwell-Smith and Keith Relf) that was responsible for making the Yardbirds sound. It was a bit different and unusual and I loved it. Jeff was a master on the guitar!

SD: What was the first concert you attended?

JM: I remember seeing the Shadows in South London and English guitarist Joe Brown. As for my first concert, I was about 13 years old and it was a local band playing around the corner from where I lived. I remember them just playing instrumental music. It was great fun and I remember standing so close to them watching in awe as they played. 

SD: The Yardbirds continue to appeal to new and old fans. Why do you think that is so?

JM: I think we have a very strong repertoire that still stands up to today’s standards. The songs are still fresh and energetic. My band mates are all great and give a great performance. The show is really a great evening for all.


For more information about Jim, visit www.jamesmccarty.com. To purchase tickets to see the Yardbirds (www.theyardbirds.com) perform at the Lynn Auditorium, on May 10, 2018, visit www.lynnauditorium.com

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