60 Years Ago: Clapton Joins The Yardbirds
05 Oct 2023
This month marks the 60th anniversary of Eric Clapton joining the Yardbirds, a pivotal moment in rock history. As documented in Six-String Stories
, Clapton was invited to join the band early in October 1963, but it wasn't until he watched them at the CrawDaddy Club in Richmond-upon-Thames on the 13th of October that he formally accepted the offer.
His first official concert with the band followed on the 18th of October at Studio '51 in Central London, and from that point onwards, music history was made.
At the time, the Yardbirds were gaining prominence in the British blues scene. Clapton, already a respected guitarist at age 18, replaced the younger Anthony "Top" Topham, who at 16 years old could not commit to the band full-time. Over the following two years, Clapton's virtuosity and deep blues sensibility were central to the band's success.
Clapton's tenure with the Yardbirds saw the release of their first two albums and hit singles 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl' and 'For Your Love.' His raw talent and innovative style significantly influenced the band's direction, setting the stage for legendary guitarists Jeff Beck and, later, Jimmy Page, who joined the Yardbirds following Clapton's departure in 1965.
'Though we weren't yet in the big-money league, we were making enough for me to buy my first serious guitar, a cherry red Gibson ES-335, which was the instrument of my dreams.' - Eric Clapton
Clapton's stint with the band showcased his exceptional skills for the first time, earning him his 'Slowhand' nickname, and laying the groundwork for a legendary career in music that's been celebrated in 2023 with Clapton's 'Sixty Years Further on up the Road' tour.
You can find out more about the recently announced Publisher's Copies of Six-String Stories
, and you can secure one of the last 200 copies of Sunshine Of Your Love