Jim McCarty Shares Why Jimmy Page Refused To Join Yardbirds
The Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty recently shared his favorite songs from the band and revealed why Jimmy Page declined to join them at first.
In a recent interview on VRP Rocks’ segment My 5 Favorites, McCarty admitted that one of the hard times for the Yardbirds was when Eric Clapton departed. The band then turned to Page when they were looking for a replacement. McCarty recalled about the decision:
“We wanted Jimmy Page because Jimmy used to come and see us. We met Jimmy, and he was a nice guy. But he was very busy doing studio recordings, playing around London Studios, playing on all the old records in those days. He wasn’t interested in doing a band, so he said, ‘Oh, well, I recommend my understudy.’
“‘This guy, Jeff Beck, who does sessions when I can’t.’ He was playing with the band called The Tridents, so Giorgio went down to see him, and we got him in for an audition. It was great, obviously.”
When asked if Beck’s addition to the band changed their musical direction, McCarty shared:
“Absolutely, yeah. Maybe his image did quite fit; he was a bit rough-looking. He had to go and cut his hair and get some new clothes because he was covered in oil from going under his cars, you know, because he loved maintaining cars, the hot rods, and all that stuff.”
Although Page initially refused to be in the band, in June 1966, he joined the Yardbirds as a bassist and later shifted to second lead guitar alongside Beck. In addition to his stories, McCarty also revealed that Clapton was the “cockiest” among them. Watch the interview below.