Yardbirds Founding Guitarist Anthony Topham Passed Away at 75
via UKRockHistory / Youtube
The Yardbirds‘ original guitarist, Anthony “Top” Topham, passed away at the age of 75.
His publicist confirmed his passing via statement. It says:
“Sanderson Rasjid, born Antony ‘Top’ Topham passed away peacefully on Monday, January 23rd surrounded by his family. Born in London on July 3rd 1947, he was 75 years old and had been fighting dementia in his final years.”
In 1963, Topham, together with his schoolmates, drummer Jim McCarty, bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, singer Keith Relf, and rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, co-founded the Yardbirds. At that time, Topham was only 15 years old.
However, he needed to focus on his art degree, thus leaving the band after only a year Eric Clapton, the first of the Yardbirds’ lead guitarists, along with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, who would go on to achieve international recognition, took Topham’s position. In a previous interview, Topham later admitted:
“I didn’t regret leaving [the Yardbirds] because they’d moved away from the blues music that I was interested in.
“Even if I’d stayed with them to become professional, I think I would have left later for the same reasons Eric left.”
Topham collaborated with several other great artists during his post-Yardbirds career. Such artists include Marc Bolan, Peter Green, and Christine McVie. He had to leave the music business in 1970 due to his health problem, but he came back in 1988 to establish Topham-McCarty with his former Yardbirds bandmate, McCarty.
Topham rejoined the Yardbirds as an official member once more in the final stages of his career, replacing Dreja as rhythm guitarist in 2013. After serving for two years, Topham made his last exit from the group.