The Ballad of a Yardbird
by Sam Leighty
William Keith Relf was born March 22, 1943 in Richmond, Surrey, England. He was the eldest child and only son of William Relf and Mary Vickers. Relf accomplished a lot musically in a very short life, known as the lead singer in The Yardbirds.
I first heard of The Yardbirds in 16 magazine when I was 8 years old. It was in November of 1964. There was a little section in the back pages giving addresses of fan clubs where you could write to new and upcoming groups. A publicity still of The Yardbirds with Clapton was in there with an address you could write to. The publicity picture was interesting. Clapton had a "close cropped" haircut and Keith's hair was super long. Of course, this has nothing to do with music. A few months went by and that was all the info I had on The Yardbirds. Then in the spring of 1965 a couple of singles were on KXOK and WIL in the St Louis area where I lived. They were "For Your Love" and "Heart Full Of Soul." When I first heard these records, I thought they were new songs by The Animals. That doesn't mean they weren't killer hit records and very novel in their way. The flipsides of those records are both straight blues- "Got To Hurry" and "Steeled Blues." Eric Clapton was lead guitarist on "For Your Love" b/w "Got To Hurry." Jeff Beck was lead guitarist on "Heart Full of Soul" b/w "Steeled Blues." Another Yardbirds record that caught my attention came a year or two later when an old Howlin' Wolf blues classic "Smokestack Lighting" was number one in the local top 10 for just a few days. I don't know if it was a flipside of a single or if it was an album track being broadcast. It's from the Five Live Yardbirds set and Keith Relf is just a freakin' monster on this track with his vocal and harp. As archivist Richard Mackay of the Yardbirds World site once said "You were the Guv, Keith."
Not only was Keith a superb harp player and singer, he was also The Yardbirds' leader. Keith had played guitar in the fifties. In the early sixties, he got caught up in the greater London blues boom. He started collecting blues records. The Yardbirds cut their teeth on Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Terry, Brownie Mcghee. Keith started playing harmonica. He got together with his freinds Jim McCarty (drums) Paul Samwell-Smith (bass) and Anthony "Top" Topham (lead guitar) and they formed a four peice group in 1962. Chris Dreja (rhythm guitar) was added to the group later and had been practicing up his Bo Diddley and Jimmy Reed licks. Topham left the group in 1963 and he was replaced by a young Eric Clapton.
Keith Relf was a musician, not a rock star. Yet he has been more or less described as one of The British Invasion's madmen along with people like Viv Prince and Keith Moon. I contacted Jim McCarty (original Yardbirds' drummer and a founding member of the current lineup of the group) and I asked him about this. Jim said "Keith was a little bit strange. But he wasn't a hellraiser. He drank a bit in the early days." But Keith definately had an effect on people around him, and on those who came into contact with him. Several of the songs on the CD's by the reconstituted current Yardbirds seem to be about Keith Relf. We all know about The Yardbirds' general history- Clapton, Beck, Page, etc., 1963-1968. I'll try not to be repetitious with things you already know. Our focus here is on Relf and an overview of his music.
Giorgio Gomelsky was a "crazy Italian/Russian Castro looking character" according to Chris Dreja. Gomelsky managed many groups and musicians who made up the early sixties blues scene in greater London. He managed The Yardbirds in their early days with Eric Clapton. He featured them as the house band at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond when The Rolling Stones started having hit singles and they went on to greater fame. They had been the house band there for some time.
When The Yardbirds started playing at The Crawdaddy Club, Gomelsky began to notice signature characteristics in the overall sound of the group. Gomelsky would sometimes sit down with The Yardbirds and encourage lead guitar feedback, power chords, the use of rhythm and bass guitars as lead instruments, a dominant use of the bass drum and the miking of the drums. And of course, the use of small percussion and the blues harp. Gomelsky encouraged the 10 minute songs too.
But again, they were Keith's band for sure. By 1963-1964, there were at least a hundred young R&B bands in greater London. These bands were formed out of the offices, art colleges and factories by young guys who bought those Chess, Sun and Atlantic 45's being imported into the UK by Merchant Seaman and American Military Personnel. Of all those bands, research indicates The Yardbirds were one of the first.
In 1964, a live Yardbirds set was recorded at The Marquee Club. It was The Five Live Yardbirds album, which featured aggressive and exciting music from The Yardbirds as a unit. It is virtually as much a showcase for Keith Relf on harp and vocal as it is for a young Eric Clapton who plays lead guitar with almost unrehearsed youthful energy all throughout the album which was released in The UK and in Europe but only four songs from the LP were released in the USA on the Having A Rave up With The Yardbirds, which is kind of a repackaging. I bought those repackagings by many of those groups when I was only in grade school and junior high. Some of the songs on Five Live tend to feature Keith almost exclusively and he sounds really wicked.
Gomelsky arranged a 50 date tour of The British Isles by American blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson in 1963. The Yardbirds were to be his backing group. There is a live album from the shows, appropriately titled Sonny Boy Williamson and the Yardbirds. The Yardbirds offer tight backup and the album is a real treat because it showcases Sonny Boy in the style record collectors are familiar with from his outings on Checker and Trumpet. Williamson played harp and sang. Among other things, he was promoted as "The Menace" and "Little Boy Blue." This is Clapton-era Yardbirds this time and Clapton's proclivity for straight blues is obvious throughout all of the songs. Drummer Jim McCarty recalls Sonny Boy "took a shine" to The Yardbirds and he enjoyed the guys' playing very much. The Yardbirds probably played an opening set with Keith on harp and vocal. Then Sonny Boy would come out and Keith would sort of shout and moan and clap his hands in the background on Sonny Boy's set. I wonder if there could be soundboard tape somewhere of Sonny Boy and Keith trading harp riffs?
In the early sixties London blues scene there were seminal guys like John Mayall and Cyril Davies who were harp players. After The Beatles released "Love Me Do" with its harp verse intros and solo, British Invasion Bands and American Garage Rock Bands all tried to feature someone in the group playing harp on a couple of songs. You've heard of Brian Jones and Paul Jones. Spencer Davis played harp. Ray Thomas was originally a harp player with The Denny Laine Moody Blues. He switched to flute in 1967. Roger Daltrey in The Who was a good harp player and The Kinks’ Ray Davies played the instrument sometimes. Barry & The Remains, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Beau Brummels and The Thirteenth Floor Elevators all featured band members who were good harp players. Peter Tork, John Kay and John Fogerty played harp. It was Keith who really rocked.
The Yardbirds only did three contracted full album releases between 1964 and 1968. All of the others are very fine, but they are repackagings of B-sides and album tracks. The Live Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page album released in 1971 shows Keith and the band cutting loose with their best stuff. Lenny Kaye says in the liner notes- "Keith's voice and harp have never sounded better." This album wasn't released until after The Yardbirds broke up. The three albums they did when they were still together were Five Live Yardbirds, The Yardbirds and Little Games. Many people dig the peanut butter and mayonaise out of Little Games. It consists of songs taken from demos The group didn't like. Unfortunately, there's no Relf harmonica on the album anywhere.
I've mentioned The Live Yardbirds featuring Jimmy Page, Five Live Yardbirds and various tracks from albums and singles. The Roger The Engineer/Over Under Sideways Down LP album (it is actually titled The Yardbirds) is a studio album released in the summer of 1966. The Yardbirds were a live band, let's face it. They were dynamite in concert. And the current lineup of the reconstituted group is very impressive. Yet Roger The Engineer shows interesting aspects of the group as songwriters and being creative in the studio. Keith sings lead on everything except for "The Nazz Are Blue" which is sung by Jeff Beck and "I Can't Make Your Way" sounds like some kind of overdubbed or double tracked vocal. It's a great song all the same, whoever happens to be singing lead. Keith is showcased at his best on "Lost Woman" and "Rack My Mind" where he plays harp and sings. Two interesting songs are "Farewell" and "Turn Into Earth" which foreshadow Keith and Jim's work with Renaissance. Although Keith usually shook a tambourine or a set of marracas onstage, it is Chris who often goes over finished Yardbirds tracks and adds little percussion diddley-shits. Chris also did the "Roger The Engineer" cover artwork.
There is a set of BBC recordings of The Yardbirds 1965-1966 Jeff Beck lineup. It's hotter than hell. These were studio recordings done at the BBC in one take for radio. So if you know what I mean, it was live and it wasn't live. There may have been a small studio audience in attendance but it was all "quiet please, on the air." I had a cassette of these performances and Keith is both remarkable and spontaneous in the set. One of the highlights is an acoustic version of an English folk song called "Hushabye." Keith sings and plays bongos. It's lovely. Jane Relf recalls this as the first song Keith learned back in the UK's skiffle days. Yet another version of "Smokestack Lightning" is here and the song lasts about 10 minutes with Keith's harp and Jeff's feedback guitar charging along like twin freight trains. There is "Over Under Sideways Down," two versions of "Heart Full of Soul," exciting Jeff Beck slide guitar on "Five on Board," "I Ain't Done Wrong," "Steeled Blues" and "The Sun is Shining." There is also such treats and set mainstays as "I'm a Man," "Evil Hearted You," "The Train Kept A'Rollin'," "Spoonful," "My Girl Sloopy," "Scratch My Back," "I Wish You Would," "Shapes of Things" and lots more. The whole set of songs takes up a 90 minute cassette at least. Keith's harp and singing are in damn good form. And the ballad "I've Been Trying" sounds like the sort of soul music ballad you heard coming out of your car radio on a sultry 1965 afternoon. Most of the attempts to commercialize both Keith's and the Yardbirds music worked out only adequately. This time out the management and production media manipulators behind Keith and the group hit the note and they get an A+. Of course it's Keith who does a grand job on this track.
In 1965, The Yardbirds were in America and they went to Sun Records in Memphis to record their version of The Johnny Burnette Trio's "The Train Kept A Rollin'." They wanted to record there because Sun had the right equipment for Rockabilly "slap echo." Keith was very drunk. Producer/label head Sam Phillips liked Jeff's guitar playing, Paul's bass playing and Jim's drumming. Phillips was annoyed at Keith and said afterwards "that singer has got to go" and "you'll have to sort out your singer."
The Yardbirds were scheduled for a Westchester or Oxford sort of gig just as "The Yardbirds/Roger The Engineer/Over Under Sideways Down" master tapes were finished and being mixed down. This was during the cold war era and watch it, because the world was divided between The Clampetts and The Mrs. Drysdales! You were one or the other! So the guys went on and Keith was "shit faced drunk." He played some harp and got to the first lines of the song and fell over backwards. Later on backstage, Paul Samwellsmith was furious and quit The Yardbirds in disgust. This is when Jimmy Page was brought in to play bass temporarily for a few weeks while Chris practiced up on the bass. Then it was switch Chris over to bass and there would be two lead guitars, Jeff and Jimmy. So the stories about that gig have sparked off rumors -"Paul Samwell-Smith and Keith Relf didn't get along."
But the truth is they got along famously. Everyone in the group was good friends. Paul had been considering leaving the group for a long time and pursuing a career as a producer. He didn't like being on the road. Casual listeners don't know Paul produced the Yardbirds records although for some reason Simon Napier-Bell is given a co-production credit on a lot of their labels and sleeves of the 1965 and 1966 releases by the group. This was some kind of music business fluke. Napier-Bell may have had some sort of peripheral input on a few tracks they recorded. I don't think he "produced" their records! Mainly, it was Paul Samwell-Smith who produced them with a lot of input from all of the band members.
So Jimmy came into The Yardbirds as a temporary bass player. There are various stories about that. Some say he went to double lead alongside Jeff Beck right away. There is footage of the group from French TV playing Live with Jimmy on bass and at least one UK rock and roll TV show with Jimmy playing bass. The Yardbird's "Beck/Page" lineup developed not long afterward as the hottest twin lead guitar team in mid-sixties rock. Those who saw this lineup in concert were very impressed. Dreja switched over to the bass. This lineup only produced three release recordings. "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" (a U.S. hit in the fall of 1966), "Psycho Daisies" (a strange B-side which crops up here and there) and "Stroll On" (an exciting double lead rehash of the group's earlier "Train Kept A Rollin' used in the Blow Up movie soundtrack and shown being lip synched by the group in the same movie). An outtake of "Smokestack Lightning" is rumored to be in the can somewhere. Allegedly, Page and Led Zeppelin used the main riff for the "How Many More Times" chord progression. Beck left the Yardbirds in November 1966. Since then, there have been stories Jeff was pissed off at the Yardbirds for being lousy musicians and at Relf for being a lousy singer. That's bullshit. There are other accounts to the effect that Jeff has tinnitus and is forced to take a brief hiatus from loud music every 2 to 3 years. There is an interview in a Yardbirds Documentary showing Jeff recalling Keith with respect and esteem (now sadly removed from YouTube).
Keith sang or wrote many lyrics with The Yardbirds which often seemed to indicate in one way or another, the thinking of the "hippies." Lyrics and songs such as "Shapes of Things" "Mister You're a Better Man Than I" "Over Under Sideways Down" "What Do You Want" "Ever Since The World Began" "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" "Think About It" And most of these were written by Keith and/or various members of The Yardbirds. Manfred Mann drummer Mike Hugg, along with his wife, wrote "Mister You're a Better Man Than I" and gave the song to The Yardbirds thinking the song suited their style better than Manfred Mann. Keith was a very individual kind of person and he became very fascinated with the ethos of the counterculture/freaks/hippies. The Jeff Beck era Yardbirds made a lot of friends on their tours of America. The Yardbirds and Keith had their psychedelic implications in the mind’s eye of many fans. The truth is some drugs were used a couple of times. Keith was taken to a Love-in in a San Francisco park in 1966 by some friends of the group. He was given Peyote once and later, psilocybin mushrooms once by these friends on the group's tours. But The Yardbirds were not an acid band like the Grateful Dead and The Jefferson Airplane. I'm only pointing out all of this to illustrate that it is for the most part a misconception The Yardbirds were psychedelic. Jim McCarty said in hindsight, "people thought we were acid heads which we weren't." Actually they were English "pints and darts" beer drinkers!
Arguably, Keith's harmonica and singing were as important to the sixties Yardbirds sound as were the lead guitars of Clapton, Beck and Page. Of course, a dominant lead guitar was important to their sound. you'll notice in most of the old clips and old tapes of the band they are careful not to crowd the lead guitar too much on solos and fills. And they were probably aware each guitarist had a following of people who came to the gig just to see Jeff Beck or Jimmy, etc. There were times in concert when Keith would really takeoff like some kind of an alien from an anti-matter dimension on songs like "I'm A Man," "Smokestack Lightning," "I Ain't Done Wrong," "New York City Blues" and "The Train Kept A Rollin'." I know a lot of Yardbirds freaks, myself included, who will always say it's wrong to think the group was only as good as its guitar players.
Back in the mid-sixties, nearly all rock and roll was marketed through the medium of the 45 rpm record or "hit single" on top 40 radio (offshore pirate radio in the British Isles and Europe). The music was publicized and promoted through fanzines like Tiger Beat, Date Book and 16. There were also publications like Dig and Hit Parader. And there were lots of music TV shows like Shindig, Hullabaloo and Upbeat. Keith was a heartthrob with his Brian Jones hair. 5 or 6 young girls would holler "hello Keith!" at him every time he walked into a bar. Friends say he hated all of this! They say girls would plaster themselves at center stage where they could look right up at him. Yes, Keith did think all of this was a nuisance. He was a guy from Richmond, Surrey. He wanted The Yardbirds to be known for their music.
One thing British TV had that none of our local TV stations had where I grew up were shows in the counterculture's pre-Sgt.Pepper incarnation back in like 1965-1966. These shows were sort of "zany" and "hip coffeehouse." TV shows such as The Scene At 6:30 and A Whole Scene Going On which was MC’d by Barry Fantoni, who was an excellent and intelligent MC with very good knowledge of the rock and roll of that time. We'll forgive him for skateboarding onstage or tinkering with battery operated robots on camera. The Yardbirds were guests on a summer of 1966 show not long before Paul Samwell-Smith left the group. They lip synched "Over Under Sideways Down" which was their newest hit single at that time. The show is themed around the "mideastern/Indian/Asian" guitar sound used by Jeff Beck on the song. Fantoni talks about The Beatles and The Rolling Stones use of the sitar on a few songs and an overall encroaching influence of classical Indian music on rock in general. Ravi Shankar performs in the show too, accompanied by tamboura and tabla drums. The Yardbirds sit down on camera and attentively listen in appreciation as Ravi and his group perform. There is a session later in the show for the group to offer questions to Ravi and commentary. Paul and Jeff ask a few questions and make a few remarks. It's Keith who's the most interesting of all to listen to. His remarks seem especially heady and cerebral. You get an idea from all this of what Keith would be like in the next seat on a train or a bus. I know you're all gonna say it's just not a real rap session without Fritos and Ringo. Having Keith involved makes it seem really cool and like there is definitely something to it. Keith's questions and comments take up more time than Paul and Jeff but you'll want to rewind. Keith was a pretty cool guy.
You might not know Keith recorded several singles while he was still in The Yardbirds and in later years too. Perhaps the most interesting of these 45's is his version of Bob Lind's "Mr. Zero" b/w "Knowing," his debut single in 1966. Lind was a country-inflected American singer/songwriter. He was a Nashville Pop artist in the same overall vein as Ray Stevens, The Statler Brothers, Roger Miller and Billy Joe Royal. Lind had a big hit with "Elusive Butterfly of Love." Lind penned "Mr. Zero" and it actually sounds more rock than country. Keith gives the song an exceptionally good vocal delivery. "Mr. Zero" is a great song in the "boys and girls in love" mode of practically all commercial rock and roll up to the present day. It's supposed to be a haunting song about Mr. Zero losing his wife to another guy. Musically, it's a good job. Both "Mr. Zero" and "Knowing" are cool production numbers with a lot of instrumentation and Jimmy Page playing jangly chord lead. For a singer who by that time was relating much heavier subject matter, these songs come across nicely. Another single was the 1966 "Shapes In My Mind" b/w "Blue Sands." "Shapes In My Mind" is an interesting period peice in which Keith seems to start out singing about freaking out badly on acid. But after singing a few lines, he gets to the point that it's Condition Red because his woman left him. "I close my eyes and shapes are forming in my brain." Like "Mr. Zero" and "Knowing," this is a great song. "Blue Sands" is a harmonica instrumental consisting of stolen Little Walter riffs with conservative backing. It is actually by a group called The Outsiders (NOT the same group as The American garage band The Outsiders). It's a damn good track, but not genuinely by Keith. Make no mistake, these are a couple of great singles. All in all, Yardbirds manager Simon Napier-Bell and new producer Mickey Most may have been trying to put Keith into a Paul Jones mould. Paul Jones was a cool guy in his own way, but Keith occupied his own niche. This would've never worked out.
But again, the Yardbirds were Keith's band. He took pride that The Yardbirds were out to win people over with their music. Not with cheezy publicity ploys and scandals and publicity games involving image, etc.. He says so himself when he's being interviewed in between songs on an April 1967 Beat Beat Beat (German TV). Truthfully, Richard Mackay (from Yardbirds World) tells me The Yardbirds really did a rare but occasional promotional gag, such as dressing as medieval knights for an early video or some bit of business at the San Remo Pop Festival in 1968. But on the whole the group generated almost no silly publicity or scandals.
As a side note, Keith was in frail health for much of his life. He had asthma and emphysema. He was hospitalized for this three times. He was married to April Liversidge from South Africa on April 22, 1966. They had two sons. There was Daniel (born Sept. 1967) and Jason (born June 1969).
When The Yardbirds broke up in July 1968, Keith Relf and Jim McCarty formed a very nice acoustic duo called "Together." Together did a movie soundtrack and eventually Keith and Jim enlisted John Hawken, Louis Cennamo and Keith's sister Jane Relf to form the acoustic/electric/classical/folk oriented Renaissance. Jane was a very fine singer, believed to sing TV commercial jingles in the US, but information on her is sporadic as she shuns the spotlight.
Renaissance toured extensively and did two superb albums. After a couple of years, Renaissance dissolved over about three months. The original members of the group all left gradually and were replaced one by one. Geoffrey and Annie Haslam took over the band and they were mega-talented. There could even be more fans out there who are familiar with their version of Renaissance than with the original. The new lineup probably kept the name to get bookings. I do think that after a short time went by they should have stopped using the name. From a purely promotional and box office point of view, Renaissance was due to be a top selling item because Keith, Jim and Jane were in the group. Still initially, people were buying albums or going to concerts because according to a 1971 Hit Parader, "it's good to hear that voice again." The original Renaissance regrouped later on in the seventies as Illusion. It was Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, Jane Relf, John Hawken, Louie Cennamo and the fine guitarist John Knightsbridge.
After Renaissance, Keith went with the hard rock band Armageddon. Keith also produced Hunter Muskett, Amber and Saturnalia. He produced Medicine Head and played bass for them.
John Fiddler is a veteran of the UK music scene who sings something like Keith did (though he doesn't copy Keith). Fiddler was in a band produced by Keith in the seventies. He plays a bit of harmonica and guitar. John teamed up with Chris on rhythm guitar, Paul on bass and Jim on drums for The Box of Frogs albums in the ‘80's. Jeff and Jimmy sat in on a few songs too. The songs utilize a kind of computerized 1980's feel. There are some artificial percussion tracks, synthesizers and tape loops. There is a big flotilla of all kinds of guys from the North American and UK/Europe heavy rock scenes sitting in like Joe Walsh, Rory Gallagher and Max Middleton. Box of Frogs did two albums, in 1984 and 1986. Some people thought it wasn't quite The Yardbirds without Keith though. And these are great albums but perhaps a little bit too cookie cutter perfect in the song writing and the playing. But you know, this was in the era of digital phone jacks and the first compact discs. Cable TV was coming into more and more homes. Why not a digital Yardbirds!? Some rock journalists suggested this was an "almost" Yardbirds. Paul Samwell-Smith disavowed the Yardbirds connection in some remarks to the press. Respectfully, not everybody agreed with him. Yet looking back, maybe Chris, Paul and Jim did not want to kick out the jams as kind of a "last chance on the turnpike" Yardbirds. I enjoyed those albums and to tell you the truth, I wouldn't have minded one bit if it morphed into the 1986 Yardbirds! The Box of Frogs albums are very good though and the present Yardbirds lineup plays many of the songs from those albums.
Chris and Jim put together a new Yardbirds lineup in 1994. They've done 2 CD's and they've played Saturday Night Live. The new group is known for long sets with a light show. They usually play at least half a dozen old songs from the sixties Yardbirds in any given concert set. There have been various musicians who would come and go from the new group since 1994. The current lineup consists of Jim McCarty (drums), Chris Dreja (rhythm guitar), Ben King (lead guitar), Andy Mitchell (vocal and harp), David Smale (bass). All three of the new guys have a strong orientation towards Chicago blues. All of the band members are excellent songwriters. The group has written several songs which seem to be about Keith Relf, but you need to know what to look for in the lyrics. I will say this is the Yardbirds and they are not rooted in the past. They can and sometimes do play all of those old songs but with new touches and flourishes. They play lots of new songs too. The new guys in the group play their own styles.
Keith was originally slated to be part of the lineup for Illusion not long before he died. He had been rehearsing his singing and guitar. Keith's last single was recorded not long before his passing was the eerie and beautiful "All The Falling Angels" b/w "Together Now" (later released in 1989). I was always a fan of the Yardbirds but I didn't realize Keith had such fine vocal range and power. The technical and vocal quality of his singing was right up there with anybody in the business (and he produced many more groups and singers than I have listed here in this article).
On May 14, 1976 Keith was doing some electric guitar, practicing in his basement studio at his house in London. Unfortunately, Keith could've stepped onto a metal grating or maybe his clothes were a bit damp from rain outdoors. At any rate, something went wrong perhaps with the wiring in the guitar and amp. Keith got a big jolt of electricity and was tragically killed, as The electric shock caused heart failure. Even more terrible, Keith's son found him slumped over the next day.
That was on March 22nd, 1976. "All The Falling Angels" was released posthumously in 1989. As for me, I DON'T think it's an ode to a succession of rock star and celebrity deaths. I think Keith was singing about all of us and how life goes in general! It was a terrible accident. But it happened, unfortunately. Yet large numbers of people heard plenty of great music coming from Keith Relf in his lifetime. And the records and CDs survive. They are among the most fascinating you could ask for. Keith Relf, if you ask me, was a musician and NOT a rock star. The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
I'm one of many fans of The Yardbirds/Keith Relf's music who feel Keith never quite got his due. Yes it's true, there was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1992 (April Relf and Keith's son Danny accepted the award for Keith) and there are actually several websites about Keith. But it would be nice if Keith and his music loomed a little larger in an all-encompassing and mainstream view of rock and roll, like those coffee table histories of rock they published sometimes or in magazines that concentrate on only a few major label acts. He deserves more attention than that when we all reminisce and go over "the sixties," "the seventies" and "the British Invasion." All in all, his contributions to Rock and Roll are important and deserves more recognition.
I've assembled a listing of You Tube links for Yardbirds and Keith Relf oriented videos. I do not claim this list is definitive. I can promise Keith is the lead singer on each and every one. There are interesting multiples on a couple of items.
Keith Relf (solo and various groups)
Renaissance "I'd Love To Love You" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhfuOSHVIow
Armageddon "Paths and Planes" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3Jd6U_P-JI
Armageddon "Silver Tightrope" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I6nF5B7cAA
Armageddon "Lonesome Kinda Feeling" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgGtDNRtoy4
Keith Relf (Solo)- "All The Falling Angels" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zHU5NUlm8s
Various Yardbirds clips (some are lip synched but many are live)
Yardbirds "Louise" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NghfjuxvvPnw
Yardbirds "I Wish You Would" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF7YCspZU_M
Yardbirds "For Your Love" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU5zqidlxMQ
Yardbirds "Heart Full of Soul" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9mQkFpkShg
Yardbirds "The Train Kept a Rollin'" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxseRFOFO-0
Yardbirds "I'm A Man" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF2FWhq2haQ
Yardbirds "Still I'm Sad" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF2FWhq2haQ
Yardbirds "Shapes of Things" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSix9tDVbro
Yardbirds "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLv7viCMGo8
Yardbirds "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX_DpMWXBQo
Yardbirds "I'm Confused-Dazed&Confused" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58mQvW0ROag
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