Dreja Describes the Songs
Not Talking": "Thats just the band
no guests involved. The track encompasses what
great energy the band has. Its got all those little
unexpected timing changes and loads of energy. Its
just a cracking track, reallyI love to play it.
Its dead honest the perfect opener. Its
not going to scare people that the Yardbirds have gone
all weird. And it says what we are live."
Out for Love": "When I heard the mix down
with Gypie in my studio, we said to each other, Its
giving me chills, making my spine tingle." Its
the guitar playing. This man is original he doesnt
go the obvious route. That guitar playing on that track
for my money is brilliant, so unique. We had a bit of
trouble with that track to start with. It was a bit of
a lame duck, so we went back and worked on the backing
track and its wonderful now. Its very Yardbirds,
with beautiful, unique guitar playing; strong track."
Nazz Are Blue": "Its the only 12-bar
blues on the album. We are sometimes known as a blues
band, but I dont know if thats quite the right
label for us. Of course, its all our roots. I think
this song has such a sense of energy to it. Its
sort of vintage Yardbirds in a way. Its got that
great huge rhythm section, then Skunk Baxter flies with
us on it."
Your Love": "This was a danger zone. I was
a bit skeptical about doing it again. We owe a lot to
that song because it sort of pulled us out from national
to international and set the template for us that
time change in the middle, the weirdness of it. Thank
God for Johnny Rzeznik. He has put such a personal interpretation
on it that its as though youre sitting in
the chair and hes singing it to you. And Alan put
that great harmonica tag on the end, which lifts us up."
Dont Tell Me Bout The News": "That
song is 21st century vintage Yardbirds: the
drumbeat and the guitar crescendos in the center of it
with the breaks. Its strong lyrically, and its
got that wonderful 12-bar time change. Weve just
started to road-test this one live, and its an instant
hit. It gets as good an ovation as Train Kept a
Rolling. Its got all those identifying stamps."
Adds McCarty: "The rave-up is still a major part
of our sound on stage, and it makes an appearance on this
Kept a Rolling": "Satrianis solo is
so interesting he sounds like a wasp in a bottle.
Its got so much energy you think its gonna
break the glass, but eventually it gets out. Thats
what you need for that song."
Saboteur": "This is a song about depression,
but even I dont really get that too much because
weve Yardbirdized it to such an extent. Its
just kind of a boogie-down, funk thinga nice song
to play for a live audience. I like the spatial quality
Of Things": "I think Shapes of Things
is one of the finest things the band ever did. It was
the first recording done at Chess in Chicago. They just
nailed our sound. Its a great song to play live.
When you hit that chord for the solo part, then a little
pause, then you get that BANG where the solo comes in.
Its just a magic moment. Steve has brought something
very different to that solo. Its very Steve Vai
quite pretty in places. Although we recorded the
song very similar to the original, hes done things
with it that were not on the original at alla brilliant
Blind Life": "This is the one song that
was recorded more in the traditional manner, with all
of us playing live. Jeffs playing is unmistakable
you just cant miss it. He takes notes to
places where nobody else takes notes. Dont know
how he does it on the slide. And this song shows Johns
amazing vocal range as well. Its just a rocky blues,
really a good honest song with humorous lyrics."
Under, Sideways, Down": "We had an inkling
that Slash was going to play on this, so we designed an
elongated rock ending to it, to let it breathe and give
Slash the opportunity to crawl all over it in his inimitable
manner. Unlike some of the other players, Slash plays
pretty classic rock guitar, so this was a perfect vehicle
You're A Better Man Than I": "We invited
Brian May to the last gig on our tour at the Royal Albert
Hall. Hes a very sweet man and had always dug the
band, this track in particular. His contribution is a
bit like this sort of majestic beast in the jungle revving
up before he stretches and goes for it. And boy does he
go for it its the rumbling at the start of
the solo thats so interesting, before this dynamo
is unleashed which, of course, is exactly what
that song requires. Hes done that track very sympathetically;
hes played it like a Yardbird, I would say."
Of Being": "Rhythmically very exciting.
Jim wrote the song, and in his mind it was not meant to
be treated like that, but we pumped the song up an awful
lot. Its also got what Id describe as Afghan
psychedelia in there so very different. My stepdaughter
heard it, and I rarely play stuff for her because shes
so cool, but she really dug it. Out of all
the new material, its probably the most trippy,
with the chanting and wonderful playing by Gypie."
Within A Dream": "Words by Edgar Allan Poe,
music by Jim, arrangement by the Yardbirds. A perfect
example of the three-chord song, a little bit like For
Your Love in some respects. Theres something
deep and melancholic about the Yardbirds too. Weve
not repressed it. I think this song falls into that category.
Theres a stunning guitar solo by Gypie with that
middle break, which is very unexpected."
Ten Years Time Ago": "Steve Lukather does
a great job. Its psychedelic disco for me, this
song. Happenings is a bit like a miniature
rock opera. You get that great riff, explosions, the Cockney
voice, all sorts of little influences. Its immensely
powerful as well. We dropped a voice in there like the
original, which says, Pop group, are you? You should
get your haircut. I really wish now wed put
in, Pop group, are you? Its about time you
got a day job. I thought it wouldve been much
Original Man (A Song For Keith)": "I remember
writing the lyrics. I was at home and there was this book
about the band on the table, and there was a photograph
of Keith. I remember thinking how much he influenced these
rock guys of today, their look and their attitude
I see little Relf copies all over the place. Relfy was
the original man in that sense. I just wanted to write
some lyrics encompassing what he was. He died young; he
was immensely talented, a lot of it unrecognized. He was
the real thing. So thats what really inspired me.
The Gregorian chants on the fade very much fitted the
reflectiveness of that song."
Russo, Yardbirds: The Ultimate Rave-up (Crossfire
Platt, Chris Dreja & Jim McCarty, Yardbirds
(Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd., U.K., 1983)
Clayson, Yardbirds: The Band That Launched Eric
Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page (Backbeat, U.K,