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Welcome to the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! I have wanted to put something like this together for a long time now and the A-Z Challenge just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’ve compiled stories, trivia, research, music videos and live concert footage on all the bands and musical artists who have been important to me over the years, especially during my youthful years in the 60s and 70s. At first glance, the posts may seem long – and some of them are due to the number of videos included – but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, see or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and listen to the great music that you’ll find here. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! In addition to individual songs, there are some full albums here for those who may want to enjoy some music while they’re surfing or working. I hope you find that the stories are entertaining, the information educational and the trivia interesting. It would be a tremendous honor if you would bookmark the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life as a resource for great music and music information! Now, let’s get started with…
Y is for the Yardbirds – “The Yardbirds is an English rock band that had a string of hits in the mid-1960s, including “For Your Love”, “Over Under Sideways Down” and “Heart Full of Soul”. The group is notable for having started the careers of three of rock’s most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, all of whom are in the top five of Rolling Stone’s 100 Top Guitarists list (Clapton at No. 2, Page at No. 3 and Beck at No. 5). A blues-based band that broadened its range into pop and rock, the Yardbirds had a hand in many electric guitar innovations of the mid-1960s, such as feedback, “fuzztone” distortion and improved amplification. Pat Pemberton, writing for Spinner, holds that the Yardbirds were “the most impressive guitar band in rock music”. After the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, their lead guitarist Jimmy Page founded what became Led Zeppelin.” (Wikipedia)
For Your Love – 1965 performance:
Heart Full of Soul – album cover photo montage video:
I’m a Man – a 1964 performance (with Eric Clapton):
Over Under Sideways Down – live (not sure of the date):
Shapes of Things – recorded in a sports stadium for French TV in 1966:
Y is for Yes – Yes reminds me of high school summer school. I went to summer school two years in a row, so I could get class credits and graduate early, which I did, one full year early. The first summer school, I took a history class with two of my hang-out buddies, Joe and Mike. Mike was a huge Yes fan and he turned Joe and I onto songs we didn’t know from Yes. Every time I hear a Yes song, it takes me back to those warm summer days sitting in a high school classroom, goofing off with my friends and getting yelled at by Mr. Letourneau…
“Yes is an English rock band that achieved success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music. They are distinguished by their use of mystical and cosmic lyrics, live stage sets and lengthy compositions, often with complex instrumental and vocal arrangements.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Although I wasn’t a Yes fan to the degree that my friend Mike was, I did like most of the songs that got commercial airplay and there are a few songs that I will crank up when they come on:
Going for the One –
I’ve Seen All Good People – performance at the Beat Club in 1971:
Perpetual Change – from “The Yes Album” released in 1971:
Long Distance Run Around –
Owner of a Lonely Heart – music video
Leave It – music video:
Wonderous Stories – music video:
Yours is No Disgrace – recorded live at the Rainbow Theatre December 1972
Roundabout – Live at the Rainbow Theatre, London, UK. Dec 15 & 16, 1972 (‘Close to the Edge’ Tour):
Starship Trooper –
It Can Happen – June 24, 1984 at Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany
Y is for the Youngbloods – an American folk rock band consisting of Jesse Colin Young (vocals, bass), Jerry Corbitt (guitar), Lowell Levinger, nicknamed “Banana” (guitar and electric piano), and Joe Bauer (drums). Despite receiving critical acclaim, they never achieved widespread popularity. Their only U.S. Top 40 entry was the song Get Together. I love this song:
(studio version, audio only):
This is a slower version of the song, with fabulous video footage from (I think) Woodstock:
Here they are performing on a TV show (not sure which one) in 1970, combining the songs Get Together and Sunlight in their performance set:
Here’s Darkness, Darkness, a neat song from their 1969 album Elephant Mountain:
Here’s their performance of Grizzly Bear, with an introduction by Dick Clark. The interview discusses the song as well as some tidbits about the band members. Airdate: January 14, 1967 (video quality not great but it’s a wonderful snapshot of the past):
That’s it for the Letter Y. Hope you enjoyed these three bands that I showcased. What songs did you like best that I posted here? Who are your favorite Y bands?
I still enjoy listening to Yes. Great group.
I saw Jesse Colin Young on TV just a couple of weeks ago and he sounded great. “Get Together” is a classic song. I still remember the first time I ever heard it and loved it from that first moment.
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out
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What was he on? Wish I would’ve seen it. Glad that the post reminded you of that first moment. So long ago, I know! Hard to believe sometimes, isn’t it?
He was on one of those PBS fundraising things where they had a bunch of old groups on a DVD they were selling. He just did a couple songs. Also on the show was Roger McGuinn and Barry McGuire and others I can’t recall at the moment. Not sure when it was filmed, but it seemed fairly recent.
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Wrote By Rote
Oh cool. I’ll have to look for it. I love PBS: they have such great programming. I love when they do those fundraising drives centered around a music theme. I think those are pretty successful for them. I sure hope PBS continues to be funded: it would be a terrible loss if it went the other way…
Awesome idea for a theme.
Of the three, I’ve only heard of Yes, but I can’t think that I’ve ever actually heard their music before.
Hopefully you were able to give them a listen here. They have a very unique sound. Thanks for stopping by!
Always get excited when you post a group I actually know. Youngbloods…I do remember them. We’re winding down with the challenge.
Yay Sandy! 🙂 I know, hard to believe the challenge is coming to an end. I think I’m going to do a few more posts…or one for sure: I’d like to do a post on One Hit Wonders. That sounds kinda neat. I’ll add it to the A-Z Collection page so you can come back and check it out whenever you want. I’m going to take a breather first though! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by
Some more great music here! The Yardbirds were another band that was heavily influenced by the Chess Records Chicago-blues sound, though they were a little more “rave-up.”
When I was in college, there was some guy who knew exactly one song on the bass guitar, “Long Distance Runaround,” which he would play at full volume all. Saturday. Night. We called and complained about it one night, and he came down and offered to beat the crap out of all of us. Not exactly one of my favorite songs as a result…
Oh that is so funny John! Lol! I can see how that would get on one’s nerves for sure! He only knew one song: that’s just crazy! 🙂 Do you ever wonder what the heck that guy is doing now? I wonder if he ever learned any more songs or did he quit after he mastered Long Distance Runaround? funny. Thanks for sharing. That’s a great story…
Great post! I almost wrote about Yes as well, but their library is so vast… I couldnt decide what to write about. That’s how I ended up on Yazoo. I had previously written about the Yardbirds. I am sad to see the end of the challenge coming up. But I will continue to post about music daily.
That’s awesome! I’ll be back for sure. Thanks for checking mine out. 🙂
Hi Michele, The Yardbirds were brilliant and, of course, a bit of a jumping-off point for all sorts of famous musicians. I like For Your Love a lot and there is also a version of Nils Lofgren that is very good.
Yes always reminds me of a school friend of mine who was heavily in to them. He particularly used to go on about them just as I was getting into punk which he never liked because he reckoned punk musicians “couldn’t play their instruments”. For some of them he might have been right! I once met Rick Wakeman, who used to play keyboards with Yes. We were on a small boat going down the River Torridge in the part of England I come from. He was quite jolly. He was with his wife at the time, the former model Nina Carter. I think meeting her made more of an impression on me than meeting him.
Lol Mark! It surprises me not that you were more intrigued with meeting his model wife than the man himself. Somehow that just doesn’t surprise me. 🙂
Interesting that we both developed a liking for Yes through a friend in high school who was heavily into them. I think Yes is one of those kind of bands that have to be appreciated and it often takes one who is a big fan to introduce the music to us. I don’t hear much Yes on the radio anymore, do you? It was nice to put this post together and get reminded of all their great tunes… Happy Weekend to you!
LOVE THE YARDBIRDS!! ♥♥ What an incredibly talented group of guitar gods! It’s no surprise they all went on to even greater acclaim.
YES had such a prolific output and most of their songs bring back memories. Can’t say I’m a huge fan, though. Ah – summer school. I went once too and I remember there was no air conditioning. Hot as Hell! 😛
“Get Together” by the Youngbloods is a big favourite of mine and one of those quintessential hippie anthems. It was getting extensive airplay in August 1969 when I first moved here (the very same weekend that Woodstock was going on). Lots of memories attached. 🙂
Did you like Summer School? I was taking electives so my classes were essentially fun. I took Film one year and we spent the whole summer studying Alfred Hitchcock. Now that was cool!
Speaking of cool: What a great welcome to the US, arriving at the same time that Woodstock was happening and all over the news! That’s very fitting for you, I think. Maybe it was no coincidence?? 🙂
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I didn’t really like summer school. It was too hot and it was a math class, not exactly my favourite subject. 😛 They put me back a year when I came over from Europe (to Canada, not the U.S.) and I wanted to catch up. It was so stupid! The school I went to before had two separate math classes – Algebra and Geometry. I passed the first one but failed the second. That’s why they put me back. As for Woodstock, I wanted to go so desperately! LOL That would have been impossible of course, since we were moving, plus at the age of 14 there’s no way my parents would have allowed it.
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Lol. Me and math don’t get along either! I had to take Geometry twice. The first time I was kicked out of the class: the instructor didn’t like me and told the principal that he’d quit if the principal ordered him to admit me back to the class! He was an ass. The second Geometry teacher that I had was fabulous and he made learning fun so I ended up acing the course the second time around. But I generally hate math. Not good at it at all. Even the simple stuff… 🙂