Yardbirds Delight Teenage Spectators

(as published in the Bixby Bulletin August 25, 1966,
contributed by TTM reader and Bixby Historical Society
researcher Patti Reif. Note the attention to fashion
detail, and lack of attention to the music!)

The stage was a mosaic blur of platinum hair, red collard coats of blue, white and green. Guitars whined and whirred. Drums throbbed. Somewhere a harmonica breathed a magnetic tone into a microphone. A tambourine jingled. Awestruck fans stood 30 deep to watch the gyrating movements on stage. KELI Radio was presenting the Yardbirds.

"Shapes of Things: became "Over Under Sideways Down", as the five Londoners chanted their chart breakers. It was the first time in the Tulsa area that an English group had performed for a dance. It seemed everyone was happy with the affair. The teeny-boppers were the majority of the dancers. Older teens and college students, not to mention members of other bands, came just to watch.

Only hours before the five had flown into International Airport to be welcomed by about 50 screaming fans. They were led through the throng by disc jockeys and security guards, to a conference room. There they were greeted by press club members from teenage magazines. They were seated at a table.

All five seemed fatigued. Keith Relf complained of being air sick. They appeared a little scruffy after being blown by the Oklahoma winds.

Relf, who is the long blond haired lead singer, occupied the center of the table. He wore a warm looking red and blue striped knit pullover, dark slacks and loafers. He was sided by Jim McCarty, handsome drummer, who wore a pastel striped shirt, dark slacks and loafers. On the end sat Jeff Beck, lead guitarist, certainly not the best looking of the group. He was attired in a white "T" shirt and dark blue wool uniform coat, dark slacks and moccasins.

On the other end was Chris Dreja, rhythm guitarist. Like Beck he seldom made any comments, but his pale blue-grey eyes drank in all his surroundings. He was dressed conservatively at the airport. However, at the dance he donned a dark blue uniform which resembled those now worn by the Salvation Army.

James Page is the group’s newest member. He replaces Paul Samwell-Smith. Tall and dark he is stunning. His complexion is pink and white accented by deep dark eyes. His curly, dark hair which is almost shoulder length fluffs about his face making it appear much paler. He looks like a pastel painting.

Page is called a trendsetter. He was attired in a dark blue thigh length coat. Double breasted with 12 brass buttons, it had wide lapels and was gathered and buckled in the back. His trousers were stove pipe in grey and black tweed.

"Is this the fashion in England?"

"The revolution is more toward the 1920’s now, " said Relf. "Individuality is fashion."

"I don’t know, it could be earlier than the 20’s," said Page, as he turned the pages of his reading material. "I Jam Cremer." He continued, "Many of us shop for our clothes in antique shops. I like uniforms that are about 100 years old."

Concerning the mini-skirt. All the boys looked up with mischievous grins and gleams in their eyes.

"It’s a great scene," said Relf twisting his wedding band.

"It certainly can’t be bad," said Page as McCarty and Dreja nodded their heads.

The inevitable question finally arose. What did the Yardbirds think about the Beatles statement about being more popular than Christianity? Kenneth Relf buried his blond hair in his hands. "I wish you hadn’t asked," he said. "Jimmy you answer that. I might say something wrong."

Page looked up and with a sharp British accent said, " I thought that was smoothed over by now. Lennon apologized didn’t he? He was merely misquoted."

Later in the evening five groupies made their way to the boys’ hotel room. Their stay proved profitable for Cassandra Wonderly of Broken Arrow. She presented Relf with 42 original poems. "This is very good, " he said. "I want to set some of them to music."

Yardbirds photos by Chris Walter and Photofeatures - Several nice B&W's from exactly this era.

A good one page Yardbirds biography at UBL.com

Here is an excerpt from Chrome Oxide , giving an itinerary for the band in 1966. Where is that spellchecker?

LIVE SHOW: June 21, 1966 - Marquee Club, London

(Jimmy Page's first live performance with the band.)

LIVE SHOW: July 30, 1966 - Sixth National Jazz and Blues Festival, Windsor, U.K.

LIVE SHOW: August 5, 1966 - Minn, MN

LIVE SHOW: August 18, 1966 - Tulas, OK

LIVE SHOW: August 19, 1966 - Oaklahoma, OK

LIVE SHOW: August 20, 1966 - Oaklahoma, OK

LIVE SHOW: August 21, 1966 - Touscon, AZ

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