John Lennon Felt The Yardbirds Were an Imitation of Another Band

John Lennon felt The Yardbirds were an imitation of another British Invasion band that made blues rock and psychedelic rock.

During an interview, John Lennon said The Yardbirds were an imitation of another British Invasion band. His claim is dubious. Notably, a member of the band in question repeatedly worked with George Harrison.

John Lennon felt The Yardbirds mimicked The Rolling Stones

The book Lennon on Lennon: Conversations With John Lennon features an interview from 1974. In it, John discussed a certain club. “I believe the place was called Crawdaddy, in Richmond,” he said. “And also, I think another place in London.

“And they were run by a different guy then, [music manager, songwriter, and producer] Giorgio Gomelsky, who also discovered, brackets, you know, quotes, the … what’s that group everybody goes for that Jeff Beck was in?” he said. “I can’t remember the name. One of those mid-’60s English groups, anyway, which I never thought were much except for Jeff Beck.”

“Yardbirds,” he continued. “That was it. Son of Stones. But they never really had a singer, you know, or a performer.”

A concert by The Yardbirds helped George Harrison meet Eric Clapton

Despite John’s comments, The Yardbirds had an impact on George Harrison’s life. The book George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters features an interview from 1977. In it, George explained how he met The Yardbirds’ Eric Clapton.

“We were in Hammersmith Odeon, and The Yardbirds were sort of supporting a group on the bill, and I just met him then but really didn’t get to know him,” he said. “Met him again when The [Lovin’] Spoonful were at the Marquee and John and I went down and were just sort of hanging about backstage with them. We were going down to their hotel, I can remember just seeing Eric.”

Clapton had a big impact on The Beatles’ music. His sweet tooth inspired George to write “Savoy Truffle” from The White Album. He also helped George create “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which is both one of The Beatles’ most beloved album tracks and one of the most famous songs George wrote. On the other hand, George and Clapton co-wrote Cream’s single “Badge.” The two rock stars also released an album together called Live in Japan.

John Lennon’s comment on the 2 bands doesn’t make much sense

John’s claim The Yardbirds were the “son” of The Rolling Stones is questionable at best. The two bands both made blues rock and psychedelic rock, but that’s not much of a similarity. Notably, John didn’t call any specific Yardbirds song a plagiarism of a Rolling Stones song. It would be just as easy to argue The Beatles copied The Rolling Stones as it would be to argue The Yardbirds did so.

Regardless of what John thought about The Yardbirds, Clapton impacted The Beatles’ music and George’s solo career.

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