ANTHONY “TOP” TOPHAM WAS A VERY REAL—
if overlooked—character in the development of one of
the most inventive British Invasion bands of all time. As
the original guitarist for the Yardbirds, he preceded the
6-string troika that would virtually rewrite the language
of the instrument. Succeeded by Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck,
and Jimmy Page, Topham would never shake, rattle, or
roll the guitar world the way those legends did. But in
1963, Top was there and he had the best seat in the
house. —Steven Rosen
Clapton was at the same school I went to and so was
Chris Dreja. I introduced Chris to the blues and played
with him. Even though Clapton was older, we played with
him too. He used to come around to my parents’ house
on Saturday mornings, and we’d listen to records together.
My father had records by Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong,
King Oliver, Leadbelly, and Big Bill Broonzy.
Eric used to wander around with two strings on an
acoustic! One thing he did have was this ability to work
and work at one thing until he got it absolutely right,
even if each part of the solo was lifted from different
I didn’t know of Jeff at all until he was brought in after
Eric left. He was a wild guy. I knew Jimmy from an earlier
time. I did see the two of them play together in the
Yardbirds for that short period. It was pretty awesome.
They were doing real driving stuff like “Train Kept ARollin’”
and “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago.” Jeff was
very angry all the time, but when the two of them got up
there, it was happening.
Later I saw Jimmy working with Jeff on the “Beck’s
Bolero” track. I remember he said, “What we need is a
hunting horn thing,” and Jeff just did it. It wasn’t like a
second take or anything. He just got it absolutely right.
I’ve only seen two people ever do that. One was Peter
Green and the other was Jeff. Jimmy and Jeff were just
sort of bantering back and forth but Jimmy was very
much in control in the studio.
Watch John Myung of Dream Theater on Ernie Ball: String Theory (VIDEO)
Allman Brothers Band To Release 8-CD Set "The Fox Box" with Oteil Burbridge
TWA Releases the DM-02 Dynamorph Envelope-Controlled Harmonic Generator
This Week in Free Stuff: Music Maker DAW & Field Recordings
Video: Mixvibes RemixLive 3.0 Brings Finger Drumming to Android
Drag-and-Drop Sound Effects from the Cloud to Your Projects with Soundly
The Art of Synth Soloing: Joe Zawinul
DISCOVERY – Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
How To: Chaos Rules
Prisma Accardo: A Boutique Beauty Built from Hard Rock Maple Skate Decks
Watch Chuck Berry Rock the Grammys with Stevie Ray Vaughan and George Thorogood
Line 6 Introduces Echo Farm 3.0 64-Bit AAX Native Plug-In
Body Count Premiere New Song and Music Video, "Black Hoodie"
Papa Roach Announce New Album Details for 'Crooked Teeth'
Exclusive: Interview with Northlane Guitarist Josh Smith on Surprise Album Release, 'Mesmer'
Andy Summers Discusses His New Album, ‘Triboluminescence’
Night Ranger’s Jack Blades and Brad Gillis Talk New Album, 'Don't Let Up'
Reggie Young: Legendary Memphis Session Guitarist to Release Debut Solo Album
Copyright ©2017 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470