YARDBIRDS, 10CC, & GRAHAM GOULDMAN
by Alan L. Chrisman
The Yardbirds were, of course, a legendary British Blues-rock band in the 60’s. Especially because three well-known guitarists came out of one band at one point or another: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. They started out as a blues band, replacing The Stones at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England.
But Clapton left the band in ’65 because he didn’t like their commercial direction and he joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, to be replaced by Page and later, Jeff Beck, who was known for first experimenting with guitar feedback. The Yardbyrds also make an appearance in Antonioni’s film, Blowup in 1966.
Their first big commercial hits though” For Your Love” and “Heart Full of Soul’”were written by songwriter, Graham Gouldman. The still-teenage Gouldman, very influenced by The Beatles, had original planned to give them his song, “For Your Love” to them, but that night the Yardbirds were opening for The Beatles and he gave it to Jimmy Page instead and it became The Yardbird’s first big hit. Gouldman also wrote several hits for The Hollies (“ Bus Stop”, “Look Through Any Window”), Herman’s Hermits ( “No Milk Today”) and many others. He briefly replaced, Wayne Fontana of The Mindbenders after their hit, “The Game of Love”, where he met his future 10cc bandmate, Eric Stewart. Kevin Godley and Lol Creme would then join Stewart and Gouldman under the name, Hotlegs and have an international single with “Neanderthal Man” in 1970. The four would then form the art-rock band 10cc. Their infamous name, supposedly coming from the amount of ejaculate a man releases, although their flamboyant manager, Jonathan King, disputes this, saying the name came to him in a dream.
But anyway, they went on to have several hits and albums in the 70’s. In 1973 , they had their first big hit with the satirical, Beach-Boy like “ Rubber Bullets” on their first self-named album. 10cc followed it up with the Sheet Music LP in ‘74 and in ’75’s Soundtrack album with their well-known hit, Beatles-linfluenced,“ I’m Not in Love”. In 1976, they recorded their fourth, Art for Arts Sake. But the two factions which made up the band, one artsy (Godley and Crème) and the other, more commercial( Stewart and Gouldman) led to a split in ’76. Godley and Crème left and released their more experimental Consequences album. But Stewart and Gouldman continued on their own with Deceptive Bends and a smash single ” Things We Do For Love” in ’77. And in 1978, they would have another giant hit with their great reggae-satire, “Dreadlock Holliday” on their Bloody Tourist album in 1978. In 1979, Stewart was in a serious car accident and things slowed down a bit.
But Godley and Crème too would go on to have their own hit, “Cry” in 1985 and its influential video and this led to them also becoming known as video producers as well. Godley and Creme created several well-respected videos, including, George Harrison’s “When We Was Fab”, The Police’s “ Every Breath You Take” and Herbie Handcock’s “ Rock-it”.
Eric Stewart would also collaborate with Paul McCartney on several of his albums, Tug of War (’82), Pipes of Peace (‘83), for his film, Give My Regards to Broadstreet and the Press to Play album in ’86.
So Graham Gouldman has quite a history as a song writer and musician, from giving the seminal band, The Yardirds, their first hits and many other 60’s groups to later, with his 10cc bandmates, Stewart and Godley and Crème, their hits, “ I’m Not In Love”, “Things We Do For Love: and “ Dreadlock Holliday”. Eric Stewart co-wrote and collaborated on several of their hero, Paul McCartney’s albums. Quite a career for some Manchester-area lads and Beatles–influenced songwriters!
Below watch Yardbirds doing Graham Gouldman’s, “For Your Love”, 1965
Below see 10cc with Graham Gouldman and their 1975 hit, “I’m Not In Love’”
Below see 10cc and their great Reggae-satire hit, 1978,” Dreadlock Holiday”:
Above 10cc's 1975 album, Original Soundtrack (also known for their art-rock album covers by Hipgnosis) with hit, " I'm Not In Love' and 1978's Bloody Tourists LP with Reggae-satire hit, " Dreadlock Holiday"
Alan Chrisman went to Purdue U. and U. of Ill.(International Relations), came to Canada, was influenced by The Beatles, and became involved in many aspects of music and writing.