Former Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty recently talked with VRP Rocks on the aspects of Jimmy Page’s playing that were superior to Jeff Beck’s. McCarty began by outlining the differences between Page and Beck’s playing styles, saying: Page was a really imaginative man. He wasn’t able to play like Jeff. He wasn’t as imaginative as he was, but he figured it out and gave it some thought. However, Jeff truly played off the top of his head in a very spontaneous manner. Jimmy was excellent at creating those tiny riffs. Led Zeppelin was the inspiration for his ideas. The actual riff king, he was. That kind of upsets it.
Then, after saying that Page was better at “coming up with riffs,” he went on to explain how the personalities of the guitarists affected the dynamics of the Yardbirds: The dynamics of the [bands] were excellent when Jeff left since he could be quite cranky and challenging to work with at times. You never knew how he would be feeling. He brought all of his issues with him onto the stage and was quite anxious and tense.
But it appeared like things were much better with Jimmy: Jimmy wasn’t that way, He appeared to be very at ease and somewhat professional. He once performed in the studio. The four-piece performed admirably, but we were suffering as a result of our lack of chemistry. We took the wrong route and performed some terrible singles. If you’re interested in learning more about McCarty’s time with the Yardbirds, you may watch the video below.