from Richmond, London, England
March 22, 1943 - May 14, 1976 (age 33)
Although the Yardbirds will forever be associated first and foremost with their extraordinary roster of guitarists during their career (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page), singer Keith Relf was an integral ingredient of the band's sound. Born March 22, 1943, in Richmond, England, Relf (along with a whole legion of other British teenaged musicians) re-discovered such blues masters as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf during the early '60s, leading to Relf forming the Yardbirds along with mainstays Chris Dreja (guitar), Jim McCarty (drums), and Paul Samwell Smith (bass) in 1963. The group started out as a blues-based outfit, but as the years progressed, pop, psychedelia, and hard rock was worked into their sound, as the group welcomed in the aforementioned all-star guitarists into their ranks one after another. The Yardbirds were responsible for some of the British Invasion's best albums (1965's classic Having a Rave Up With...) and songs (For Your Love, Shapes of Things, Train Kept A Rollin', etc.). But by the late '60s, the Yardbirds had split up, with all three of their former guitarists achieving greater success and fortune afterwards. Relf went on to form Renaissance, whose lush prog/art rock tendencies were completely different stylistically than his previous band, appearing on several albums before leaving the group. Relf then joined the brief supergroup Armageddon, which also featured former members of Steamhammer and the Johnny Winter Group, as the group only issued a single self-titled album in 1975. On May 14, 1976, Relf died from a freak accident, when he accidentally electrocuted himself in his basement while playing guitar. Keith Relf's vocal style could be detected in numerous subsequent hard rock/blues-rock vocalists, including Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and AC/DC's Bon Scott, among others. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
Jeff Beck and Yardbirds talk about Keith Relf's death
Keith Relf - All The Falling Angels
Keith Relf - Musical Spectrum Vol.II (1965-1976✝️) powerful magical mystery music
WHERE IS KEITH RELF BURIED
Yardbird: The Condensed Keith Relf Story
ARMAGEDDON: Keith Relf & Louis Cennamo interview (1975)
Armageddon - The Missing Yardbird Tapes "1976" Keith Relf's demos & outtakes.
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