Jim McCarty is the original drummer in the legendary Yardbirds, a musical force of nature since the 1960s and still active today with Jim as the sole remaining original member. Acclaimed as one of the most influential rock bands of all time, their music is rooted in the blues, but their amazing forays over the decades into jazz, folk, rock, pop, raga, improv, distortion, guitar feedback and, of course, the blues, is the stuff of legend and incredible influence…so much so that the band was deservedly inducted into the Rock and Hall of Fame in 1992. The Yardbirds dazzling guitar pyrotechnics, which in the band’s earlier days featured the talents of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, are the stuff of rock legend. Jim was and is the steady anchor for this high-flying outfit…his rock-solid drumming keeping the band grounded during the band’s awe-inspiring flights of musical frenzy, both then and now. He’s the only band member to be a member of every lineup since the band was founded in 1963 up through the present day. Of course, you may remember, the last lineup of the early Yardbirds, called The New Yardbirds, which included Jim and Jimmy Page, eventually morphed in to Led Zeppelin. Jim, who is also an accomplished singer and songwriter having released numerous solo albums over the years, has just released the second installment of his memoirs, entitled “She Walks in Beauty”, which is a follow-up to his initial autobiography, “Nobody Told Me”, which was released to great acclaim in 2018. “She Walks in Beauty” continues with Jim’s life journey – inside and outside of music – expanding on his storied musical career while also giving the reader a very personal and intimate look at Jim’s personal lifelong quest to unravel the mysteries of the life that exists beyond the world in which we live. The book tells of his travels to remote areas of the world – including China, India, & the Himalayas – as his search explores the world hidden just out of reach, the shadows that are just out of sight and the certainty that there is an enduring connection between the living and the dead. It’s an intimate, honest, fascinating look inside the life of a rock legend whose boundless curiosity for a life often unseen and/or understood makes for a compelling read.
I had the honor of catching up with Mr. McCarty to discuss “She Walks In Beauty”. We got into the reasons now was the time for these stories to not only be told, but shared. We speak of things that many shake their heads about, but many others have experienced and I believe this book is a great way to think back through the nw and then but also the here and there. I can tell you about our conversation, but ultimately you either have to check it out, or better yet, find a way to get the book and find the common threads you may have neglected to remember or notice. Be open. I am thankful for Mr. McCarty sharing these stories (not a whole lot about music in this chat or in this book), they really open a window into him and beyond.