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Topham Replaces Dreja in Yardbirds

 
Three original Yardbirds (from left); Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, and Top Topham.

Three original Yardbirds (from left); Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, and Top Topham.

Yardbirds founding member Chris Dreja, who played rhythm guitar and, later, bass, had to leave the reunited edition of the band due to health issues. Original drummer Jim McCarty called on Top Topham to take Dreja’s place for the group’s upcoming 50-year celebration that will include U.S. dates in 2014 and a U.K. tour with other British Invasion artists the Zombies, the Animals, the Spencer Davis Group, Chris Farlow, and Maggie Bell.

Topham, who was the Yardbirds’ original lead guitarist, before he left the group and Eric Clapton joined, is also gigging with Top Topham’s Early Yardbirds, which also includes Simon Van Downham, formerly of Herman’s Hermits.Topham says, “The material is some of the early tunes, played in that period style, and we also cover some Otis Rush, Snooky Prior, and Howlin’ Wolf blues in the style of the early Yardbirds.”

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