In his autobiography, Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith, guitarist Joe Perry discusses how seeing the Yardbirds in the movie Blow-Up in 1966 changed his vision of guitar duos. He tells Technology Tell “When I saw The Yardbirds in the movie “Blow-Up”—I talk about it in the book, I didn’t really know it then, but that was proto-Aerosmith: two guitar players who can pretty much play with that kind of energy and that kind of creativity coming from two different schools—there just weren’t any bands around like that. There were bands with two guitar players, three guitar players, but they never played with that kind of on-the-edge feeling.”
If you watch the video you’ll see some great guitar work by Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, including a dual-lead part, some chunky riffs by Page on a Telecaster, and some poor but enthusiastic acting by Beck as he destroys a Hofner Senator E1 onstage. When Beck destroys the stodgy hollow-body and then slings a Gibson SG over his shoulder, it’s almost like you can see the very end of the acoustic era happen right before your eyes. The two played “Stroll On,” which was a hard rock version of the Tiny Bradshaw jump-blues classic “Train Kept A-Rollin.” During Page’s Led Zeppelin touring years, the song became a regular show opener. In 1974, Perry and Steven Tyler (who had opened for the Yardbirds in Westport, CT just after Beck left the band) would cover the song using elements of Page’s arrangement and the original title. Perry and fellow Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford employed the same two-guitar attack as Beck and Page, and made the song a classic once again. Enjoy the video below.
For more history, here’s Tiny Bradshaw’s version:
And Led Zeppelin’s: