Led Zeppelin Member Brutally Rejected The Beatles Icon


In a new Forbes interview, Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty discussed his days playing with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, and how they rejected The Beatles legend John Lennon’s idea for them to recording “The Breaking Point” by Chuck Jackson.

Clash: What were The Beatles like?

McCarty: They were good fun, they were nice. [Paul] McCartney was the friendliest one. We were looking for a hit at that time before we did “For Your Love,” and we hadn’t come up with anything. John Lennon gave us this record and said, “Why don’t you do this?” It was called, “The Breaking Point” by Chuck Jackson, a Burt Bacharach song. But we didn’t think it was suitable for us, so we never did it. It was a bit too smooth, not really us.

Clash: How did you start drumming?

McCarty: When I was in my teens, I was in The Boys’ Brigade, a semi-military organization. We had a bugle band, and I used to play the snare. That’s how I got into playing drums. I used to like that sort of snare style, and I think I brought some of that into The Yardbirds, with “I’m a Man,” a bit of a marching thing. But I also mixed it up with jazz. There was a military/jazz element.