Two former Yardbirds are set to share the stage: Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck have announced they’ll play two shows together at Saitama, Japan’s Super Arena, on February 21st and 22nd. The duo have performed together at album sessions, benefits and festivals in years past, but these concerts mark the first time the pair have ever shared the bill for major arena shows. How mighty are these two axmen? Clapton ranked Number Four on our list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and Beck came in Number 14. If by some chance you’ll find yourself in Japan for this epic exhibition of guitar gods (or you just happen to live in Japan), take note that tickets for these concerts go on sale January 17th.
Both guitarists have roots in the Yardbirds, that blues-tinged British band that also lists Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page among its famous alumni. After the Yardbirds’ hit “For Your Love,” Clapton exited the band in 1965 out of protest of the group’s move from the blues to a new pop sound. Clapton’s replacement, ironically enough, was Jeff Beck, who was fired from the band in 1968 before they ultimately disbanded. Jimmy Page formed a band in late 1968 called the new Yardbirds, but you more than likely know them by the name Led Zeppelin.
Of course, Clapton and Beck went on to have pretty huge post-Yardbirds careers as well: Clapton as a member of Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominoes and a successful solo career, while Beck fronted the Jeff Beck Group and also enjoyed a noteworthy solo run. And now, more than 40 years after the original Yardbirds disbanded, the two will finally be together on a stage in Japan.
• Frickeâ€™s Picks: New, Live Beck-Ola
• Clapton and Winwood Break Out Blind Faith, Hendrix at First Supergig
• Eric Clapton on Jack White and the State of the Record Industry: Exclusive Audio