Paul Samwell-Smith (The Yardbirds)

By Thomas Semioli

He set the template for scores of players – including Kenny Aaronson, Sal Maida, and Joe Gagliardo – with a lifetime’s worth of bass riffs. When he put down the instrument, he forged an equally influential (and more high profile) career as a producer during the zeitgeist of the singer songwriter movement of the 1970s.

Cradling an Epiphone Rivoli, Paul Samwell-Smith’s decidedly aggressive motifs with The Yardbirds profoundly inspired generations of rockers spanning Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, and the original Alice Cooper band to cite a very, very, very select few.

As a founding member of The Yardbirds, Paul Samwell-Smith anchored  classics including “For Your Love,” “Over Under, Sideways, Down,” and “Heart Full of Soul” among others, which were a watershed meld of blues, pop, and psychedelic rock.

After Paul split from the group in 1966 – surrendering bass duties to Jimmy Page –  he turned to the producer’s chair guiding such artists as Renaissance, Cat Stevens (Mona Bone Jakon, Tea for the Tillerman, Teaser & the Firecat,  Catch Bull at Four, Buddah & The Chocolate Box), Carly Simon (Anticipation),  Chris De Burgh, and Murray Head, among others, on several of their finest recorded works.


Paul Samwell-Smith Sound & Vision

Dig Paul Samwell-Smith workin’ the pocket and walkin’ double time on multi-instrumentalist / bassist Graham Gouldman’s composition “Evil Hearted You.”

Dig the Yardbirds on American television “For Your Love”

Dig Kenny Aaronson in the 21st Century Yardbirds

Dig Billy Sheehan talkin’ and riffin’ Paul Samwell-Smith