Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck to play two shows in Japan

Clapton and Beck: Yardbirds of a feather
Clapton and Beck: Yardbirds of a feather

Great news! Two guitar gods are coming to arena near you - if you live near the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, that is. That's where Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck will perform on 21 and 22 February.

To say that Clapton and Beck are two of the preeminent guitarists in the rock era is, of course, an understatement - between them, they have almost 100 years of musical experience. Together in the blues-tinged Yardbirds and in their solo careers, they have revolutionzed the electric guitar in ways that border on the seismic.

Since leaving The Yardbirds, the duo have performed together at album sessions, benefit shows (like the 1983 ARMS Concert, a video of which can be seen below) and festivals in years past, but these concerts mark the first time the pair have ever shared the bill for major arena shows.

Greatest guitar band ever?

That both guitarists rose to fame in The Yardbirds is impressive enough. But the band also lists Jimmy Page among its superstar alumni. Clapton split the group in 1965 - he wasn't a fan of the pop sound the band was crafting with singles such as For Your Love. His replacement, Jeff Beck, was fired from the outfit in 1968 before they disintegrated that same year.

The Yardbirds, that is to say, The New Yardbirds, almost had a new lease on life when Jimmy Page formed a group with a bunch of relative unknowns. But he decided to call his new band Led Zeppelin instead. Imagine that.

Anyway, if you live in Japan or have a way of getting there, tickets go on sale for the shows on 17 January. Good luck.

Here's Clapton, Beck, along with Jimmy Page (that's three Yardbirds) and a cavalcade of stars performing Layla at the 1983 ARMS Concert.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.