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The Birds, Ronnie Wood ‘s first band
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Ronnie Wood’s first band ever (originally named the Thunderbirds) The Birds were together only for six years, and then split when the American Byrds became famous in the mid-’60s. They left behind one cut, “Leaving Here” on the HARD-UP HEROES compilation album, and also a brief appearance in a horror flick called The Deadly Bees. When the Birds broke up, Ronnie decided to phone his casual acquaintance Jeff Beck, who had just left the Yardbirds, and later becoming part of the Jeff Beck Group.
The Birds were an English rhythm and blues band, formed in 1964 in London. They recorded fewer than a dozen songs and released only four singles.
Starting out with a hard R&B sound, they later began infusing it with Motown-style vocal harmonies. The best known former member of The Birds is Ronnie Wood, who went on to join the Jeff Beck Group, The Creation, Faces and later The Rolling Stones.
Several members of The Birds grew up in the same neighbourhood in Yiewsley, west London, and began playing together in 1964, while still in their teens. At first calling themselves The Thunderbirds, they started out playing local clubs and a neighbourhood community centre, but they soon expanded to a larger club circuit. When they were hired to play on the same bill as Chris Farlowe, whose back-up band was also called The Thunderbirds, they shortened their name to The Birds – a decision which would have significant ramifications later.
Their hard R&B sound was good enough to get them into a battle-of-the-bands contest held under the show Ready Steady Go! When the band made their first television appearance, they caught the eye of Decca record company executives. The ensuing recording contract resulted in their first two singles, “You Don’t Love Me” and “Leaving Here”. The Birds seemed destined for stardom with their loud rhythm-and-blues based music, receiving equal billing with The Who at some concerts.