The Yardbirds got their start in 1963 with Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja, and Paul Samwell-Smith. Anthony "Top" Topham left after a few months, leading to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page filling the lead guitar roles.
The Jeff Beck era with the Yardbirds was successful, with several chart-topping hits. At a gig in Oxford, England, bassist Samwell-Smith quit and Chris Dreja took over. Jeff Beck became ill near the end of the tour and Jimmy Page took over on lead guitar. The Beck-Page era lasted only a few months before Jeff Beck abruptly left the band and returned to the US. Keith Relf remained the lead singer until the band broke up in 1968. Between 1963 and 1968, the Yardbirds released eight albums and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
Keith Relf was electrocuted while practicing his guitar, and his eight-year-old son found him dead on the floor of their basement. He died doing what he loved, playing music.