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Scotty McKay (Max Lipscomb)


Max Lipscomb (a/k/a Scotty McKay) publicity shot.



Scott McKay -
I Can't Make Your Way / Take A Giant Step
Columbia DB 8147


Very little is known about the late, Max Lipscomb's post-Bluecaps career. This is the story of how a legendary Bluecap connected with a legendary Yardbird for a bizarre recording.

In late 1966, The Yardbirds were on one of Dick Clark's gruelling Greyhound Bus package tours around the Southern States of America. The group found themselves performing every night (sometimes twice a night). They seldom had days off.


Jim McCarty:
Jeff Beck did the opening night and he got really ill and pissed off with it all, and didn't really want to do the tour. That's when he disappeared, it was the last tour he did with us.
In retrospect, it was a mismatched billing (not uncommon for the time) with the Yardbirds sharing a bill with Sam The Sham / Pharaohs, Gary Lewis / Playboys and Brian Hyland.

Jim McCarty:

Scotty McKay was one of the musicians playing with Brian Hyland. Scotty was a blonde haired, Adonis looking type of guy. We used to watch him playing his Fender guitar and noticed that he wasn't actually playing it, he was just chopping a sort of offbeat. He played exactly the same every night. Highland's musicians' wore Ponchos and cool cowboy boots, and looked pretty cool. They used to have a row of guitarists just standing playing nothing (and one real guitarist). We got to know them and used to piss about sometimes and stand there as well! Now and then we would put on Ponchos.

Prior to the tour, Scotty McKay had released his version of the 'Batman Theme' as a single in the States.


Jim McCarty:
We got to know him and he seemed to be nice and tagged onto us. Chris Dreja (Yardbirds, rhythm guitarist / bass player) and myself were taking pills and had these mad ideas. One day we thought it would be good to produce Scotty doing one of our songs in a country style, go back to England and put it out. He was into the idea of recording. Chris Dreja pulled out of the project, but Jim McCarty went to Scott's house in Dallas, Texas, to discuss the project.

Jim McCarty:
Scotty knew some musicians and booked a studio in Nashville. We flew out on a small private plane. As we took off - the door opened and we all nearly fell out!
The Yardbirds 'I Can't Make Your Way' is an untypical Yardbirds track. It's a strange mixture of social commentary, philosophical bragging, folk, rock and blues, and has a wonderful, futuristic Jeff Beck guitar solo midway.
McCarty played Scotty and the musicians 'I Can't Make Your Way' (from the1966, 'Roger The Engineer' album). Scotty liked the song and cut the trackwith McCarty acting as producer. Incidentally, UK Radio DJ, Tony Blackburnalso recorded the track during the same period.

Jim McCarty:
The musicians were good .The song featured pedal steel guitar, bass guitar and drums. Scotty had a relaxing voice. I gave the master tape to EMI.
The song was given a UK release on the Columbia label in 1967. The flip side 'Take A Giant Step' (possibly an instrumental) was recorded at an earlier session. The single had a couple of airplays on UK Radio and then sank without trace.

Jim McCarty:
After the recording, I was on my way to New York and bumped into Scotty at an Airport. On the spur of the moment he said 'oh, I'm not doing anything, I'll get a ticket and go with you.' I sat next to him on the Plane - when it took off he was praying! I then discovered that he had been taking Amphetamines for about 20 years, as prescribed by his Doctor. He never came across as out of it, just normal - but a bit odd. He never told me that he'd played with Gene Vincent.
McCarty next bumped into Scotty in 1969 at a Hollywood press reception for the newly formed Renaissance (ex-Yardbirds, Keith Relf and Jim McCarty's altogether gentler sounding group).

Jim McCarty:
We were Touring the states, and all these old Yardbirds fans came out of the woodwork from all over the place. He turned up. Scotty seemed like a lost soul.
In 1970, Scotty McKay contributed a song to Gene Vincent's first Kama Sutra album at Gene's request, he also sang backing vocals on the album.

If anyone has any dates for Gene's US gigs or has any info on Gene's girlfriend, Marcia Avron. Please write to:
Orange Syringe,
PO Box 26203,
LONDON W3 OZF UK

Steven Mandich