Ben King (guitarist)

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For other people named Ben King, see Ben King (disambiguation).
Ben King
Genres Blues, blues-rock, hard rock, psychedelic rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Associated acts The Yardbirds (2005-)
Website Ben King's Official Site
The Yardbirds Official Site

Ben King (born 22 July 1984) is a British professional guitarist, who joined English blues-rock band The Yardbirds in October 2005. He has gained popularity [1][2] as a musician owing to his extensive technical ability of the guitar coupled with his young age.


King playing alongside Chris Dreja in Basingstoke, 2008 (Marc Lacaze)

Born to a musical family (his father having also been a professional guitarist) in 1984, King spent the majority of his life devoted to the guitar, growing up listening to the vast range of music provided by his parents. King developed an astute understanding of the guitar at a very early stage, garnering both a technical and philosophical approach alongside a head-down work ethic.

Having spent time in various bands and gaining local notoriety for his talent, he moved to Guildford, Surrey where he enrolled at the Academy of Contemporary Music.[3] King received a good amount of attention from the faculty with his talents, and gained the interest of ex-Alice Cooper guitarist Pete Friesen and Yardbirds bass guitarist John Idan.

Having completed his vocational studies, King was offered an audition by Idan, founding Yardbirds members Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja. Speaking of Idan's interest in King, McCarty commented:

Idan met Ben and [he] happened to be best guitar[ist] there. John recommended him. He was great. We were looking for someone who could create some of the sounds we were used to.

— Jim McCarty, 2006[4]

King was offered a role within The Yardbirds and replaced Jerry Donahue as lead guitarist in October 2005.[5] The band booked a run of shows across England in that year before beginning to tour internationally in countries such as Germany, France, Sweden, Canada and the United States.[citation needed]

King features on The Yardbirds' recent live release Live At B.B. King's Blues Club (2007; Favored Nations).[6] A clip of the song "I'm A Man", from this album was used by 20th Century Fox on the first episode of season 19 of The Simpsons.[7]


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