Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dazed But Not Confused

It takes determination, stubbornness and powerful Will to pursue a vision decade after decade - there's no confusion about it. 

Mage Music 17  

The Magickal process is a simple formula (simple, of course, not being the same as easy):  Desire + Will + Ritual => Manifested Change. The process is not a sequential one; in fact all of the input must occur not only at the same time but be sustained over time in order to achieve success. A Mage Musician must master all of the input in the Magickal process mindfully while at the same time being free to disappear into the music and let the music be the master. It's no wonder that there aren't a lot of Mage Musicians around. It's no wonder that, even though music is a highly suitable carrier for Magick, there just isn't a lot of Mage Music around either.

Desire is something we all experience to some degree or another all the time, though the quality of desire in Magick is not quite the same as, say, for rocky road ice cream or even for sex. On the other hand, Will is something we non-Mages experience way too infrequently - we tend to go through life on automatic pilot for one thing, and for another engaging our will is just not as much fun as fulfilling our desire. Without Will, though, desire easily slides into wishing and hoping. For the process of Magick, purposeful and directed Will is a bridge between desire and ritual; wishing and hoping alone aren't powerful enough to change Reality.


When you do something in a willy-nilly way, it can mean that you've done it in a disorganized or sloppy manner or, contrarily, that you were forced to do it whether you wanted to or not. Willy-nilly comes from "will ye, nill ye", and "will", too, seems to have two contradictory meanings: Your will can be merely your desire or it can be your deliberate focus.

Will or willy-nilly: All meanings apply very well to the music of Jimmy Page, which for so long has seemed to be nothing less than the product of the application of a Mage's Will to his soul's desire.

Creation is the transmuting of inner reality into something that can be experienced in the world; music does it using sound to express meaning that words don't or can't convey. Magick is a Mage's process for creation, the transformation of a desire into changed reality.

If music is the evidence, then for at least one extraordinary musician we can believe in the existence of a ferocious and persistent Will that has sustained an ongoing drive to express the perfect sound - the one note after the next that exposes the naked, pure heart and soul of Reality. This level of Will involves maintaining sustained attention and consciousness of process over time so that the perfect sound can be not only created, but the unending possibilities sifted, rejected, transformed, added to and pared back. It involves never accepting the music as "good enough".

True Grit

Reality isn't so easy to change. Manifestation must overcome the powerful forces of inertia (resistance to change) and entropy (the tendency towards disorder and ultimately dissolution) within the Universe. Just wanting something to be different won't make it happen - a fact I think most of us are very familiar with. Creation and growth do not happen without a price: Directed, focused energy - that is, Will - is the currency for purposeful change, regardless of what the end result is to be.

It takes strength and determination, stubbornness and true grit to stay the path of Magick. It takes mental and emotional discipline to imagine what does not exist and what has never existed while keeping the mind clear of old paradigms and expectations. It takes sustained effort and being so controlled that the only thoughts, emotions and actions that are presented to the Universe during the process are the ones that lead to the goal.
If you think this is easy, try this experiment:  Hold one thought - of anything you would like to see manifest in your reality, anything that does not already exist - without another thought entering into your mind for a mere 17 seconds (I have read this is the shortest amount of sustained time needed for a human being to effect even a small, insignificant change in Reality - but even if that isn't so, I still challenge you to try it). Seventeen seconds. Be sure to create a powerful desire for that thing you want to manifest, and keep that powerful level of desire burning at the same time as you sustain constant and focused awareness of your goal.  This is not simply meditation:  The goal of Magick is to create a change in Reality.

Most people can't even begin to generate a clear concept of something that doesn't exist, much less maintain a powerful desire for it for longer than a few milliseconds. Magickal Workings can take not just a short 17 seconds, but minutes and more. And then there are the Works of Mages....

The Mage is the Work

As above, so below: macrocosm/microcosm. The need for extraordinary desire and will plus the need to sustain the process over time means becoming the Work, not merely directing it. As an artist or musician is a person who has so merged with the work that he/she cannot meaningfully be talked about separately from the art or the music, so too a Mage cannot be meaningfully considered separately from the Work.

Unlike with artists or musicians, however, a Mage can never not be a Mage. Once become a Mage, a person has crossed a line:  Enlightenment brings the understanding that humans alone are responsible for the outcomes of their choices - and that understanding cannot become unknown or unlearned or even forgotten. In order to manifest in the world, the Mage must literally change his/her own Reality.  Enlightenment means that a Mage must be the change he wishes to manifest.

Thus enlightenment is like losing virginity - there is no undoing about it. An artist can stop painting, a musician can stop playing music and eventually each will no longer be an artist or musician - but no amount of celibacy will get a person's virginity back.  "Mage" is not a title but a description of a state of being. Magick is a process used to change the reality of the Mage, whose state then becomes a microcosm of change in the greater Reality of the Universe.

Never Confused

We can only imagine how it must have been for Jimmy Page, back in the late 1960s, to be feeling his way through music in order to express what must have been a powerful inner vision that stirred within him. We know that he tried and discarded visual expression (painting) as a means to satisfy what was in him that wanted to come out.  From the beginning Mr. Page experimented with different musical instruments, pushing musical barriers to try to capture the perfect sound that was his inner vision.

How extraordinary it must have been to one day hear a song performed by Jake Holmes (ironically, the originator of the slogan "Be All That You Can Be") that carried a hint, some echo of essence, some sound that was perhaps almost there, almost right, almost what Jimmy Page's heart and soul could feel so strongly. How that music must have called to Mr. Page, and how joyfully he must have responded! Did he know, even then, that Dazed and Confused would be one of the most powerful vehicles for his musical genius for the next half century?

Willy-nilly, Jimmy Page has changed Reality - his own and the world's - with that song. Each time he performs it, it is a Work in progress, never a repetition. Each time it is a restatement of his desire, an expression of his will, a ritual of exploration and manifestation that changes Reality. Each time has gone on since 1968.  Can there be any more evidence of Will than that?

Mage Music is dazzling, it dazes and amazes us - but the Mage Musician that is Jimmy Page is never confused. We know this because if he plays the same song, he nevertheless doesn't play the same music!  Mr. Page still explores, still searches for the perfect combination of components, still performs the ritual of Mage Music. The desire and Will that has driven him for so long is why he is a Master.  Absolutely no confusion about that.

Future post: Ritual (probably next week, but maybe not!)

YouTube full playlist

Dazed and Confused - individual songs

1967 Jake Holmes - Dazed and Confused (album) The Above Ground Sound
1968 Yardbirds - I'm Confused (live) Yardbirds Album: Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page
1969 Led Zeppelin - Dazed and Confused (studio) Album: Led Zeppelin
1973 Led Zeppelin - Dazed and Confused (live)Madison Square Garden. Soundtrack from the movie, The Song Remains The Same
1988 Jimmy Page - Dazed and Confused (live) solo Arizona Sept 17 1988
1999 Jimmy Page - Dazed and Confused (live) New York
2002 Jimmy Page with Paul Weller band - Dazed and Confused (live) Feb 09, 2002 Royal Albert Hall, Children's Cancer Trust Benefit
2007 Led Zeppelin/Jason Bonham - Dazed & Confused Dazed and Confused O2 Arena

Thursday, August 23, 2012

MAGE MUSIC 17 playlist: Dazed But Not Confused

Playlist for 08/26/12: Dazed and Confused

It takes determination, stubbornness and powerful will to pursue a vision over decades. 

YouTube full playlist

Dazed and Confused - individual songs

1967  Jake Holmes - Dazed and Confused (album) The Above Ground Sound
1968 Yardbirds - I'm Confused (live) Yardbirds Album: Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page
1969 Led Zeppelin - Dazed and Confused (studio) Album: Led Zeppelin
1973  Led Zeppelin - Dazed and Confused (live)Madison Square Garden.  Soundtrack from the movie, The Song Remains The Same
1988 Jimmy Page - Dazed and Confused (live) solo Arizona Sept 17 1988
1999 Jimmy Page - Dazed and Confused (live) New York
2002 Jimmy Page with Paul Weller band - Dazed and Confused (live) Feb 09, 2002 Royal Albert Hall, Children's Cancer Trust Benefit
2007 Led Zeppelin/Jason Bonham - Dazed & Confused Dazed and Confused O2 Arena

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Whole Lotta Love Notes

"Music is magic. Magic is life. "
                                             ~ Jimi Hendrix

Mage Music 16

Before you read any further, watch the first video the playlist below, the1997 Warner Music Group Mothership promo video of Whole Lotta Love.  Yes I said "watch".  Although the other songs in the playlist are in order of when they were performed and this one isn’t, and even though I generally recommend that you listen only - not watch - the music videos I suggest, this time I’m saying … watch this one. It’s meant to prime you for understanding what this post is about.

Oooh Baby
Sex: Ask some people (advertising agents, botanists, behaviorists, psychiatrists, religious zealots, lyricists and students of Magick just to name a few) and they’ll probably tell you that sex is the motivator for everything in life (maybe some would say the bane of everything in life, but that’s another discussion someone else can pick up someplace else).

Sex? The motivator for life? That isn’t really true. It’s desire that is the motivator for life.

Sex is only one way of satisfying desire. There’s a whole lotta desire out there, much more than there is for merely love. Without desire no living thing would do anything at all, not even bother to initiate sex. That’s because desire is required to initiate action of any kind – even the most inconsequential, meaningless action.

Desire is wanting something other than what exists: A different situation, a different experience. True desire is kind of like an itch or a sneeze – it starts out little and the next thing you know, it’s irresistible. You gotta have it. Now. And by the time you act on it there’s no question of what it is you’re going to do.

Desire: Deep Down Inside
There is the desire and there is the desired: The want and the thing wanted. The desire to reproduce and the pleasure from it is a primitive, lizard brain thing – but then so is music. It’s no wonder that sex and music are so closely linked.

Like good sex, music begins with wooing, igniting the flame. It can be hard or gentle, depending on what suits the mood. Either way, the heat builds to a climax (when it's good, sometimes more than one climax!) but once you're there, climax is the end of the desire:  That's what it is for. Satisfaction is the sating of desire or, put another way, the desired outcome of any act is not the scratching of the itch but the cessation of the itch – the fulfillment of desire is to no longer have desire.

Magick works the same. It begins with a wooing, it builds to a climax that results in the manifestation of the change the Mage desires - and therefore the end of the desire itself.

Sex and Magick come from the same source. Their root is desire. Their end goal is fulfillment: satisfaction and completion. They are parallel in many ways, but they are only parallel, not the same.  Most people don't have any pattern recognition for Magick, so the brain substitutes the nearest explanation. You experience desire of any sort deep down inside, but that doesn't make it about sex. You don’t need sex for Magick, you need desire, but most people can’t really tell the difference.

Hungry for Power
When you recognize Magick in the music, what you are sensing - beyond what your ear captures - is Power, the life energy of the Universe. Power is so very sexy, though it isn’t actually sexual. It is the Real Thing:  A link to the Force, to the energy of life and because it is so Big, so Much, because it’s the highest high, the brightest Light, the best of the best, we compare it to things that we can experience that are similar (pattern recognition again). Good sex that takes us out of ourselves is what we know, and so we compare Power to sex and we believe that sex itself is a property of Magick when it isn’t, really.

So.  Music that is not only about sex but also carries Magick is a double whammy. Mage Music doesn’t have to even be sexy to be Sexy. It’s all about desire: We taste a bit of that Power and we want more. We're hungry for it - we desire it.

Mage Music is sound sex. It is what the essence of the sexual experience is without the sex. Magick connects desire to Power and culminates in a change in the world. And what a powerful tool desire is for Magick - a good thing since desire is one of the main components of Magick. Imagine what it must feel like for the Mage.

Does it Quack for You?
When the infinite part of you – your soul – is connected to the Infinite that is the Universe and resonates with it during the experience of music, then you’re feeling the Magick. That's the good news.  The bad news is that while souls can resonate with the Infinite, ordinary humans can’t fully participate in the experience of the Infinite and still remain in finite bodies (the result is insanity… or death. We’re just mere humans, we listeners to music – we aren’t Mages, and even Mages court insanity and death as I'm sure you've observed).

The Magick in Mage Music isn’t for us or about us – the Magick is the Mage’s, not ours. The Mage's role is the connection to the Infinite.  Our role is that of the witness. Still, we can’t help but notice – and react to – the powerful desire that the Mage uses in the Magickal process. We are pulled to Mage Music, and we especially love sexy Mage Music. Heck, any Mage Music is sexy, when you come down to it. We can't help ourselves.

If it feels like a duck and it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it is a duck. Mage Music feels sexy, so it is sexy.  The music in the playlist below is in no way the only sexy music Jimmy Page created.  Just because the songs happen to be (mostly) about ordinary sexy stuff isn’t why they are on the list – they’re there in spite of the ordinary sexy stuff. They are there because they are Mage Music, not because they’re sexy music - and these songs are Mage Music because of the Power manifested by the desire of the Mage creating the music.

Obviously a Mage who chooses music to perform publically intends for us to perceive the Magick – we get to be voyeurs in a very personal process but at least we've been invited. A Mage Musician uses the feedback of the audience’s resonation with the Magick as part of the Mage’s Magickal process - but even so, we still are each just witnesses, not the one creating the Magick, and we are not who the Magick is for.  The Mage doesn't need us for Magick, he just desires us.

Hot/Cold Desire
You ever play the game of hot/cold or charades where your the others guide you by telling you if you’re aiming in the right direction or the wrong one? That is feedback, and a Mage Musician uses audience feedback just like any ordinary musician or artist does. Music reflects a search - for desire and for climax. In the kids' game, “hot” is getting closer, “cold” is going away from the goal. In Magick and Mage Music – and sex - getting closer feels good, going away from the goal feels bad… or at least neutral (which is actually bad because you aren't getting where you want to be). It’s all about feeling your way to the emotion of desire: You may not know what you want - quite - but you recognize it when you feel it.

Artists in the act of creating are driven by desire. Whatever their medium - paint, words, music, dance, stone or pixels – artists in the act of creating feel the pull of desire.  Recognizing it, they act, they feel the hot/cold of results, they adjust and act again, sometime with lightening speed, sometime with a snail's pace of deliberation. They play us for the feedback only to serve their own desire.

The Mage works with the un-physical medium of Magickal process. At once both freer and requiring the highest discipline, desire is still the driving force, and the fulfillment of desire is still the end goal. No matter to the Mage Musician that the audience is witness and feedback mechanism, only tangential to the Magickal outcome - the Mage will do what the Mage will do whether there's an audience or not.  But you know, so what?

We hear it, we feel it.  We get a whole lotta deep down, too.  

Future post: First there is desire, but intention makes it all happen.

Individual Songs

Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin Warner promo video for Mothership (while I normally advise listening only - this promo video is worth looking at as support for the Sunday MAGE MUSIC post)
Baby Come On Home Led Zeppelin (studio) 1968  Album: Coda
You Shook Me Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions 1969
Since I've been Loving You  Led Zeppelin  (live) LA 1972 Album: How The West Was Won
In The Light Led Zeppelin (studio) 1975  Album: Physical Graffiti
I'm Gonna Crawl  Led Zeppelin (studio) 1979 Album: In Through The Out Door
Emerald Eyes  Jimmy Page (live) 1988 Outrider Tour
Whole Lotta Love A few seconds from It Might Get Loud 2008

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Playlist for Sunday 08/19/12

Whole lotta love notes
Mage Music 16: Whole Lotta Love Notes

YouTube Playlist

Individual Songs

Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin Warner promo video for Mothership (while I normally advise listening only - this promo video is worth looking at as support for the Sunday MAGE MUSIC post)
Baby Come On Home Led Zeppelin (studio) 1968  Album: Coda
You Shook Me Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions 1969
Since I've been Loving You  Led Zeppelin  (live) LA 1972 Album: How The West Was Won
In The Light Led Zeppelin (studio) 1975  Album: Physical Graffiti
I'm Gonna Crawl  Led Zeppelin (studio) 1979 Album: In Through The Out Door
Emerald Eyes  Jimmy Page (live) 1988 Outrider Tour
Whole Lotta Love A few seconds from It Might Get Loud 2008

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hammer of the Gods

“…it was the opening track on the album that was intended to be incredibly different”.
                                                                    ~ Robert Plant,  in Led Zeppelin by Chris Welch, p 55

Mage Music 14 

Immigrant Song is pretty interesting. Musically, it’s not one of my personal favorites, although it is compelling – it’s one of those “almost” songs for me, not quite carrying the Magick it seems to promise - and I have to wonder about that.  I find the studio version to be flat, leaving me unsatisfied, although the live versions – particularly the 1971 Paris Theatre performance that appears on BBC Sessions or the 1972 LA Forum performance that appears on How The West Was Won - are much more compelling.

Magick or no, the constant pounding pulse that drives this song very well supports the lyrics. You can’t help but feel the energy and want to shove a horned helmet on your head, pick up a hammer and go off with your friends for some good old raping and pillaging. When prefaced by the drone the anticipation builds to almost intolerable levels until the opening onslaught of guitar, drums and bass - and then we’re hit with Robert Plant’s cosmic war cry. We grab our weapons and our torches and off we go. Take no prisoners!

Subtle humor

Some sources claim that Immigrant Song was intended to be a bit humorous. I can sort of see the tongue in cheek aspect of it – after all, the soft acoustical side of Led Zeppelin is introduced in this album and yet the first song is about war and conquest and is anything but soft. Hindsight speculation is risky, but if this was intentional humor it seems that it might also be a joke at the band’s own expense, perhaps even a parody of their musical conquest of the US and their legendary on-the-road excesses.

Subtle humor, indeed, that offers a mighty war anthem album-opener that begs comparison of the mighty Led Zeppelin to the thunderbolt-throwing, mead drinking gods of old – and that then moves on to songs that, in the tradition of the bards of old, tell us stories - tales that were conceived at the primitive 18th century cottage, Bron-Yr-Aur. In an October 1977 interview in Trouser Press Magazine by Dave Schulps, Jimmy Page commented, "It was the tranquility of the place that set the tone of the album." This, about an album that opens with a paean to war, conquest and death.

Led Zeppelin III is a forging into new territory for the band. Perhaps what was being captured with Immigrant Song was the violence of breaking with the past and pushing into an unfamiliar future, with the song’s title an outright reference to a people moving into in new places. It takes strength of will, belief in self and considerable skill to conquer the unknown. We know that Jimmy Page has never had any fear of doing what it takes to push the envelope.  It could be that the Magick really is there after all, just delivered with an unaccustomed blunt force that serves all the better to bring out the contrast with all that follows.  A hammer blow of the gods, if you will, saying PAY ATTENTION.

Imitation (and cover), the sincerest form of flattery

In spite of, or maybe more because of the dynamic, aggressive tone of Immigrant Song, it seems to be highly desirable for use elsewhere, either in the original or covered by other musicians. We hope that Led Zeppelin receives plenty of royalties for this use.

Notable appearances of Immigrant Song (I’m sure there are many more examples):

  • 1973 Opening credits of the martial arts film, Young Tiger, starring Fei Meng and a young Jackie Chan
  • Professional wrestler Bruiser Brody (1946-1988), as entrance music to the ring
  • 1993 Jack Black filmed himself in front of a screaming audience begging Led Zeppelin for the use of Immigrant Song in his movie, School of Rock.
  • 1993 Denis Leary, MTV Unplugged special 
  • 1999 documentary about the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacre, One Day in September
  • 1999 Vanilla Ice, the basis for "Power", a rap metal song
  • 2003 That ‘70s Show Season 5, Episode 24
  • Nirvana With The Lights Out box set (CD + DVD)
  • 2006-07 Trailers for the BBC1 drama series Life on Mars
  • 2007 Minnesota Vikings, during team introductions and before kickoffs. 
  • 2007 Shrek the Third: A schizophrenic Snow White begins her attack on the city gates with Robert Plant’s famous opening cry
  • 2010 Christmas episode of Doctor Who Confidential
  • 2011 Karen O, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • 2011 Loud Music by Michelle Branch (a reference to “Zeppelin” and a very tame version of Robert Plant’s opening cry)
  • Late Night With Conan O'Brien, along with Kashmir
  • Winnipeg Jets opening song before play
  • Viking Kittens (see link below for the horrible video)
  • During credits for the French TV show 50 Minutes Inside.

Trivia: On the first vinyl pressing of the album 'Led Zeppelin III' in 1970, Jimmy Page paid homage to Alastair Crowley by placing a quote in the dead wax (where the groove runs out in the middle of the disc).  On side A you can read, "Do What Thou Wilt..." and on side B, "So Mote Be It"

Further note:  Not much about Magick in this post, but I'll be getting back on topic next time.

Immigrant Song

YouTube Playlist (Led  Zeppelin + Jeff Beck/Jimmy Page only)

Individual song links:

Bonus links:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page

Brad Tolinski's new book, Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page will be available October 23. Tolinski is the Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World Magazine and is Editorial Director of Future US’s music division, which includes Guitar Aficionado and Revolver magazines.

An August 9, 2012 Guitar World article states:  "Light & Shade is drawn from the best of more than 50 hours worth of conversations that touch on everything from the music scene of the ’60s; Page’s early years as England’s top session guitarist working with The Who, The Kinks and Eric Clapton; his time with The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin and his post-Zep projects. The book provides readers with the most complete picture of the media-shy guitarist ever published."

“Light & Shade illuminates the haunted genius of Jimmy Page in an original and completely satisfying way. The conversational dynamic between the author and the subject reveals a wealth of info about the man, the music, and the magic.” – Kirk Hammett, Metallica

Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page may be pre-ordered at now in Kindle or hardcover for the October 23, 2012 release date.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mage Music 15 Playlist for 08/12/12

Mage Music 15:  Hammer of the Gods

YouTube Playlist

Individual song links:

Bonus links on 08/12/12!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mage Music: Bolero, or, Haven’t I Heard This Before?

As a musician I think my greatest achievement has been to create unexpected melodies and harmonies within a rock and roll framework.
                                                                                    ~Jimmy Page, Guitar World 1993

Mage Music 14

Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric," 1895–96, by
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Who doesn’t love a bolero?  It can be clothing (a short jacket with long sleeves AKA a shrug), a dance, orchestral or rock or Latin music. Whatever its form, none of it is original and - depending on who is saying - if it's music, either all or none of it is stolen.

It started with a type of dance originating in the late 1700s in Spain.  Since then, from classical music to rock, the bolero form has been created by Ravel (originally as a ballet in 1928), Chopin, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, and in modern times by Frank Zappa, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Santana – not to mention Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page in the famous Beck’s Bolero.

Often imitated – of course!

Variations on a theme are a time-honored tradition in music and the other arts.  This is because everything in human culture is built on the past achievements of others, on the shoulders of not only the giants, like those mentioned above, but also on the everyday business of normal human life.  The doings of giants are just easier to notice.

Human culture – language, the arts, science, the whole of life – is extraordinarily different today from what it was back in the day of the caveman, but the changes that got us here are not unlike the kids’ game of crack the whip:  We hold hands, we spin around and the last person is shot like a spear off into the unknown.  

So, too, the dreamers and innovators of humanity are shot off into the unknown at the end of a long chain of what has gone before them.  That means that while there has always had to be a first person to make something, whatever was created was not created in a vacuum of human achievement.  Anything that so totally new as to be unrelated to anything else would be, essentially, unrecognized, since humans (like other species) are so heavily reliant on pattern recognition to interpret what they experience that if there is no pattern to recognize, then what has been produced is… nothing.

Tricky balance

Musical advances provide a good example:  New music that is not built on the tones, rhythms and other sound qualities we already know is simply perceived as noise.  We are incapable of recognizing music until we can identify the patterns of it, and we can’t recognize the patterns until we are familiar with them.

Jimmy Page, from his very first work, has been known for his musical innovation, yet even he cannot create unexpected melodies and harmonies that are too far outside the familiar musical framework.  Too far is just too far.

Thus there is no true ripping off of musicians by musicians:  The notion of total musical originality is a fantasy, and the idea that music must be that way is a concept developed by the economics of the music industry, not by the musicians.

Musicians must stand on the shoulders of the giants who have gone before them at the same time they create new music.  The successful incremental innovations are those that achieve the tricky balance between the familiarly old and the outrageously new.  We understand the world – and beyond – through creating new patterns, and it is the joy and embracing of the unexpected within familiar frameworks that leads us to personal and cultural transformation.

Note: This is the post promised at the end of  Mage Music 12: Whence Magic and is a bonus post for August 5, 2012.

YouTube Playlist -  Bolero

Individual songs:

Ravel Bolero 1928 London Symphony Orchestra
Roy Orbison  Running Scared 1961 Orbison fans claim Becks Bolero “stole” its distinctive sound - yet look at the transcript of Ravel's Bolero, below
Jeff Beck Group  Becks Bolero  1967
Beck's Bolero Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2009

Mage Music: Simply The Best

SE Redhill Sonnetta,
not drinking

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make her drink

Mage Music 13

  • A musician can offer the music but can't make you like it.
  • A Mage can offer the Magick but can't make you feel it.
  • Borgs bring change but it's not an offer:  Resistance is futile.
  • Lucifer brought Light - but that actually was an offer, not an obligation to accept.


First, for reference:  Rolling Stone Magazine published a list of what they consider to be the 100 greatest guitarists ever in November 2011, and recently came out with a special collectors print edition (October 25, 2012).  Both online and print versions provide justification for placement of each guitarist by one of the judges.  The panel of fifty some odd “top guitarists and other experts” who did the ranking named Jimi Hendrix number one, Eric Clapton number two and Jimmy Page as number three.  Ninety seven other guitarists were listed - some of whom I just couldn't figure.  A few pretty darned good ones didn’t appear at all.  <Shaking head in puzzlement>.  

Jimmy Page number THREE?  Really?

Really:  In the opinion of the people doing the judging, Jimmy Page came out number three.  Thus the aphorisms at the top of this page, because what is most important about the Rolling Stone Magazine list is that it doesn’t matter one bit.  “Best guitarist” doesn’t equal Mage Musician, and the only true judge of who might be a Mage Musician that matters for you is you.

I’m giving myself a little break this week, so am cutting it short.  Below are links to Rolling Stone’s idea of “key tracks” for Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, followed by my own suggested alternatives for your consideration.  I'm not saying anything about who's the best guitarist, but I am suggesting that there is another way to think about music.  But don’t take my word for it – you be the judge.

Bonus: The promised more info on Beck's Bolero coming right after this - no waiting a week for the next post!

Mage Music 13 Playlist: Simply The Best

Individual tracks:

Jimi Hendrix 
Rolling Stone "key track:
 Purple Haze 1967 (studio) Album: Are You Experienced 
 Purple Haze 1967 (live)
Mage Music suggestion:
 All Along the Watchtower  1968 (studio) Album: Electric Ladyland 
1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) 1968 (studio) Album: Electric Ladyland
 Star Spangled Banner1969 (live) , Woodstock 

Eric Clapton 
Rolling Stone "key track:
 Crossroads 1967 (studio) Album: Disraeli Gears 
 Crossroads 2005   (live) Cream Reunion, Royal Albert Hall
Mage Music suggestion:
 Layla 1970 (studio) Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs   
 Cocaine 2004 (live) Crossroads Guitar Festival 

Jimmy Page
Rolling Stone "key track:
 Stairway to Heaven 1971 (studio) Album:  no name (Led Zeppelin IV) 
 Stairway to Heaven 2007 (live) O2 Reunion London

Mage Music suggestion:
 Achilles Last Stand 1976 (studio) Album:  Presence 
 Instrumental 1986 (live) Jimmy Page & Safe Sex at Heartbreak Hotel, Ibiza
 Since I've Been Loving You 1995 (live) Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Irvine California

Oh, and the following - just because I I liked the title of this song for my blog post and because this song is such an ear worm:
Tina Turner 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mage Music 13 Playlist: Simply The Best

Individual tracks:

Jimi Hendrix 
Purple Haze 1967 (studio) Album: Are You Experienced 
Purple Haze 1967 (live) 
All Along the Watchtower  1968 (studio) Album: Electric Ladyland
1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) 1968 (studio) Album: Electric Ladyland
Star Spangled Banner1969 (live) , Woodstock 

Eric Clapton 
Crossroads 1967 (studio) Album: Disraeli Gears 
Crossroads 2005   (live) Cream Reunion, Royal Albert Hall 
Layla 1970 (studio) Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs   
Cocaine 2004 (live) Crossroads Guitar Festival 

Jimmy Page
Stairway to Heaven 1971 (studio) Album:  no name (Led Zeppelin IV) 
Stairway to Heaven 2007 (live) O2 Reunion London  
Achilles Last Stand  1976 (studio) Album:  Presence
Instrumental 1986 (live) Jimmy Page & Safe Sex, Ibiza
Since I've Been Loving You 1995 (live) Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Irvine California 

Oh, and just because I like the title for the 08/05/12 blog post and this song is such an ear worm:
Tina Turner