Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On This Day 30 September

I've got some questions for you, Mr. Page...
1971 30 September On This Day Jimmy Page vacations in Bangkok

  • 1966 The Yardbirds - Glasgow, Scotland at Odean Theatre
  • 1971 Jimmy Page in Bangkok
  • 1995 Page & Plant Unledded North American Tour - Denver, CO at Fiddlers Green
  • 1998 Page & Plant North American Fall Tour - Houston, TX at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
  • 2012 Jimmy Page attends The Muse’s show at The Roundhouse

Jimmy Page at the keyboard
When/ Where?
It's been very cool that Jimmy Page has set up some listening sessions where he's taken questions from the audience, and there are many excellent interviews out there. But the man is still a mystery and there are so many unanswered questions. I figure I could do as good a job as anyone so far at interviewing Jimmy Page.

For one thing, what about the photo above? Piano or keyboards? Jimmy Page can play many instruments and no doubt he can do a decent job tickling the ivories, but what was the story with that photo? Was it a recording session? Was he composing? Demonstrating an idea? Just fooling around?

1993 Guitare & Claviers Magazine
Perhaps it is just coincidence that Jimmy Page appeared on the cover of Guitare et Claviers, a French magazine no longer in publication, a magazine not just about guitars but claviers. A clavier is a keyboard instrument, especially one with strings, such as the harpsichord. I haven't read the interview in that issue, but maybe Jimmy Page's piano playing is brought up.

I came across a YouTube video in which Jimmy Page allegedly is playing the piano (at 0:40). It was funny to me that when I read the comments I found two posts by me questioning whether it really was Jimmy Page. I wrote:
"What I want to know is why anyone thinks this actually is Jimmy Page playing piano.  The guitar in the beginning didn't particularly sound like him.  The guitar after the piano doesn't particularly sound like him.  I'm not saying it isn't Jimmy Page, but really - it could be anyone playing, couldn't it?  Who believes anything anyone posts on the internet anymore without some verification."
And that brings me to my point.  Inquiring minds want to know the answers to these questions and so many more. No matter how much diligence used when researching Jimmy Page, the fact is that nobody knows Jimmy like Jimmy Page knows Jimmy. So I'd like to go right to the source.

I know I could do a great job of interviewing Jimmy Page. I've got tons of questions nobody's ever asked before.  And besides, lots of the interviews out there are just plain crap. So just give me a call or email me, Mr. Page. We'll set up an appointment to do an interview at your convenience.

1995 January Guitar Classics Collector's Yearbook

2012 Jimmy Page at The Muse's show at The Roundhouse (Ross Halfin photo)

♫  Jimmy Page home movie (Bangkok 1971) YouTube
♪  Whole Lotta Love (Page & Plant, Denver 1995) YouTube
♫  Page and Plant Interview (TFI Friday 3 April 1998) YouTube
♪  Piano bit (Jimmy Page allegedly playing piano at 00:40)) YouTube


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

On This Day 29 September

Oh Mr. Bonham....
1971 29 September On This Day Led Zeppelin in Osaka, last performance in Japan

  • 1966 The Yardbirds - Stockton, England at ABC Theatre
  • 1971 Led Zeppelin - Osaka, Japan at Osaka Festival Hall
  • 1995 Page & Plant - Albuquerque, New Mexico at Tingley Coliseum
This performance was a bit chaotic, with John Bonham disappearing from the stage and the other three having to wing it for a while. Years later Peter Grant said that Bonzo and Robert Plant were having a tiff about a minor amount of money from some time in the past. Bonham was also reported to have said he was tired of Moby Dick, and in fact the solo was just 11 minutes long this show. 

Perhaps it is fitting that the first and only live performance by Led Zeppelin of Friends was performed at this gig.

1971 Led Zeppelin in Japan

1971 Led Zeppelin, Osaka, day 2

1971 Led Zeppelin in Osaka day 2

♪  Full set (Led Zeppelin, Osaka 29 September 1971) YouTube
♪  Friends (Led Zeppelin, Osaka 29 September 1971) YouTube
♪  Friends (Page & Plant with Bombay Orchestra 1972/2015 remaster) YouTube
♪  Friends (Page & Plant, No Quarter 1994) YouTube
♪  Friends (Led Zeppelin, 1970/2014 remaster) YouTube
♪  Full set (Page & Plant, Albuquerque 1995) YouTube


Monday, September 28, 2015

On This Day 28 September

1965 28 September On This Day Jimmy Page staff producer at Immediate Records
♪ Infatuation (Martin Raynor demo 1965) Soundcloud
  • 1965 Jimmy Page at Immediate Records
  • 1966 Yardbirds - Ardwick, Manchester at ABC Theatre
  • 1971 Led Zeppelin - Osaka, Japan at Festival Hall 
"Jimmy was like a wisp. I don't really know what kind of a person he was, because the great ones keep it hidden and metamorphose on us, so that the room works. But he auditioned people for me."
~ Andrew Loog Oldham (Autumn 2008)

Japan was good for Led Zeppelin. This show was particularly relaxed, with Robert Plant leading the audience in a sing-along (We Shall Overcome), and roadie Clive Coulson sharing vocals and Atlantic VP Phil Carson on bass for C'mon Everybody (freeing John Paul Jones for keyboard).

1971 Led Zeppelin, Osaka (day 1)

1971 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin, Osaka

♪  Full set (Led Zeppelin, Osaka 28 September 1971) YouTube


Sunday, September 27, 2015

On This Day 27 September

1971 27 September On This Day Led Zeppelin Hiroshima benefit concert
  • 1971 Led Zeppelin - Hiroshima at Shiei Taikukan Hall 
  • 1998 Page & Plant North American Fall Tour - Dallas, TX at Reunion Arena

Led Zeppelin presented the mayor of Hiroshima with a check for 7,000,000 yen ($58,000 US in 2015), the band's earnings from the benefit concert.  The mayor presented Led Zeppelin with a city medal in appreciation.

A thenody is a lament in the form of a song, hymn or poem. It is composed or performed as a memorial to the dead. In 1964, Krzysztof Penderecki said, "Let the Threnody express my firm belief that the sacrifice of Hiroshima will never be forgotten and lost."

Originally entitled 8'37" (the piece is approximately eight minutes long) Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima is a composition for 52 string instruments, composed in 1960. The avant-garde piece's score sometimes directs the musicians to play at unspecific points in their range or to concentrate on certain textural effects. For instance, they are directed to play on the opposite side of the bridge or to slap the body of the instrument.
Sound familiar?

1971 Led Zeppelin Hiroshima

1971 Led Zeppelin presented with city medal by mayor of Hiroshima

1971 Jimmy Page displays Hiroshima city medal

Jimmy Page dressing room door sign, Hiroshima

2015 Jimmy Page in Hiroshima (Ross Halfin photo)

Portion of the score from Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima

♪  Hiroshima video YouTube
♪  Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (Krzysztof Penderecki 1994) YouTube
♪  Full set (Led Zeppelin , Hiroshima 1971) YouTube

Saturday, September 26, 2015

On This Day 26 September

Rock and roll, baby
2006 26 September On This Day Jerry Lee Lewis' album, Last Man Standing feat. Jimmy Page
♪ Cold, Cold Heart  Soundcloud

  • 1998 Page & Plant North American Fall Tour, San Antonio, TX at Alamo Dome 

Jerry Lee Lewis' 2006 album, Last Man Standing is subtitled The Duets. While each track on the album does, in fact, feature a list of impressive musicians, the album is all Jerry Lee Lewis. The opening song is Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll, but don't expect it to sound anything like what you're used to or to be hearing Jimmy Page's guitar work as more than support to Lewis' piano. Having heard this version of the song once I don't need to hear it again. One of the very best versions that I listen to all the time is Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones with Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins at Wembley in 2008 (see playlist below).

The album's title refers to the 1950s musicians that helped create rock and roll - Jerry Lee Lewis is the only one still alive. In fact, Lewis is still touring.  His next show is Saturday 03 October 2015 in Beaumont, TX.

2007 Led Zeppelin at Ahmet Ertegun Tribute, Rock and Roll (second encore)

2008 Jimmy Page at Foo Fighters' concert at Wembley

♪  Rock and Roll (Jerry Lee Lewis feat. Jimmy Page, 2006) YouTube
♪   Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin IV, alternate mix 2014 remaster) YouTube
♪   Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin, Detroit 1973) YouTube
♪  Full set - Rock & Roll last song (Page & Plant, San Antonio 1998) YouTube
♪  Rock and Roll (Page/Plant/Jones and Jason Bonham, O2 2007) YouTube
♪  Rock and Roll (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Wembley 2008) YouTube


Friday, September 25, 2015

On This Day 25 September

Remembering John Bonham
1967 25 September On This Day The Yardbirds, Ten Little Indians recorded at Olympic Number Two Studio
♪  Ten Little Indians (Yardbirds 1967) Soundcloud

  • 1966 Yardbirds - Liverpool, England at Liverpool Empire Theatre
  • 1967 Yardbirds - Ten Little Indians recorded at Olympic Number Two Studio; Jimmy Page uses reverse echo effect
  • 1980 John Henry Bonham death 

Ten Little Indians was written by Harry Nilsson for his 1967 Pandemonium Shadow Show album. The Yardbirds covered it that same year. Jimmy Page, who thought it was an "extremely silly song" (Uncut Magazine, January 2009), used engineering to salvage it with reverse echo, an effect that he was to use later on You Shook Me, Whole Lotta Love and When The Levee Breaks.

People have commented on the fact that Jimmy Page has never chosen to acknowledge John Bonham's death on the Jimmy Page On This Day website home page. To me it's no mystery: Jimmy Page has always been very protective of his personal life, and his feelings about Bonzo's passing would be a most unlikely thing he would discuss in such a public way. 

Jimmy Page has also said that everything that needs to be known about him can be found in his music. I believe this is true about any musician who is true to his art. John Bonham was and remains the only drummer I can consistently listen to and hear music, not just rhythm. He has been called the best rock drummer in the world, and I can't disagree. RIP Bonzo.
1971 John Bonham/Led Zeppelin, Belfast

1977 John Bonham/Led Zeppelin, Landover (L Hensley photo)

RIP Bonzo

♪  Ten Little Indians (Yardbirds, 1967) YouTube
♪  You Shook Me (Led Zeppelin, 1969/2014 remaster) YouTube
♪  When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin, Mothership 2007 remaster) YouTube
♪  Moby Dick (Led Zeppelin, Royal Albert Hall 1970) YouTube
♪  Bonzo's Montreux (John Bonham/Led Zeppelin, Coda Mix construction in progress 1976/2015 remaster) YouTube


Thursday, September 24, 2015

On This Day 24 September

England, Japan, US, Mexico, Thailand: A whole lotta love of music for the whole world
1971 24 September On This Day Led Zeppelin, Tokyo at Budokan Hall (day 2)
  • 1966 Yardbirds - Leeds, West Yorkshire, England at Leeds Odeon Theatre
  • 1971 Led Zeppelin - Tokyo, Japan at   Budokan Hall (day 2 of 2)
  • 1974 Jimmy Page - New York City, New York at Central Park
  • 1988 Jimmy Page - New Orleans, Louisiana at New Orleans Municipal Auditorium
  • 1995 Page & Plant - Mexico City, Mexico at City El Palacio de Los Deportes Arena (day 2 of 2)
  • 1998 Page & Plant - Phoenix, Arizona at American West Arena

1971 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin Tokyo Budokan Hall

1971 Led Zeppelin Tokyo
This was the first year of the Jesters Care for Kids Gala night, and the first that Jimmy Page attended.
2011 Jimmy Page with Jesters Gala chairman, Woody Underwood

2011 Jimmy Page with Jesters at Care for Kids Gala Night

♪  Whole Lotta Love medley (Led Zeppelin, Tokyo at Budokan Hall 24 September 1971) YouTube
♪  Jimmy Page’s 8mm footage of Japan 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On This Day 23 September

JIMMY PAGE - the new boy of the group.
1966 23 September On This DayYardbirds at Royal Albert Hall

  • 1966 Yardbirds - City of Westminster, London, England at Royal Albert Hall
  • 1971 Led Zeppelin - Tokyo, Japan at Budokan Hall (day 1 of 2)
  • 1988 Jimmy Page/Outrider - Dallas, Texas at Starplex Amphitheatre
  • 1995 Page & Plant - Mexico City, Mexico at City El Palacio de Los Deportes Arena (day 1 of 2)
  • 1998 Page & Plant - Las Vegas, Nevada at MGM Grand Garden Arena 

1966 Yardbirds at Royal Albert Hall

1966 Yardbirds promo photo
The Japanese idolized Led Zeppelin and seemed to be a refreshing change from the loud and disruptive US audiences the band had been experiencing. Robert Plant was probably pretty sick and tired of having to ask the crowds to quiet down, to stop throwing firecrackers and other objects, and to back away from the stage so people wouldn't get crushed. Not that Japanese audiences didn't want a piece of the boys - the band had to stop during Communication Breakdown because fans were crawling onto the stage.
1971 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin - Tokyo, Japan at Budokan Hall (day 1 of 2)

1971 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin - Tokyo, Japan at Budokan Hall (day 1 of 2)

1998 Page & Plant - Las Vegas, Nevada at MGM Grand Garden Arena

2012 Jimmy Page Artwork for Anthony Nolan 2013 charity auction

Anthony Nolan is a charity dedicated to saving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders. The organization maintains a registry to match individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to people with blood cancer and blood disorders who need transplants. In February 2013 Anthony Nolan held the "Bone Idol" auction of celebrities' drawings of bones on eBay to raise funds. Jimmy Page's drawing is in black ink on a blank postcard. It was autographed and dated on the front and came with a note from Jimmy Page's accountant. It sold for £205.00 ($315 today in US dollars).

♪  Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin, Tokyo 23 September 1971) YouTube
♪  Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin, Tokyo 23 September 1971) YouTube
♪  8mm footage of Led Zeppelin, Tokyo 23 September 1971) YouTube
♪  Heartbreaker (Page & Plant, Mexico City, 23 September 1995) YouTube
♪  Heartbreaker (Page & Plant, Las Vegas 1998) YouTube

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

On This Day 22 September

Blues. Ya gotta love the blues. Unless it's Kashmir.  You can love Kashmir, too.
1965 22 September On This Day John Mayall single produced by Jimmy Page

  • 1965 John Mayall single produced by Jimmy Page released
  • 2012 Jimmy Page at Jesters’ Care for Kids Gala 

I'm Your Witchdoctor & Telephone Blues singles produced by Jimmy Page
By this time, Jimmy Page had been around the block for a while. He was no pushover. Can you imagine his voice when he made his "suggestions" to the recording engineer? 

Jimmy Page's website has referred to his stint with Immediate Records a few times in the past couple of months. I posted about that on this blog HERE, HERE and HERE.

Different year, same event: The Jesters Care for Kids Gala. I posted about the 2013 event yesterday. In 2012 Jimmy Page donated a guitar that he had himself videoed playing to authenticate its provenance. The guitar sold for 423,000 Thai Baht (nearly $12,000 or  £7600 at today's exchange rate) in the auction at the annual Jesters Gala held in the tourist resort of Pattaya, Thailand on this day in 2012. I posted about this donation in another post earlier, and got the year wrong. Sorry.

2012 Jimmy Page plays Jesters Care For Kids Gala donation guitar

2012 Jimmy Page in Thailand signing guitar to be donated to Jesters

♪  I'm Your Witchdoctor (John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers) YouTube
♪  Telephone Blues  (John Mayall and the Blues Breakers) YouTube
♪  On Top of the World (John Mayall and the Blues Breakers) YouTube
♪  Double Crossing Time (John Mayall and the Blues Breakers) YouTube
♪  To help get some good, healthy bids (Jimmy Page playing Kashmir on guitar to be donated to Jester's auction, 2012) YouTube