Friday, September 18, 2015

On This Day 18 September

Firmly under control and Satisfaction Guaranteed
1984 18 September On This Day Jimmy Page with The Firm, Sol Studios

  • 1970 Page/Plant press conference New York, Savoy Hotel
  • 1984 Jimmy Page recording at Sol Studio with The Firm
  • 1998 Page & Plant - Laguna Hills, CA at Irving Meadows Amphitheatre

In New York for the two Madison Square Garden sets the next day, on this day Jimmy Page and Robert Plant sat down for a press conference at their hotel.  
Interviewer: How does it feel to be number one?
Plant: A shock...
Page: We knew we were appreciated by the fact that people were coming to along to see us in such great vast numbers all over the place - England and the continent and wherever... but no one expected this.
Perhaps Robert Plant was shocked, but somehow I've got a suspicion that Jimmy Page had vast numbers of appreciative audience in mind all along.

On this day in 1970 - likely unbeknownst yet to Jimmy Page or Robert Plant or anyone at the conference given all the laughter - Jimi Hendrix, the extraordinary left-handed guitarist and musician, had died. Led Zeppelin never played more than a few phrases of any of Jimi Hendrix's body of work other than The Killing Floor (below). It's extraordinary how uniquely different the two takes are. For Led Zeppelin, that song morphed into The Lemon Song. For Jimi Hendrix The Killing Floor is one of many monuments to his incredible talent.

RIP Jimi Hendrix (27 November 1942 - 18 September 1970)
One of the fun things for me in doing the Mage Music blog is the research involved with each On This Day post. I enjoy the challenge of searching the internet and my many books and magazines to find what I'm looking for. The research requires sifting out facts from all the copy/paste inaccuracies and fuzzy memories, hunting down obscure references, and learning new tidbits that I hadn't come across before, which I then share with you, my readers.

Most of all, though, this labor of love means I get to listen to lots of music every day.

In seeking out the various songs and their live performance versions I'm forced to listen to music I might otherwise pass over. That's not an onerous task mind you.  Far from it, in fact.

For instance, I tend to relegate The Firm and Mean Business to the background of my musical preferences, rarely calling them up to listen to - but that's a mistake on my part. Listening only to absolute favorites means always listening to the same stuff. As wonderful as that seems, doing so reduces contrast - the light and shade that Jimmy Page has so often referred to over the years. It means losing the perception of musical nuances.

The funny thing about listening to less-favorite music, though, is that I wind up with new appreciation for it because of the greater listening experience that I bring to it. And like Magick, what was not-so-interesting is transformed to very cool stuff after all.

So yeah, I'm hearing both of the albums and The Firm's live performances with new ears. And I'm liking it.

Why shouldn't I? After all, it's Jimmy Page: Satisfaction's guaranteed.

1986 Jimmy Page with The Firm, New Orleans (Mark Bowman photo) 

♪  The Killing Floor (Jimi Hendrix, Stockholm 1969)  YouTube
♪  The Killing Floor (Led Zeppelin, LA 1969) YouTube
♪  Full set (The Firm, Hammersmith Odeon 1984) YouTube
♪  Satisfaction Guaranteed (The Firm, promo video 1984) YouTube
Les Paul appearing as The Bartender; May Pang (John Lennon's former girlfriend) making a 2-second cameo appearance; and Jimmy Page hamming it up for the camera.


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