Saturday, October 31, 2015

On This Day 31 October

Lucifer, bringer of light.
2011 31 October On This Day Lucifer Rising
All Hallows Eve, Samhain or just dressing up and trick-or-treating - celebrate the day as you see fit, but stay safe.

  • 1966 The Yardbirds Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour - Beaumont, TX at Beaumont Municipal Auditorium
  • 1969 Led Zeppelin Springfield, MA at  Springfield Municipal Auditorium, Gansett Tribal Rock Festival 

1969 31 October On This Day Led Zeppelin, Springfield MA
And no, I am not providing a link to Homer Simpson singing anything.

♪  Lucifer Rising and Other Sound Tracks (Jimmy Page, 2011) YouTube

Friday, October 30, 2015

On This Day 30 October

Jimmy Page wins it all if you ask me.
1987 30 October On This Day Writes of Winter nominated for a Grammy Award
♪ Writes of Winter (Soundcloud)

  • 1966 The Yardbirds - Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour, Harlingen, TX at Harlingen Municipal Auditorium
  • 1966 The Yardbirds - Corpus Christi, TX at Corpus Christi Memorial Coliseum (last show with Jeff  Beck)
  • 1969 Led Zeppelin - Buffalo, NY at Kleinhans Music Hall
  • 1988 Jimmy Page Outrider Tour - Philadelphia, PA at The Spectrum
  • 1998 Page & Plant – London, at University of London Union 

"As a unit, they are taskmasters. The intensity with which they look at each other while working is amazing. Their unit concentration is amazing. And their musical tightness is also amazing.
"Jimmy Page... gave a fascinating technical display of guitar artistry.  In [White Summer] Page pulls up a chair and calmly tunes his old Silvertone guitar. He strives for a strange form of musical tonality in his guitar and proceeds to through his paces. The number combined an interesting musical texture which hinted of the Far East, the folk idiom and the country-western style. in a dazzling display of manual dexterity . Page made his music become his speech. He communicated what he felt at the time. Page was the featured performer that night. His brilliance on the guitar let the crowd to numerous ovations.
~ Buffalo News, Oct. '69

Jimmy Page was using his 1961 Danelectro 3021 for session work in 1965 and began using it in 1967 on stage for White Summer with The Yardbirds. 
"I used a special tuning for that; the low string down to B, then A, D, G, A and D. It’s like a modal tuning, a sitar tuning, in fact."
~ Jimmy Page, Steve Rosen interview 1977
1969 Jimmy Page with Danelectro 3021 at Buffalo (photo Art Juchno)
1969 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin Buffalo (photo Art Juchno)

1969 Led Zeppelin Buffalo  (photo Art Juchno)
It's hard to imagine how any work of Jimmy Page's would not win any award it was nominated for. On the other hand, the way the Grammy Awards are determined gave Outrider a handicap right out of the gate because of the timing.

The Grammy process begins with members of the Recording Academy and record companies submitting entries for the eligibility year.  For Outrider that would have been 1 October 1987 through 30 September 1988.

Only Recording Academy Voting Members vote to nominate, however - record companies do not vote. Outrider was not released until June 1988. Thus the mystery: how did the October 1987 nomination come about at all when the album hadn't been released yet?

What's not a mystery is to know how incredible Outrider would have been as a double album if the tapes hadn't been stolen from Jimmy Page's house. Where are they now? And who do we have to kill to get them?

ca 1998 Jimmy Page with Danelectro  3021 "Silvertone" with replacement bridge

♪  White Summer (The Yardbirds feat. Jimmy Page 30 March 1968) YouTube
♪  Full set (Led Zeppelin Buffalo 1969) YouTube
♪  Writes of Winter (Jimmy Page, Outrider) YouTube
♪  Night Flight (Page & Plant, London 1998) YouTube
♪  Full set (Page & Plant, London 1998) YouTube

Thursday, October 29, 2015

On This Day 29 October

The stairway goes far beyond a glittery heaven
1988 29 October On This Day Jimmy Page/Outrider, Worcester at Centrum
♪ In My Time of Dying (Soundcloud)

  • 1966 The Yardbirds Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour - Dallas Memorial Auditorium 
  • 1967 The Yardbirds - Chicago, IL at The Cheetah Club
  • 1969 Jimmy Page & Robert Plant with Joe Walsh- Kent, OH at JB’s
  • 1972 Led Zeppelin - Montreux, Switzerland at Pavilion Montreux
  • 1988 Jimmy Page Outrider Tour - Worcester, MA at The Centrum
  • 2014 Jimmy Page interviewed on French TV, plays a few seconds of acoustic
Chris Dreja is an excellent photographer as well as a musician. He knew Jimmy Page from the Yardbirds, but in fact had performed on stage years before then with Yardbirds co-founder, Top Topham, and British blues musician, Duster Bennett - along with a young Jimmy Page on guitar. (Jimmy Page signed Bennett to the Swan Song label in 1975).  Dreja was with Jimmy Page and Peter Grant in 1968 when they were auditioning prospects - including Robert Plant and John Bonham - for the new band that would become Led Zeppelin. In 2010 Dreja told Carol Miller on her show Get The Led Out, "John Bonham was an absolute must-have. A little iffy about Robert". 

Dreja took the photo of Led Zeppelin that is on the back cover of the band's first album and a few other photos that you've no doubt come across over the years. Check out his website and click on the link "People" to see a few of them.

1968 Chris Dreja photograph of Led Zeppelin for the back cover of their first album

Joe Walsh had given Jimmy Page (or Jimmy Page had bought from Joe Walsh) the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'Number One' in April of 1969. By October Number One had already taken the place of Jimmy Page's 1959 Fender Telecaster as his primary guitar on stage.  

If there are photos or any recordings of the jam that night with half of Led Zeppelin and Joe Walsh at the bar in Kent, Ohio, I haven't come across them. (If you have, dear reader, please share!).  Led Zeppelin was in that part of the country, having played in Boston on the 25th and being scheduled to play in Buffalo the 30th, so it's not unlikely that the jam did take place. It would be interesting to know what guitar Jimmy Page might have jammed on that night.

Oh, for a time machine.

1972 Led Zeppelin at Montreux

1972 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin at Montreux (photo Gilles Chateau)
1988 review of Outrider show

2013 Jimmy Page with fans, London
Jimmy Page did an interview on French TV, Le Grand Journal, during which he played an acoustic guitar for a few minutes, reportedly Ramble On. The clip and the full interview are not available in the US but I'd sure like to see them (hint hint).

♪  Stairway To Heaven (Jimmy Page, Worcester 1988) YouTube

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

On This Day 28 October

When one door closes, another is opened.
1966 28 October On This Day Yardbirds, Dick Clark's Caravan of the Stars Tour

  • 1966 The Yardbirds - Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour, Amarillo at Tri-State Fairgrounds Coliseum
  • 1967 The Yardbirds - St. Louis, MO at Washington University, Francis Fieldhouse
  • 1972 Led Zeppelin - Montreux, Switzerland at Pavillion Montreux (day 1)
  • 1988 Jimmy Page Outrider Tour - Uniondale, NY at Nassau Complex, Mitchel Field Complex 
Joining the Dick Clark tour might have been the straw that broke the camel's back for Jeff Beck and the Yardbirds.

The tour was a grueling endurance test for the participants, who were treated anything but like stars. Every show each act got to do a few songs and then the next band was up. Soon as the show was over everyone got in the bus with the other acts and their gear and were hauled off to the next gig. They did this day after day for a month at a time with no breaks. 

It was trial by fire. 

At this point, both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were playing lead guitar, though it wasn't for long. Not long into the tour, Beck took off. While it must have been traumatic for the band, it was the opportunity for Jimmy Page and The Yardbirds' manager, Peter Grant, to move the band into a new musical direction, one that would ultimately morph into Led Zeppelin.  

Claude Knobs introduced Led Zeppelin at Montreux as the greatest rock and roll band in the world.  As Chris Charlesworth said in his Melody Maker review of the two shows, "it was a description taken for granted by many, but which suits only a few". 
1972 Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Backstage at Montreux

1972 Robert Plant, Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin at Montreux (Gilles Chateau photo)

1972 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin at Montreux (Gilles Chateau photo)

1972 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin at Montreux (Gilles Chateau photo)
"I want to introduce you to the mistress..."

♪  Full set (Jimmy Page, Outrider Tour Uniondale 1988) YouTube

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

On This Day 27 October

MSG makes your experience tastier
1995 27 October On This Day Page & Plant at Madison Square Garden (day 2)
Video:  ♪ Achilles Last Stand (Page & Plant, Atlanta 1995) YouTube

  • 1995 Page & Plant Unledded Tour - New York, NY at Madison Square Garden (day 2) 

1995 Page & Plant chillin' at MSG (Ross Halfin photo)
On this day musician, singer and songwriter Lou Reed died from liver disease. Just a few weeks before Jimmy Page had attended the London launch of the photobook, Transformers, a joint project by Reed and Mick Rock.
RIP Lou Reed (1942-2013)
Jimmy Page, Lou Reed, Mick Rock in London shortly before Lou's death

♪  I'm Waiting For My Man (The Yardbirds feat. Jimmy Page, Lou Reed cover 1968) YouTube
♪  Kashmir (Page & Plant, MSG 1995) starts approx. 4:00 YouTube

Monday, October 26, 2015

On This Day 26 October

Never out of time when it comes to Jimmy Page's music
1987 26 October On This Day Jimmy Page recorded Blues Anthem with Chris Farlowe

  • 1968 Led Zeppelin - Bristol, England at Bristol Boxing Club 
  • 1987 Jimmy Page with Chris Farlowe, Blues Anthem for Outrider recorded
  • 1988 Jimmy Page Outrider Tour - East Rutherford, NJ at Brendan Byrne Arena
  • 1995 Page & Plant Unledded Tour - New York, NY at Madison Square Garden (day 1)
Mick Jagger and Keith Richard wrote Chris Farlowe's biggest hit, Out of Time.  Jagger produced it as well as sang backup vocals, with Jimmy Page on guitar.  

"Funnily enough I didn’t like the song at first. I saw myself as an r’n’b and blues singer, and it seemed too “pop” to me. But Mick said, wait until you hear it with a full orchestra behind it. And he was right – it’s a great song. I’ve still got photographs of the recording session.’
~ Chris Farlowe, The Merceysider Magazine interview 2014

The orchestra was okay. Kind of overdone, if you ask me. But Jimmy Page - he was the secret weapon. More would have been better.

Jimmy Page's Gibson Cromwell acoustic guitar used to record Out of Time (1966)

Jimmy Page with Gibson Cromwell acoustic guitar
There isn't much info about this Led Zeppelin appearance, but Mick Farren (1943-2013) of The Deviants talked about the show.

"We supported Led Zeppelin at one of their first gigs at the local Bristol boxing club and the audience hated us and despised them. Somebody threw a beer glass at the stage and Sid Bishop, our guitarist, unfortunately threw it back and cut somebody's head open. When Led Zeppelin came on, they got through number and a half until the fire extinguishers, buckets, bricks and everything was being thrown at them.

"All these farmboys with brown suits and haircuts who had come into town looking to get laid marched in. Page and Plant were cracking up in the dressing room after we'd come off, saying how terrible we were. But they had gotten the same treatment because by now it had gotten way out of hand. We had to huddle inside the van while the kids bounced up and down on it and we didn't escape until 2 in the morning when it was safe to go home."

Chris Farlowe sang on three tracks from Jimmy Page's Death Wish II soundtrack (1982), as well as Hummingbird, Prison Blues and Blues Anthem on Outrider.

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant's American tour was sponsored by Miller Genuine Draft (Miller Brewing Company), a portion of the proceeds from the sponsored tour to benefit the Second Harvest National Food Bank Network. It's not clear to me whether every venue in 1995 was covered or only the first leg of the tour. Part of the deal was the Miller Genuine Draft Led Zeppelin Memorabilia truck that was supposed to show up at each venue, and 50 "Miller Genuine Draft Page/Plant guitars" were to be autographed and donated to the cause.  The brewing company guaranteed a minimum $100,000 for Second Harvest.

1995 Robert Plant & Jimmy Page, Madison Square Garden

♪  Out Of Time (Jimmy Page, Chris Farlowe 1966) YouTube
♪  Hummingbird (Jimmy Page with Chris Farlowe, Outrider 1988) YouTube
♪  Prison Blues (Jimmy Page with Chris Farlowe, Outrider 1988) YouTube
♪  Blues Anthem (Jimmy Page with Chris Farlowe, Outrider 1988) YouTube

Sunday, October 25, 2015

On This Day 25 October

Good old Surrey U
1968 25 October On This Day Led Zeppelin at Surrey University

  • 1966 The Yardbirds - Los Angeles, CA at ABC TV Center, taping for The Milton Berle Show
  • 1968 Led Zeppelin - London, England at University of Surrey, Great Hall
  • 1969 Led Zeppelin - Boston, MA at Boston Garden
  • 1988 Jimmy Page Outrider Tour - Rochester, NY at Rochester Community War Memorial 
Although the poster used as the background for today's On This Day post is for The New Yardbirds, in fact Led Zeppelin performed as Led Zeppelin for the first time. The poster, authenticated and auctioned off in 2003, apparently was printed in advance of the gig and prior to when Peter Grant and Jimmy Page decided to switch the name of the band to Led Zeppelin, sometime in mid-October.

Dave Lewis quotes Jimmy Page telling Chris Welch (Melody Maker), "It's refreshing to know that today you can go out and form a group to play the music you like and people will listen. It's what musicians have wanted for twenty years."

Surrey University is also where, on 20 June 2008, Jimmy Page was awarded the honorary degree of Doctorate of the University of Surrey, in recognition of his services to the music industry. 

By the way, if you don't have a copy of  Dave Lewis' book, you really should get one. It's an incredible resource. I keep mine on my desk where I can reach for it whenever I need it.

1988 Jimmy Page Outrider Tour, Rochester NY (Jason Bonham drums) (photo by smagin)

1988 Jimmy Page Outrider Tour, Rochester NY (photo by smagin)

2013 Jimmy Page visits Arctic Monkeys backstage at Earls Court (Ross Halfin photo)

♪  Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (Yardbirds - lipsynched - for Milton Berle Show 1966) YouTube
♪  Outrider / album (Jimmy Page 1988) YouTube

Saturday, October 24, 2015

On This Day 24 October

A long time ago
in a decade far, far away
1963 24 October On This Day Carter Lewis & The Southerners release
Your Mama's Out of Town and Somebody Told My Girl

  • 1963 Carter Lewis & The Southerners feat. Jimmy Page release Your Mama's Out of Town
  • 1969 Led Zeppelin - Cleveland, OH at Clevalnd Public Hall 
  • 1995 Page & Plant Unledded Tour - Philadelphia, PA at The Spectrum  

1963 Jimmy Page with Carter Lewis & The Southerners

1963 Jimmy Page with Carter Lewis & The Southerners

1969 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin at Cleveland (Michael Pierson photo)

1969 Cleveland Chronicle Telegram review of Led Zeppelin show

1969 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin at Cleveland (Michael Pierson photo)
2013 Jimmy Page backstage with Baroness, Electric Ballroom London
(Ross Halfin photo)

♪  Your Mama's Out of Town (Carter Lewis & The Southerners 1963) YouTube
♪  Somebody Told My Girl (Carter Lewis & The Southerners 1963) YouTube
♪  Black Dog , Kashmir (Page & Plant, Philadelphia 1995) YouTube
♪  Full set ( (Page & Plant, Philadelphia 1995) YouTube

Friday, October 23, 2015

On This Day 23 October

The song remains...
1966 23 October On This Day The Yardbirds San Francisco at Fillmore Auditorium
1966 The Yardbirds - San Francisco, CA at Fillmore Auditorium
1976 Led Zeppelin – TSRTS promo, US television debut on Don Kirshner's Rock Show
1995 Page & Plant Unledded Tour - Boston, MA at Fleet Center

1966 The Yardbirds San Francisco at Fillmore Auditorium
(Gordon Linden photo)
'Eleven amplifiers, eleven amplifiers, the Yardbirds have 11 amplifiers, Jesus Christ -- the words seemed to spring from the air in the Fillmore last Sunday as the other groups on the afternoon show waited for the Yardbirds, the stars, and the amplifiers, and their equipment to arrive. Standel advertises that 10 of theirs have the power to kill anyone standing in front of them ... [The Yardbirds'] first note reveals the meaning of the eleven amplifiers. The guitar has a power, a fullness of tone, a depth that has not been often heard outside a recording studio. The sound moves out of the three amplifiers and possesses you, driving the normal impulses out of your nervous system and replacing them with music. But not a music that you've ever heard before. It has the textures and rhythms of Chicago blues, like almost all rock now, but as they play the bass player turns his body so that his instrument is facing the 27 square feet of amplifier and speakers that stand behind him, taller than he, and the feedback tones fill the room with a sound more powerful than anything before it, and touching more on what is happening, and then the lead guitarist goes into an incredible distorted nm with notes and feedback blending into a beautiful new sound ... No other group has been as close to it as the Yardbirds --Beatles, Stones forget it. At the back of the hall it is too loud, muddy, much of it inaudible and the sound system has utterly failed to match the eleven amplifiers. Not a word can be heard.... I am convinced, I am converted, the Yardbirds are the best group in the world. It took a day to come down from that idea. After it was over I watched them leave, clear smiles on their faces and plane schedules on their minds, and I remembered what they had done to my favorite music, and how my mind ached with the glory of today [but] all the songs sounded the same ... They don't have the variety or didn't choose to on stage that day. Like Butterfield they did one thing, and really well.'

Don Kirshner’s Rock Show website says that the TSRTS footage was aired on 29 September 1976. I tend to doubt that. Given that the movie hadn’t been released yet and Swan Song’s news release was dated October 15, I’m going with the 23 October 1976 date.

"Although they never appeared live on the show, footage from Zeppelin’s 1976 film, The Song Remains the Same, was aired on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert on September 29, 1976.  Featured selects included performances of “Rock and Roll”, “Bring It On Home”, “Wear Flowers In Your Hair”, “Black Dog”, and “Dazed and Confused.”  The astounding 25 minute performance of “Dazed and Confused” showcased some of the band’s wildest stage antics, particularly Jimmy Page’s technique with a violin bow. " 

1976 Swan Song press release for TSRTS

Jimmy Page playing Stairway To Heaven, from the TSRTS movie

♪  Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin, from TSRTS movie 1976) YouTube