Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Naysayers and doubters

Each time Jimmy Page releases another remaster the whining starts again.

"But he promised new music!"  (...in the voice of a tired two year old).

And, just like with a whining two year old, what I want to do is smack the naysayers and doubters and lock them in their bedroom (now you know why I don't have kids).

It's not because I don't lust for new music, too -- trust me, I'd be flipping out if I could pre-order any new work by Jimmy Page, even if I had to take out a loan to afford it.  No, I have this reaction for the same reason I want to slap kids aside the head when I hear things like "Are we there yet?", "I'm hungry", "I have to go" when on a road trip.

We are not there yet.  Okay?  Look out the window, stupid, do you see that we are there yet?  No, we are not, so shut up already.

I don't care how long it's been since Jimmy Page put out new music.
I don't care how many times he's said he wants to be seen playing in six months, next year, whatever.
I don't care if he makes promises he doesn't keep -- for whatever reason.

Because, just like with kids in the car, there are valid reasons for not being there yet. We just don't know what those reasons are. The driver might understand how long it takes to get somewhere, but the kid doesn't. Stupid kid just can't shut up about it. And neither can the naysayers and doubters. They don't care that the driver has always -- and many, many times -- delivered them to the destination before this. All they care about is that they aren't happy with the trip right now.

So, please, I'm begging you. PLEASE stop being a two-year-old. Shut up already about your disappointment because so what. I'm disappointed, too.

But I tell you what: If/when we do get new music from Jimmy Page, I'm so getting revenge. I'm going to turn around in the driver's seat, shove my face up against your two-year-old mentality and yell as loud as I can: I told you so, you little doubter, you! 

Not that it'll matter. You'll find something else to whine about.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

On This Day 24 July

2016 24 July On This Day Thank You from Jimmy Page
There are so many On This Day images and other stuff for this day that it was worth a new blog post for 24 July.
  • 1967 The Yardbirds - Little Games album released
  • 1969 Led Zeppelin receives first Gold Record Award
  • 1973 Led Zeppelin - Pittsburgh,PA at Three Rivers Stadium
  • 1977 Led Zeppelin - Oakland,CA at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (day 2)
  • 1979 Led Zeppelin - Copenhagen Denmark at Falkoner Theatre

1967 24 July The Yardbirds' Little Games album released
♪ No Excess Baggage Demo (Yardbirds 1967) Soundcloud

As Jimmy Page has said in interviews, Led Zeppelin, the original album is in a way his favorite because it is the one that started it all. Although it took just 36 hours' studio time (over the course of a few weeks) it was nevertheless a long time coming. Jimmy Page knew the sound he wanted, he knew where he wanted to go with the music, and he simply made it happen when the time was ripe.

"I wanted artistic control in a vice grip, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with these fellows. In fact, I financed and completely recorded the first album before going to Atlantic... It wasn't your typical story where you get an advance to make an album—we arrived at Atlantic with tapes in hand... Atlantic's reaction was very positive – I mean they signed us, didn't they?"
~ Jimmy Page, Guitar World interview 1993
1969 Led Zeppelin receives first Gold Record Award
The belly dancer. This was the last concert before the sudden death of Robert Plant's son, Karac. Led Zeppelin would never again perform in the United States. 

1977 24 July SHOWCO working on Led Zeppelin stage set for the band's last US performance

1977 24 July - the belly dancer
1977 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin Oakland California

1977 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin Oakland California

1977 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin Oakland California

1977 Oakland Coliseum during Led Zeppelin concert

2005 24 July Riffathon charity event

2014 24 July Jimmy Page merchandise available on his website

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Complete BBC Sessions


Led Zeppelin - The Complete BBC Sessions

Remastering Supervised By Jimmy Page With Previously Unreleased Recordings

CDVinyl, And Digital Formats, Including Super Deluxe Boxed Set, Available September 16

Nearly 20 years ago, Led Zeppelin introduced BBC SESSIONS, an acclaimed two-disc set of live recordings selected from the band's appearances on BBC radio between 1969 and 1971. On September 16th, the band will unveil THE COMPLETE BBC SESSIONS, an updated version of the collection that's been newly remastered with supervision by Jimmy Page and expanded with eight unreleased BBC recordings, including three rescued from a previously "lost" session from 1969.

BBC SESSIONS was originally released in 1997 and has been certified double platinum by the RIAA. THE COMPLETE BBC SESSIONS builds on that collection with a third disc that boasts eight unreleased performances. In addition, the set includes extensive session-by-session liner notes written by Dave Lewis. For the first time ever, it provides accurate details and notes about all of the band's BBC sessions.

Musical highlights on this new collection include the debut of a long-lost radio session that has achieved near-mythic status among fans. Originally broadcast in April 1969, the session included three songs: "I Can't Quit You Baby," "You Shook Me," and the only recorded performance of "Sunshine Woman." Also included are two unreleased versions of both "Communication Breakdown" and "What Is And What Should Never Be." 

THE COMPLETE BBC SESSIONS will be available in the following formats:  

• Deluxe Edition (3CD) 
Remastered original album plus a third disc of unreleased audio. 
• Deluxe Edition Vinyl (5LP)  
Remastered original album, plus a fifth LP of unreleased audio, on 180-gram vinyl
• Digital Download 
Remastered album and unreleased audio will both be available.
• Super Deluxe Boxed Set (3CD/5LP) 
  - Remastered album, 2 CDs, each in a replica sleeve. 
  - Unreleased audio on CD in a separate card sleeve.
  - Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl.
  - Unreleased audio on 180-gram vinyl. 
  - High-def audio download card of all content at 96kHz/24 bit. 
  - 44-page book filled with photos of the band, the recording locations, BBC memorabilia, and session information. 
  - High-quality print of the original album cover, the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered. 


Friday, July 15, 2016


1993 still from Pride and Joy video, Coverdale/Page
People tend to dismiss Coverdale/Page as a Robert Plant substitute effort. I've always thought that doing so is not only a mistake, but that such a viewpoint alters the listening experience enough to make it impossible to really hear what's going on. They're missing out on an extraordinary opportunity to appreciate some first-class music.

Both Jimmy Page and David Coverdale were, by 1993, seasoned musicians and no longer in the flower of their youth. While some would say they were past their prime, when it comes to creativity there may never be a prime -- there may be just one masterpiece after another.

Make no mistake. Coverdale/Page is nothing but a masterpiece.

Jimmy Page and David Coverdale nail it. These two musicians have a nitty-gritty, tarnished depth to them that is different than Led Zeppelin, mostly because David Coverdale is not, in fact, Robert Plant. 

Coverdale delivers something entirely new to the music: Life experience.  In the years when Led Zeppelin was recording and touring, Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham simply weren't old enough to deliver the perspective that sheer number of years lived gives to the music. That's why the music of Led Zeppelin is, in a weird way, pure and sometimes even innocent.

The Coverdale and Page of 1993 can not pretend to innocence.

Beyond the difference between Coverdale and Plant, there is another interesting aspect to the Coverdale/Page album, namely that it contains a lament about the tragedy and destruction of war. As far as I know, Whisper a Prayer for the Dying is the only time Jimmy Page ever put out a song even remotely political, and this one is amazing. 

This is music of grown-ups who now look beyond their own needs and out to the world where there is so much suffering. This is the music of those who have known of sorrow and loss in their own lives. True, Robert Plant sang of the loss of his beloved son, Karac, and it stabbed us in the heart.  But David Coverdale sings of of the pointless loss of beloved strangers, and it stabs us in the soul.  

♪ Whisper a Prayer for the Dying (Coverdale Page, 1993) YouTube
Check out the lyrics.

♪ Coverdale/Page playlist (YouTube)

Thursday, June 23, 2016


BREAKING: Stairway To Heaven found not to have infringed! Verdict is in!!! Unanimous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I survived the Led Zeppelin trial"

Journalist Pamela Chelin attended the trial and provided timely updates. After the verdict someone at the courthouse handed her this "I survived the Led Zeppelin trial" pass (right). 

Chelin reported:  While the jury found that Jimmy Page & Robert Plant had access to Taurus before writing Stairway To Heaven, they found that the songs were not substantially similar.

Plaintiff Michael Skidmore's attorney, Francis Malofiy, said "We are sad and disappointed but obviously we have to respect the jury's decision." Malofiy told Chelin, "There are many appealable issues. Obviously I will have to discuss them with my client." 

Malofiy seemed frustrated by the decision.  He said that while the jury found that Page & Plant had access to Taurus, only the sheet music and not the audio of the song was admissible at the trial.

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant post-trial statement:
"We are grateful for the jury's conscientious service and are pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of Stairway to Heaven and confirming what we have known for 45 years.  We appreciate our fans' support, and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us."

Warner Music Group post-trial statement:
At Warner Music Group, supporting our artists and protecting their creative freedom is paramount.  We are pleased that the jury found in favor of Led Zeppelin, reaffirming the true origins of Stairway to Heaven.  Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands in historyt, and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are peerless songwriters who created many of rock's most influential and enduring songs."

More at The Wrap

Friday, June 17, 2016

Stairway to Heaven trial

The trial we've all been waiting for and dreading at the same time. I'm posting running updates over on Facebook, which also show up on Twitter. Judge Gary Klausner has banned electronic devices in the courtroom, so there are no as-it-happens reports and no photos. Spectators - including reporters - cannot reserve seating. Meaning if they leave their seats for any reason, the next person in the long line to get into the courtroom can take any seat that a butt has risen from for any reason except standing when the judge enters the courtroom.

A tough way to get timely info on this trial that we all are intensely interested in.

Jimmy Page has provided his testimony.  It is said - but not yet confirmed - that Robert Plant (who is attending the trial) and John Paul Jones (who has not been seen there) may yet take the hot seat on the witness stand.

It is also speculated that there are grounds for a mistrial. Makes you wonder.

I am prejudiced as you know, but I don't care what the jury's decision ends up being. A loss for Led Zeppelin would be a hit on their bank accounts but it would not impact my feelings about Stairway To Heaven. Even a win wouldn't matter much to me. I already know that the Led Zeppelin song is fully theirs, always and forever.

Jimmy Page on the stand being grilled by Spirit attorney Francis Malofiy
Mona Shafer Edwards sketch
Sketch artist Mona Shafer Edwards has been working hard at capturing images from the trial - many of them are posted on the Mage Music Facebook page. Los Angeles based journalist Pamela Chelin (@PamelaChelin) has been providing updates as she can Twitter. Pamela writes for  LA Weekly, LA Times, Spin, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Forbes, TheWrap, and more. Many thanks for her dedication.  Hollywood Reporter's Ashley Cullins (@AshleyCullins) has also provided great observations that I've reposted on Facebook.

♪ Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin, Sunset Sound Mix/Remaster 2014) YouTube