Tuesday, October 20, 2015

On This Day 20 October

"It’s a pity we hadn’t done a commercial for Mercedes."  Or Gibson.
1966 20 October On This Day The Yardbirds record for Great Shakes commercial

  • 1966 The Yardbirds - London at IBC Studios to record for Great Shakes
  • 1967 The Yardbirds - San Antonio, TX at Pusi-Kat Club
  • 1969 Led Zeppelin - Seattle, WA at Seattle Paramount Theatre (unconfirmed)
  • 1976 Led Zeppelin - New York City at Cinema 1, premier of The Song Remains The Same 

Great Shakes was a General Foods product used to make milkshakes at home.  It included a shaker cup with lid, and a flavored powder to mix with milk.  The marketing was advanced for its time, and included one-minute radio spots recorded by the most popular bands of the day, generally reworks of existing songs. The commercials were released by Columbia Special Products on two volumes with four tracks each, as Great Shakes Shake-Out and Great Shakes Shake-Out 2.  A 1990s edition, Great Shaken' was also released (Mo-Donna EP), with the The Yardbirds' contribution, Over Under Sideways Down.  That EP also included a Pepsi song (by Stone Poneys) and a H.I.S. song (The Troggs).

The Who, The Byrds, Dusty Springfield and other musicians and bands from that era also did spots for Great Shakes.

Dave Lewis and others say Led Zeppelin performed at the Seattle Paramount Theater on this day, but I can find no confirmation of this - no setlist, no recordings, no photos, no promo, no ticket stubs.

Proceeds from the world premiere of The Song Remains The Same (TSRTS) went to the Save the Children Foundation.  The party thrown by Swan Song after the premiere was attended by Ahmet Ertegun (in a neck brace), Mick Jagger, Ron Wood and Linda Ronstadt, among others. 
1976 Jimmy Page at The Song Remains The Same movie premiere, New York City

1976 Jimmy Page at The Song Remains The Same movie premiere, New York City

The Song Remains the Same
In The Song Remains The Same movie Jimmy Page's fantasy sequence opens with him sitting on the lawn overlooking the moat that surrounds his Plumpton Place manor. He climbs up a mountain near his Boleskine House on Loch Ness in Scotland during the nights of a full moon. He seeks the Hermit, which turns out to be himself. The music that accompanies this is a monumental and powerful bow sequence of Dazed and Confused.

The Hermit, according to most tarot traditions, represents the turning away from the outer world and tuning in to the inner life, in order to search for a deeper, higher reality. The tarot card stands not just for seeking, but for maintaining independence as well as guiding others to the higher knowledge.

The image of the hermit with the lantern is based on Diogenes, the Greek ascetic, who was searching for an honest man - a metaphor for searching for higher truth. That depiction of Diogenes, in turn, could well be based on the Greco-Roman understanding of the Celtic Druid, described by Julius Caesar as highly educated and powerful priests who believed in the immortality of the soul and the transmigration of it into other lives (reincarnation). In modern-day illustrations Druids are often depicted as carrying a staff and a light.

According to the Thoth deck, designed by Aleister Crowley, the Hermit is also the Lord of Time whose lantern shines the light of his wisdom and who leans on the staff of his experience.

Lucifer, bringer of light.

Had Jimmy Page been exposed to a different culture, he might have portrayed himself as a shaman, who uses altered states of consciousness to access and interact with the energies of other planes of reality, and to channel those energies into this world.

Give the man a guitar, after all, and that's what he does.

Jimmy Page, The Song Remains The Same

♪  Great Shakes Commercial (the Yardbirds, 1966) YouTube
♪  TSRTS movie trailer (Led Zeppelin 1976) YouTube
♪  Dazed and Confused (Led Zeppelin, The Song Remains the Same 1976) YouTube

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