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Joe Bloggs

Discrepency over Black Mountain Side / Blackwaterside claims

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Maybe, but not all of it is common knowledge. :)

Some of this information could go a long way towards repairing Jimmy Page's image if it was in wider circulation.

I'd still like to verify the release date for Isla Cameron's version of "Blackwaterside". This site says 1959, but this site says 1962. I wonder if one is the UK release date and the other is the US date?

I would also like to know if there were any other recorded versions of the song prior to 1966. I've found 6 so far (Mary Doran, Paddy Doran, Winnie Ryan, Isla Cameron, Liam Clancy, Paddy Tunney) but I've heard rumors of others (Margaret Barry, Michael Cronin?).

And is there any evidence that the song existed prior to 1952? I haven't seen anything.

I take that position as well Scott. More needs to be made of the Isla Cameron - Bert Jansch connection. Far too long just hearing Jansch and his fans harping on about it...

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I started having second thoughts about something I said in the first post here, and typically enough, my memory was playing tricks on me: Jansch came up with his accompaniment before Moynihan. Since I have to correct that anyway, I might as well add some comments and explain why I think swandown is not on the right track here.

The thing is, it was actually Bert Jansch who made Anne Briggs change her mind about accompaniment, because when she heard his playing she figured there was a way after all to avoid the simplistic chords that people tended to use, which of course really amounts to a simplified interpretation. And this happened very early. Anne Briggs was one of the later recruits to the first generation of folk revivalists, and extremely young shen she started singing. One of the people that had inspired her as a teenager, listening to radio, was in fact Isla Cameron, who had recorded an album with Ewan MacColl in 1958 (Blackwater Side is not on that album though) - and it was MacColl who Briggs auditioned for.

Now Ewan MacColl and Bert Lloyd were collaborators, and really the main driving force behind the nascent folk revival scene. They were different men (importantly MacColl also worked in the theatre, for instance on Brecht's Three-Penny Opera, which is a connection Lloyd didn't have), but shared a passion for popular "roots" music, and they both collected songs, worked directly with the sources, but were also performers themselves, and both of them were communists and saw the whole project very much in political terms - the scene did in fact become leftist, although many people already then will not have shared their old-fashioned communism (the new left in Britain was born in the exact same era, after 1956).

You get the picture. These men were who others turned to for songs that they could then perform (and in fact Lloyd and MacColl also turned to these people as performers - it wasn't a competition). In many cases with these old songs there is no way you can actually get straight to the "roots", because already in the wake of the industrial revolution people were moving around a lot and different traditions were thus "uprooted" and the new plants had their "roots" in a different soil. And one shouldn't also forget that orally transmitted traditions also interact with media throughout the same time framework - because you did have printing, of books and sheets, etc. and later recordings and records. "She Moved Through the Fair" - the number Jimmy Page played on the Yardbirds album under the title "White Summer" - was thought to be a discovery when the revivalists in England heard the traveller Margaret Barry (from Ireland) do it. When asked about it, she said it's from a record by Count John McCormack... which it is, and thus not really a folk song as such.

Anyway, the background story of this music, the question where it actually comes from, while interesting, is very often indecidable in the end. Blackwater Side is one of these songs. There were versions in England that seem to be older than the Irish ones, but they are also different, lyrically, and presumably musically as well. The titles are different too, and there's a lot of them! The reference to Blackwater must have entered the picture when the song had travelled to Ireland...and was becoming an Irish song, if you like. What this really means is that there are traditional patterns that travel around and keep getting reinterpreted and changed around - there is no single composer or author, but what has been transmitted from tradition is still always essential.

The basic melody and lyrics that everybody interested in folk knows today derives from Anne Briggs, and that version has certainly been mediated by Irish influences. It's pretty much already there in a compilation by Peter Kennedy, who worked for the BBC, published in 1952, Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (I haven't seen the book myself, just references to it). Kennedy and Sean O'Boyle had recorded the Irish tinkers Mary and Paddy Doran in 1952, who both performed the song - but different versions of it, with different melodies (as you can read about in an interesting note by Karl Dallas).

You have to realize that when Bert Lloyd, in reference to Anne Briggs' eventual recording of the song (made in 1971), says something like "it's a popularized version of the song as done by Mary Doran" what he is doing is really minimizing his own role - "popularization" simply means it's more accessible to a modern audience than the tinkers' versions. Because he pieced it together for Anne Briggs, presumably relying on Kennedy's work for the essentials. And Anne Briggs has always been very consistent in saying that this was exactly how she got the song, from Lloyd, who had, in reality, pieced together yet another version of it. Thus there are no exact older versions of it, but it's still traditional.

Anne Briggs met Bert Jansch, a bluesy acoustic guitarist who had been influenced by Leadbelly and also, closer to home, by Davy Graham's style, already in January 1963 (they had met each other briefly a few years earlier, but that was before Anne's musical career started). They were drawn to each other, romantically and artistically. They were both very young at the time, shared a completely wild lifestyle, and were both unusually talented (astonishingly so, I'd have to say). For Jansch, who had met many revivalist singers before but couldn't relate to them the way you do with somebody your own age, this meant he could actually sit down with Anne and learn the traditional songs from her, noting all the details, asking questions, etc. and for her in turn it was an eye-opening experience, because she could suddenly glimpse the possibility of accompanying the songs in a way that was more attuned to her own sensibility. So, they were lovers and friends, in a chaotic sort of way, and were communicating different things musically to each other. They did not perform together, although they were often both playing in folk clubs at the same date.

At this time Anne Briggs was making her first recordings, and they are a capella - no accompaniment - and that's also how she was performing at the time. She didn't make a recording of Blackwaterside in this era, but her take on it live became legendary in folk circles, and Bert Jansch worked out his own version, basing himself on that. He had performed it live many, many times before he recorded Jack Orion in 1966.

There is no question about it that this is where Jimmy's 'Black Mountain Side' comes from. The only question is how the tune came to him, and that we know pretty much (I reconstructed that whole story a few years ago on these forums, before they mutated into a part of an official website). Jansch's accompaniment incorporates the basic melody into a loose, flowing kind of harmonic framework (for want of a better description) and these are reproduced in Jimmy's version. As Jansch has said himself, he used that type of backing on several tunes back then - it was his style of playing, and inconceivable except in the full context of his peculiar background. Jimmy can't deny that; and he doesn't really. He has in fact said that he wasn't being entirely original on that. Yes, he made a reference then to having heard Anne Briggs perform the song in a club, but what he said about it was just that that's where he first "heard that riff" - remember, the melody is really embroidered into Jansch's accompaniment.

What they really should have done is to acknowledge tradition - although in a way that's exactly what Jimmy's version broke with, because he related it to another musical framework (the Celtic, Indian and Arabic connection, what he's called CIA), emphasizing that with tablas and the accent you get from using DADGAD, instead of the drop D Jansch used. It's a quite ingenious really. Beautifully played as well.

All these artists are wonderful, and it's still not a competition. Listen to Anne Briggs and Bert Jansch on Acoustic Routes, the soundtrack from a 1992 documentary on the latter, when they perform 'Go Your Way' - almost 30 years after they wrote it together. To say that it's moving is an understatement. Jimmy Page as a lad in the sixties had an entirely different background, but it's easy to understand that he would have been influenced by them.

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A minor point: Johnny Moynihan was Anne's accompanist in the sixties, until she had gained more confidence as a guitarist herself. She plays the guitar on the 1971 version, using an arrangement by Stan Ellison, a Manchester-based guitarist.

Also, you might enjoy reading Karl Dallas's note I referred to: KARL DALLAS

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Beautifully explained.

I'm sure similar explanations could clear away so-called borrowings of the blues répertoire

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Otto -- thank you for the very enlightening post. These types of contributions are much appreciated. However, I must disagree with one of your points:

The basic melody and lyrics that everybody interested in folk knows today derives from Anne Briggs, and that version has certainly been mediated by Irish influences. It's pretty much already there in a compilation by Peter Kennedy, who worked for the BBC, published in 1952, Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (I haven't seen the book myself, just references to it). Kennedy and Sean O'Boyle had recorded the Irish tinkers Mary and Paddy Doran in 1952, who both performed the song - but different versions of it, with different melodies (as you can read about in an interesting note by Karl Dallas).

I don't think that the basic melody and lyrics were derived from Anne Briggs. I think Briggs almost definitely got them from Isla Cameron.

Here is Isla Cameron's version of "Blackwaterside", which was recorded in 1959 and was definitely accessible to Briggs in 1965. As you can tell, the melody and lyrics are 99% identical to what Briggs and Jansch would later sing.

Now, perhaps A.L. Lloyd taught Cameron's version to Briggs. I can't discount or disprove that possibility. And if that's the case, then I guess I should tip my hat to Ms. Briggs for being able to memorize and replicate the melody so precisely without ever hearing Cameron's recording. But after listening to Cameron's and Jansch's versions back-to-back......well, it certainly makes you think, doesn't it??

On the other hand, one thing I can say with confidence is that Briggs did NOT get the song from Mary Doran. Here is a clip of Doran's version. The lyrics are similar, but the melody is MILES APART from what Cameron, Jansch and Briggs all sang.

Anyway, I guess what I am saying here is that Jansch's "story" isn't quite what we've been led to believe. All this time, we were supposed to believe that Jansch breathed new life into a forgotten traditional song by creating a new guitar part for it. But the truth is that Jansch's guitar part was based HEAVILY on what he heard from either Briggs or Cameron.

And it's not that I'm saying that Jansch doesn't deserve acclaim for his work. He does. (More so than Jimmy, for sure.) But it's looking more and more like Jansch wasn't as original as previously believed.

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What keeps being confused here is that people keep denying Page's theft. Stop fussing over who wrote the original vocal melody to the Blackwaterside song. It doesn't matter here.

Nor does any attempt at the excuse of "so and so stole from someone, so it's okay that Page stole from someone else".

Jansch's arrangement of the melody into Blackwaterside was unique to Jansch. And Page copied Jansch's version note for note when he put it on Zep I. End of story. You cannot confuse Jansch's guitar playing with the monotone singing versions of Briggs or Cameron. That's like comparing a Tricylce to a Ferrari. Yes, they both have wheels. Yes, Jansch used the foundation of the Blackwaterside song as his basis. There is no secret there. But he kept the song title the same, and he had played with Briggs live, so it's not as if he was some outsider taking the song. In any case, the song origins are neither here nor there in the context of Page's theft, because all of the ornamental guitar playing was unique to Jansch.

Page lifted it straight out from Jansch's guitar version. You want further proof? Listen to that transition that Page does after every version of White Summer that he performed live in 1977-79. Here that sliding raga riff Page would do just before Kashmir? That riff was Jansch's, found at the very end of Jansch's version of Blackwaterside. Page didn't put that riff on Zep I, but he played it live hundreds of times.

There was no magic "rearrangement" of Jansch's version. All Page did was add some Indian drums and take out the vocals. Complete copy. But remember that Page was obsessed with Jansch's record, just as he was with Davy Graham.

Speaking of which, please take the time to give Davy Graham his dues as well, and see further the connection between Page and his theft of his contemporary guitarists. Page did not compose White Summer. That song is a composite of Davy Graham's "She Move Thru the Fair", Jansch's "Casbah", and Graham's "Mustapha". It was Graham who invented DADGAD tuning. Not Jansch, and not Page.

This argument gets old, because it's always eclipsed by the the needless discussion over Briggs and the Blackwaterside melody origins. The Briggs side has nothing to do with Page's lift of Jansch's version. The melody could've been written by John Lennon for all anyone needs to know. The point is that by the time the melody got to Jansch, Jansch did something with it that had never been done before. He invented a very complex and distinct fingerpicking guitar arrangement to it. Page came along and nicked the arrangement from start to finish and claimed it as his own, just as he did with Davy Graham's work.

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What keeps being confused here is that people keep denying Page's theft.

Where?

Stop fussing over who wrote the original vocal melody to the Blackwaterside song. It doesn't matter here.

Of course it does. You claim that Jansch's "arrangement of the melody" was unique, yet Cameron's version proves that Jansch's guitar part copies Cameron virtually note-for-note. All Jansch did was add a few derivative guitar fills to Cameron's melody. Yet you think that Jansch is somehow exempt from his own theft because he only stole 85% of the song instead of 95%.

And Page copied Jansch's version note for note when he put it on Zep I. End of story.

Here is "Black Mountain Side". Listen to 4:40-4:47 and 6:09-6:18 and tell me exactly where those parts appear on Jansch's version.

Granted, it's only a few seconds of music. I am not pointing it out to prove that Jimmy isn't a thief; I am only pointing out to prove that cookieshoes is absolutely incorrect when he claims that Page copied Jansch "note for note" and that "Black Mountain Side" was a "complete copy" of "Blackwaterside".

Jansch took Cameron's arrangement of a traditional song, added a few guitar fills, and slapped his own name on it.

Page took Jansch's arrangement of a traditional song, added a few guitar fills, and slapped his own name on it.

Yet somehow Page is the only bad guy here? Why, because Page stole a higher percentage of the song? Who made cookieshoes the arbiter of such things?

Has Jansch even credited Cameron, ever? At least Page was kind enough to credit Jansch in interviews (which is more credit than Page was obligated to give, by the way). Maybe if Jansch had been more forthcoming about his sources, more people would have discovered Cameron's music (much in the way that people discovered Jansch's music thanks to Page) and Cameron might not have died as a virtually unknown singer.

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Once again, Cameron's version of "Black Waterside" was 99% a vocal rendition, just like Anne Briggs' was. A monotone, bare bones vocal rendition.

So, trying to argue that Jansch lifted Cameron's version and used it to create his guitar version (which he credited as Traditional as it is) is ridiculous. That's like saying that someone reading the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner aloud can easily come up with Hendrix's version at Woodstock. Yes, they are the same "content" at heart, but the two versions are massively different.

There is such a thing as someone creating something unique off of someone else's original source, but this is where Page gets caught. Page did not do anything with Black Waterside except change the name. He took Jansch's unique guitar version and copied it note-for-note.

And Jansch's playing was neither derivative, nor just "fills" as you say. There is a lot of technique, rhythmic and melodic invention in Jansch's guitar version, which makes his variation on the Briggs/Cameron melody unmistakably his. It may be a cover of a traditional song at the core, but it is most certainly Jansch's version of that song. Nobody except Davy Graham was playing guitar the way that Jansch was at the time. Which is why both of those players grabbed not only Page's attention, but Paul Simon, Neil Young, and Stephen Stills.

More importantly, regarding your comment that somehow Black Mountainside was not a "complete" copy by Page....

Here is "Black Mountain Side". Listen to 4:40-4:47 and 6:09-6:18 and tell me exactly where those parts appear on Jansch's version.

Granted, it's only a few seconds of music. I am not pointing it out to prove that Jimmy isn't a thief; I am only pointing out to prove that cookieshoes is absolutely incorrect when he claims that Page copied Jansch "note for note" and that "Black Mountain Side" was a "complete copy" of "Blackwaterside".

Funny you should mention that solo, because that section is a direct lift of Davy Graham's solo from "Leavin Blues":

Listen at 1:33. There is Page's one contribution to Jansch's version of Black Waterside, and it's yet another lift from another guitar player. The other section you noted was a lift from Graham's "She Moved Thru the Fair", including the arpeggiated drag across the strings in the DADGAD tuning.

See a pattern here? Not just one song used by Page, but multiple lifts used within the same song. No different than Page's lift of Jansch's "Waggoner's Lad" attaching it to the front of "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" or Page's lift of Beck's intro to "Shapes of Things" from Truth and modifying it for the beginning of "Out on the Tiles", or Page's lift of Davy Graham's "Cry Me a River" as the basis for the famous intro to "Stairway to Heaven". With the above "Leavin Blues" by Davy Graham you even have the exact riff and chord pauses from "Four Sticks".

Why did he do his thefts like that? Because Page was smart. He didn't just lift things outright, he took multiple sources and combined them together to make his own "style".

Again, have a listen to Davy Graham's "Mustapha", Bert Jansch's "Casbah", and Graham's "She Moved Thru The Fair". Put pieces from all three of those songs together, and you have Page's "White Summer". Not maybe. Definitely. Sure, it's clever, but it's still shameful.

You see, the repeated discussions about Page's "alleged" thefts is no discussion at all, because there is nothing to "allege". They really happened. There is no debate here. You don't need a PhD in Music to hear them. This has nothing to do with some bias from me, or claims of expertise. The lifts are there, over many many Zep songs.

Edited by cookieshoes

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Once again, Cameron's version of "Black Waterside" was 99% a vocal rendition, just like Anne Briggs' was. A monotone, bare bones vocal rendition.

You must not have listened to Cameron's version, then. It's not a monotone. It has a melody which is identical to Jansch's version.

And Jansch's playing was neither derivative, nor just "fills" as you say. There is a lot of technique, rhythmic and melodic invention in Jansch's guitar version, which makes his variation on the Briggs/Cameron melody unmistakably his.

Jansch's playing style may have been unique and original, but the melodies he played were either A) a DIRECT copy of Isla Cameron's melody, or B) completely derivative of Cameron's work (such as playing Cameron's melody in a descending order).

Look, Jansch deserves all the credit in the world for his masterful work. However, that work is not worthy of a writing credit, nor is it worthy of any sort of arrangement credit for Jimmy Page's version. Jansch all-but admitted this himself when he chose not to give himself a songwriting credit. He knew deep down that his guitar accompaniment was not true "songwriting".

More importantly, regarding your comment that somehow Black Mountainside was not a "complete" copy by Page....

That's not what I said. I merely refuted YOUR claim that it was a complete copy of Jansch's version of "Blackwaterside". I stand by my original statement; obviously, you don't stand by yours.

Jansch is as big of a thief as Page is (on this song, at least -- although Jansch is no stranger to stealing writing credits. Just ask Muddy Waters.). The only reason he gets a pass is because he wasn't as successful with his thefts.

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What bugs me in this thread and others like it is the constant use of the word "theft". Even the word "borrowing" doesn't find grace to my eyes.

Nobody is totally original. Page is just one among an immemorial line of rearrangers of musical motifs. A mighty rearranger :-)

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What bugs me in this thread and others like it is the constant use of the word "theft". Even the word "borrowing" doesn't find grace to my eyes.

Calling it "theft" is simply inaccurate from a legal standpoint. Since Jansch credited his version as "Trad.", there can be no theft by Jimmy or anyone else.

Jansch put his music out there for anyone and everyone to use as they please. He gave it away. That's not theft.

(Which brings up another point: since Jansch credited his version as "Trad.", how in the world was Jimmy supposed to know that Jansch's guitar parts were so unique in the first place? As far as Jimmy knew, he could have been copying guitar parts that were 200 years old.)

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Calling it "theft" is simply inaccurate from a legal standpoint. Since Jansch credited his version as "Trad.", there can be no theft by Jimmy or anyone else.

Jansch put his music out there for anyone and everyone to use as they please. He gave it away. That's not theft.

(Which brings up another point: since Jansch credited his version as "Trad.", how in the world was Jimmy supposed to know that Jansch's guitar parts were so unique in the first place? As far as Jimmy knew, he could have been copying guitar parts that were 200 years old.)

Sorry, but all of the points you've made are completely silly. For starters, Jansch wasn't "giving" his albums or the songs on them away for free. Jansch was trying to sell records just like everyone else in the music business was. The difference between him and Page is that Jansch followed the proper process for crediting the songs on his albums accurately, something which Page never consistently did. And why Page did it the way he did was obvious. Because he knew that he would have to pay royalties. To think that Page had no idea only makes Page look like an amateur, which he most certainly wasn't. He played on dozens of records, and with many of the best players in the pop and rock music scene in his day. Listen to any handful of Zep live recordings and you can hear that Page was a virtual encyclopedia of music, ranging from Elvis Presley to James Brown to Bob Marley. So, to think that he somehow didn't know about Jansch's unique abilities as a player is absolutely absurd. And to think that such an experienced player in the record industry somehow just didn't know how music publishing worked (newsflash, Page set up his publishing company Superhype as one of the first steps when he got Zeppelin started - something none of his contemporaries ever did themselves), is equally as ridiculous.

These things always come down to someone getting offended by the fact that it gets pointed out that Page did what he did. Not surprising since no one wants to hear that their favorite artist wasn't as "untouchable" as they really were.

So it always boils down to people simply not believing the very obvious facts in front of them, and making excuses about how Page was innocent and it was really the people he took from who were somehow really at fault. But there are far too many examples which illustrate what Page did during his time in Zep. Not just the Jansch and Graham lifts, but all of the lifts from other bands. The reason why the Black Mountain lifts stick out so easily is because the rest of the band isn't there to cover them up. Spend some time with the links I posted earlier. The lifts are clear as day. Trying to go backwards and make apologies to give Page a free pass is nonsense. Black Mountainside was not an example of "arranging" or "improvising" on anything. Nor was White Summer. The examples I posted earlier simply can't be argued.

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What bugs me in this thread and others like it is the constant use of the word "theft". Even the word "borrowing" doesn't find grace to my eyes.

Nobody is totally original. Page is just one among an immemorial line of rearrangers of musical motifs. A mighty rearranger :-)

Exactly. And many of his contemporaries (and forerunners, and followers) did exactly the same thing.

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Exactly. And many of his contemporaries (and forerunners, and followers) did exactly the same thing.

Uh, no. Those that did the same thing got the same result that Page and Plant got. They got sued, and lost.

And guess what, at the time there were plenty of great artists out there who weren't copying other people's work and claiming it for their own. So, repeating that age-old myth that "everyone was doing it" is pointless. Case in point: Davy Graham. So, it doesn't matter how many people were copying each other, there were still a lot of great players and songwriters choosing an honest path. Lifting from another artist without crediting them is what hacks do when they can't come up with their own ideas. Theft is still theft. Call it borrowing or whatever you want.

Sure, copying Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and putting it on the ceiling of a local Church claiming it as your own original work doesn't make the effort in painting any less impressive on a technical level. But on an integrity level, claiming someone else's ideas and technical creativity, obviously that's where the problem lies. Page and Plant were extremely high on a technical level, but in many cases displayed very little integrity with crediting the things they "borrowed".

Edited by cookieshoes

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Sorry, but all of the points you've made are completely silly. For starters, Jansch wasn't "giving" his albums or the songs on them away for free.

Your statement shows a complete lack of understanding of how writing credits work.

When you credit a song as "Trad", you are stating that you claim no writing credit. You are also stating that anyone -- ANYONE -- can legally record the EXACT SAME SONG without giving you any royalties.

Anyone could record Jansch's version of "Blackwaterside" and claim the royalties for themselves. That's how the law works. If you disagree with that, then hate the game, not the player.

The difference between him and Page is that Jansch followed the proper process for crediting the songs on his albums accurately

First off, Jansch is no stranger to stealing writing credits. The early Pentangle albums contain several re-writes of blues songs that just happen to credit Jansch as co-writer.

Second, it makes no difference to Jansch if Page "followed the proper process" or not. If Page had credited "Black Mountain Side" as "Trad" (which is what you're so upset about, I presume)......guess what? JANSCH STILL WOULD NOT HAVE RECEIVED ANY ROYALTIES FOR THE SONG!!!

Did you not know that?

The only difference between crediting the song to "Page" instead of "Trad" is that it prevents anyone from using the unique title "Black Mountain Side" without crediting Page. That's all. Page was legally entitled to 100% of the royalties either way.

Oh, and ANYONE can record a cover of Zep's song and LEGALLY claim 100% of those royalties, too!! They just can't call it "Black Mountain Side" without crediting Page.

And Jansch still receives 100% of the royalties for his recording of the song. He hasn't been deprived of one thin dime.

So, to think that he somehow didn't know about Jansch's unique abilities as a player is absolutely absurd.

Bottom line: Jansch credited his guitar part as Traditional. That made it fair game for anyone. (BTW, there have been dozens of covers of "Blackwaterside" over the past 40 years. Many of them copy Jansch's guitar part virtually note-for-note. NONE of them credit Jansch as writer or arranger. Gee, I wonder why you and Jansch aren't mad at them??)

(newsflash, Page set up his publishing company Superhype as one of the first steps when he got Zeppelin started - something none of his contemporaries ever did themselves)

Absolute ignorance. Dozens of musicians had their own publishing companies. Ever heard of Northern Songs, Harrisongs, or Startling Music? :lol:

Seriously, you should do a little more research next time.

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Uh, no. Those that did the same thing got the same result that Page and Plant got. They got sued, and lost.

For the record, Page and Plant have never lost a songwriting copyright lawsuit.

At this point I must question if you have any interest in discussing factual matters or if you just want to twist words and spread myths.

Edited by swandown

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Just a point for anyone to think about: if, as a composer, you make an arrangement of a public domain song, most countries' legislations will recognize the arrangement as an original work if you declare it as such, something Bert Jansch obviously did:

http://repertoire.bmi.com/title.asp?blnWriter=True&blnPublisher=True&blnArtist=True&keyID=121852&ShowNbr=0&ShowSeqNbr=0&querytype=WorkID

The proper way (keep in mind there are no legal obligations) to credit such an arrangement would be:

Black Water Side

Trad. arrangement: Bert Jansch

Copyright 1966 (or whichever year) David Platz Music Inc.

The fact that no lawsuit has been brought to bear on Jimmy Page might be because Jansch's arrangement may not have been properly registered in the 60s, just having been credited to "Trad.". That arrangement would then have been fair game for others to use.

The fact that the song is now published indicates that, at some point, Jansch saw the light of day. All the rest hinges on dates, proper procedures and local legislation.

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Just a point for anyone to think about: if, as a composer, you make an arrangement of a public domain song, most countries' legislations will recognize the arrangement as an original work if you declare it as such, something Bert Jansch obviously did:

http://repertoire.bmi.com/title.asp?blnWriter=True&blnPublisher=True&blnArtist=True&keyID=121852&ShowNbr=0&ShowSeqNbr=0&querytype=WorkID

The proper way (keep in mind there are no legal obligations) to credit such an arrangement would be:

Black Water Side

Trad. arrangement: Bert Jansch

Copyright 1966 (or whichever year) David Platz Music Inc.

This copyright gives Jansch the rights to 100% of the royalties for his recording of the song -- but only for his recording.

When Anne Briggs credits her version as "Trad., arr. Briggs" then she gets 100% for her version. Sandy Denny credits it as "Trad. arr. Denny" and she gets 100% of the royalties for her version (and so on and so on). That system has been in place for 50+ years now. If you look in the BMI and ASCAP archives, there are at least a dozen other entries for "Blackwaterside", none of which credit Jansch.

Unfortunately for Jansch, the system does not care if Page's arrangement is 1% original or 100% original. Either way, he is entitled to 100% of the royalties for his version only.

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For the record, Page and Plant have never lost a songwriting copyright lawsuit.

At this point I must question if you have any interest in discussing factual matters or if you just want to twist words and spread myths.

Uh, they never had to lose a case, because in every instance they settled out of court. In the cases of Jansch and Graham, neither man took Page to court. That only reflects on them for not having bothered, and doesn't make Page immune to his thefts in any way. Up until recently, Jake Holmes hadn't bothered. Now he has. Whether or not the other people Page stole from take him to court is not the issue. If a person steals a car and no one catches him, that doesn't make him any less of a thief. So, now you want to try and focus on the the fact that since they were never handed down "guilty" verdicts by a court, while ignoring that they themselves paid out millions to the likes of Dixon and others to avoid such conclusions, that somehow that makes it to mean that they didn't commit the wrong?

All you've provided are the same apologist responses, and in the same circular manner. And you haven't addressed the multiple examples I've pointed out, instead using the same downward spiral of logic.

This is typical in this matter. Because people simply hate accepting the fact that Page did what he did. So each example gets the same cycle of denial responses.

Point out that Page showed a lack of integrity in what he did, and the response is that "everyone" was doing it.

Point out that in fact few people made a career out of copying other's work without paying credit, and then the response becomes "Well, it was a traditional song anyway".

Point out that even IF it's a traditional song, then you should credit it as Traditional. Not, "James Page". What's more is that in the case of Black Mountainside, it's even more appropriate to put "Traditional, arranged in the style of.... " or "a la", which is what Classical musicans and composers have done for years when re-interpreting or covering the work or versions of others. But still to even this, the response gets reduced to "Well, Jansch was covering someone else" so, Page was just doing the same thing, and making his "own" version. This response is the most absurd, because Jansch credited his version as traditional, and there is no mistaking the fingerpicking guitar playing that Jansch created for the song, which Page copied outright, uncredited. Again, see Hendrix's version of the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock, and compare that to Christina Aguilera doing the same song at the Super Bowl vocally. No comparison between the two. What's more is that this is not the ONLY thing that Page took from Jansch or Davy Graham, and the examples are numerous and well-known.

And yet, finally, once all of the many examples get brought up, which prove all of Page's numerous thefts, then the response goes back to "Well, everyone was doing it".

Edited by cookieshoes

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Absolute ignorance. Dozens of musicians had their own publishing companies. Ever heard of Northern Songs, Harrisongs, or Startling Music? :lol:

Seriously, you should do a little more research next time.

Are you kidding? All three of those companies were set up by Epstein and James for the Beatles. Got anymore of the "dozens" you can name?

MANAGERS set up the publishing companies, because that's where the money was. From the royalties. That was the typical.

Page knew this, which is why he took the step of setting up Superhype himself, and which is why he consistently credited himself on pieces when he should've been crediting bluesmen and people like Jansch and Graham.

Stick to the facts you can support, don't just make stuff up.

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Uh, they never had to lose a case

Oh gee, if only you'd said that in the first place......

Those that did the same thing got the same result that Page and Plant got. They got sued, and lost.

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Oh gee, if only you'd said that in the first place......

What I said made perfect sense. In every case, they were sued, and they lost by way of agreeing to settling. They had sense enough to admit to their errors, and they paid up. So, whether or not you want to believe that "settling for millions" doesn't mean "losing" is your own interpretation.

You can bet that Page didn't see it as "winning" to have to add Burnett and Dixon as co-authors to tracks on Zeppelin II.

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Are you kidding? All three of those companies were set up by Epstein and James for the Beatles.

Northern Songs Ltd. is a company founded in 1963 by music publisher Dick James, Brian Epstein, and The Beatles

Emphasis on "and The Beatles". The Beatles owned a 31.7% share in the company.

Also, you are wrong about Harrisongs and Startling Music. Neither of those were set up by Epstein and James (Epstein had been dead for a year, in case you didn't know.)

Got anymore of the "dozens" you can name?

Sure.

The Dave Clark Five, The Buckinghams, Roy Acuff, Webb Pierce, Dolly Parton, Buddy Holly, Ray Price, Mitch Murray, the Beach Boys (technically formed by their father on their behalf, since the boys were under 18), Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, plus the 3 I mentioned earlier and I've got one to spare.

Seriously. Do some research once in a while.

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This copyright gives Jansch the rights to 100% of the royalties for his recording of the song -- but only for his recording.

As I wrote, it all depends on dates and procedures.

If Jansch published his arrangement at the time the song was recorded, then he has a legitimate claim against Page. If it was done years afterwards, then he can only facepalm.

In any cases, no matter in what year he decided to have his arrangement published, the arrangement is protected as would be an original song (not the recording, which is another kind of right entirely, but the arrangement) against all claims by anyone.

My feeling is that Page's "arrangement" is in a gray area, a period within which Jansch failed to have his arrangement published.

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