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Strider

JIMMY PAGE'S REMEMBRANCES OF ROYSTON ELLIS

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Royston Ellis is a writer/poet that was very much influenced by the Beat writers(Kerouac, Ginsburg, Ferlinghetti) of the 1950s. You could say he was a British Beat writer. His readings were backed by the early Beatles, Cliff Richards Shadows...and a very young Jimmy Page at London's Mermaid Theatre in 1961.

Kicks Books earlier this year published "Gone Man Squared", a collection of Royston Ellis' early work, including his first two books and poetry, some previously unpublished. They had Jimmy Page write the Foreword. We sell the book at our bookshop. I present Jimmy's Foreword to you in its entirety.

FOREWORD TO ROYSTON ELLIS' "GONE MAN SQUARED"

Memories & Remembrances by Jimmy Page

I can hardly believe the passage of time since I first worked with Royston Ellis more than 50 years ago.

As a young man I was deeply influenced by both the Delta Blues from America and the written word.

Royston had a particularly powerful impact on me when I first read Gone Man Squared. It was nothing like I had ever read before and it conjured the essence and energy of its time. He had the same spirit and openness that the Beat Poets in America had.

When I was offered the chance to back Royston I jumped at the opportunity, particularly when we appeared at the Mermaid Theatre in London in 1961. It was truly remarkable how we were breaking new ground with each reading.

We knew that American Jazz musicians had been backing poets during their readings. Jack Kerouac was using piano to accompany his readings, Lawrence Ferlinghetti teamed with Stan Getz to bring poetry and jazz together.

Playing this type of fusion made me listen very carefully to everything that Royston was saying, it was critical to what I played as I listened with my mind and ears as to what was being read and said, adding a musical interpretation.

It has been a joy for me to sit here and look back at my memories and those wonderful remembrances I have of those early gigs.

Royston, thank you so much for the opportunity then and for the friendship that has followed all these years.

- Jimmy Page

Reading that, it makes me wonder if there are any amateur recordings of those readings stashed in somebody's closet. I would give just about anything to hear what he played and the guitar he used. It also makes me wonder why Jimmy Page doesn't hook up with a writer like that again? Think how much simpler a gig like that would be...no need for a band or a large entourage and crew. Just show up unannounced with a guitar and amp at the local coffee house or bookshop.

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I would give just about anything to hear what he played and the guitar he used.

“Jimmy composed his own music to back my poems - usually ones from JIVING TO GYP although I might have been performing the one with the line "Easy, easy, break me in easy" from RAVE. The Mermaid show was the peak - and possibly the final one - of our stage performances.”

-- Royston Ellis

Edited by SteveAJones

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^^^

Thanks Super Dave. It's actually a post I've been meaning to contribute for some time...ever since we got the books in, as a matter of fact. The Royston Ellis is just one in this series of paperbacks published by Kicks; others are Harlan Ellison and Kim Fowley books. We had a Harlan Ellison signing months ago and tonight is the Kim Fowley event. No girls over 16 allowed, haha. ;)

Jimmy composed his own music to back my poems - usually ones from JIVING TO GYP although I might have been performing the one with the line "Easy, easy, break me in easy" from RAVE. The Mermaid show was the peak - and possibly the final one - of our stage performances.

-- Royston Ellis

SAJ, I have read that quote from Royston before, but it does not address my question. It doesn't answer what type of guitar Jimmy used...acoustic or electric? What make and model? I've always assumed Jimmy improvised his own music, but in what vein? Blues or Jazz or Rock and Roll/Skiffle? Or some weird atonal bursts of noise for colouration?

There are tapes of readings by all the Beats from America and the underground comics like Lenny Bruce. It is a shame if nobody bothered to tape one of these Royston Ellis readings...either from the audience or in-house.

My menory of Jimmy Page's biographical details isn't as extensive as SAJ's, so I am wondering if Jimmy had met Jeff Beck yet by 1961? Is it possible Jeff Beck attended one of these Royston Ellis/Jimmy Page performances?

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Strider, I remember Jimmy had an OTD about Royston Ellis

You can find the entire thread here

http://forums.ledzeppelin.com/index.php?/topic/16164-jimmy-page-on-this-day-archive/page-4#entry532317

He says he used an electric guitar and there was a snippet of music he used as an example of what Mr. Ellis liked when he came to hear Jimmy play with NC&C!

There is a YouTube link to the snippet of music but I can't get it to post right now.

Edited by Bayougal65

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Strider, I remember Jimmy had an OTD about Royston Ellis

You can find the entire thread here

http://forums.ledzeppelin.com/index.php?/topic/16164-jimmy-page-on-this-day-archive/page-4#entry532317

He says he used an electric guitar and there was a snippet of music he used as an example of what Mr. Ellis liked.

You can find it below ... Thanks to the OP!

Thank you for the tip Bayougal! After the tenth factual error I sort of gave up/lost interest in following Jimmy's OTD, so I'm way behind. Since that thread is a mile long by now, any idea where in the general vicinity the Royston Ellis OTD post is? Which page number?

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Thank you for the tip Bayougal! After the tenth factual error I sort of gave up/lost interest in following Jimmy's OTD, so I'm way behind. Since that thread is a mile long by now, any idea where in the general vicinity the Royston Ellis OTD post is? Which page number?

Thanks be to Otto for posting a pic... My iPhone is screwy today! :)

I think if you click on the link I provided it should come up to the page with the Ellis/Mermaid post.

http://forums.ledzeppelin.com/index.php?/topic/16164-jimmy-page-on-this-day-archive/page-4#entry532317

The YouTube music post is a few posts down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMJKgU11PNQ

Yaaaay it worked!

Edited by Bayougal65

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There is a short passage about Royston Ellis in a book by David Williams called First Time We Met the Blues. The author became a bit of a blues purist - no accident, because he wasn't a musician himself and after all there was an older scene of blues collectors in the UK which tended to see things from that kind of purist perspective ... of course, Jimmy and Jeff Beck both had a rockabilly sensibility and an interest in the possibilities of the guitar that made them see the blues legacy differently. We all have perspectives, however, and Williams's book is delightful reading, especially for those interested in the very beginning of Jimmy Page's musical life.

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Thanks be to Otto for posting a pic... My iPhone is screwy today! :)

I think if you click on the link I provided it should come up to the page with the Ellis/Mermaid post.

http://forums.ledzeppelin.com/index.php?/topic/16164-jimmy-page-on-this-day-archive/page-4#entry532317

The YouTube music post is a few posts down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMJKgU11PNQ

Yaaaay it worked!

That's some wild playing by Jimmy for that period as you didn't have anyone really playing like that. Perhaps, he may have been ahead of his time in what he was doing?

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That's some wild playing by Jimmy for that period as you didn't have anyone really playing like that. Perhaps, he may have been ahead of his time in what he was doing?

Perhaps he was preparing to play with JPJ and SuperSilent! (Ba da Bomp- :drumz: )

;)

I don't know what happened to the audio on that!

Try this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6i-BTxsTt0&sns

He really was/is in a class all by himself! Awesome sounds!

Edited by Bayougal65

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I believe Jimmy and Jeff Beck knew each other since childhood, isn't that right Steve A. Jones? I shall look at my "Maven" book this evening and see when Jeff skulked onto the scene...

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According to the George Case book, Jimmy said he's known JB since they were 11 years old but didn't realize they shared a common interest in the guitar until they were 14. So yeah, they definitely knew each other before 1961.

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Wow - that's new to me. Thanks for posting

...You Welcome... and destined to be saved, this photograph has survived a accidential water spillage, Royston writes about it in his blog few years ago...T.V. Interview with Sri Lanka Writer Ashok Ferry..

The photograph here is of Ashok Ferrey when he interviewed me for the programme at the Closenberg Hotel in Galle. It is typical of his enthusiasm and reckless lack of inhibitions that a minute after this was taken Ashok knocked over the flower vase spilling water on to a 50-year-old photograph of myself and Jimmy Page. It — and we — recovered.

Ashok-Royston-300x225_zpsd9bf74e6.jpg

http://roystonellis.com/blog/tag/royston-ellis-and-ashok-ferry-at-closenberg-hotel/

Edited by PlanetPage

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One of my favorite spoken word records,cds is jack kerouacs....and I can't imagine jimmy page adding anything to that.....it's soooo cool that jimmy formed led zeppelin and found his way out of artistic solitude.

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I believe Jimmy and Jeff Beck knew each other since childhood, isn't that right Steve A. Jones? I shall look at my "Maven" book this evening and see when Jeff skulked onto the scene...

Correct.

In an 1985 radio interview on WMET (California) to Cynthia Foxx, Beck tells this story: "My older sister, as I remember it, came home raving about this guy who played electric guitar. I mean she was the one always the first to say "Shut that rall up! Stop playing that horrible noise and then when she went to art school the whole thing changed. The recognition of somebody else doing the same thing must have changed her mind. She comes home screaming back into the house saying, "I know a guy that does what you do." And I was really interested because I thought I was the only mad person around. But she told me where this guy lived and said that it was OK to go around and visit. And to see someone else with these strange looking electric guitars was great. And I went in there, into Jimmy's front room, it seems to me he was only 15 or 16, no less than 13, and he got his little acoustic guitar out and started playing away it was great. He sang Buddy Holly songs. Then from then on we were just really close. His mum bought him a tape recorder and we used to make home recordings together. I think he sold them (laughs)... for a great sum of money to Immediate Records."

...Strider your knowledge and thoughtfulness for Led Zeppelin is truly appreciated...and Fans, Photo from Veteran Writer Royston Ellis.Com:

...Legendary Duo in Cambridge, 1960...

">http://4RoystonEllisampJimmyPage1960_zpsf61a0e5

If 1960 then it would be late 1960. I'm only aware of one gig in Cambridge, at Cambridge University on March 4, 1961 "...for the Heritics Society..." according to Royston Ellis.

programme and inside page:

I believe that is from Jimmy's collection.

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Update from http://roystonellis.com/blog/

Royston Ellis will be on Poetic Journey from his Honorary Residency Sri Lanka to London....

....."There’s a poem dedicated to Yevgeni Yevtushenko in Gone Man Squared, my collected beat poems published by Kicks Books of the USA and available through all the amazons in paperback or as a kindle. (I’ll be reading poems from that book at London’s Poetry Café on 29 May 2015; more details in subsequent newsletters."

Venue Info. Not updated yet to May 29th Reading....

http://poetrysociety.org.uk/events/category/the-poetry-cafe/

Perhpas a Friend or two will arrive to catch a poetic glimpse...

........"Love has made you worthless Ghalib, otherwise you too were a being of good use.." "Ghalib"

Edited by PlanetPage

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....Jimmy at Royston Ellis Poetry Reading, May 29th, London Poetry Cafe/Society...

Jimmy with Friends....Photos in this link ...

https://twitter.com/hashtag/RoystonEllis?src=hash

...From Gone Man Squared, the Poems...Book Forward from "James Patrick Page"

...More Photos in this Link....

https://twitter.com/amalab

Edited by PlanetPage

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...and the closing of the Gathering ... a review from Royston Ellis...

Royston Ellis and Jimmy Page last night!
Msg from Sir Roy:

Dear Miriam:

You’ll be happy to learn that it was standing room only at both events in London on Friday!

At the Kings Head, I was interviewed by a very competent chap (former musician) for nearly an hour and that was captured on film for the Woodies Archive - while the audience packed into the small upstairs room, watched. Then I signed books, including about 15 for a book collector who had come over especially from Northern Ireland. I announced the publication that day of Big Time, and presented the first copy to the organiser, Keith Woods.

The Poetry Cafe event, arranged by Hylda Quayle (singer of the skiffle/blues group New City Ramblers, who began playing in 1956) was amazing! It was held in the cellar under the Poetry Cafe with five poets from the floor reading one poem each, a skiffle performance, interval, and then 30 minutes of me reading a selection of poems from Gone Man Squared. We sold more GMS there (as well as two to Jimmy Page.) Yes Jimmy was there in full support, which astonished the old rock fans. As well as the usual suspects, there were people from Sri Lanka, Andorra, and even the USA. Hylda told me they have never had such a large crowd at a poetry evening. I even got paid a portion of the entrance fee - enough to buy a special English pub lunch tomorrow, Sunday.

Now recovering - shopping - eating British food - and preparing to return to Sri Lanka (and sanity) on Tuesday.

Beat regards
Royston Ellis

https://www.facebook.com/miriam.linna?fref=ts

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Very nice. Thanks for keeping us in the know, PlanetPage. Jimmy's looking very trim.

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