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So is Jimmy Page a 'sloppy' player?

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My two cents.

First off, I've been playing a helluva long time. I did my first paying gig in 1978, and, I'd love to be as sloppy as Page.

The guitar forums are full of a bunch of keyboard jockeys who never play actual gigs, they just sit and home and obsess over the tone of their huge pedal collection, and are infinitely critical of those who do what they cannot. Namely, get out in front of a huge crowd, playing in a band, just you on guitar mostly, nobody else to hide behind, and rip it up for three hours. The guitar forums are the true "Din of the hordes". True, there are a lot of great players, but theres a lot more overly criticial wanna-bees. I couldnt care less what most of these guys think. I just get ready for the next gig I have.

So there's that.

What happened to Page? Its obvious that at some point, maybe starting in 75, that his playing became more erratic. Im not sure why but it could be attributed to hard drugs. I did read somewhere that it was suggested that for an entire year, roughly the end of the 73 US tour, thru 1974 until they began to record again... that Page did nothing but sit around in a castle somewhere and do dope.

I have no idea if this is true, but... its not like in 75 he was a blithering idiot. Just listen to Over the Hills from Dallas in 75 or some of that stuff from Seattle. Jaw dropping good.

I think the secret to all this may be that he, and the band, were constantly working from 1968 thru that 73 tour, with very little time off. Its possible that he was playing every day, or almost every day, who knows. After the 73 tour, time away from the band began to get longer and longer and it seems that with each long break, his playing continued to spiral down a bit.

I really dont know why or what happened. All I know is, he was great, one of a kind, and it was terrific being a guitar player and trying to learn, in the 70s, when he was large and in charge and almost bigger than life.

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15 hours ago, The Dark Lord said:

As as an aside, I would love to see another compare / contrast, but this time between TSRTS Knebworth '79, and TSRTS O2 '07.

You got it:). As a number of people here have cited 02 '07 along with Page and Plant '98 as examples of Jimmy being as good as in '73, I was about to do exactly that.

 

So, starting with 02 '07, and the requested TSRTS comparison:

 

It's hard to imagine but, in some respects, this is even worse than Knebworth 79. The opening chords (1:27:52 to 1:28:02) are a complete mess, lacking any finesse and control, due to a combination of poor picking and timing and an absence of any right hand dampening. When we arrive at what should be the lead solo at 1:30:27 we get - nothing. The solo has gone AWOL, and when Jimmy eventually realises this, several seconds later, we get the same cachophonic shambles (1:30:31 to 1:30:39 and 1:30:50 to 1:30:58all too familiar to those unfortunates who have been subjected to the Knebworth debacle. There's more nonsense later in the song but that's already plenty for the eardrums to stomach.

 
If anyone still needs convincing Jimmy is light years away from his early 70s form, have a look at Since I've Been Loving You. I was amazed that this track was even considered for inclusion as, if performed properly, with all the necessary solos performed in the correct way, this is pretty much as demanding as it gets. Unsurprisingly, Jimmy did not perform the song properly, and the stripped down, simplistic solos he did include were still incredibly error strewn (ie, multiple errors between 1:02:42 and 1:02:45 alone), and plenty of less obvious ones such as unintentionally picked open strings  (ie 1:03:13 and 1:03:15). 
 
As for Plant and Page 98, I think this is a half decent concert, certainly much better than 02 '07, and at least Jimmy is having a decent stab at things:

That said, when Jimmy attempts a fast solo they lack any subtlety or control and he invariably messes up very quickly. Just taking a small selection of a few of the errors from one solo from Heartbreaker as an example, multiple errors  9:31 to 9:34,  more individual errors 10:09, 10:13, 10:23, multiple errors 10:30 to 10:32 etc etc. But this has a very high degree of difficulty and, unlike Since I've Been Loving You at 02 '07 above, at least he's having a go at the complex stuff. I also think some of his slower solos were still pretty effective at this time, ie No Quarter 31:50 to 32:16, and these also have the benefit of giving his vibrato time to breathe and be heard properly.
 
So, for me, despite still being nowhere near early 70s level, Page and Plant 98 is probably at or near the best I've heard Jimmy since the late 70s, although that's not saying a great deal.
 
PS -  To the previous poster, I'm sure there are plenty of people here who have played to audiences (in my case VERY low level stuff in the 70s) without feeling the need to broadcast it in order to somehow add credibility to their comments. And no - the irony isn't lost on me:D
Edited by heavybluesfan

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It appears the biggest issue for some is speed and fluency at speed. I have always said Page was never as fast AND fluid on a consistent basis post-73', what I did say is he was just as, if not more fluid from 92 - 2000 but slowed down his soloing speed in general. Something that has not (to my knowledge) been mentioned here is in several Zeppelin song, even a few "simple" sounding ones Page uses a very complex hybrid picking style with his right hand while making complex runs with his left. To say this is extremely difficult to do, accurately, consistently live is an understatement. TSRTS is an excellent example of this. TSRTS is a song a player has to take their time with yet in a very, very fast way. The hybrid technique, on a 12 string no less, while performing fast runs on the scale, chording, hammer on's & pull-offs simultaneously while running the length of nine frets is one hell of a challenge even for someone like Satch. This is one of the subtle things about Page most people who are not guitar players don't see or understand. A good hybrid picking technique in rock guitar is very rare and very difficult. A further example would be WS / BMS...nothing but hybrid picking throughout. You see as a player, if your left hand is doing all the work it is much easier to pull off super fast, smoking, blinding solos due to the use of legato, however you cannot use much legato if the structure demands hybrid picking, so, the #1 technique most speed players use to achieve that speed cannot be used. This brings me to my next point. It has been pointed out that Page began to have some problems with his right hand technique during Zep's later days where sometimes instead of strumming with the wrist he switches to a scrubbing style for fast picking. If indeed he was having issue with his right hand, due to the structure and necessity of hybrid picking for many of his complex solos, this could be the culprit (long term, not the issues caused by drug use).

It is said that the best make the complex look easy, this was Page is a nutshell. However, for whatever reason, Page did lose some fluency in speed over the long term and it took him until 84' to realize this. This could also explain why he decided to use the B-bender as his #1 guitar for many years. The B-bender will force a player to slow down in order to achieve the desired results. This is also why I love many of Page's post Zeppelin playing as I much prefer slower, more melodic and emotional playing over a ripping solo. In fact one of my top 10 favorite Page songs is from the Walking into Clarksdale album...Heart in Your Hand. To me speed means nothing, less than nothing if possible, emotion and emoting is what is most important to me. Give me a nice David Gilmour solo over ANY solo by a shredder any day.

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4 hours ago, heavybluesfan said:

You got it:). As a number of people here have cited 02 '07 along with Page and Plant '98 as examples of Jimmy being as good as in '73, I was about to do exactly that.

 

So, starting with 02 '07, and the requested TSRTS comparison:

 

It's hard to imagine but, in some respects, this is even worse than Knebworth 79. The opening chords (1:27:52 to 1:28:02) are a complete mess, lacking any finesse and control, due to a combination of poor picking and timing and an absence of any right hand dampening. When we arrive at what should be the lead solo at 1:30:27 we get - nothing. The solo has gone AWOL, and when Jimmy eventually realises this, several seconds later, we get the same cachophonic shambles (1:30:31 to 1:30:39 and 1:30:50 to 1:30:58all too familiar to those unfortunates who have been subjected to the Knebworth debacle. There's more nonsense later in the song but that's already plenty for the eardrums to stomach.

 
If anyone still needs convincing Jimmy is light years away from his early 70s form, have a look at Since I've Been Loving You. I was amazed that this track was even considered for inclusion as, if performed properly, with all the necessary solos performed in the correct way, this is pretty much as demanding as it gets. Unsurprisingly, Jimmy did not perform the song properly, and the stripped down, simplistic solos he did include were still incredibly error strewn (ie, multiple errors between 1:02:42 and 1:02:45 alone), and plenty of less obvious ones such as unintentionally picked open strings  (ie 1:03:13 and 1:03:15). 
 
As for Plant and Page 98, I think this is a half decent concert, certainly much better than 02 '07, and at least Jimmy is having a decent stab at things:

That said, when Jimmy attempts a fast solo they lack any subtlety or control and he invariably messes up very quickly. Just taking a small selection of a few of the errors from one solo from Heartbreaker as an example, multiple errors  9:31 to 9:34,  more individual errors 10:09, 10:13, 10:23, multiple errors 10:30 to 10:32 etc etc. But this has a very high degree of difficulty and, unlike Since I've Been Loving You at 02 '07 above, at least he's having a go at the complex stuff. I also think some of his slower solos were still pretty effective at this time, ie No Quarter 31:50 to 32:16, and these also have the benefit of giving his vibrato time to breathe and be heard properly.
 
So, for me, despite still being nowhere near early 70s level, Page and Plant 98 is probably at or near the best I've heard Jimmy since the late 70s, although that's not saying a great deal.
 
PS -  To the previous poster, I'm sure there are plenty of people here who have played to audiences (in my case VERY low level stuff in the 70s) without feeling the need to broadcast it in order to somehow add credibility to their comments. And no - the irony isn't lost on me:D

Hi there :D 

You listed errors you're hearing in Jimmy's playing.  (Not saying I disagree with ya) Are you wishing to hear a
clone from the studio album, or are you picking a certain live version of a song and believing he should play it
that way for every appearance - and if he doesn't - then it's classified riddled with mistakes?

When it comes to live sometimes an imperfection to one pair of ears could be something  cool sounding to
another pair. I get that there are fundamentals in every song that regardless of what and where some aspects
have to be played a certain way or the song just doesn't sound right.  A complete f*ck up is different then a slight
variation on a solo from one night to another or from tour to tour.  How does somebody name the errors off  No
Quarter
  live? Hahaha. I ask because with live playing and Zeppelin you're always going to get 'errors' with Jimmy
based on what we know about his and L Z's live playing style. No night the same as the other. You could even say
the same for Plant's approach to singing the songs. i.e. He changes and adds lyrics at different times: sang oooh
higher, ahhhhh  lower and baby 7 times, the next night it was vice versa and he added a long pause before the last
baby  the next time out etc. Would that be classified as errors too because it was not following the studio recipe exactly
or a live version somebody deems the best one? Jimmy's guitar versus Plants singing.  Dun dun dunnn *dramatic music
ensues*  :lol: I hope ya don't think my post is attacking what you said.

LOL, poor Pagey nobody in the band faces the nit picking from fans like he does. Popular guy around here isnt he with
members. ;) 
:yesnod:

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3 hours ago, KellyGirl said:

Hi there :D 

You listed errors you're hearing in Jimmy's playing.  (Not saying I disagree with ya) Are you wishing to hear a
clone from the studio album, or are you picking a certain live version of a song and believing he should play it
that way for every appearance - and if he doesn't - then it's classified riddled with mistakes?

When it comes to live sometimes an imperfection to one pair of ears could be something  cool sounding to
another pair. I get that there are fundamentals in every song that regardless of what and where some aspects
have to be played a certain way or the song just doesn't sound right.  A complete f*ck up is different then a slight
variation on a solo from one night to another or from tour to tour.  How does somebody name the errors off  No
Quarter
  live? Hahaha. I ask because with live playing and Zeppelin you're always going to get 'errors' with Jimmy
based on what we know about his and L Z's live playing style. No night the same as the other. You could even say
the same for Plant's approach to singing the songs. i.e. He changes and adds lyrics at different times: sang oooh
higher, ahhhhh  lower and baby 7 times, the next night it was vice versa and he added a long pause before the last
baby  the next time out etc. Would that be classified as errors too because it was not following the studio recipe exactly
or a live version somebody deems the best one? Jimmy's guitar versus Plants singing.  Dun dun dunnn *dramatic music
ensues*  :lol: I hope ya don't think my post is attacking what you said.

LOL, poor Pagey nobody in the band faces the nit picking from fans like he does. Popular guy around here isnt he with
members. ;) 
:yesnod:

Spot on Kelly, well said. I have seen Page five times live: Chicago, April 10th, 1977; Phoenix in 85' with The Firm; Phoenix in 88' for Outrider; Phoenix in both 95' & 98' Page Plant. Every single time I have seen him he was absolutely brilliant. Maybe I was just lucky but what I saw was light years away from what some have described and I think I should know since I have played guitar professionally (club & bar gigs) since 1988. Again, Jimmy had his problems but I believe he overcame most by 1984, however he never did regain his full fluency at high speed runs but who cares, speed means shit. I would rather a slower, more emotive Page than a blindingly fast ad accurate Page who could not bring a tear to John Boehner's eyes if he tried. Lastly, I am glad he made the SIBLY solos slower at the O2 as it added more gravity to the presentation IMO. Sure he made some mistakes at the O2 gig, sure he was not as fluent or fast as he was in 98', but what do you expect for a one-off gig? I can guarantee, barring him falling off the wagon or physical issues, if he would have formed a band and toured he would have been back up to 98' level of playing within  a few weeks.

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^^ 

Oh I don't doubt that after the O2 gig Jimmy was itching to get out there again. It's a pity
that he, Jason and Jonesy could not have worked something out. It would have been really
cool to hear Jimmy do a tour completely sober night after night. Hearing the difference in his
playing opposed to the days of being under lord knows what. Who knows how great it could have
ended up being again.... Oh water under the bridge now eh lol

Lucky you are seeing them live back in the day. Ha! Chicago Storm Trooper wearing Jimmy
! B)

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3 hours ago, KellyGirl said:

^^ 

Oh I don't doubt that after the O2 gig Jimmy was itching to get out there again. It's a pity
that he, Jason and Jonesy could not have worked something out. It would have been really
cool to hear Jimmy do a tour completely sober night after night. Hearing the difference in his
playing opposed to the days of being under lord knows what. Who knows how great it could have
ended up being again.... Oh water under the bridge now eh lol

Lucky you are seeing them live back in the day. Ha! Chicago Storm Trooper wearing Jimmy
! B)

Yes, I was a lucky dog...9 years old with my older brother and a cousin 20 years my senior. From what I hear that particular gig was one of the best of the first leg. I guess his "food poisoning" the night before ensured a clear head on April 10th.

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Some interesting discussion on this thread-I have never really thought of Page as a lead guitarist. A musician/songwriter/arranger-absolutely without equal in the rock music genre, but as a soloist, not really- if only because he said stuff musically with his songs, not his solos (unlike the majority of lead guitarists who use the song as a vehicle for the lead solo, where they then make their statement). Also, after 75, he had a strange tone to his set up that created an oddly 'thin' sound to his solos-unlike say gigs 1970-72 where his guitar sound is much 'fatter' (for want of a better phrase).  Also emphasising Page's role live rather underplays the one musician in the band who always nailed the show and underpinned the sound-John Paul Jones. I can't really think of a live bootleg where he is 'off' and can think of plenty where, if he had been ,the band would have completely fallen apart.

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17 hours ago, KellyGirl said:

Hi there :D 
You listed errors you're hearing in Jimmy's playing. Are you wishing to hear a clone from the studio album, or are you picking a certain live version of a song and believing he should play it that way for every appearance?

No, neither of those things. Both would be extremely boring. In his live performances in his heyday of the early 70s Jimmy would rarely play a song the same way twice, and I'm sure that's exactly how most of us would want it, and that's one of the things that made those Led Zeppelin shows so great. What I'm referring to is a decline in his technical ability.

 

For instance, in my previous post when I talked about playing Since I've Been Loving You in the correct way, I'm referring to it being played with a sufficient level of difficulty and proficiency to do the song justice, and this was not the case at 02 2007. I'm not referring to the content of those solos having to be the same every time - quite the opposite. And ipMan from the "I 've played for years so I must know what I'm talking about" brigade, hope you're liking the 'gravity' of the slow parts of the 02 SIBLY solo from 1:02:23 to 1:03:38, mistakes, tedium 'n' all:D. A truly awful solo even by Jimmy's later standards. I'd be interested to hear the views of others on that solo alone to see if they felt the 'gravity' too.  

 

I don't care if someone has been playing for 40 years or if they've never picked up a guitar in their life, to me their opinions are equally valid. You don't need to be able to play an instrument to appreciate it being played - music is there to be listened to, not analysed, and if you get enjoyment from Jimmy's later performances that's a good thing because it's enriching your life. I was simply pointing out that Jimmy is not as technically proficient as he was in the early 70s, and hasn't been for a very long time. 

 

PS - good discussion with a good range of views

Edited by heavybluesfan

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^^^ 

:)It's all good heavybluesfan! I was just wondering if you were a fan who likes the live shows to replicate
the albums to a T. Haha, you summed it up with "No that would be boring!"

I like that we're able to go back all these years later and listen to the variety of recordings of  L Z live
from year to year. Hear the changes in the way Jimmy (and others members) played some of the L Z
songs that became staples through out their touring years.

When do we all analyze and disect Plant's singing? Haha
:lol:No?? :unsure: Love Plant, but hey I'll admit that's just
not as fun as the guitar talk for me.

Edited by KellyGirl

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17 hours ago, heavybluesfan said:

No, neither of those things. Both would be extremely boring. In his live performances in his heyday of the early 70s Jimmy would rarely play a song the same way twice, and I'm sure that's exactly how most of us would want it, and that's one of the things that made those Led Zeppelin shows so great. What I'm referring to is a decline in his technical ability.

 

For instance, in my previous post when I talked about playing Since I've Been Loving You in the correct way, I'm referring to it being played with a sufficient level of difficulty and proficiency to do the song justice, and this was not the case at 02 2007. I'm not referring to the content of those solos having to be the same every time - quite the opposite. And ipMan from the "I 've played for years so I must know what I'm talking about" brigade, hope you're liking the 'gravity' of the slow parts of the 02 SIBLY solo from 1:02:23 to 1:03:38, mistakes, tedium 'n' all:D. A truly awful solo even by Jimmy's later standards. I'd be interested to hear the views of others on that solo alone to see if they felt the 'gravity' too.  

 

I don't care if someone has been playing for 40 years or if they've never picked up a guitar in their life, to me their opinions are equally valid. You don't need to be able to play an instrument to appreciate it being played - music is there to be listened to, not analysed, and if you get enjoyment from Jimmy's later performances that's a good thing because it's enriching your life. I was simply pointing out that Jimmy is not as technically proficient as he was in the early 70s, and hasn't been for a very long time. 

 

PS - good discussion with a good range of views

Actually I do like those parts, thanks for asking. I apologize if I somehow offended you as that was not my intent, just trying to provide prospective from a base of practical knowledge. After all, if I were on a plumbing chat site I would not get upset if a professional plumber weighed in an opinion, even though I know how to turn on a faucet and have actually used a toilet once or twice.

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7 hours ago, IpMan said:

Actually I do like those parts, thanks for asking. I apologize if I somehow offended you as that was not my intent, just trying to provide prospective from a base of practical knowledge. 

No offence was ever taken so no apology necessary:). I'm just puzzled why some people such as yourself feel the need to say they've played the guitar for years so they must know what they're talking about, as if this gives their opinions more validity than those who haven't played  Personally I would leave it to others here to decide whether such people know what they're talking about.  

02SIBLY is an interesting example so I think it's worth returning to. You quite rightly mention David Gilmour as one of the best exponents of the slow solo. You also say you're glad Jimmy slowed down the SIBLY solos because it added gravity to them. This simply isn't true.  What Gilmour is able to achieve is light years ahead of what Jimmy is doing In 02SIBLY. In the solo from 1:02:23 to 1:03:38 (see 02 link in last but one post), Jimmy is invariably forced to slow things down not by choice, but because he has just messed up a fast run, and even the slow stuff is so mistake ridden that, as he is struggling so much, it is an effort for him simply to get through the solo with something that's half coherent.  Mistakes aside, there is zero gravity, emotion, whatever you wish to call it, For example, the slow passage from 1:02:25 to 1:02:42 is a tedious, repetitive, so simplistic to be virtually novice level, uninspired and uninspiring, meaningless dirge, and that's ignoring any technical errors.

Anyway, any thoughts from anyone on this are appreciated.

OK, I've been critical of later Jimmy but to redress the balance I'd like to close with something that still gives me goose bumps 40 years on, a segment from TSRTS Dazed And Confused, 4:05 to 5:20 in the link below. Love Bonzo in this, and when Jimmy takes off around 4:29, YEEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Edited by heavybluesfan

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With all due respect to the posts above keep in mind we are talking about a nearly 70 year old man at the O2. You cannot possibly compare this to a young barely 30 year old Page. Good grief. Of course he's not going to be as fluent. This is a silly conversation. I'm getting older and my hands simply don't function on a guitar neck like they did 20 years ago and I can't imagine what they'll be like in another 20.  You are comparing a 40 year time gap with Page.

I recall Clapton saying a couple years ago he listened to some shows of himself from '94 and we was amazed at how fluent he was and how much had changed in the last few years. I thought it was an honest assessment of what time does to us all. Imagine him listening to some Cream shows!

I thought Page was brilliant at the O2. Absolutely brilliant.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, StringBender said:

With all due respect to the posts above keep in mind we are talking about a nearly 70 year old man at the O2. You cannot possibly compare this to a young barely 30 year old Page. Good grief. Of course he's not going to be as fluent. This is a silly conversation. I'm getting older and my hands simply don't function on a guitar neck like they did 20 years ago and I can't imagine what they'll be like in another 20.  You are comparing a 40 year time gap with Page.

I recall Clapton saying a couple years ago he listened to some shows of himself from '94 and we was amazed at how fluent he was and how much had changed in the last few years. I thought it was an honest assessment of what time does to us all. Imagine him listening to some Cream shows!

I thought Page was brilliant at the O2. Absolutely brilliant.

 

 

 

I've always found this discussion interesting, the one where different standards apply to musicians of different genres. This has been said before, but in classical music, physical dexterity of younger performers is expected, but it's the feel and interpretation of a piece that is looked to as a measure of an artist on his or her way to mastery.

That said, older classical musicians were still expected to hit the notes. Yet in rock, where in general the pieces are less complex (which doesn't mean the ideas are less interesting), people point out that dexterity diminishes with age. There are many musicians Jimmy 's age and older who were and are absolutely brilliant in terms of technical proficiency (I've mentioned being mesmerized by Itzhak Perlman, but also, closer to the genre, Jonesy). So unless there's something the matter physically, it seems that keeping at it through regular practice has a lot to do with being near a top level for any given performer and whatever talents he or she has been honing.

Whatever regular physical limitations do set on with age can be offset with interpretations or remaking of songs to express an artist's voice that says this is who I am now. But in order for that to be accepted, musicians have to keep experimenting and growing so they're not boxed in by expectations of their much younger selves, be it from fans or from themselves.

The transformations within Zep throughout its ascent (and why it soared) are still being marveled at and rightfully so. Looking at say, SIBLY, compared to TFO or IGC, people point to the blazing power and speed of the guitar solo (to isolate but one aspect of focus in relation to the topic), but the solos of the other two songs have no less an emotional depth and range (if not more), are SO moving and SO Jimmy yet don't need ten times the notes at ten times the speed to convey it. Again, that's a certain kind of mastery, not as a substitute for, but in addition to, technical proficiency. This added layer you can't get so much through practicing hours a day as through living and having something to say about it (which brings us round to practice, not only how much, but what kind).

So it's not so much that Jimmy played well ' for an older guy' or not as well ' compared to his younger self'; it's more, at least to me, about hearing where they are now and what that sounds like, given life and practice. That may be trickier to pull off in a one-off show where the fan expectations for the songs are for them to be closer to the albums, or at least what fans are used to from live concerts, but the Zep lads still made it an epic night on their own terms.

Funny thing about expectations, though. While the other three were criticized for various reasons, Jonesy once again wasn't (not that he should have been, and not that much of the criticism of the others was legitimate). But we can't say, oh Page was good for his age when the guy on stage right tore it up all night, right? Jonesy mentioned how he'd forgotten how complex GTBT was, but then, you know, he practiced, showed up, and kicked ass.

I guess to sum up what I'm saying is that yes, age plays a part, but really not so much (unless there's an onset of a condition) that qualifications for a performance ought to be made. Expectations from fans and performers alike are also a factor. But if a qualification has to be made, surely it's the utter weight of the concert itself, and given that and all that had transpired before it, yeah, they were absolutely brilliant. We expected nothing less and got left with wanting more. Mastery.

Edited by Patrycja

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I understand what everyone's saying but it is very apparent that some of the posters have only heard one or two

98' shows. Page had significantly slowed down at this point !?!? I have many of these shows, and in fact overall

Page is more technically together FOR SURE than 77' on, and even matched or played more consistently than 75'.

95' sure, is more uneven. The hybrid picking , absolutely, is declined, period. And TSRTS from 07', yup, a bit of a

shambles. But many 77' TSRTS versions had awful leads or hybrid leads as well.

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On 15 January 2016 at 4:44 AM, IpMan said:

After all, if I were on a plumbing chat site I would not get upset if a professional plumber weighed in an opinion, even though I know how to turn on a faucet and have actually used a toilet once or twice.

You may joke about this but it does happen! A friend of mine who is a carpenter posted a pic of a cabinet he'd made on some woodwork forum and it wasn't long before people were telling him they would have preferred it if he had used such and such brand of chisel etc... 

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Silly like a poster said several posts above.

There's a 34 year gap between those 2 concerts. Jimmy Page as a 28 year old in 1973 to Jimmy Page as
a 63 year old. Really?? 
:wacko: C'mon *sigh* how is that even fair?? Jimmy at the O2 concert of course
isn't going to be the same player as he was 34 years prior. Obviously there're a number of factors as to
why that is, but that doesn't mean the O2 concert was a horrific representation of his guitar playing. I
thought he did a great job for somebody who had really really slowed down on playing live and even
doing full length gigs at that point.

If you like doing the whole comparison game with Jimmy's playing why not do it with something on a
smaller time scale. Or at least pick a period when he was still an active playing guitarist on a regular basis. 
Someone who fine tooth combs his live guitar playing  microsecond by microsecond... well it's a given you'll 
spot a lot  of  things to nit pick at with the latter of the two shows. I don't listening to music that way but 
different strokes I guess. It's more about listening to the overall piece then note by note.

Unfortunately  the O2 is in it's own category since there's not much in the 2000s of Jimbo to compare it with.
If he had continued playing on regular basis in his 60s than you could critique that with the O2.  Celebration
Day 
VS The Song Remains the Same  is apples to oranges and not in the same category to realistically compare
off together.

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13 minutes ago, KellyGirl said:

Silly like a poster said several posts above.

There's a 34 year gap between those 2 concerts. Jimmy Page as a 28 year old in 1973 to Jimmy Page as
a 63 year old. Really?? 
:wacko: C'mon *sigh* how is that even fair?? Jimmy at the O2 concert of course
isn't going to be the same player as he was 34 years prior. Obviously there're a number of factors as to
why that is, but that doesn't mean the O2 concert was a horrific representation of his guitar playing. I
thought he did a great job for somebody who had really really slowed down on playing live and even
doing full length gigs at that point.

If you like doing the whole comparison game with Jimmy's playing why not do it with something on a
smaller time scale. Or at least pick a period when he was still an active playing guitarist on a regular basis. 
Someone who fine tooth combs his live guitar playing  microsecond by microsecond... well it's a given you'll 
spot a lot  of  things to nit pick at with the latter of the two shows. I don't listening to music that way but 
different strokes I guess. It's more about listening to the overall piece then note by note.

Unfortunately  the O2 is in it's own category since there's not much in the 2000s of Jimbo to compare it with.
If he had continued playing on regular basis in his 60s than you could critique that with the O2.  Celebration
Day 
VS The Song Remains the Same  is apples to oranges and not in the same category to realistically compare
off together.

Exactly, apples to avocados'. Very few people can maintain manual dexterity to such a degree over such a period even in excellent health. But hey, Jimmy slowing down his solos' in 2007 for a one-off must mean he can no longer cut the mustard on any professional musical level. Poor 63 year old Jimmy just can't live up to the expectations of some people who believe, like a machine or android, he should be able to negotiate the fretboard like a 28 year old. Then there is the possibility of a physical ailment as well. Not sure if most non-medically trained people are aware but if you break a bone, it will most likely become arthritic with age. To my knowledge, Jimmy has broken at least two fingers on his left hand during three separate occasions. Even minor breaks or fractures of such delicate bones can cause serious localized arthritic condition and thus affect dexterity. However this is all speculation, Jimmy may have arthritis, he may not. What Jimmy is however is a 72 year old man who must live within the limitations of his age.

As Kelly said, if we are to critique Jimmy's playing it must be within a limited time period to be fair. 

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1 minute ago, IpMan said:

Exactly, apples to avocados'. Very few people can maintain manual dexterity to such a degree over such a period even in excellent health. But hey, Jimmy slowing down his solos' in 2007 for a one-off must mean he can no longer cut the mustard on any professional musical level. Poor 63 year old Jimmy just can't live up to the expectations of some people who believe, like a machine or android, he should be able to negotiate the fretboard like a 28 year old. Then there is the possibility of a physical ailment as well. Not sure if most non-medically trained people are aware but if you break a bone, it will most likely become arthritic with age. To my knowledge, Jimmy has broken at least two fingers on his left hand during three separate occasions. Even minor breaks or fractures of such delicate bones can cause serious localized arthritic condition and thus affect dexterity. However this is all speculation, Jimmy may have arthritis, he may not. What Jimmy is however is a 72 year old man who must live within the limitations of his age.

As Kelly said, if we are to critique Jimmy's playing it must be within a limited time period to be fair. 

I would also add that if you watch and listen to live Page, Clapton, and Beck in their primes, "manual dexterity" was a much bigger part of Jimmy's technique than the other two.  Having said that, I'm with you; I've seen him play in person 11 times, most recently 2000, and he's never been less than great.  Sometimes he's been transcendent.

 

There were enough highlights in the O2, including the soloing on GTBT, Trampled, and No Quarter, to leave me with no doubt that if that was the "warm up" show his playing would have gotten better and better as the tour (that never happened) continued as he'd hoped.

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It's just how do you explain 75 year old Vladimir Horowitz playing the monumental Rach 3 better than his 20 year old self? Or closer to home, Jonesy the elder at least equalling his younger self?

There's nothing wrong with comparing performances across time and so-called 'natural' diminishing dexterity can only be given so much weight. Age is a small not sole factor of it.

Edited by Patrycja

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2 hours ago, Patrycja said:

It's just how do you explain 75 year old Vladimir Horowitz playing the monumental Rach 3 better than his 20 year old self? Or closer to home, Jonesy the elder at least equalling his younger self?

There's nothing wrong with comparing performances across time and so-called 'natural' diminishing dexterity can only be given so much weight. Age is a small not sole factor of it.

Just my opinion but those people are the exception, not the rule. Age waits for no one, however some are luckier than others as genetics, diet, and environment have much to do with it. Also, did Horowitz ever break any fingers? Did Jones?

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I'll take age out of it if we use Keith Richards as the example. He's long in the tooth, 
however he's still playing a lot and the band that he's been apart of since the early 60s  
STILL tours ALL the time, (unlike Jimmy) so yeah sure let's go ahead see how Keith sizes
up against a younger guitarist or even himself 34 years ago.

The O2 was the lone full length concert performance Jimmy had done in how many years?
Guy in his 60's  who BARELY plays versus one in his late 20s who is touring nonstop?? I just don't
see how that is equal, but maybe the Page fan in me clouds my judgment making me not the
best person to be speaking on the subject.  :unsure:

Not to take away from how solid of a performer Jones is,  but just how perfect would he be
in a live setting if he and Jimmy traded roles for one night.  I am pretty sure there would be a
lot more mistakes being made on his end if he was to strap on Jimbo's guitar. Eh but again Jimmy
vs Jones is another apples to oranges thing since were talking about bass playing and guitar playing. 
The roles are very different.

Edited by KellyGirl
Hellooo?!! Is my mic on?? Can you hear me?!?

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2 hours ago, IpMan said:

Just my opinion but those people are the exception, not the rule. Age waits for no one, however some are luckier than others as genetics, diet, and environment have much to do with it. Also, did Horowitz ever break any fingers? Did Jones?

Maybe, but then again, these are but two among plenty of musicians who play in and around Jimmy's age, with drop offs that aren't that significant. And jimmy himself had worse dips in performance before getting back up to the O2 show. And I'm not dogging it as I thought the concert was a tremendous achievement given all the forces at play.

Neither Volodya nor Jonesy to my knowledge had broken fingers, and Jimmy has now come back twice from damaged hands, and done it well. Django came back from a significant hand injury, too. 

Injuries may be a factor, not discounting it, but it seems like a simple explanation is being side-stepped. At the risk of straining courtesy with bluntness, the two I mentioned, among many other working musicians, simply practice and play regularly. So the question isn't so much then 63-year-old Jimmy to his younger self, but practicing Jimmy to not regularly practicing and playing Jimmy. 

Look I absolutely love Jimmy's playing, and his music has changed my life for the better. His sound is so unique and has this almost mystical blend of feel and ingenuity that captures you right from the start. It's almost criminal that we don't get more of it because of whatever factors have/are contributing to his just not playing regularly (and no, I don't think he owes us anything). 

"If I skip practice for one day, I notice. If I skip practice for two days, my wife notices. If I skip for three days, the world notices." - Horowitz

1 hour ago, KellyGirl said:

I'll take age out of it if we use Keith Richards as the example. He's long in the tooth, 
however he's still playing a lot and the band that he's been apart of since the early 60s  
STILL tours ALL the time, (unlike Jimmy) so yeah sure let's go ahead see how Keith sizes
up against a younger guitarist or even himself 34 years ago.

The O2 was the lone full length concert performance Jimmy had done in how many years?
Guy in his 60's  who BARELY plays versus one in his late 20s who is touring nonstop?? I just don't
see how that is equal, but maybe the Page fan in me clouds my judgment making me not the
best person to be speaking on the subject.  :unsure:

Not to take away from how solid of a performer Jones is,  but just how perfect would he be
in a live setting if he and Jimmy traded roles for one night.  I am pretty sure there would be a
lot more mistakes being made on his end if he was to strap on Jimbo's guitar. Eh but again Jimmy
vs Jones is another apples to oranges thing since were talking about bass playing and guitar playing. 
The roles are very different.

Sorry, but no. This just takes away from what Jonesy did and really diminishes Jimmy's role in his own readiness (if I'm understanding your point correctly that Jimmy somehow had the harder job to prepare for). Jonesy may not have taken centre stage during the Zep days, but he was easily the most versatile in the group and the parts he played were so often absolutely blazing, no less so than Jimmy's efforts on guitar. The roles may have been different, but Jonesy's contribution was critical to Zep's sound and soar. 

And having seen Jonesy in concert several times post-Zep, I can attest that when he does take centre stage, he makes sure that your attention stays there. He can blow audiences away with the fast and hard as much as with soft and subtle. Unparalleled range and dynamics and technical skill. Such a high level of intelligence and heart. 

Edited by Patrycja

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5 hours ago, Patrycja said:

It's just how do you explain 75 year old Vladimir Horowitz playing the monumental Rach 3 better than his 20 year old self? Or closer to home, Jonesy the elder at least equalling his younger self?

There's nothing wrong with comparing performances across time and so-called 'natural' diminishing dexterity can only be given so much weight. Age is a small not sole factor of it.

Yes. This is true. Jimmy is wonderful, but even as fans, we should be able to acknowledge that his playing suffered tremendously at times, for whatever reason, and although a great writer, arranger, producer, and technician, it has been many, many years since Jimmy kept company with the truly technically proficient players. He would have been better off not trying to be a show boat, and instead play within his comfort zone. David Gilmour is an example of a "three note player", but he sure makes those three notes count, and his tone and style are amazing. I will say that I think Jimmy played really well, all things considered, at the O2, and in 1998 he was actually quite remarkable. He has the capability, but Jimmy was never really about being a master of his instrument. He was more a rock and roller, lifestyle and all, with a broad skill set. Some might call him a jack of all trades. It's hard to be all things to all people, but Jimmy's body of work is amazing. Is he a virtuoso? Nope, never has been. He was good at times and bad at others, but he still wrote some of the greatest tunes of our times (or took credit for them). I will certainly give Jimmy credit for his studio playing where unlimited takes were at his disposal; he really excelled in that environment. I still love the guy, but despite my best efforts to brainwash myself, I can't deny the issues that Jimmy has had over the years, and which have quite rightly impacted on his reputation as a player. 

Edited by The Dark Lord

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I recommend watching "It Might Get Loud" for a reference to Jimmy's later virtuosity on the guitar. See how relaxed and easily Jimmy plays the epic chords that he created over 40 years prior.

Jack White and the Edge are awe struck with such Grace and power right before their eyes.

Never count Jimmy Page down and out.

Edited by nirvana

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