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mysticman560

New Jimmy Page Biography Released

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"[his] image was as integral to his art as the 20-minute guitar solos with which he would blast his audience’s eardrums – the violin bow he employed when performing ‘Dazed and Confused’ clearly doubling as a wizard’s wand."

Oh dear lawd.

"this romantic dandy lived in a castle with a moat"

Er? Grant's pile had a moat, not Page's. This kind of inaccuracy doesn't bode well, I hope the rest is better. To be fair, Salewicz was "there", being senior on the NME in the mid -70s, so I'll reserve judgment till it comes out.

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Posted (edited)

Just corrected the post. The book was released on July 26th. One of the selling points seems to be that the book will explore the "darker side" of Mr. Page. I hope we're not going to receive a tawdry, tabloid-style account.

Edited by mysticman560

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As private a person as Jimmy tries to be, I just can't see anything to write about that hasn't already been put out.  Whether it's artist Jimmy or the debauched Jimmy, it's all been said already.

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Wanted to see what people are hearing about this new biography that has just come out on Page by Chris Salewicz??? Better yet, if anybody has read it, would love to hear all thoughts.  Any information is appreciated!!! 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, zeplz71 said:

Sheesh. By the look of it, it makes Hammer of the Gods look restrained. I just don't understand the market for this kind of thing. Is anyone genuinely shocked nowadays that 70s rock stars took lots of drugs and there were groupies? Anyone who doesn't know this must be living in a cave. Or reading the Mail.

 

Edit: having read further down, this is riddled with mistakes. European tour 1979? Bonham & Cole were not directly involved in the beating up of Jim Matzorkis at Oakland. And they've even got Lori Maddox' age wrong! Does no one in publishing bother to do fact checks and due diligence anymore?!

Page must be fit to be tied that this has come out so close to the anniversary. A tacky thing like this is the last thing he needs, especially with his problems with the fat dancer living next door.

Edited by 76229

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On ‎8‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 6:51 AM, 76229 said:

"this romantic dandy lived in a castle with a moat"

Er? Grant's pile had a moat, not Page's.

To be fair, Plumpton Place, Jimmy's residence as shown in The Song Remains The Same, did have a moat.

However, it isn't a castle and regardless Jimmy moved out nearly 40 years ago, which is about how long it's been since he was last interviewed by Chis Salewicz. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, 76229 said:

Sheesh. By the look of it, it makes Hammer of the Gods look restrained. I just don't inderstand the market for this kind of thing. Is anyone genuinely shocked nowadays that 70s rocks stars took lots of drugs and there were groupies? Anyone who doesn't know this must be living in a cave. Or reading the Mail.

 

Edit: having read further down, this is riddled with mistakes. European tour 1979? Bonham & Cole were not directly involved in the beating up of Jim Matzorkis at Oakland. And they've even got Lori Maddox' age wrong! Does no one in publishing bother to do fact checks and due diligence anymore?!

Page must be fit to be tied that this has come out so close to the anniversary. A tacky thing like this is the last thing he needs, especially with his problems with the fat dancer living next door.

After reading the Daily Mail excerpt (from the link above), I don't understand what the author Chis Salewicz was hoping to accomplish with his salacious account. Apparently he (and the book company) must have felt that by focusing on the lurid and the sensational, that they're going to sell more books, perhaps?

I found the excerpt to be off-putting, and certainly not what I was hoping for from the book, in terms of it providing a balanced, thoughtful, and well-researched account of Mr. Page's life, instead it looks the book is nothing more than a sensational, tabloid-style account of his life. It's a shame that the book is appearing now during the 50th anniversary of the formation of the band. It certainly looks like the release of the book was intended to take advantage of that.

Edited by mysticman560

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'Definitive' biography, huh?
Yeah, I'm suspecting not...

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The audio version is full of mispronouncements. Annoying.

There is odd bits of stuff I'd not read about previously but not that much.

There is one shocking bit , what Robert allegedly said to someone about Jimmy when Karac died.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Boleskine said:

The audio version is full of mispronouncements. Annoying.

There is odd bits of stuff I'd not read about previously but not that much.

There is one shocking bit , what Robert allegedly said to someone about Jimmy when Karac died.

That bit is my biggest problem with this book. Even if Robert had said it (and we have no idea whether he did or not), quoting something from the heat of the moment, after the most horrible traumatic incident in his and Maureen's life is just not right, imo. It's low.

Edited by 76229

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, 76229 said:

That bit is my biggest problem with this book. Even if Robert had said it (and we have no idea whether he did or not), quoting something from the heat of the moment, after the most horrible traumatic incident in his and Maureen's life is just not right, imo. It's low.

This whole book is obvious bullshit of the rankest type. Why would Robert say such a thing? It makes no sense unless Robert was either mentally ill or a complete idiot. Robert is and was a historical scholar who also has a strong grasp of alternative religions. He knew Page was little more than a dilettante in regard to the occult, a glorified collector who dabbled from time to time. Page's true and only aversion at the time was heroin and it's kinda hard to cast spells when you are locked in a heroin stupor. If Robert called Jimmy out for anything it was his habit and how it affected their personal relationship and his ability within the band.

This occult shit in regard to Zeppelin is beyond overblown. Grant and Page used it mostly for image, after all if Page was truly the "magnus" some claim him to be why did he spend a total of two weeks at Boleskine house during the whole time he owned it? Shit, if I were the Crowley / Thelema nut that Page was supposed to be I would have moved into the damn place, then tried to buy Cefalu (Crowley's Sicilian commune) as well and taken up mountaineering. Page never did any of that, he never even visited Cefalu as far as I know and that place is the holy grail for Crowley enthusiasts, not Boleskine.

 

Edited by IpMan

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Posted (edited)

Bonham was involved in the beating of Jim Matzorkis at that infamous Oakland show in July 1977; it was he who saw the latter push Warren Grant and quickly came over to voice his disapproval by promptly kicking Matzorkis in the groin!  But Bonzo wasn't actively involved in the pummeling that Grant and Bindon gave the unfortunate Matzorkis a little later... not that it mattered to the fully-armed SWAT team who arrested all three the morning after the last Oakland show. 

And I believe Jimmy Page did visit Crowley's abbey in Sicily; during his and Plant's (and families) holiday in Rhodes during August 1975, Page left Charlotte Martin and Scarlet with the Plants to visit Sicily by himself for a couple days to view Crowley's former property there, and that's when the car accident back in Rhodes happened... I'm sure I read that somewhere in the mists of time.

 

Edited by The Old Hermit

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I thought he left Planty in Greece, when the accident happened, to visit Crowley's Cefalu property.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, The Old Hermit said:

Bonham was involved in the beating of Jim Matzorkis at that infamous Oakland show in July 1977; it was he who saw the latter push Warren Grant and quickly came over to voice his disapproval by promptly kicking Matzorkis in the groin!  But Bonzo wasn't actively involved in the pummeling that Grant and Bindon gave the unfortunate Matzorkis a little later... not that it mattered to the fully-armed SWAT team who arrested all three the morning after the last Oakland show.

I know this Hermit, I was referring to the summary in the Mail article, which is worded as in, Bonham was involved in the beating up itself, which he wasn't. Specifically it says "At a show in Oakland, California, in July 1977, a stagehand was attacked and beaten by Bonham, Grant, Cole and John Bindon" . Please understand I'm not condoning what happened at Oakland, it was a disgrace; but if something sells itself as "definitive" it needs to get stuff like this right. Basic errors in things like people's ages isn't a good look.

Edited by 76229

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53 minutes ago, The Old Hermit said:

And I believe Jimmy Page did visit Crowley's abbey in Sicily; during his and Plant's (and families) holiday in Rhodes during August 1975, Page left Charlotte Martin and Scarlet with the Plants to visit Sicily by himself for a couple days to view Crowley's former property there, and that's when the car accident back in Rhodes happened... I'm sure I read that somewhere in the mists of time.

 

I believe people are completely missing the forest for the trees here. Jimmy was a dilettante regarding the occult, nothing more. Again, he spent a total of two weeks at Boleskine the entire time he owned the property. Two weeks, in totality!

Most people are either complete idiots, or believe what they wish to believe because they prefer a certain narrative or mystique. Jimmy did not have the time necessary to be a true practitioner of the archaic arts, or at least not until 1976 which by then he was fully immersed in a serious smack habit.

That being said you may be correct about Jimmy visiting Cefalu in 75', which BTW was for sale at the time yet if he did visit, he did not purchase. I have visited Cefalu twice and I think Crowley was nothing more than a failed mystic who focused more on his own needs and addiction, a narcissistic wannabe and nothing else. 

Anyway, I wish these damn biographers would stop focusing on the sensational and spotlight the man, the music, his upbringing, his general life's arch.

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13 minutes ago, IpMan said:

 you may be correct about Jimmy visiting Cefalu in 75', which BTW was for sale at the time yet if he did visit, he did not purchase.

Yeah, the version I heard was that he'd gone to visit Cefalu with a view to buying it, but passed.
Can't cite the source off the top of my head, though, so apologies if this's just another myth!  

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9 hours ago, 76229 said:

I know this Hermit, I was referring to the summary in the Mail article, which is worded as in, Bonham was involved in the beating up itself, which he wasn't. Specifically it says "At a show in Oakland, California, in July 1977, a stagehand was attacked and beaten by Bonham, Grant, Cole and John Bindon" . Please understand I'm not condoning what happened at Oakland, it was a disgrace; but if something sells itself as "definitive" it needs to get stuff like this right. Basic errors in things like people's ages isn't a good look.

Correct, Bonham kicked the guy in the balls and then went on stage. It was Grant & Bindon who tried to kill the man in the trailer about an hour later. Cole was involved in the trailer incident but did not participate inside the trailer, he was the guy keeping others out during the melee if I am correct.

Also, Bindon had assaulted at least one other Graham employee earlier that day. Bindon was a complete piece of shit who brought the worse out of those around him. He had ran with both the Richardson & Kray gangs in the 60's plus had an affair with Princess Margaret which Bindon himself brought to light and caused the Royal Family much embarrassment. Why MI-5 did not clip his ass back in 69' is beyond me.

The reality is you do not have the right to kick another person in the balls or otherwise. You do not have a right to assault someone. SF Police were actually very much in the right to arrest them with a SWAT team if they had done their research on who they were going to apprehend. John Bindon was a very, very bad dude and I sure as hell would not have sent a couple of beat-cops to arrest someone with the history of Bindon.

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The secrets of Led Zeppelin IV: from ecology to the occult

By Chris Salewicz a day ago Classic Rock  

The sleeve artwork of Led Zeppelin's fourth album, dissected by Jimmy Page biographer Chris Salewicz

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Led Zeppelin IV
 

Based on interviews with Jimmy Page, the rest of Led Zeppelin, old girlfriends, tour managers, session musicians and more, Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography by long-time Led Zeppelin aficionado Salewicz offers a fascinating insight into the life of one of rock's most important - and mysterious - musicians.

In this extract, Salewicz  delves into the myths and legends surrounding the cover art of Led Zeppelin's classic fourth album. 

missing-image.svg

Visiting a second-hand shop in Reading, on the way to Headley Grange with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant unearthed a nineteenth-century painting of a rustic character bent low by the burden he carried on his back. This figure, Jimmy would immediately have noted, bore a distinct resemblance to ‘Old George’ Pickingill, who it was believed had first instructed Aleister Crowley in the occult arts. 

Is this story true? Or was the image of this fellow created specifically for the album? Furthermore, although this rustic figure is considerably older, there is a distinct resemblance to the character in the tarot card the Ten of Wands. The Ten of Wands can be interpreted as the need to rise to responsibilities and pressure, which Jimmy Page certainly felt work on this new album was realising. 

Whatever its provenance, this was the central image that featured on the front sleeve of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, affixed to a decaying house wall and overlooked by a Birmingham tower block; almost unnoticed is a poster for Oxfam that reads: ‘Someone dies from hunger everyday.’ Were Led Zeppelin – or more likely Jimmy Page, who was heavily involved with the design of each LP sleeve – professing to be carrying the weight of the eco world on their back? That seemed the most clear reading, confirmed by the guitarist in an interview with Dave Schulps of Trouser Press in 1977: ‘It represented the change in the balance which was going on. There was the old countryman and the blocks of flats being knocked down. It was just a way of saying that we should look after the earth, not rape and pillage it.’

Led Zeppelin IV - Oxfam Poster

Circled (bottom left): The Oxfam Poster on the rear of Led Zeppelin IV

‘The cover was supposed to be something that was for other people to savour rather than for me to actually spell everything out, which would make the whole thing rather disappointing on that level of your own personal adventure into the music,’ he told James Jackson in The Times in January 2010, indicating how broad the levels of creative thought were that overhung every area of Led Zeppelin, the personal suzerainty of Jimmy Page. 

Each member of Led Zeppelin was represented on the sleeve by a sigil, a rune-like symbol, a clear reflection of Page’s occult interests, and also of Robert Plant, even if the latter’s were less obsessive: the singer’s fondness for the Viking oracle method of runes had been solidified on the group’s trip to Iceland. 

Led Zeppelin's Four Symbols

 

These were not archetypal symbols. But devised by each individual in the band. Both John Paul Jones and John Bonham took their sigils from Rudoph Koch’s The Book of Signs. Jones’s image was appropriately of an individual who possessed both confidence and competence. Bonham’s three interlocking rings represented the man, woman and child – of his marriage, presumably; twisted upside down, much to the delight of the rest of the band, Bonham’s image became the logo of Ballantine beer, his Midlands local brew. Robert Plant devised his own symbolic image, a feather within a circle, an icon that spoke very much of Native Americans but which the singer claimed was sourced from the ancient Mu civilisation. 

But what of Jimmy Page’s rune? The sigil that became known as Zoso, by which Led Zeppelin IV was sometimes termed before Jimmy himself adopted it as a kind of sobriquet? (He even named his own photographic autobiography, published much later, Zoso.) As might be expected from the ever precise and measured Jimmy Page, the origins of Zoso were considerably more arcane.

In recent years it has become known that the world’s most prolific collector of paintings by Austin Osman Spare, sometimes described as Britain’s greatest unknown artist, is Jimmy Page. The work he has collected includes Spare’s 1907 Portrait of the Artist. It should not surprise you to learn that Spare was not only a visionary artist, but also a philosopher and occult musician; he was the inspiration for what is now known as chaos magic. One of Spare’s specialities were his sidereal paintings, as though you were looking at a cinema screen from the side. Looking at Spare’s paintings, you may receive similar impressions as you would when listening to the music of Led Zeppelin: images from the far, far past coupled with those from a distant science-fiction future – what you imagine and what you see are equally valid and interrelated. 

Austin Osman Spare - Portrait of the Artist

Austin Osman Spare - Portrait of the Artist

Spare was a Clerkenwell policeman’s son who became a teenage painting prodigy, celebrated in exhibitions while still at the Royal College of Art. Turned off by the commercial art world, he rebelled, downgrading himself and selling his work at what were nothing more than inebriated evenings masquerading as exhibition openings in South London pubs. Always taken with notions of mysticism and other worlds, Spare – like his mentor for a brief time, Aleister Crowley – claimed to have had direct experience of the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence. (Around the time of the recording of Led Zeppelin IV, Spare was championed by Kenneth Grant, a protégé of Crowley, in the popular Man, Myth and Magic encyclopaedia partwork, which commenced publication in 1970.) 

Among the several methods through which Spare communicated his art were his use of sigils, influenced by Egyptian hieroglyphics. He would elaborate these sigils by condensing letters of the alphabet into what have been described as ‘diagrammatic glyphs of desire, which were to be integrated in postural practices’ – yoga, in other words. These sigils would thereby become ‘monograms of thought, for the government of energy’. Spare was endeavouring to rediscover the evangelical concept of the ‘word’ as a magical complex image. ‘Spare’s “sentient symbols” and his “alphabet of desire” situate this mediatory magic in a libidinal framework of Tantric – which is to say cosmological – proportions.’ 

 
 

Also a writer, in his grimoire The Book of Pleasure Spare spoke of the Zos Kia Cultus, a philosophy of magic he developed that focuses on one’s individual universe and the influence of the magician’s will on it; a way of thinking – influenced by Aleister Crowley – that was very familiar to Jimmy Page. 

 

And Zos, of course, is only one letter away from Zoso. For his part Jimmy Page has often maintained that Zoso was intended purely as a representative of Saturn, the ruling planet of his Capricorn sun sign, the ruler of hard work, adamantine will and strength, and necessary strengthening restriction. 

 

The influence of Austin Osman Spare on Jimmy Page’s choice of rune – or sigil – seems rather clear. 

 

The occult elements of the sleeve were only followed through on the central gatefold image. A painting that was a re-working of the Hermit, the ninth card of the major arcana in the Rider Waite tarot pack, which represents Prudence. The staff the Hermit bears is a symbol of his authority. In its archetypal sense the Hermit, a reclusive, solitary figure, shines the light of a lamp on matters, and desires to give solitary time for thought to himself, whilst simultaneously not permitting others to stand in his way. 

The Hermit

The Hermit, from the Rider Waite tarot pack.

The Hermit represents a character who has acquired or is seeking to acquire wisdom in order to better guide others using his lantern. Very much as you might imagine Jimmy Page may have perceived himself at that time. As an image it evidently appealed to him: in the 1976 Led Zeppelin film The Song Remains the Same, he would chose such a character as a representation of himself. (Interestingly, here Jimmy Page appeared to be crossing party lines: Aleister Crowley himself allegedly disapproved of the Rider-Waite tarot pack, and set about having his own set devised, the Thoth deck; Waite had been a member of the Golden Dawn at the same time as Crowley and was considered a direct rival by Page’s spiritual mentor.)  

It is worth bearing in mind that, as we see things coming to pass in the life of Jimmy Page, the Hermit, despite its positive and success-inspiring energies, is warning against the isolation that could be harmful to him at certain times: it is very important that he always endeavours to achieve the right balance. The Hermit invites us to discover wisdom and the progress that comes with study; the card also indicates that the Hermit is a person of integrity, but that he is scared to trust in others and completely express what he is feeling – very much as Jimmy Page was, polite to the point of sometimes being a little boring. The painting of the Hermit on the inner sleeve was by a supposed friend of Jimmy Page’s called Barrington Coleby. There is no record whatsoever of any such person, and there were those who believed the real painter was none other than Jimmy Page himself. 

All the same, there was something very appealing and romantic about the notion of Jimmy Page as a rock ’n’ roll recluse, dabbling with potions and spells in his high tower.

Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography by Chis Salewicz is out now

Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography

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7 hours ago, IpMan said:

Also, Bindon had assaulted at least one other Graham employee earlier that day. Bindon was a complete piece of shit who brought the worse out of those around him.

I find it ironic that whilst Peter Grant stated years later, and with the benefit of clear-headed hindsight, that Bindon being employed by the band for the infamous '77 tour was the biggest mistake he made as Zeppelin's manager, it was Grant himself who brought him onboard; Bindon was an associate of Richard Cole, often went drinking with him at The World's End pub across the road from Swan Song, and that's how he entered Zeppelin's orbit.  Grant found Bindon amusing to be around, more so after his divorce proceedings started when he needed cheering up, and thus when the '77 tour was beginning, the manager turned up in America with Bindon in tow as security detail... much to the surprise and bemusement of many in the band and organization.

If there is ever to be a film made about Led Zeppelin, they should focus on the '77 tour, 'cause that traveling insane asylum was a story unto itself...

 

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Posted (edited)

'Were Led Zeppelin – or more likely Jimmy Page, who was heavily involved with the design of each LP sleeve – professing to be carrying the weight of the eco world on their back?' asks Salewicz.
Oh, away and shite. Sounds like a floundering 6th-Former, desperately trying to shoe-horn even the vaguest outside possibility into a fourth-rate A-level Sociology essay.   
As for 'Barrington Coleby. There is no record whatsoever of any such person'...well...I'd say the omens aren't looking good for this one, lads!
 

Edited by Brigante

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Ordered it! Looking forward to a few days of salacious gossip, half truths and unfounded gossip!

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7 hours ago, Brigante said:

'Were Led Zeppelin – or more likely Jimmy Page, who was heavily involved with the design of each LP sleeve – professing to be carrying the weight of the eco world on their back?' asks Salewicz.
Oh, away and shite. Sounds like a floundering 6th-Former, desperately trying to shoe-horn even the vaguest outside possibility into a fourth-rate A-level Sociology essay.   
As for 'Barrington Coleby. There is no record whatsoever of any such person'...well...I'd say the omens aren't looking good for this one, lads!

This is a good exampe of the basic fact checking that seems not to have been done. Coleby was traced, it's in one of the threads on here. He was found in Switzerland iirc.

Anyway, it proves yet again the only Zep biog worth its salt is Barney Hoskyns' "Trampled Underfoot".

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, 76229 said:

This is a good exampe of the basic fact checking that seems not to have been done. Coleby was traced, it's in one of the threads on here. 

Exactly. When you consider the masses of research materials that someone like our man, Steve A. Jones, has got at his disposal, I bet he doesn't know whether to laugh or cry when dismally inaccurate bilge like this gets published professionally! There really is no excuse for such glaring errors at this point. Hey, Salewicz, there's this thing called 'the internet', see, and...ah, forget it...

Edited by Brigante

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