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cowbell666

cello bow or violin bow?

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I just wanna know if jimmy uses a cello bow, or a violin bow, or both? i keep reading its a cello bow, but it really looks like a violin bow from what i've seen (and i'm a violinist). it looks way to thin and slender to be a cello bow. so can anyone give me some proof about which one it is, maybe a quote from Jimmy about it?

it just seems like it would be harder to use a cello bow the way jimmy does, because its much bulkier and heavier. maybe he needed the extra weight to get a good sound.

can anyone that plays a guitar with a bow comment? violin or cello?

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Violin bow, not cello. Furthermore, he used warped rejects to keep the cost down. He bought them by the boxfull from suppliers, because they couldn't sell them, and he didn't need an articulate, high quality bow for what he was using it for. :beer:

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cool. but his wikipedia page does say its a cello bow... not that that's credible at all. as a violinst, i always wince when he's whacking that thing against the guitar and tearing all the hairs off of it. i always hoped he wasnt using expensive quality bows. my bow is my pride and joy, i paid about $2300 for it.

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cool. but his wikipedia page does say its a cello bow... not that that's credible at all. as a violinst, i always wince when he's whacking that thing against the guitar and tearing all the hairs off of it. i always hoped he wasnt using expensive quality bows. my bow is my pride and joy, i paid about $2300 for it.

sweet Jesus!

do you play in any groups?

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Cowbell, in a recent interview with Guitar World magazine, published in December 2007, Jimmy Page specifically mentions the use of warped violin bows. You can read excerpts of his interview below - I put the parts about the violin bow in bold: :)

GW: Before we talk about the reunion, I would like to go back to 1973,

Led Zeppelin's "Golden Age," and talk about "The Song Remains the

Same." What was the genesis of that project?

JP: At the time we were interested in presenting the band on film. We

had already shot the Royal Albert Hall shows in 1970, but by 1973 we

had moved on so far in such a short time that we felt the Albert Hall

footage was passe in ever respect. We looked and dressed differently,

and the whole communicative quality of the music had been improved. We

also had another two albums under out belt, so the 1970 shows were

quite behind us.

We also felt we could do a more professional job, using multiple

cameras and more sophisticated equipment. Prior to the htree Madison

Garden shows in New York, the film crew came to two dates to prepare

camera angles and gauge how much film they would need to shoot an

entire concert. Unfortunately, after they finished shooting, we looked

at the rushes and quickly realized that there were huge gaps in the

filming. The crew hadn't covered basic things, like filming the verses

to certain songs! We surmised that they were probably stoned; it was

quite as simple as that. Everbody was stoned at the time, but at least

we did our job. (laughs)

GW: From what I understand, it was at this time that the band came up

with the idea for each member to film a fantasy sequence that would

cover these massive gaps in the film.

Page: Yes. It was our solution to that problem. The director, Joe

Massot, was asked to work with members of the band to develope their

own segment.

GW: Which was your favorite?

Page: I really liked John Bonham's. It really captured his essence as

a family man. It was fun and the flipside of his roaring stage

persona. In many ways, it reflected the way we all were at home.

GW: How were the fantasy sequences developed? Did you guys discuss

them with each other beforehand?

Page: Not really. I knew what I wanted to do, and Robert did, too--

storming the castle and all that.

GW: When you saw the segments put together, did any of them surprise

you? Was the band mutually respectful of one another's sequence?

Page: In those days, I think being mutually respectful still meant

there could be some piss taking (laughs) I'm sure there were nudges

behind people's backs, and fair enough! I mean it was hard to find the

dividing line between doing a fantasy sequence in a rock and roll film

and trying to be a star of the silver screen.

GW: John's segment might've been fun, buy yours was the most

striking.

Page: I have very strong ideas about my segment. I wanted to be filmed

climbing this mountain face by my house in Loch Ness on the night of a

full moon. Massot was astonished, because the night was perfect and

the location was just how I wanted it to be [editor's note: Sounds

like a Howard Hughes type to me! You damn clouds! Stay still!]

We shot it in December, so there was snow on the ground and

these great clouds going past the full moon. We created this scaffold

for filming the shot, and everything was perfect and ready to go, but

I'd forgot the most obvious thing: that I was going to have to do

multiple takes climbing up and down thhis rather steep mountain. It

was actually easy climbing up, but it was difficult getting down. I

kept thinking, What have I done! It was bloody cold up there, too, I

know that much!

GW: At one point in your segment, you're dressed as a hermit and you

rapidly age into an old man. How was that done?

Page: The transformation was done with a life mask, which I still

have. Using that as a foundation, they created several different faces

that showed me as I might look at various ages of my life. I don't

know how many there were, but there were quite a few. Then they joined

all those shots of the different faces together.

When the film came out, I took my daughter, who was then six

years old, to see it. That probably wasn't a great idea, because the

film was so long and she was so young. But at the point where my

transformation scene came about, the theater was quiet, except for

this little voice that cried out, "'That's not my daddy!" (Laughs)

GW: Could we talk a little about the meaning behind your sequence?

Page: To me, the significance is very clear, isn't it?

GW: Well, I find it interesting that you were choosing to represent

yourself as a hermit at a time when you were really quite a public

figure.

Page: Well, I was hermetic. I was involved in the hermetic arts, but I

wasn't a recluse. Or maybe I was... The image of the mermit that we

used for the artwork of Led Zeppelin IV and in the movie acutally has

its origins in a painting of Christ called "The Light of the World" by

the pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt. The imagery was later

transferred to the Waite tarot deck [the most popular tarot deck in

use in the English-speaking world]. My segment was supposed to be the

aspirant going to the beacon of truth, which is represented by the

hermit and his journey toward it.

What I was trying to say through the transformation was

that enlightment can be achieved at any point in time; it depends on

when you want to access it. In other words, you can always see the

truth, but do you recognize it when you see it or do you have to

reflect back on it later?

GW: There was always a certain amound of speculation about your occult

stuides. It may have been subtle, but you weren't really hiding it.

Page: I was living it. That's all there is to it. It was my life--that

fusion of magick and music.

GW: Your use of symbols was very advanced. The sigil [symbols of

occult powers] on Led Zeppelin IV and the embroidery on your stage

clothes from that time period are good example on how you left your

mark in popular culture. It's something that major corporations are

aggressively pursuing these days; using symbols as a form of

branding.

Page: You mean talismanic magick? Yes, I knew what I was doing.

There's no point in saying more about it, because the more you discuss

it, the more eccentric you appear to be. But the fact is--are faras I

was concerned--it was working, so I used it. But it's really no

different than people who wear ribbons around their wrists: it's a

talismanic approach to something. Well, let me amend that: it's not

exactly the same thing, but it is in the same realm.

I'll leave this subject by saying the four musical elements

of Led Zeppelin making a fifth is magick unto itself. That's the

alchemical process.

GW: After you finished the fantasy sequences, you changed directions.

Page: Yes. After inspecting al the footage, we discovered that we were

still lacking. So the decision was made to hire a new director, Peter

Clifton, and go into a British facility called Shepperton Studios. We

recreated the Madison Square Garden stage and shot the remaining bits

that we didn't have. It was pretty impossible to do with any degree of

accuracy. But after we finished at Shepperton, it was time to stitch

it all together. We knew that a lot of things would be completely out

of sync, but we weren't that concerned because we thought it was just

something for the cinema.

GW: What made you decide finally to let go of the project?

Page: We were inactive after Robert had his terrible car accident in

Rhodes, Greece, so we put it out while he was recovering.

GW: In the end, were you glad you did it?

Page: Oh yeah. In fact, there was always a desire to do another film.

We talked about it in 1977. That would've been an interesting tour to

capture, because it was extremely visual, and we were playing a lot of

new material, like "Kashmir", "Achilles Last Stand" and "Nobody's

Fault But Mine." I think you would've seen the same leap in our style

and music from '73 to '77 that you saw from '70 to '73.

GW: Didn't some of the motivation to make a film come from the fact

that you would have more control over the sound than if you had a

television special?

Page: The sound was a major element of the movie. We had mixed it in

surround sound, which was pretty cutting-edge stuff back then.

Theaters in those days used three speakers: the center speaker, for

dialog, and left and right for effects. For "The Song Remains the

Same," we mixed the sound for five speakers and provided two additonal

speakers to create some really strong effects. For example, we had

John Bonham's drum solo come out right over your head; and when I

played the guitar with a violin bow, we had the sound travel around

the auditorium. People had heard music travel back and forth in

stereo, but this was radical stuff for its day.

We felt we needed those sonic highlights, because it was a

very long film. Doing these effects was part of the pacing.

GW: Considering how far audio technology has come since then, were you

excited with the opportunity to revist the mixes on "The Song Remains

the Same" and reissue the film in 5.1 to recreate that experience for

home theaters?

Page: Yes, sure. We already started in that direction when we mixed

the "Led Zeppelin DVD [the 2003 DVD that sapns the group's

performances from 1969-1979]. Dolby surround sound has made a huge

difference in things.

GW: Did working with the soundtrack allow you to readdress some of the

syncing problems assocated with the original print?

Page: Yes. The big difference was we had to make the soundtrack fit

the visuals. Apparently, film is subject to really strong copyright

laws, and it's almost impossible to even change a frame. To make the

visuals sync better to the music, we had Kevin Shirley [sound engineer

on Led Zeppelin DVD and "How The West Was Won"] move the music around

with Pro Tools. He really did a fantastic job, It's much better now.

But as I mentioned earlier, in the original film I'm out of

sync a lot because I was trying to mime to my own improvisation at

Shepperton, but it didn't look so obvious because everyone else was

out of sync, too. Since Kevin was able to really tighten the vocals

and the drums, now I really look out of sync!!! (laughs)

GW: The album soundtrack to "The Song Remains the Same" has also

changed substantially.

Page: Yes. Our first major change was to include the entire set in its

original running order, something we've never done on a live album

before. So of course the new soundtrack album features songs that

weren't on the original. The pacing of the movie is different from the

pacing of our acutal 1973 set, but for those that are interested, the

CD gives you that original experience. [Editor's note: Ahh yes, Pagey.

Always have to be the promising seller.]

GW: I appreciate the new mix on the CD. I always felt that the

original was a little dry and lacking in concert hall ambience.

Page: That may be. I always thought it was a little flat dynamically.

But I've got to tell you, when Warner Bros. put out the movie on VHS

and DVD, they just threw it out there without involving us. The same

with the soundtrack. So, to be fair, this material has never been

remastered or received the care it's deserved until now.

GW: When the movie finally came ou, it was a pretty big box office

hit.

Page: It was really gratifying. This was in the days before VHS tapes

or DVDs, os the only place you could see it was at the movie theaters.

It had a big cult following, and people would see it multiple times at

midnight movie festivals. It was like the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

GW: And it was probably hard to get Led Zeppelin concert tickets. The

movie was the only way many people could see the band.

Page: That's why we did it. It made sense to do it. But, as usual,

whenever we worked with people outside our core group, it was a

shambles. We did our best to pull it together, and it required a lot

of imagination to salvage waht could've been a disaster.

GW: It's always harder than it should be to get people to put the same

care into a project as you would.

Page: You'll see a great example of that sort of carelessness in the

film. Before I went onstage, I warned all the cameramen to say away

from me within reason, because I didn't want to be distracted while I

was trying to perform. Of course none of them listened, and at one

point you see this guy with a camera coming up to me and he's stepping

all over my wah-wah pedal! You can hear it going up and down, so I

just carried on using that wah-wah sound. What else are you going to

do? It's "warts and all" the whole damned thing!

GW: Watching the film, I was impressed by the amound of precision,

finesse and control you applied to working the volume and tone knobs

on your guitar. It's almost a lost art.

Page: First, you have to be lucky enough to have an amp that operates

on the threshold of clean and dirty, so that it can interact with the

controls of the guitar. Once you have that, then you can start really

playing with the volume and control.

It's different these days because there are so many ways to

create guitar sounds, but back in the seventies you had to use what

little you had to the greatest effect. All I had to really work with

was an overdrive pedal, a wah-wah, an Echoplex[tape delay] and what

was on my guitar. It wasn't a lot, and I had to create the entire

range of sound found on the first five Zeppelin albums. With that in

mind, the volume and tone controls, and how and where you picked, were

quite important.

GW: How did the rather lengthy live improvisations on songs like

"Dazed and Confused" and "No Quarter" develop?

Page: Well, when you're playing with a band as good as we were, you

didn't really want to stop after a one-minute solo! And look, if

you're playing the same songs night after night on a long tour,

improvising was a way to keep the music alive and interesting for

yourself. I always enjoyed living by my wits with regard to my guitar

playing. That goes back to even my session musician days, where I had

to come up with parts on the spot.

People have complained to me through the years that I never

played the solos from the albums live, particularly on something like

"Stairway to Heaven." But maybe I should do that at the reunion show,

just to prove I can actually play them. [laughs]. What I like about

improvising is that great music is about tension and release, and

sometimes you don't. It's not exactly a failure when you don't play

something great; it's more like a heroic glitch [laughs] Your chance

of success is greater, though, when you're surrounded by other great

musicians as I was.

GW: Did you prepare for the film? Were you concerned about playing

your best for posterity?

Page: No, it wasn't like that at all. I think the only way I prepared

for the filming was by staying up for five days straight! [laughs)

That's the truth. I mean, we were in New York, we were making a movie

and playing great shows, and it was difficult to shut down that kind

of electricity. You'd try to go to bed, but most of the time you gave

up, because it was more fun just to go out and enjoy yourself. It was

seriously conducive to that.

During a typical Zeppelin show there was such an intense

exchange of electricity between the band and aduience. The band set

off the charge and the audience gave it back, and it just built

through the night. That was the phenomena: that transmission.

GW: Weren't you having some problems with your hands at that time?

Page: No, I did have some tendonitis around that time, but I was over

it. There was no injury there. Not to the fingers, anyway. [Laughs]

GW: When you went back and revisited the soundtrack and the movie, did

something stand out for you?

Page: Yeah, I thought "Rain Song" was really good. I bet you didn't

expect me to say that, but it has a real drama to it. It's not as good

as the studio version, but I think it has its own character. I also

liked the bowed section on "Dazed and Confused" which really went well

with the fantasy sequence.

GW: One last dumb question regarding the '73 performaces: Who re-

haired the violing bow that you destroyed night after night while

playing "Dazed and Confused"? Fixing a bow is not something just any

roadie can do [Editor's note: Certainly not Richard Cole! ]

Page: As you know, new violin cows are expensive, so what we would do

is buy a bunch of warped ones and take tme on the road. They were much

cheaper!

GW: Let's talk about the reunion show in London. Why the reunion now?

Page: I know why I'm kennon on doing it. I really enjoy playing with

the other musicians, and it's a chance to do it properly. We're

talking it very, very seriously, and I know it will be good. It

could've happened anytime, anywhere, but we respected Ahmet Ertegun,

and paying tribute to him was a good motivation.

GW: How long have you been rehearsing?

Page: Acutally, the bulk of the rehearsals are going to be in

November, but we've gotten together a few times and started working on

some things.

GW: How is the band different?

Page: Well, Jason Bonham is not John, but I've played with him quite

a bit, so it's going fine. I brought him out with me as my drummer on

my solo Outrider tour [1988], so he's aware that I might not play the

same thing every night. [Laughs] So that's good!

GW: How long are you going to play? Any surprises?

Page: Initially, they asked us to play a certain amount of time, but

we've extended it to ghet more songs in. We quickly realized that we

couldn't play "Dazed and Confused" for 30 minutes, have a drum solo

and then play "Stairway to Heaven" for 20 minutes and leave. [laughs]

You know, do "Rock and Roll'' as an encore and be off! We just

couldn't do that so in order to show people how we used to perform,

and play with flair and passion, we're going to do a pretty long set.

One surprise is that we're going to play "For Your Life"

which we've never played in concert. I don't think we've played it any

other time than when we've recorded it. It's quite a tricky piece of

music, so I'm pleased we're doing it.

GW: What was the first song you guys played together at the reunion

rehearsals?

Page: It slips my mind, but I think it was "Houses of the Holy."

GW: Did the music come back you easily?

Page: It's not like I haven't played over the last several years; I

just haven't made a profile of it. I played a lot of Zeppelin when I

toured with the Black Crowes and with Robert.

GW: Are you using your original gear?

Page: I'm using some of the original guitars like my number-one Les

Paul and the Doubleneck [Editor's note: It's a Gibson EDS-1275]. I've

got a Les Paul Custom that I'm pleased with. I haven't settled on what

amps I'm using yet, but I'll be using the pedal board that I used on

all the Plant/Page projects.

GW: What's the prevailing mood? Do you think the reunion will extend

to other shows?

Page: I don't know. I've read that Robert Plant doesn't think it will,

but it's a bit silly because there is such a massive demand. It's a

bit selfish to do just one show. If that's it, we probably shouldn't

have taken the genie out of the bottle.

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Cowbell, in a recent interview with Guitar World magazine, published in December 2007, Jimmy Page specifically mentions the use of warped violin bows. You can read excerpts of his interview below - I put the parts about the violin bow in bold: :)

GW: Before we talk about the reunion, I would like to go back to 1973,

Led Zeppelin's "Golden Age," and talk about "The Song Remains the

Same." What was the genesis of that project?

JP: At the time we were interested in presenting the band on film. We

had already shot the Royal Albert Hall shows in 1970, but by 1973 we

had moved on so far in such a short time that we felt the Albert Hall

footage was passe in ever respect. We looked and dressed differently,

and the whole communicative quality of the music had been improved. We

also had another two albums under out belt, so the 1970 shows were

quite behind us.

We also felt we could do a more professional job, using multiple

cameras and more sophisticated equipment. Prior to the htree Madison

Garden shows in New York, the film crew came to two dates to prepare

camera angles and gauge how much film they would need to shoot an

entire concert. Unfortunately, after they finished shooting, we looked

at the rushes and quickly realized that there were huge gaps in the

filming. The crew hadn't covered basic things, like filming the verses

to certain songs! We surmised that they were probably stoned; it was

quite as simple as that. Everbody was stoned at the time, but at least

we did our job. (laughs)

GW: From what I understand, it was at this time that the band came up

with the idea for each member to film a fantasy sequence that would

cover these massive gaps in the film.

Page: Yes. It was our solution to that problem. The director, Joe

Massot, was asked to work with members of the band to develope their

own segment.

GW: Which was your favorite?

Page: I really liked John Bonham's. It really captured his essence as

a family man. It was fun and the flipside of his roaring stage

persona. In many ways, it reflected the way we all were at home.

GW: How were the fantasy sequences developed? Did you guys discuss

them with each other beforehand?

Page: Not really. I knew what I wanted to do, and Robert did, too--

storming the castle and all that.

GW: When you saw the segments put together, did any of them surprise

you? Was the band mutually respectful of one another's sequence?

Page: In those days, I think being mutually respectful still meant

there could be some piss taking (laughs) I'm sure there were nudges

behind people's backs, and fair enough! I mean it was hard to find the

dividing line between doing a fantasy sequence in a rock and roll film

and trying to be a star of the silver screen.

GW: John's segment might've been fun, buy yours was the most

striking.

Page: I have very strong ideas about my segment. I wanted to be filmed

climbing this mountain face by my house in Loch Ness on the night of a

full moon. Massot was astonished, because the night was perfect and

the location was just how I wanted it to be [editor's note: Sounds

like a Howard Hughes type to me! You damn clouds! Stay still!]

We shot it in December, so there was snow on the ground and

these great clouds going past the full moon. We created this scaffold

for filming the shot, and everything was perfect and ready to go, but

I'd forgot the most obvious thing: that I was going to have to do

multiple takes climbing up and down thhis rather steep mountain. It

was actually easy climbing up, but it was difficult getting down. I

kept thinking, What have I done! It was bloody cold up there, too, I

know that much!

GW: At one point in your segment, you're dressed as a hermit and you

rapidly age into an old man. How was that done?

Page: The transformation was done with a life mask, which I still

have. Using that as a foundation, they created several different faces

that showed me as I might look at various ages of my life. I don't

know how many there were, but there were quite a few. Then they joined

all those shots of the different faces together.

When the film came out, I took my daughter, who was then six

years old, to see it. That probably wasn't a great idea, because the

film was so long and she was so young. But at the point where my

transformation scene came about, the theater was quiet, except for

this little voice that cried out, "'That's not my daddy!" (Laughs)

GW: Could we talk a little about the meaning behind your sequence?

Page: To me, the significance is very clear, isn't it?

GW: Well, I find it interesting that you were choosing to represent

yourself as a hermit at a time when you were really quite a public

figure.

Page: Well, I was hermetic. I was involved in the hermetic arts, but I

wasn't a recluse. Or maybe I was... The image of the mermit that we

used for the artwork of Led Zeppelin IV and in the movie acutally has

its origins in a painting of Christ called "The Light of the World" by

the pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt. The imagery was later

transferred to the Waite tarot deck [the most popular tarot deck in

use in the English-speaking world]. My segment was supposed to be the

aspirant going to the beacon of truth, which is represented by the

hermit and his journey toward it.

What I was trying to say through the transformation was

that enlightment can be achieved at any point in time; it depends on

when you want to access it. In other words, you can always see the

truth, but do you recognize it when you see it or do you have to

reflect back on it later?

GW: There was always a certain amound of speculation about your occult

stuides. It may have been subtle, but you weren't really hiding it.

Page: I was living it. That's all there is to it. It was my life--that

fusion of magick and music.

GW: Your use of symbols was very advanced. The sigil [symbols of

occult powers] on Led Zeppelin IV and the embroidery on your stage

clothes from that time period are good example on how you left your

mark in popular culture. It's something that major corporations are

aggressively pursuing these days; using symbols as a form of

branding.

Page: You mean talismanic magick? Yes, I knew what I was doing.

There's no point in saying more about it, because the more you discuss

it, the more eccentric you appear to be. But the fact is--are faras I

was concerned--it was working, so I used it. But it's really no

different than people who wear ribbons around their wrists: it's a

talismanic approach to something. Well, let me amend that: it's not

exactly the same thing, but it is in the same realm.

I'll leave this subject by saying the four musical elements

of Led Zeppelin making a fifth is magick unto itself. That's the

alchemical process.

GW: After you finished the fantasy sequences, you changed directions.

Page: Yes. After inspecting al the footage, we discovered that we were

still lacking. So the decision was made to hire a new director, Peter

Clifton, and go into a British facility called Shepperton Studios. We

recreated the Madison Square Garden stage and shot the remaining bits

that we didn't have. It was pretty impossible to do with any degree of

accuracy. But after we finished at Shepperton, it was time to stitch

it all together. We knew that a lot of things would be completely out

of sync, but we weren't that concerned because we thought it was just

something for the cinema.

GW: What made you decide finally to let go of the project?

Page: We were inactive after Robert had his terrible car accident in

Rhodes, Greece, so we put it out while he was recovering.

GW: In the end, were you glad you did it?

Page: Oh yeah. In fact, there was always a desire to do another film.

We talked about it in 1977. That would've been an interesting tour to

capture, because it was extremely visual, and we were playing a lot of

new material, like "Kashmir", "Achilles Last Stand" and "Nobody's

Fault But Mine." I think you would've seen the same leap in our style

and music from '73 to '77 that you saw from '70 to '73.

GW: Didn't some of the motivation to make a film come from the fact

that you would have more control over the sound than if you had a

television special?

Page: The sound was a major element of the movie. We had mixed it in

surround sound, which was pretty cutting-edge stuff back then.

Theaters in those days used three speakers: the center speaker, for

dialog, and left and right for effects. For "The Song Remains the

Same," we mixed the sound for five speakers and provided two additonal

speakers to create some really strong effects. For example, we had

John Bonham's drum solo come out right over your head; and when I

played the guitar with a violin bow, we had the sound travel around

the auditorium. People had heard music travel back and forth in

stereo, but this was radical stuff for its day.

We felt we needed those sonic highlights, because it was a

very long film. Doing these effects was part of the pacing.

GW: Considering how far audio technology has come since then, were you

excited with the opportunity to revist the mixes on "The Song Remains

the Same" and reissue the film in 5.1 to recreate that experience for

home theaters?

Page: Yes, sure. We already started in that direction when we mixed

the "Led Zeppelin DVD [the 2003 DVD that sapns the group's

performances from 1969-1979]. Dolby surround sound has made a huge

difference in things.

GW: Did working with the soundtrack allow you to readdress some of the

syncing problems assocated with the original print?

Page: Yes. The big difference was we had to make the soundtrack fit

the visuals. Apparently, film is subject to really strong copyright

laws, and it's almost impossible to even change a frame. To make the

visuals sync better to the music, we had Kevin Shirley [sound engineer

on Led Zeppelin DVD and "How The West Was Won"] move the music around

with Pro Tools. He really did a fantastic job, It's much better now.

But as I mentioned earlier, in the original film I'm out of

sync a lot because I was trying to mime to my own improvisation at

Shepperton, but it didn't look so obvious because everyone else was

out of sync, too. Since Kevin was able to really tighten the vocals

and the drums, now I really look out of sync!!! (laughs)

GW: The album soundtrack to "The Song Remains the Same" has also

changed substantially.

Page: Yes. Our first major change was to include the entire set in its

original running order, something we've never done on a live album

before. So of course the new soundtrack album features songs that

weren't on the original. The pacing of the movie is different from the

pacing of our acutal 1973 set, but for those that are interested, the

CD gives you that original experience. [Editor's note: Ahh yes, Pagey.

Always have to be the promising seller.]

GW: I appreciate the new mix on the CD. I always felt that the

original was a little dry and lacking in concert hall ambience.

Page: That may be. I always thought it was a little flat dynamically.

But I've got to tell you, when Warner Bros. put out the movie on VHS

and DVD, they just threw it out there without involving us. The same

with the soundtrack. So, to be fair, this material has never been

remastered or received the care it's deserved until now.

GW: When the movie finally came ou, it was a pretty big box office

hit.

Page: It was really gratifying. This was in the days before VHS tapes

or DVDs, os the only place you could see it was at the movie theaters.

It had a big cult following, and people would see it multiple times at

midnight movie festivals. It was like the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

GW: And it was probably hard to get Led Zeppelin concert tickets. The

movie was the only way many people could see the band.

Page: That's why we did it. It made sense to do it. But, as usual,

whenever we worked with people outside our core group, it was a

shambles. We did our best to pull it together, and it required a lot

of imagination to salvage waht could've been a disaster.

GW: It's always harder than it should be to get people to put the same

care into a project as you would.

Page: You'll see a great example of that sort of carelessness in the

film. Before I went onstage, I warned all the cameramen to say away

from me within reason, because I didn't want to be distracted while I

was trying to perform. Of course none of them listened, and at one

point you see this guy with a camera coming up to me and he's stepping

all over my wah-wah pedal! You can hear it going up and down, so I

just carried on using that wah-wah sound. What else are you going to

do? It's "warts and all" the whole damned thing!

GW: Watching the film, I was impressed by the amound of precision,

finesse and control you applied to working the volume and tone knobs

on your guitar. It's almost a lost art.

Page: First, you have to be lucky enough to have an amp that operates

on the threshold of clean and dirty, so that it can interact with the

controls of the guitar. Once you have that, then you can start really

playing with the volume and control.

It's different these days because there are so many ways to

create guitar sounds, but back in the seventies you had to use what

little you had to the greatest effect. All I had to really work with

was an overdrive pedal, a wah-wah, an Echoplex[tape delay] and what

was on my guitar. It wasn't a lot, and I had to create the entire

range of sound found on the first five Zeppelin albums. With that in

mind, the volume and tone controls, and how and where you picked, were

quite important.

GW: How did the rather lengthy live improvisations on songs like

"Dazed and Confused" and "No Quarter" develop?

Page: Well, when you're playing with a band as good as we were, you

didn't really want to stop after a one-minute solo! And look, if

you're playing the same songs night after night on a long tour,

improvising was a way to keep the music alive and interesting for

yourself. I always enjoyed living by my wits with regard to my guitar

playing. That goes back to even my session musician days, where I had

to come up with parts on the spot.

People have complained to me through the years that I never

played the solos from the albums live, particularly on something like

"Stairway to Heaven." But maybe I should do that at the reunion show,

just to prove I can actually play them. [laughs]. What I like about

improvising is that great music is about tension and release, and

sometimes you don't. It's not exactly a failure when you don't play

something great; it's more like a heroic glitch [laughs] Your chance

of success is greater, though, when you're surrounded by other great

musicians as I was.

GW: Did you prepare for the film? Were you concerned about playing

your best for posterity?

Page: No, it wasn't like that at all. I think the only way I prepared

for the filming was by staying up for five days straight! [laughs)

That's the truth. I mean, we were in New York, we were making a movie

and playing great shows, and it was difficult to shut down that kind

of electricity. You'd try to go to bed, but most of the time you gave

up, because it was more fun just to go out and enjoy yourself. It was

seriously conducive to that.

During a typical Zeppelin show there was such an intense

exchange of electricity between the band and aduience. The band set

off the charge and the audience gave it back, and it just built

through the night. That was the phenomena: that transmission.

GW: Weren't you having some problems with your hands at that time?

Page: No, I did have some tendonitis around that time, but I was over

it. There was no injury there. Not to the fingers, anyway. [Laughs]

GW: When you went back and revisited the soundtrack and the movie, did

something stand out for you?

Page: Yeah, I thought "Rain Song" was really good. I bet you didn't

expect me to say that, but it has a real drama to it. It's not as good

as the studio version, but I think it has its own character. I also

liked the bowed section on "Dazed and Confused" which really went well

with the fantasy sequence.

GW: One last dumb question regarding the '73 performaces: Who re-

haired the violing bow that you destroyed night after night while

playing "Dazed and Confused"? Fixing a bow is not something just any

roadie can do [Editor's note: Certainly not Richard Cole! ]

Page: As you know, new violin cows are expensive, so what we would do

is buy a bunch of warped ones and take tme on the road. They were much

cheaper!

GW: Let's talk about the reunion show in London. Why the reunion now?

Page: I know why I'm kennon on doing it. I really enjoy playing with

the other musicians, and it's a chance to do it properly. We're

talking it very, very seriously, and I know it will be good. It

could've happened anytime, anywhere, but we respected Ahmet Ertegun,

and paying tribute to him was a good motivation.

GW: How long have you been rehearsing?

Page: Acutally, the bulk of the rehearsals are going to be in

November, but we've gotten together a few times and started working on

some things.

GW: How is the band different?

Page: Well, Jason Bonham is not John, but I've played with him quite

a bit, so it's going fine. I brought him out with me as my drummer on

my solo Outrider tour [1988], so he's aware that I might not play the

same thing every night. [Laughs] So that's good!

GW: How long are you going to play? Any surprises?

Page: Initially, they asked us to play a certain amount of time, but

we've extended it to ghet more songs in. We quickly realized that we

couldn't play "Dazed and Confused" for 30 minutes, have a drum solo

and then play "Stairway to Heaven" for 20 minutes and leave. [laughs]

You know, do "Rock and Roll'' as an encore and be off! We just

couldn't do that so in order to show people how we used to perform,

and play with flair and passion, we're going to do a pretty long set.

One surprise is that we're going to play "For Your Life"

which we've never played in concert. I don't think we've played it any

other time than when we've recorded it. It's quite a tricky piece of

music, so I'm pleased we're doing it.

GW: What was the first song you guys played together at the reunion

rehearsals?

Page: It slips my mind, but I think it was "Houses of the Holy."

GW: Did the music come back you easily?

Page: It's not like I haven't played over the last several years; I

just haven't made a profile of it. I played a lot of Zeppelin when I

toured with the Black Crowes and with Robert.

GW: Are you using your original gear?

Page: I'm using some of the original guitars like my number-one Les

Paul and the Doubleneck [Editor's note: It's a Gibson EDS-1275]. I've

got a Les Paul Custom that I'm pleased with. I haven't settled on what

amps I'm using yet, but I'll be using the pedal board that I used on

all the Plant/Page projects.

GW: What's the prevailing mood? Do you think the reunion will extend

to other shows?

Page: I don't know. I've read that Robert Plant doesn't think it will,

but it's a bit silly because there is such a massive demand. It's a

bit selfish to do just one show. If that's it, we probably shouldn't

have taken the genie out of the bottle.

You now hold the record for longest post ever.

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On 4/20/2008 at 9:34 PM, cowbell666 said:

cool. but his wikipedia page does say its a cello bow... not that that's credible at all. as a violinst, i always wince when he's whacking that thing against the guitar and tearing all the hairs off of it. i always hoped he wasnt using expensive quality bows. my bow is my pride and joy, i paid about $2300 for it.

Just thought I'd point out that he used his violin bow during Led Zeppelin's Carnegie Hall performance on October 17, 1969.  There is a close-up photo among the series of shots from that night of him playing his guitar with a bow during "Dazed and Confused"   Check out the photo via the link below to confirm your earlier observations that he was using a violin (not cello) bow:

 

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