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  1. Looking at events through rose-tinted spectacles isn’t helpful. The Beatles worked together consistently and solidly from 63-70, pretty much without a break. They stopped touring for the simple reason that they couldn’t hear themselves playing above the sound of the audience, and they were sick of it. All the new material after that came from the momentum that had carried them from the start of their career - working and writing together consistently over that period. The fact that the material improved and surpassed their previous work is simply down to that continued and unbroken chain of mutual creativity. if Lennon had lived and they had reunited, nothing that came after 1970 would have been a patch on what came before By the time of the O2 Zep has been done for 27 years. Page and Plant had worked together over that time, and some of the stuff they wrote together in that period was good, but none of it came near what they had done as Zep. They were both very different people who’s lives and music had taken very separate paths, and the dynamic between them had changed irrevocably. The lack of inclusion of JPJ further changed that dynamic. This part of your argument sadly doesn’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny, because the parallels you imply simply don’t exist in real life. There might have been some enthusiasm from the three instrumentalists, but there was no energy left in the tank for Plant - any that might have been left was exhausted by the end of the P&P era. Don’t forget he set the ball in motion for the O2, and pretty much instantly regretted it once that ball had started rolling. The lawyers were involved instantly, and that was part of the problem. His only motivation was to give his tribute to Ahmet Ertegun - he was clear (in his own mind at least) that the O2 was the beginning and the absolute end of it. By all accounts he was involved in the rehearsals for as little time as was humanly possible. The only thing (in my opinion) that he did wrong after the O2 was to say anything but an unequivocal ‘No’ to each and every question about any continuation of the band. He likes to be nuanced and oblique when he’s interviewed though, and sadly he used the whole ‘maybe….’ thing to give the Alison Krauss collaboration a little more momentum. But… he’s a business man and a pragmatist, so it’s not too surprising really. The last real chance was probably after Live Aid in ‘85, and Jimmy was in no fit state. Jimmy as a guitarist has been inactive creatively for over 20 years now, and hasn’t appeared on stage with a guitar for over 5. He’s done. SteveAJones has hit the nail on the head - the well is dry.
  2. Ravi Shankar is a fabulous vegetarian restaurant. Used to go there lots when I was a Londoner. Never saw jpj in there though.
  3. And here's a photo to put the 'Click Track' debate to bed once and for all. The attached screenshot show a section of the pitter-patter from ramble on. If this had been a metronome/click-track each and every one of those spikes would have been identical in height and width, and they would have been extremely evenly spaced. The height of the spikes is directly proportional to how loud the sound was - the higher the spike, the louder the sound - there is enormous (human!) variation going on here. It's fairly obvious that the spikes can be (loosely) grouped into fours - one loud and three quieter. This is Bonham emphasising the first beat of each bar. If you're super nerdy you'll also notice that the spikes are sometimes closer together or further apart. These are tempo, or speed variations. There's not a metronome/click-track-generator (don't think such a thing existed in the 60's) from the era that can vary volume, emphasise the first beat of a bar and make changes in tempo. In fact changes in tempo are exactly what metronomes are designed NOT to do.
  4. I've been listening to the multitrack of this song to try and sort the possible recording process. Here's what I think happened: Basic track is - acoustic guitar playing along with pitter-patter. No full kit. The reasons are that the pitter-patter continues for a couple of beats while the kit does its lead-in fills. This is just not possible for a drummer with anything less than four arms! This is virtually impossible to hear on the mixed song, but if you isolate the (two) drum tracks it's pretty obvious. Overdubs - 1st electric guitar, Bass & Kit. You can hear the electric guitar spill in the Bass part (sounds like headphone spill to me), so Jones definitely didn't play along with the acoustic and the pitter-patter in the basic track. You can also make out Bass spill in the full kit sound - so they played together. There's definite Bass spill in the 1st electric guitar part too. This all points to the full band playing over the acoustic/pitter-patter tracks. Unsure if the main vocals were done at this time, but it's possible.
  5. Do a search on YouTube. They're not difficult to find
  6. I think the lesson here is : never lend your vinyl to Ross Halfin, because he likes pouring stuff over it. Or did he mean 'poring'? Does nobody use spellcheck nowadays? I know it's a petty thing, but if you're going to charge huge amounts of money for a book, at the very least get someone to proofread it for you.
  7. Play a Dm chord at fret 5 (Am chord shape). Then leave your first finger barreing all the strings (except the low E) at fret 5 and take away your middle, ring and pinky fingers (a D9sus). Alternate between these two chords and you've got the backbone of it. Occasionally the Dm is a Dm7 (move pinky to fret 8 of the high E string). Play a bit with a Dm pentatonic scale at fret 5, and you'll soon find the single note bit (it starts on the D string, fret 5). Use your ears. It's far better than reading some dodgy Tab.
  8. The news was apparently first broken by Phil's son, and seems to have made no impact in the mainstream news at all. A bit sad that Plant has made no comment, but then he didn't have anything particularly nice about to say about Johnstone for quite a long while after their songwriting partnership dissolved. (But then he's always been a bit disdainful about past collaborators...).
  9. Just seen on Facebook that Phil Johnstone has died. He was keyboard player and writer with Robert Plant during the Now and Zen, Manic Nirvana and Fate of Nations years. This was posted by The Levellers on their Beautiful Days Festival page earlier today: Very sad to hear of the passing of festival friend Phil Johnstone this weekend. Songwriter, pianist, guitarist and producer Phil has been part of the Beautiful Days and Levellers family for many years. Phil originally recorded and produced the 1995 concept album Freeborn John by Rev Hammer and was a key player when the historical folk opera had its live premiere at Beautiful Days in 2005. Phil returned with Rev Hammer and an all-star cast for another one-off performance at the festival in 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original release. Phil and Rev Hammer also curated and performed in the annual, over-exuberant live adventure that was "The Fabulous Good Time Party Boys’ for 8 years from 2006 to 2013 in The Big Top. Phil achieved significant success as a recording engineer, music producer, songwriter and musician. He wrote and played in the band The 45’s and then went on to work with Robert Plant for many years. Phil first worked with Plant on the 1988 album Now and Zen which he co-produced and mostly co-wrote. Phil also wrote songs for Plant’s follow-up albums Manic Nirvana and 1993’s Fate of Nations. As well as a number of other writing and producing credits over the years he co-wrote the whole of the Levellers' 2000 album Hello Pig. Devon-based Phil was also the Academy of Music & Sound in Exeter’s first trainer/lecturer in recording techniques and music production. Phil Johnstone was one of a kind. He was a larger-than-life character who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our sincerest condolences and thoughts are with his friends and family - particularly his wife and children whom he adored. RIP Phil
  10. Going onstage knowing that your voice is shagged, and playing for over 2 hours. And obviously doing the same thing repeatedly until his vocal cords were so damaged that he needed surgery. And then still continuing before his voice was properly healed - to the point of starting a tour in 1975 with a cold, knowing the previous damage that had been done by doing the same thing! It sounds insane. it’s a wonder Plant can speak nowadays, let alone sing.
  11. Never did a complete version of Good Times Bad Times whilst Bonzo was alive. Don't think they ever did "Your Time is Gonna Come'. No 'Living Loving Maid' (Page dislikes it). No 'Hats off...'. No "Custard Pie' (a REAL shame), No full version of 'The Rover'. No 'Houses of the Holy'. No 'In The Light' (Jones didn't trust his synthesiser to stay in tune). No 'Night Flight'. 'For Your Life' only at the O2. No 'Royal Orleans', no 'Candy Store Rock', no 'Hots on for nowhere', no 'Tea for one'. 'Carouselambra' only as a partial rehearsal recording. No "Fool in the rain', No 'I'm Gonna Crawl', No 'Southbound Saurez. Loads, basically.
  12. So... Friends is ok, the fanfare section in Stairway is ok, Black Dog is ok, Four Sticks is ok, the intro to Over The Hills is ok, The Crunge is ok, The Ocean is ok, but Candy Store Rock 'makes no sense' because of a bad tape splice? Come on! All of those other songs have portions where the metre changes from an even to an odd time signature, or beats are dropped/added. There's enough of them that it could be considered one of the trademarks of the band!
  13. Firstly - the intro to OTHAFA is very idiosyncratic (as is much of Page’s playing) and not at all easy from a rhythm point of view. I wouldn’t recommend trying this tune to anyone who: doesn’t know all their ‘open position’ chords; isn’t able to smoothly move between those chords; isn’t comfortable moving from chords to single notes and vice versa; isn’t comfortable with different strumming patterns and alternate picking; isn’t comfortable with hammer-ons and pull-offs... the list goes on. Simply put, it’s hard. As for the rest... it all depends on the student and their interests and abilities, as to what happens when, and how things get taught. You do need to learn your open chords, distinguish between major and minor, and be able change easily between one chord and another. Learning some scales can also be useful because they help you to be able to move your fingers independently. ‘Learning by doing’ is the only way to learn any musical instrument. It’s like learning to drive - you can read about it, talk to people about it, watch people doing it.... but until you actually sit there and do it, and learn over time and with repetition what you have to do with you eyes, your ears, your arms and your legs, you don’t really have a clue what ‘driving’ actually involves. Learning ‘theory’ can be useful (and it depends on what you mean by ‘theory’) but isn’t strictly necessary (to use the car analogy again, you don’t need to know how a four stroke engine works in order to drive a car). Using tablature or standard notation can be useful but isn’t strictly necessary - I learned to play the guitar ‘by ear’ and didn’t discover tablature until I was in my 20’s - It all depends what you want from the guitar and your playing. The best advice I can give you is this: Take it slowly. Be patient with yourself. At the beginning learning the guitar is uncomfortable on the fingers, and co-ordinating both hands can be challenging. Frustration is going to happen, but doing things slowly and over-and-over again is the only way get through it. Repetition is your best friend - your aim is to build muscle memory, and repeating actions methodically and slowly (at first) is the best way to do this. Anyone who tells you there are hacks or shortcuts is lying to you. Lots of practise is the only way to improve. Get a good teacher who listens and adapts to your way of learning, and can stop you from doing things that aren’t helpful or will give you long-term injuries. (Some things can seem ridiculously difficult until it’s pointed out that if you put this finger here instead of that finger..... and that’s why teachers can be useful!) Most importantly listen to lots of music. Listening is the most powerful tool available to any musician. I’ve heard guitarists with amazing, mind-blowing technique who are utterly incapable of playing in a band because they learn their part, put their head down and all they hear is what they’re playing, not what the other musicians in the band are doing and how to make all the parts fit together. If you’re an absolute beginner and want to look at some excellent tutorial videos check out justinguitar.com. I’m not affiliated with him in any way, but I met him back in the late 90’s when he was playing in a Stones tribute band and he’s a great player and a fantastic teacher. Good luck!
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