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ARMS Concerts


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several friends and I set up chairs at Reunion Arena for this concert and were present during pre-check and sound check. Page sat at a table on platform stage left with Clapton, was emotional and demonstratively edgy- Page would repeatedly stand up and sit down, a great deal of hand and arm gesturing while in conversation with Clapton. Page was being urged to do lead during a couple of songs and Clapton told him that it was going to happen- that "the spotlight will find you and to play." Page pushed back at not being comfortable with it, Clapton smiled a lot and didn't budge. "You came here to play so play my friend. I want to hear you play." The banter went back and forth for at least 5 minutes. During the show before the first encore it happened again. Clapton told him it was going to happen. Page backed out during Layla- just played the riff only. Passed on the solo.

Jimmy did a total of maybe 45 secs sound check, his tech did the rest.

During the concert I thought he was amazing and Jeff Beck & Eric Clapton did a great deal to encourage him during the show. Looks, comments and body language was just- go !!! Page's sound was terrific and the sound man did him right in the mix too. Tulsa Time was the best of the night for lead work, the STH was a little creepy seeing no Bonzo, Jone or Plant. Gotta say that seeing and hearing Clapton and Beck play lead underneath Jimmy's lead work was greatness.

Thanks for sharing this. It's at odds with how some publications reported their interaction and also how many view the body language in some of the YouTube videos so it's good to hear from someone who experienced it close-up. Makes me like Clapton even more.

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you are welcome fdm12

from my vantage point Clapton was not a douche although he did seem to take on the role of conductor (he was blunt and direct) and the one to get things together and push it through. He was chatty and chummy- when it was time to get to work he made sure it was sharp and everyone was in place.

At the Dallas show- from what I saw, Clapton was the 3rd best guitarist on the platform and about the 5th best vocalist and it showed. Clapton played well, sang well and led well as always. When Beck was introduced everyone forgot about Clapton. When Page was introduced the event started.

When Page's Danelecro was brought out... the air had goosebumps. When the doubleneck came out... it was surreal. Time flashed back and time stood still all at once. From then on- it was Page's platform to share with others. Maybe this was a bit much for Clapton to yield to without a being a little crabby and feelings of being sleighted. Not my place to say, just the vibe he seemed to give off.

The finale with Cocker was unbelieveably good. Solid top to bottom and I have yet to see anyone connect with a lyric and deliver it any better than Cocker did that night. That man wanted to be there and his heart was pouring out for Ronnie Lane. Paul Rogers sang his butt off with Jimmy and during the finale his backing vocals are the best I have ever heard.

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you are welcome fdm12

from my vantage point Clapton was not a douche although he did seem to take on the role of conductor (he was blunt and direct) and the one to get things together and push it through. He was chatty and chummy- when it was time to get to work he made sure it was sharp and everyone was in place.

At the Dallas show- from what I saw, Clapton was the 3rd best guitarist on the platform and about the 5th best vocalist and it showed. Clapton played well, sang well and led well as always. When Beck was introduced everyone forgot about Clapton. When Page was introduced the event started.

When Page's Danelecro was brought out... the air had goosebumps. When the doubleneck came out... it was surreal. Time flashed back and time stood still all at once. From then on- it was Page's platform to share with others. Maybe this was a bit much for Clapton to yield to without a being a little crabby and feelings of being sleighted. Not my place to say, just the vibe he seemed to give off.

The finale with Cocker was unbelieveably good. Solid top to bottom and I have yet to see anyone connect with a lyric and deliver it any better than Cocker did that night. That man wanted to be there and his heart was pouring out for Ronnie Lane. Paul Rogers sang his butt off with Jimmy and during the finale his backing vocals are the best I have ever heard.

Again, great commentary! I have a soft spot for the Danelectro - I love how he plays it, how it sounds, and the songs he plays with it. No question there would be a clash (or something) of egos with all the guitar gods together on stage especially considering they were at fairly uncertain points in their careers.

Most reviews on YouTube say Beck stole the show (MSG anyway) although Jimmy was the sentimental favorite. For Clapton, I'm sure seeing someone going through the same addiction wasn't easy either - not to mention whatever they experienced in their pasts.

It sucks for me not to have seen any of them live - can't help when you were born - can only enjoy what's out there -yea for YouTube (and spend $800 to see Clapton in April? Ha.)

Edited by fdm12
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For me the most striking aspect of Page's ARMS-era physique isn't his being swizzle-stick thin, nor his sporting the scruffiest haircut in rock, it's that frightening gap between his teeth, possibly stemming from a calcium deficiency on account of addiction.

I agree - and the paper-like quality of his skin. I have a photo I took of him in 1981 which I have never shared because he looks so awful. I honestly did not think he would survive that era and that makes seeing him so happy and healthy now even more wonderful.

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Wow thanks Steve. Didnt know about the first time that happened. Thankfully the judge showed some slack or the Firm may have been derailed before they even got off the ground.

I just wonder if that same sort of leniency would be afforded any ordinary joe? I hope so. I hate that sort of double standard.

Somewhere here someone said that Led Zep bought their way out of trouble. I don't think that's possible with the courts but who knows, he would have had top legal representation. To some extent there is law for most people and law for some people deemed as special. It's sick. It would have been sad if he were jailed and that prevented his career from moving forward, but like any ordinary person he would have done his time and come out and regrouped with his band. Being caught twice with cocaine - can't thin many people would have walked away from that with minimal fines as he did.

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A question for you all:

If you were Page's manager or friend and saw the state he was in at the Albert Hall ARMS concert backstage, would you have let him go out on that stage? Getting out to play was a therapeutic exercise for him, but is it justified therapy if he plays badly or appears in a state that he doesn't want to be remembered for?

I don't think it was a smart move to let him on that stage. Did you notice how Clapton and the others confirmed their feelings about his state during that final song when they weren't amused by Coopers killing the gong? By that point Page was off in a corner trying to keep up, distanced from everyone else. Some good friend should have sat him down and employed tough love then and there.

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A question for you all:

If you were Page's manager or friend and saw the state he was in at the Albert Hall ARMS concert backstage, would you have let him go out on that stage? Getting out to play was a therapeutic exercise for him, but is it justified therapy if he plays badly or appears in a state that he doesn't want to be remembered for?

I don't think it was a smart move to let him on that stage. Did you notice how Clapton and the others confirmed their feelings about his state during that final song when they weren't amused by Coopers killing the gong? By that point Page was off in a corner trying to keep up, distanced from everyone else. Some good friend should have sat him down and employed tough love then and there.

IMO, having him play that concert was tough love. Clapton, Beck and others did pull him aside to wake him of his heroin "coma". He was very isolated and withdrawn since Bonham's death and Zeppelin, that the London's ARMS concert gave him hope, inspiration and relit his musical fire.

He was so far into is addiction and mourning of Bonham and Zeppelin that his confidence and self esteem took a huge hit. This one concert showed him that he was still loved by his fans, friends and his love for playing music was still alive.

He was much different in the U.S. later that year. Yes he was still a drug addict but at least he was prompted to kick his heroin habit and live again.

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IMO, having him play that concert was tough love. Clapton, Beck and others did pull him aside to wake him of his heroin "coma". He was very isolated and withdrawn since Bonham's death and Zeppelin, that the London's ARMS concert gave him hope, inspiration and relit his musical fire.

He was so far into is addiction and mourning of Bonham and Zeppelin that his confidence and self esteem took a huge hit. This one concert showed him that he was still loved by his fans, friends and his love for playing music was still alive.

He was much different in the U.S. later that year. Yes he was still a drug addict but at least he was prompted to kick his heroin habit and live again.

Agree. Also didn't see disapproval of Ray Cooper - he's adored in the music business.

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Agree. Also didn't see disapproval of Ray Cooper - he's adored in the music business.

Not disapproval of Cooper - he was hilarious and having a lot of fun. Wyman and others had a laugh when Cooper destroyed the gongs at the end. It was pretty funny. He is one full on percussionist.

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IMO, having him play that concert was tough love. Clapton, Beck and others did pull him aside to wake him of his heroin "coma". He was very isolated and withdrawn since Bonham's death and Zeppelin, that the London's ARMS concert gave him hope, inspiration and relit his musical fire.

He was so far into is addiction and mourning of Bonham and Zeppelin that his confidence and self esteem took a huge hit. This one concert showed him that he was still loved by his fans, friends and his love for playing music was still alive.

He was much different in the U.S. later that year. Yes he was still a drug addict but at least he was prompted to kick his heroin habit and live again.

Agreed, performing his way back from the abyss has been widely reported as well as the tough love his friends imposed to make that happen. Maybe as you say his friends on stage were just keeping an eye on him and encouraging him. As much as I can understand that approach and that his other performances were good, it was sad seeing that AH performance and a shame that he with support from his friends could not have got him in better shape for it. It's honest, I'll say that though.

Edited by Shadecatcher
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IMO, having him play that concert was tough love. Clapton, Beck and others did pull him aside to wake him of his heroin "coma". He was very isolated and withdrawn since Bonham's death and Zeppelin, that the London's ARMS concert gave him hope, inspiration and relit his musical fire.

He was so far into is addiction and mourning of Bonham and Zeppelin that his confidence and self esteem took a huge hit. This one concert showed him that he was still loved by his fans, friends and his love for playing music was still alive.

He was much different in the U.S. later that year. Yes he was still a drug addict but at least he was prompted to kick his heroin habit and live again.

Absolutely - absolutely - absolutely!

Page onstage in '83...well, it's watching a phoenix rise from the ashes.

Edited by SteveAJones
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In Light and Shade Paul Rodgers talks wonderfully about his concern for Jimmy in this period and the end of The Firm:

"Well, I had accoplished what I wanted to do, and that was to see Jimmy happy. He was in great great shape when we ended. It was very important for me because I had lost Free guitarist Paul Kossoff to drugs and depression. I've always regetted not being able to do anything for him. And I was concerned we might lose Jimmy."

I think I read somewhere that Jimmy said that he was supposed to take a driver's test, but he had to finish the Death Wish soundtrack and never took the test. :D

I love him in the Arms Concert. He reminds me of a beautiful, pale prince at the one in New York. He did say that these concerts helped him. He also said that he was orginally approched by ("Stu") Ian Stewart at a party by Ronnie Lane according to his own book.

Edited by aen27
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He also said that he was orginally approched by ("Stu") Ian Stewart at a party by Ronnie Lane according to his own book.

The ARMS benefits were originally spearheaded by Eric Clapton, who called record producer Glyn Johns, who in turn called Kenney Jones and Ian Stewart. Stu recruited Wyman, Watts, Beck and Page.

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you are welcome fdm12

from my vantage point Clapton was not a douche although he did seem to take on the role of conductor (he was blunt and direct) and the one to get things together and push it through. He was chatty and chummy- when it was time to get to work he made sure it was sharp and everyone was in place.

At the Dallas show- from what I saw, Clapton was the 3rd best guitarist on the platform and about the 5th best vocalist and it showed. Clapton played well, sang well and led well as always. When Beck was introduced everyone forgot about Clapton. When Page was introduced the event started.

When Page's Danelecro was brought out... the air had goosebumps. When the doubleneck came out... it was surreal. Time flashed back and time stood still all at once. From then on- it was Page's platform to share with others. Maybe this was a bit much for Clapton to yield to without a being a little crabby and feelings of being sleighted. Not my place to say, just the vibe he seemed to give off.

The finale with Cocker was unbelieveably good. Solid top to bottom and I have yet to see anyone connect with a lyric and deliver it any better than Cocker did that night. That man wanted to be there and his heart was pouring out for Ronnie Lane. Paul Rogers sang his butt off with Jimmy and during the finale his backing vocals are the best I have ever heard.

Great stuff, DK... Totally agree with your observations and you are spot on relative to Dallas ARMS-

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In Light and Shade Paul Rodgers talks wonderfully about his concern for Jimmy in this period and the end of The Firm:

"Well, I had accoplished what I wanted to do, and that was to see Jimmy happy. He was in great great shape when we ended. It was very important for me because I had lost Free guitarist Paul Kossoff to drugs and depression. I've always regetted not being able to do anything for him. And I was concerned we might lose Jimmy."

I think I read somewhere that Jimmy said that he was supposed to take a driver's test, but he had to finish the Death Wish soundtrack and never took the test. :D

I love him in the Arms Concert. He reminds me of a beautiful, pale prince at the one in New York. He did say that these concerts helped him. He also said that he was orginally approched by ("Stu") Ian Stewart at a party by Ronnie Lane according to his own book.

I was surprised to read that Page said he didn't drive back when Led Zep first formed and still doesn't. It struck me as odd that he never drove because references have been made to his living in the country. Downtown London or NYC driving is a hassle, but in the country you need wheels. Not being able to clear you mind with a drive is one of life's real pleasures.

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I was surprised to read that Page said he didn't drive back when Led Zep first formed and still doesn't. It struck me as odd that he never drove because references have been made to his living in the country. Downtown London or NYC driving is a hassle, but in the country you need wheels. Not being able to clear you mind with a drive is one of life's real pleasures.

His driver during the 70s was Rick Hobbs. I don't know when he began to work for Jimmy. Maybe Steve would know. It didn't entirely surprise me because John Lennon couldn't drive either.

Edited by aen27
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I was surprised to read that Page said he didn't drive back when Led Zep first formed and still doesn't. It struck me as odd that he never drove because references have been made to his living in the country. Downtown London or NYC driving is a hassle, but in the country you need wheels. Not being able to clear you mind with a drive is one of life's real pleasures.

Jimmy's at ease on public transport. Been spotted on buses and trains numerous times.

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His driver during the 70s was Rick Hobbs. I don't know when he began to work for Jimmy. Maybe Steve would know. It didn't entirely surprise me because John Lennon couldn't drive either.

Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones is yet another famous rock musician with a fine automobile collection despite never driving. He still lives in Lewes, which is not that far away from Plumpton Place, the moated country manor Jimmy owned thru most of the 1970s.

Rick Hobbs steadfast and loyal association with Jimmy Page lasted 40 years. Sadly, he passed away in 2010, at the age of 81.

This from Sue Cook, a close personal friend of Mr. Hobbs:

"Rick was a chauffeur for a London company and met the band when they hired him. They hit it off right from the start and he became Jimmy Page's right-hand man. He was his valet, PA and chauffeur because Jimmy never learned to drive. Even in his 70s Rick would get a phone call, jump in his car and drive up to London to sort something out for him."

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His driver during the 70s was Rick Hobbs. I don't know when he began to work for Jimmy. Maybe Steve would know. It didn't entirely surprise me because John Lennon couldn't drive either.

John Lennon didn't drive? I'm sure there's a pic of him at the wheel of his illustrated Rolls ... I seem to recall seeing that somewhere. Living in NYC you'd not need a car most times, only for trips out to the country. Maybe Yoko played chauffeur!

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You don't need a car at all in NYC or a driver's license. As for going outside of the city - trains, taxis, and car services galore.

Lots of others, too- Ricky Gervais, Albert Einstein, Henry Rollins, Ray Bradbury, Tina Fey, David Sedaris, Barbara Walters, etc.

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