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Bong-Man

The Firm Thread

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Hi there :wave: I just posted this in Hot Pics of Jimmy and it was suggested I post this here too so here it is :)

Here's Phil Soussan with Jimmy

pageandsoussan.jpg

And then in this article it says that he was nearly the bassist for The Firm! It says it all really but has anyone here heard this before or know anymore about it?

http://www.noisecreep.com/2012/10/01/phil-soussan/

Thanks for the photo & link and I've taken the opportunity to read the interview.

With regard to Phil's answer to the first question he seems to be alluding to Coda, a Led Zeppelin compilation album released to fulfull their final recording contract obligation to Atlantic. Sounds like Atlantic may have been jerking his band (Simon Kirke's Wildlife project) around to put pressure on Swan Song to get Coda done.

Chris Squire & Alan White of Yes did write and record about seven tracks for an ill-fated project with Jimmy called XYZ (Ex Yes/Zeppelin) starting on Feb 28 1981; Jimmy would later rework some of that material as songs for The Firm. It seems Phil Soussan is unaware of this as it preceeded his involvement with Jimmy.

James McGregor was an occult figure, and Jimmy used his name as a hotel alias on the ARMS tour in Dec '83, a tour which also featured Paul Rodgers paired with

Page. Chris Slade was not involved on that tour, but after it ended he was contacted by Phil Carlo on behalf of Jimmy to inquire if he would like to join Jimmy for a jam at Nomis Studios in London. Slade was contacted on December 15, 1983 so it seems Soussan may have also initially been contacted around this time.

According to my notes, Soussan joined Page at Nomis Studios for a jam on January 27, 1984. Uncertain if that was their first jam, but I have an audio recording of Page jamming with Rat Scabies at the same studio on January 30, 1984. Soussan mentions Scabies in the interview. According to my notes, Jimmy essentially held open rehearsals for about four months, also jamming with Bill Bruford....and also "Durban...&...Graham" (?) on April 13, 1984. Chris Slade was touring with David Gilmour around this time, which could explain Soussan's claim that Page said he wouldn't have a band/tour lined up until later in the year.

Jimmy got to know bassist Tony Franklin whilst recording with Roy Harper in Apr/May '84, and ultimately it was Franklin who completed the lineup of The Firm.

According to my notes, The Firm's studio sessions for Sep/Oct '84 were pre-booked in advance as "The McGregors", Jimmy & Paul establishing a self-imposed working deadline for a new album.

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"Fortune hunter" is a favorite of mine.

Me too.

Not just in the context of the Firm but overall from Jimmy's career.

I particularly like the smooth break...

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Thanks for the photo & link and I've taken the opportunity to read the interview.

With regard to Phil's answer to the first question he seems to be alluding to Coda, a Led Zeppelin compilation album released to fulfull their final recording contract obligation to Atlantic. Sounds like Atlantic may have been jerking his band (Simon Kirke's Wildlife project) around to put pressure on Swan Song to get Coda done.

Chris Squire & Alan White of Yes did write and record about seven tracks for an ill-fated project with Jimmy called XYZ (Ex Yes/Zeppelin) starting on Feb 28 1981; Jimmy would later rework some of that material as songs for The Firm. It seems Phil Soussan is unaware of this as it preceeded his involvement with Jimmy.

James McGregor was an occult figure, and Jimmy used his name as a hotel alias on the ARMS tour in Dec '83, a tour which also featured Paul Rodgers paired with

Page. Chris Slade was not involved on that tour, but after it ended he was contacted by Phil Carlo on behalf of Jimmy to inquire if he would like to join Jimmy for a jam at Nomis Studios in London. Slade was contacted on December 15, 1983 so it seems Soussan may have also initially been contacted around this time.

According to my notes, Soussan joined Page at Nomis Studios for a jam on January 27, 1984. Uncertain if that was their first jam, but I have an audio recording of Page jamming with Rat Scabies at the same studio on January 30, 1984. Soussan mentions Scabies in the interview. According to my notes, Jimmy essentially held open rehearsals for about four months, also jamming with Bill Bruford....and also "Durban...&...Graham" (?) on April 13, 1984. Chris Slade was touring with David Gilmour around this time, which could explain Soussan's claim that Page said he wouldn't have a band/tour lined up until later in the year.

Jimmy got to know bassist Tony Franklin whilst recording with Roy Harper in Apr/May '84, and ultimately it was Franklin who completed the lineup of The Firm.

According to my notes, The Firm's studio sessions for Sep/Oct '84 were pre-booked in advance as "The McGregors", Jimmy & Paul establishing a self-imposed working deadline for a new album.

Thank you so much for looking into this Steve!! And in such great detail! :D So interesting to know more of The Firm's backstory. Also I didn't know that Coda was done as an obligation. You'd think they'd have waived that considering, though I love Coda so I'm glad we have it! So Zep were still under Atlantic to some extent? I thought Swan Song was their way out of that? Literally the only thing I knew before you posted that was about XYZ so really thank you so much! :friends::yourock:

Also I wonder if he'll use that name when he tours this year ^_^... "Key to Mr. McGregor's room please" :P

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Thanks for the photo & link and I've taken the opportunity to read the interview.

With regard to Phil's answer to the first question he seems to be alluding to Coda, a Led Zeppelin compilation album released to fulfull their final recording contract obligation to Atlantic. Sounds like Atlantic may have been jerking his band (Simon Kirke's Wildlife project) around to put pressure on Swan Song to get Coda done.

Chris Squire & Alan White of Yes did write and record about seven tracks for an ill-fated project with Jimmy called XYZ (Ex Yes/Zeppelin) starting on Feb 28 1981; Jimmy would later rework some of that material as songs for The Firm. It seems Phil Soussan is unaware of this as it preceeded his involvement with Jimmy.

James McGregor was an occult figure, and Jimmy used his name as a hotel alias on the ARMS tour in Dec '83, a tour which also featured Paul Rodgers paired with

Page. Chris Slade was not involved on that tour, but after it ended he was contacted by Phil Carlo on behalf of Jimmy to inquire if he would like to join Jimmy for a jam at Nomis Studios in London. Slade was contacted on December 15, 1983 so it seems Soussan may have also initially been contacted around this time.

According to my notes, Soussan joined Page at Nomis Studios for a jam on January 27, 1984. Uncertain if that was their first jam, but I have an audio recording of Page jamming with Rat Scabies at the same studio on January 30, 1984. Soussan mentions Scabies in the interview. According to my notes, Jimmy essentially held open rehearsals for about four months, also jamming with Bill Bruford....and also "Durban...&...Graham" (?) on April 13, 1984. Chris Slade was touring with David Gilmour around this time, which could explain Soussan's claim that Page said he wouldn't have a band/tour lined up until later in the year.

Jimmy got to know bassist Tony Franklin whilst recording with Roy Harper in Apr/May '84, and ultimately it was Franklin who completed the lineup of The Firm.

According to my notes, The Firm's studio sessions for Sep/Oct '84 were pre-booked in advance as "The McGregors", Jimmy & Paul establishing a self-imposed working deadline for a new album.

This was very interesting, Steve. Thank you! :D I had forgotten that Jimmy even used the name for himself!

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``I briefly flirted with the idea of calling our group Thunderhead Spitfire and the Black Bombers," claims Paul Rodgers with a laugh. "Then we opened up the dictionary to 'F' and our name just popped off the page - no pun intended."

-- Paul Rodgers (The Philadelphia Daily News, May 10th 1985)

Speaking of the name of the band The Firm, at the time was there a legal dispute with another ( I presume ) UK band called with the same name.?

Edited by Cecil.

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I didn't know that Coda was done as an obligation. You'd think they'd have waived that considering, though I love Coda so I'm glad we have it! So Zep were still under Atlantic to some extent? I thought Swan Song was their way out of that? Literally the only thing I knew before you posted that was about XYZ so really thank you so much! :friends:

At the time of disbandment, Led Zeppelin remained contractually obligated to Atlantic Records for one more album, and as you can imagine the record label was quite insistent that it be fulfilled. While it would be a stretch to say Coda saved the industry, it gave rock music fans a reason to return to the shops at the height of the New Wave era. However, were it not for honoring their deal the album would never have been released.

Establishing Swan Song Records gave the band greater artistic freedom and control with regard to content and graphics, but Atlantic Records handled the distribution and held the recording contract.

I see that Fortune Hunter is a favorite Firm song for some; it's origins can be traced to the XYZ sessions (1981) as a track called Mind Drive:

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Speaking of the name of the band The Firm, at the time was there a legal dispute with another ( I presume ) UK band called with the same name.?

There was indeed a UK band called The Firm - they had a hit with the memorable "Star Trekkin' Across The Universe" ;)

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At the time of disbandment, Led Zeppelin remained contractually obligated to Atlantic Records for one more album, and as you can imagine the record label was quite insistent that it be fulfilled. While it would be a stretch to say Coda saved the industry, it gave rock music fans a reason to return to the shops at the height of the New Wave era. However, were it not for honoring their deal the album would never have been released.

Establishing Swan Song Records gave the band greater artistic freedom and control with regard to content and graphics, but Atlantic Records handled the distribution and held the recording contract.

I see that Fortune Hunter is a favorite Firm song for some; it's origins can be traced to the XYZ sessions (1981) as a track called Mind Drive:

That's so interesting; I never knew that. Thank you so much Steve :)

And I love Mind Drive :D

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I've sometimes wondered what "could have been" if XYZ (especially Jimmy) had been able to hold things together during those 1981 recordings/sessions. The material I've heard sounds interesting with Jimmy's guitar sounding much like it did on 'In through the outdoor'. I know they were trying for something a little experimental, maybe more of a Prog rock sound even.

Theres an interview with Chris Squire (I think) floating around where he talks about the XYZ sessions. He said something along the lines that Jimmy was trying to put on a brave face and was saying stuff like "Zeppelin's over and he was ready to move forward", but he thought Jimmy was still very much struggling because of what had happened with Zeppelin. I dont know, maybe it was just to soon for him to really throw himself back into a big time project.

But hey, we got 'The Firm' instead, and IMO thats not to shabby a trade off!

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My parents saw the Firm in 84 and 86, in the KC area, i know one of them was at Kemper Arena.

Would love to get my hands on the Seattle Audience Video.

I actually got to meet & speak with Tony Franklin last year when I saw Kenny Wayne Shepherd in Columbia, MO.

Tony was very friendly and talked about his days travelling with Jimmy. Said that was Jimmy was his favorite guitarist of all time.

As someone who lives in KC, I can assure you that The Firm were most definitely NOT here in 1984... they were in Europe! The closest they came to KC was 2 March 1985 in Wichita, KS. Their second US show ever and one I was at. In 1986 they played Kemper Arena on 14 May.

Just... you know... to set the record straight!

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Two of My favorite Firm songs are "Tear Down the Walls" and "Spirit of Love".

Edited to add: I saw the Firm in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1986. My first time seeing Jimmy Page live in concert. I will never forget His bow solo inside the revolving green pyramid.

I had a friend who was also at this show sitting somewhere in the first 5 rows and He swears he saw Jimmy Page walk toward the back of the amps, roll up his sleeve and saw someone stick a needle in Jimmy's arm right before he started the Bow solo.

Edited by kingzoso

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Edited to add: I saw the Firm in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1986. My first time seeing Jimmy Page live in concert. I will never forget His bow solo inside the revolving green pyramid.

I had a friend who was also at this show sitting somewhere in the first 5 rows and He swears he saw Jimmy Page walk toward the back of the amps, roll up his sleeve and saw someone stick a needle in Jimmy's arm right before he started the Bow solo.

The St. Louis show was May 13th, and only the second since he was bedridden in Chicago with influenza and/or food poisoning. It's possible he was given a medicinal iv shot to help get through the show.

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As someone who lives in KC, I can assure you that The Firm were most definitely NOT here in 1984... they were in Europe! The closest they came to KC was 2 March 1985 in Wichita, KS. Their second US show ever and one I was at. In 1986 they played Kemper Arena on 14 May.

Just... you know... to set the record straight!

KC area then and yes 1985. I only listent to half the shit they say, and I wasn't even born yet! haha

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I don't want any soft reunion, I want a FIRM reunion. lol.

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I will finally be getting my hands on a DVD from 12/9/84 tomorrow morning, can't wait!

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the biggest problem The Firm had was the simple fact it was page's 1st band after led zeppelin disbanded! how are you really gonna top a group arguably the best group in history?

and no offense to the guys in the firm,especially the drummer and the bass player were nowhere nearly as talented as bonzo and jonesy were.

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Looking back at it, seeing him (Jimmy Page in The Firm) that soon after the disbandonment of Led Zeppelin was totally priceless.

Edited by luvlz2

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1985CourtesyTonyFranklin.jpg

Jimmy Page & Tony Franklin aboard The Firm's Viscount jet during their first United States tour in Spring 1985

Photo courtesy of Tony Franklin

Edited by SteveAJones

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1985CourtesyTonyFranklin.jpg

Jimmy Page & Tony Franklin aboard The Firm's Viscount jet during their first United States tour in Spring 1985

Photo courtesy of Tony Franklin

Awesome photo Steve, never seen that one before! I appreciated Jimmy's efforts to bring some 70's into the 80's, God knows that decade needed it!

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To me,he just did not look sharp,and he did not play sharp either! I also thought he just was not himself on the Ronnie lane tour either.

According to Phil Carson (in Barney Hoskyn's book) Page was just coming off his heroin addiction and had lingering health issues at the time.

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In 1986 they played Kemper Arena on 14 May.

This from Elli Johnson, a well-known fanzine contributor who attended multiple shows on the 1986 USA tour:

In Minneapolis, Jimmy was completely surprised at the end of what had been a fine show by two male fans who grabbed him onstage. The kids were taken away within seconds, though Jimmy simply gave a mock-horror-look, then smiled, waved again and walked off.

In Detroit, the normally insane and physical crowds there were worse...throngs clawing and compacting themselves closer to Jimmy.

In Kansas City, something flew out of the audience and nearly hit Jimmy in the eye. I've never seen him so angry! He nearly stopped Midnight Moonlight as he threw his head and marched back towards Chris. The next song, he first refused to take his guitar from his roadie. When he finally did, he leaned against Chris' drum riser through the whole of You've Lost That Loving Feeling. Luckily, Tear Down The Walls got him back into a good mood.

In Oklahoma City, the band was stranded (unable to fly into Dallas) after the show when the airport was closed due to tornadoes and torrential rains. Paul & Jimmy jammed with the local house band in the hotel that night.

In Seattle, the last show of the tour, the barricades broke and trapped a number of people. The show had to be stopped for fifteen minutes. The final encore was Money with Phil Carson on bass.

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Wow! Never seen it either! Thanks Steve!!

Awesome photo Steve, never seen that one before! I appreciated Jimmy's efforts to bring some 70's into the 80's, God knows that decade needed it!

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