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Thank you Kenog for posting this. It was an interesting interview. Among other things, I didn't realize Kenneth Anger is still living. I also didn't know that Bobby Beausoleil had once been in Love nor that he recruited musicians who were also serving time in San Quentin to work on the Lucifer Rising soundtrack. I wonder if they receive royalty payments for their work on the soundtrack?

According to Wikipedia, Beausoleil was in an earlier Arthur Lee band... not Love.

Circa 1965, Beausoleil was a member of Arthur Lee's band the Grass Roots, which later changed its name to Love. Lee claimed to have bestowed the nickname "Bummer Bob" on Beausoleil due to a drug burn. Beausoleil claims that Lee named his band Love in reference to another of his many nicknames — "Cupid.

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Interesting Bad Company Article posted on Pittsburgh Gazette website today

"It all fell apart when John Bonham died," Mr. Rodgers says of the Led Zeppelin drummer. "We lost a great friend and a great guy. I mean, everybody loved John, and it was such a tragedy. And I think the heart went right out of Peter at that point. And very soon after that I decided I was going to come off the road. So we put the band to sleep for a time."


surfinsam, thanks for the post, great article:-)

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Forbes Magazine 31 October 2013

By Tim Maurer

Retire Like These Guys...Not These Guys

While most of the commentary these days regarding retirement is about the math and “science” of cash flow and portfolio management, there is also an art to retiring well. Making a graceful transition from the vocation that marks your life into whatever follows helps form your legacy—for better and worse.

Led Zeppelin was the best rock band of all time—at least in their time, and for many of us, still. Jimmy Page was the musical mastermind behind this super-group of savants, but it’s hard to imagine that they could’ve reached legendary status without Robert Plant. Every generation since has attempted to replicate Plant’s voice and stage presence. Although the band’s retirement was unplanned after drummer John Bonham’s death in 1980, Plant and Page’s work since is a fascinating case study in retirement.

Retire like Robert Plant…not like Jimmy Page

Robert Plant has explored, experimented and remade himself several times since retiring from Led Zeppelin. As I write, I’m listening to one of my favorite albums, Raising Sand, a Grammy-award winning collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, a legend herself in the realm of bluegrass.

Maybe since it was his baby, Jimmy Page has struggled to ever let go of Zeppelin, a fact that was evident in his 2012 Rolling Stone interview. He’s struggled to retire well. He seems to have lived between a handful of attempted (and certifiably mediocre) Led Zeppelin reunion gigs, and implies Robert Plant is at fault for resisting a full-out remarriage.

It’s not easy to retire from the best gig you’ve ever had, but unwillingness to acknowledge that it’s over can be even more painful. Loosening your grip on the past, however, can free you up for a fulfilling and rewarding second act.

Edited by kenog
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Andy Johns on the secrets behind the Led Zeppelin IV sessions

This interview originally appeared in issue 196 of Rhythm magazine. To read the full feature and discover more about Led Zep IV, please click here and download the Rhythm Apple Newsstand app.

The late engineer on mixing one of rock's greatest albums


Andy Johns, the younger brother of another famed engineer, Glyn Johns, began his career working as an assistant engineer with Eddie Kramer on Jimi Hendrix sessions. Andy also produced The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street and worked with Free, Blind Faith and Van Halen.

More recently he produced Chickenfoot with Sammy Hagar, Chad Smith and Joe Satriani. Andy was instrumental in shaping the sound of Led Zeppelin's seminal fourth album, including John's Bonham's ferocious drum sound on When The Levee Breaks.

Sadly, Johns passed away earlier this year, but in this 2009 interview (first published in Rhythm Magazine) he recalled the highs and lows of those sessions...

Where did you kick off the sessions for Led Zep IV?

"The Rolling Stones had the first mobile recording unit in europe. I had done the Stones' album 'Sticky Fingers' and I had also done two other album projects at Mick's house, Stargroves, with the truck and I really liked it. It was a lot of fun and you got so many different spaces and it was better than being stuck in some airless, windowless room.

"We were getting ready to do the next Led Zeppelin album and I said to Jimmy Page: 'Why don't we use the Stones' truck and we'll go to Mick's house?' So Jimmy says: 'How much will that cost?' It worked out to be the same as a regular studio and a thousand pounds a week for Mick's house. He said: 'I'm not giving Mick Jagger a thousand pounds a week for his place. I'm going to find something better than that.' And he found Headley Grange, which was rather fortunate. We did a few tracks there including When The Levee Breaks, Rock And Roll and Boogie With Stu."

What was your approach to recording at that time?

"I'd been using very few mics on tracks like Can't Find My Way Home by Blind Faith. I had recorded the whole thing using just two mics including vocals, guitar and Ginger Baker's drums. So I was really getting into that."

John Bonham was famous for his very particular drum sound. How hands on was he?

"I never had Bonzo turn round to me and say, 'oh that's a great drum sound, Andy.' He'd just say, 'There's not enough 'frudge' on the bass drum.' That was his word and I knew exactly what he meant by 'frudge'."

When The Levee Breaks put Bonham centre stage, held down by that monstrous 26" Ludwig bass drum. What was the process behind achieving that sound?"We took Bonham's kit and stuck it in this lobby area. I got a couple of microphones and put them up the first set of the stairs"

"One night Zeppelin were all going down the boozer and I said, 'You guys bugger off but Bonzo, you stay behind because I've got an idea.' So we took his kit out of the room where the other guys had been recording and stuck it in this lobby area. I got a couple of microphones and put them up the first set of the stairs."

It wasn't just the stairwell that got that famous, earthy delay sound though...

"I used two Beyerdynamic M160 microphones and I put a couple of limiters over the two mics and used a Binson Echorec echo device that Jimmy Page had bought. They were Italian-made and instead of tape they used a very thin steel drum.

"Tape would wear out and you'd have to keep replacing it. But this wafer-thin drum worked on the same principle as a wire recorder. It was magnetised and had various heads on it and there were different settings. They were very cool things!

"And so playing at that particular tempo on 'Levee the limiters had time to breathe and that's how Bonzo got that 'Ga Gack' sound because of the Binson. He wasn't playing that. It was the Binson that made him sound like that. I remember playing it back in the Stones' mobile truck and thinking, 'Bonzo's gotta f**king like this!' I had never heard anything like it and the drum sound was quite spectacular."

What was Bonham's reaction to hearing the track back?

"I said: 'Bonzo, come and listen to this, dear chap.' And he came in and said, 'Oh yeah, that's more f**king like it!' And everyone was very happy. I guess I must have done it as a one-off thing and I didn't start using that technique of room mics all the time until later in the '70s with people like Rod Stewart. Jimmy picked up on it and used it on 'Kashmir'. When The Levee Breaks came out quite well and people still ask me about it when I appear on music biz panels and what-not."

You then moved onto Island Studios…

"Black Dog was the first thing we did there. That was a collaboration with Pagey and John Paul. My contribution to that was triple-tracking the guitar riff played on a Gibson Les Paul. I used a couple of universal limiters. It worked really well but as soon as Jimmy stopped playing, with all that gain it went 'Ssshh woarg!'"

Tell us about the recording of Rock and Roll and Stairway To Heaven…

"[Rock and Roll] was a little tough to record because with the hi-hat being so open and [bonham] hitting it that hard it was difficult to control. But I managed somehow or another. We did Stairway To Heaven upstairs in the big room at Island.

"I had said to Jimmy that we needed a song that builds up and hadn't been having much luck. But then he said: 'I think I've got something that you'll like and we'll do it next week.' And he came in with Stairway To Heaven.

"We tracked it with drums and acoustic guitar and John Paul was playing an upright Hohner piano. I'd never even seen one before or since. The drums come in later because it's a 'building song', innit! I didn't have a lot to do with Stairway except for the 12-string guitar sound that I really liked at the time.

"Jimmy was always running his 12-string Rickenbacker through a box, which is a good sound. But if you do it direct and compress it, you get a much more bell-like quality. So I suggested we try that and he really liked it. There was a bit of a struggle on the solo. He was playing for half an hour and did seven or eight takes. He hadn't quite got it sussed. I was starting to get a bit paranoid and he said, 'No, no you're making ME paranoid.' Then right after that he played a really great solo."

The initial mixing sessions took place at Sunset Sound studios in LA...

"I had mixed an album with Gary Wright at Sunset and there were some wonderful mixes coming out of that studio. We got there just after a big earthquake had struck in 1971 and we were running around like maniacs. In Going To California there is mention of an earthquake in Robert's lyrics. I remember Jimmy saying: 'oh don't put that on there, it will cause another earthquake.' I said, 'oh, don't be so bloody stupid, gimme a break!'

"As it turned out, mixing the album was an absolute disaster"

"So the tapes began rolling and sure enough there was an aftershock. Totally coincidental of course but Jimmy was convinced it was the power of the music. So that was rather funny. But Peter Grant [Led Zep manager] would lie on his bed clutching the sides. He was a hard-nosed character but he was petrified of the earthquakes. Everyone thought the place was going to fall into the ocean. And as it turned out, mixing the album was an absolute disaster. That's why I didn't get to work with Zeppelin again after that album.

"It all sounded great at Sunset but the only mix that got used was When The Levee Breaks. That, for some reason turned out alright. But we did this playback at Olympic Studios in London and it wasn't the greatest place to hold a playback session. I should have chosen Island. Anyway the first song goes by and it doesn't sound very good at all. Jimmy and I are sitting on the floor with heads in our hands going 'What the hell is this?' Then we played the next one and the next one… and it all sounded 'orrible.

"The other three guys were turning round and giving us funny looks. 'What's happened here?' If it had been anyone else I would have been booted off the project there and then. Jimmy said: 'Well, that's not very good is it? Let's go back to Island where we should have been in the first place. We'll mix it there.'"

You must have been devastated?

"My bottle had gone and obviously I was shattered. The previous stuff I'd done at Sunset had come out Jim Dandy and was really good. I thought Sunset was a cool place but they had changed the room since I was last there. I don't know what happened. So we went back to Island and re-mixed Zeppelin IV although we still used the Levee Breaks mix from Sunset. But it had all cost a few bob, flying us over there to LA and staying at the Hyatt House. And I know that Bonzo was furious about it."

The When The Levee Breaks drum sound has been sampled and copied many times over the years, notably by the Beastie Boys.

"It's funny actually. I remember mixing some tracks in Tokyo and there were three 32-track machines all strapped together. It was insanity. One machine had all the percussion tracks and I found it even had a little of bit of When The Levee Breaks. Who would have thought all those years later I'd be stealing my own stuff!"

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Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop by Bob Stanley

Were Sweet better than Led Zeppelin? ... Here is an excellent and 'poptimistic' history that sticks two fingers up at 'rockism'.

Who would be brave – or foolish enough – to write a history of pop music? Aren't grand narratives a thing of the past? This is the age of niches, forensic focus, obsessive miniaturism. Full-length documentaries get made about Cockney Rejects, a Garry Bushell-managed Oi! band whose best-known single was a parody of a Sham 69 7-inch. At least three books exist on Felt, a Birmingham independent band from the 1980s whose albums bore titles such as Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death. It's not unusual to see expensive editions of hulking great volumes on Swedish prog rock or American private-press oddities selling out in next to no time.

The internet has been wonderful for microgenre mythomania. Established pop lineages are challenged as fanboys and DIY scholars share their passions for Japanese soft-porn soundtracks and jingly-jangly flexi discs from the Home Counties. It becomes ever harder to imagine a synthesist who could make sense of all these wonders, and do so with style and wit rather than synoptic grind, so as to bring together pop's mutually indifferent tribes for a productive pow-wow.

One of the few people capable of undertaking this huge task is Bob Stanley. He's the co-founder of the three-piece band Saint Etienne who, since 1990, have fashioned a vast body of collage pop that joyfully absorbs elements of dub, 60s girl groups, English folk, German techno and Swedish groove, and allies them to stylish melodies and savvy lyrics. Perhaps because of his background as editor of Caff fanzine and later as a journalist for Melody Maker, he's always been attuned to the relationship between words and music: Saint Etienne have commissioned LP sleevenotes by the likes of Douglas Coupland, Jeremy Deller and Jon Savage.

Yeah Yeah Yeah, as its title suggests, is a love song to pop. It sticks up two fingers to "rockism", that school of rock historiography which prizes authenticity, musicians who play their own songs, real instruments over software, artistes above one-hit wonders, sweaty men rather than pretty women. Stanley writes well about both Dylan and Donovan, but it's clear that he prefers the latter. Elsewhere he talks up under heralded soul singers Barbara Mason and Barbara Lewis rather than paeaning Hall of Fame-types such as Aretha Franklin, argues that Sweet were superior to Led Zeppelin, and champions the effervescence of Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" over the earnest, showy melismatics of her later hits such as "I Will Always Love You".

This isn't Stanley being contrary. He makes a convincing case for the vital role played by Jimi Hendrix's manager Chas Chandler in helping the guitarist demonstrate his genius by getting him to hold his showier pyrotechnics and channel his monumental sound into three-minute singles such as "Hey Joe". He lauds Lou Reed and John Cale's avant-pop alchemy on the Velvet Underground's "I Heard Her Call My Name", a song "so sharp and freakish and heart-piercing that it makes me burst out laughing every time I hear it". He also compares Patti Smith unfavourably to Blondie's Debbie Harry: the former uses 19th-century French poets as a signifier of seriousness; the latter, less self-consciously messianic, namechecks hip-hop modernist Grandmaster Flash in the lyrics to "Rapture".

Stanley, to quote the title of film scholar Thomas Schatz's history of classic Hollywood, is a believer in the genius of the system. It's not drugs, suffering or tortured outsiderdom that's responsible for the best pop music, but "hard, honest toil". He adores Brill Building songwriting teams such as Goffin and King, Motown's production-line approach to pop, Abba's Bjorn and Benny, the KLF, and junglist pioneers such as PJ and Smash who, like many (often overlooked) black producers of dance music, married functionalism to sonic innovation.

Yeah Yeah Yeah really comes into its own when discussing the forgotten tropics of 1940s and 1950s music. Of Vera Lynn, whose "Forget Me Not" was one of the biggest hits of 1952: "It sounded distant, echoing, a ghost of Christmas future." Nat King Cole, Stanley observes, "was rarely a seducer. Usually, he was to be found in the near distance, there to accompany the wooing of other couples." Even more delicate is his description of early doo-wop: "The voices reverberated around alleys and subways, hallways and staircases, even school gyms, anywhere its perpetrators could find an echo to lift the sound from the ground, closer to the stars."

Stanley is also good on the much-patronised genre of skiffle. Not only does he point to Lonnie Donegan's "Cumberland Gap" and the implausibility of "a song about illegally transporting pig iron being British pop's fountainhead", but he emphasises the thrash and clatter of skiffle, the DIY cheapness of the household instruments it used, the proto-hip-hop way it sampled and recontextualised American blues to create new exhilarations.

Stanley's suggestion that skiffle anticipated early Fall records is inspired. So is his identification of tape delay and dub-like effects in Jimmy Young's 1956 single "Chain Gang", and his comparison of the black horror at the heart of Roy Orbison and Joy Division. Best of all is his account of Bing Crosby's "The Isle of Innisfree", a froth of Celtic pastoralia whose lyrics he likens to Guns N' Roses' account of "Paradise City" ("Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty").

Yeah Yeah Yeah is full of sharp one-liners (Elvis Costello "wore a surgically enhanced arched eyebrow and wrote pun-packed songs while singing as if he was standing in a fridge"), contains extraordinary facts (Chic's original name was Allah and the Knife Wielding Punks) and offers evidence of an extraordinary amount of listening (glam bands Spiv, Jook, Chunky and Spunky Spider; "Wickford's So Boring" by Grinder; Wanda Jackson's "Fujiyama Mama" with its immortal lines: "I've been to Nagasaki, Hiroshima too./The same I did to them, baby, I can do to you.")

This excellent book enacts its own version of pop justice as it spotlights not only bands that have suffered condescension – such as the Bee Gees – but also forgotten DJs like the Light Programme's Jack Johnson and Detroit's The Electrifying Mojo. It recalls the session guitarist Bert Weedon, whose manual on the instrument changed the lives of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, and the Liverpool ship waiters – known as Cunard Yanks – who returned home from their transatlantic voyages with records that would have a detonating impact on the imaginations of Merseyside teenagers.

The 21st century, however, is almost skirted over. Stanley argues that the Britpop-era complicity between the music press and Top of the Pops dealt a death blow to what had been a productive tension between margin and centre. He is a lover of vinyl, and believes that digitisation has changed things for the worse – that the internet flattens the musical landscape as much as it enhances it: it's a click democracy with people filesharing and sampling with near-decadent ease.

But there is one problem. Over the last decade Stanley's poptimism – its lack of snobbery, its rejection of the principle of "guilty pleasures", its exuberant and cross-generational linkages – has become the norm. Without friction, without patrolled borders between different types of music, what emerges is an everything-goes world that's more enervating than exciting. Poptimism may need rockism more than it thinks.

Edited by kenog
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  • 4 weeks later...

I shall try to follow up Kenog's great contribution here....

Pastor's husband finds uplifting memento following tornado

Tue, 11/26/2013 - 4:30pm | Dave Hinton


Edited by PlanetPage
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Prince has referred to Jimmy in today's issue of The Guardian (UK)

Prince: black people don't get second chances
The singer speaks out against racial bias in the music business, before revealing the key influences on new band 3RDEYEGIRL’s debut album, Plectrumelectrum
theguardian.com, Tuesday 25 February 2014 16.44 GMT
Prince performs at Kings Place, London
Prince … ‘Jimmy Page was cool, but he couldn’t keep a sequence without John Bonham behind him.’
Prince has spoken out about racism in the entertainment industry, claiming that black people aren’t given a “second chance” in film and music.
During a Mojo interview with the singer at a Caribbean island hideaway, Prince criticised the music business, explaining, “It’s box office. I can’t have something like The Great Gatsby on my hands. Didn’t you know that black people don’t get a second chance?”
“It’s like Chris Rock said: Leonardo DiCaprio can make one bad movie after another, and he just keeps going. Chris Rock makes a bad movie, and he doesn’t work again. Black people aren’t allowed to make mistakes.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Prince discussed the many influences on the forthcoming 3RDEYEGIRL album, Plectrumelectrum, which reportedly features “new music with a sense of history”. On the subject of the track TICTACTOE, he revealed that the song was inspired by a night listening to the Cocteau Twins. “We recorded it in Bryan Ferry’s studio in London, after a night of partying for which the Cocteau Twins was the soundtrack,” he explained. “You can’t understand the words of the Cocteau Twins songs, but their harmonies put you in a dreamlike state.”
Sly and the Family Stone, Joni Mitchell, Santana, Miles Davis and James Brown were also named as artists Prince and his band have drawn from. But, after being compared to Led Zeppelin during the playback, Prince wasn’t altogether taken with the likeness: “Jimmy Page was cool, but he couldn't keep a sequence without John Bonham behind him.”
Prince has recently finished a sequence of Hit and Run dates in the UK, stopping by at a string of London venues before embarking on two Manchester dates. Read our reviews of the shows below:
Edited by 1973fan
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