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kenog

Swansong Office

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I found a blog by a guy called Daniel Treacey who appears to be in a band called The Television Personalities. He says he worked for a while in the Swansong Office on the Kings Road. He describes his experience in an entry in February 2005. I've copied the entry here for quick reference, together with the web address.

http://windlessairmusic.tripod.com/televisionpersonalities/id8.html

February 7

and then.. i worked for swansong records..the led zepp dudes in 1977 after leaving school.

it was almost on my doorstep in the kings road,i lived at 355 they were at 484 i think..

next door of the site of the famous sixties boutique granny takes a trip.

it was a bizarre job cos there was little to do.

the label was not very active but it was pleasant to meet some of th artistes.

The only one i knew was maggie bell who was singing solo. she used to be in stone the crows..

i knew her from her doing her laundry at mums laundry.. which i think was number 402 kings rd.

she was very sweet and friendly.i really did not have a clue about zeppelin or bad company,

dave edmunds i was familiar with,of them all him and robert plant and paul rodgers were really nice.

peter grant their manager was a utter bastard! he pinned me up against the wall once

for being late back from the bank. He gave me a cheque to cash and i mistakenly

went to the wrong bank! the bank called him and he went apeshit!

some of swansong had regular parties in the top floor room.

it was the only room i was supposed not to enter.

one day however out of curiousity i did..shit! they had had a black magic orgy by the look of things..

its known that jimmy page was heavily into that stuff,

there were used condoms and occult stuff lying around.

i learned about zep as i worked there and found myself suprisingly liking some of the music.

funny thing was i worked there at time of my first single 14th floor..

plant and edmunds and maggie were a great help and encouraged me..

the only time i met jimmy page was one very very hot day in june..

i was told he was coming to the office and was warned by unity mcclean the office manger not to talk

or look at him! what the fuck i thought.who is this guy?.

i swear when he walked in the room was like an ice box! the temperature dropped suddenly..spooky..

the conversation went like this i think..

jp."so whos the new boy"(he said putting his hand out to shake mine)

dt.pleased to meet you..(didnt call him mr.page)

jp."what you up to?"

dt.just looking for swansong articles in the newspapers and magazines

he picked up a copy of 14th floor which was on the desk. i explained i was in a band

and had made the record. he then invited me up to his room in the office for a fucking jam!

he told me grab a guitar,he had about twenty,think i grabbed a gretsch..wish he had let me keep it!

he was perfectly charming and quite good on the guitar.

[url=http://windlessairmusic.tripod.com/televisionpersonalities/id8.html]

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Hmm, very interesting. Thanks for finding this, Kenog. Dunno what to make about Jimmy's ability to lower the room temperature but blimey, that would be a handy trick to have in summer & save one a small fortune in utility bills. :)

I believe the Television Personalities did "I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives" IIRC. Didn't they open for David Gilmour a few times. He wasn't impressed at all by their musical prowess.

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Hmm, very interesting. Thanks for finding this, Kenog. Dunno what to make about Jimmy's ability to lower the room temperature but blimey, that would be a handy trick to have in summer & save one a small fortune in utility bills. smile.gif

I believe the Television Personalities did "I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives" IIRC. Didn't they open for David Gilmour a few times. He wasn't impressed at all by their musical prowess.

Fireopal, I don't know anything about the band, I'd never heard of them, although if you read more of this guy's blog, he does make mention of the 'Syd Barrett' single. I thought the room at the top of the Swansong office where 'parties' were held sounded interesting!!

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That part was the part I thought most ridiculous. Like they would really leave used condoms and "occult stuff" ( such as???) lying around.

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That part was the part I thought most ridiculous. Like they would really leave used condoms and "occult stuff" ( such as???) lying around.

Humans have done strangers and stupider things over the course of history

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Still reads like a script for "Beauty and the Beast" - there was a dark shadowy room I was told never to go near.........the one day I did was the the day they'd left all this evidence there.......and then when the beast arrived the room turned cold.........

Sorry, not buying it. The other stuff is interesting to me tho.

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Still reads like a script for "Beauty and the Beast" - there was a dark shadowy room I was told never to go near.........the one day I did was the the day they'd left all this evidence there.......and then when the beast arrived the room turned cold.........

Sorry, not buying it. The other stuff is interesting to me tho.

i second this notion

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i worked for swansong records..the led zepp dudes in 1977...funny thing was i worked there at time of my first single 14th floor..

the only time i met jimmy page was one very very hot day in june..

he picked up a copy of 14th floor which was on the desk.

In the '90s, Dan Treacy descended into mental illness, addiction, shoplifting, homelessness and incarceration. For several years, he was missing, believed dead (http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/television_personalities_my_dark_places).

This might explain why Dan's memory appears to be playing tricks on him - 14th Floor wasn't even recorded until August 1977, and was released in January 1978.

That aside, there's no reason to dismiss his claims out of hand - although it would appear that JP's role as Swansong's mobile aircon had ceased by August 1979, judging by his sweat-drenched appearance during the Knebworth gigs.

Edited by Tripmender

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In the '90s, Dan Treacy descended into mental illness, addiction, shoplifting, homelessness and incarceration. For several years, he was missing, believed dead (http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/television_personalities_my_dark_places).

This might explain why Dan's memory appears to be playing tricks on him - 14th Floor wasn't even recorded until August 1977, and was released in January 1978.

That aside, there's no reason to dismiss his claims out of hand - although it would appear that JP's role as Swansong's mobile aircon had ceased by August 1979, judging by his sweat-drenched appearance during the Knebworth gigs.

I certainly believe most of his account. He made this entry in 2005 and that was a long time after he had left Swansong and, as you say, he appears to have had health problems. I find it plausible that the staff would have a room where they might hold parties and the place would be in a mess, but the black magic insinuations don't convince me. Unity should have had a lock put on the door if she wanted it out of bounds.

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I doubt seriously that Page took this guy in for a jam, at the office, or any place else. Page brought 20 guitars with him to a business meeting?

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I doubt seriously that Page took this guy in for a jam, at the office, or any place else. Page brought 20 guitars with him to a business meeting?

Well, if they did jam, it would've been an extremely one-sided affair. The TV Personalities were hopelessly inept, even by punk standards. The only song of theirs I can remember hearing, 'Part Time Punks', was one chord short of the 3-chord punk standard. So, unless Mr Treacy was hiding his light under a bushel with his own band, I expect JP would've tired rapidly of the session.

Then again....maybe Dan's lack of prowess inspired Carouselambra? We'll never know..........

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Little story about a visit to the Swansong offices in NYC.

I had sent a ticket order in to MSG for the June 10 and 11 (Friday/Saturday) 1977 shows from my home in Ottawa, Canada as soon as news of the tour dates broke. I received a form letterback from MSG along with my money order, advising that the shows had sold out. Good old snail mail, should have used a courier service in hindsight.

Left for NYC anyways, optimistic that we would score tickets one way or another. On the day of the show, we ventured down to 444 Madison Ave. in the hopes that Swansong may have had some spare tickets. You never know unless you ask.

Don't recall which floor the office was on, but there were glass entrance doors complete with Swansong logo. The secretary buzzed us in and we made our request for tickets. There were none available, but she offered some band photos. While waiting for her to get them, we wandered around. There was a hallway off to the side with offices and a boardroom. I believe the office at the end of the hall was Danny Goldberg's. Hanging on the wall was a large photograph of the back cover shot of LZ1, signed by the band. Beside it was a beautiful photograph of Jimi Hendrix signed "To Danny, Love Jimi".

We were only in the offices for approx. 15 minutes, the whole time praying that the band might show up for a meeting. No such luck.

Ended up buying scalpers tickets outside MSG, 6th row floor for $30 a piece.

Bargain of a lifetime.

The lady in the office was very nice - she was on the receiving end of my nagging periodic phone calls for the next year and then some, pestering for news of a new album (ITTOD). No muzak on the Swansong phone system, it was always a selection from TSRTS while on hold.

Edited by surfinsam

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^ great post! I bet those glass doors with the Swan Song logo were quite the sight back then.

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Little story about a visit to the Swansong offices in NYC.

I had sent a ticket order in to MSG for the June 10 and 11 (Friday/Saturday) 1977 shows from my home in Ottawa, Canada as soon as news of the tour dates broke. I received a form letterback from MSG along with my money order, advising that the shows had sold out. Good old snail mail, should have used a courier service in hindsight.

Left for NYC anyways, optimistic that we would score tickets one way or another. On the day of the show, we ventured down to 444 Madison Ave. in the hopes that Swansong may have had some spare tickets. You never know unless you ask.

Don't recall which floor the office was on, but there were glass entrance doors complete with Swansong logo. The secretary buzzed us in and we made our request for tickets. There were none available, but she offered some band photos. While waiting for her to get them, we wandered around. There was a hallway off to the side with offices and a boardroom. I believe the office at the end of the hall was Danny Goldberg's. Hanging on the wall was a large photograph of the back cover shot of LZ1, signed by the band. Beside it was a beautiful photograph of Jimi Hendrix signed "To Danny, Love Jimi".

We were only in the offices for approx. 15 minutes, the whole time praying that the band might show up for a meeting. No such luck.

Ended up buying scalpers tickets outside MSG, 6th row floor for $30 a piece.

Bargain of a lifetime.

The lady in the office was very nice - she was on the receiving end of my nagging periodic phone calls for the next year and then some, pestering for news of a new album (ITTOD). No muzak on the Swansong phone system, it was always a selection from TSRTS while on hold.

Lucky :) Great story, you got to see Swan Song offices AND Led Zeppelin!

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^ great post! I bet those glass doors with the Swan Song logo were quite the sight back then.

It left me wondering if any of the former New York office staff may have a photograph of them.

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It left me wondering if any of the former New York office staff may have a photograph of them.

And stories to share. The two photos given to me were ruined by water damage in the 80's. One I recognize from the promo pictures posted on LZ.com

http://www.ledzeppelin.com/photos/led-zeppelin/promo There must be many more out there.

Would be cool to hear from former staff for sure.

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Little story about a visit to the Swansong offices in NYC.

I had sent a ticket order in to MSG for the June 10 and 11 (Friday/Saturday) 1977 shows from my home in Ottawa, Canada as soon as news of the tour dates broke. I received a form letterback from MSG along with my money order, advising that the shows had sold out. Good old snail mail, should have used a courier service in hindsight.

Left for NYC anyways, optimistic that we would score tickets one way or another. On the day of the show, we ventured down to 444 Madison Ave. in the hopes that Swansong may have had some spare tickets. You never know unless you ask.

Don't recall which floor the office was on, but there were glass entrance doors complete with Swansong logo. The secretary buzzed us in and we made our request for tickets. There were none available, but she offered some band photos. While waiting for her to get them, we wandered around. There was a hallway off to the side with offices and a boardroom. I believe the office at the end of the hall was Danny Goldberg's. Hanging on the wall was a large photograph of the back cover shot of LZ1, signed by the band. Beside it was a beautiful photograph of Jimi Hendrix signed "To Danny, Love Jimi".

We were only in the offices for approx. 15 minutes, the whole time praying that the band might show up for a meeting. No such luck.

Ended up buying scalpers tickets outside MSG, 6th row floor for $30 a piece.

Bargain of a lifetime.

The lady in the office was very nice - she was on the receiving end of my nagging periodic phone calls for the next year and then some, pestering for news of a new album (ITTOD). No muzak on the Swansong phone system, it was always a selection from TSRTS while on hold.

..Surfinsam, this is how I longed to be in 1977 but it was not possible for me to travel with foreign passport and legalities of age..Many of my classmates did indeed....Your experience is truly fascinating...

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Does anyone know who occupies the old London Swansong premises nowadays?

The premises have seen a few occupants come and go since 1980. Nowadays the building has been converted into loft apartments for rent. They don't seem to have an online listing yet, but the realtor is www.loftapartments.com at (UK) 220-7278-9888.

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When I was in college in 1977, I noticed that Zep's '77 Tour was not getting any coverage in the Time magazine I subscribed to. But, I had another idea. I wrote to Newsweek, and asked them to do a story on Zep's Tour. I said it shoudn't be hard to organise the coverage, because, as I could see, both the Swan Song NY offices, and Newsweek, were in the same building.

So, some weeks later, Newsweek did publish an article on the band. Remembering from memory, I think they covered the Day At The Green Show(s). It was an article not worth reading to a Zep fan. They said somthing to the effect that the reason so many people went to see Zeppelin is that they were curious, alluding to the PT Barnum effect, "everbody goes to see the circus at least once."

Was that Zeppelin coverage already planned before I wrote them. I'll never know, becuase the aricle was so uninteresting, I never followed up with Newsweek about it.

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When I was in college in 1977, I noticed that Zep's '77 Tour was not getting any coverage in the Time magazine I subscribed to. But, I had another idea. I wrote to Newsweek, and asked them to do a story on Zep's Tour. I said it shoudn't be hard to organise the coverage, because, as I could see, both the Swan Song NY offices, and Newsweek, were in the same building.

So, some weeks later, Newsweek did publish an article on the band. Remembering from memory, I think they covered the Day At The Green Show(s). It was an article not worth reading to a Zep fan. They said somthing to the effect that the reason so many people went to see Zeppelin is that they were curious, alluding to the PT Barnum effect, "everbody goes to see the circus at least once."

Was that Zeppelin coverage already planned before I wrote them. I'll never know, becuase the aricle was so uninteresting, I never followed up with Newsweek about it.

I don't have it (yet) but in the June 20, 1977 issue of Newsweek there is an article on Led Zeppelin titled "Zeppelin Files" written by Janet Maslin.

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Thank you for the informative response.

The premises have seen a few occupants come and go since 1980. Nowadays the building has been converted into loft apartments for rent. They don't seem to have an online listing yet, but the realtor is www.loftapartments.com at (UK) 220-7278-9888.

Edited by 1973fan

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I don't have it (yet) but in the June 20, 1977 issue of Newsweek there is an article on Led Zeppelin titled "Zeppelin Files" written by Janet Maslin.

I have that issue:

zepfilesnewsweek19771a1qn.th.jpg

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This story is easy to verify. Unity McLean owns a business about ten minutes from my house. Just have to ask her. If anyone is interested.

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I have that issue:

zepfilesnewsweek19771a1qn.th.jpg

Awesome! Thanks a million.

Edited to add: A watermark?! Seriously?

This story is easy to verify. Unity McLean owns a business about ten minutes from my house. Just have to ask her. If anyone is interested.

You could ask, but even if it happened it was over 30 years ago so she may not recall.

Edited by SteveAJones

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