Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Sign in to follow this  
Conneyfogle

Did Led Zeppelin Rip Off a Folk Singer?

Recommended Posts

^ Oh really!

On August 25, 1967 the Yardbirds caught an acoustic act fronted by Jake Holmes at the Village Theatre in New York's Greenwich Village. Holmes and his two sidemen played a song about a love affair gone dreadfully wrong. The song was called "Dazed & Confused." It's often been described as a song about a bad acid trip. Jake Holmes set this author straight in a 2001 interview.

"No, I never took acid. I smoked grass and tripped on it, but I never took acid. I was afraid to take it. The song's about a girl who hasn't decided whether she wants to stay with me or not. It's pretty much one of those love songs," Holmes explained.

Asked whether he remembered opening for the Yardbirds, Holmes laughed.

"Yes. Yes. And that was the infamous moment of my life when 'Dazed & Confused' fell into the loving arms and hands of Jimmy Page," he said.

With its descending bass line, jittery lyrics and dramatic caesuras, the Yardbirds knew they were onto something. The very next day Jim McCarty bought Holmes' album, The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes.

"We played with Jake in New York and I was struck by the atmosphere of 'Dazed and Confused.' I went down to Greenwich Village and bought his album and we decided to do a version," McCarty said. "We worked it out together with Jimmy contributing the guitar riffs in the middle. Don't you think he's the riff-master?"

Apparently, Page also bought the album the same day. According to Yardbirds historian Greg Russo, a certain John Alusick witnessed Jimmy Page purchasing it at Bleecker Bob's Record Store on Bleecker Street. The Yardbirds quickly set about adapting the song that had captured their collective imagination.

Yardbirds singer Keith Relf tinkered with the lyrics while drummer Jim McCarty and Jimmy Page expanded the song structure itself. The song stuck to the original arrangment until the bridge. Even at this point, the fret-tapping acknowledged Holmes' original. Then Page threw in some eerie effects, bowing his guitar like a violin. Whereas a violin's neck is curved, a guitar neck is flat. Consequently, Page was only able to bow a couple strings at a time to produce an bizzare melody. When he bowed all six strings, the effect was startling. Strange moaning and whooping sounds were produced. This was a gimmick he had incorporated into his bag of tricks back in his studio days. He had first used it on two tracks on the Little Games LP, "Glimpses" and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor."

http://www.furious.com/perfect/jimmypage.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try this

Nazareth

then this

Girls Aloud

or maybe this

next to this

It's absolutely everywhere. However, Jimmy could throw him a dollar or two. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask three people about the origins of The Yardbirds recording Holmes' song and you'll get three variations of the same story.

According to one, Chris Dreja attended Jake Holmes opening for Janis Ian at Cafe a Go Go in New York City in August '67 and enthusiastically decided right then they (The Yardbirds) must obtain right to record and perform 'Dazed And Confused'.

According to another, on August 25 1967 The Yardbirds were billed with two opening acts - Jake Holmes and The Youngbloods - for their Village Theater gig in NYC and Jim McCarty attended Holmes set. According to McCarty,

Page purchased his copy of 'The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes' after McCarty played the track from his copy.

Jimmy's take on it has already been presented in this thread.

Edited by SteveAJones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as I am a huge Led Zeppelin fan, I think this one was "borrowed", re-arranged and released with the same title. Since we're not privy to what actually went down conversation-wise between Jake and Jimmy regarding any arrangements, it looks like the courts will have to decide this one (unless they can come to some future agreement prior to the court date).

One listen to Jake's version recorded and released beforehand & you'll see...

now, the question really becomes, what is Jake's motive and motivation now to sue Mr. James Patrick Page? He could have done this many moons ago. (Headlines, get his name as a co-writer, get back at Jimmy, etc...???)

R B)

Edited by reids

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask three people about the origins of The Yardbirds recording Holmes' song and you'll get three variations of the same story.

According to one, Chris Dreja attended Jake Holmes opening for Janis Ian at Cafe a Go Go in New York City in August '67 and enthusiastically decided right then they (The Yardbirds) must obtain right to record and perform 'Dazed And Confused'.

According to another, on August 25 1967 The Yardbirds were billed with two opening acts - Jake Holmes and The Youngbloods - for their Village Theater gig in NYC and Jim McCarty attended Holmes set. According to McCarty,

Page purchased his copy of 'The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes' after McCarty played the track from his copy.

Jimmy's take on it has already been presented in this thread.

It would be nice to know, who those two people are, so that we could know how subjective they are, because perhaps they are huge zep fans and will protect zep for any cause! Jimmy's take on it is obviously not everything there is to it!

And those details really don't matter in this case. It doesn't matter who first bought the record and who said what. Jimmy wrote his name uder it and it's not completely fair, so let's see what the court has to say!

Edited by Matjaz1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice to know, who those two people are

Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He has no grounds. Led Zep's might have been inspired by it but plagiarism? No.

Couldn't disagree more. Compared to the other cases they lost like Whole Lotta Love, this is an easy win for Holmes. Page has played this tune going back to the Yardbird days and when it was recorded for LZ1 the lyrics were changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask three people about the origins of The Yardbirds recording Holmes' song and you'll get three variations of the same story.

According to one, Chris Dreja attended Jake Holmes opening for Janis Ian at Cafe a Go Go in New York City in August '67 and enthusiastically decided right then they (The Yardbirds) must obtain right to record and perform 'Dazed And Confused'.

According to another, on August 25 1967 The Yardbirds were billed with two opening acts - Jake Holmes and The Youngbloods - for their Village Theater gig in NYC and Jim McCarty attended Holmes set. According to McCarty,

Page purchased his copy of 'The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes' after McCarty played the track from his copy.

Jimmy's take on it has already been presented in this thread.

16-year-old Janis Ian actually played the Village Theater (soon-to-be Fillmore East)on August 5, 1967. Her three support acts that night were "The Association," "The Chrysalis," and "Jake Holmes." A review of the show stated that Jake Holmes' "offbeat approach to rock should bring recognition."

Just three weeks later, on August 25, 1967, Jake Holmes returned to the Village Theater, this time as a support act for The Yardbirds. Also on the bill was "The Youngbloods." The review of Jake Holmes' set was essentially a one-liner: "And a folk-rock specialist named Jake Holmes, who plays an unelectric guitar, sang Southern ballads." Two shows were performed that night, at 8:00 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.

Five days later, on August 30, 1967, Jake Holmes also supported Van Morrison at The Bitter End in NYC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I'm not sure how many of you have heard the Jake Holmes version. It's really good. It does not emphasize the bass line as the dominant melody, like the Yardbirds and Zep. Rather, it has the bass line but adds harmony instead of octave doubling. The arrangement is different. The words are different. The vibe is similar.

 I think, from JP's p.o.v, it's a gentleman's game, winner take all. Every time he loses, he pays in court. Page saw times when he thought he deserved more credit than he was getting, I am guessing. Like that Tom Jones song he plays on, or those very important Kinks guitar solos that changed everything. I imagine he thinks to himself, well, I didn't do well on "You really got me" but I'm coming up aces on "Dazed and Confused".  Why should he queer his game by giving credit where it is due? All my favorite musicians are standing on the shoulders of giants. I only know about Jake Holmes because the Yardbirds knew they were hearing something great, and they resonated it. Now it occupies a place in time it wouldn't have otherwise. Jake Holmes, plagiarized? Yes. Made less than whole, or degraded? Hell NO.  Would it have been nice for Page give credit where it was due? Yes. But it's a gentleman's game, and it's not nice.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think, from JP's p.o.v, it's a gentleman's game, winner take all. Every time he loses, he pays in court. Page saw times when he thought he deserved more credit than he was getting, I am guessing. Like that Tom Jones song he plays on, or those very important Kinks guitar solos that changed everything. I imagine he thinks to himself, well, I didn't do well on "You really got me" but I'm coming up aces on "Dazed and Confused". Why should he queer his game by giving credit where it is due? All my favorite musicians are standing on the shoulders of giants. I only know about Jake Holmes because the Yardbirds knew they were hearing something great, and they resonated it. Now it occupies a place in time it wouldn't have otherwise. Jake Holmes, plagiarized? Yes. Made less than whole, or degraded? Hell NO. Would it have been nice for Page give credit where it was due? Yes. But it's a gentleman's game, and it's not nice.

its a very different situation. page wasnt supposed to get credit for his the kinks/tom jones records (or all the others he played on) as he was hired to play on them as a session player. he wasnt hired to play on led zeppelin albums he presented them as being his own work. the argument is was page aware of jake holmes' version of D & C and was he influenced by it enough for holmes to receive a share of the credit. or more bluntly, did page straight out nick the idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd guess Page's thinking at the time would have been that if he acknowledged Holmes as a co aurthor he'd open himself up to potentially losing the song entirely. It wasnt afterall a track he'd desided to cover on short notice ala Hendrix All Long The Watchtower but rather something he'd put over a years work into devolping.

I think you also need to remember when this took place, as with copying Jansch and Baez's arrangements of Black Mount/Riverside and Babe I'm gonna leave you it was on there first album. Those are the situations where I think Zep were a bit naughty and used someone elses work(rather than quoting a few lyrics) to form a major part of there own but it wasnt the "millionare rock gods" the US media like to focus on but rather a young band struggling to start there career(even Page wasnt exactly "super rich" at that point).

Edited by greenman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd guess Page's thinking at the time would have been that if he acknowledged Holmes as a co aurthor he'd open himself up to potentially losing the song entirely. It wasnt afterall a track he'd desided to cover on short notice ala Hendrix All Long The Watchtower but rather something he'd put over a years work into devolping.

I think you also need to remember when this took place, as with doing copying Jansch and Baez's arrangements of Black Mount/Riverside and Babe I'm gonna leave you it was on there first album. Those are the situations where I think Zep were a bit naughty and used someone elses work(rather than quoting a few lyrics) to form a major part of there own but it wasnt the "millionare rock gods" the US media like to focus on but rather a young band struggling to start there career(even Page wasnt exactly "super rich" at that point).

Very perceptive post; I completely agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever Led Zeppelin took a lick it was from an obscure track of the music they enjoyed and they rearranged it .Whenever someone took a Led Zeppelin track is was a famous song made by them ,and not rearranged.I'll never forget what Alvin Lee of Ten Years After said " My father worked as a studio engineer,and he said nobody ripped off other musicians worse the Willie Dixon. Willie would come into the studio and say how he got this form that guy and talk about how if when he was a boy if they recorded the sounds that came from the older musicians he would have to give up many of his song credits". Everyone borrows its music,and Jimmy did borrow,but the song isnt the same.No pun intended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aceshowbiz : Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has been targeted in a copyright infringement lawsuit by an American folk singer, who alleges the band's hit single "Dazed and Confused" was illegally sampled from his earlier version.

In a Federal lawsuit obtained by TMZ.com, folk singer Jake Holmes claims he obtained a copyright for "Dazed and Confused" in 1967 two years before Led Zeppelin recorded their version of the song.

But, due to the statute of limitations, Holmes is only able to sue for damages from the last three years. Holmes wrote and recorded "Dazed and Confused" for his debut solo album "The Above Ground Sound", which was released in 1967.

Page reworked the song for The Yardbirds, and subsequently Led Zeppelin in 1968. Led Zeppelin hold a separate copyright, which the folk star now disputes.

http://foreign.peacefmonline.com/entertainment/201006/53239.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course Page is guilty. This is 1st grade Zep 101 history. They stole a lot of riffs and licks. Duh. What makes it funny is that it's actually taken as many fans as long as it has to start hearing the similarity in so many of the tunes.

Any way, it doesn't really matter that Holmes waited 40 years or if he's broke and just needs some money now. Doesn't make Jimmy any less guilty for the original theft. So, if anything, Page should be thanking Holmes for having waited so long. The amount of money that Holmes could make off Page now pales in comparison to what he could've made years ago. The reality is that Holmes' lawsuit is probably even going to boost sales of Zep's "Dazed and Confused" from people buying it to try and hear the similarity. It's win-win: Holmes gets his justice, and Page coughs up some cash as a form of penance while also making some more money off a 40 year old tune.

I really wish that Bert Jansch would step up to the legal plate and start claiming his bits as well, so that the scales can finally be balanced on all of this and we can get back to enjoying Zep for what it was, without all of the thefts going un-resolved. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp is Jansch's easy ticket into suing Page for ripping off Waggoner's Lad, since he can't exactly go after him cleanly for Black Mountainside. I say he should try to sue for both anyway. Too bad Davy Graham passed away when he did. He could've gotten in on it too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any way, it doesn't really matter that Holmes waited 40 years...

It does, that's why the law exists in the first place :P.

The all mighty dollar at its best. If those old blues artists thought they could make a good buck out of suing one another, they just might have. Jimmy still should've known better.

I wonder how long this whole process is going to take anyhow?

Edited by Yupter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course Page is guilty. This is 1st grade Zep 101 history. They stole a lot of riffs and licks. Duh. What makes it funny is that it's actually taken as many fans as long as it has to start hearing the similarity in so many of the tunes.

Any way, it doesn't really matter that Holmes waited 40 years or if he's broke and just needs some money now. Doesn't make Jimmy any less guilty for the original theft. So, if anything, Page should be thanking Holmes for having waited so long. The amount of money that Holmes could make off Page now pales in comparison to what he could've made years ago. The reality is that Holmes' lawsuit is probably even going to boost sales of Zep's "Dazed and Confused" from people buying it to try and hear the similarity. It's win-win: Holmes gets his justice, and Page coughs up some cash as a form of penance while also making some more money off a 40 year old tune.

I really wish that Bert Jansch would step up to the legal plate and start claiming his bits as well, so that the scales can finally be balanced on all of this and we can get back to enjoying Zep for what it was, without all of the thefts going un-resolved. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp is Jansch's easy ticket into suing Page for ripping off Waggoner's Lad, since he can't exactly go after him cleanly for Black Mountainside. I say he should try to sue for both anyway. Too bad Davy Graham passed away when he did. He could've gotten in on it too.

Since Jansch wrote neither Blackwaterside or Waggoner's lad how can he sue Page for them? Don't you have to be the original composer to do that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since Jansch wrote neither Blackwaterside or Waggoner's lad how can he sue Page for them? Don't you have to be the original composer to do that?

Right. That's why Jansch would probably have a hard time in court, and which might explain why he never went for it. Be an interesting try though. Even a casual listen to those two tunes reveals that Page nicked them clean. It's one thing to cover the same song and come up with something different. But in both cases Page nicked the arrangements and melodies that Jansch had come up with. Black Waterside was a vocal solo song which Bert made into a guitar solo, with all of these nice little unique licks. Page heard Jansch's guitar version and stole it completely, using all of the same unique licks and claiming them for his own. Same with Waggoner's Lad. Shameful thievery on both counts. But, that's Page for you. He stole stuff. A lot of stuff. Better that we all know about it and come to terms, rather than protest that Page was at all innocent. Accept and move on, I say. Easier to get back to the enjoyment of the total Zep package that way. Doesn't mean that the fellows that Page liberally stole from don't deserve their share of justice, no matter how long they've waited to come forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This claim has been reported on numerous occasions, but it doesn't pass the sniff test for several reasons:

1. Holmes made a VERY good living as a jingle writer. Anyone who grew up in the '70s and '80s will recognize some of the jingles that he wrote.

2. for a case as obvious as this, there should be no shortage of lawyers POUNDING ON HIS DOOR to work on contingency. There were literally millions of dollars at stake.

3. who says he needed to hire a lawyer in the first place? Anne Bredon never hired a lawyer. She simply contacted Jimmy and informed him that she was the correct author of BIGLY, and Jimmy immediately rectified the situation.

i'm with ya on this, swandown. anne bredon is a good example. if page's first exposure to the song was the joan baez version, even that record had the wrong credits for the first printings (traditional-arrangement baez). bredon got the credits fixed on both albums with a phone call...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why Holmes wait more than 40 years to suit Mr. Page? I think that if you note that somebody plagiarism you, inmediatly took action against who is doing the plagiarism and no 40 years later.

That's really hilarious and hope that Holmes get no $$$$.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why should they be sued for the intro to Stairway? It's only 3 chords and the notes are different. Stairway is an ascending arpeggio and Taurus is descending. Unless it can be proven that that chord progression was never played before Taurus was written (highly unlikely) what grounds for a lawsuit are there? The thing about the accusations of ripping off that annoys me is that if you know where to look most songs could be considered stolen. Art (music, literature, painting etc.) has been around for as long as we have been. Everything we see, hear and read are reinterpretations of what came before. The only originality is in new genres or in giving something a different twist. Zeppelin didn't do anything that every other band hasn't done themselves. I believe one of the biggest reasons Rock is essentially dead is that most of what could be reworked into new material has already been used. The main riff of Dazed was lifted from Jake Holmes so he should have been given partial songwriting credit (although Jimmy did come up with an entirely different song with the riff). Why did the dummy wait so long?

Randy's dead, i think that hardly Page receives a suit for the Stairway intro...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To play a portion of a theme (or 4 descending scale notes) of an unremarkable (IMO) song and turn it into a dynamic masterpiece so far removed from the "original" is, to me, like creating an entirely new song with simply a similar theme.

Similarly, to rework and drastically improve licks/riffs incorporated into songs that don't have a known composer seems like it would be well within any musician's rights.

I know very little about copyright laws, but in any case I hope 'karma' isn't so much a bitch to Jimmy -- maybe only a little grouchy at times. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is Jake Holmes suing, Yardbirds/Zep/Jimmy ?

He is suing (in order):

Jimmy Page (who claims authorship of the song in question)

Super Hype Publishing (the company that oversees royalties on the song)

Atlantic Records (which released the song on several albums)

Rhino Records (which released the song on "Mothership")

He's also suing 10 unnamed people who allegedly contributed to the infringement in one manner or another (Robert Plant? Peter Grant? Could be anyone I guess.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...