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

Because it wasn't. That is a fact. But you have no interest in debating that or admitting it.

Your argument has no merit because you apply a different standard to Jimmy Page than you apply to Bert Jansch. You just admitted that Jansch's song has something in common with Briggs' song, yet you say nothing about the fact that Jansch DID NOT CREDIT Briggs for any portion of his song. Yet you expect Page to give credit to Jansch, even though Jimmy did the exact same thing that Jansch did (i.e., incorporate his own elements into someone else's arrangement).

If you are arguing that Page is a bad guy because he stole from a thief, you're not going to get very far.

No, I'd like to hear your debate on it. How exactly do you come to the conclusion that Page didn't completely rip-off Jansch? There is measure upon measure of hammer-ons and pull-offs, fingerstyle picking, syncopated rhythms, unique melodies and motifs....none of which had appeared in Brigg's stripped-down folk version, but ALL of which appear note-for-note in Page's copy of Jansch. Seriously, I would love to hear your debate on that.

This isn't about some silly "different standard" either, because there isn't one. The same standard applies to all. Briggs credited her version as "Traditional", just as Jansch credited his version as "Traditional". Per the same standard, Page should have credited his version as "Traditional, arr. Bert Jansch" (which is the standard for copyright when you cover someone else's version of a traditional song). There was no theft between Briggs and Jansch, because they covered the same traditional song and credited it the proper way on record. Page comes along and instead of writing his own version, he just lifts Jansch's note-for-note, and then goes the extra step of claiming that he wrote the song himself, even going so far as changing one word in the name of the song. Genius.

Any claim that maybe Jansch was the one who stole anything is the same "Hey, if Page stole, maybe they ALL stole" argument. They didn't. Because, not only did Jansch not steal anything for his songs, he credited them all properly, and ended up being the one consistently stolen from. In the case of Black Waterside, the only way you'd be able to make any claim that Jansch stole anything is if: A) Jansch had completely copied Brigg's version + B ) Jansch credited the version he recorded as written by "Bert Jansch". He did neither.

Edited by cookieshoes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, actually.

But since you wanna play, please explain to me how say...Jimmy Page's "Black Mountainside" wasn't a direct note-for-note uncredited copy of Bert Jansch's "Black Waterside"?

Wasn't going to dispute that (and a couple of the others) but seeing as you feel 'Stairway' was 'stolen' I had to step in. No, the 'opening' of Stairway being similar (not stolen) to Taurus by Spirit does not mean the following 7 minutes of Stairway were stolen. Neither was the music and song construction of Whole Lotta Love. If you believe that then you must have been listening to that Howard Stern show a little too much.

As for Babe I'm Gonna Leave you, I always thought that Pagey just credited himself with the 'arrangement' of that song and the writing was credited as 'traditional'. How on earth can you call that a steal? Even when Page credits it as 'trad' you still call him a thief???????? :o

Zep's version of Babe I'm Gonna Leave You was an original Page arrangement. It doesn't sound like the previous versions.

Edited by Mangani

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-RKGrmcess

I've been listening to Bert Jansch recently think this song sounds like "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" minus vocals. If you're a fan of folk Led Zep check him out.

I just hear an influence. I don't think Bron-Y-Aur Stomp really 'sounds' like it. To be honest that sounds like a typical slice of British folk...which Bron-Y-Aur Stomp also sounds like. There are lots of folks songs from Britain which have a similar vibe and did so before either LZ or Jansch came along respectively. British fok has been around for centuries and in fact is a major influence on American country music.

I know you aren't saying it ( :) ) but before anyone else says it, no Bron-Y-Aur Stomp is by no means stolen from that Jansch song. No more than Alice in Chains with I Stay Away or Stone Temple Pilots with Interstate Love Song 'stole' from Zeppelin's version of Travelling Riverside Blues.

There is a difference between influence/homage and outright theft. :)

Edited by Mangani

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I'd like to hear your debate on it. How exactly do you come to the conclusion that Page didn't completely rip-off Jansch? There is measure upon measure of hammer-ons and pull-offs, fingerstyle picking, syncopated rhythms, unique melodies and motifs....none of which had appeared in Brigg's stripped-down folk version, but ALL of which appear note-for-note in Page's copy of Jansch. Seriously, I would love to hear your debate on that.

First, Bert Jansch is not as original as you might think. True, his picking and rhythms are quite unique -- but listen carefully and you will notice that they are ALL based on Anne Briggs' melody. (And by the way, Briggs INVENTED that melody. It did not exist on the earlier recordings of the song from the 1940s and 1950s.) Jansch may have played those guitar parts in a very inventive manner, but technically speaking he did not "write" them. That's not how songwriting works.

So, now we get to Jimmy's version. Assuming that Jimmy had seen the Jack Orion album, he would have noticed that Jansch did not credit Briggs (even though Jansch had admitted that he learned the song from Briggs, as had Page.) So if Jansch did not credit Briggs, then it was perfectly reasonable for Page to carry on that tradition by not crediting Jansch.

Obviously, you believe that Jimmy's version is a note-for-note copy of Jansch's version. All I can say to that is that you should give it a closer listen. There are clear differences. Jimmy added to Jansch's arrangement, just as Jansch had added to Briggs' arrangement. And once you've added something new to a traditional song's arrangement -- however small that addition might be -- then the song becomes yours. It was absolutely appropriate for Page to claim the copyright for his version of that song.

We can debate about how much of Zep's arrangement is new and how much is from Jansch, but ultimately that is irrelevant when it comes to publishing and royalties: Jimmy made changes, therefore Jimmy gets 100% of the royalties. Period. If you want to argue a moral obligation on Jimmy's part, then you must admit that Jansch had the same moral obligation -- and that the entire system must be corrupt because nobody else did it that way.

Finally, let's address the fact that Jimmy credited himself as songwriter instead of crediting it as "Trad." Guess what? There's no difference!! The royalties are calculated exactly the same whether the song is credited to "Page" or "Trad". (If you don't believe me, feel free to check the ASCAP and BMI archives. You'll find hundreds of traditional songs that are credited to an individual instead of "Trad.") And since Jansch did not write the song, and since no one owned the copyright to the song itself, no one was being deprived of royalties.

Addendum: if Jansch was truly being deprived of his rightful royalties, then surely he would have filed (and won) a lawsuit. It's true that he considered a lawsuit in 1969, but supposedly abandoned it over financial concerns. But that was a time when royalties were only 2 cents per song (and the first album had only sold a few thousand copies.) But if he had such a strong case, why didn't he revisit the matter in 1978 when royalties were increased to 7 cents per song (and the first album had gone multi-platinum). I'll tell you why: because Jansch had no case.

It's easy for Jansch to save face by moaning that he didn't have enough money to go head-to-head with the big-bad Zeppelin juggernaut. But history has proven that the truth will set you free: those who are rightful owners of a song's copyright have been properly compensated (Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Anne Bredon, etc.) Those who have no case are left to create fanciful stories about being strong-armed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cookieshoes, on 03 August 2010 - 07:21 AM, said:

But there are no fewer than 20 Zep songs that have lifts of music and/or lyrics from other groups' work.

This is just a lie, plain and simple.

You're right 'swandown' its more like 50. :o

Regards, Danny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question...When Jimmy releases his new album...Say he revamps a few songs he was working on 20 yrs ago...

Like a Domino that sounds like an embrio <sp> or something like this...

Who should he credit them to? Puff doodie?

I mean, they are 20 yrs old, and he is presenting them as new...What does this make him?

A THIEF right? Releasing 20 yr old songs as new? Who does this type of thing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Contemplate this.

The Irish Mason who carved the Sphinx, did he give credit to the man who invented the Hammer and the Chisel?

I think not.

Did the Irish Lumberjack give credit to the man who invented the Axe as he took down the last Tree in the Sahara Forest?

Not on your Nelly.

What i am trying to say is this, if you have to give credit to someone everytime you do something "New" then I'm sure not much would ever get done, because what is "New" to "Our Generation" is "Old" to another "Generation". ;)

Regards, Danny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am just happy Jimmy did not invent the internet. Al Gore would be throwing a fit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rip-off is such a nasty word, borrow is so much nicer. :)

I believe it was Picasso that said: "Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rip-off is such a nasty word, borrow is so much nicer. :)

I believe it was Picasso that said: "Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."

I thought it was: "Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was: "Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal."

You know, I do believe you are right. That phrase popped into my head when I saw this thread and in my haste, I remembered it wrong. Thanks for setting the record straight.

(still a great quote IMO!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an interview with Jake Holmes. Obviously, there is a gag on him talking about the case, but he explains why he is now pursuing it. I have underlined the important part of the interview.

http://www.examiner.com/led-zeppelin-in-national/far-from-dazed-and-confused-an-interview-with-jake-holmes

Far from Dazed and Confused: An Interview with Jake Holmes

  • October 25th, 2010 2:18 pm ET

During the 60s, there was a plethora of folk singer/songwriters, so many that they carved out their own sub-genre in rock. One of the most talented and relevant to emerge was Jake Holmes, a folk-rockster with a comedy edge. Starting out at the Bitter End as part of a parody duo, he artfully went from writing parodies to penning sincere ballads for the Four Seasons and Frank Sinatra.Recently buzz has been going around about his suing Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page for what became one of Zepp's signature songs, "Dazed and Confused." Jake took the time to speak with Examiner.com about his career and where he's at now.

Examiner: What first piqued your interest in music?

Jake Holmes: When I was about ten, there was a kid who used to come over to our house. He played some things. Then my sister had a friend who I had a crush on. She played the baritone ukulele. I wrote a song about her.

Examiner: What was the first song you sold?

JH: My wife Katherine and I were part of an experimental lyric opera theater. Fred Weintraub, owner of The Bitter End, paid us for one song, he liked it. He asked us to do five or six more for the bill.

Examiner: How do you think your music reflected the times?

JH: Katherine and I had an act, Allen & Grier, and we did a parody of folk artists. We were comedians as well as musicians. The lyrics were more important to us than the music. We had a song, "Basketball Bill," it was about a scandal at the time. That was the kind of stuff we did. We also did a work song, like a chain gang song, about working in a diner...!

Examiner: How did you get hooked up with the Four Seasons?

JH: We had the same manager. They wanted to do something more serious, hipper; they wanted to have a Sgt. Pepper's. I remember I'd be standing outside the Bitter End with my comedian buddies. A limo would come to pick me up at the Bitter End to go work with Bob. The guys would be standing there with their mouths open!

Examiner: What was it like working with Bob Gaudio compared to working solo?

JH: He'd do the music, then I'd have to do the lyrics. I was used to doing both at the same time. With him, I had to bend the music to fit the words. There was always a nice New Jersey crowd around when we worked, too. (laughs) I remember this one guy showed me a stereo system in the trunk of his car. They warned me never to play ping pong with him because he'd been in jail and was a pro at playing...! Bob kept asking Sinatra to come over to the house. Once, Sinatra called on a Monday and said he'd be over on Saturday. But there was no pool! How could you have Sinatra over without a pool? (chuckles) Bob had his buddies dig a hole that week for a pool. All of the blow dryers were out that Friday night, trying to dry that thing up! (laughs) Of course, Sinatra called on Saturday and said he couldn't make it!

Examiner: What was the most difficult song to do on Sinatra's Watertown album?

JH: That was so long ago, I don't remember any of the songs being difficult to do. One that wasn't on the original album, that somehow slipped out, was "Lady Day," which was about Billie Holiday.

Examiner: How did you get into doing jingles?

JH: HEA Productions asked me to do an anti-drug public service announcement. I ended up working with Carly Simon on a lot of anti-war jingles.

Examiner: Do you have a songwriting process?

JH: I throw down a lot on paper and on tape. Sometimes while I'm practicing on the guitar, I'll think of a song. At a certain point, I got used to writing on demand. I developed a habit of writing like I hired myself! I also like to write about things that affect me emotionally.

Examiner: How did you start working with Harry Belafonte? What projects did you work on with him?

JH: Bob Freedman had me record a song for Harry. Harry liked it, performed it. So I started writing for him. He'd heard Paul Simon's Graceland and wanted to do something similar but couldn't go to South Africa, so he sent me and his musical director. I have to admit...I was a little scared! I thought I was going to get arrested...a white guy traveling in South Africa with a black guy. But little did I know they didn't care. Anti-apartheid lit was available...if you looked for it, it wasn't easily accessible. The trick was that the main newspapers, the government-owned papers, were a clutter of banality. Kind of similar to what we have here! (laughs) If you wanted the Soweto Times, you had to really go to great lengths.

Examiner: How did Dangerous Times come about? What's your favorite song on the album?

JH: It was just an album I wanted to do. I got a few guys together at my house and we did it. Richard Bona, Tony Levin. I'd say "The Wall," which is acapella, is probably my favorite off that album. It's about Vietnam.

Examiner: Who are some of your favorite current day musicians?

JH: Too many to mention! Off the top of my head, I'd have to say Richard Bona. Back when I was first starting out, I used to think there wasn't that much talent out there. Boy, was I wrong! In the jingle world, I worked with Will Lee and Ira Siegel, great musicians. Made me think my skills were really limited. I really like world music. I used to think it was simple but it's far from that. Many of the African musicians are well-schooled and well-versed...what they do takes a high level of musicianship. I really like Berto Gismonti, who's from Brazil. I don't know what's happening with current music, with this auto-tune and fake R&B, but the center of music is no longer in the U.S. The problem is most of the music is in another language and this country is very insular. It kind of feels like the 50s now, with pop at the top, but all of the wonderful music underneath.

Examiner: What's happening with your "Dazed and Confused" lawsuit?

JH: We're suing, that's about all I can say...there's a gag on it.

Examiner: What made you decide to sue now, after all this time?

JH: There was a change in the law, a precedent was set with the "Whiter Shade of Pale" case. My lawyers thought it was time and apparently I have a strong case.

Examiner: You've seen the music industry change since you first started. Do you think it's been for better or worse?

JH: I think for the better. Less demand on the creator to make big bucks. Everybody can perform, there are so many outlets. Musicians are no longer limited. In the past, the record companies made most of the money. I for one am not sorry to see them fade away. I have never made it a secret that they've often pissed me off...I've been ripped off a few times. Now artists can make money independently of them. Tom Rush, Ani DiFranco...they make the system work for them. I remember when Luther Vandross was dropped from his label, I suggested to him that he start his own label. When I wrote for Clive Davis, I felt like my writing was being twisted because I was supposed to be writing hits, not what I wanted to write. There are lots of ways for singers and songwriters to make money now. Most true musicians don't do it for the money, they do it because they love it. When I did slam poetry, it was a great way for me to express myself, I loved it.

Examiner: What advice would you give up-and-coming musicians?

JH: Don't expect to make a living on it. Be able to hammer a nail or do retail, doing your music on the side! (laughs) I have some friends in the business who are in it to make money. Now that's a different question, with a different answer. But, if you love it, you'll do what you have to do to do it.

Examiner: What are you currently working on?

JH: Working on a musical with Sam and David Buskin about Baby Boomers. Also, my producing partner, Amanda Homi, and I are working on a travel series and DVD project. And, of course, writing songs!

"Be all you can be" is one of the catchy, ingrained-in-your-memory jingles that Jake crafted in the 70s. Seems the artist has indeed taken his own words to heed. Politically active, a promoter of world music, and a prolific songwriter who's true to his art and himself, this 60s folk journeyman is on a road less traveled, but well paved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rip-off is such a nasty word, borrow is so much nicer. :)

I believe it was Picasso that said: "Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."

He wants to get the credit. If it had been about the money, when Led Zeppelin first put out compact discs, he would've done it then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As is the norm every time this subject comes up, there are views all over the board, but most don't address the issue at hand. The question is simple: Is Jimmy Page's version of "Dazed" similar enough to Jake Holmes' version - which preceded it - to warrant Holmes deserving full or partial songwriting credit. There are 2 possible scenarios: Page came up with his version completely coincidentally and independently of Holmes, and therefore there is no case. Or Page heard Holmes' version, and appropriated it for his own use. Since it is known that the Yardbirds and Holmes played gigs at the same place on the same night, and the other Yardbirds have admitted that they ran right out and bought the album to learn the song, pretty much blows up the validity of scenario #1.

I think I've laid out some pretty reasoned arguments, and I welcome debate. But we tend not to get much of that on this subject. It's always diversionary arguments and ad hominem attacks on Holmes like "why is he waiting until now?", "he must need money", "it's just haters hating again", or the good old "all blues musicians 'borrow'". I can only speak for myself, but I'm certainly no hater. And what motivation Holmes had or why he's waited is irrelevant. Just looking at the facts as I know them, and making the call that "Dazed and Confused" should have been a "Holmes/Page" composition from day 1.

And as I've said before on this subject, we're not just talking about ONE song here. Holmes would be entitled to royalties from all releases of the song, which would include:

Led Zeppelin I

The Song Remains The Same (film)

The Song Remains The Same (soundtrack)

Boxed Set

Remasters (2 disc set)

Early Days

Mothership

Complete Studio Recordings

BBC Sessions (x 2)

How The West Was Won

DVD (x 4)

Definitive Collection (x 2)

That's SEVENTEEN released versions of the song. What's right is right - give the man his money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As is the norm every time this subject comes up, there are views all over the board, but most don't address the issue at hand. The question is simple: Is Jimmy Page's version of "Dazed" similar enough to Jake Holmes' version - which preceded it - to warrant Holmes deserving full or partial songwriting credit. There are 2 possible scenarios: Page came up with his version completely coincidentally and independently of Holmes, and therefore there is no case. Or Page heard Holmes' version, and appropriated it for his own use. Since it is known that the Yardbirds and Holmes played gigs at the same place on the same night, and the other Yardbirds have admitted that they ran right out and bought the album to learn the song, pretty much blows up the validity of scenario #1.

I think I've laid out some pretty reasoned arguments, and I welcome debate. But we tend not to get much of that on this subject. It's always diversionary arguments and ad hominem attacks on Holmes like "why is he waiting until now?", "he must need money", "it's just haters hating again", or the good old "all blues musicians 'borrow'". I can only speak for myself, but I'm certainly no hater. And what motivation Holmes had or why he's waited is irrelevant. Just looking at the facts as I know them, and making the call that "Dazed and Confused" should have been a "Holmes/Page" composition from day 1.

And as I've said before on this subject, we're not just talking about ONE song here. Holmes would be entitled to royalties from all releases of the song, which would include:

Led Zeppelin I

The Song Remains The Same (film)

The Song Remains The Same (soundtrack)

Boxed Set

Remasters (2 disc set)

Early Days

Mothership

Complete Studio Recordings

BBC Sessions (x 2)

How The West Was Won

DVD (x 4)

Definitive Collection (x 2)

That's SEVENTEEN released versions of the song. What's right is right - give the man his money.

Mattmc1973,

I agree with your argument above. If you will forgive me for going 'diversionary' for a moment when I say that Jimmy hasn't exactly been backward at coming forward when he perceives his own legal rights as being infringed. Take for example, the bootleg DVD case in Glasgow Sheriff Court a few years back when he appeared as a prosecution witness. Also, the case involving his next door neighbour in the Windsor area over the trees - the elderly neighbour would be left in financial straits as a consequence of the litigation continuing.

To come back to the topic, Jimmy looks set to lose more than money through the Holmes affair - there is the question of his reputation, particularly as he has been hinting at new material for some time now, and not, so far, delivering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mattmc1973,

I agree with your argument above. If you will forgive me for going 'diversionary' for a moment when I say that Jimmy hasn't exactly been backward at coming forward when he perceives his own legal rights as being infringed. Take for example, the bootleg DVD case in Glasgow Sheriff Court a few years back when he appeared as a prosecution witness. Also, the case involving his next door neighbour in the Windsor area over the trees - the elderly neighbour would be left in financial straits as a consequence of the litigation continuing.

To come back to the topic, Jimmy looks set to lose more than money through the Holmes affair - there is the question of his reputation, particularly as he has been hinting at new material for some time now, and not, so far, delivering.

Hi Kenog,

The Glasgow Sheriff case is a good example of the Double Standards of Jimmy and His management, the Next Door Neighbour Case is not. His neighbour took the case to court and lost and in the process he nearly bankrupted himself, that's his own fault, I personally would had either cut down the offending trees or poisoned them with copper nails, yes even if it was Jimmy Page, silly old sods. :o:lol:

Regards, Danny

PS, It takes a Thief to catch a Thief, and Mr Page sure employs enough of them. :o;):lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kenog,

The Glasgow Sheriff case is a good example of the Double Standards of Jimmy and His management, the Next Door Neighbour Case is not. His neighbour took the case to court and lost and in the process he nearly bankrupted himself, that's his own fault, I personally would had either cut down the offending trees or poisoned them with copper nails, yes even if it was Jimmy Page, silly old sods. :o:lol:

Regards, Danny

PS, It takes a Thief to catch a Thief, and Mr Page sure employs enough of them. :o;):lol:

Hi BIGDAN,

I don't want to go too far off topic, but I see what you mean about the neighbour - I can't remember all the dreary details. The point I should have perhaps made was that I think there was an opportunity for the tree dispute to have been sorted out of court, and Jimmy wasn't compliant.:(

To get back on topic, IMHO the best thing JP could do is settle out of court, as has happened before, and thereby salvage some of his reputation. Any litigation in this matter will be reported worldwide and diminish his reputation at a stage in his life and career when reputation is so important. I bet JP is cringeing at the prospect of having to hand over any money, when you take into account he has had a couple of divorce settlements to fund, a large family to upkeep and he hasn't toured or recorded a new album in a long time. Litigation in the US courts is prohibitively expensive.:o

Do correct me if I am wrong, but hasn't Jimmy always let it be known that he goes into record shops when overseas to specifically see if there are any LZ bootlegs. Double standards indeed. :yesnod:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi BIGDAN,

I don't want to go too far off topic, but I see what you mean about the neighbour - I can't remember all the dreary details. The point I should have perhaps made was that I think there was an opportunity for the tree dispute to have been sorted out of court, and Jimmy wasn't compliant.:(

To get back on topic, IMHO the best thing JP could do is settle out of court, as has happened before, and thereby salvage some of his reputation. Any litigation in this matter will be reported worldwide and diminish his reputation at a stage in his life and career when reputation is so important. I bet JP is cringeing at the prospect of having to hand over any money, when you take into account he has had a couple of divorce settlements to fund, a large family to upkeep and he hasn't toured or recorded a new album in a long time. Litigation in the US courts is prohibitively expensive.:o

Do correct me if I am wrong, but hasn't Jimmy always let it be known that he goes into record shops when overseas to specifically see if there are any LZ bootlegs. Double standards indeed. :yesnod:

Hi Kenog,

I remember the TV News interview Jimmy did at the time of the dispute, and I had the impression that He was willing to negotiate but His neighbour was not, could be wrong about that though as only one side of the story was ever told.

If JP goes in to record shop anywhere in the world with the sole reason to have the bootlegs removed or litigation will follow then HE needs to get a LIFE and do what HE is BEST at, Playing Guitar, leave the rest to other better qualified people to do.

Peter Grant was the man who used to do this especially in London, which is why I had to send off to America for most of my Bootlegs. :o

Remember in the film TSRTS where Robert is being interviewed and someone lets it be known that "Those Photos" are being sole illegally at the gig, and He, RP, turns round and says, "Oh no not again? I think WE should become Pirates" well Robert guess what? you all are" PIRATES" whatever way you cut it, everyone has the same agenda in mind whether in the Music or any other Business, they are a bunch of Thieving, Cut Throat, Money Grabbing and Glory Hunting SOABs, in my honest and humble opinion. :o;):lol:

Regards, Danny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't even think settling with Holmes would do much to his reputation. Page's supporters will still love him, those who think he's a rip-off artist will still think so. I don't think much will change. As long as he's contrite, and simply says something like "it was 40 years ago, and though it turned into a much different song and I'm proud of it, I probably should have given Jake Holmes proper credit for the original".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are 2 possible scenarios: Page came up with his version completely coincidentally and independently of Holmes, and therefore there is no case. Or Page heard Holmes' version, and appropriated it for his own use. Since it is known that the Yardbirds and Holmes played gigs at the same place on the same night, and the other Yardbirds have admitted that they ran right out and bought the album to learn the song, pretty much blows up the validity of scenario #1.

I think you're omitting several possible scenarios, of which I will list four:

1. that Jim McCarty and Keith Relf heard the song first, then brought it to Page without telling him the source. (This theory is supported by the fact that for years McCarty claimed that HE was the one who discovered the song, and he didn't start claiming that Jimmy was involved until 1999.)

2. that Page subconsciously overheard bits of Holmes' performance while he was backstage, and those bits were unknowingly incorporated into a song that Jimmy was writing, which turned into "Dazed And Confused" once McCarty and Relf got involved. (That's basically the same argument that George Harrison used for "My Sweet Lord".)

3. that Page thought it was a traditional blues song.

4. that Holmes gave (or sold) the rights to Page in the '60s.

Now, those scenarios may all seem far-fetched, but they're all within the realm of possibility and I think it shows that the situation isn't as "black-or-white" as it's been made to appear.

Edited by swandown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're omitting several possible scenarios, of which I will list four:

1. that Jim McCarty and Keith Relf heard the song first, then brought it to Page without telling him the source. (This theory is supported by the fact that for years McCarty claimed that HE was the one who discovered the song, and he didn't start claiming that Jimmy was involved until 1999.)

2. that Page subconsciously overheard bits of Holmes' performance while he was backstage, and those bits were unknowingly incorporated into a song that Jimmy was writing, which turned into "Dazed And Confused" once McCarty and Relf got involved. (That's basically the same argument that George Harrison used for "My Sweet Lord".)

3. that Page thought it was a traditional blues song.

4. that Holmes gave (or sold) the rights to Page in the '60s.

Now, those scenarios may all seem far-fetched, but they're all within the realm of possibility and I think it shows that the situation isn't as "black-or-white" as it's been made to appear.

Fair enough, let's look at a couple of these scenarios. I'm not a lawyer, so I honestly don't know the legal implications of each.

#1 - what is the law with respect to a "stolen song, once-removed" defense? "I didn't steal it, my band mates did and then gave it to me without telling me, and it went on to sell a bizzilion copies". That defense acknowledges that it is Holmes' song, and not Page's, but that he's not "responsible". Does that legally hold water? I honestly don't know. In the end it's still a song that has been on an ass-load of Page's albums but was written by Holmes. Seems like he's entitled nonetheless.

#2 doesn't seem to hold water either. It's basically saying "yes, I was at a gig the same night as Holmes and went on to write a very similar song to one he played that night, but I didn't consciously rip him off, I must have sub-consiously absorbed his song." Again, I doubt that would hold any water legally. It's still acknowledging that it was Holmes' song.

#3 - being the blues scholar that Page is, especially back then, I doubt very much he thought it was an old blues song. He's never said as much...he's never said, "nah, it's not Jake Holmes' song originally, it's an old traditional blues song".

#4 - There's no evidence of any arrangement made back then. In an interview I read with Page, the interviewer said Page got annoyed and uncomfortable with the subject when asked, basically saying "what's he (Holmes) claiming, that he wrote the riff or whatever?" That doesn't indicate to me that they came to an agreement in the 60's. They would both just say, "yes, we settled this issue a long time ago".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides, the question of whether Jimmy "appropriated" the song is just part of the issue here. Because even if Jimmy was "guilty" of taking credit, there are at least 2 other parties who should share the blame:

1. Atlantic Records. They approved the songwriting credit. Record labels employed staffers whose sole job was to verify songwriting credits, and yet they allowed this one to slip through.

2. Jake Holmes. Because it's his responsibility to speak up if he feels that his copyright was infringed upon. Otherwise, why shouldn't Jimmy assume that Holmes approves?

It's not Jimmy's responsibility to voluntarily change a songwriting credit.

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...