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Martin Barre, Jimmy Page and Jethro Tull’s Aqualung Solo.

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From August 2011 Guitarist Magazine:


Standing in the way of those performances (re: Jethro Tull's Aqualung) was a new studio that refused to co-operate. There were two rooms at the Island Studios facility on London's Basing Street: the big space upstairs and a smaller room downstairs. Tull had been put in the upstairs room because Zeppelin were camped out in the more intimate space below, working on what would become Led Zeppelin IV. While Tull regularly ran headfirst into technical problems and gear glitches, Zeppelin seemed to sail along with nary a niggle.

If you're thinking Jimmy Page cursed the upstairs tape machines, it didn't quite happen that way.

"We were in the big one upstairs and Zeppelin were in the basement, so we hardly ever saw them," says Barre. "We'd be in there for hours and hours on end and because there wasn't an area where you could go and have a cup of tea or a sandwich, you just stayed in the studio. You'd emerge in the middle of the night to go home and then come back in the morning again. It was new gear in a new studio. There were problems inherent with that and, unfortunately, you just had to deal with 'em."

There was one brief encounter between Martin and Jimmy. While Barre was cutting the solo for Aqualung, Page walked upstairs and – unknowingly – almost ruined the iconic solo that has become his touchstone moment. But again, Martin's determination won the day.

"I'm fairly sure it was the first or the second take when Jimmy Page walked into the control room," recalls Barre. "We hadn't zeen Zep for weeks on end and he came in and started waving in the moddle of the solo. I thought, Well, I really don't want to stop playing. So I just blanked him and carried on playing, and that was the solo we used."

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Talk about different perceptions! Ian Anderson has talked about this a few times, and the way he describes it Jimmy came and waved Martin on - and that became the version they used on the album. :)

Later, members of Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin argued and/or spoke rather disparagingly about the other a few times. So, as a fan of both bands, I am glad that these days Ian is talking about Zeppelin on an entirely different note, for instance in a recent BBC documentary about the British blues scene.

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