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Interview with EMI Engineer Ken Scott on Working With Jimmy and Jackie DeShannon


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Here's a bit of an excerpt:

In the book you described working on a session with songstress Jackie DeShannon featuring Jimmy Page on guitar. What was that session like and what was Jimmy like in those famous session days?

"He was a session musician and that was it. I found out subsequently that he was going to art school at the time so many of the sessions had to be worked around when he was available if you wanted to use him. He did so many sessions along with John Paul Jones who I did a lot of sessions with. I knew John from lots of sessions; I knew him better than I did Jimmy. Anyway, that whole Jackie DeShannon thing happened, I was the second engineer and it just stuck in my mind for whatever reason because I had never seen a session have to be broken for a tea break whilst the artist taught the guitarist how to play the part. Subsequently with Jimmy’s success with Led Zeppelin I thought to myself, hang on, this guy had to be taught by Jackie DeShannon!"

There is of course much more to that session that Ken goes into detail about, as well as his time engineering the Beatles, Bowie, Jeff Beck and Elton John.

http://findingzoso.blogspot.com/2012/12/ken-scott-interview.html

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I always take this forty year (or plus) recollections with a grain of salt. Considering DeShannon also played guitar, I find his comment a little odd...

Also: Does your blog not like IE? I can't read any of the interviews on it. :'(

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I was the second engineer and it just stuck in my mind for whatever reason because I had never seen a session have to be broken for a tea break whilst the artist taught the guitarist how to play the part. Subsequently with Jimmy’s success with Led Zeppelin I thought to myself, hang on, this guy had to be taught by Jackie DeShannon!"

http://findingzoso.b...-interview.html

Yes this comes off as sour grapes, or bitterness, or something "off." I have heard Jackie DeShannon describe this moment and she was always positive and complimentary of Jimmy. Now, I'm paraphrasing here, but she claimed that she had written a song and was very "protective" of the chords she came up with. But she had to show, not teach, show the session guitar player the chords so that he can play his part. She said Jimmy played the part better than she had written, called him a genius, and said she wasn't surprised he became who he became.

There's audio out there somewhere of her describing this moment. I can't search now, but later I will. It's a nice story.

Edited by crabbygirl
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Yes this comes off as sour grapes, or bitterness, or something "off." I have heard Jackie DeShannon describe this moment and she was always positive and complimentary of Jimmy. Now, I'm paraphrasing here, but she claimed that she had written a song and was very "protective" of the chords she came up with. But she had to show, not teach, show the session guitar player the chords so that he can play his part. She said Jimmy played the part better than she had written, called him a genius, and said she wasn't surprised he became who he became.

There's audio out there somewhere of her describing this moment. I can't search now, but later I will. It's a nice story.

Here's the rest of the anecdote from Ken to clear things up a bit:

"The great thing about doing the book for me was taking other people’s points of view about situations and finally finding out what the true story was. So for me being sixteen years old…maybe seventeen and completely new to recording it stood out that the artist had to teach a session musician how to play a part. Many years later I was invited to go see a movie and I saw on this list that Jackie was going to be there so I said to Bob Owsinski my co-writer, we have to go there, we have to corner her and find out if she remembers that. She actually remembered it very well if not slightly differently than me. After that it was like, okay we’ll put both sides of it in the book. It just so happened that a few months later that I was in England at an event and Jimmy was there so I had the opportunity to go up and say okay, ‘I’m writing this book, I got this story, do you remember the situation?’ He remembered it perfectly and he sort of brought together my side of it and Jackie’s side of it.

Essentially what happened was that he wasn’t a very good reader of music. Of course as a session music you’re given a sheet of music and are expected to play it. Well he was playing it as written but just wasn’t really feeling it. Turns out it wasn’t the notes she was teaching him, but rather the feel because it was a very rhythmic part. Quite often it’s very difficult to draw feeling from a piece of paper."

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Here's the rest of the anecdote from Ken to clear things up a bit:

"The great thing about doing the book for me was taking other people’s points of view about situations and finally finding out what the true story was. So for me being sixteen years old…maybe seventeen and completely new to recording it stood out that the artist had to teach a session musician how to play a part. Many years later I was invited to go see a movie and I saw on this list that Jackie was going to be there so I said to Bob Owsinski my co-writer, we have to go there, we have to corner her and find out if she remembers that. She actually remembered it very well if not slightly differently than me. After that it was like, okay we’ll put both sides of it in the book. It just so happened that a few months later that I was in England at an event and Jimmy was there so I had the opportunity to go up and say okay, ‘I’m writing this book, I got this story, do you remember the situation?’ He remembered it perfectly and he sort of brought together my side of it and Jackie’s side of it.

Essentially what happened was that he wasn’t a very good reader of music. Of course as a session music you’re given a sheet of music and are expected to play it. Well he was playing it as written but just wasn’t really feeling it. Turns out it wasn’t the notes she was teaching him, but rather the feel because it was a very rhythmic part. Quite often it’s very difficult to draw feeling from a piece of paper."

Ah, within the wider context, it comes across as much more benign. Thanks!

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Fair enough. But he did say "this guy had to be taught by Jackie DeShannon!" That comes off a bit rough.

Oh well, in any case, for the sake of completion, here's the interview I was talking about. The whole thing is interesting and I recommend a listen, but the Jimmy specific part comes in at 16:13. Enjoy. :)

http://www.iconfetch...-interview.html

Edit to add: But thank you Zosofan for your contribution and sharing your access to these amazing people. Go you! :you_rock:

Edited by crabbygirl
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