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  
curseddiamond

Is Jimmy 'not up to it'?

Recommended Posts

Arthur Rubenstein still played piano professionally when he was in his early ninties and nearly blind. The cream of the cream classical musician is their instrument. For them to stop playing would be as painful as losing an arm for example.

Page stopped actively performing at 55. As such all of these comparisons to elderly musicians may foster hope for the future but the reality is I have seen no evidence whatsoever to suggest he's prepared to attempt at 71 what he hasn't been doing for nearly 15 years.

The French telecast suggests he's at least 4 to 6 months from being able to perform publicly without embarrassing himself. It's the same time he needed in 2007. In other words, he'll be approaching 72 before he can even think about doing another proper full length concert.

Anything beyond the odd jam in 2015 is highly unlikely.

Edited by SteveAJones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In just about every recent interview, Jimmy says he has the intention to be playing again next year......

I hope he is not putting himself with his back against the wall..... I somehow hope he'll do it, but the chance of it actually happening is very small........

But..., is Jimmy up to it, playing gigs again? Something tells me, he hasn't been playing for a VERY long time.

If he wants to play again and is serious about it, it will take a lot of training and practice to get back in shape. (Wich off course also will take time...).

Can he do it? I am likely to say yes, under the condition that he is given the time to get in shape.........

I also saw the French interview, while it was good to see him with a guitar in his hands again (even if it was only a short snippet...), the reality is that it also

showed he is certainly not in top form and will need to work hard to get in top form.......

"So dear Jimmy, if you indeed are serious about playing live next year, please make sure you start a proper training and practice routine....."

As I play the guitar myself, I know that playing such an instrument is not only a matter of musicality, it also takes physical (hands, fingers, wrist) training to

play the guitar with fluidity... You need to practice (finger exersises, arpeggio's and scales) to keep up that physical skill....

Maaike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In just about every recent interview, Jimmy says he has the intention to be playing again next year......

I hope he is not putting himself with his back against the wall..... I somehow hope he'll do it, but the chance of it actually happening is very small........

But..., is Jimmy up to it, playing gigs again? Something tells me, he hasn't been playing for a VERY long time.

If he wants to play again and is serious about it, it will take a lot of training and practice to get back in shape. (Wich off course also will take time...).

Can he do it? I am likely to say yes, under the condition that he is given the time to get in shape.........

I also saw the French interview, while it was good to see him with a guitar in his hands again (even if it was only a short snippet...), the reality is that it also

showed he is certainly not in top form and will need to work hard to get in top form.......

"So dear Jimmy, if you indeed are serious about playing live next year, please make sure you start a proper training and practice routine....."

As I play the guitar myself, I know that playing such an instrument is not only a matter of musicality, it also takes physical (hands, fingers, wrist) training to

play the guitar with fluidity... You need to practice (finger exersises, arpeggio's and scales) to keep up that physical skill....

Maaike

To chime in here - and as I've been playing guitar for over 37 years, I believe that I know what I am talking about - but Page has never been one to practice arpeggios or scales and has admitted this in Guitar World interviews dating back to the 1980's. In one interview he said that instead of practicing scales he would rather create and write something.

Now to some of the other posts in here... while I have the utmost respect for you Steve, it wouldn't take Jimmy 4-6 months to get back on top of his game. I know, from my own personal experience, that it would probably take him about three weeks of playing - provided he was playing about 5-6 hours a day - to get back to where everyone feels that he should be at.

Once you've been playing an instrument as long as Jimmy has, so many things are just ingrained in you and they never leave. Yes, you have to practice - or jam with someone - to keep those skills at a high level, but 4-6 months is taking things to an extreme. The other thing that I think people are missing is that Jimmy has been working on the Zeppelin re-issues and that takes a lot of time just sitting and listening and remixing and all of that time takes him away from being able to just sit and play a guitar.

Jimmy just did that interview with Chris Cornell and it's been said that the two are going to work togther in 2015. Okay... so let's say that Jimmy has 40 song ideas - some may be fully developed while others may be riffs or chord progressions that will change when a singer gets involved. So on some ideas where Jimmy plays a certain riff four times, Chris may say: 'Why don't you play that six times and then go to the change...' So song ideas get developed with the help of someone else who is on the same page as he is and being the brilliant writer that he is, he may have some pieces that are fully developed and exactly as he wants them and all Chris would have to do is come up with the vocal melody and lyrics.

Now if - and that's a huge if - but if Jimmy is at that point, and he and Chris were to schedule studio time for February, it's only November now, that would give him plenty of time to get his chops back and then he would also have a bassist and a drummer, perhaps a pianist/keyboardist too, and the jamming that would happen in the studio would only help further his skills to being worthy of playing live.

So... if they went into the studio in February and have 10-14 songs written and ready to record, say it takes them two months to record the album, then the album is mixed and finally gets released in say July, and then a tour begings shortly after that release. That would be 8+ months from now and Page would have had ample time to get his playing back at a high level. I think the best he's been since Zeppelin ended was when he was working with David Coverdale. He was inspired by him and brought some great music to the table and was also inspired by what David brought to the table. Don't Leave Me This Way was written by David and so was the acoustic opening of Pride & Joy. Jimmy got turned on by what David wrote and then unleashed that mighty riff and the song became a classic.

It's funny... but being a guitarist can leave a person feeling very low - if there's nobody around to help you take your ideas and fully develop them - or it can be a high that is so amazing when you do find that person and suddenly, ideas just start popping out of your head like crazy. This is what happened when he worked with Coverdale.

So, I'm sorry, but there's no way he would need 4-6 months just to get back in top form. If he and Cornell are serious and do plan on working together as in a new album, they could start writing very soon and Jimmy would have ample time to be ready to record in February. If they didn't hit the studio until March or April, that's even more time.

I think two things have happened to Jimmy - one, he was busy doing all the re-issues and two, when he realized that Robert wasn't going to do the Zeppelin thing again, I think part of him finally accepted that and probably he stopped playing on a daily basis. As far as that video goes, I agree that he shouldn't have needed a pick, he was just strumming chords, but he asked for one anyway. Fine. I would agree though that being presented with a guitar that he's never played can be very dicey.

It's happened to me at parties, someone will say: 'That guy plays guitar, let's have him play some tunes.' And they'll hand me something that has the action set way too high and it can be very unnerving. There's so much that goes into playing the guitar and despite what people may think, every guitar is different in some way. The set-up of the guitar is one of the most crucial things, and every guitar player that I have known likes their guitar set-up a certain way. It's an individual thing.

Just based on that video, I wouldn't say that Page is a year away from playing out. He thought he was just going there to do an interview, then they surprise him with a guitar and, as has been noted, he was a good sport about it, played briefly and probably knew that he was going to be rusty because he hasn't been playing that much lately.

But I also know the way Jimmy is when he's inspired and if he and Cornell do work together and Chris brings out something in Jimmy like Coverdale did, then Jimmy will certainly rise to the occasion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw an ad for a contraption that was meant to allow guitar players with sore fingertips a way to practice. I believe I had clicked on an image ad for Scarlett Page that led to her FB page. This contraption basically adapted the guitar to an autoharp kind of situation, where your fingers push down plastic buttons and mechanical fingers push down on the strings. It looked a little bulky, but I thought that might help one keep finger strength and dexterity while saving some fingertip cartilige for the paying gigs. Honestly I could want one myself. I did think tho, what was this ad doing on Scarlett Page's website? I hope the product makes it to market. Missing the crap out of studio Jimmy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Page: "I can't play that...I can't play that" on the 2nd guitar handed to him.

Its obvious he doesn't want to play on an acoustic ever again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hasn't he fully admitted that he's not in playing shape? He says something in every other interview about how the remasters (etc.) have taken him away from playing, but now that he's completed the remasters, he's going to use his free time in 2015 to practice. Supposedly. I don't doubt he's been preoccupied with other projects, but it's my theory that he creates these other projects so that he doesn't have to feel bad about not playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying to berate him at this point comes across as a petty form of jealousy, whether it is meant to be or not.

What does fifteen years of "I intend to..." come across as?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but being a fan does not confer a duty on a person to sing the praises of something not worthy. That was a simple, simple piece to strum, and he should have been able to play it much better than that, especially with having played it hundreds of times in the past. And let's not forget that he was not asked to play that song. He chose it himself, presumably because he felt it would showcase his ability. Well it didn't, and it was far less than competent. That is not to say that Jimmy is not competent, but that his endeavor on that day certainly was not. I mean, shouldn't a professional guitarist be better than that? Its not like playing guitar is a hobby; its his career. Either way, a regimen of practice would be able to get Jimmy well back on track, but that clip clearly shows that he either had a bad night, or has let his bread and butter slide off the table. What I find surprising is people fawning over something that was so substandard.

I'm not exactly "singing the praises" of this performance, it is what it is. Just seems that some are ranking it with the Atlantic reunion as a disappointment, which is a gross overstatement. A guy surprised him with a acoustic and he strummed a few chords; nothing more, nothing less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Jimmy Page feels that he can perform up to his standards and expectations, it may well happen.

If not, so be it.

He has given wonderful music to the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What was most embarrassing was Page demanding a pick like some frickin amateur. A guitar stud worth his salt doesn't have anything in his personal rep to sit down in his chair and play fingerstyle?

Then, again, he might have been distracted like what I was doing in those 15 minutes which was mentally undressing those hot french babes right behind the announcer so I forgive him.

I've never played guitar so I don't understand why and when rock guitarists normally use guitar picks. Did Page use a guitar pick when playing that song in the 1970's?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never played guitar so I don't understand why and when rock guitarists normally use guitar picks. Did Page use a guitar pick when playing that song in the 1970's?

It also depends on the pick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but being a fan does not confer a duty on a person to sing the praises of something not worthy. That was a simple, simple piece to strum, and he should have been able to play it much better than that, especially with having played it hundreds of times in the past. And let's not forget that he was not asked to play that song. He chose it himself, presumably because he felt it would showcase his ability. Well it didn't, and it was far less than competent. That is not to say that Jimmy is not competent, but that his endeavor on that day certainly was not. I mean, shouldn't a professional guitarist be better than that? Its not like playing guitar is a hobby; its his career. Either way, a regimen of practice would be able to get Jimmy well back on track, but that clip clearly shows that he either had a bad night, or has let his bread and butter slide off the table. What I find surprising is people fawning over something that was so substandard.

Yeah, spot on there, I think. It's not Atlantic bad, but telling nevertheless. Acoustic is so naked; there's nowhere to hide if something's amiss.

Hasn't he fully admitted that he's not in playing shape? He says something in every other interview about how the remasters (etc.) have taken him away from playing, but now that he's completed the remasters, he's going to use his free time in 2015 to practice. Supposedly. I don't doubt he's been preoccupied with other projects, but it's my theory that he creates these other projects so that he doesn't have to feel bad about not playing.

That's an interesting thought. It's one thing to dive into other projects which have no doubt been time consuming and perhaps emotional. Still, doesn't it strike anyone else as odd that the one guy who has wanted to reform Zep the most is the least prepared? Nevermind being ready to play live or do a tour; any of the musicians I mentioned before would have to step it up to be in top form. But just a daily/regular regimen as musicians do. Not scales, just creating, practicing your own material, something? I just find it really peculiar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding "sing[ing] the praises" of that performance, if it can be called that, I don't think anyone was blown away by his playing, really. If any of us expressed happiness upon seeing him play, it was really just that -- happy to see him actually holding a guitar in his hands to play it (as opposed to the endless photoshoots in recent years of him holding the guitar as as nothing more than a prop).

That's an interesting thought. It's one thing to dive into other projects which have no doubt been time consuming and perhaps emotional. Still, doesn't it strike anyone else as odd that the one guy who has wanted to reform Zep the most is the least prepared? Nevermind being ready to play live or do a tour; any of the musicians I mentioned before would have to step it up to be in top form. But just a daily/regular regimen as musicians do. Not scales, just creating, practicing your own material, something? I just find it really peculiar.

It doesn't strike me as odd because I don't sense he's been especially inspired to play anything but Zep, and he wasn't given the opportunity to do that. Hopefully he now has some closure that Zep isn't happening so he can move on, if he indeed wants to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never played guitar so I don't understand why and when rock guitarists normally use guitar picks. Did Page use a guitar pick when playing that song in the 1970's?

Yes, he did. In fact, on all the songs on electric guitar he used a pick, save for Stairway live, when he would hold the pick in his mouth during the opening, finger-picked part, then when he strums the chord and the song changes, he would quickly grab the pick. In the Live Aid thread, there's a photo on the last page that shows him looking over his right shoulder during the finger-picked section of Stairway, and you can clearly see the pick in his mouth.

About the only songs he didn't use a pick on were these:

White Summer/Black Mounatin Side

Stairway {opening section}

Going To California

Bron-Yr-Aur

Midnight Moonlight {he would switch from playing with - or without - a pick on this one. Pick during the first part, no pick during the middle section where he would play some of White Summer, then back to the pick for the big finale. These are live versions that I am referring to.}

That's all that I can think of off the top of my head. Very few rock guitarists play without a pick. Two of the most notable ones are two of the best at what they do: Mark Knopfler and Jeff Beck. Hope this helps answer your question.

Edited by Dr Death

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch the Royal Albert hall performance, Jimmy clearly uses a pick all the way through White Summer.

Yes, you are correct. I should have been more clear as I was thinking of Jimmy in post-Zeppelin days. Here's a video with Paul Rodgers at the A.R.M.S. Benefit in NYC, at around the 3:45 mark you can see that he clearly lays the pick on his right knee when he gets to the middle section as I described above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvdfd26yssM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Jimmy actually uses "hybrid picking" for WS/BMS, you can see him doing so during the 70' Albert Hall performance. For those not familiar with hybrid picking, it is when a guitarist uses a pick AND picks with his fingers simultaneously. That is he uses the bottom three fingers to pick notes while using the top two to hold the pick and strum / pick. It is a very important technique to master and allows a guitarist the full range of both timbre and speed for difficult pieces.

I personally do not use a pick when I play because when I did use a pick I tended to focus on fast soloing and lost sight of subtlety and projection within my playing. Losing the pick has improved my skills 1000% without doubt and was inspired by Jeff Beck when he went pickless as well.

Regarding Jimmy and his performance, I practice every day for at least two hours a day, however if I go to a party and somebody hands me a $75 Sears guitar with cheap, heavy gauge strings and an action so high you can place a ham sandwich between strings and fretboard I will undoubtedly sound like shit. Now if I have one of my own guitars like my Martin acoustic or my super awesome Taylor T5 it's time for some Going to California or, my current favorite to play BYA (not Stomp though that is a fun one too). Hell, one time when I was handed one of those cheapo shitbox guitars at a party, after I just played a four hour set at a bar with the guys, I handed it back and told the guy "you play it." Let me put it this way, Jimmy was way more gracious than I would have been, I would have flat out said no. TBH in this day and age of setting people up and being Punk'd I would think the guitar would be completely out of tune and have rusty, 10 year old strings in an attempt to make the person look bad. Not saying that is what happened but that is why I would never have played that guitar.

Death is correct, a good month of solid practice will easily bring a seasoned musician up to snuff. It's playing a guitar, it's not training for the Ironman.

Edited by IpMan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's happened to me at parties, someone will say: 'That guy plays guitar, let's have him play some tunes.' And they'll hand me something that has the action set way too high and it can be very unnerving. There's so much that goes into playing the guitar and despite what people may think, every guitar is different in some way. The set-up of the guitar is one of the most crucial things, and every guitar player that I have known likes their guitar set-up a certain way. It's an individual thing.

Thank you SO much for stating this...

I have to agree 100%....the look on his face when they brought out that acoustic...I thought he handled the situation very well .

What boggles my mind is the huge debate started about his playing ability over a few quick strums of Ramble On.

The guitar was not his....and to those of you who have never played , or think that when you go into a Guitar Center that all those guitars hanging up on the wall are all the same....they aren't. Every player chooses a guitar on a very personal level...they become an extension of yourself. To be handed another guitar to play....you do the best you can in that moment.

Jimmy is such a perfectionist about all things. Being handed that guitar in an unrehearsed moment on live tv was a terrible thing to do....to any guitar player. My guess is he would not have been pleased when he came offstage.

I think Robert Plant said it best... " the weight of expectation is too great.."

A few seconds of "Ramble On" and it becomes a discussion thread on countless forums around the world....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great post ^^ from several people. I would love to see Jimmy on a stage again. I am one that believes he still has something left to say musically,but I am not going to get upset if it doesn't happen. I have enough great music from them to last a lifetime. (Dark Lord, I am trying to leave the emotion out:-) Everyone has the right to their opinion but it saddens me to a degree as I don't like the boys being talked about in a negative manner. :dont:

Besides the BEST LED ZEPPELIN COMEBACK IMHO comes from Mr. JPJ here at the 6:31-6:34 :notworthy::D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

500 million pounds at stake for a LZ reform and all thats needed to make it happen is an outsider writing enough songs for a new album by the end of 2015. Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime for some stud songwriter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

500 million pounds at stake for a LZ reform and all thats needed to make it happen is an outsider writing enough songs for a new album by the end of 2015. Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime for some stud songwriter.

...and everyone knows how receptive Led Zeppelin was to hiring outside songwriters. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Jimmy actually uses "hybrid picking" for WS/BMS, you can see him doing so during the 70' Albert Hall performance. For those not familiar with hybrid picking, it is when a guitarist uses a pick AND picks with his fingers simultaneously. That is he uses the bottom three fingers to pick notes while using the top two to hold the pick and strum / pick. It is a very important technique to master and allows a guitarist the full range of both timbre and speed for difficult pieces.

I personally do not use a pick when I play because when I did use a pick I tended to focus on fast soloing and lost sight of subtlety and projection within my playing. Losing the pick has improved my skills 1000% without doubt and was inspired by Jeff Beck when he went pickless as well.

Regarding Jimmy and his performance, I practice every day for at least two hours a day, however if I go to a party and somebody hands me a $75 Sears guitar with cheap, heavy gauge strings and an action so high you can place a ham sandwich between strings and fretboard I will undoubtedly sound like shit. Now if I have one of my own guitars like my Martin acoustic or my super awesome Taylor T5 it's time for some Going to California or, my current favorite to play BYA (not Stomp though that is a fun one too). Hell, one time when I was handed one of those cheapo shitbox guitars at a party, after I just played a four hour set at a bar with the guys, I handed it back and told the guy "you play it." Let me put it this way, Jimmy was way more gracious than I would have been, I would have flat out said no. TBH in this day and age of setting people up and being Punk'd I would think the guitar would be completely out of tune and have rusty, 10 year old strings in an attempt to make the person look bad. Not saying that is what happened but that is why I would never have played that guitar.

Death is correct, a good month of solid practice will easily bring a seasoned musician up to snuff. It's playing a guitar, it's not training for the Ironman.

Thanks for this post! Alright, I know I mentioned practicing scales and arpeggios and all that.........

What I simply meant was that if (that is a very big IF) Jimmy has plans to play on stage next year, "training" the hands and fingers is surely part of getting back in performing-shape. I just assumed scales and/or arpeggios would be a part of that. However, I too feel that Jimmy would be able to get back in shape in less than the 4 to 6 months stated before, him being the experienced musician that he is.....

I guess anyone who plays the guitar has been through that. being handed a guitar, because people at a party say "Oh you play the guitar, why don't you play us something...." Ugh, I promised myself not to be tempted by that again, but they eventually got me that far again during my stepbrothers 5th wedding aniversary party last september.......

In that video-clip, Jimmy was obviously caught off guard when they handed him the guitar, he likely wasn't pleased afterwards........

In general you do read many remarks about how Jimmy couldn't possibly play that well at his age. Well, I'm sure he can, if Jimmy finds the inspirationnto play live again, no doubt will he be able to get his skills back on par...............

Maaike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dabble with the guitar, and if someone brings me a guitar, as long as it Standard E tuned, I should be able to sound at least that good. And playing with or without a pick, no biggie, either strum with your nails or calluses, or do some fingerpicking.

Like someone said, HE picked this song, and honestly, he didn't do very good.

Could he get back up to speed? yes. Does he want to? Don't think so. He's happy being retired, stamping his book, and remastering in the studio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dabble with the guitar, and if someone brings me a guitar, as long as it Standard E tuned, I should be able to sound at least that good. And playing with or without a pick, no biggie, either strum with your nails or calluses, or do some fingerpicking.

Like someone said, HE picked this song, and honestly, he didn't do very good.

Could he get back up to speed? yes. Does he want to? Don't think so. He's happy being retired, stamping his book, and remastering in the studio.

He was handed his songwriting tool, an acoustic guitar, which is probably a bad memory because he's a dry well now. Its not like he was handed a Gibson electric plugged into an amp with the distortion dialed up. Jimmy probably does not play an acoustic at age 70 for self enjoyment or the LZ guitar parts that use an acoustic.

Anyways, the only thing he wants to play is whatever fits into the LZ framework. He's not motivated because he can't write the songs himself at age 70 and the other members are of no help. They can't work together any more, and they obviously won't hire a songwriter so its up to some crazy fan multiinstrumentalist/guru songwriter/LZ expert to show up at Pages door with a demo tape of new material that is top notch and meets JP's artistic approval. Can't have 70 year olds doing cock rock on the one hand but it can't be keyboard driven either.

But when you look at the crap called "Pink Floyd's" last album and the mediocre rehash that the Eagles have been torturing their fans with, you cannot help but think that LZ has something to prove here by kicking their butts. Plant has made a number of derogatory comments about the eagles touring with no material to back it up, and Henley responded that Plant can't sing worth shit any more which is why he isn't doing a LZ reunion.

Edited by rdg1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dabble with the guitar, and if someone brings me a guitar, as long as it Standard E tuned, I should be able to sound at least that good. And playing with or without a pick, no biggie, either strum with your nails or calluses, or do some fingerpicking.

Like someone said, HE picked this song, and honestly, he didn't do very good.

Could he get back up to speed? yes. Does he want to? Don't think so. He's happy being retired, stamping his book, and remastering in the studio.

Honest, no shit...a few years ago I was at a local coffee shop with some friends when one of my "friends" spies an an acoustic guitar in the corner, picks it up and hands it to me. So, I go to play a tune and literally the strings were rusted and the action was horrible. I tried the best I could but the song was shit, I could not play that damn guitar. My friends had a good laugh and asked how could I play so well in concert yet play like a 5 year old with his fingers stuck in the strings now. The tools of the trade do matter.

BTW the song I was attempting to play was Ramble On :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...