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Clapton and Page

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I agree that Jimmy sitting in on a few blues numbers at Crossroads would be a great way of him easing back into playing live. It would also get him networking with musicians and open up a few possibilities for collaborations. That's how The Firm came about when he played with Rodgers on the ARMS tour. I guess the question is, has Clapton ever asked him to sit on a few numbers or play at the festival? He's asked virtually every over guitarist of note. I'm sure Clappers would love to see a clean Page play along with him and Beck. Ticket and DVD sales would go through the roof. Come on Jimbo, play at Crossroads!!!!

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there's a lot of talk here about Page  and alcohol and drugs problems, don't any of you listen to what he says in interviews that it never caused him any problems and when focus was needed he was there to get the job done blah blah blah?

it seems Page is the only person in the world who doesn't think his playing suffered. an "emperors new clothes" analogy comes to mind 

 

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For me the one marked difference between Jimmy and a lot of his musical peers who also suffered from addiction is
many of them have done a tour sober. That first time you get up on that stage with a clear head is likely scary. You're
basically naked in front of that crowd. If you make mistakes and screw up you don't get to blame the drugs this time.
You probably wanna play it extra safe and avoid getting too complicated in solos perhaps. And if you suffer from bad
nerves like Jimmy you're likely even more gun shy about playing a gig straight.

Yes the A R M S concert brought Jimmy out of hiding, he kicked his heroin habit, but it also kept the window of him still
doing his touring drunk and high. And it stayed that way for the rest of his public playing career (thus far)

Bottom line for me is.  In 2015 I really really wish Jimmy could face his fears and stand on a stage after a cup of tea and
play music. So many of the guys he grew up with have done that. I think it would be a weight off his shoulders if he could
too.He doesn't have to be fancy or ground breaking. Just do what he loves to do.  Play guitar, but do it clean this time.

I don't suffer from addiction nor am I professional musician so my thoughts can easily be tossed out too.
 

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For me the one marked difference between Jimmy and a lot of his musical peers who also suffered from addiction is
many of them have done a tour sober. That first time you get up on that stage with a clear head is likely scary. You're
basically naked in front of that crowd. If you make mistakes and screw up you don't get to blame the drugs this time.
You probably wanna play it extra safe and avoid getting too complicated in solos perhaps. And if you suffer from bad
nerves like Jimmy you're likely even more gun shy about playing a gig straight.

Yes the A R M S concert brought Jimmy out of hiding, he kicked his heroin habit, but it also kept the window of him still
doing his touring drunk and high. And it stayed that way for the rest of his public playing career (thus far)

Bottom line for me is.  In 2015 I really really wish Jimmy could face his fears and stand on a stage after a cup of tea and
play music. So many of the guys he grew up with have done that. I think it would be a weight off his shoulders if he could
too.He doesn't have to be fancy or ground breaking. Just do what he loves to do.  Play guitar, but do it clean this time.

I don't suffer from addiction nor am I professional musician so my thoughts can easily be tossed out too.
 

To my knowledge he was pretty sober from at least 94' on, if not then he finally learned how to play pretty damn well stoned because his playing, especially from 98' - 2000 was IMO the best playing he had ever done, even eclipsing his best Zep years. He also played the O2 gig completely sober according to all accounts.

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^^ The one doozy problem with being able to play while high and drunk is, it's still a wreaking ball on your body.
And when the music stops your health still pays the price. 

But O m g YES! The O2 gig.  See Jimmy you CAN do it clean. Stand on the stage without your safety net! 
Maybe it would be actual touring that could make those old habits attractive again. I don't know. I'm just taking
wild guesses :unsure: 

Damn you Jimmy Page for being so fascinating.

Edited by KellyGirl

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To my knowledge he was pretty sober from at least 94' on, if not then he finally learned how to play pretty damn well stoned because his playing, especially from 98' - 2000 was IMO the best playing he had ever done, even eclipsing his best Zep years. He also played the O2 gig completely sober according to all accounts.

He stopped drinking, by his own admission in about 2000, and I reckon the O2 was his first sober gig in a very long time.  I think he was 'managing' his alcoholism towards the end of the Page/Plant run, but I have a sneaky suspicion that his inability to cut the (excessive) booze out was one of the factors that led to  the end of that collaboration (amongst other things...).  Wasn't there a story of Plant punching Jimmy out for being drunk before a gig at some point during the P/P years?

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He stopped drinking, by his own admission in about 2000, and I reckon the O2 was his first sober gig in a very long time.  I think he was 'managing' his alcoholism towards the end of the Page/Plant run, but I have a sneaky suspicion that his inability to cut the (excessive) booze out was one of the factors that led to  the end of that collaboration (amongst other things...).  Wasn't there a story of Plant punching Jimmy out for being drunk before a gig at some point during the P/P years?

That allegedly happened at the Philly gig in their first tour, I heard that from an unlikely source; my dad!  He'd heard about it from some guys at work who knew someone who knew someone so I take it with a grain of salt, but I've heard that story elsewhere since so who knows.  All I know is I saw them the very next night at the Meadowlands in NJ and something was off between the two of them.  The next night Jimmy came out of his shell and blew the house down.  Robert kissed him on the head after a raging TSRTS and they both smiled and it seemed all was forgiven, assuming there's truth to the story.

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That allegedly happened at the Philly gig in their first tour, I heard that from an unlikely source; my dad!  He'd heard about it from some guys at work who knew someone who knew someone so I take it with a grain of salt, but I've heard that story elsewhere since so who knows.  All I know is I saw them the very next night at the Meadowlands in NJ and something was off between the two of them.  The next night Jimmy came out of his shell and blew the house down.  Robert kissed him on the head after a raging TSRTS and they both smiled and it seemed all was forgiven, assuming there's truth to the story.

You know how those things go, Robert was probably pissed at Jimmy, called him a few names, got in his face and maybe pushed him. Next thing you know its reported that Robert punched Jimmy, then somebody says Robert beat the shit out of Jimmy. TBH I am surprised no one reported Robert pistol whipped Jimmy and then shat on him as well. These things tend to take on a life of their own.

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He stopped drinking, by his own admission in about 2000, and I reckon the O2 was his first sober gig in a very long time.  I think he was 'managing' his alcoholism towards the end of the Page/Plant run, but I have a sneaky suspicion that his inability to cut the (excessive) booze out was one of the factors that led to  the end of that collaboration (amongst other things...).  Wasn't there a story of Plant punching Jimmy out for being drunk before a gig at some point during the P/P years?

The version of events that I've read is that Plant slapped Page because he was drunk before a gig in 1995.  IMO, a slap would make more sense than a punch in those circumstances.  

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If that's true, it's a measure of how far the Page-Plant relationship had swung from 1968-1995. Page, once the leader of the  band and musical visionary, was slapped by the lead singer. It's hard to take. 

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If that's true, it's a measure of how far the Page-Plant relationship had swung from 1968-1995. Page, once the leader of the  band and musical visionary, was slapped by the lead singer. It's hard to take. 

Addiction does terrible things to people. Jimmy still seems to be in deep denial about quite how much his addictions have affected his life. I can understand him not wishing to discuss it, especially as he has teenage kids who he wants to project the best image to, but denying that it crucified him creatively when there is so much easily accessible evidence to the contrary is a little mystifying.

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I believe in fact that Jimmy is actually very possibly ashamed by some of his dismal playing and even

behavior during the worst times of the addictions. IMO in interviews he always wants to swat it out of

the way quickly, with the "When I needed to be focused, I was" nonsense. I'm no psychologist but

although Jimmy may be verbally denying the drug/booze disasters, I'm not convinced internally

that he is not starting to feel very uncomfortable and wants to switch gears right away. Unfortunately

I agree with many of you that Jimmy is very insecure and being straight may actually delay/prevent ??

a comeback. Well, many artists have the same problem, but Jimmy's case is pretty aggravated.

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If that's true, it's a measure of how far the Page-Plant relationship had swung from 1968-1995. Page, once the leader of the  band and musical visionary, was slapped by the lead singer. It's hard to take. 

It's unfortunate that it came to that but it can be very frustrating to deal with an alcoholic.  I haven't read anything that suggests that Robert Plant is a violent man so I'm guessing that Page being drunk at that particular time must have really pushed Plant's buttons.  I've never been in a band.  Maybe it's not uncommon for band mates to come to blows when emotions run high.  OTOH, maybe it's a sign that a musical partnership has run its course.   

Edited by Disco Duck

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There's a really interesting interview with Plant on Swedish radio from 1985. He's promoting Shaken ''n' Stirred. Anyway, he's very open about Jimmy when the interviewer asks him about collaborating again. Plant basically says that his music was very precise and he didn't think it would suit Page's Wagnerian, cavalier approach. He also talks about how he went to see Page play with the Firm and cried, because it was the first time he had watched him as a punter. He said he didn't really like The Firm and preferred the stuff Page did for Death Wish 2. He seemed genuinely happy that Page was out playing and in a band again. here it is if you wanna listen:

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I think a lot of people in this thread are making some strong solid points -- and to be honest I wish
I disagreed with more of you. We're talking about how Jimmy Page's dependencies have had a
negative impact on his confidence in later years. Sigh....:console:

I know the era of Jimmy live on a stage and/or releasing a new solo album is bleak. Why do we suppose
Jimmy says he's wants to be seen performing again live, or making a solo album? He said this all summer
promoting the Led Zeppelin re-masters -- yet nothing comes to fruition. I don't believe it's to keep people
interested in him career wise. I'm a fan of his and like hearing what he's up to whether about his music, or
the theatre project for addicts. Jimmy's got me locked up as a fan whether he performs or not.

When it comes to Jimmy playing and writing; I think "wanting to" and "able to" are indeed two different things.  
I believe Jimmy wants to stand on a stage and play guitar, but something is preventing him. Something he may
not want to say to the public. Something he perhaps hasn't come to terms with yet. I don't believe Jimmy Page
in his heart wants to hang up his guitar. His head though could be conflicting that.

For some,  the addictions long after they've been defeated  still haunt the person psychologically.  :unsure:  

 

Edited by KellyGirl

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Plant's tour finished last month. Maybe him and Jimbo have agreed to book a studio and see what happens. Ha ha. That was funny.

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...Plant basically says that his music was very precise and he didn't think it would suit Page's Wagnerian, cavalier approach...

This.  Plant likes to have every note, beat and intonation worked out before he steps into a recording studio.  In Plant's opinion,Page focuses on the sonic "big picture" he is trying to construct instead of musical details like time signature.  It interests me that Plant perceived that he and Page's preferred working styles differed so much by 1985.  Had he always felt this way or did he only realize after beginning his solo career that he prefers more formal structure?  Are his words "Wagnerian, cavalier approach" a polite way of saying that while Page has great musical ideas his technical chops are lacking?

 

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I think a lot of people in this thread are making some strong solid points -- and to be honest I wish
I disagreed with more of you. We're talking about how Jimmy Page's dependencies have had a
negative impact on his confidence in later years. Sigh....:console:

I know the era of Jimmy live on a stage and/or releasing a new solo album is bleak. Why do we suppose
Jimmy says he's wants to be seen performing again live, or making a solo album? He said this all summer
promoting the Led Zeppelin re-masters -- yet nothing comes to fruition. I don't believe it's to keep people
interested in him career wise. I'm a fan of his and like hearing what he's up to whether about his music, or
the theatre project for addicts. Jimmy's got me locked up as a fan whether he performs or not.

When it comes to Jimmy playing and writing; I think "wanting to" and "able to" are indeed two different things.  
I believe Jimmy wants to stand on a stage and play guitar, but something is preventing him. Something he may
not want to say to the public. Something he perhaps hasn't come to terms with yet. I don't believe Jimmy Page
in his heart wants to hang up his guitar. His head though could be conflicting that.

For some,  the addictions long after they've been defeated  still haunt the person psychologically.  :unsure:  

 

Plant's 1985 Swedish interview may hold a clue.  I'm also reminded of a quote from one of the guitarists Plant worked with early in his solo career.  The guitarist remarked that after listening to all of Led Zeppelin's catalog he thought that Jimmy Page's brain was often ahead of his fingers.  Perhaps this is the story of Page's career since he founded Led Zeppelin; great musical ideas that he can't always execute.

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  Perhaps this is the story of Page's career since he founded Led Zeppelin; great musical ideas that he can't always execute.

That's another thing that's frustrating - at least I think it would be. How many ideas are being
kept from coming to life because Jimmy can't find someone to collaborate with, or like you
said D D execute it properly? The lack of new material can't be because the well has gone dry.
I bet the artistic mind in Page can envision some real musical gems. The unknown is keeping
him from laying it down and being heard.

I will say one thing I scratch my head at unrelated to the things being brought up in this 
thread. Plant has no plans on reuniting for a L Z reunion. Ok fine Percy I'll accept that. I'll
take my ball and go home. But Robert has L Z songs listed as part of his set lists. Songs that 
HELLOOOO  Jimmy could play as a surprise guest guitarist. Can you imagine Plant doing a
concert and announcing to the audience Jimmy Page is going lend a hand with this one. Out
walks Page and he goes into a one of his famous Jimmy Page riffs from a well known Zeppelin
song. Ack, it's puzzling!! I know Robert said he didn't want to be a juke box like the Stones playing
the ol' hits -- and that excuse works for me IF L Z songs were NOT part of his set list.  But arghhhh
Robert that's not the case.

Oh my haha
:lol: this thread is all over the place. It has a mind of it's own.

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That's another thing that's frustrating - at least I think it would be. How many ideas are beingkept from coming to life because Jimmy can't find someone to collaborate with, or like you
said D D execute it properly? The lack of new material can't be because the well has gone dry.
I bet the artistic mind in Page can envision some real musical gems. The unknown is keeping
him from laying it down and being heard.

I will say one thing I scratch my head at unrelated to the things being brought up in this 
thread. Plant has no plans on reuniting for a L Z reunion. Ok fine Percy I'll accept that. I'll
take my ball and go home. But Robert has L Z songs listed as part of his set lists. Songs that 
HELLOOOO  Jimmy could play as a surprise guest guitarist. Can you imagine Plant doing a
concert and announcing to the audience Jimmy Page is going lend a hand with this one. Out
walks Page and he goes into a one of his famous Jimmy Page riffs from a well known Zeppelin
song. Ack, it's puzzling!! I know Robert said he didn't want to be a juke box like the Stones playing
the ol' hits -- and that excuse works for me IF L Z songs were NOT part of his set list.  But arghhhh
Robert that's not the case.

Oh my haha
:lol: this thread is all over the place. It has a mind of it's own.

People who know more about guitar playing than I have commented that Page often attempted stuff that was at the very edge of his technical ability as a guitarist during LZ's heyday.  When it worked it was thrilling to see and hear.  When it didn't he could sound like a guitar novice.  If your stock in trade as a guitarist is your ability to "push the envelope" what happens when slowing reflexes and the other physical decline that comes with aging makes it more difficult for you to pull this off?  

 

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D D, hmm this comes back to confidence in my head. Pushing the envelope and having that I D G A F
attitude, is much more easier to play off when you're drunk, high and young--er. Back in the 70's mistakes
or screw-ups by the band could be forgiven by pot smoking, bell bottom wearing teenagers.
B)

Take Jimmy in 1977. If he hit the O2 stage like that in '07 :wacko: it would be a complete write
off. But you know the things that often got Jimmy in trouble live, are the things I have came to
enjoy about him so much when I listen back. Improvisation, re-inventing his own solos EVERY
night, not trying to replicate the studio notes. Sure sometimes it sounds like a ferral cat in heat,
but I love cats. 
:lol:

You know if Jimmy is concerned that he would have to stand on a stage now in his 70's and play it safe..
Well that's ok! Ride with both hands on the bicycle. I already know Jimmy can do the whole "Look Ma No Hands"
when it comes to playing live. I would be thrilled just to hear him and see him with a guitar in his hand again.
Heh meanwhile Jimmy's thinking not my style to play it safe when the house lights go down......

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Well, Kelly Girl you are very perceptive and make some rather subtle points. EVH is famous for pointing

out that Page had trouble at times executing his genius ideas, but the best live stuff, not sure I agree. Also

when Plant went to go see Jimmy in the Firm, he didn't like the songs, but thought Page's soloing was

brilliant. And about that 85' interview, Plant was slowly but steadily on his way to becoming a control

freak. Few know that Plant forced Robbie Blunt to learn how to play a guitar synthesizer, at that time

still considered a glitch-ridden unreliable nightmare even ultimately discarded by Page himself. But as

some have pointed out, the route from a genius musical idea to a studio or stage has to unfortunately

pass thru more or less conflicted or tortured human souls.

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I don't know who the guitarist was in question, but if his comment was meant to be slightly pejorative, then screw him. He should be more respectful of Jimmy's talents and what he achieved. Mate, you might be technically better than Page, but you have nowhere near the vision or unique "voice" that Page had. Outside, Robbie Blunt, who was superb, and had his own distinctive voice, Plant's guitarists in the 80s and early 90s were inter-changeable session robots.

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Yeah, two great things said. EVH was/is a damn good songwriter, but your'e talking mainly high school

keg party /livin' it up classics. Page's music certainly can do that but basically can go as deep, wide,

shallow, or high as anything Iv'e ever heard. Actually EVH is not the main problem, it was so many

hair metal guitarists and shredders who made their remarks , not even realizing for example that there

are actually some live shows where Page is actually playing quite precisely with Almost Shredder speed.

And Plant, maybe he was tired of Blunt, who knows, but I find it incredibly revealing that he has never

collaborated with anyone else(well Page))near his equal. Ship Of Fools indeed.

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Plant's 1985 Swedish interview may hold a clue.  I'm also reminded of a quote from one of the guitarists Plant worked with early in his solo career.  The guitarist remarked that after listening to all of Led Zeppelin's catalog he thought that Jimmy Page's brain was often ahead of his fingers.  Perhaps this is the story of Page's career since he founded Led Zeppelin; great musical ideas that he can't always execute.

I don't think that's what Blunt meant when he said that, I think he meant he was ahead of his time creatively and as a result when he played going off on a tangent and taking chances was more important than being note perfect every time. Page was one of the greatest improvisors in rock guitar in a live setting. I don;t know of any other guitarist outside of Hendrix & SRV who could improvise like Page. Of course Page had to be on his game and somewhat clear headed to pull that off, that is why he suffered at many shows in 77' - 80' because he was just to wasted to play. The fact is, just listen to him Play Heartbreaker at Rotterdam in 1980 and tell me Jimmy, when clear headed, was just as good as Hendrix in his prime. That is why Jimmy pisses me off so much (just like Tommy Bolin), he was one of the very best guitarist, ever in a live setting and just pissed it all away for a few years yet acts like it was no big deal. Well it was a big deal, people paid good money to see those shows and if you were one of the unfortunate ones who caught Jimmy on an off night I guarantee you would not be too happy.

I was lucky, when I saw him on Easter, April 10th 77' in Chicago he was in brilliant Jimmy mode, most likely pretty sober (or about as sober as Page could be at that point) after crapping out the night before. But if I were in Tempe, I would not have been a happy camper.

Question though to those who attended gigs from 77 - 80 (the bad ones that is). Do you recall if they just turned Jimmy's guitar up to 11 and added distortion in an effort to mask any mistakes? I knew this guy who like Jimmy was a brilliant guitarist but drugs and booze got the better of him. When he giged, when wasted, that is what he did, just distorted the hell out of the signal and added gain. Everyone was drunk, no one cared.

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