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Clapton and Page

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Right, Blunt wasn't insulting Page really, there's more than a grain of truth to it. One thing I feel I must

point out is that although Jimmy is my absolute fave, and he could match Hendrix IMO, Hendrix was

always playing . Not quite sure if Hendrix ever declined so drastically as Page did 77'-80'. And Hendrix

was beating the hell out of his tremolo bar constantly, it's miraculous he was anywhere near being in

tune , so that killed some songs outright. But Page even from 77'-80' had such a distinctive style that

50% of the mistakes are more interesting than 95% of all others "competent" playing. One fantastic

improvisor who has fallen out of radar is Ritchie Blackmore---even if you don't like DP, check out

live stuff with him on YouTube. He never plays below above-average, can play bluesy, classical licks,

combine the two, play 50's rockabilly licks like Page, etc. Great technique but never slick. Page hits

greater heights, much greater, but consistency is shaky. And he is the sorcerer, bar none.

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Right, Blunt wasn't insulting Page really, there's more than a grain of truth to it. One thing I feel I must

point out is that although Jimmy is my absolute fave, and he could match Hendrix IMO, Hendrix was

always playing . Not quite sure if Hendrix ever declined so drastically as Page did 77'-80'. And Hendrix

was beating the hell out of his tremolo bar constantly, it's miraculous he was anywhere near being in

tune , so that killed some songs outright. But Page even from 77'-80' had such a distinctive style that

50% of the mistakes are more interesting than 95% of all others "competent" playing. One fantastic

improvisor who has fallen out of radar is Ritchie Blackmore---even if you don't like DP, check out

live stuff with him on YouTube. He never plays below above-average, can play bluesy, classical licks,

combine the two, play 50's rockabilly licks like Page, etc. Great technique but never slick. Page hits

greater heights, much greater, but consistency is shaky. And he is the sorcerer, bar none.

Indeed, Hendrix is the master IMO and never declined, then again his drug usage was very exaggerated and typically did not play high or drunk. You are right, Hendrix played and practiced constantly, always had a guitar with him. Blackmore is another excellent player, the first of the classical shredders and just an amazing player. Blackmore's problem (if you can call it one that is), was that visually he was not an exciting player, usually just stood in one place and played, little to zero animation.

What is kind of funny but a bit off topic is Geddy Lee has been asked to intro Yes into the RRHOF, however Lee specifically said he will not jam with Yes or anyone else. In his own words, "I don't jam, everything I play live is rehearsed to death, I don't do improv."

That is the difference between perfect, technical players like Lee, Lifeson, Beck, etc. they cant improvise. Just the thought of an unknown structure and a possible bum note freaks them out.

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Are you saying Jeff Beck can't improvise? I beg to differ... 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDjgJ8Am2x8

 

The source for that video claimed they rehearsed this several times before the performance, this was not some on the spot improv. Of course Beck and others can improvise to a degree within a known structure but I have never heard of or seen Beck completely improvise a whole section on the spot like Jimmy would do nightly. Beck is one of my favorite guitarist, in fact my playing technique more closely resembles Beck & Gilmour than it does Page as I prefer slower, more atmospheric solos and I do not use a pick, and Beck is IMO the greatest living guitar player today. However, Beck could not improvise live like Page could, very few guitarists can, not because they can't technically pull it off, but because out of fear of making a mistake. Beck could, can, and always will smoke Page insofar as technique, but you also know exactly what you will get with Beck, with Jimmy you never knew what you would get. Except for Hendrix, The Dead, and Phish I really cannot recall any other bands who would change songs to such a massive degree from night to night like Zeppelin did...sometimes it worked, other times, not so much, but it was always exciting.

So, sorry if I worded that wrong, I did not mean to imply those other guitarist cannot improvise at all, just that they cannot improvise long passages and whole movements live like Page could.

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Actually depending on the show Blackmore can ham it up, but he was always a moody f..k, one of his 

problems as with Beck. Beck has a great ear, and very possibly sharper than Jimmy's. But it's true,

great ear or not, he stays away and doesn't take chances with unplanned and free-form sections like

Zep and the other bands mentioned. To be fair, even early on some of the truly free form Zep jams did

actually fall into chaos or not "work". Yet I and many others including the last few posters much prefer

real music being made on the spot, not albums being pointlessly recreated note for note on stage.

Criticizers of Page's "inability" to recreate studio versions ?? Well go back and listen to the Black Crowes

collaborations, Page is controlled and subdued IMO, as he is thinking studio. I in fact don't listen much

to those shows for that reason. Certainly there is good playing and some jams there, but I guess some

morons actually thought Page couldn't just play on point, instead of trying to make every song and

solo an epic drama or tragedy, which I much prefer.

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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.

Robbie Blunt didn't make those comments about Page's playing. It was Frances Dunnery who played with Robert during the Fate Of Nations era.

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Robbie Blunt didn't make those comments about Page's playing. It was Frances Dunnery who played with Robert during the Fate Of Nations era.

Oh, I see, thank you. Don't know why I thought Blunt???

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Well Dunnery was certainly better than most of the post-2000 clowns, but although the comment

has perhaps some truth, not sure players who have only accomplished 1/100 of what Page has want to

weather the blowback which will come by even constructive criticism if they have few glories if ANY on

their own.

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This from 'Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man' by George Case:

Around the same time Page was producing him in the studio, Clapton visited his house in Epson to have some private jams, which Page also recorded. "The Bluesbreakers were playing over in Putney and Eric came to stay at my house. I had a Simon tape recorder that you could DI into [directly inject electric instruments without first playing through an amp], so the two guitars went into the machine and I just did these tapes of Eric and myself playing." The DI trick enabled a huge amount of distortion while the two musicians played around with different twelve-bar I-IV-V progressions. But Page let Andrew Oldham's Immediate label know about the tapes ("I was really championing Eric, as you would"), and they were confiscated as part of both Page's and Clapton's contractual obligations. "I argued that they couldn't put them out, because they were just variations of blues structures, and in the end we dubbed some other instruments over some of them and they came out, with liner notes attributed to me... though I didn't have anything to do with writing them. I didn't get a penny out of it, anyway." This rather exploitative move on the label's part-they were released when given rhythm tracks by Rolling Stones Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Mick Jagger playing harmonica-led to some mistrust of Clapton toward Page, and Page's own frustrations at not owning music he had made. It was a bitter lesson. 

 

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I have this record and it is absolutely worth listening thru all of it. IMO all three are playing real well,

this album is much better than the usual "before they were famous" crap.

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This from 'Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man' by George Case:

Around the same time Page was producing him in the studio, Clapton visited his house in Epson to have some private jams, which Page also recorded. "The Bluesbreakers were playing over in Putney and Eric came to stay at my house. I had a Simon tape recorder that you could DI into [directly inject electric instruments without first playing through an amp], so the two guitars went into the machine and I just did these tapes of Eric and myself playing." The DI trick enabled a huge amount of distortion while the two musicians played around with different twelve-bar I-IV-V progressions. But Page let Andrew Oldham's Immediate label know about the tapes ("I was really championing Eric, as you would"), and they were confiscated as part of both Page's and Clapton's contractual obligations. "I argued that they couldn't put them out, because they were just variations of blues structures, and in the end we dubbed some other instruments over some of them and they came out, with liner notes attributed to me... though I didn't have anything to do with writing them. I didn't get a penny out of it, anyway." This rather exploitative move on the label's part-they were released when given rhythm tracks by Rolling Stones Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Mick Jagger playing harmonica-led to some mistrust of Clapton toward Page, and Page's own frustrations at not owning music he had made. It was a bitter lesson. 

 

That's such a vile manipulation of a creative process, like companies thought they owned every creative thought an artist carried and sought ways to make a profit. Jimmy laments not making a penny, but rightly so since he's one of the musicians, and they made money off of using his name. Some of these contracts you hear of are borderline indentured servitude.

Thank God for Peter Grant's presence and persuasive ways - when it benefited Zep.

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I have this record and it is absolutely worth listening thru all of it. IMO all three are playing real well,

this album is much better than the usual "before they were famous" crap.

You're right, I hadn't listened to that one in a while, it's even better than I remembered. Holds up quite well.

That's such a vile manipulation of a creative process, like companies thought they owned every creative thought an artist carried and sought ways to make a profit. Jimmy laments not making a penny, but rightly so since he's one of the musicians, and they made money off of using his name. Some of these contracts you hear of are borderline indentured servitude.

Thank God for Peter Grant's presence and persuasive ways - when it benefited Zep.

Indeed. I love the fact that Zep and their crew wouldn't let anyone take advantage, like in that recent article jabe posted about Teamsters trying to shake them down. (Although the story is told by Steven Davis, for what that's worth.) 

Mark Shanahan Globe Staff  October 08, 2015

 

The indictment last week of five members of Teamsters Local 25 on federal extortion charges got us thinking about, of all things, Led Zeppelin. Why? Because the allegations against the Teamsters, who are accused of harassing and intimidating the “Top Chef” staff, including the TV show’s host, Padma Lakshmi, are reminiscent of a story Stephen Davis tells in “Hammer of the Gods,” his best-selling book about the British rock band. Davis, who lives in Milton, was music editor at The Real Paper in 1973 when he found himself backstage at Led Zeppelin’s concert at the Boston Garden. He recalls: “In Boston, the Zeppelin roadies went into action against a Teamster union goon squad that had appeared backstage in an attempt to shake down Led Zeppelin. Peter Grant [the band’s manager] and his private army bloodied the Teamsters faces, knocked out a few teeth, and sent them packing.” When we called Davis Wednesday to talk about the incident, he chuckled. “A bunch of young guys, South Boston and Dorchester types, got backstage and started asking for money. Grant, who was enormous, a former professional wrestler, turned to Richard Cole, who was Zeppelin’s tour manager, and said, ‘Get the lads together and meet me in the loading dock.’ Zeppelin’s roadies were notoriously violent, but only when provoked. They were provoked. And they beat the crap out of the Teamsters.” Davis, who’s also written books about the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Bob Marley, and Levon Helm, is currently working on a book about Stevie Nicks.

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You're right, I hadn't listened to that one in a while, it's even better than I remembered. Holds up quite well.

Indeed. I love the fact that Zep and their crew wouldn't let anyone take advantage, like in that recent article jabe posted about Teamsters trying to shake them down. (Although the story is told by Steven Davis, for what that's worth.) 

Mark Shanahan Globe Staff  October 08, 2015

 

The indictment last week of five members of Teamsters Local 25 on federal extortion charges got us thinking about, of all things, Led Zeppelin. Why? Because the allegations against the Teamsters, who are accused of harassing and intimidating the “Top Chef” staff, including the TV show’s host, Padma Lakshmi, are reminiscent of a story Stephen Davis tells in “Hammer of the Gods,” his best-selling book about the British rock band. Davis, who lives in Milton, was music editor at The Real Paper in 1973 when he found himself backstage at Led Zeppelin’s concert at the Boston Garden. He recalls: “In Boston, the Zeppelin roadies went into action against a Teamster union goon squad that had appeared backstage in an attempt to shake down Led Zeppelin. Peter Grant [the band’s manager] and his private army bloodied the Teamsters faces, knocked out a few teeth, and sent them packing.” When we called Davis Wednesday to talk about the incident, he chuckled. “A bunch of young guys, South Boston and Dorchester types, got backstage and started asking for money. Grant, who was enormous, a former professional wrestler, turned to Richard Cole, who was Zeppelin’s tour manager, and said, ‘Get the lads together and meet me in the loading dock.’ Zeppelin’s roadies were notoriously violent, but only when provoked. They were provoked. And they beat the crap out of the Teamsters.” Davis, who’s also written books about the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Bob Marley, and Levon Helm, is currently working on a book about Stevie Nicks.

Thanks for passing that along, Sath. Good read, I hadn't seen jabe's post. It exemplifies what I meant by Grant's presence benefiting until it didn't. These types of incidents protected the band but created a kind of huge entity that started to turn on itself from the inside out. When there were no outside rules interfering, 'anything goes' was taken to numbing and then destructive extremes. It's interesting that even when free of outside influences, there are still some forces that exact their pound of flesh. It's a heavy price, but I'm glad that, unlike many, they've gotten through to the other side of all that. 

Poor Stevie Nicks is about to get Stephen Davised; hopefully it's not a Hammer of the Gods treatment. Love her.

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It's really hard to compare any guitar player of any era, here's a couple of my observations;

Hendrix - The one who took it all in a different direction, a visionary.

Clapton - Phenomenal blues player, tho I don't care for any of his work outside of Cream.

Beck - Amazing player, with heavy jazz influences, more of an instrumentalist.

Page - The Master of Hard Rock, influenced myself & many other teens to play guitar in the 70's

Van Halen - Another visionary, took finger tapping, harmonics, & whammy bars to a different place.

Blackmore - Hard to describe easily, schooled in all types of music & brought that to lead guitar.

The one thing that all of these amazing players have in common, is that they fit well into the type of music they are playing. The only thing that they really have in common, is that they all play in the Rock genre of music. Not a bad note from any of them.

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That's such a vile manipulation of a creative process, like companies thought they owned every creative thought an artist carried and sought ways to make a profit. Jimmy laments not making a penny, but rightly so since he's one of the musicians, and they made money off of using his name. Some of these contracts you hear of are borderline indentured servitude.

 

Atlas shrugged 

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Yeah the Rover is spot on. Blackmore, because he has now gotten full force into ethnic folk music,

should be checked out for his amazing 70's live stuff. Blues, classical, 50's Rockabilly, all three rolled

into one, go on YouTube. He NEVER plays below above-average, and always sounds raw and spontaneous.

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Yeah the Rover is spot on. Blackmore, because he has now gotten full force into ethnic folk music,

should be checked out for his amazing 70's live stuff. Blues, classical, 50's Rockabilly, all three rolled

into one, go on YouTube. He NEVER plays below above-average, and always sounds raw and spontaneous.

Good call Mithril46, just watched the Perfect Strangers Live DVD over the weekend, & there is some amazing playing going on. Not only by Ritchie, but Jon Lord on the keys as well.

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Actually I remember some short interview with Page in CIRCUS magazine in 81' or so.Page, believe it or not , said much of his live soloing is kinda worked out to a degree.

If you listen to many live versions of 73'-75' D&C , many sections are quite close from

one night to the next. Anyway, Page then went on to mention how great Blackmore was,

that he improvised 90% of his solos. Only time I ever heard Page speak of Blackmore.

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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:

Great interview never heard before t4p. Interesting views on Jimmy starting At 20.34 mins Robert says that Jimmy doesn't see an importance to promote own songs, handle own affairs, manage own career so Jimmy doesn't have that freedom that Robert. He says that Jimmy  has a cavalier attitude and that his awareness needs to be sharpened so he can see how he's being seen. What is he saying exactly? That Jimmy doesn't handle what affairs and what was Jimmy doing that caused him to have a lack of freedom? Was he saying Jimmy  needed to create a better image in the public eye?

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Great interview never heard before t4p. Interesting views on Jimmy starting At 20.34 mins Robert says that Jimmy doesn't see an importance to promote own songs, handle own affairs, manage own career so Jimmy doesn't have that freedom that Robert. He says that Jimmy  has a cavalier attitude and that his awareness needs to be sharpened so he can see how he's being seen. What is he saying exactly? That Jimmy doesn't handle what affairs and what was Jimmy doing that caused him to have a lack of freedom? Was he saying Jimmy  needed to create a better image in the public eye?

I just listened to this interview.  IMO, Plant was saying that Page needed to find better outlets  than The Firm.  He thinks he is a brilliant and very original guitarist with a knack for coming in at odd and interesting angles.  He thought Page's playing was great in The Firm concert he attended, but the music itself was unoriginal.  He thinks that Page should care more how others view him and his music but added that he never really has.  He also wondered if Page would be able to play the music that he (Plant) was doing in his solo albums because this music was more precise in regards to time signature and key while Page's playing tended to be "rambling and Wagnerian".  

This was a very illuminating interview, imo.  Plant put into words what so many rock fans find special and unique about Page's guitar playing.  The "come into a song at odd angles" is the best description of Page's playing that I've read.  It also gives us some insight into Page's post-Zeppelin career.  Page's guitar ramblings and tendency to come in at odd angles during a song  may make it harder for him to find singers and other musicians who are a good fit.  

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I just listened to this interview.  IMO, Plant was saying that Page needed to find better outlets  than The Firm.  He thinks he is a brilliant and very original guitarist with a knack for coming in at odd and interesting angles.  He thought Page's playing was great in The Firm concert he attended, but the music itself was unoriginal.  He thinks that Page should care more how others view him and his music but added that he never really has.  He also wondered if Page would be able to play the music that he (Plant) was doing in his solo albums because this music was more precise in regards to time signature and key while Page's playing tended to be "rambling and Wagnerian".  

This was a very illuminating interview, imo.  Plant put into words what so many rock fans find special and unique about Page's guitar playing.  The "come into a song at odd angles" is the best description of Page's playing that I've read.  It also gives us some insight into Page's post-Zeppelin career.  Page's guitar ramblings and tendency to come in at odd angles during a song  may make it harder for him to find singers and other musicians who are a good fit.  

Kinda funny that Plant in 85' says Page would not be a good fit for his music, yet two years later records Now & Zen with Page adding guitar solos to Heaven Knows & Tall Cool One. I guess Mr. Plant changed his mind.

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Kinda funny that Plant in 85' says Page would not be a good fit for his music, yet two years later records Now & Zen with Page adding guitar solos to Heaven Knows & Tall Cool One. I guess Mr. Plant changed his mind.

Page added guitar solos to the above but was he Plant's main collaborator on either project?

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Kinda funny that Plant in 85' says Page would not be a good fit for his music, yet two years later records Now & Zen with Page adding guitar solos to Heaven Knows & Tall Cool One. I guess Mr. Plant changed his mind.

Yes, he did, having signed an artist management deal with Trinifold in Autumn 1986. Bill Curbishley's immediate advice and council to Robert was embrace your Zeppelin roots--fast!

Page added guitar solos to the above but was he Plant's main collaborator on either project?

Of course not. In fact Page recorded both solos in a single three hour session one afternoon in 1987.

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