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Ross62

Interviews for "The Complete BBC Sessions" release - 2016.

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"I want to be seen to be playing live again."

Over nine months later, he's on a live music show and his guitar is in its case.

What's going on?

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Jimmy Page: 'Led Zeppelin isn't done yet'

by Neil McCormick, Music Critic
16 September 2016

Jimmy Page tells Neil McCormick he’s keen to do justice to the archive – with or without Robert Plant

'I really don’t listen to Led Zeppelin that much,” says Jimmy Page, with a twinkle. I’m not entirely sure I believe him. The rock band’s image may have been battered in recent years by the strife of plagiarism lawsuits and public bickering between members, but the astonishing brilliance of their original music will always be there – a legacy closely guarded by Page himself. The 72-year-old guitar hero has just overseen the restoration of The Complete BBC Sessions, 33 tracks recorded between 1969 and 1971. The question vexing Page is how he feels listening to his own band from half a century ago. He chews it over for a bit. “I admire their bravado,” he concludes.

Looking tanned, long white hair tied back from a wrinkled but lively face, Page has recently returned from Los Angeles, where he appeared in court alongside Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant. They were defending Stairway to Heaven against accusations of plagiarism brought by the estate of late American guitarist Randy California. On June 23, a jury found that Zeppelin did not copy opening chords from Taurus, a 1967 track by California’s band Spirit. Page can’t comment, because an appeal has been launched.

When pressed, he offers some wider thoughts on the ownership of music. “How would you define Bossa Nova? It was a whole jazz genre and it all starts with the Bossa Nova beat.” Page demonstrates the rhythm on his knee. “That’s every Bossa Nova record. How far would the Bossa Nova movement have got in a corporate world today? It’s really disturbing. I do know there’s a lot of music where Led Zeppelin has been leant on. We didn’t do anything about it. And I wouldn’t want to, either.”

While Page is proud of Zeppelin, it is not hard to detect a frost in how he refers to other members. “I hadn’t seen Robert for a long time. It was nice to say hello,” is the most he will say about his reunion with Plant in court. Page is on record about his frustrations at Plant’s reluctance to continue Zeppelin following a one-off charity reunion in 2007. “Robert would rather play Led Zeppelin with his own band, not with his old band members,” he grumbled in an interview with me in 2014.

The pair last recorded and performed together as Page & Plant for Walking Into Clarksdale in 1998. Since then, Plant has released five original albums and toured constantly. Page has released none and rarely been seen on stage. His focus, Page insists, has been on re-releasing the Zeppelin archive (of which these sessions are the very last). “Led Zeppelin isn’t done yet, quite clearly, because every year since 1968 there’s been new fans. The re-releases have more than doubled the amount of Led Zeppelin work out there. I wanted it done authoritatively, ’cause I was the one writing the stuff, I was the producer and mixer. I don’t think it’s any more weird than writing your autobiography.”
The BBC Sessions are a reminder of what a fearless and innovative group Zeppelin were. “It was done with so much freedom and conviction by master musicians, that’s why it has travelled over time,” says Page. “It was an extraordinary connection, the synergy within the band. There was an area of ESP between Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham and myself.”

Expanded and remastered from the original 1997 release, The Complete BBC Sessions contains eight previously unreleased recordings, including the near mythical Sunshine Woman, which the band concocted on the spot, with multi-instrumentalist Jones hammering out honky-tonky piano.

“It seemed like fun, making numbers up in the studio,” recalls Page. “The thing that’s really apparent is the confidence and attitude. We improvised constantly, the whole thing was moving and transmuting right there, in the moment.”

These recordings showcase the rockers in full, fierce flow. “For us, every concert, every night, we were trying to break out,” says Page. “If a song was in the set, it was really going to go through it. It was no longer safe, it was going to be pummelled and changed and new insights put into it.”

For someone of his world beating talent, it has been a very long time since Page has done anything new. His only major live concert appearance this century was the Zeppelin reunion at the 02 Arena. Page can get touchy when pressed on this subject.

“I’m involved in all things musical, it’s all consuming, even if it doesn’t necessarily manifest as a record or a concert.”  Perhaps, given his incredible legacy, we should just accept that we have heard the last from Page, although he is insistent it is not the case.

“I set out an agenda for myself before I started to get into the re-releases. I thought I would be playing by now, but certain things got delayed, other things came in the way. So I’m a little bit behind.”

He insists he still plays behind closed doors. “If I pick up a guitar, I don’t practise scales. I never have. I come up with something I haven’t done before, new approaches to chord sequences, riffs, rhythms, so it becomes composition. It’s not like the music I’m doing is just a single thread.

It’s multi-threaded. And the different styles of guitar I can play are multi-faceted.“ Then he adds, slightly peevishly, “Maybe I should do scales. Maybe I’ll do some now.”  

Although he remains elusive on the subject, admirers will be pleased that Page genuinely does seem to have something in the pipeline. He vaguely mentions “new music” and his intention to be playing in public again “during the course of next year.”

He remains tight lipped about what that might be, but at least he’s smiling. “I’m looking forward to putting a project together. I want to surprise people. But whatever I do, I am going to do at my own pace, not at anybody else's.”

 

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8 minutes ago, sam_webmaster said:

Jimmy Page: 'Led Zeppelin isn't done yet'

by Neil McCormick, Music Critic
16 September 2016

Jimmy Page tells Neil McCormick he’s keen to do justice to the archive – with or without Robert Plant

'I really don’t listen to Led Zeppelin that much,” says Jimmy Page, with a twinkle. I’m not entirely sure I believe him. The rock band’s image may have been battered in recent years by the strife of plagiarism lawsuits and public bickering between members, but the astonishing brilliance of their original music will always be there – a legacy closely guarded by Page himself. The 72-year-old guitar hero has just overseen the restoration of The Complete BBC Sessions, 33 tracks recorded between 1969 and 1971. The question vexing Page is how he feels listening to his own band from half a century ago. He chews it over for a bit. “I admire their bravado,” he concludes.

Looking tanned, long white hair tied back from a wrinkled but lively face, Page has recently returned from Los Angeles, where he appeared in court alongside Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant. They were defending Stairway to Heaven against accusations of plagiarism brought by the estate of late American guitarist Randy California. On June 23, a jury found that Zeppelin did not copy opening chords from Taurus, a 1967 track by California’s band Spirit. Page can’t comment, because an appeal has been launched.

When pressed, he offers some wider thoughts on the ownership of music. “How would you define Bossa Nova? It was a whole jazz genre and it all starts with the Bossa Nova beat.” Page demonstrates the rhythm on his knee. “That’s every Bossa Nova record. How far would the Bossa Nova movement have got in a corporate world today? It’s really disturbing. I do know there’s a lot of music where Led Zeppelin has been leant on. We didn’t do anything about it. And I wouldn’t want to, either.”

While Page is proud of Zeppelin, it is not hard to detect a frost in how he refers to other members. “I hadn’t seen Robert for a long time. It was nice to say hello,” is the most he will say about his reunion with Plant in court. Page is on record about his frustrations at Plant’s reluctance to continue Zeppelin following a one-off charity reunion in 2007. “Robert would rather play Led Zeppelin with his own band, not with his old band members,” he grumbled in an interview with me in 2014.

The pair last recorded and performed together as Page & Plant for Walking Into Clarksdale in 1998. Since then, Plant has released five original albums and toured constantly. Page has released none and rarely been seen on stage. His focus, Page insists, has been on re-releasing the Zeppelin archive (of which these sessions are the very last). “Led Zeppelin isn’t done yet, quite clearly, because every year since 1968 there’s been new fans. The re-releases have more than doubled the amount of Led Zeppelin work out there. I wanted it done authoritatively, ’cause I was the one writing the stuff, I was the producer and mixer. I don’t think it’s any more weird than writing your autobiography.”
The BBC Sessions are a reminder of what a fearless and innovative group Zeppelin were. “It was done with so much freedom and conviction by master musicians, that’s why it has travelled over time,” says Page. “It was an extraordinary connection, the synergy within the band. There was an area of ESP between Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham and myself.”

Expanded and remastered from the original 1997 release, The Complete BBC Sessions contains eight previously unreleased recordings, including the near mythical Sunshine Woman, which the band concocted on the spot, with multi-instrumentalist Jones hammering out honky-tonky piano.

“It seemed like fun, making numbers up in the studio,” recalls Page. “The thing that’s really apparent is the confidence and attitude. We improvised constantly, the whole thing was moving and transmuting right there, in the moment.”

These recordings showcase the rockers in full, fierce flow. “For us, every concert, every night, we were trying to break out,” says Page. “If a song was in the set, it was really going to go through it. It was no longer safe, it was going to be pummelled and changed and new insights put into it.”

For someone of his world beating talent, it has been a very long time since Page has done anything new. His only major live concert appearance this century was the Zeppelin reunion at the 02 Arena. Page can get touchy when pressed on this subject.

“I’m involved in all things musical, it’s all consuming, even if it doesn’t necessarily manifest as a record or a concert.”  Perhaps, given his incredible legacy, we should just accept that we have heard the last from Page, although he is insistent it is not the case.

“I set out an agenda for myself before I started to get into the re-releases. I thought I would be playing by now, but certain things got delayed, other things came in the way. So I’m a little bit behind.”

He insists he still plays behind closed doors. “If I pick up a guitar, I don’t practise scales. I never have. I come up with something I haven’t done before, new approaches to chord sequences, riffs, rhythms, so it becomes composition. It’s not like the music I’m doing is just a single thread.

It’s multi-threaded. And the different styles of guitar I can play are multi-faceted.“ Then he adds, slightly peevishly, “Maybe I should do scales. Maybe I’ll do some now.”  

Although he remains elusive on the subject, admirers will be pleased that Page genuinely does seem to have something in the pipeline. He vaguely mentions “new music” and his intention to be playing in public again “during the course of next year.”

He remains tight lipped about what that might be, but at least he’s smiling. “I’m looking forward to putting a project together. I want to surprise people. But whatever I do, I am going to do at my own pace, not at anybody else's.”

 

^^^^^^^^This one's for the "It's not over 'til it's over" thread...^^^^^^^

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I noticed Jimmy was on Jools Holland last night (must have been a repeat) and recorded it to watch after work today. My instant thought when I seen it was 'Oh will he mention new music/live shows?'. Since I've been on the forum, since 2014 I think, it's always been next year, next year...I'm assuming this has been going on for a while now with Jimmy? Although I'm not complaining really. I sometimes feel like we fans expect too much from people haha.

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2 hours ago, Zoe said:

I noticed Jimmy was on Jools Holland last night (must have been a repeat) and recorded it to watch after work today. My instant thought when I seen it was 'Oh will he mention new music/live shows?'. Since I've been on the forum, since 2014 I think, it's always been next year, next year...I'm assuming this has been going on for a while now with Jimmy? Although I'm not complaining really. I sometimes feel like we fans expect too much from people haha.

It has become an unfunny running joke.

We wouldn't expect it if Page didn't keep saying he wanted to do it year after year.

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He'll do what he wants when he wants. That's been his way of approaching life for years. This BBC re-release did seem to come out of left field and I'd much rather hear a new Jimmy Page solo album. But it should never be a surprise that his top priority is Led Zeppelin.. 

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12 hours ago, the chase said:

He'll do what he wants when he wants. 

Fair enough, but why make a rod for your own back by saying next year I'll be putting something new out, when it never happens.

After so many years of saying that, it becomes a bit laughable and people don't believe he's being genuine anymore.

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2 hours ago, Boleskinner said:

Fair enough, but why make a rod for your own back by saying next year I'll be putting something new out, when it never happens.

After so many years of saying that, it becomes a bit laughable and people don't believe he's being genuine anymore.

I think led zeppelin is his top priority.. Not if you or I think he's being genuine.. Take what he says with a grain of salt and you won't get so worked up about it. He has the right to work on remasters and many out there are pretty excited about them.  I'd take a new solo album any day of the week over BBC but whatever.. 

 

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2 hours ago, the chase said:

Take what he says with a grain of salt and you won't get so worked up about it. 

I love how you always defend Page and then turn it back on me and try to patronise me.

I think you'll find you are in a very small minority and most people on this forum and in the media feel his conduct, regarding doing something new, has been sus.

Anyway, we're going around in circles so we'll need to agree to disagree.

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5 hours ago, Boleskinner said:

I love how you always defend Page and then turn it back on me and try to patronise me.

I think you'll find you are in a very small minority and most people on this forum and in the media feel his conduct, regarding doing something new, has been sus.

Anyway, we're going around in circles so we'll need to agree to disagree.

I do? My 1st response here wasn't directed at you. You were not quoted. It was a general response that pretty much agreed that I would rather see him working on new material.

My opinions are mine. Being a Page fan for over 40 years, I've learned to take what he says with a grain of salt. He talked about ITTOD being a double album back in 1978 with each side representing each of the 4 seasons. It would heavily feature his new Roland Guitar Synthesizer.. Well, we all know it came out differently. I didn't get mad about it.. But I learned to believe it when I see it.. 

Edited by the chase

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On 9/17/2016 at 7:54 PM, Zoe said:

since 2014 I think, it's always been next year, next year I'm assuming this has been going on for a while now with Jimmy? 

SIXTEEN YEARS of Led Zeppelin side projects, alibis and excuses, give or take a month. 

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840711.jpg

The music legend appeared on MOJO Rocks with Phil Alexander on Saturday night to talk about Led Zeppelin’s Complete BBC Sessions album and he joked he’s been “quite rightly” chastised for not releasing fresh material sooner.

“The BBC Sessions was an epic, when you think everything has to be listened to in real time and all of that,” Jimmy said. “It’s an epic but it’s an epic I was really prepared to take on because historically it was really important for people to have all that information about what was going on in the studio at that point of time.

“It took a lot of time and I must say that I hoped by this time (September 2016) that I would be sort of playing with other musicians. I’ve said that to you before but I still hope to do that. Clearly now it’s not going to materialise until next year. That’s not that far away now!”

Having remastered Led Zeppelin’s back catalogue and released The Complete BBC Sessions, Jimmy also refused to rule out restoring more of the band’s material.

“I’m sure there will be some (restored) releases over the next few years,” Jimmy continued. “But it’s the sort of thing where we need to have a good old chat with the band y’know. A few band meetings to discuss the ideas. So, I hope so!”

Jimmy also told Phil that he’s in contact with his former Yardbirds band members about releasing restored versions of their works.

“I’m in touch with the members of the Yardbirds and I hope to be seeing them relatively soon and then the material I’ve got we’ll see how much of it comes out. Hopefully all of it will come out but they haven’t heard all of the things, they’ve just heard certain samples of things and they were really thrilled with what they heard, which is cool.

“It’s all stuff that was done right in the last stages of The Yardbirds, it’s more or less almost in that last year that we had together. It’s got things that were really sort of crossover.

“I’m just really keen to do that and do it with them… so we’re all involved, bits of memorabilia and all of that. I’m very very hopeful that it will come together. I’m confident that it will.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Jimmy spoke in great detail about the BBC sessions, having to audition for the corporation before going on air, how Led Zeppelin’s career took off “like a bushfire” in America, the “amazing synergy” the band utilised and explored, the fabled ‘lost session’ and much more.

You can listen to the show again  here. MOJO Rocks is also repeated at 8pm this coming Wednesday (21st September).

http://www.planetrock.com/news/rock-news/jimmy-page-hoping-to-record-new-music-in-2017/

 

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On 9/14/2016 at 0:01 PM, Boleskinner said:

He basically says all the studio stuff is done, but leaves the door slightly ajar for perhaps some more live releases.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

He said the same when Rolling Stone interviewed him towards the end of the recent remasters campaign. It's really nothing new.

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Jimmy Page: 'Led Zeppelin weren't gonna fit on Top of the Pops'

With The Complete BBC Sessions out now, the Led Zep guitarist talks recording against the clock, the struggle to get on TV and his plans for a new band


Just when you thought it was all over – the eight studio albums and the Coda compilation remastered, reissued and expanded – here come Led Zeppelin again. This time it’s with The Complete BBC Sessions, expanding on the 1997 edition with nine further tracks. It’s sometimes forgotten, as guitarist Jimmy Page points out, that back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, they were a John Peel band: a couple of the sessions on the set were recorded for Peel’s Top Gear show, and he was the MC for a 1971 In Concert performance. “I’ve heard feedback about him liking us, and I didn’t know if he did at the time,” Page says now, “and when we played at the Bath festival for the first time [in 1969] we played on the John Peel stage, so there were connections all over the shop.”

You and John Paul Jones must have already done scores of BBC sets as session musicians, before Zeppelin ever went to record for the corporation …

Jimmy Page: I don’t think we actually did them together, but individually we surely must have done. I know that I played in the Aeolian Hall [where many live performance for the BBC were recorded] and certainly [the BBC studios in] Maida Vale, for solo artists – Tom Jones was one of them. I knew what equipment to take in, and John Paul Jones and I both had scaled down equipment which was useful. The recording was against the clock. The key thing to say is, some people say it took a while to break in England.

Radio 1 at this point offered a toehold to underground music, through shows like Top Gear, didn’t it?

We didn’t do singles, so how were we going to get on the radio? We went in there and just really wanted to capture the energy. Or hope they would. Which they did. There was Top Gear. But one of the shows we recorded for was Chris Grant’s Tasty Pop Sundae, so that gives some idea of what it was all about and the climate then. We also did a World Service show, which again was purely about getting on the airwaves.

Given your perfectionism in the studio when you were making albums, was it trying to have to record a session in an afternoon?

It wasn’t even a whole afternoon! We’d do those things within an hour and a bit, the tracks and then the overdubs. You do the track, then Robert does the vocal, then you do the overlays – you’re pinpointing the bits that you want to be heard as the textures. So you had enough control to be able to do the overdub. But you basically had one pass at putting on the extra stuff. It never stressed me because the whole thing about those songs was that the early songs we were already playing, and some of the later ones were freshly recorded, so we were used to playing them. In those days you could include things in your set that you’d just recorded, even though the album might not be coming out for many, many months later. You couldn’t do that now because it would be straight on YouTube.


Did you ever meet BBC engineers and producers with incomprehension when they insisted you couldn’t send the dials into the red?

We might have done, but I think I’ve forgotten. The one thing I do remember is that there were some good engineers there, and you’d go back to do another session and ask, “Where’s the engineer we had last time? “Oh, he’s been promoted – he’s a producer now.” “On a music programme?” “No, no, no – he’s on the World Service.” I always found that a bit odd, but that was the BBC’s whole tradition.

Was TV not a route open to you, or did you just prefer to do radio?

We did a pilot of an arts programme, which I’ve forgotten the name of – we did Communication Breakdown. There was an antiques dealer called John Jesse on it. But I don’t remember any more than that. TV wasn’t really catering for our sort of bands apart from Top of the Pops, and we weren’t gonna fit on that. Apart from Whole Lotta Love – that was on every week!

Did the BBC offer you sessions, or was your manager Peter Grant out hustling them?

I think Peter Grant, because of his connections with Mickie Most and his bands – Herman’s Hermits and that sort of thing. He knew all the programmers.
1971 by David Hepworth review – the very best year in rock music?
 

You were fortunate to be working at a time when the confluence of technology, cultural change and the spread of the underground made it possible to achieve such stature, is that right?

I think you’re absolutely right. It was a very, very healthy time for bands and for music in general. In those days the record companies would put a lot into A&R and finding new bands. It was definitely of its time, Led Zeppelin, and I’m happy that it’s of its time.

For a few years now, you’ve been promising a new band. Any sign of that coming together?

Things got in the way of my overall gameplan, which would have been to be playing now. But that’s got to be next year, because I don’t have the time. I’m not going to rush it. It’s pretty obvious it’s going to be next year. I want to do it and do it properly.

Last time we spoke, my final question was to ask you to tell me something about Led Zeppelin that had never appeared in an article. You said you wouldn’t, but you would someday. Go on then.

That’s not fair! Maybe next time.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2016/sep/20/jimmy-page-interview-led-zeppelin-complete-bbc-sessions

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Listen to Led Zeppelin talk about their BBC Sessions

Features / by Classic Rock

teamrockplayer.jpg
 

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones feature in this 50-minute radio special, which includes Stairway to Heaven, Communication Breakdown, Immigrant Song and more...

The Complete BBC Sessions is out this week. It features 32 tracks including the only known recording of Sunshine Woman, a lost Led Zeppelin song, while a bonus disc includes eight previously unreleased tracks made up of a ‘lost session' that the BBC wiped from the archive.

Our radio special features the voices of Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, plus a new interview with Jimmy Page, in which he talks about the recordings, and how they helped in the band's early days.

"The BBC had these little slots where you could go in and just record, in Maida Vale and at the Playhouse Theatre," says Page. "You didn't have a lot of of time to go in and present your music.

"Now, there had a been a programme prior it this called Pop Goes The Beatles, where There Beatles would go in and do their songs note-for-note, perfect. But for us this gave us the chance to go in and do a shorter number like Communication Breakdown, and then something like Dazed And Confused to show the kind of areas we were moving into as a band, which was far more experimental.

"Theses programmes gave us the opportunity for those tracks to be heard on the radio, and that's what it's all about."

Listen to the entire show below, which features Communication Breakdown (One Night Stand), a cover of Eddie Cochran's Somethin’ Else, Black Dog, Sunshine Woman, Immigrant Song, Travelling Riverside Blues (Top Gear), The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair, and Stairway to Heaven.

 http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-09-20/listen-to-led-zeppelin-talk-about-their-bbc-sessions

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