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Jimmy Page 5/29/91 Crystal Bay Club Lake Tahoe


djmaus
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Discussion of this impromptu jam found elsewhere on this website--

https://forums.ledzeppelin.com/topic/16633-jimmy-page-solid-ground-1991-05-29/

Review of the boot:

JIMMY PAGE AND SOLID GROUND
Up in Smoke [Continental Sounds 004]

Continental Sounds may not be the most prolific label in Europe, but they sure come up with some unusual material. Among their few releases so far, have been an unusual collection of Tommy Bolin FM broadcasts and demos (Rarities), the only Elvis Costello recording known to exist of his ‘78 Japan tour (Live Attraction), and now this.

Jimmy Page playing with a bar band in Reno at the request of their female vocalist - the dream of every bar band of the ’70s and ’80s that cut their teeth on Zeppelin.

Taken from a superb soundboard recording, this CD is far more vibrant than you could possibly hope for in an unauthorized release. Sound quality is consistently good with only a few rises in the levels (probably done by the soundman at the show) that hardly seem to matter.

What does matter is Page’s performance. The band is third rate at best. The female vocalist is horrible (she only sings two songs and part of a medley - thank God for small favors) and the male vocalist, a very good southern belter, is prone to calling Page “son.” The rhythm section can’t keep time and the keyboard player is almost invisible.

But, mercy, does page play. On this 70-plus-minute set, Page just lets everything rip. He cuts loose on some old rock ‘n’ roll standards with absolute abandon. It’s obvious he’s just having fun with no formal set list or direction (but, of course, without a great band behind him). Page can be heard playing masterful blues (Spider in Your Web), classic rock ‘n’ roll (Johnny B. Goode), crunching instrumentals (Smokin’ Again), rockabilly (Slow Down), and party-time favorites (Louie Louie medley). It’s great to hear Page playing with this much fun and abandon.
Setlist (Reno, NV May 25, 1991): Spider in Your Web/ Steamroller/ Johnny B. Goode/ Hound Dog-Blue Suede Shoes/ Smokin’ Again/ Slow Down/ Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll (Seger tune)/ Kansas City/ Louie Louie-Wild Thing-Hang On Sloopy
 

Recollections of the lead singer of the jam session:

A band I played in “Solid Ground” played with Jimmy Page at the Crystal Bay Club on May 29, 1991, Funny things happen when you're packing to move; you find a lot of the stuff you thought you lost. Last night after all these years I found part of a recording of the night Jimmy Page played with Solid Ground. I hope to find the rest of the recording. We did have pictures of the show but the keyboardist for the band ripped them off. He also is the one the band suspects boot legged the recording of the show against Jimmy’s wishes, after he specifically told the band that night not to do it. I want Jimmy to know the rest of the band had nothing to do with the boot legged recordings.

 

Bill Glahn reviewed the recording on his blog in March 1993. He was tough on the band, Thank God he liked my singing "The male vocalist, a very good southern belter, is prone to calling Page “son.” I don't remember calling Jimmy son. It is a southern thing though, y'all know what I mean?

I don't know why the recording is titled "Up In Smoke". Funny thing is, that is what happened to our relationship with the keyboardist, totally burnt to ashes. Reminds me of another situation with a nasty ex band mate.

 

I do plan on posting these recordings of the show (Not for Profit) on my website. Jimmy was playing my guitar and Debbie McIntyre sang Hang On Sloopy and I sang the rest of the songs. Finding these recordings has led me to see what was out there on the internet about that night. I cannot believe the curiosity and information that has been posted. At the very least I want folks out there to know the story and give credit to where credit is due and mention all the band members who played on that recording with Jimmy Page. Well maybe not all, I will just ignore the damn keyboardist. I have worked with many musicians with pleasant and difficult dispositions. It is only the very worst of those that I refuse to have any association with, and refuse to recall anytime I spent with them, or mention them on my website www.renebest.net. That reminds me, I still have to write a disclosure about my website which I own and control all content, and the person who is spreading bogus lies, that "It's Not Really Rene's Website". In the mean time if anyone feels the need to know about the motives of the person behind the bogus complaints board comments you can cell me @ 775-378-7084

The guitar Jimmy used at this jam currently in the news and available for auction.  

 

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/oct/18/jimmy-page-guitar-finds-its-way-to-river-city-guit/

 

https://www.spokanepublicradio.org/post/spokane-music-store-offers-guitar-formerly-owned-rock-legend-jimmy-page

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, djmaus said:

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Are you asserting that photograph is from the jam with Solid Ground? I have the original Continental Sounds bootleg cd, not the Wardour bootleg release (yet) so I'm unsure if that photo is included with it. I saw the photo in the story but did not want to make any assumptions about when it was taken.

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Its definitely Page circa 1991 playing in a small club, with a borrowed guitar (burgandy strat) and the story with the matching guitar seems to line up (somewhat) to circumstances of that event.  Small leap to say photo is from 5/29/91, as the story attached to the guitar, i.e. tahoe, private club, coverdale, etc.  appear to be too close for a coincidence.  That being said, you are correct that it is not definitive.  It could be an undocumented page public performance from that same timeframe for instance.  I would classify it as definitely more likely than not.  No photos from the jam session were included in the boots to my knowledge and apparently there were photos originally but the keyboard player stole them (allegedly.)  Other band members suspected he was the one that sold the soundboard recordings so not sure why he didnt hook the bootleggers up with a photo as well.  Anyway, the lead singer and guitarist in the house band, "Solid Ground" appears to be named Rene' Best and there is a musician by that name in Texas so I'm guessing that's the same fellow.  He said he let Jimmy borrow his guitar for the jam, not sure how it ended up in Spokane.  Anyway, guess I should have put in the "photo mysteries" thread and seen if anyone could confirm venue, person playing guitar next to page, etc.  I'm sure many people would love to hear a recording of this if you put on youtube, thanks for your time and reply.  

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Ok, then so not definitive. Yeah, because the thing is if I recall correctly the guitar being sold belongs to a guy named Robbie G. I don't think Solid Ground had a band member by that name. So, if we accept at face value Robbie G's assertion Jimmy used his guitar for a jam, then it's quite possible the jam he's referring to remains undocumented. Jimmy stayed near Lake Tahoe for several months so it isn't out the question there was an additional jam I'm unaware of.

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I had no idea this existed. 

Now that I have listened to a good bit of it, it's hard to not hear this as the audio equivalent to Courtney Love's visit to Wendy's.  WTF was Page doing in Tahoe anyway? 

Meanwhile, some 400 miles away on this exact same night, while "Really special guy Jimbo Page" was doing this blistering set at Crystal Bay with Solid Ground, these bunch of literal nobodies were doing a one-off show fresh out of the recording studio:

 

 

 

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  • 6 months later...
On 10/27/2019 at 9:05 AM, SteveAJones said:

Are you asserting that photograph is from the jam with Solid Ground? I have the original Continental Sounds bootleg cd, not the Wardour bootleg release (yet) so I'm unsure if that photo is included with it. I saw the photo in the story but did not want to make any assumptions about when it was taken.

See below.

On 10/27/2019 at 10:45 AM, djmaus said:

Its definitely Page circa 1991 playing in a small club, with a borrowed guitar (burgandy strat) and the story with the matching guitar seems to line up (somewhat) to circumstances of that event.  Small leap to say photo is from 5/29/91, as the story attached to the guitar, i.e. tahoe, private club, coverdale, etc.  appear to be too close for a coincidence.  That being said, you are correct that it is not definitive.  It could be an undocumented page public performance from that same timeframe for instance.  I would classify it as definitely more likely than not.  No photos from the jam session were included in the boots to my knowledge and apparently there were photos originally but the keyboard player stole them (allegedly.)  Other band members suspected he was the one that sold the soundboard recordings so not sure why he didnt hook the bootleggers up with a photo as well.  Anyway, the lead singer and guitarist in the house band, "Solid Ground" appears to be named Rene' Best and there is a musician by that name in Texas so I'm guessing that's the same fellow.  He said he let Jimmy borrow his guitar for the jam, not sure how it ended up in Spokane.  Anyway, guess I should have put in the "photo mysteries" thread and seen if anyone could confirm venue, person playing guitar next to page, etc.  I'm sure many people would love to hear a recording of this if you put on youtube, thanks for your time and reply.  

See below.

On 10/27/2019 at 3:04 PM, SteveAJones said:

Ok, then so not definitive. Yeah, because the thing is if I recall correctly the guitar being sold belongs to a guy named Robbie G. I don't think Solid Ground had a band member by that name. So, if we accept at face value Robbie G's assertion Jimmy used his guitar for a jam, then it's quite possible the jam he's referring to remains undocumented. Jimmy stayed near Lake Tahoe for several months so it isn't out the question there was an additional jam I'm unaware of.

See below.

 

MYSTERY SOLVED

Jimmy performed with guitarist Robbie Gade and his band three times (Fri, May 24, Sat, May 25 & Sat Jun 1, 1991). As a by the way, last month Robbie attempted to auction the guitar Page performed on. The bidding started at $80,000 but failed to draw a single bid at that amount and so the bidding was closed.

 

 

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14 hours ago, luvlz2 said:

^How cool! I would love to hear audio of them playing the LZ songs. I'm grateful for the audio that exists!:thumbsup:

This is THE guitar Jimmy performed on. A 1979 burgundy Fender Stratocaster with serial number S913175.

 

Page Nevada 91 001.png

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  • 1 year later...
Posted (edited)

30 Years Ago: Jimmy Page Jams With Locals On Memorial Day Weekend

In spring 1991, Jimmy Page hit the studio to record his first album since 1988's tepidly received Outrider. This time around, it was a more collaborative effort, as he linked up with David Coverdale.

The Whitesnake singer, who'd been living in Lake Tahoe, Nev. since the late '80s, invited the guitar legend to visit the swanky locale and work on material. During downtime, Page frequented the area hotspots and wound up jamming with a couple of shellshocked bar bands, starting Memorial Day weekend.

One night in late May, when guitarist Rene Best showed up at Crystal Bay Casino to play a gig with the Solid Ground Band, two excited bandmates told him the legendary Led Zeppelin member was sitting at the bar. Having dealt with the known pranksters for some time, he didn't believe it for a second and decided to call them out.

"[Page] had his face down, sittin' at the slot machine," Best tells Ultimate Classic Rock. "I thought he was some video guy." The Texas native casually walked up to the man at the console, put a hand on his shoulder and enthusiastically said, "Hey Jimmy!"

"He looked at me, and it was him!" Best says. "I just about shit rubber nickels -- I couldn't believe it!"

Page was cordial, telling Best if the band was good, he's stick around. Otherwise, he was gone.

He didn't leave. Better yet, between sets he took them up on an overture to sit in with the group. Their singer, who didn't even know who the rock royalty was - other than someone famous, given the burgeoning crowd - did one song then handed over the microphone to Best, wanting to watch a celebrity spectacle from the audience while adding occasional backing vocals.

"The place went from no people to, like, standing room only," Best recalls. "My mind was fucking tweaked, OK? He makes all these facial contortions when he plays [and was leaning on me] like I was Robert Plant!"

The Solid Ground Band stuck primarily with rock and roll standards by Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and some winding blues numbers that best suited Page's style. Their keyboardist had a four-track connected, though Page warned him not to let the recording get out. It was futile request: The widely spread Crystal Bay bootleg became the only audio document to date from his time in Lake Tahoe.

"[Page] was very nice, very kind. He signed everybody's autograph," Best says. "Something about the whole thing touched me. He wasn't arrogant. He had a very kind heart. It was just magic. It was like jumping into a vortex or something."

A bit further south in Lake Tahoe, guitarist Robbie Gade wasn't as enthused about the turn of events.

"I heard he went to Crystal Bay and [played] with some cheesy casino band, and I was so pissed he didn't come to my club, Gade tells Ultimate Classic Rock. "They were pretty good, but they weren't rockers."

Gade was part of the trio Public Eye, who were a familiar sight around the Tahoe region. Coverdale even occasionally sang with them. One such night, when Gade asked if any new Whitesnake music was on the horizon, the singer noted his plan to collaborate with Page. His heart beating fast, Gade made a mental note to bring an extra amp and guitars in the coming weeks, "just in case [Page] showed up." Soon enough, on a particularly dead Memorial Day weekend night at a spot called Legends, it happened.

"All of a sudden Jimmy Page and his bodyguard walk in - and I saw him right away," says a laughing Gade, recalling how the guitarist grabbed a seat right up front, some 15 feet away. "It's me up there playin', and Jimmy Page is sitting there watching me, and there's, like, half a dozen other people in the bar. I'm just...'What am I gonna do here?'"

Hands shaking, he did some open tuning, Keith Richards/George Thorogood-style playing. After the set, Page called him over and said, "Sounded great, man!" With the next round of songs about to start, Gade mentioned the extra amp and extended a sit-in offer to an unassuming Page, who brightened up and asked, "Would it be OK?"

"We got up there, and I said, "What do you wanna do - can we do some Led Zeppelin songs?" Cade remembers. "And he says, 'Yeah, anything but 'Stairway to Heaven' or 'Living Loving Maid' - he hated that song."

Once Page was locked in, Gade called his then-girlfriend, who was working as a waitress nearby, and told her to get off from her job, come by and bring her camera. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Or so he thought.

"Within the next hour, about 100 people showed up - that's how quick the word got around," Gade says. Public Eye ripped through a nearly two-hour set featuring Led Zep songs like "The Lemon Song," "Communication Breakdown," "Good Times Bad Times" and "Whole Lotta Love."

"It was incredible," Gade says, adding that his high-voiced bass player handled vocals. Afterward, the two six-stringers sat at the bar and chatted. "He really complimented by guitar playing -- I was like, 'Whoa, cool!'" Gade told him the band's schedule of Friday and Saturday nights each week at the bar, with an additional Sunday due to the Memorial Day weekend.

"The next night I get there, and he's sitting at the bar," Gade marvels. Word has clearly gotten around that Page found a local act with which to jam: "There was a pretty good crowd there already -- the place was packed. I'd say by 9PM, there was probably 600 people in this room that held 300. That night was absolutely killer 'cause I went home and practiced and made a setlist and kinda knew what I was gonna call out."

The following evening wouldn't be as fruitful. Fans from as far as Sacramento had heard the news about the musical icon being in the neighborhood. And with anticipation at a fever pitch, suddenly he wasn't there.

"Sunday night, [when] I get to the club, cars were parked on the highway and the parking lot was full," Gade says. "I get in there, and you couldn't move. No Jimmy Page. He never showed up that night. I was so bummed."

The next weekend, Public Eye weren't doing the Tahoe bar scene. Instead, they'd been booked to play a private gig at a country club in nearby Incline Village. Gade says nobody was even paying attention to the band, instead just milling about.

"God, what a difference a week makes," Gade said to a friend during a break. "Last week I'm playing with Jimmy Page, and this week I'm playing at a high school parent's dance, knowing that Jimmy Page in probably at the club looking for me."

The girlfriend of Gade's friend was incredulous, rolling her eyes and delivering a basic, "Yeah right...Jimmy Page" Almost as if on cue, Page showed up in a suit and tie, coming from some sort of formal affair. He had indeed shown up at Legends, asked about Gade's whereabouts and was directed to the country club.

"He never brought his guitar," Gade says. "I thought he's want to play a Les Paul, and I was going to borrow one, but he said, 'No, no -- I like playing Stratocasters."

Page would end up playing four of Gade's guitars over the period of their four shows together, and it looked like the pair were destined to keep linking up...but then family duties took over. Gade went on a trip to Hawaii with his brethren, and when he got back, Page had moved on from Tahoe and was off to record the Coverdale/Page record at a proper studio. Still, none of that dampened a truly incredible experience.

"Every time I was playing a solo, he was right in my face smiling," Gade says. "I think he had more fun playing with me than he did in years -- you can tell from the photos. He was beaming. I think he was just having fun, playing in a small bar, you know? It was 30 years ago, [but] I remember every second of it."

https://ultimateclassicrock.com/jimmy-page-lake-tahoe-jam/

Edited by luvlz2
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