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What advice would you give ?


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If you could go back in time and meet Jimmy Page when he was a session musician, what advice, it any, would you give him, knowing what you know?

 

I would probably say  "For God's sake Jimmy, film as many live shows as you possibly can because they will be worth their weight in gold for your fans. Do TV, I know you are against it but just do it!  Go on The Old Grey Whistle Test and other Music shows and do some TV specials. In the future when they compile music programmes about the greats or specials like Sounds of the 60's , they will include clips from The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Clapton and so on, but none from your band, you will be left out because there will be no clips to show (or very few)" 

Oh, and try having some singing lessons, may come in handy.

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27 minutes ago, BobDobbs said:

YES! Just imagine how different Zep's arc would have been.

If we assume Jimmy is the only variable and the second half of the band's career is when his heroin use kicked in:

Robert still would have had his car accident;

And his son would still have passed away;

And we still would have lost Bonzo. 

I'm not sure those last few years would have been much different if Jimmy was clean. There would not have been a tour in '76 and Presence would still have been the rushed affair it was given Robert's condition after the accident. The '77 tour was a massive success, at least based on the number of shows played and tickets sold, even with Jimmy's habit. They still would have taken '78 off to give Robert time to recover from the loss of his son. '79 was always going to be a tentative affair because of the amount of time they'd been away from touring, and while ITTOD would likely have been different if Jimmy was fully healthy, he wasn't the only one in a vice's grip. And the '80 shows that were played might have been better, but they were meant as warmups for the US tour later that year and if the '95 to 2000 period showed us anything about Jimmy, it's that he needs a lot of time on the road to be at his best, which he didn't get with the Euro 1980 shows. And then 9/25/80 still would have ended things.

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3 hours ago, SteveZ98 said:

If we assume Jimmy is the only variable and the second half of the band's career is when his heroin use kicked in:

Robert still would have had his car accident;

And his son would still have passed away;

And we still would have lost Bonzo. 

I'm not sure those last few years would have been much different if Jimmy was clean. There would not have been a tour in '76 and Presence would still have been the rushed affair it was given Robert's condition after the accident. The '77 tour was a massive success, at least based on the number of shows played and tickets sold, even with Jimmy's habit. They still would have taken '78 off to give Robert time to recover from the loss of his son. '79 was always going to be a tentative affair because of the amount of time they'd been away from touring, and while ITTOD would likely have been different if Jimmy was fully healthy, he wasn't the only one in a vice's grip. And the '80 shows that were played might have been better, but they were meant as warmups for the US tour later that year and if the '95 to 2000 period showed us anything about Jimmy, it's that he needs a lot of time on the road to be at his best, which he didn't get with the Euro 1980 shows. And then 9/25/80 still would have ended things.

Not necessarily as there is a very good chance Bonzo would have taken a very different path. Bonzo was also using heroin from 76' until right before his death in 1980. Bonzo quit heroin right before the 1980 European tour if memory serves. So if Bonzo never got involved with heroin there is a good likelihood he may have avoided his fate even though it was alcohol and not H which killed him. I really felt sorry for Bonzo as it appears the last months of his life were not very happy and he was dealing with some very serious insecurity issues, compounded by his fear of going to America after the Oakland incident.

Who know right? Its all speculation.

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18 hours ago, BobDobbs said:

Who know right? Its all speculation.

Agreed. On a less somber note, I read a post at RO years ago that talked about the impact having your guitar slung low has on the way a person plays. IIRC, the person who wrote the post said they play guitar and when they have it slung really low, their playing unintentionally ends up sounding a lot like Jimmy's in '77. I believe the assumption was that it lessened their ability to easily and quickly reach the various parts of the neck. I don't play guitar so I don't know if that's true, but it is an interesting possibility, and if I could talk to Jimmy, I'd ask why he switched to having the guitar slung so low and what impact it had on his playing. 

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1 minute ago, SteveZ98 said:

Agreed. On a less somber note, I read a post at RO years ago that talked about the impact having your guitar slung low has on the way a person plays. IIRC, the person who wrote the post said they play guitar and when they have it slung really low, their playing unintentionally ends up sounding a lot like Jimmy's in '77. I believe the assumption was that it lessened their ability to easily and quickly reach the various parts of the neck. I don't play guitar so I don't know if that's true, but it is an interesting possibility, and if I could talk to Jimmy, I'd ask why he switched to having the guitar slung so low and what impact it had on his playing. 

Yes, spot on as I have been playing guitar for almost 40 years now. Tried playing "Jimmy Style" once and forget it, I played like shit as the neck is at a very weird angle plus its hard to chord and reach the upper frets. I am approx the same height and structure as Jimmy (5'11") with similar arm length and hand size. Of course everyone is different but prior to 75' his guitar was not that low and by 77' the damn thing was almost down to his kneecaps it was so low. I play, like most guitarists, with the guitar body right at my waistline which places the neck and fretboard in a comfortable, accessible angle. The fact Jimmy could play as well as he did with the guitar that low is pretty amazing. Though by 79' he was playing at pre-75' guitar position with his axe higher up yet we still got August 11th and several sub-par Europe 80' shows.

I could be wrong (big surprise there) but I think by 75' Jimmy was focusing on the visual presentation aspect of the shows more than the audio. Most likely the thought being in a live setting, especially in those large halls, a combination of reverb, volume, and acoustics of the hall would mask most mistakes but you cannot "mask" a visually boring show. Unfortunately for Jimmy, he had no idea that technology would one day bring every bootleg made, exposing every wart and mistake into the living room of anyone wanting to listen, at the click of a mouse.

So here is a lesson for all musicians out there. Technology will give it to ya in the backside if you try and half-ass it live. 

Just as an aside, I have seen Jimmy five times live, once with Zep in 77', once with the Firm in 85', solo in 88', then twice with Robert (95' & 98') and every time he played extremely well, no slop. His best performance I witnessed was without a doubt in 98'. Jimmy was, in 98' where he should have been in 75' had his playing progressed naturally from 73'. He was crazy-good in 98'.

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