Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It's A Mad, Mad, Jimmy Page World

For all the rock&roll posturing around here, I've never written anything about Jimmy Page. As all rock aficionados know, Jimmy Page is The Man. His career has traversed across pretty much all of rock history and he's still touring and recording. He worshipped satan and lived in a castle and wore those cool Zoso pants. Do you think he still has a closet full of that stuff? Wouldn't it be fun to have a party in the castle and everyone could wear those outfits? A Zoso party. They should market those at party supply stores. Once after ingesting various substances I saw his visage in the palm of my hand.

James Page playing in a skiffle band at either age 14 or 15, depending on the arguments among YouTube commentators. So the date is approximately 1958 or '59. Quiet James did not follow the pursuit of biological research and so far skiffle has not made a come-back in the public consciousness. We await the Christopher Guest mock-doc on the subject: Hidy Ho! Skiffle Me This with Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, and the rest of the wacky gang.

Page became a celebrated session man, playing guitar on a lot of would-be hits. Here he plays on Nico's first single "I'm Not Sayin'" (1965) before she came to the States and joined The Velvet Underground. Will we ever crack the mysterious code that was Nico? What was going on beneath that beautiful icy exterior? She definitely wasn't sayin'.

Page was asked, or begged, depending on who's writing the history, to join The Yardbirds after Jeff Beck quit. Here, guitar maestros are gimpsed briefly in the trailer for Michelangelo Antonioni's Blowup.

Antonioni wisely forgoes the pursuit of "realism" when shooting a rock show. Those scenes never look real anyway because movie-making is the opposite of a rock show--rarely does anything spontaneous or even exciting happen on a movie set--it's one long lighting set-up and extras-blocking session. So he goes for heightened realism to show the apathy and destruction inherent in 60s London. I guess. I wasn't there, obviously. One thing we know for sure: The Yardbirds were so awesome man.

So when are we getting to the LED ZEP? Okay, okay, here's "Whole Lotta Love" with Led Zeppelin giving you every inch of their love.

And finally, the cello bow guitar solo from "Dazed and Confused" at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970. How many of us enjoyed this scene in The Song Remains the Same while sitting in suburban movie theaters at midnight, bombed out of our minds? I would guess at least several hundred thousand. Jimmy Page, session man, blues man, ax man, innovator, Zoso-pants wearer: he just never gets old.

Rob & Jim - Led Zep


Bradda said...

Wow. Very introspective post. Well done.

Katrin_Sweden said...

very well written, I love it! LZ forever :D