I want to share this nice unreleased Coverdale Page track. It’s a nice acoustic number entitled Southern Comfort. There’s no solo or anything, but the chord voicings could only belong to one Mr. James Patrick Page. I could never connect with the Coverdale Page album.
A few years ago three unreleased songs were “leaked” by David Coverdale on his website. As such only lossy (.mp3) versions of these songs exist out here in the wild. This one, Southern Comfort, is the only acoustic track.
The is some mud in the water regarding this track, with some saying this is a unreleased track from David Coverdale’s 2000 solo album. However, the man himself said on Twitter that this song is from the Coverdale Page sessions. So, case closed. Plus it’s obviously Jimmy Page playing with that tuning.
One of these day’s I’ll cover Coverdale Page on the podcast. Until then let this hold you over.
In any case enjoy this little rarity (although rarities are a rarity in this digital age. Nothing’s rare if it’s on YouTube). 🙂
There are some really great songs performed on Zep’s first couple of tours which are never repeated. For Your Love is one of them. This is from January 5, 1969. Led Zeppelin I wasn’t out yet. They had been in the USA for one week. They’re still driving a van to gigs. They’re not insanely tight yet. They’re rough and raw. Pure power. Jimmy playing the telecaster he played in the Yardbirds. He didn’t have the Les Paul yet. Joe Walsh sold him his Les Paul. Did you know that? You do now. That pic in the video is from the Boston Tea Party in May 1969. Jimmy has the Les Paul there, because he bought it in April.
This show, the Whiskey A Go Go, January 5, 1969, is the first soundboard recording we mortals can hear. The band had only been in the states for their first tour, for a week. They were playing gymnasiums and clubs. Absolutely no one knew who they were, or what they brought.
Led Zeppelin was young and hungry. They set out to blow the acts for which they were opening (Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, The Doors, for example) off the stage. They succeeded. They had a lot of cover songs in their set, because they only had album in the can, and no one had any idea who they were, aside from ‘the guy from the yardbirds’. And it wasn’t like ‘that guy from the Yardbirds’ had much effect, because at that point, Jimmy Page was the least famous guy from the Yardbirds. Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck were already stars. The Jeff Beck Group was already touring, and had two albums out (or at least one), fronted by Rod Stewart. Zeppelin started from obscurity and fucking conquered.
You can hear that in this performance of the Yardbirds hit, For Your Love. It’s kind of loose, super aggressive, but the thing that stands out for me is that they aren’t gelled completely as a band, yet. They’re awesome for sure but almost unstable in their ferocity. I love it.
It’s an open secret that Jimmy Page has been retired, officially or not, since at least 2000 (when he toured with the Black Crowes), or even 1998 (his last creative period with new material). He has made a few appearances over the years, with Donovan, with Jeff Beck at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and with his old friend, and collaborator, Roy Harper.
This clip is from Roy’s 70th birthday concert, and it’s absolutely brilliant. The song, Same Old Rock, is from his Stormcock album, on which Jimmy played, and it’s anthemic and amazing, and awesome.
Roy’s voice is still strong and pure, and Jimmy comes out and nails his parts like he did back in the early 70’s. It’s great. Dave Lewis has an excellent write up of this gig on his site, if you want to know more.
This song is so good I want you to read the lyrics (if you so desire), because they’re excellent.
All along the ancient wastes the thin reflections spin
That gather all the times and tides at once we love within
That build the edges round the shrouds that cloud the setting sun
And carry us to other days and other days to one
And full the single stillness of the mirror that is made
By each and every one of all the colours in a shade
Inside each eye is sitting like the sword inside the blade
And longs for once upon a chance to open love’s cascade
For here we stand – hand to hand
Fighting for the Promised Land
And you try to tell me with consternation
That you have found me a brand new lock
Then you try to warn me that there’s only one combination
One new sling – the same old rock
There is a famous straggler stood on the edge of time
Who held the staff but did not feel the pain
He multiplied the mystery with utterance sublime
And crossed his heart for those who died insane
His friend a restless mouthpiece 7000 years of age
Trends to flash a face to shape his ways
Everlasting light is burning bright inside his cage
He’s only got to breathe to fan the blaze
Such a groove to have him here on-board Her Ladyship
The man who makes his living out of bed
Such a gas to see him flying through his ceaseless lip
One day, someday soon, he’ll lose his head
And withering in the galleries with eyes fixed on the door
Are who and you and me and thanks a lot
And those who see but cannot stand to walk on any floor
For fear that good is something bad is not
But loud and clear is the call
In black and white across your wall
Damn it all, man, can’t you see
And you try to tell me with consternation
That you have found me a brand new lock
Then you try to warn me that there’s only one combination
One new sling – the same old rock
If you would like to watch a great video of Jimmy Page live from his Outrider tour, then head on over here, where I have a video of his October 28, 1988 (the night before I saw him in Worcester, MA) gig. It’s wonderful. It’s a bootleg fan shot video, but it’s absolutely watchable.
If you would like a copy of the concert from which I take the tracks used in the podcast, you can download .mp3 copies of the show from my google Drive. I converted to 320kbs using the LAME Encoder, so yes it’s lossy (that means don’t trade it), but it sounds virtually identical to the raw FLAC files.
If you have no idea what any of that means, no worries. Just download the songs and play them forever. Enjoy.
Jimmy Page – The Last Outrider Show. 11/26/88. Manchester UK
I don’t have any backstory for this. Someone wonderful posted the link to this, on the FBO (For Badgeholders Only) mailing list (yes, it’s been around that long). The YouTube account and opening credit is named something called the Academy of Achievement.
It looks pretty highbrow. The kind of library that includes interviews with Bill Clinton, Ernst Mayr, and Paul Kagame. Jimmy is eloquent and loquacious, giving fascinating answers and insight into Led Zeppelin, the Yardbirds, music in general, and life. He’s surprisingly insightful, reflective, and (dare I say), wise.
In talking about how he takes care of himself, he simply recounts how he was still drinking into his 50’s, and smoking, and realized that if he knocked it off, he would likely live into his 70’s. And he has (knock wood. No, seriously. Do it)
He mentions being at the hotel at which Martin Luther King was killed, shortly after it occurred. He talks about how african american people would attend Yardbirds concerts, along with white people, but after the assassination of MLK, that stopped.
As a whackadoodle Led Zeppelin fan I have seen a lot, a… lot… of Jimmy Page interviews, and this one is hands down the highest level (intellectually) and most relaxed interviews of his I’ve seen. No fluff about what Zoso means, or when they’re reuniting. It’s almost like a Charlie Rose level of interview. We don’t hear the interviewer at all. They have a title card display the question asked, and Jimmy just started talking.
I know that many Zep fans won’t really be interested in watching an hour long interview with anyone. The music speaks for itself, and I won’t blame you if this isn’t your thing. However I have a podcast which deals with the more esoteric elements of Jimmy Page’s career, as well as great live Zeppelin material, so you’ll have to forgive the occasional niche post.
Many Led Zeppelin fans of a certain age remember the Death Wish 2 soundtrack. It was, decidedly, not Zeppelin. Jimmy Page has performed a few songs from this over the years, City Sirens, Who’s To Blame, and Prelude. He’s played them with the Arms Tour, with the Firm (at least Prelude), and on the Outrider tour.
They’re good tracks but there are a couple of others from this album which deserve some love. Jimmy’s choice of Chris Farlowe as vocalist has, in my opinion, limited the appeal of this soundtrack, but this was a very rushed, last minute project, and Chris was a friend with whom Jimmy had recorded before, so I get it. You may recognize Chris’ voice as the singer of Prison Blues on Jimmy’s Outrider album.
Hypnotizing Ways (Oh Mama)
Hypnotizing Ways is a nice rock song. Jimmy doesn’t usually use suspended fourths (music nerd alert), but I like it. If there was another singer on this I think it would have more traction, but I enjoy it.
A nice little instrumental jam. I really dig it. You can hear flashes of the guitar god on the solos. Jimmy made the noble decision to walk away from the Zeppelin catalog (at least until 1988), after the breakup of the band, so hearing some very Zep-like licks is refreshing.
The story of how this project came about is an interesting one, at least as much as the XYZ project, so perhaps I will do a podcast about it. Until that glorious day you will have to make do with these two songs, which have fallen through the cracks.
At this time the only place you can buy this (remastered and expanded) soundtrack is from Jimmy Page himself, on his website. From what I understand it sounds great and the extra tracks are pretty badass.
I posted this video on Youtube years ago, after downloading off of Dimeadozen. I attended the Outrider concert the following night in Worcedeter, MA, but that’s a story for another day.
The Outrider album is… ok. The playing is great which the big thing. After two Firm albums, and a bunch of shaky performances, I was delighted that Jimmy got his chops back and came out swinging.
The Outrider tour was fucking incredible. For the first time since 1980, he was playing Led Zeppelin, along with a couple Firm songs, some Death Wish 2 stuff, and and Yardbirds tune (Train Kept A Rollin). It’s interesting to note that Robert Plant was also touring at this time, and he too was playing Zep tunes for the first time since the breakup.
This is a home shot video with matching audio. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, at all. This is totally something you can listen to in your car as you’re going to work, or at your desk. It’s really really great.
If you’re one of the people who teeth because I do not think the Firm was impressive, watch and listen to this show, and see what impresses me, Jimmy Page-wise.
His touring band was Jason Bonham on drums, Durban Laverde on bass, and John Miles on vocals. John Miles had sung for the Alan Parsons Project (Stereotomy), and he sang ably.
I will do a podcast about the Outrider tour fairly soon, in which I will spend time talking about the whole post Firm timeline, and how Jimmy got his groove back. For now enjoy the amazing document from one of rock’s greatest guitarists.
If you follow live Led Zeppelin recordings, you know that the last several years have been the Led Zeppelin Soundboard Revolution. The Japanese boot companies have gotten ahold of a hoard of 1975 tour soundboard tapes. These exist because Showco, the sound & light company that Zep used, would tape each show, for review by the soundmen, and the band.
The Japanese bootleg label Empress Valley have been releasing ’75 soundboard tapes for more than 10 years, starting with Flying Circus. I am not the biggest fan of the this tour, as it showcases a band not at their best. Robert Plant started the tour with the flu, and Jimmy Page started with a broken finger. They soldiered on and the very early dates (January) has some songs never again played, like When The Levee Breaks, and The Wanton Song. How Many More Times was revived in place of Dazed and Confused to give Jimmy’s finger a break. He played with three fingers on his left hand. Remarkable for sure, but the pain management needed did his growing use, and dependence, on opiates and alcohol no favors.
Ok. Enough with the downers. This is the tour supporting Physical Graffiti, which is their last undisputed great album. Holy shit, you get Kashmir, Trampled Underfoot, In My Time Of Dying, Ten Years Gone…. those alone are the mountaintop of greatness, plus a host of other songs which are merely awesome like, Custard Pie, Night Flight…well, you know what songs are on this album if you’re reading this post.
Anyhoo… The 1975 was a bit of a drop from the energy of the 1973 tour, which was a bit of a drop from 1972 (the last year when Plant’s voice had that killer high range) but this show could be listed as 1973, and no one would know the difference (aside from the Physical Graffiti tracks). This is a good one. Listen to the podcast, listen to the show.
Jimmy Page was a very busy boy in 1984. He was fresh off the rejuvenation (or resurrection) of the ARMS Tour (last date of that was 12/9/83), and he immediately started looking for drummers for the new band he wanted to create, with Paul Rodgers (late of Bad Company).
On 1/22/84 Jimmy was jamming with drummers in Nomis studios. Rat Scabies from the Damned, and Bill Bruford (King Crimson & Yes) was among the drummers he played with. Recordings exist. They’re muddy (cassette boombox it sounds like) but there’s some good stuff there. I think it may be Pino Palladino on bass.
Somewhere around this time Jimmy contacted Chris Slade. I do not know if he auditioned him, or just knew enough and wanted him, but Chris Slade had just (literally minutes before) taken a call from Dave Gilmour to do a tour with him. So he told Jimmy it would be three months before he could join the Firm. Jimmy agreed to wait, and it eventually became a 9 month wait.
02.?? New York (with Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, John Entwistle and Louis Bertignac of Telephone – Glyn John’s birthday party) No recordings have circulated.
3/84 – Recording the Honeydrippers EP with Robert Plant, Jeff Beck, Nile Rodgers, and more. Produced by Ahmet Ertegun.
April/May/84 – Jimmy Page records the album Whatever Happened To Jugula, with Roy Harper, at Roy’s 24 track studio, The Boilerhouse. Also performs with Roy’s band on the following dates:
05.19 May Tree Fair, Thetford
05.20 Kenley Fayre, Norwich
05.21 St. Ives Hotel, Lytham St. Annes
5/5&6/84 Jimmy plays on three tracks of Stephen Stills’ album Right By You. It was recorded in Jimmy’s Sol studios, and released 7/30/84. If you’re in the USA these vids won’t play on my site. CLICK THE WATCH ON YOUTUBE LINKS and you’ll be fine.
6/5/84 – Alexis Korner Benefit with The Alexis Light Orchestra aka Ian Stewart’s Rocket 88. Charlie Watts, Ian Stewart, Jack Bruce, Ruby Turner, Paul Jones, John Picard, Don Weller Dick Heckstall-Smith
6/24/84 – Jimmy Page jams with Yes on the Beatles song, I’m Down. This show was in Germany, and it was professionally filmed, and released on home video. Jimmy’s encore is NOT in the release, but I bet it exists somewhere, in pro-shot goodness.
7/12/84 Pistoia Blues Festival. Another benefit show for the recently deceased Alexis Korner. This time he plays with (among others) Ginger Baker in Italy. Jimmy is in fine form. He does a super ballsy Train Kept A Rollin’ but the rest of the band obviously doesn’t know the song, because it’s a train wreck (no pun intended), but Jimmy’s playing was amazing. He was drinking vodka straight from a bottle during this gig. Rock and Roll.
07/28/84 With Roy Harper’s band – Cambridge Folk Festival (afternoon & evening sets)
LISTEN TO THIS. IT’S AWESOME
07/29/84 Battersea Park, London – Jimmy Page with Roy Harper’s band.
08.?? Heartbreak Hotel, Ibiza (Page and Plant with Phil May and members of The Pretty Things)
9/84-11/84 Recording the Firm album, mixing and producing. Sol Studios.
11/16/84 (broadcast date)Jimmy Page & Roy Harper Langdale, Cumbria (Old Grey Whistle Test, BBC TV)
11/24/84 – Jimmy Page & Roy Harper Rock Garden, Covent Garden, London
11/29/84 The Firm debuts in Stockholm, and Jimmy Page is on another path.
12/9/84 The Firm played the Hammersmith Odeon in London, which is professionally filmed and recorded. MTV plays a 30 minute version. Maybe you remember it?
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1980 was not a great year for rock. John Bonham died in September and Led Zeppelin disbanded in December. Yes had finally sunk despite trying to plug the leaks with Trevor Horn, and Geoff Downe (from the Buggles!), after the departure of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. Here’s a peek at what Yes looked like in 1980.
This Is YES In 1980
The air was heavy, dependency issues were rampant, and music was changing.
Jimmy Page was emotionally devastated, at both the death of his friend and bandmate, but also at the death of his band. Led Zeppelin officially dissolved on December 4, 1980.
The sources for this info are, for the most part, people directly involved. Chris Squire has spoken of these sessions, as have Alan White, Jimmy Page, and the engineer Stuart Epps. He also engineered the posthumous Led Zeppelin album, Coda.
Here’s the thing with these sources. Some were from youtube and they’ve been taken down and are gone. Chris Squire’s is gone, as is (goddamn it I should have downloaded it when I had the chance) the Stuart Epps video. I read a lot of interviews, forum posts from knowledgable people (cough Steve A Jones… cough), and watched/listened to a lot of videos. Due diligence was performed.
The only tracks that I’ve seen around, in the trading circles, are from a cassette source. My recording lists 2nd or 3rd generation.
Track 2 is Fortune Hunter, which was used later by the Firm. This one feels a lot like a Jimmy riff to me. Alan White is more straight on rocking, and Chris Squire is just laying a groove. Nothing proggy. Jimmy uses the Roland guitar synth in the background, and the b bender is all over this. He plays some pretty tight solos, which sound a lot like solos from Coda, Walter’s Walk in particular.
Track 3 is Can You See. This is all Chris Squire. I can hear Jon Anderson singing this on 90125. If it was a little brighter, and if Chris Squire wasn’t singing this (sorry, he’s not great on this). It kind of drags tempo wise. It feels like it should be just a hair faster.
This later came out in 2001 as Can You Imagine on the album Magnification.
This is a complete song, with overdubs, solos, etc. The first two tracks were more rudimentary and jamming, than finished product.
Track 4 is Telephone Secrets. This one suffers (imo) from Squire’s vocals. I can see Jon Anderson singing this, and with a little more upbeat vibe, it being at home on 90125. It actually appears on the Deluxe Edition of Drama as Song No. 4 (satellite)
Stuart Epps was Jimmy Page’s engineer, working in Jimmy’s SOL studio (formerly Elton John’s) and he ran the board for the XYZ sessions. According to him, “It was a week of sessions. It was mad.” He was there. These guys were all focused on creating good music, and I think it shows.
THE COMPLETE TRACKS FROM THE XYZ SESSIONS
I only played excerpts from each track, during the podcast. Here, as promised, are the complete XYZ tracks. Enjoy.
WTF IS THIS?!
No sooner had I posted this episode than a listener commented about a promo XYZ pen he won back in 1981, from none other than Tight But Loose magazine. I.. had no idea things progressed to the point of pen manufacturing. I am extremely skeptical that it’s an official Swan Song/Atlantic promo. I am putting my money on it being something that Dave Lewis (the TBL guy and avatar of Zep) had made up himself. They look like the cheap promo pens that small businesses have made up, plus John Paul Jones and Robert Plant’s names are on the pen. I reached out to Mr. Lewis and will update when I get word. In any case… it’s pretty damn cool!
UPDATE: They are neither official nor do they originate from Mr. Lewis. He thinks they might have been made up by