Friday, January 9, 2015

Jimmy Page

I’ve had a lot of pseudo-gurus throughout my life, and Jimmy Page, the guitarist, founding-member, and creative force behind the legendary band Led Zeppelin was probably one of the bigger ones, particularly for the handful of years around the mid-80s.  Zeppelin was a band I absolutely loved.  I collected all their releases on cassette tapes.  I taped rare live shows off the radio.  I listened to the bootlegged Destroyer album.  I read The Hammer of the Gods cover-to-cover a half-dozen times; it was the Bible for me and the other guitar player in my band at that time.  I had my first kiss while listening to “Dazed and Confused” from the live album The Song Remains the Same

I only saw him perform live once, sometime between the fall of 1984 and the summer of 1985, when he fronted the less-than-stellar The Firm.  Songs were good but unrecollectable.  However, he did do his trademark 20-minute guitar solo violin bow thingie in a dry-ice fog boxed in by revolving green laser beams.  Cool, so very cool …

Anyway, Mr. Page turns 71 years old today.  Who’da thunk it?  That got me thinking of doing the impossible: could I list my top ten favorite Led Zeppelin songs of all time?  At the end of a very stressful work week, with the news of the day filled with murder and mayhem, especially oversees in my beloved Paris, I thought this would be a great exercise this afternoon.

(Note: this really is an impossible task.  But I’ll give it a shot.)

How about …

In no particular order …

Heartbreaker *

Celebration Day *

Dazed and Confused *

The Ocean *

No Quarter *

That’s the Way

In the Evening


The Battle of Evermore

All My Love

Yeah, I know “Carouselambra” and “All My Love” are (maybe) too heavily-keyboard-laden and thus John Paul Jonesian, but, hey, I like the songs.  And I like what Page does on them.

Honorable Mentions:

Houses of the Holy *
Out on the Tiles *
Darlene *
Nobody’s Fault But Mine *
Custard Pie *
What Is and What Should Never Be *
The Wanton Song
The Rover *
The Rain Song
Tangerine *
Dancing Days
The Immigrant Song *
Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
Poor Tom
and Hats Off to Harper *

* = I have played these on the trusty six-string at least once in the past six months.

Here’s an old post entitled “Old Man Still Got It” showing, well, Jimmy still has it.

And this “Celebration Day,” live at Madison Square Garden in 1973, something that resounded with me, and still does, over thirty-years after first hearing it:

Vive le Page!  Vive le Page!

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