Let’s have a little fun, shall we? Let’s talk about David and some iconic musicians from days gone by, how about ….Bob Dylan? The voice and the voice? Dang, I tried that already and it didn’t go over big. OK, it’s a stretch. This time I have a closer match~ Jimmy Page……… One can only hope. (minus a few obvious habits.)
Now, admittedly I am going to be crucified for this comparison. At least tarred and feathered, pilloried and certainly carted away in a white coat. Put this on TOfan’s list of ODD in overdrive. Hello? David barely plays the guitar; Jimmy is not a vocalist. I know that, but what the hell, might as well confirm the obvious…happy has lost it. Not really “lost it” like “Bliss-lost-his-mind” lost it (btw- how’s the finding going?), just inspired by the movie I saw the other day, “It Might Get Loud.” If it is playing near you, and it probably is not because the theaters near you are busy playing the Miley Cyrus movie, you should treat yourself and go see it. It is well worth the $10. (For a more detailed description visit www.itmightgetloud.com.) For those of you who won’t see it until it hits video, and for the purposes of my comparison, I will hit a few high points.
It seems Jimmy started playing the guitar at 12 and played a simple form of English street music called “skiffle.” One thing lead to another, Jimmy was bitten by the bug and *poof* Led Zeppelin was hatched. Well, not exactly. He began touring with his band and was concerned that the touring was hazardous to his health. He stopped touring and when it became apparent that he could play anything he became a sought after session guitarist. He made a living for a period of time and came to believe that he was not satisfying his creative urges. He said he felt he was not creating, not even interpreting anymore, just playing. Fast forward to the creation of the band alive in his imagination, Led Zeppelin. He knew what he wanted this band to sound like, and it wasn’t like anyone else.
Being a lover of guitar riffs and having heard “Stairway to Heaven” about enough times since I was ten to last for all time, I have lived with the ignorant notion that that song sort of always existed. I take it for granted. As if it, and other iconic songs, somehow just came into being down a stairway from heaven.
I ought to consider that the music of Jimmy Page was a real reaction to the musical experiences of a real artist and a real musician. He was a serious musician who became obsessed and practiced and evolved over time. He studied the history and evolution of popular music. While he was a ridiculously young 24 at the time, he was not just starting out either. His learning curve was steep. He wasn’t the same musician that toured when he was 18. He wasn’t the session artist of 20. He was building on his musical experiences.
His rock music mixed “blues, folk, and eastern influences with distorted amplification. He also helped create one of the first fuzz boxes, came up with innovative recording techniques such as reverse echo, recording ambient sound and using stairwells to record drums. He rapidly became known for his innovative production techniques as well as his intricate guitar playing. Page used a bow, slide guitar, eastern scales, acoustic guitar, and the double-neck in addition to inventive recording techniques to create the Led Zeppelin sound, which became a prototype for all future rock bands.”
I imagine David may never be about the in-your-face freedom and power of electric guitar and rock and roll. Maybe he will always be about the subtle beauty and nuanced control of that perfect voice. But I think he’s got a maverick in him; a little bit of Jimmy Page. I think he too hears in his head something different from the pop music of his day, a different stairway to heaven. Something not quite fleshed out. Go ahead, tell me I’m nuts. Tell me you’re “not into Jimmy, dude.” Tell me you have no desire for David-at-24 to channel the stubborn resolve, the artistic commitment and the unadulterated brilliance of Mr. Page. But I might disagree …. and it might get loud.
~ happy the crazy
I know you’ve heard it 10,000 times, so why not 10,001? And if you don’t have 11 minutes then skip to 6:20- 9:20. 🙂
btw~ after I wrote this I was reading around the net and found this quote by Pete Townshend:
“I feel sad for people who have to judge ********* on the basis of recordings and film alone, because in the flesh he was so extraordinary. He had a kind of alchemist’s ability; when he was on the stage, he changed. He physically changed. He became incredibly graceful and beautiful…. he had a power that almost sobered you up if you were on an acid trip.”
….. I’m feeling I should rewrite the whole thing and compare David to …….. Hendrix….. 😉