Jimmy Page Culture Sonar

“I Pity The Fool” (1965): Any The Man Who Sold The World  fan who pegged the proto metal riff that opens “The Supermen” as  Zeppelinesque wouldn’t be too far off the mark. For  David Bowie himself admitted to the influence, having been personally gifted the guitar lick at a recording session five years earlier. Back then, Bowie still used his Christian name (Davie Jones), and was less the iconoclastic pop star, and more the growling frontman for blues savants The Manish Boys’ , but the fortuitous meetings of two precocious artists resulted in one the singers’ most awe-inspiring deep cuts. Page, tasked by producer Shel Tamby to record a solo for The Manish Boys’ first and only work, offered the vocalist an additional riff he did not know where to go with.  Never one to waste material, Bowie recycled the lick to fit his purposes, just as he was shifting from pastoral to powerhouse.  By then, Page was well established as one of the most striking guitarists of his generation, but his contributions to Bowie’s art should not be ignored. And for good reason- the infectious guitar break heard on “I Pity The Fool” elevates the 1965 number from “one off” to “must have”. 

“Love Chronicles” (1969): Beck quit The Yardbirds acrimously, and following a protracted period of touring, so did bandmates Keith Relf and Jim McCarthy. But Page-eager to honour the dates a Scandinavian tour had laid out for them- soldiered on, and enlisted Birmingham rockers Robert Plant  &John Bonham to play in their place. Bassist Chris Dreja was set to join The New Yardbirds on tour, before his interest in photography took precedence over any potential performances the blues fusion outfit would undergo. Undeterred, Page invited John Paul Jones- another seasoned session musician who learned his craft in the recording studios- to complete the unit. Although the arrangement was set for a finite period, the chemistry felt between the four men made way for any loyalties they held to The Yardbirds’ continuing legacy and promise. Instead, Page re-christened them Led Zeppelin, using a moniker Keith Moon had suggested to him in 1966. The rest, as they say..

 So, Page’s appearance on Al Stewart’s sprawling “Love Chronicles” closes out one era for the guitarist, and any future contributions Page provided another artist was that of a star guesting on another’s work, and not another guest guitarist playing on a star’s orbit. “Love Chronicles”, all eighteen minutes, proves one of Stewart’s most engaging and certainly one of his ambitious works. Between the sirens, spirits and spliffs that make up much of the content makes way for a barreling guitar passage every bit the troubled spiritual journey the singer ventures on. For is it here, at this moment, that Page conjures his propulsive melding of tempo and temper, earmarking a guitar style heard in greater and fuller texture on nineteen seventies masterworks Houses of The Holy and Physical Graffiti. 

Read more: https://www.culturesonar.com/jimmy-pages-pre-led-zeppelin-days/

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