Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Search of Eddie Riff (Pt. III)

Okay, I knew Led Zeppelin totally ripped off "Dazed and Confused" from Jake Holmes (although don't cry for Jake -- he's currently richer than god as the author and singer of more successful TV commercial jingles than anybody in the history of the medium).

Still, this is really ridiculous (and apologies if everybody but me already knew it).

Ah, Spirit. Why they're not household words is fricking beyond me. If there's a more gorgeous ballad in all of rock than "Nature's Way," I for one haven't heard it. And they had scads of songs as good.

"Taurus," the instrumental above, is pretty cool, too, of course.

BTW, I saw Jake Holmes on a bill with the Al Kooper-less Blues Project sometime during the fabled and very hot (at least in NYC) Summer of Love. A terrific guitarist and singer, and a very funny guy, which is why it didn't particularly surprise me when he went into jingle writing; the show-stopper of his set, apart from "I'm Confused," was a neat bit of punning and wordplay called "London Derriere."

Like the old folk song "Londonderry Air." In case you didn't get it.

Ooh -- and according to Wiki, the Holmes show I saw (The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page were also in attendance) was at the old Village Theater on August 25, 1967. I think it's a Barnes and Noble now.


drkrick said...

But were there hobbits in the Spirit song? Because the LOTR references totally made "Stairway."

Honest to God, other than the occasional engineering innovation, I'm not sure Page has had an original idea in his life. Have you seen the interviews where he gets snotty about all the plagiarism suits, since it was Plant's job the change the lyrics enough to confuse the issue and he "got a little lazy?"

cthulhu said...

Reading the Wikipedia article just reinforces (for me, anyway) everything that was wrong with Led Zep. The description of how it "evolved" in concert makes me wanna puke - what self-indulgent crap! Gimme the Who any day.

FD13NYC said...

Hey listen! Three of the best guitarists of all time are Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Since the beginning of rock & roll and music for that matter, everyone has ripped somebody off in some way or another. So what! That's how music has grown the past 60 years or so.

The rappers have taken it to another level entirely by really ripping off, or should I say stealing riffs and beats over the past 15-20 years. This is because they could never come close to having an original idea in their pea brains. It's all about money and bling to them. Half or most of them are talentless anyway.

As for guitar playing, no one could shine Page's shoes for what he's done and played. You can't judge Zep on Stairway alone, try listening.

Sorry, but lets give credit where credit is due.

Unknown said...


Many apologies for the shameless self-promotion here, but I mentioned that particular 'coincidence' a little while ago on my blog.

And it was this very coincidence that kick-started my series of musical coincidences -- accidental or otherwise. (Unfortunately, Jimmy Page tends to fall into the 'otherwise' category.)

Sal Nunziato said...

I don't remember who said this, it might have been Dave Grohl, or worse, Jimmy Page, but I tend to agree...and I'm paraphrasing,

"There may be many similarites in many songs by Led Zep to other songs. Yet the ones everybody remembers are the Zep songs."

Still, it would have been nice, even stand-up, if the credits read "Page, Plant, California."

steve simels said...

Still, it would have been nice, even stand-up, if the credits read "Page, Plant, California."

Well, yeah. And I think that's really the point.

I should also add that Ray Davies -- who knows a little something about Page trying to take credit for somebody elses work, i.e. the solo on "You Really Got Me" -- famously said

"Jimmy Page's claim to fame is that he once played a song with the E tuned to D. Other than that, I think he's an asshole."

MJConroy said...

I was always a bigger Spirit fan than a Led Zeppelin fan. Saw Sprit in concert once, never LZ.

And while Page certainly has chops, I've never been able to stand Plant's voice.

Ray Davies is a God!

Kid Charlemagne said...

The song DOES remain the same!!