Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Anecdote # 737

Jimmy Page Recoils In Horror.

two night before playing ProjeKct Two's last show
to an enthused canadian audience in montreal
I received a very different reaction from an audience of two.

on july 6, 1998 P2 was scheduled to play a show in toronto.
an hour before the show I came down to the lobby.
I always drove the van robert, trey, and I toured in
so I came down to the lobby a few minutes early to allow
the valet parking to bring the van around.
it was a huge open atrium type lobby with couches and plants.
standing there waiting for the vehicle I noticed
some people across the lobby by the concierge stand.
there was a large man weighed down with packages
and what looked to be a painting perhaps.
standing next to him was a tall man in a white suit.
it was Jimmy Page!
I kept looking at him and he at me,
just like with jeff beck 15 years before (see anecdote # 282).

in the late sixties there were 4 Guitar Gods. I've already spoken of two of them Hendrix and Beck, both subjects I could probably write books about. of course Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page hold the same rank. amazing to think, 3 of the 4 came from the same band, The Yardbirds. even before the yardbirds I had heard eric play on record with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, a phenomenal english blues band. then came Cream, a huge influence. eric's sound was unbelievable for the time. juicy and full with a smidge of tube distortion that would cause notes to zing. all around london the walls had the graffiti "Clapton Is God" and not without good reason. he had the touch.
Jimmy Page of course struck gold by putting white man's blues together with heavy rock creating a model for heavy metal that has never been rivaled: Led Zeppelin. his guitar playing was sensational and unique. odd tunings. singable solos. killer riffs. I was thrilled and informed by all 4 guitar gods, needless to say, and learned as much as I could from them.

in my young teen life (before the days of led zeppelin) there were two songs which rocked my world. both were by The Kinks and both featured similar raucous guitar solos. those songs remain burned in my mind as the epitome of english rock. you really got me was my favorite of the two but the solo sound in all day and all of the night just floored me. I love those two songs. there was always a rumor the guitar solos were played by a "session" player named Jimmy Page, not by the very capable Kinks guitarist Dave Davies.

so Jimmy was looking at me as though he recognized me. maybe he saw me on a guitar magazine cover or something. I don't like to bother "stars" but I had to ask about the Kinks songs. just one question.

english rock stars often have a babysitter/body guard called a "minder". the large man weighed down with packages was Jimmy's minder. I walked towards Jimmy. I was wearing a suit. I'm not an intimidating looking fellow. Jimmy's minder stepped in front of me and snarled, "no you don't, mate, back off!"
"I just want to ask Jimmy a question," I said.
"I told you fuck off!!"
Jimmy Page was recoiling in horror at the supposed threat I posed.
I felt lower than gravel.

I wanted to shout,
"I've got one word for you:
Jeff Beck."
instead I left.
now I know what it feels like to be on
the other side of the Sharpie.

photo note: for my purposes here I have used the 7-inch Jimmy Page Action Figure (with the cigarette dangling from the lips)
Made by Neca.


  1. I love your work Adrian. I'm trying to create an online music video station that plays music as opposed to reality shows. Your work is featured prominently.

    The link is here:


    and here:


  2. Another su-poib anecdote. I was struck, though, by the description of Page as "a tall man in a white suit."

    When I started playing, and wanting to play and look like Jimmy Page (or maybe Clapton in his Carnaby Street Cream days), somehow the guitar just didn't look the same on me as it did on Page. Eventually, I realized that a Les Paul Standard covers up half of Page's torso because he's a tiny, tiny man, unlike I, who am six-feet-five. I now notice the proportionate size of common guitar models on everyone because of that. Maybe he seemed taller because of his stature, as so many of our heroes do, though, admittedly, Page isn't one of those who has gained any ground in this fan's eyes over the last thirty-odd years.

    Rock stars. Feh.

  3. Hi Adrian,

    Great story! It seems like you know how the rest of us can feel sometimes!

    I got to meet a member of Led Zeppelin when John Paul Jones opened for King Crimson in 2001. There was a bit of a crowd waiting for him in back of the Pageant in St. Louis. He signed a couple of CDs for me and could not have been nicer.

    You came in later on that afternoon, and you also signed something for me. It's funny, you're one of my very favorite musicians, I'm a much bigger fan of yours... but even when I was talking to you, my inner-teenager was beaming over meeting a member of Led Zeppelin.


  4. "now I know what it feels like to be on
    the other side of the Sharpie"

    I've seen 100s of shows but that was never a part of it -- trying to meet the band. Sometimes I did just because it worked out that way. You might have noticed me at so many of your shows but it wasn't until the passing of my husband that made me want to make a personal connection. My life was changed and it became important.

    And damn, I too now want to know if that was that Jimmy!

  5. Ray Davies has gone on record saying that both those solos (You Really got Me and All Day and All of the Night) were indeed done by his brother Dave. Although Ray and Dave might not always get along, Ray is very protective of his brother when it comes to his guitar playing.

    Jimmy's solos were on a couple of Kinks album tracks, none that memorable.

  6. applejam:
    at last I can sleep again.

  7. The rumor about Page playing session guitar on The Who's I Can't Explain was out there for a long time, too. As an INSANE Who fan, I remember early on refusing to believe it was true. How could anybody say that about Pete Townshend?!?! But Shel Talmy's remasters prove it, and I have finally come to accept Page had a positive impact on the recording. Maybe the same is true for the Kinks songs, which are essentially the same era.

    By the way, love the action figure. The doubleneck SG and the dragon suit make it. Ever consider playing a doubleneck?

  8. Great story (as usual.) We had an experience last week that was nearly the opposite. We were backstage before a Porcupine Tree show and John Wesley came up to us and introduced HIMSELF to us.

  9. Alas, I was hoping for a meeting of the guitar geniuses. Too bad! Jimmy Page excelled with Led Zepplein, strangely, with a "thin" sound. I think it was the contrast with the "thick" drumming of John Bonham that made it work. I also never undrstoon how he could play with his guitar slung so low. OK, it looks good, but up high it's more convenient for hitting all the notes.

    Another great anecdote, even if it didn't have the denouement we hoped for.

  10. Okay, I'm biased, but I think if Page recoiled at you, he needed a minder. And that guy did a lousy job. Unprofessional. I hope you get another chance to meet Page - if you haven't yet - and try again.

    I had read that Page actually played rhythm on those Kinks songs, in an Elliot Easton interview if I recollect correct...

  11. this is good opportunity to share my brush with Adrian.

    I've seen him play on the Inner Revolution tour (sacramento) and w/the Power Trio twice (in S.F. @ Slims 09/2005 & 10/2006). I didn't even consider it possible to meet him the first 2 times, but #3 I figured i gotta try; I even brought my 13yo daughter (her 1st show), figuring it time she experience some quality music. Well, the gods shined down, the stars aligned, and we got to meet him. He signed two CDs, took a picture with, and spoke to, us. He was so kind and generous with his time --it was a truly wonderful experience and lasting memory for her and I.

  12. "I'm the guy tellin' you to beat it before somebody beats it for you."

  13. OMG, I've been trying to sign in forever, Adrian. Google's been acting wierd and I just couldn't get in. (OK, enough of my ranting.)

    I've been close to you so many times (like, at concerts, right in front) but I've been scared to say anything to you (between songs).

    I travel a lot and when I'm walking through the airport, I look for you, thinking that you might be walking the other way. (I'm wierd, I know.)

    If I ever see you, I'll take a deep breath, go up to you, and tell you that I hate your music. (Psych! It's the OPPOSITE of what you said to David and Mick!)

    I love your music.


  14. Okay. Explain to me how Led Zep had pop hits that were no where near 4/4 time(some even poly-time sigs, I swear) or standard tuning drole that is typical of pop hits and a guy like you who writes just as hummable, foot tappin' and even more creative tunes doesn't get a nibble?

  15. This must be one of the reasons you are so respectful and friendly to your fans. We have talked after a couple of shows ... and I have to admit the first time I thought you'd be more like Jimmy ... I was pleasantly surprised at how "nice" you were. Just another kind hearted person, not another Jimmy Page.
    Altho, I keep your records in the same crate.
    Thanks for that.
    And thank you for this blog, I've been playing and painting more since starting to read your posts.

  16. from wikipedia

    "The guitar solo on the recording is the source of one of the most controversial and persistent myths in all of rock and roll: that it was not played by the Kinks' lead guitarist Dave Davies, but by then-session player Jimmy Page. The solo was undoubtedly played by Dave Davies (then 17 years old), as everyone involved in the July 1964 recording sessions for the track has always maintained. Although an effective and integral part of the song, it is essentially a faster variation of the Louie, Louie guitar solo, and did not represent a great technical or stylistic achievement on par with that song's driving three-chord rhythm backing (save for the method of playing the pentatonic scale in a manner that "seems" sloppy; this technique is a major watershed in the history of rock and roll, arguably an influence on punk rock). However, the story has circulated for decades that the solo was played by Jimmy Page, who later joined The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. Page was in fact hired by Kinks producer Shel Talmy as a session rhythm guitarist on a handful of tracks on the Kinks' first album, but those sessions took place several weeks after the "You Really Got Me" session. Page has never publicly taken credit for playing the song's guitar solo, going so far as to state in a 1977 interview that "I didn't play on 'You Really Got Me' and that's what pisses him (Ray Davies) off." Rock historian and author Doug Hinman makes a case that the rumour was begun and fostered by the established UK Rhythm and Blues community, many of whose members were resentful that an upstart band of teenagers such as the Kinks could produce such a powerful and influential blues-based recording, seemingly out of nowhere."


    also here is another


  17. Adrian-

    I thought you might get a laugh from this. I was searching the net for Adrian Belew tickets and came across this site.

    The funny thing is (aside from the poorly written bio) I'm pretty sure that the guy in the picture of "you" is actually Peter Frampton.

    Thanks for all these great anecdotes. My favorite part of the day is Story Time with Adrian.

  18. Oh dear god, you are funny. Love the action figure. Love your honesty and humility. The fact that you didn't say something to the handler like "hey, if I called up David Bowie, or Paul Simon, or David Byrne, Laurie Anderson or... and they vouches for me could I say hello to mr. paige then?" impresses the bejeepers out of me. Thanks for being so cool. You have been so kind to me the two times we have met. thanks! -Mark

  19. Now you know why I didn't ask you for your autograph when you were walking through the lobby at the CNN Center in Atlanta the night you opened for David Bowie in (May, I think) 1990.


  20. Should have pulled rank: "Pardon me, but I'm Adrian Belew of KING Crimson... the KING of rock bands, and I need some information from one of my subjects."

  21. . . . and another thing -- why does Page appear to be fretting one neck and strumming the other?

  22. adrian--love this blog-
    according to shel talmy-in "kinks
    kronicles"--the studio where they-kinks/shel-used charged different
    rates depending on machine---so to be thrifty--most of first two kinks albums were-single/at most two track--and jimmy was used to play ray's parts whilst-ray sang-
    so leads were dave's----and you are not alone--GOD SAVE THE KINKS-
    eric and i saw ray last year out on his solo tour---he did some kinks stuff /had some young lady covering dave's harmonies---i tried to volunteer my services--cause i can still hit the high notes--ah--waterloo sunset--love ya
    can't wait for SIDE FOUR-GARY