Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"We're not worthy!"

I've never been a great one for hero-worship or fanboydom or, heaven forbid, groupie-ish adulation of people just because they're talented (heavens, NO!), but.... you know, if I were to allow myself an occasional outbreak of such manner of hysterical over-excitement..... I would do it for Jimmy f***ing Page!!!!

Yes, the iconic Led Zeppelin guitarist is in Beijing this week - to promote the upcoming Show Of Peace concert due to be staged in Beijing on April 17th. [Er, a 'Peace' concert in Beijing?? What kind of sick joke is that? And what kind of a stupendous folly of misguided optimism on the part of the organisers?? I will gladly take bets from anyone who thinks that this event will not be cancelled at the last minute (as Oasis, and just about every other foreign band lined up to play here last year were; and as, I fear, The Killers, due here at the end of this month, very probably will be).]

Anyway, Jimmy's here for a big press conference tomorrow, and is meeting with a few local rock musicians on the side. He's not scheduled to play anywhere, but if he decides on an impromptu jam at some point..... well, I have my spies watching his movements. I'm hopeful that I might get at least a glimpse of the great man at some point - with or without his axe.

Here he is doing one of his trademark extended solos on Dazed and Confused, from a 1988 solo concert in Arizona (a longer clip - I think from this concert, certainly from this tour - is here: his entry to the stage, beer and cigarette in hand, is archetypally cool).

And here he is shredding the same song back in his younger days, with the Zep at Madison Square Garden in 1973.

And if you like blues (and I do), this is the marvellous Prison Blues (no video, unfortunately) from his 1988 album Outrider, with Chris Farlowe on vocals. However, probably the best bluesy bit of Jimmy I've been able to turn up on YouTube is the wonderful clip below (well, fairly shit sound and picture, but great music) of him at London's famous Marquee Club during rehearsals for some 1990 appearances with Aerosmith, jamming with Joe Perry on Hendrix's Red House (and a bit more of the same sort of stuff here, from the same session, slightly less awful sound). Awesome. I would sell my sainted grandmother's bones for a chance to see me some of that in Beijing - tomorrow, in April, whenever.

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