Jimmy Page: Blind Date
Content Curation by James H
Back in December 1969 Jimmy Page was featured in Melody Maker's "Blind Date", popular musicians were played records without knowing who it was and give their responses.
Jimmy Page was both intrigued and pleased by the album tracks chosen for his "Blind Date" session, especially with Les Paul & Mary Ford and Merle Travis rarities. "
Where did you get these from?" demanded Jimmy. They came from a private collection and are all now unfortunately deleted from the Capitol catalogue.
MERLE TRAVIS : "Blue Smoke"
PEDDLERS: "Girlie" (CBS)
Peddlers is it ? His voice doesn't knock me out- it's always so false. He never sounds convincing. I've never heard him sing a note that sounded convincing, but I'll say that they
always try very hard. That organ wah-wah is derived from The Pretty Things - they did it first. I know they are all good musicians but they never move me. As far as their following
goes, I suppose they have got the agency scene really sewn up - Talk of the Town and Morcambe and Wise Show etc. Personally, I wouldn't think that will be a hit.
It's "Blue Smoke" by Merle TRavis! Great ! He's really into it isn't he ? I suppose not many people in England have heard of him , or know that Chet Atkins took his style from him, - lock, stock and barrel. I like him because he has a sense of humour to his playing and occasionally he makes a mistake. Chet Atkins is so cut and dried and clinical. This must be pretty old. It could be 1958 or even "55. He's got a really nice country blues feel.
LES PAUL & MARY FORD: "Little Rock Getaway", "Deep In The Blues" and
Les Paul - he's the man who started everything- multi-track recording, the electric guitar- he's just a genius. I think he was the first to use a four-track - or was it an eight -track recording machine. I met him once and appently he started multi-tracking recording back in about 1945.
Jeff Beck and myself have always dug him and poor old Wout Steinbus has dedicated his life to emulating Les PAul, and he'll never top him. The only trouble with these records is that Mary Ford's voice dates them a bit. It's back to the early fifties and Kay Starr.
Even so, it's very subtle and nice. Les Paul played brilliantly at the right speed as well as finger tremolo and feedback - he did all those things years ago. Let's listen to "Deep In The Blues". Blues fans probably think this is dated, but these is something there for every guitarist He has the whole concept in his head
of the straight guitar solo and the multi-tracking. The finished product is totally incredible.
LONNIE JOHNSON & EDDIE LANG: "Guitar Blues" and "Bull Frog Moan" from the LP "Stringing The Blues Vol 1"
Who is it ? Well I've never heard of Eddie Lang before but I know Lonnie Johnson. (listens intently) This reminds me a lot of the Gipsy players in Paris and gives me an image of women walking around in four or five skirts. They travel with all their clothes on !
It conjures up an image for me of the bars and bistros, drinking wine and eating French bread, although I know this has nothing to do with that - I suppose I was thinking of Django.(*) This is more into New Orleans and country blues. O I listen to a lot of country blues, so much of it is relative to today's guitar music, and it's so much damn good listening.
(*) EDITOR'S NOTE - Eddie Lang recorded with violinist Joe Venuti and also with Bing Crosby, he was a strong influence on both Django Rheinhardt and Les Paul.
CHARLIE CHRISTIAN: "Blues In B" from the Benny Goodman Sextet & Orchestra"
I know it who it is? - it must be Charlie Christian if the guy said "Charlie" !
Guitarists from this period could have done a lot more if they had better rhythm sections. All the drummers used to chug along with a two-beat and makes you wonder how the old guitarists would have sounded with today's drummers. So much has happened to drumming in the last ten years, and when you get heavy drummer backing- you just explode. Quite frankly I never listened to Charlie Christian much. I listened to Ls Paul and all the blues guitarists - B.B. King, Bukka White and Elmore James, plus all the early rock guitarists.
FAIRPORT CONVENTION: "Come All Ye" from the LP "Leige And Leif"
I don't know who it is, but it's bloody good. Just to help me, is it English or American ? She's got a lovely purity to her voice. Is it Fairport Convention ? Didn't they do "Chelsea Morning" ?
Oh, Dave Swarbrick's in this group. He's a damn fine violinist, and the girl must be Sandy Denny. If the rest of the album is as good as this, it should be a big seller for them. It would make someone a very nice Christmas present.
BUKKA WHITE : "Bed Spring Blues" and "Aberdeen,Mississippi Blues" from the LP "Memphis Hot Shots" (Blue Horizon)
It's contemporary and sounds like an old blues singer who has been got together in the studio with a drummer. It's a bit difficult - I can't really tell who it is. Who is it ? Well I can't believe it. Who was responsible - own up!
It really suffers from modern day recording techniques. For a start, on the old records the washboard was right up close to the guitar and I'm sorry to say there is none of the richness in the sound he had before. It's impossible to recreate the old recording sound because the old equipment has gone.