Stu News and Photos

My name is Stu and I am here to share what I can.

Jake Holmes wrote and recorded this song, which he performed at various clubs. One evening, Jimmy Page heard this song. He then went into the studio with the rest of Led Zeppelin and taught them the song, though he treated it as his own. Give this a listen and see if you don't think Mr. Page owes Mr. Holmes a public apology.

*UPDATE* Below this video is my version of this story, extended to provide a more complete picture.



And for those who care, here's a more detailed account, as I know it:

Jake Holmes wrote the song in late 1966 or early '67. He recorded it and released it in '67, for his first album, ""The Above Ground Sound" of Jake Holmes." The quality of that album, and the quality of Holmes' public performances led to more prestigious gigs, including sets at The Village Theatre in New York. Fate took a turn at the tiller one night; on August 25, 1967, guitarist Chris Dreja, vocalist Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, and bassist Jimmy Page walked into The Village Theatre that night. They were the remaining lineup of The Yardbirds, an historical group of import and renown. And who is on stage but Jake Holmes. Mr. Page paid particular attention to Holmes' rendition of "Dazed And Confused," and decided that he could make it better, turn it into something far more powerful.

So back on the bus, as the band was riding to their next show, Page talked to the band, saying he wanted to perform it as soon as possible. Later on, many performances in many places, Page stretched out his musical wings and constructed a damned-near epic sonic landscape. "Dazed And Confused" became an audience favorite, as young men and women were captivated with Page's work on the guitar (which included one of his first public demonstrations of playing chords on the guitar with an orchestral bow).

Eventually, the band started to develop disparate visions, and they broke, leaving Page to try to keep the name "The Yardbirds" alive. He put together the landmark quartet of Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham, and started out on the road as "The Yardbirds," until Chris Dreja convinced Jimmy Page (with the aid of a cease-and-disist) to stop using the name. Remembering a snarky remark made by The Who drummer Keith Moon, Jimmy Page suggested that they rename the band "Led Zeppelin." The name stuck and they moved forward into history.

Of course, history is made in the studio, so Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham, in the fall of 1968, sauntered into Olympic Studios, to lay down track for their first album. While inside, Page pushed hard for Dazed And Confused to be an album track. After just a few weeks, that track and eight more were polished, mastered, and shipped out all over the world. Funny thing was, the song Dazed And Confused was credited solely to Jimmy Page. There was no mention of Jake Holmes. Now, this wasn't an oversight, or even an aberration, as the album also contained two songs stolen directly from the iconic blues legend Willie Dixon, who also received no credit. And Page wasn't just a thief - he convinced the various record company staff to release the album cover/label with a misleading, far shorter time for the song "How Many More Times," in order to appear radio-friendly to rock station jocks. Page knew no bounds.

So I put up this video as an attempt to further the cause of Jake Holmes, who has not gotten an apology from Mr. Page, something that is long, long overdue.

How Many More Times indeed?

4 Comments:

David said...

Are you sure this is true? If so, WOW!!!!

David said...

Stu, read this Wikipedia take on the song. Turns out Jimmy Page brought this to the Yardbirds first, became one of their live staples before Zep existed. Here's the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dazed_and_Confused_(song)

Fascinating!!!

-- Dave

Stu said...

My statement is accurate. Yes, Page worked a version with The Yardbirds, but when he was in the studio with the Zep, as they were working out their first album, he showed them the song as though it was his own. He never mentioned Holmes. Nor did he credit Holmes on the album, nor subsequently. My entry leaves out the Yardbirds part, because it never became a hit in any way (it only appeared on a live album, and that was two years *after* Zep released "Dazed And Confused" on their debut album). The statement I made about this song is the essential story of Page's theft of the tune, boiled down to the essential popular culture details.

Suldog said...

If true, Page should be hung by his balls. This isn't just 'stealing' a simple riff and building a tune around it. This is outright theft of a song. Brutal.

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