A solo is like a meditation on the song. You find a piece of filigree and then try to play something in total empathy with everything else that’s going on.
    You can get quite spiritual about soloing. It’s almost like channeling. It’s not there one moment, but then all of a sudden it is. I’m sure anyone who’s creative has had that moment. That point where it just sparks.
—  Jimmy Page, quoted in Brad Tolinski, Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page

anonymous asked:

What did you think of Light and Shade? I saw you had Hammer of the Gods (ridiculous but who doesn't love the image of JP slathered in whipped cream) and that book is such a different read. Is there something about LZ that speaks to you or a favorite album of yours? When you wrote about vinyl depth it reminded me of why HOTH is such a sonic wonder. No one knew how to mic and mix like JP. Also, if you haven't already, listen to the Dancing Avocado. It's soundboard quality and Rob's voice is A+.

Well, I just started the book yesterday so I haven’t finished it yet and ergo can’t really pass judgment. That being said, I really, really do appreciate that a biographer/rock writer has finally taken the time to actually talk to such a significant musician about how he makes music. Like I get that everybody just wants to rehash the Shark Incident and hypothesize about who was on heroin or worshiping the devil, but honestly I’m so much more interested in how you get Bonzo’s kick drum to sound like a fucking cannonball. Yes. Tell me more about that. I don’t really give two shits who slept with which groupie, but I am really interested in how the music got made, so that aspect of it is wonderful.

As far whether it speaks to me: Dude. Led Zeppelin is probably the only thing I love almost as much as I love Shakespeare. Maybe that’s a weird combination, or maybe it makes perfect sense when you consider that everything LZ ever did was equal parts bombast and tremulous beauty, equal parts innuendo and pastoral English mysticism. Not so different, when you stop to think about it. Physical Graffiti is probably my favorite overall, but I’m also really partial to Led Zeppelin III, which tends to get written off as the weird acoustic album (which is fucking stupid when you consider the placement of stuff like “Immigrant Song” and “Back Mountain Side,” there are plenty of electric pyrotechnics on III and plenty of acoustic stuff on I and II), and I have a weird soft spot for In Through the Out Door. Favorite individual songs are “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” “Ramble On,” and “Over the Hills and Far Away” though so basically I love all of the studio albums for different reasons. But if you’ve never given it a listen what you really need to get your hands on is How the West Was Won because it’s peak live Zep and it’s soooo much better than anything off Song Remains the Same. 

Also honestly pretty much everything Planty’s done post-Zep has been pretty good, but especially good in the last, like, ten years. Got to hear him do Elvis with Bill Wyman at BluesFest last October and it was rad.