Sunday, July 25, 2010

Confused By Your Dazziling Hubris

I hate to be the fly in the ointment. I don't want it to be true… But I can not stand by and let a talent go unrecognized while the people that profited by taking what was his are held up as god-like heros.

Well, meet Jake Homes I have only heard two songs that he recorded back in the late 60's but so far I dig the music he did back then very much… I will certainly be seeking out more. If his recordings from that time are still in print… I will be buying them. The reason being, he wrote one of the most recognizable rock songs of the last few decades… and very few people know it. See if this sounds familiar.

Thats right, back in 1967 Jake Holmes wrote a song called "Dazed and Confused", a song that sounds very similar to led Zeppelins Dazed and Confused.

Here is the history as I understand it… (I don't claim to really know, please poke around and draw your own conclusions, )
Holmes opened for the Yardbirds in 1967 while talented young Jimmy Page was in that band.

The Yardbirds then started to perform a version of the song as written by Jake Holmes (with his lyrics) on stage. Its a straight cover with more instrumentation and some added guitar interludes (as you would expect). A year later The Yardbirds have disbanded.

Jimmy Page then forms Led Zeppelin, and records "their" Dazed and Confused The lyrics are somewhat different but it is clearly the same song. Not only does he not credit Jake Holmes, but denies ever hearing the original… The original song that there are recordings of him PLAYING.

Apparently there are many examples of Led Zeppelin doing similar things… I am not on a wicth hunt here. Some people will point to very weak examples and as a musician I understand that creating something never happens in a vacuum, but this is also pretty damming…

Honestly, that example made me greatly sad. How fucking hard would it have been for them to give credit? Share in the glory of their accomplishment in some small way? I understand the reason. Fear. Scared young men afraid that they were not good enough to live up to the hype they and their record company had created. Its not like a line of text on an album cover would have made them any less successful or famous. What it MIGHT have done however is cast doubt on the illusion that they were somehow extraordinary geniuses.

What pitiful weaklings that use, yet blatantly don't honor the talents of others.