Monday, December 10, 2007

Third report from fans in London

Chris from Virginia, who got two tickets in the first passcode drawing, just called me from a pub near the O2 arena to let me know he's in the presence of Led Zeppelin authority Robert Godwin. In case you didn't know, Godwin is the celebrated author of "The Press Reports" and "The Collector's Guide to Led Zeppelin" among others. And, according to the story Chris just told me, Godwin is also the guy who coined the name of the bootleg Listen to This, Eddie!

Godwin was apparently fed up with hearing the fictional story about the bootleg title being attributed to some radio disc jockey who had Eddie Van Halen on his radio program. According to that old wives' tale, Eddie was complaining about Jimmy Page's guitar playing as being sloppy, which miffed the DJ, who then played a fine counterexample, ordering him, "Listen to this, Eddie!"

Well, the story has now been debunked by none other than Godwin himself, who says he coined it. The bit about Eddie Van Halen complaining about Page's guitar playing as "sloppy" was correct, but it was Godwin who suggested to the publisher of the first unofficial release of Led Zeppelin's show from Los Angeles on June 21, 1977, that the guitar playing on that date was so good it should be played to Eddie Van Halen. Godwin suggested that someone ought to take this concert recording to Eddie Van Halen and say, "Listen to this, Eddie!" And hence the bootleg title was born! Thanks for the tidbit, Chris!

Speaking of bootlegging, somebody "anonymous" wrote a very nice comment today on my blog posting from September 2 about bootlegging. It reads like an essay, and it offers a very nice suggestion for bands that have been recorded. It is some very useful advice for Led Zeppelin.

Word has it the Ahmet Erteg√ľn tribute concert is going to open with an all-star performance of "Fanfare for the Common Man," the Aaron Copland piece popularized by ELP. Participating in the performance are to be the E of ELP -- Keith Emerson -- along with Alan White and Chris Squire (who are both members of Yes and played with Page in a band called XYZ shortly after the demise of Led Zeppelin) and possibly also Rick Wakeman, who may or may not be wearing a cape. What a beginning to the show this would be!

I was listening to some Foreigner the other day. Great stuff! I called up one of my brothers out of blue that night and asked him what the best saxophone solo in rock history is. I didn't give him a hint that I was looking for a particular answer. It took him a minute of listing off a few contenders, and then he got the exact song I was thinking of: "Urgent" by Foreigner.

3 comments:

  1. Wrong! Big Man's Jungleland solo. Hands down, no contest! Bruuuuce! Jersey rules!

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  2. That's odd (Robert Godwin's story)...

    For years and years and years, that bootleg title has been said to be coined by the bootleg "author", and "Eddie" is Eddie Kramer (LZ audio engineer)...Soundwaves Magazine even printed that info...

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  3. The Eddie Kramer story wasn't the only scenario believed to be true at one time or another. It would be great if Mr. Godwin could confirm this story to me. I heard it second-hand from a friend who visited London for the O2 show and met Godwin that day.

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