Monday, November 23, 2009

Jimmy Page said to be involved in multi-guitarist project with possible January release date

Update: In a clarification of this post, it is revealed that engineer Kevin Shirley's words were misinterpreted. The guitarists he mentioned were not recorded recently.

While nobody knows what's happening with Aerosmith, guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford have apparently been keeping busy, and in good company too.

Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page have joined them in recording with engineer Kevin Shirley, the man behind the sound of Led Zeppelin's 21st century releases, How the West Was Won, DVD and the reissue of the soundtrack to The Song Remains the Same.

(See previous coverage of The Song Remains the Same including Shirley's interview for Modern Guitars magazine. In 1999, he also engineered the concert dates of Page and the Black Crowes that ended up being released on the live album Live at the Greek.)

Shirley says he has been recording these guitarists and "many others." He hints toward some "high profile projects" about which he's been sworn to secrecy.

"Suffice it to say," offers the father of two infants, "that life is very busy."

Writing from Malibu on his online diary today, he spoke of a "supergroup" project -- his term, not mine (I don't need the derision). He said that come January he would be "producing what has the promise to be one of the most exciting 'supergroups' to come around in a long time.

"But theory is just that until we see how the dynamics play out in the studio between these superb musicians. And of course the songs will make the real difference."

Shirley also said he would be "remixing one of Classic Rock's seriously classic albums." This could be just about anything, but next year marks the 40th anniversary of such perennial favorites as Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, Band of Gypsys, Abraxas, Led Zeppelin III and Live at Leeds.

Perhaps Shirley's biggest news pertains to the litany of axemen he's recorded of late. The others he mentioned by name are John Petrucci of Dream Theater, Neal Schon of Santana and Journey, and Joe Bonamassa.

He also referred to "Maiden's Three Amigos," presumably Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers, all of Iron Maiden. Shirley added that he is "to record one of guitar's great legends" in December. Evidently another one of the secret projects.

Page's name was also invoked last week by photographer Ross Halfin, who posted some photos of Page relaxing in front of a jukebox. Hanging on a wall behind the jukebox was a framed picture found to be of Elvis Presley. On the Internet discussion group For Badgeholders Only, user Dawn Atherton discovered the Elvis photograph to have been taken in 1960, upon the King's meeting with the king of Thailand.

Halfin, a traveling companion of Page's and currently the guitarist's No. 1 photographer, writes that Nov. 17 "was a sunny day, good winter light. I was taking pictures for something new - out this January... The King with his jukebox and his photo of the kings - look closely and work it out."

In other Page-related news, "It Might Get Loud" is now set for a theatrical release in England.

Led Zeppelin news source Tight But Loose reports today "It Might Get Loud" will receive a theatrical release in the United Kingdom beginning Jan. 8. The film, which profiles Page, The Edge and Jack White, has already come and gone from U.S. movie theaters. It is also scheduled to have been released for an online download and on DVD and Blu-Ray in the United States this December.

In addition to his on-screen role, Page is credited an associate producer of the film.

Update: At the risk of being redundant, see the clarification of this post for the full story.

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