Legendary Rock Guitarist/ Open Lines

Hosted byIan Punnett

Legendary Rock Guitarist/ Open Lines

About the show

Legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has remained an enigma. But music journalist Chris Salewicz discovered a man who was singular in his dedication to his artistic vision, justified heroin use so he could harness its narcotic focus while making albums, and who has continually refined his craft. Salewicz joined Ian Punnett to discuss the many skeletons and eccentricities in Page’s closet, putting him against a background of London gangsters, deaths, and excessive drug use. The program began with a discussion of the song "Nobody’s Fault But Mine" which was composed as a reaction to the group’s disastrous 1977 tour which saw savage beatings by security and their own gangster-type manager Peter Grant. Later on the tour, lead singer Robert Plant’s son died suddenly. Salewicz said that Plant "really believed" that there were "dark forces about" at the time.

Salewicz observed that Led Zeppelin were not just a band, but that "they were a cult" and had arranged their public image with this in mind. When Rolling Stone panned their first album, he said that this solidified their original status as "underground" artists, since even in 1969, the magazine was already seen as an arm of the establishment by some. Salewicz addressed Page’s interest in the occult and Aliester Crowley as part of his artistic vision, but hastened to add that many other music groups (including the Beatles) were interested in the infamous occultist. Page once admitted that his heroin use fueled his creativity, and Salewicz believes that Page actually risked his life for his epic "art project" that was Led Zeppelin.


Open Lines occupied the second half. Barry called in from South Carolina where hurricane Florence was still raging to give an on-the-spot report. He said that he is "20 minutes from downtown Charlotte" and the wind was blowing at 50 miles per hour. He added that his ex-wife lives near the Atlantic shore in Wilmington and saw the eye of the storm pass over, seeing the "clear blue sky" above before the other side of the storm slammed into the town. Alan called from California to tell his story about seeing Page when he played with the Yardbirds in Santa Monica in the 1960s. Famous guitarist Jeff Beck had been recently voted out of the band, but Alan said "it didn’t take very long to realize that the Yardbirds were in good hands with Jimmy Page."

Curt in California told Ian that when he was in 9th grade, that he heard Led Zeppelin’s first album on a local underground station near Los Angeles. He recalled that he and is friends all "knew they were going to be big." Ed called from Oklahoma to describe how he was "not impressed" when the Beatles appeared in the early 1960s, but was astounded by the revolution in music that followed throughout the 1960s and ‘70s. Bill from California described a trip to a cemetery where he accidentally stepped on gravestones and a friend actually turned one over. Within a few days, he was in the hospital due to an accident on his motorcycle and the friend who had desecrated the tombstone was dead from another cycle accident.

News segment guest: Patrick Hammer

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