Saturday, June 16, 2007

Beginning of a classic combination

In mid-August of 1965 Jimmy Page was the house producer for the newly formed Immediate Records. Jimmy played a huge part in getting John Mayall in for a recording session with his hot new guitarist, Eric Clapton. Eric brought his recently acquired gear along to the session. A Les Paul that he purchased from Lew Davis's guitar shop sometime in May, as well as a Marshall amplifier.

The sound from this combination so horrified the engineer he turned off the machine, saying it was unrecordable. He couldn't believe anyone wanted a sound like that. Page persuaded him to turn it back on and he would take full responsibility and history was made. The Mayall single "I'm Your Witch Doctor" was the result. Page has stated in interviews that Clapton deserves all the credit for the creation of that Les Paul/Marshall sound.

This is out of the Strange Brew book that I have been reading. It's fascinating to see all the interaction of the players and bands as the time goes along. The book lists not only live shows but who was there. Peter Green saw Mayall with Clapton and was inspired to purchase a Les Paul for himself. I don't think I need to tell anyone how that went. Jack Bruce ended up playing with John Mayall and Clapton because Ginger Baker wanted him out of the band that he was in previously. Clapton knew Steve Winwood from impromptu jam sessions on stage with Spencer Davis.

I have always been interested in where these musicians come from. When I was younger they just seemed to come from nowhere. This book is highly addictive.


Derek said...

I didnt realise that Jimmy Page was involved in the recording of the Beano album. I seaw the Strange Brew book in Chapters but I didnt look at it that closely. I'll have to head back and check it out some more.

Jon said...

It's a really good read so far. I don't know about the Beano album but Page produced about three songs at the session ( according to his interviews although there is some debate). I haven't got as far as the Beano recording session so I don't know who produced it.

Jon said...

It was Mike Vernon who produced Mayall's first album for Decca. And again the engineer was horrified.