I really do. Hate, Hate, Hate Led Zeppelin. Never got it. All I hear is a bloated, overblown, plagiarising squealing noise, akin to a lorry reversing down a wind tunnel, and amplified through a platform announcement system.
But of all the things I Hate, Hate, Hate about Led Zeppelin it’s the downright thievery. Even when they were gabillionaire rock stars with their own private continents, it still took law suits before they would fess up and pay up. Of course, by then most of the people they’d stolen from were long dead, usually in brain blowing poverty. Utter bastards. And yes, I know thousands of others have had the same rant. But I Don’t Care.
And, just to make matters worse, Led Zep still managed to be utter shite.
So, here’s one of my favourite songs, as not written by Led Zeppelin, ‘Nobodys Fault But Mine’, heard backwards through the years.
First up is the pretty, never would have been so feted if she hadn’t been blonde and purty, Beth Rowley with her version from her recent “Little Dreamer” album;
Back in the sixties, John Renbourn had a bash on his 1967 album, “Another Monday“. This was probably where Page, Perce, Plonk and Bozo nicked it, seeing as how Page also borrowed liberally from Renbourns sometime partner Bert Jansch, most famously renaming ‘Blackwater Side’ as ‘Black Mountain Side’, guitar arrangement and all;
Amazingly, even though Led Zep wrote it, Blind Willie Johnson managed to lay down the original version on December 3rd, 1927. Unfortunately, for Blind Willie, in 1945, his home burned to the ground. With nowhere else to go, Johnson lived in the burned ruins of his home, sleeping on a wet bed. He lived like this until he contracted pneumonia two weeks later, and died. One of the finest bluesmen ever, listen to this.
Steal it here.
Bonus Blind Willie track, also to be played at my funeral – ‘John The Revelator‘.
If you want to find further examples of Led Zeps largesse, check out;
‘Dazed And Confused’ appeared on the Jake Holmes‘s 1967 album “The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes” – Page had already nicked it for The Yardbirds ‘I’m Confused’
‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’, written by Willie Dixon for Otis Rush in 1956
‘Tangerine’ – an old Yardbirds tune, co-written with Keith Relf who vanishes from the credits, and died broke in 1976.
‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ stole the lyrics from Moby Grape’s ‘Never’.
‘Stairway To Heaven’ steals the opening guitar lines from Spirit’s 1968 track ‘Taurus’ and the the chord progression comes from the Chocolate Watch Bands, ‘And She’s Lonely’ whom The Yardbirds toured with during Page’s tenure.
“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” – A folk song by Anne Bredon, this was originally credited as “traditional, arranged by Jimmy Page,” then “words and music by Jimmy Page,” and then, following legal action, “Bredon/Page/Plant.”
“Bring It On Home” – the first section is an uncredited cover of the Willie Dixon tune (as performed by the imposter Sonny Boy Williamson).
“Communication Breakdown” – apparently derived from Eddie Cochran’s “Nervous Breakdown.”
“Custard Pie” – uncredited cover of Bukka White’s “Shake ‘Em On Down,” with lyrics from Sleepy John Estes’s “Drop Down Daddy.”
“Hats Off To (Roy) Harper” – uncredited version of Bukka White’s “Shake ‘Em On Down.”
“How Many More Times” – Part one is an uncredited cover of the Howlin’ Wolf song (available on numerous compilations). Part two is an uncredited cover of Albert King’s “The Hunter.”
“In My Time Of Dying” – uncredited cover of the traditional song (as heard on Bob Dylan’s debut).
“The Lemon Song” – uncredited cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” – Wolf’s publisher sued Zeppelin in the early 70s and settled out of court.
“Moby Dick” – written and first recorded by Sleepy John Estes under the title “The Girl I Love,” and later covered by Bobby Parker.
“White Summer” – uncredited cover of Davey Graham’s “She Moved Through The Fair.”
“Whole Lotta Love” – lyrics are from the Willie Dixon blues “You Need Love.”