Friday, February 26, 2010

1965 - Jimmy Page's first solo single

On this day in 1965, Jimmy Page released his first solo single, "She Just Satisfies."

In the mid-60s, Jimmy had been bouncing around from session to session, playing guitar on records by other artists. Page had given up thoughts of being in a band, and possibly giving up music for good, after health issues forced him off the road while touring with The Crusaders, who he hooked up with in 1962.

"I joined Neil Christian's Crusaders when I first left school and I was just sort of gigging with his band - driving round the country and getting glandular fever and everything,” Page told writer Nick Kent in a May ’74 Creem magazine article. “I remember one night walking outside a gig, and the next point waking up and I was laying on the floor in some sort of dressing room. I just collapsed and couldn't keep going, and it was just fatigue and exhaustion."

Page turned to painting, enrolling in the Sutton Art College in Surrey…but he just couldn’t get the guitar out of his mind, jamming regularly at The Marquee club with several bands, including playing with both Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck during this period.

Eventually, Jimmy was offered studio work for Decca Records, a real win/win for him: he could still play music but didn’t have to travel constantly to do it. Page’s first session for Decca was playing rhythm on "Diamonds" by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, an instrumental track that hit Number 1 on the UK singles chart in early 1963.

Jet Harris and Tony Meehan – Diamonds (1963)
(features Jimmy Page on rhythm guitar)

Famously, Page played on hits by The Who (rhythm guitar on “I Can’t Explain”), The Rolling Stones ( “Heart Of Stone” ), Van Morrison & Them ( “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Here Comes The Night” ), The Kinks (according to Ray Davies , Page played 12-string rhythm guitar on "I'm A Lover, Not A Fighter" and tambourine on "Long Tall Shorty", both from 65’s “You Really Got Me” album), The Nashville Teens ( “Tobacco Road” ), and many others.

Several songs which featured Page's involvement were compiled on the twin album release: James Patrick Page: Session Man Volume One and James Patrick Page: Session Man Volume Two.

Page continued his session work until mid-1966, shutting things down after the chart success of r’n’b songs with a focus on horns temporarily relegated guitars to the background in the sessions he was doing…and…his reaction to getting offers to play songs for Muzak, the background music service heard in retail stores, office buildings and elevators.

The week after this decision, Page was invited to join The Yardbirds, and accepted, filling the bass role of the just-departed Paul Samwell-Smith (he’d eventually switch to guitar, playing side-by-side with Jeff Beck); a year earlier, he turned down the band’s offer to replace Eric Clapton out of concern for his previous health issues on the road, loyalty to his friend, and the sheer amount of money he was making as a session player.

So, in the midst of his busy session work – Page recalls playing three sessions a day, six days a week – Jimmy recorded his first single. “She Just Satisfies” was released in February ’65 on Fontana Records.

Click the image below to view.

"There's nothing to be said for that record except it was very tongue-in-cheek at the time," Page said in that same Creem interview. “I played all the instruments on it, except for the drums, and sang on it too, which is quite, uh...unique. 'She Just Satisfies,' that's what it was called. It's better forgotten."

According to Philip Cohen - formerly of the music collector’s guide, ICE magazine (closed in ’06), legend has it that Page sang his vocals directly into the mono mix, so the original multitrack tapes have no vocals on them; years later, a stereo remix of the song surfaced as an instrumental.

Jimmy Page – She Just Satisfies (1965)
(audio over slide show)

The raw and primal-sounding b-side, “Keep Movin’,” features then-girlfriend Jackie DeShannon on vocals; Page had played on some her sessions and the two co-wrote a few songs together. According to one legend, Page wrote “Tangerine” about DeShannon in ‘65, years before it appeared on Led Zeppelin III.

Jimmy Page – Keep Movin' (1965)
(b-side of "She Just Satisfies")