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Classic Rock

Led Zeppelin Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused is based on an acoustic song with the same title that Jimm...


Dazed and Confused is based on an acoustic song with the same title that Jimmy Page heard folk singer Jake Holmes perform. ( Holmes version https://www.... - Mark Thomas - Google+

Dazed and Confused is based on an acoustic song with the same title that Jimmy Page heard folk singer Jake Holmes perform. ( Holmes version

When Page was a member of The Yardbirds, they played on the same bill with Holmes at the Village Theatre in New York City. Holmes' version is about an acid trip, but contains many of the same elements that made their way into the Led Zeppelin version: walking bass line, paranoid lyrics and an overall spooky sound. In the documentary Lost Rockers, Holmes said: "We were on the bill with The Yardbirds. We performed it there and blew the place apart with that song, and that's when Jimmy Page saw it. From what I gather from The Yardbirds, Page sent somebody out to get my album. He did a great job, but he certainly ripped me off."

The Yardbirds played the song in concert, but never recorded a studio version, although they did play it for a BBC taping in March 1968.

Led Zeppelin's version was not credited to Jake Holmes, as Page felt that he changed enough of the melody and added enough new lyrics to escape a plagiarism lawsuit. While Holmes took no action at the time, he did later contact Page regarding the matter. Holmes finally filed a lawsuit in 2010, alleging copyright infringement and naming the Led Zep guitarist as a co-defendant. It was the favorable judgment for organist Matthew Fisher in the "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" case that convinced Holmes to sue, as precedent was set that songwriting credits could be challenged in British courts many years after the fact. Holmes settled with Page and the case was dismissed on January 17, 2012. The songwriting credit was changed to the rather cryptic "Jimmy Page, Inspired By Jake Holmes."

In Shiloh Noone's book Seekers Guide To The Rhythm Of Yesteryear, he helps explain the origin of this song: "Jake Holmes, a one time member of Tim Rose & The Thorns, had written entire albums for Frank Sinatra and The Four Seasons, but his two most prolific albums released in 1967 are now recognized as groundbreaking projects. Jake's debut The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes which featured Jake on acoustic guitar, Teddy Irwin on electric guitar and Rick Randle on bass carried the original 'Dazed And Confused' which Jimmy Page borrowed for the Led Zeppelin debut. This was confirmed when the Yardbirds witnessed Jake playing it live at The Village Gate in 1967. The same happened with the opening chords of Spirit's 'Taurus' which Jimmy used for 'Stairway To Heaven.' Jake's artistic actualization follow up, A Letter To Katherine December is translucently a monumental landscape that captures a surreal bluesy world somewhere between Arthur Lee and David McWilliams."
A version of Page performing this song with The Yardbirds can be found on the 1971 release Live Yardbirds. This version is listed as "I'm Confused" and has different lyrics than the Led Zeppelin version.

At live shows, Page played this using a violin bow on his guitar. He claimed that he got the idea from a session violinist he worked with who suggested it (the violinist was the father of actor David McCallum from The Man From U.N.C.L.E.). Eddie Phillips of the UK band The Creation guitarist pioneered the use of the violin bow on guitar strings, predating Page doing it in The Yardbirds by two years. You can hear it on the Creation song "Makin' Time." The secret to this technique: Put rosin on the bow, and the rosin sticks to the string and makes it vibrate.

This was a showcase song at most of Led Zeppelin's concerts. They sometimes improvised on it for up to 40 minutes.

The guitar solo following the bow section is Page's solo from the Yardbirds' "Think About It."

This was the first of three songs where Page used the bow. The others were "In The Light" and "How Many More Times." The first identifiable use of the cello bow on a Jimmy Page guitar was on a Yardbirds B-side called "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor." Speaking in the subject, Page said, "When I use violin bow on guitar, it's not just a gimmick as people think, It's because some great sounds come out. You can employ legitimate bowing techniques and gain new scope and depth."

One of the first songs Led Zeppelin recorded, "Dazed And Confused" was released as a single in the US in January 1969, two weeks before the album was issued.

Jake Holmes, who wrote the song on which this is based, never hit it big as a recording artist, but you've definitely heard his work: He wrote many famous jingles, including "Be a All That You Can Be" for the US Army and "Be A Pepper" for Dr. Pepper.