Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page Reflects On The ‘Genius’ of Bob Dylan In New Post
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
“In May 1965 I experienced the genius of Bob at the Albert Hall,” Page writes. “He accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and cascaded images and words from such songs as ‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ and ‘She Belongs To Me’ to a mesmerised audience. It was life changing.”
Page then reflects on seeing Dylan play London’s Royal Albert Hall again in 2013: “It was intoxicating.”
Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant has also shared in past that hearing Dylan as a teenager woke him up to music.
“Something happened when Dylan arrived,” Plant told the Guardian in 2007. “I had to grapple with what he was talking about. His music referenced Woody Guthrie, Richard and Mimi Farina, Reverend Gary Davis, Dave Van Ronk and all these great American artists I knew nothing about. He was absorbing the details of America and bringing it out without any reservation at all, and ignited a social conscience that is spectacular. In these Anglo-Saxon lands we could only gawp, because we didn’t know about the conditions he was singing about. Dylan was the first one to say, ‘Hello, reality.’ I knew that I had to get rid of the winkle-pickers and get the sandals on quick.”
Dylan, in contrast, was not a Zeppelin fan.
When the group’s manager Peter Grant infamously introduced himself to Dylan in LA in 1974 with the line, “Hello Bob. I’m Peter Grant, I manage Led Zeppelin,” Dylan snubbed him, replying simply, “Do I come to you with my problems?”
Things have changed since then.
Today, Dylan and Plant are reportedly on good terms and Plant has covered Dylan on several occasions, most notably reinterpreting Dylan’s Desire era song ‘One More Cup of Coffee‘ on 2002 album Dreamland.
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On this day in 2013, I watched @bobdylan at the Albert Hall. In May 1965 I experienced the genius of Bob at the Albert Hall. He accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and cascaded images and words from such songs as It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) and She Belongs To Me to a mesmerised audience. It was life changing. In 2013, Bob Dylan played at the Albert Hall again – this was the first of three nights – when he would feature songs from his latest album Tempest and some re-arranged earlier material including She Belongs To Me and Tangled Up In Blue. It was intoxicating. I attended this concert with poet @scarlettzsabet