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Date: Mon, 21 Nov 1994 02:21:21 -0500 From: Steven Wheeler To: zeppelin-l@cornell.edu (Digital Graffiti) Subject: Denton Transcript Message-ID: <199411210721.SAA02603@lawson.its.utas.edu.au> Denton, Thursday, November 17, 1994. AD = Andrew Denton, host of this late night chat/comedy type type show, and also the former host of "The Money or The Gun" which each episode featured a different, bewildering choice of person or group of people to cover his favourite song "Stairway To Heaven". He is the man responsible for the compilation of these, "Stairways To Heaven" which is available on cd and video, and that picture of the short guy with curly hair and glasses on the front is him. RP = Robert Anthony Plant Esq. JP = Mr. James Patrick Page [] = Crowd responses and actions of people involved <> = Used for similar purposes as []'s. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- AD : Now as you know a huge show tonight, a world exclusive, singing live for you tonight on the show, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Won't see that anywhere else! Oh, no siree Bob, they wouldn't even mime it on "Hey Hey". ... But first, well, if you haven't heard of Led Zeppelin, check your genitals for weird probe marks, because it probably means you've been abducted by an alien for the last twenty five years. Along with the Stones and the Beatles, Led Zep are one of the great rock 'n roll acts, responsible for the most amazing song ever written "Stairway To Heaven". Tonight we have with us, the two men responsible for that song, the driving force behind Led Zep who've got together recently to record their first album in fourteen years, together that is, "No Quarter", an extraordinary album. Will you please welcome Mr. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page! [Crowd goes predictably berserk with applause] [The Denton set is pretty odd, the main room is this space filled with faxes, tv's, computers and all sorts of electronic stuff, while the adjoining interview room is reached through one of those rotating doors, and has some really odd walls. Three chairs are waiting, and after a brief pause Plant and Page appear in the passage leading to the rotating door. Plant is dressed in black with one of those lacey type shirts and black jeans and desert boots while Page is wearing somewhat baggy blue jeans and a white t-shirt bearing the slogan "Recovering Catholic". Page and Plant walk into differing sides of the rotating door in a semi-amusing display of unco-ordination, however they do both get through eventually.] RP: Hello, how are you? AD: Welcome aboard! [They all shakes hands and Jimmy bows as he shakes Denton's hand, giving me the impression he was a little intoxicated the way he did it. The room has three chairs, two beside each other and one at a slightly different angle for the interviewer. Jimmy picks the one furthest away and as he sits down slips...] JP: Whoops! [Meanwhile the crowd finally stops clapping, while some moron in the audience insists on yelling out "Jimmy!" a few times] RP: That's it then! AD: That's it, it's over now. Thanks very much, that was fabulous, will you please thank Robert Plant and Jimmy Page! [Page, Plant and Denton stand up, shake hands and make like are about to leave but sit down again, crowd still applauding like mad, then finally stops] AD: It's so nice to meet you after all these years, you've been in my head all this time, you know that? RP: Yeah, I could feel it. AD: Yeah, it's been a quite a scary thing. You... "No Quarter", let's talk about "No Quarter" - you've recorded a lot of this in Morocco with Gnouai tribesmen. How do you get together? Does you agent call their agent? How does that work? RP: I knew a girl in a restaurant in Marrakesh... AD: I love stories that start like that. RP: And basically, one situation led to another, to another, to another. And this group were playing in the restaurant, they were amazing, really like happening music, and they were just playing to people who were like sort of going "I think I must go home now" - they had Moroccan tummy! And these people were playing and they were brilliant. And we couldn't find anybody else who'd play with us, so I called the restaurant... AD: You couldn't find anybody else who'd play with you? Is he telling the truth Jimmy? RP: It's been a lean ten years! AD: Oh, has it really now? RP: Yeah, yeah, it has. AD: I'm sure it has. How hard is it actually writing music with people who are like diammetrically culturally different to you, they don't speak your language, they probably don't have a single Led Zeppelin album in their collection. RP: Yeah, they don't have a collection. AD: They don't even have a collection, well there you go! How hard is it working with them? RP: We were really lucky weren't we? JP: Yeah. RP: We just went into a courtyard, sat down with them, there was all this kind of incense and stuff sort of floating around. In fact it was a bit like Woodstock was way back. And we just started playing with them and... We had these visions ya know? It was remarkable actually, it was really good, it didn't take very long at all. AD: Where can I get some of that incense from actually? RP: Well, judging by what happened last time we were here I'm not going to tell you! AD: What did happen to you last time you were here? RP: It's my attention span. AD: Oh I see, yes, no, I understand. [To audience] Will you please welcome Mr. Robert Plant, I'm just reminding him of who he is here. And this is Jimmy Page at your right. [Plant and Page shake hands] RP: Oh hi. Look, he's a recovering catholic! AD: Actually, we have some footage of you playing with the gnaoui tribesmen in that very square let's check it out, let's get a feel for it. [Footage from "Unledded" - "Wah Wah"] AD: Looks like a fantastic experience. Now... RP: I must say, there's surprisingly few women in that clip. AD: Now why would that be? RP: I can't imagine where they all went. I think they were in the caravan with Rex our tour manager. Yeah, it was an amazing night in Marrakesh. AD: Because, you said you'd like to perform with... RP: These are not all innuendoes you know! Some of this is true! AD: This is not Julian Clary here you know! You've said you'd like to perform with... Ooh, maybe it is! ...with Moroccan trance singers who can teach you how to cut yourself but you don't feel it? RP: Well, the Djallala [Assumed spelling!] they, there's all these different forms of music in Morocco and North Africa and really repet... Why am I doing all the talking here? AD: I was about to say... JP: Because he keeps asking you the questions. AD: No it's not that, I'm terribly sorry. JP: Ok. [Page and Plant stand up and swap chairs so that now Page is next to Denton, Denton stands up and offers Page his seat!] JP: No, no, no, no! AD: Tell me about the Moroccan trance singers. JP: Well, we'd heard stories about the Djujuka [Assumed spelling!] tribespeople and when they bring in the rites of Spring, you know, p-p-penathian feast, which just goes on for days and days, there's stories of them smashing bowls over their heads, starting to bleed and then the next day, there's not a scar or mark of anything! RP: It's a bit like your wet t-shirt competitions in the pubs around here. JP: Yeah, it is. AD: Oh, this is the 90's, we don't have those any more, we've moved on , we have wet brain contests instead. RP: Yeah, I can see that! AD: Thank you very much. It's gel actually! RP: I think the deal is, if you repeat anything long enough, something happens to you that doesn't normally happen, and the whole mantric thing with Moroccan and North African music is the repetition of the rhythm, the riff, and the whole thing goes round and round like, you're probably more familiar with it in Haiti? AD: Yeah, that's where the Americans... No, actually, the shamans in Tibet do the same thing where they work themselves into this state where they believe they can see ghosts. RP: Yeah. We were only there for about two hours so we only got a certain amount of it. Just enough for two songs! AD: Well, you said that the music you did in Morocco is about as far away from George Michael as you can get. Has this been a career ambition for you? [Page and Plant look at each other grinning, obviously deciding who'll answer] RP: Well, a friend of mine's got his coat, it's this sort of powdered blue, [something, sounded like worcestered] um... We're on our way anyway. If we can just find a chorus now we'll have a hit! AD: Jimmy, one thing that amazes me, the double necked guitars, and also the triple neck guitars, I don't see how it works because you can only play one at a time? JP: I know, I know, but not in Morocco, maybe maybe you can visualize more there? AD: Oh I see, it's just a state? JP: No, they're in different tunings, that's what it is. It's not that technical believe me. AD: Because I've often wondered if it's actually a show business thing or if it's the real thing? JP: No, it's the real thing. AD: So you really do... JP: Sure, sure. Actually, I'm getting one made up with eight necks and I'm going to get a wheelwright to make a big rim around it and then I can do cartwheels off the stage! AD: Now that is rock and roll! JP: Yeah, I think so. AD: Of course, on "No Quarter", you've got, you've reworked a number of Zep classics, you've got "Kashmir", "Four Sticks", "Gallows Pole", but there is one classic that's not there... RP: I think you've flogged it to death already. AD: I think flogged is an unfair term. RP: No, I like the word flogged. AD: I think... that's very British Conservative Party of you Robert! I think that's an unfair thing, we... RP: I don't like David Mellor, but I like the word flogged! AD: We paid tribute to this song. And I'd just like to remind you... RP: Tribute? I thought you were on a royalty? AD: No I wasn't, that's how stupid I was! I wasn't on a royalty! No, no, I just want to remind you of the tribute we paid. Feast your eyes. [Several clips show from "Stairways To Heaven" with Page and Plant overlayed so we could see their recations] 1st Clip : Rolf Harris - Page and Plant watch with the hint of grin. 2nd Clip : Beatnix (Australian Beatles Tribute Group) - Page and Plant both grinning. 3rd Clip : Nick Barker And The Reptiles (Australian hard rock group) RP: Oh yeah! I love that, whoo-hoo yeah! Are they still in the business? 4th Clip : Doug Anthony Allstars (Australian anarchic comedy team) - Page and Plant grin as "the lady" is finally revealed as Miss. Shirley Bassey! 5th Clip : Friends Of The Castanet Club (Weird looking people dressed as pirates tapping out rhythm with walking canes on leg of a stool) - Page and Plant crack up. 6th Clip : Leonard Teale (Recently deceased Australian, actor, orator) - Page and Plant no-longer overlayed so no reaction could be noted. AD: What more tribute could we pay? JP: Thank you. RP: I think you missed the best one. AD: Which was that? RP: The fat Elvis. I thought he was fantastic! AD: No sooner do you say it than here it is in front of your very eyes. RP: Where is he? Is he here? [Clip of Neil Pepper, fat Elvis impersonator, doing his rendition is shown while Plant groans with disappointment that he is not win the studio, both are grinning at this particular rendition, complete with weird dancing from the "fat Elvis"] AD: Now, why is that your favourite? RP: Well, when I was a kid I used to hide behind the curtains at home at Christmas and I used to try and be Elvis. There was a certain ambience between the curtains and the French windows, there was a certain sound there for a ten year old. AD: Oh, right. RP: That was all the ambience I got at ten years old... I think! And I always wanted to be a certain, a bit similar to that. But I didn't want to sell pizza. AD: It's so easy to be Elvis now of course, it's just... RP: Yeah, I know, I've been watching some of your tv! AD: Now tell me the truth, the truth. When Rolf Harris went to the top of the charts in England with "Stairway To Heaven", what did you think? That this was a sign of the antichrist? RP: You know they wouldn't... Oh no! Some of my best childhood memories have been watching Rolf! AD: Wow! RP: Yeah. You know, they wouldn't release that in America because there was such disdain, everybody was absolutely furious. AD: Really? RP: Yeah, there was a lot of a... don't worry Rolf, just keep on snoring back there! AD: What did you guys think? Were you furious or amused? [Page and Plant look at each other, again obviously deciding who was going to reply] JP: I didn't really hear it... No, I tell you the truth. It was when I got a whole, I didn't know it had gone to the top of the charts, I was in Bourne [?] at the time working, but I did get a whole set of clips of all that and I thought it was hilarious. RP: I think he's great, Rolf. JP: Yeah, 'course he is! RP: I don't don't care what he, you know... JP: Plus, he can do "Jake The Pig" and we can't! AD: That's one for the new album! Before we go, Robert, I have to ask you, what does "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow" mean? RP: You've got me over a barrel now, or under a barrel! AD: I never touched a barrel! JP: Not yet. RP: Shall I tell them the? No, no, I won't tell you the Freudian thing. What it is, it's the beginning of Spring, it's when the birds make their nests, when hope and the new year begins. And it's nothing to do with any of that weird stuff stuff you read about in America! AD: Oh right, so... RP: It's the beginning of the new year. [At this point there is a brief pause and some moron in the audience yells his question at Jimmy] AD: Thank god, now we all know. Now you're going to play for us tonight, what are you going to play? RP: If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, yeah. AD: Excellent! RP: In F! [Guy in audience again, "Jimmy, what's your symbol mean?"] JP: Eh? AD: What was that? [Guy again, "What's the symbol mean on IV?"] AD: The symbol. JP: Recovering catholic? RP: It means "frying tonight". JP: Oh, that's right, oh I see. AD: Thank you very much for that question from the audience! JP: Yes, sorry we don't answer all those. AD: Will you please thank Robert Plant and Jimmy Page! [The interview concludes] After a commercial break or two, another interview and some random goofy type stuff, Page and Plant re-appear to play "Black Dog". Page in particular is _really_ hilarious, doing all the weird stage moves you'd expect to see at a 1972 vintage concert, the funny low down walk with the guitar, the lay back riffing, the funny lip thing that's sort of like a pout. And oh yeah, this is totally gross, but at one point he is drooling all over the place. I am NOT kidding! Watch it again folks! At one point he has this 10cm long thing of slobber hanging off his bottom lip!!! Yeah, this is deadset, fair-dinkum true, I was laughing so hard I was having trouble staying on my chair. This is really funny, what with Page strutting all over the place dribbling, and Plant doing a bit of strutting too. There were three backing musicians, all aboriginal, one on drums and two digeridoo players. It was quite interesting, and I quite liked it, although the immense amount of distortion on Plant's voice sounded a little weird. Overall, not bad though, but I can see why Zep never made many tv appearances. After they finish playing Denton walks over waving around a copy of the "No Quarter" cd and invites them to take his musical challenge. This is where the guest musical acts each episode has to play a song they wouldn't normally play, something really offbeat and bizarre usually, which they choose from a barrel. Denton has stocked the barrel on this occasion with 50 Rolf Harris songs! Jimmy reaches in and draws "Sun Arise". Denton asks them to do it, Plant says "Not if I can help it!" but then gives in, agreeing to play it "For Rolf!". That way Plant says "Rolf" sounds quite funny, must be his accent, plus he says it in a very childlike sort of way. At the end of the show, they do indeed play "Sun Arise"! Really cool it was too, I particularly enjoyed it and as the credits are rolling they are still playing. Then as the credits are about to finish, Jimmy starts off on some really neat blues solo and they segue back into "Black Dog" - "Hey baby, pretty baby...!" -------------------------------------------------------------------------- All in all, a very cool episode. Both of them were laid back and funny, especially Plant, who was very playful, and managed to drag women into just about every topic they discussed. Pagey was pretty fidgety and as I suspect a little intoxicated, that drooling was just plain gross! Anyway, hope you like the transcript, took me quite a while to put together. Regards, Steve. ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 21 Nov 1994 02:30:27 -0500 From: Steven Wheeler To: zeppelin-l@cornell.edu (Digital Graffiti) Subject: Addition to Transcript Message-ID: <199411210730.SAA02729@lawson.its.utas.edu.au> Oh yeah, one other thing I forgot to put in there, in "Black Dog" I noticed that Jimmy walked ove rto his amp and cranked it up a bit in the middle of the song. Perhaps he underestimated the noice the digeridoos would be making? Regards, Steve.

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