Sunday, May 13, 2012

Jimmy Page getting Lei'ed

Jimmy Page's On This Day today has a *giant* picture of the band on the tarmac at Honolulu airport, ready to start the Hawaiian leg of their 1969 tour.

Here, I filch the picture for you (only at 15% of the size).

Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page's blurb at the top left rather cheekily says they are already getting Lei'ed.

Here we are at Honolulu airport, getting Lei’ed on the spot! On the 1969 tour, the second album was in the process of being recorded. For the sake of security, the multitrack tapes were being carried as hand luggage. It seemed a good idea to have each member carrying one of the boxes for the photograph. However at the time, few people would have understood the significance of this picture.
This is a picture I've had in my little hard drive collection for quite some time. Even without the tapes of one of the most significant albums of rock in the frame, it's a very striking picture. Jimmy's webmaster doesn't seem to have credited the picture, but it's by Robert Knight. Raised in Hawaii, he was well-positioned to lead them around for a few day's rest and document this portion of the tour. The really odd thing is that his photos just don't look like Led Zeppelin. In this one, I was left wondering why Jimmy Page, John Bonham and Robert Plant were touring with Mick Ralphs (on closer inspection, you can just about tell that they aren't - they've brought JPJ as usual). It does appear to have been hand-colored - the signed ones for sale are generally sepia, and there's something intensely colorful about it in a way that normal colors usually aren't. But that's not it.

In the others I've seen from the set, there's always something weird about the shot. I don't know if it's his lenses or the Hawaiian light (though it seems to happen indoors as well). The classic appearance of the band at this time is in LA photographs by various folk, for instance the Chateau Marmont photographs.

On this day photos are only up for a day...I guess the clue is in the name. So if you want to see this full-size, I guess you have only a couple of hours left.

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