Saturday, June 4, 2011

Jimmy Page: Mellow & Yellow

Last night at Royal Albert Hall in London, Jimmy Page stepped out from behind his website, and performed in public for the first time in three years (by my count, June 8, 2008 with the Foo Fighters was the last time).

38151_450489665567_704905567_6476531_4253894_nSixties singer Donovan was recreating his 1967 album Sunshine Superman, which featured young studio guitarist Jimmy Page.  When Donovan  played the title song he was joined onstage by the guitarist, who reprised his solo on the song.

Dave Lewis of Tight but Loose was there, and reports that during the encore, Dr. Page came on and they re-performed Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow.

The second half featured the complete performance of his 1966 album Sunshine Superman. Early in this part of the set he explained how he began recording the record in 1965 in Abbey Road Studios with a young session guitarist – ‘and it’s great to have him here tonight-  please welcome Jimmy Page’’

Jimmy entered stage right dressed in black shirt to a rapturous reception. Strapping on a Gibson Black Les Paul Custom with Bigsby arm, he accompanied Donovan on the track Sunshine Superman. Strumming along on the descending chord sequence he then opened up with a neat solo as the chorus came in. Smiling and waving to the crowd he then left the stage. Donovan  went on to perform the entire album accompanied by the orchestra and guests including Shawn Phillips on sitar and his son Donovan jr.

Before performing the uplifting finale of Atlantis, Donovan acknowledged the band and guests and Jimmy briefly came on to take the applause. That appeared to be the end of the evening but as the crowd gave Donovan a standing ovation he remained on stage and announced they were going to reprise the title track and once again Jimmy entered proceedings strapping on the Gibson as they once again ran through the jaunty Sunshine Superman with all and sundry on stage...

After a triumphant Sunshine Superman, they all remained on stage for a rousing reprise of Mellow Yellow – this had Jimmy running through the strutting rhythm of the song smiling at Donovan and leading into a solo. Finally at the close of it all, Donovan and Jimmy embraced and they ambled off stage right as the crowd bayed for yet more.

So far, only a video of Mellow Yellow has surfaced. More will be added as they turn up.


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