So, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck are to share a stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony held in Cleveland this Saturday.
No word if they plan to jam together, but I'm hopeful. In the event that they do, what should they play? There's a list of likely choices.
- "Train Kept a Rollin'" or "Stroll On"
"Train" was a favorite that all Yardbirds guitarists had to do, and it became so much the group's trademark tune that even when the rights weren't in place for them to perform it for the film Blow Up, they took credit for a basic lyrical rewrite of it called "Stroll On." Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith took "Train" to greater heights, but it's that riff that Beck and Page are playing the only time they were ever filmed playing together as Yardbirds members.
- "Shapes of Things"
Beck's first big tune from the Yardbirds days provided fodder for his Rod Stewart-led Jeff Beck Group lineup on the album Truth. Page evidently liked Beck's arrangement of it as he brought it out on tour with the Black Crowes in 2000.
- "Beck's Bolero"
It doesn't matter which one of these guys wrote the chords or the melody. The point is they played it together, and it's gone on to become one of the biggest B-sides ever laid to vinyl. The recording sessions for it led to the development of the name "Led Zeppelin" by either John Entwistle or Keith Moon (again, it doesn't really matter which).
- "You Shook Me"
It was a prerequisite for any British rock band inspired by the blues to use a Willie Dixon song or three. Both Led Zeppelin and the Jeff Beck Group went with this one (with John Paul Jones on keyboard on both). Here's a track that wouldn't need much rehearsal.
- "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"
Here's the only Yardbirds single that featured both Beck and Page on it (Page on bass), but by the time it was released, Beck was out of the band. The song features a chunk-a-chunk rhythm guitar and one fireball of a guitar solo, both courtesy of Beck. But it was Page who carried the song on over the course of the Yardbirds' final year and made it become one of those heavy Yardbirds tracks now revisited as having foreshadowed the musical direction Jimmy was destined to go in with Led Zeppelin. The tune is made complete with a maniacal insult that pointed out the typical criticism of the long-haired rocker. People used to laugh at musicians and their effeminate manner of dress. Now who's laughing?