Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'Umble Pie

[I changed the title from "Humbler Pie" to 'Umble Pie because it reminded me of the Artful Dodger]

I guess Steve Marriott is an acquired taste. I'll never forget him as the leader of Humble Pie, the very first rock concert I saw. But he was more than that. He was a defining face (albeit a small one) of the 1960's rock and roll scene in Britain. I did a brief homage to him a year ago: link. But I forgot to mention that he was an uncredited inventor of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love (well, he along with Willie Dixon).  Listen to this 1966 version of "You Need Loving" and tell me it didn't influence Robert Plant three years later:

Of course both Led Zeppelin and the Small Faces were copying Muddy Waters' 1962 version of Willy Dixon's "You Need Love."  Dixon sued Led Zeppelin in 1985 over copyright infringement and prevailed. He never sued Marriott. In the words of Plant:
well, you only get caught when you're successful. That's the game.
The whole story reminds me of Bob Dylan recording Dave Van Ronk's version of "The House Of The Rising Sun" in 1962 and then being one-upped by The Animal's version a year or so later as told in Martin Scorsese's "No Direction Home."

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