Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Dazed And Confused

“Dazed And Confused” – Jake Holmes

Jimmy Page is being sued by the man who wrote and first recorded the song Dazed And Confused.

Jake Holmes, an American folk singer, claims that Page and Led Zeppelin infringed his copyright, as his version came out two years prior to Zeppelin’s more famous one, on their self-titled, debut album.

However, even if he is successful in this federal law suit (filed in California), Holmes could only claim money owed during the past three years, due to the statute of limitations, this being a drop in the ocean to what Page will have earned from writer’s royalties.

The story started in 1967 when Holmes recorded this song for his debut album “The Above Ground Sound” Of Jake Holmes. What made it unusual was the whole record was done with just bass, guitar and vocals – no drums.

Released in June 1967, the album wasn’t at all well received, but on August 25 the same year, he supported The Yardbirds (featuring Page) when they played at the Village Theater in Greenwich Village, New York. So impressed were the British band with the song that they decided to develop their own version. This was a much longer one, with Page using a violin bow on his guitar.

Although The Yardbirds never did a studio version of this, there have been a couple of live recordings put out. One from a French TV show in March 1968 (which cropped up on a live album released in 2000) actually has Holmes down as writing the song.

By the time Zeppelin recorded Dazed And Confused, Page had changed so much of the song – lyrically and musically – that he was credited as the sole writer. Holmes did try to contact Page, but with no luck. However, he always refused to take legal action – until now.

Source :

People who appreciate blues music will readily recognise that blues music and lyrics were in the old days passed from performer to performer each time often amended in either a minor or major manner. Thus what often appeared to be variations of the same song were credited to a variety of writers.

In the past copyright was difficult to determine and as such credits often refered to “Traditional” many blues writers and performers later missed out on potential royaly windfalls following the 60’s British Blues Boom.

Many bands including The Rolling Stones often went to great efforts to ensure the correct writer was credited, however Led Zeppelin unfortunately have a poor track record in this respect with many blues standards sprinkled through their recorded catalogue without true credit being given.

In this instance from the 60’s there can be no excuse, George Harrison with “My Sweet Lord” and The Chiffons “he’s So Fine” being another example.

If Jimmy Page had any decency he would stump up without complaint and give Holmes the co-writed credit he deserves.

Now the question is did Jake Holmes pinch it from someone else?

September 11, 2010 - Posted by | Blues, Folk, New News, Old Music, Video | , ,

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