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Stairway to Heaven - unplugged

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ronws
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I was born in 1964 so I was a teenager during a good chunk of the 70's. (Yes, I had a pair bell bottoms. Also, some regulation dungarees, as my first step-father, Gerald, was a boiler tech 2c in the Navy. After his active combat tour in the Sea of Japan, he was transferred to the USS Ogden, another destroyer. And, my grandparents even got me a leisure suit, once. Polyester, of course.) Anyway, as a young man learning to play guitar, it soon became apparent that every young woman wanted to hear this song and knowing it was the surest way to gain some friendship with them.

I started playing this song when I was 15, even though it was originally published in 1973 and was on Led Zepellin IV (the "Ruination" album.) The way the story goes, Jimmie Page had just purchased the castle of Aleister Crowley. And he so loved the acoustics of the great hall, that he wanted to record there. The guitar bit that starts the song was actually one of his warm up exercises. Robert Plant was thinking of a young lady he knew that thought the whole world was at her beck and call. Out of this hodge-podge of blues and instrumental harmony came a classic that changed the world of music. Funny thing, it's not one of Plant's favorites. He preferred "Since I've been Loving You," the "Lemon Song," and "D'yer Maker."

I recorded this two different ways. First time, I recorded the main guitar part with the acoustic. Second track was a guitar solo during the bridge. Third track was vocals. I was not having much luck mixing and I think having different compression on different tracks played hob.

So, I went back to my comfort zone, playing and singing together. "Live." And this is that second version. No solo. I was going to apologize in advance for the volume of the high note near the end. Though you can't hear it, I am moving my chair back before that note so that I am at least two full feet away from the pop filter in front of the mic.

But screw it. Hitting the high note that way is relaxing to me and it is the way I do it. I am reminded of another guy here that sang two different ways. The first one was very open and operatic and he felt strained. Then he did another with his own bright rattle distortion and the stress went away and the energy was there. I think we're two sides of the same coin and we each do what suits us best, what gives us the easiest release of the note.

Anyway, I'll shut up for now.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8750209/STH%20-%20live.mp3

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Thanks, guys. Again, the technical secret is that there is none. Minimal compression, no eq, no delay or echo. Just me and the guitar. I've thought of making the bridge longer and then second-tracking a solo. But I kind of like this one short and sweet.

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Grueser - thanks. As I wrote, I was born March 19, 1964. So, I was too young to be in the Big Asian Vacation. But I've been hearing this song since about the time I started playing guitar. Funny though, when I was 10, I picked up my grandparents' classical guitar (neither of them really played, they just had it there.) I started picking out the arpeggio that intros "Who'll Stop the Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Along about 15, I started to really knuckle down and learn this song. But I could only do the high part in falsetto until around 1988, when I learned to sing the upper range of my voice in something besides falsetto.

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