Led Zeppelin – Dazed And Confused

The writing credit on this song is Jimmy Page but is based on an acoustic song with the same title that Jimmy Page heard folk singer Jake Holmes perform. When Page was a member of The Yardbirds, they played on the same bill with Holmes at the Village Theatre in New York City. Holmes’ version is about an acid trip, but contains many of the same elements that made their way into the Led Zeppelin version: walking bass line, paranoid lyrics and an overall spooky sound.

Led Zeppelin’s version was not credited to Jake Holmes, as Page felt that he changed enough of the melody and added enough new lyrics to escape a plagiarism lawsuit. Well that didn’t work, many years later Jake Holmes sued Zeppelin in 2010 for the song. The suit was “dismissed with prejudice” on January 17, 2012, after an undisclosed settlement between Page and Holmes was reached out of court in the fall of 2011. After that the song was credited “By Page – Inspired by Jake Holmes.”

Jake Holmes was never successful commercially as a singer/songwriter…but you know his work. He wrote many famous jingles, including “Be a All That You Can Be” for the US Army and “Be A Pepper” for Dr. Pepper. He also wrote songs for Frank Sinatra and The Four Seasons.

The Yardbirds played the song in concert, but never recorded a studio version, although they did play it for a BBC taping in March 1968. This was one of the first songs Led Zeppelin recorded. It was released as a single in the US in January 1969, two weeks before the album was issued.

At live shows, Page played this using a violin bow on his guitar. He claimed that he got the idea from a session violinist he worked with who suggested it. Eddie Phillips of the UK band The Creation guitarist pioneered the use of the violin bow on guitar strings, predating Page doing it in The Yardbirds by two years.

The song didn’t chart but the self titled album peaked at #10 on the Billboard Album Charts, #11 in Canada and #6 in the UK in 1969.

Jake Holmes – “We were on the bill with The Yardbirds. We performed it there and blew the place apart with that song, and that’s when Jimmy Page saw it. From what I gather from The Yardbirds, Page sent somebody out to get my album. He did a great job, but he certainly ripped me off.”

Dazed And Confused

Been dazed and confused for so long, it’s not true
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
Lots of people talk and few of them know
Soul of a woman was created below, yeah

You hurt and abuse, tellin’ all of your lies
Run ’round, sweet baby, Lord, how they hypnotize
Sweet little baby, I don’t know where you’ve been
Gonna love you, baby, here I come again

Every day I work so hard, bringin’ home my hard-earned pay
Try to love you, baby, but you push me away
Don’t know where you’re goin’, only know just where you’ve been
Sweet little baby, I want you again

Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ahh, ah
Ahh, ah, ah, ah, ah
Ahh, ah

Oh yeah, alright, alright
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah

I don’t like when you’re mystifyin’ me
Oh, don’t leave me so confused, now
Whoa, baby

Been dazed and confused for so long, it’s not true
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
Take it easy, baby, let them say what they will
Tongue wag so much when I sent you the bill
Oh yeah, alright

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, ah, ah, ah, ah