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Jimmy Page’s Vox Phantom XII on “Thank You”

garbeaj

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Feb 27, 2016
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Here is some information that might interest some about Jimmy Page’s use of his 1967 Vox Phantom XII electric twelve string guitar which he used on many tracks throughout his career, not least of which is the second album recording of the beautiful ballad “Thank You”. Studio notes taken from the book in the Super Deluxe edition of ‘Led Zeppelin II’ show that the track was recorded on June 25, 1969 at Morgan Studios, Willesden UK (Andy Johns engineering) the same day that “Living Loving Maid” (another track featuring the Vox Phantom XII) was recorded. The “Thank You” studio notes specifically mention that Track 4 is “12 Str Elec”.
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From the new book ‘Jimmy Page: The Anthology’ by Jimmy Page:
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Jimmy Page: The Vox Phantom XII-string is a lovely guitar. I got it when I was a studio musician and then it went through to The Yardbirds.

I played “Glimpses” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor” on it and it was used to do a Bob Dylan song “Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine”. On “Tinker Tailor” and “Glimpses”, I’m bowing it at the same time, so I was really putting it through it’s paces, abusing it, really?

It’s one of the electric twelve strings I used in the building of the recording of “Stairway To Heaven”-the other was the Fender Electric XII. It’s also on “Thank You”, so it’s had quite an interesting life.


Guitar World May 1993 mentions that the Vox Phantom XII was used on the second album:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/classi...age-interview-with-guitar-world-may-1993/amp/

Guitar World June 2008 interview with Eddie Kramer who states that Page used a ‘67 Vox Phantom Electric XII on “Thank You”.
https://forums.ledzeppelin.com/topic/6555-mixing-led-zeppelin-ii/#comment-201271

From the book ‘Led Zeppelin: The Story Behind Every Song’ by Jean-Michel Guesdon and Philippe Margotin:

https://books.google.com/books?id=95FKDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT168&lpg=PT168&dq=led+zeppelin+thank+you+vox+Phantom&source=bl&ots=uMtGa_SDmF&sig=ACfU3U2vVH2gb6O3t3Io9B657PCNj3xSkQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiCzuKyjODoAhVDPawKHaxoCO8Q6AEwCnoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=led zeppelin thank you vox Phantom&f=false
“Thank You” marked the start of a long and fruitful collaboration between Led Zeppelin and the chief sound engineer at Morgan Studios, Andy Johns (the brother of Glyn, who had engineered the group’s debut album). The track was cut in a day, June 25, 1969 indicating that the group was on form and brimming with confidence. JIMMY OPENS “THANK YOU” WITH AN INTRO ON ELECTRIC GUITAR, A 1967 VOX PHANTOM XII TWELVE-STRING ACQUIRED DURING HIS YARDBIRDS DAYS. The sound is strongly reminiscent of The Byrds, all the more so as he doubles the instrument with an acoustic guitar, his E-ROS Model 606 Dakota with it’s more crystalline sound.——The track acquires a new dynamism after the first verse, Bonham and Jones falling into a pop-like groove still the limits of slow rock. PAGE PLAYS HIS VOX PHANTOM and also adds a strummed acoustic, supported by the rich vibrato of the Hammond.


Ultimate-Guitar.com article ‘8 Weirdest Guitars in Jimmy Page’s Collection’

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/articles/features/8_weirdest_guitars_in_jimmy_pages_collection-95260

Vox Phantom XII
Another twelve string in his collection-this time a bit weirder-is the Vox Phantom XII. The guitar was used from his time in The Yardbirds, both on the album ‘Little Games’ and on some of the band’s live shows. The instrument also saw some action on “Living Loving Maid” and “Thank You”.

Guitar Player article 10-22-2019 ‘Ramble On: A Track-By-Track Breakdown of ‘Led Zeppelin II’ 50 Years Later’
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.gu...k-breakdown-of-led-zeppelin-ii-50-years-later
“Thank You”
(Page, Plant)
Recorded at Morgan Studios in London in June 1969, Robert Plant’s emotional love song to his wife brought out the best in him and provided one of his finest vocal performances. Elsewhere in the arrangement, John Paul Jones excelled in Hammond organ, AND PAGE COMPLIMENTED IT ALL WITH SOME DELICATE PICKING USING HIS ‘67 VOX PHANTOM.


Guitar World January 9, 2015 article-Jimmy Page Revisits Two Of Led Zeppelin’s Most God-Like Albums, ‘IV’ and ‘Houses Of Holy’
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.gu...zeppelin-s-most-god-albums-iv-and-houses-holy
Guitar World: What guitar did you use on “The Song Remains The Same”, was it the Gibson double-neck?

Page: No, I used a Fender 12-string in the studio. And before the Fender, I used a Vox 12-string. YOU CAN HEAR THE VOX ON THINGS LIKE “THANK YOU” AND “LIVING LOVING MAID” ON THE SECOND ALBUM.

Guitar World: Going back over both of these albums (Untitled fourth album and ‘Houses of The Holy’) it’s striking how much electric 12-string you used. What was the primary guitar?

Page: Well on “Stairway” I used both my VOX PHANTOM THAT I USED ON “THANK YOU” and my Fender Electric XII.

Guitar World: Did you use them for tonal differences?

Page: Not really. They both sort’ve sounded the same. It was more about how they played. They felt different. On “
The Song Remains The Same”, it’s just the Fender.

There are a lot more references...
 
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Ed A

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Yes, great stuff!... Ive known about the Vox being used on both Thank You and Living Lovin Maid.... Thank You is a no brainer for its use... but I get a kick out of the way he used it for Livin Lovin.... overdriving it for the riff has everything to do with the unique sound of that song... that combined with the wah and the Les Paul solo is so cool... I know Livin Lovin is not everybody's cup of tea... but I love it!
 

garbeaj

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Yes, great stuff!... Ive known about the Vox being used on both Thank You and Living Lovin Maid.... Thank You is a no brainer for its use... but I get a kick out of the way he used it for Livin Lovin.... overdriving it for the riff has everything to do with the unique sound of that song... that combined with the wah and the Les Paul solo is so cool... I know Livin Lovin is not everybody's cup of tea... but I love it!
I love it too...Jimmy’s faux James Burton chicken pickin’ climb at the end is classic. There’s a lot going on in this tune. The band generally considers it one of their weakest tracks, but it’s just another of their masterpieces in my book!

I love the Vox Phantom XII with the open tuning slide on “Traveling Riverside Blues”...it is just swimming through the recording!
 

Ed Driscoll

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Is it possible to make out which is the Vox and which is the Fender on "Stairway?" Are the 12-string parts double-tracked, and each is on its own channel, or does one instrument come in before the other? (Of course, given how evasive Page is about things like amp choices these days, he could be inventing this story as well.)
 

Ed Driscoll

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I love the Vox Phantom XII with the open tuning slide on “Traveling Riverside Blues”...it is just swimming through the recording!

Brilliant song (and fun to play in Open-G) -- did they ever play this live, or was this a one-off performance for the BBC?

 

garbeaj

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Brilliant song (and fun to play in Open-G) -- did they ever play this live, or was this a one-off performance for the BBC?

Nope, never played live. The BBC session with the overdubbed Les Paul lead is the only recording.
 

garbeaj

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Re: Jimmy Page’s Vox Phantom XII on “Thank You”

Is it possible to make out which is the Vox and which is the Fender on "Stairway?" Are the 12-string parts double-tracked, and each is on its own channel, or does one instrument come in before the other? (Of course, given how evasive Page is about things like amp choices these days, he could be inventing this story as well.)
It’s tough...Page actually mentions three different twelve strings on the fourth album version of “Stairway To Heaven”-the Vox Phantom Electric XII, the Fender Electric XII and in the forthcoming book ‘Jimmy Page: The Anthology’ he mentions using a Fender Shenandoah acoustic 12-string in relation to “Stairway To Heaven”. The book will make it more clear, but he could have used the Fender Shenandoah in conjunction with the two electric twelve strings or he could have used the Shenandoah in demos or writing sessions. Hard to say for sure until the book comes out.

To my ear, there are independent twelve string parts in the song...not just doubling. There could be two twelve strings doubling each other and a third twelve string playing the independent part on top of them, but I’m not 100% sure on that. I’ll be able to have a more definitive answer once I get the book in my hands. I pre-ordered it, but that could take who knows how long.
 

Ed Driscoll

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Nope, never played live. The BBC session with the overdubbed Les Paul lead is the only recording.

That's astonishing, but they were such a powerhouse in their early days, before "Henry" came onto the scene.

Thanks for the heads up on the new Page book, by the way. :salude
 

garbeaj

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That's astonishing, but they were such a powerhouse in their early days, before "Henry" came onto the scene.

Thanks for the heads up on the new Page book, by the way. :salude
Yeah, it’s funny but possibly because of the Corona situation the Deluxe, signed and very expensive edition hasn’t even shipped yet and they put the edition that mortals can afford on pre-order. Very different than how it was for the ‘Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page’ book.
 
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