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What is that thing on Zeppelin's "Presence" album supposed to represent?

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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:32 PM
Original message
What is that thing on Zeppelin's "Presence" album supposed to represent?
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Call Me Wesley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Answer from Jimmy Page:
Question:
What does the symbol on "Presence" represent?

Jimmy Page:
Well, the idea of it was a presence of something that could be viewed maybe from the
future. It's like, let's see, maybe in 2050, and people look back and saw the
equivalent of Bell Radio within the household, they wouldn't know what it was
unless they were briefed on it. Maybe vinyl, the whole library of vinyl records...
in the future, somebody looking that would see the object on the table, it
would be like tube radios from the '50s. But it was a presence within the household.
It was something so important that they liked... the radio would convey current music.
The title was not a play upon words, but a play upon images. It was fun.
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks... that explains it... sort of.
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Call Me Wesley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Couldn't find more.
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 02:08 PM by Call Me Wesley
It seems to be a kind of a test puzzle probably made by Jack Bristo ...
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Maybe they want it to be deliberately ambiguous. Thanks for finding the
quote, it does shed some light. In one of the pictures the object has no shadow, I always wondered if that was deliberately done.
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
5. I heard it's not even three-dimensional
. .. just a cut-out shape that creates the illusion of having perspective.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. "Close scrutiny of the edges of the so-called object reveal an absense
of light and shodow or light variations, implying it has no solidity. However, the object shape is altered in some instances, as seen on the inner spread, to coincide with object or hands placed in front ot it, suggestign it is behind themm... and so has solidarity after all."

Ambiguity of presence.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. The "object" was painted directly on the finished photo composite.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. Something that's present
That is all
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
7. From Aubrey Powell's "100 Best Album Covers:" The title came second...
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 02:28 PM by Hissyspit
Powell was part of the design team, Hipnogsis, that produced the graphic design and photograpy:

"The title came after the design and referred to the overwhelming presence of Led Zeppelin's music, the presence of the black object in everyday life, and an ironic play on the fact that, technically speaking, the object is absent. The type on the over is embossed, hardly present at all."

"The design for Presence was inspired by the power of the music, but fueled by a particular anger. The power was not namable - dark and intense, and capable of submerging the listener. Not to be represented in corny fashion with light beams from the sky or by loud images of tanks or cathedrals, gushing floodwater, or massive airships. Instead something more persuasive and more ubiquitous. a contained power object seen in all walks of life, exposure to which sustained the very essence of being. A cosmic mind battery, recharging and controlling our lives. This insidious scheme was given shape and form by a loathing of borrowed images, usually from the past and not originated for the music. Hipnogsis vented their spleen by contaminating such old pictures with a foreign object. A black power object, no less."
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. "Everyone needs Led Zeppelin's music. Everyone needs a black
object. At work or in the home. An object, in fact, from the past, often found in old pictures. So powerful that it exists in the memory, and is no longer needed in the flesh. So powerful it doesn't need to actually be there. An object which was in fact a hole. An object-shaped hole. An absense, not a presense."
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
10. As a publicity stunt of grand proportions...
"one thousand black objects were going to be placed simultaneously, and secretly, outside locations such as 10 Downing Street and the White House. On March 6, 1976, the day before the proposed event, the cover was featured in Sounds magazine, scuppering the whole plan. Cronies of manager Peter Grant hammered on the front door of Aubrey Powell's house at 4 a.m. demanding the artwork. It was, thankfully, in New York at Atlantic Records. The culprit at Atalantic Record' press office who had leaked the cover design was dismissed the next day.
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