Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 007
Wed, Jan 23, 2013

“I Can’t Quit You Baby [1970 Royal Albert Hall live Coda version]”
Led Zeppelin


“♫ When
you hear me
holler, baby/
You know
you’re my one

Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page has always taken the guitar and fingered his way to chord reaching pinnacles with orgasmic guitar licks that are climatic in every decibel howling way imaginable. Not as renowned as “Whole Lotta Love” or “Dazed & Confused,” “I Can’t Quit You Baby” deserves its reign as simply being one of the sauciest riffs in the whole Led Zeppelin canon.

Even though Led Zeppelin recorded a studio version on their debut album, my choice version was finally released on 1982’s Coda. “I Can’t Quit You Baby’s” original songwriter, the blues great, Willie Dixon once said, “The blues is the roots; everything else is the fruits.” With the live version on Coda, Page and Led Zeppelin have created the juiciest tribute to Dixon ever captures on wax. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” is the song you want to hear with cigarette dangling, a sly grin, sweaty; Led Zeppelin was 1970’s rock and roller’s soundtrack to the wet dream in our heads. We wanted Page’s riffs soaring over us as we landed climaxing with our holiest breaths.

Did you know that 1982 Coda version of “I Can’t Quit You Baby” is actually taken from a sound check recorded live at The Royal Albert Hall 1970? Page’s riffs along with Plant’s wailing orgasmic cat calls along with Bonham’s pounding riffs make this 1970 Royal Albert Hall rendition almost perfect to my ears. Jimmy Page kindly disagreed when he said, “There are mistakes in [“I Can’t Quit You Baby”] but it doesn’t make any difference. I’ll always leave the mistakes in. I can’t help it. The timing bits on the A and Bb parts are right, though it might sound wrong. The timing just sounds off. But there are some wrong notes. You’ve got to be reasonably honest about it.” No matter how imperfect Page believed his riffs were, it’s just the act of attempting to reach perfection within the glory of confined rock song that makes Jimmy’s guitar genius so amazing. Realistically, a song doesn’t have to be perfect to reflect exactly what you need.

And last night, “I Can’t Quit You Baby” was my one desire. As my wife walked, slithering by me around midnight in her snug, tight ‘night nights,’ with an exhausted breath, in honor with all the fire of a Willie Dixon inspired Jimmy Page climactic riff, all I could say was “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and then she lead our eyes back to our favorite song. Thank you for the, “wink, wink,” baby, this one’s for you!