Norwegian Wood/Kashmir Medley
I’ve been sitting on some footage for a while (figuratively), and I just can’t do it any longer: I am too excited to share it with you! Check out the AEB mash-up of Norwegian Wood and Kashmir!
Just like you would guess, it’s a medley combining Norwegian Wood by The Beatles and Kashmir by Led Zeppelin. The story behind this track is an interesting one: read on if you’re interested. Otherwise, scroll down to watch the video.
I first met Aaron English in the Spring of 2003, just months before his All The Waters Of This World Tour. He drove 4 hours from Seattle just to meet me and audition me for his touring band. We hit it off immediately, and after playing just 3 songs with me, he made the offer – and so I took to the road that summer with a tremendous and talented group of musicians for several months worth of touring all across the United States.
Before the tour began, we had two solid weeks of rehearsals in Seattle. I met the band, consisting of Aaron English (lead vocal, piano), Patrick Strole (guitar, hurdy gurdy), Melissa Ruby (guitar, background vocals), Mark Fauver (flute, programming), Miguel Mateus (bass), and Matthew Burgess (percussion). I could write whole posts about these people, filled with great stories and fun memories, but I’ll save that for another day.
To further preface: before I met Patrick, I wasn’t a huge Zeppelin fan; I had only heard their work in car commercials and at stadium events (kind of like Queen – though I’m a huge Queen fan). Patrick, however, is a HUGE Zeppelin fan, and he took it upon himself to help me “Get the Led out”. I’ve been a fan of the Zep ever since.
If my memory serves me correctly, we did a few weeks on the road, then came back to Seattle for a week after the first leg of the tour. It was then that we decided we should have some covers ready for our longer sets. In a morning rehearsal, Miguel started playing this Middle Eastern-sounding groove in 6/8, which I jumped in and played along to; Patrick joined in, too, and soon after, Aaron felt inspired to sing the lyric to Norwegian Wood over the top of this impromptu jam session. That same afternoon, in a different rehearsal block, Patrick started playing the classic guitar part to Kashmir, just to see what we could do with it. We worked each tune up separately, but it didn’t feel like it was exactly what we wanted, so we slept on it and came back to it the next day.
The next morning at rehearsal, it somehow came up that a medley would be awesome – one ten-minute-long epic cover that used both tunes. But, Norwegian Wood is in 6, and Kashmir is in 4. Using my drumming math skills to figure out a direct transition between the two, I taught it to Patrick and Miguel, and within 20 minutes, we had worked this song out completely.
We took the tune on the road and, as Esperanza Spalding says, “did some things to it in the dark” (HA!), and the arrangement evolved into what you’ll see below. As you can imagine, it made for a great closer at the end of a live show.
The actual video below was filmed September 11th, 2010 at Two Sticks Audio, the studios of Death Cab For Cutie, in Seattle. (Two Sticks closed up shop just a few weeks after this was recorded – bummer!) The amazing Don Gunn, the drummer/engineer from Aaron’s first album, was the recording engineer on the project, and he is the one responsible for procuring the beautiful yellow Ludwig Vistalite acrylic drum set seen in the video (keeping in true Bonham form).
I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Drum Camera Only video:
And here’s the official music video that was produced: