Custard Pie (song)

'Custard Pie' is a 1975 song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. The song was composed by Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant, and recorded at Headley Grange, Hampshire, England in January 1974, and mixed at Olympic Studios, London in October 1974. It appeared as the opening track on Led Zeppelin's sixth album Physical Graffiti, released on 24 February 1975. 'Custard Pie' is a funky hard rock song which contains a potpourri of various blues lyrics, containing double entendres and innuendos, and a memorable riff.

Overview

'Custard Pie' was one of eight new songs rehearsed and recorded at a Headley Grange session in early 1974. In December 1973, keyboardist John Paul Jones recorded and produced a funk album with American soul singer Madeline Bell, Comin' Atcha. The idea for the 'Custard Pie' riff extended over from this period from a jam session, with the band deciding to also record a funk song when they reconvened for rehearsals and recording in 1974. Jones played an electric Hohner Clavinet D6 for the recording while guitarist Jimmy Page used his 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, and a Vox Crybaby Wah Wah pedal with an ARP synthesizer for his solo. Singer Robert Plant plays harmonica, while his lyrics include assorted standard blues phrases.

'Custard Pie' has been covered by a number of artists including LA Guns and Derek Trucks. It was sampled by the Beastie Boys on their 1986 track 'Time to Get Ill'. Plant also sampled the song for his single 'Tall Cool One' in 1988. Mother's Finest guitarist Moses Mo was inspired by the guitar riff of 'Custard Pie' and composed 'Mickey's Monkey' as a result for their 1977 album Another Mother Further.

Live performances

'Custard Pie' was rehearsed for Led Zeppelin's 1975 North American tour but never performed live. During the 1980s, Plant included a verse of the song as part of his final chorus in the live version of 'Tall Cool One'. Page performed the song live for his 1988 Outrider tour and recorded a version with the Black Crowes on the 1999 album Live at the Greek. It was played at Jason Bonham's wedding reception in 1990 by three remaining members of Led Zeppelin. Page and Plant revived the song on their 1995 and 1996 tours.

Formats and track listings

1975 7" single (Thailand: Atlantic TKR 278)

Credits

Musicians:

  • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, producer, remastering, digital remastering
  • Robert Plant – vocals, harmonica
  • John Paul Jones – Clavinet D6, bass pedals
  • John Bonham - drums, percussion

Production:

  • Peter Grant – executive producer
  • Ron Nevison - engineer, mixing
  • Keith Harwood – engineer, mixing
  • Joe Sidore - original CD mastering engineer (mid-1980s)
  • George Marino - remastered CD engineer (1990)

Bibliography

  • Lewis, Dave (2012) Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1 (OCLC 782996334).
  • Welch, Chris (2009) Led Zeppelin: The Stories Behind Every Led Zeppelin Song. London: Carlton Books. ISBN 978-1-84732-286-9 (OCLC 317254118).

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