There are some guitarists that play the same thing perfectly, the same kind of solo without any flaws – Vince Gill comes to mind, and he now plays with The Eagles. Then there are the others that depend on what night you catch them... Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Bill Nelson, and, believe it or not, me. Little flaws are one thing, but then there is major sloppiness. Perhaps drugs have a part in this type of playing with Page and Hendrix. When in the studio Hendrix and Page play perfectly... but when playing live it can be a horror show of sloppiness. The only time that Page didn't play that badly was in 1975 at Earls Court. With Bill Nelson there are little things that seem amiss at times and this, from my own experience, comes from the temperament of the guitarist and that he is winging solos in the tradition of the blues. The only time I have heard immaculate live playing was on the LITAA. That could have been a studio album, or maybe it was in part.... judging from what I read. If you play an instrument you know the pressures of playing live, and you can't always give it your perfect best, depending on the night. I think Bill does well enough playing live, but I heard that around 1977 he wanted to stop. Was this like the Beatles wanting to stop and live in the studio? Or maybe the pressure of constant touring was grinding him down. I don't know. But I know many musicians carry a notion of perfection around at times that can in the end crush us. This is definitely true for me. If Bill or myself slipped up occasionally that is fine, we are not Gods or Vince Gill. In my thinking that makes us human and if you are looking for perfection... don't look to music, unless you are in the studio. To my utter shock and horror, I found out that the Beatles would do up to 200-odd takes on certain songs. What were they waiting for to materialize? But George Martin would listen and say, "No boys, that is not it."
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