Nobody’s Fault But Mine
Zeppelin maintained their almost obligatory pillaging of the blues right up to the end of their career. One of the cornerstones of the Presence album was another Blind Willie Johnson classic, from 1928, called It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine.
Originally the story of Johnson fretting because his blindness prevented him from reading his Bible, thereby incurring the wrath of God, it became a useful metaphor for Zeppelin’s fiery descent from heaven, Plant adapted the lyrics to include some revealingly lines about having ‘a monkey on my back’, embellished by some suitably squalling harmonica.
The only truly original parts were the strafing guitar lines Page concocted, to which Bonzo would add his most mercilessly cannon-like drumming since When The Levee Breaks. Even then, the overall arrangement owed much to Page’s fascination with English folk guitarist/songwriter John Renbourn and his 1966 version of the same song – which, like Page now, Renbourn took credit for. MW