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Balthazor

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About Balthazor

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    Led Zeppelin
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    Everything Else Sucks. :)

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  1. One night over two decades ago I got out of a possible DUI thanks to NWA. A friend and I were leaving the bar one night, but instead of doing the smart thing and heading straight home, we decided to drive over to the 24 hour store to get a frozen pizza. We had been drinking all night, and I was probably well over the legal limit, but this was 1990 or 91 and nobody really cared much about drunk driving at that time. Anyhow, we came to a red light and there was a cop car sitting there. This was summer, so everyone had their windows open. Being an idiot, I apparently started yelling obscenities at this police car, which I honestly don't remember doing. The cop pulled us over and started giving me grief about the things I'd yelled at him, and I argued and insisted that I hadn't yelled anything (because I had no memory of yelling anything). Then my friend, who was usually good at getting me into trouble not out of it, leaned over and told the cop that I had been singing along to the NWA song "Fuck the Police", and turned on the CD player to demonstrate. We had been listening to that song prior to going into the bar, so sure enough "Fuck the Police" was playing. The cop grumbled a bit but let us go.
  2. Don't get me wrong, what's here is awesome, and well worth the cost to get such high quality clips, at least compared to the YouTube rips on The Film Archive. I'm not sure how EVSD promoted this set, but everywhere I've seen it listed, it says "all known footage," and that's clearly not the case. It's not so much a complaint about this set, that it lacks the Seattle and Earls Court stuff, but more a complaint about a missed opportunity. This could so easily have been as set that had all known footage, but instead it's all known footage minus this and this and that. I mean, I'd love to tell my friends "hey, I got this awesome Zeppelin DVD set that has all known footage of the band!" But instead I have to say "hey, I got this awesome Zeppelin DVD set that has all known footage of the band...minus several complete concerts." Just doesn't have the same ring to it. You're right about the 6/21/77, I was thinking of the footage that plays during one of the menus on the official DVD, since it includes audio from the 21st. But apparently the footage itself is not from the 21st, it looks like the footage is from 5/18/77, so my mistake there. Which I'm actually happy about, it's nice to find out that something I thought was missing isn't missing. But that could be the next thing EVSD does, take this set, add a few more disks with the the Seattle show, the Earl's Court shows, etc. and charge an extra $100 for the Extra Special Truly Complete Collection. I haven't gotten to the bonus disk with the Yardbirds stuff, I'll probably throw that one in tonight.
  3. It's a complicated issue that the "haters" sift down to simply "they're thieves!!!" But really, where does one draw the line between inspiration and plagiarism? Between homage and plagiarism? For starters, copyright as it's perceived and applied these days is ridiculous. If today's standards for what constitutes plagiarism were in effect throughout history, music would have literally amounted to nothing more than one caveman banging on a drum, because the second caveman who tried banging on a drum would've been sued for plagiarism. The very existence of music today is based on thousands of years of people taking what had been done before them and evolving it into something new. It's absurd that the standard today, as shown by both the "Stairway to Heaven" and the "Blurred Lines" cases, appears to be "your song sounds kinda sorta similar to my song!!!" Which, again, is a ridiculous standard. That aside, I don't think Zeppelin ever really tried to steal other people's music and pass it off as their own. I mean, for example, are we really supposed to believe that Zeppelin figured nobody would notice that "The Lemon Song" is "Killing Floor?" Everyone did covers of "Killing Floor." It's not like people weren't familiar with the song. It would be like someone playing "Back in Black" and trying to claim it's their own. Nobody's that stupid. Besides that, it's not as if Plant wasn't out there introducing these songs with a sometimes lengthy history lesson on them. If they were trying to hide the fact that these were other people's songs, they did a horrible job of it. The issue, in most of these cases, is with their lack of proper crediting. Which I'm going to guess probably had more to do with Grant than with the band itself, though I could be wrong there. Either way, the lack of proper credit was an issue. But you know what, that's all been resolved. Decades ago. The people who should have been credited have been credited. The people who should have been paid have been paid. That people still bellyache about it says more about them than it does about Led Zeppelin. Mostly that they're just jealous fanboys of some other band, upset that their favorite band wasn't as good or as successful as Zeppelin. They were big and successful and that makes them a target. You never hear anyone whining about Small Faces ripping off Willie Dixon for "You Need Love," but the torches and pitchforks come out over "Whole Lotta Love." And as far as ripping off the blues is concerned, I still contend that these blues musicians would have slipped into total obscurity were it not for Zeppelin and others using their stuff. I think Willie Dixon would have sold far, far fewer records had it not been for Zeppelin and others exposing that material to new audiences. I'd bet that if you took a poll asking "Who is Robert Johnson" probably 99% of respondents would say "hey, isn't that the blues guy that Zeppelin ripped off?" Without Zeppelin, probably the same number of people would respond "is that a porn star? Kinda sounds like a porn star."
  4. I got this in the mail yesterday, and so far I am impressed. I haven't watched it all, I just skimmed through a few of the disks, but the video quality is the best I've seen. Way better than "The Film Archive." While much of this material I've already seen in one form or another, I've been surprised at the number of things I haven't seen before. But it's definitely not YouTube rips, much to my delight. The packaging is nice, I love the picture on the box, very cool. So far I have only a couple complaints. First, the list of content, which was posted above, doesn't actually fit into the box. It's a minor thing, but still, how hard would it have been for them to make the list fit into the box. Also, I don't believe the list is accurate. I'm not certain of it, it could have just been me being confused, but I swear there were times when the list said I was watching something that I clearly wasn't. Unless there actually is a city called Vancouver in Iceland. But again, I could have just been mixed up about which video I was on. The only other complaint is not really about what is here but rather what is missing. For it to be a truly all-inclusive set, it should have had all of the Seattle '77 show, and the two Earl's Court videos that are out there. Plus there are some other clips that appear to be missing, such as the audience footage of 6/21/77. While it may be the most complete collection to date, it isn't complete. But what is there is as high a quality as you're going to find, so I'm still pleased with it.
  5. I agree. It reminds me of a quote from the booklet of a Yardbirds compilation I have: "Depending on your perspective, the Yardbirds were either a footnote in the history of Led Zeppelin and the careers of three superstar guitarists, or one of the most important bands of the 1960's, second only to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones."
  6. I don't know, drum solos seemed to still be a thing well into the 80's hair band days.
  7. In no particular order... Guitarists: Jimmy Page Dave Mustaine Devin Townsend Mikael Akerfeldt/Peter Lindgren - maybe it's cheating to sneak two in, but I don't know offhand who plays what solo, I just know I love their work together. Jack White Drummers: John Bonham Keith Moon Dave Lombardo Martin Lopez Bill Ward Edit: I suppose these are more my favorites than who I consider the greatest.
  8. I have nothing really to add, but it's just that what you've said here can't be said enough. WTF were they thinking?
  9. Aside from the absurdly long Moby Dick drum solos, I'd prefer a smaller number of long improvisational songs than a larger number of songs played basically the same as what's on the albums. I can always listen to the albums, but if I listen to a concert I want to hear something different. The long improv numbers like As Long As I Have You, Dazed and Confused, No Quarter, and the Whole Lotta Love medleys are my favorite parts of the Zeppelin concerts. Hearing album clones of Black Dog or Rock and Roll for the 200th time is what I could do without.
  10. I want to go back and listen to "Hard Blues Song." It's too bad the show was cut short, so they didn't get to perform "Hard Rock Song" or "Mellow Acoustic Song." Those are real show-stoppers.
  11. I'm not sure what my absolute first memory is, but I have a few early memories to share. I recall seeing a big display of Zeppelin records at a K Mart in 1975-ish. I was 5 or so years old and had recently seen this movie about the Hindenburg. I'm sure the movie was awful, but it made me a little obsessed with zeppelins for a while. So I was at K Mart with my mom and I see a big display of Led Zeppelin albums and Zeppelin I naturally caught my eye, and I begged my mom to get me one. I didn't even know what it was, but it had the Hindenburg on it so I wanted it. I often wonder what I, as a 5 year old, would have thought of that record had my mom relented and bought it for me. I also remember hearing Whole Lotta Love on the radio now and then. I was very young, young enough that the psychedelic part would kinda scare me. Finally, I remember seeing the image below in one of the Chicago newspapers we'd get. I must have only been 3 or 4 years old at the time, but I remember staring at the picture for the longest time. I wish I'd cut it out and saved it.
  12. That would be great, if it isn't YouTube stuff. If the eBay seller ever gets around to shipping the damn thing I would find out.
  13. One more thing I'd like to add: in order to really answer the question of how Led Zeppelin changed music, I guess we would need to define the terms of what "changing music" even means. Everyone seems to agree that the Beatles "changed music," and yet their early material wasn't much different stylistically from the 50's rockabilly that prompted them to pick up guitars and start playing rock and roll in the first place. It wasn't worlds apart from what the Beach Boys were doing in that same time frame, or any number of other artists. To my thinking, it really wasn't the Beatles music that changed music, it was their massive popularity. The Beatles didn't change music as much as Beatlemania changed music. That popularity revived rock and roll both as an art form and as a business. I mean, rock and roll as a business was just beginning there in the 60's and the Beatles were a huge part of that. Additionally, the massive American success of a British band playing American music, something which the British considered impossible, prompted all the other British bands to take their shot, kicking off the British invasion. But none of that had diddly squat to do with their music, it had everything to do with their popularity. Granted, if their music had sucked, they likely wouldn't have enjoyed that level of success, but at the same time their success was as much due to the marketability of the band's members as it was with the quality of their music. I really don't think all those teenage girls were screaming like mad because they just sooo dug that riff in "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." At any rate, the level of popularity they achieved is what changed everything, like a black hole powerful enough to bend space. Not their music, which was not entirely different, and arguably less interesting and innovative, than what a whole lot of other bands were playing at that time. Now if you accept my premise, then consider that Led Zeppelin achieved, at least in some respects, such a level of success that it surprised even Elvis. Nobody had sold as many tickets as Zeppelin was. Nobody had sold as many albums as Zeppelin was. And most importantly, nobody had made the kind of MONEY that Zeppelin was. The one area that comes to mind where Zeppelin fell short of the Beatles in terms of success and popularity was, I think, in regards to their presence within the popular culture. What I mean is, everyone knew the Beatles. Everyone knew them by name. Everyone had a favorite Beatle. Even people who didn't listen to their music knew who they were. They unquestionably had the biggest footprint in the popular culture since Elvis. Whereas Zeppelin, by not doing television and not doing public appearances and largely taking the focus off themselves, didn't have nearly as big of a footprint in the general popular culture. Which, I think, both helped and hurt them, but that's another topic altogether. I think Zeppelin's level of success effectively took the fledgling rock music business, which had been created in large part due to the popularity of the Beatles, and honed it into a finished product. The analogy I like to use is that of Atari vs. Nintendo. Atari created an entire industry out of nothing, and was successful to the extent that practically every US television had an Atari connected to it. But Atari had no clue what to do with this new industry they created, and ultimately crashed and burned. Then along comes Nintendo, having learned from Atari's mistakes, and rebuilds the video game industry into what it is today. Which is not to say that the Beatles crashed and burned, although Shea Stadium might count there, but rather, I think Zeppelin effectively took the fledgling rock industry of the 60's and in many respects transformed it into the massively successful business that it became in the 70's and beyond.
  14. I would add that the Beatles also exposed these innovations to a larger audience than the original innovators would have been able to. I've read that the Beatles may have been heavily influenced by what Pink Floyd was doing in the studio in the late 60's, but at that time there was absolutely no mainstream audience for whatever Pink Floyd was doing. Certainly not here in the US anyhow. But by exposing these innovations to a mainstream audience, I think it opened the door for those smaller acts to begin to have some mainstream appeal. In other words, if someone liked the weird psychedelic stuff that the Beatles were doing, they may start seeking out other psychedelic bands that they may not otherwise have had any interest in. Frankly, I think Zeppelin and other blues rock bands (and to an extent, rock and roll in general) did the same thing with regards to the blues. For all the whining about rock and roll bands stealing from the blues, I think these bands did more to expose people to the blues than the blues ever could have itself. Would anyone even remember Robert Johnson or Willie Dixon if bands like Zeppelin weren't swiping their stuff?
  15. Just to toss my two cents in, I agree with Steve to the extent that they, maybe unlike any rock band before them, took a little bit of everything that was going on in pop music before them; blues, psychedelia, hard rock, folk, rockabilly, and merged it all into one amazingly coherent style. I can think of few bands, either before or since, that could pull that off as effectively as they did. But I do think their impact goes beyond that. For starters, Zeppelin were at least as influential to 70's rock as the Beatles were to 60's rock. It's hard to look at 70's rock and not see some Zeppelin influence. Heck, even the Osmand Brothers were influenced by Zeppelin. One can see Zeppelin's influence all over the place in the 80's rock, and even in the 90's grunge thing. It's hard to argue that Zeppelin weren't a major influence on everything that came after. Furthermore, each of the individual members basically became the template for every rock band to follow. Perhaps not so much these days, given that rock itself has so little presence left in mainstream pop culture. But certainly throughout the 70's and 80's and into the 90's, Jimmy Page was the quintessential rock guitarist, Bonham the quintessential rock drummer, Plant the quintessential rock singer. And one could argue that Jones defined the anonymity of the rock and roll bass player, although I'm mostly just joking on that one. Last but not least, I think Zeppelin and Peter Grant created a model in which rock and roll as an art form could be profitable, and helped usher in an era of rock creativity and artistry. Which is not to say that rock bands weren't doing creative and artistic things before that, but largely, unless you were the Beatles, your only real hope of making any money was in recording top 40 radio hits. And even the Beatles, during their most creative and experimental period, still chugged out more than their fair share of top 40 radio hits. That was the market back then, you put out top 40 hits or you languished in obscurity and relative poverty. Led Zeppelin changed that paradigm, by totally eschewing the singles market and focusing on albums, by figuring out a way to actually make money touring, and along with groups like Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd and The Who, changed the very perception of the rock concert into an event onto itself rather than just a way for a band to promote it's records. I don't think bands like Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull could have ever really had the kind of popular and commercial success that they had in the singles-driven market of the 60's. But like others have said, timing plays a huge roll in all of this. Zeppelin were just the right group of musicians with just the right manager and just the right sound appearing at just the right time. The same could be said of the Beatles. If the Beatles hadn't come along when they did, maybe it would have been the Stones, or some other British invasion band. Or, maybe it had to be the Beatles. Maybe it had to be just that perfect combination personalities, sound, image, etc. for a band to reach that peak of popularity, success and influence that the Beatles enjoyed; and maybe the same is true of Zeppelin. In any event, I think it's indisputable that Zeppelin had at least as much impact on defining the sound of 70's rock as the Beatles had in defining the sound of 60's rock; and I think it's also indisputable that any list of the most important and influential rock bands of all time would have Zeppelin on it, and probably close to the top.