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Guest CadillacOfRock

Live Aid July 13, 1985 Philadelphia Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones played with Phil Collins on Drums

101 posts in this topic

It's easier to blame the guy who wasn't a member of the original band than it is to blame two poor performances of the singer and guitar player. I've never bought the whole "guitar was out of tune" routine. If someone as professional and legacy-minded as Page is can't be bothered to check if he's in tune before going into a song, I don't know what to tell you. Bottom line: the video doesn't lie. Collins may not have been on cue in spots, but Robert's voice was shot and Jimmy sounds awful.

I believe that as they took the stage, the guitar tech handed Page the guitar, and the handoff was sloppy, and said guitar did a faceplant on the stage, knocking it severely out of tune. At that point, it's already time to start playing, so JP did what he could. Of course, being enormously inebriated, JP's coping skills were rather ... Errr... Nowhere to be seen.

I do agree that blaming Collins for the poor quality is ridiculous.

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I believe that as they took the stage, the guitar tech handed Page the guitar, and the handoff was sloppy, and said guitar did a faceplant on the stage, knocking it severely out of tune. At that point, it's already time to start playing, so JP did what he could. Of course, being enormously inebriated, JP's coping skills were rather ... Errr... Nowhere to be seen.

I do agree that blaming Collins for the poor quality is ridiculous.

As a long-time guitarist, I can assure you that it wouldn't have taken very long to get in tune. Robert even delayed things by saying - and I'm going strictly from memory here - "There'll be a short intermission while I get some monitors..." And just before that, Page whispered something in Plant's ear. Basically from the time Jimmy was handed his guitar until they began playing, he had plenty of time to get it in tune. He even strummed a chord or two and you could tell he was out of tune - the low E and A strings sounded just a bit flat - so I've never bought into the notion that his guitar was out of tune and this is why they sounded so dreadful.

ANY guitarist, before plunging into their set, makes sure his guitar is in tune... even though their roadies are supposed to do that for them. And for Page to not notice that it was out of tune, well, that's on him. Collins was, admittedly, not up to par with his knowledge of the material, but he wasn't the only one to blame for that performance.

It was great at the time - seeing the three of them together again - but a friend had recorded it as it was being broadcast not only on TV but also radio - and it wasn't until repeated listenings that the disaster that was Live Aid was fully realized. Thankfully, the O2 makes performances like the Live Aid fiasco and Atlantic's 40th seem like a distant - and almost forgotten - memory.

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Can someone illuminate me? In at least two interviews, Collins refers to the "dribbling" Jimmy Page. Is this some sort of UK slang that I don't understand?

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Edit: Just realized this was posted on the first page of the thread, sorry, but it may be worth a re-post in light of recent questions. :)

Anyone who is interested in the Live Aid debacle might enjoy this interview with the band and Collins, if you haven't seen it already.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlkIKr0t6Tk

JP is too drunk to form coherent words so that might explain his lack of concern for his guitar being in tune.

Edited by Elixir

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Can someone illuminate me? In at least two interviews, Collins refers to the "dribbling" Jimmy Page. Is this some sort of UK slang that I don't understand?

The only thing that I can think of is that he's referring to Page's penchant for drooling while on stage. As famous as Robert is for his "Plantations," so too is Jimmy for his drooling. Perhaps in England they call it dribbling...

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General question:

Anyone ever hear a reason or reasons WHY there were two drummers involved?

I'd like to know.

Was is a statement (by saying it takes two to equal John Bonham)?

Was it a case of just throwing it together and both drummers being asked without being aware of another drummer?

Or, something quite different?

Edited by Rock Historian

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I bet Phil Collins in his mind, especially in 1985, thought he was better than Led Zeppelin. But everyone knows that's not true!

As for the Live Aid gig, the stars were not aligned for Led Zeppeln that day. I don't think the gig is as bad as people say it is though. For Led Zeppelin standards though, it is poor. But I still dig.

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After reading this thread I went in search of the Live Aid gig online and as someone who was just a kid in the UK when I watched all of the show live yes all the US gigs so that must have been 12 midday GMT to 3/4 am when the US gig ended some things really surprised me.

Led Zeppelin were much better than I remembered. Yes the sound quality was all over the shop but that happened to nearly all the other bands and considering they had not played together for years they were not too bad. Certainly not the worst of the show although that backstage interview is both enlightening and rather sad.

However one abiding memory came straight back to me. There was/is a Bonzo sized hole within the chemistry of the band, no one could do what he did.

On reading your comments if that is considered a really duff performance what heavenly levels did those four blokes achieve on a regular basis.

But to see the crowd react as it did you were so lucky if you saw the four at the height of their powers.

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I agree with anniemouse. Live Aid gets a bad wrap, but they were still a whole lot better than most of the acts that day.

To play like they did, with all the chaos and no rehearsal and still sound as rough (love the rough sound) as they did, to me, it only increased their stock.

But I am def in the minority of that view!

As for the interview after the show, Percy was already starting to show he felt Zep was done ("I have my career"). He really hasn't veered much from that position over the years.

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Live Aid 1985 rehearsal - The Warehouse Studio, Philadelphia

1985-liveaid-rehearsal.jpg

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22 minutes ago, sam_webmaster said:

Live Aid 1985 rehearsal - The Warehouse Studio, Philadelphia

1985-liveaid-rehearsal.jpg

Who's on drums Sam?

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4 minutes ago, chillumpuffer said:

Who's on drums Sam?

Tony Thompson

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Never understood why Collins muscled in, seeing as he wasn't up to scratch and it showed. Should have stuck to the rehearsed 4 piece

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3 hours ago, chillumpuffer said:

Never understood why Collins muscled in, seeing as he wasn't up to scratch and it showed. Should have stuck to the rehearsed 4 piece

Well, according to Page, Tony Thompson didn't know how to play the songs either. Say's they spent a large part of their rehearsal with Tony trying to figure out how to properly play the intro to Rock n Roll. Definitely would have been better without Phil Collins though for sure, but Plant gets full blame for that.

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Other than Jason, there aren't a lot of professional drummers that seem to get the intro to "Rock and Roll" correct.  Just another testament to the late great John Bonham!

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I can't tell you how many drummers I've played with that sorta snicker when I'm like I wanna do a Zep tune, like "oh that's easy" then they try and fail miserably.  It's comical.   

 

Bonzo just made it SOUND EASY.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Stryder1978 said:

Other than Jason, there aren't a lot of professional drummers that seem to get the intro to "Rock and Roll" correct.  Just another testament to the late great John Bonham!

Nah, Jason can't do it properly either. Notice how he uses his left hand on high-hat and right hand on snare? Thats weak man.:D 

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5 hours ago, sam_webmaster said:

Live Aid 1985 rehearsal - The Warehouse Studio, Philadelphia

1985-liveaid-rehearsal.jpg

If only Plant had stuck to wearing the tank top for the live performance rather than that godawful shiny "it's the 80s you know!" thing he wore.

 

ETA: Do my eyes deceive me or is that JPJ on bass in the rehearsals in the pic? I thought Paul Martinez was nailed on for bass from the start

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44 minutes ago, bluecongo said:

I can't tell you how many drummers I've played with that sorta snicker when I'm like I wanna do a Zep tune, like "oh that's easy" then they try and fail miserably.  It's comical.   

 

Bonzo just made it SOUND EASY.

I once knew a drummer in our work band who fancied himself and shot his mouth off about how most Zep songs weren't that difficult and their complexity was "overrated" (one of his favourite words). I asked him to do Good Times Bad Times, and after 15 minutes of what sounded like a fender being dragged up a back street, we gave up. He was a bit quieter after that.

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15 minutes ago, 76229 said:

ETA: Do my eyes deceive me or is that JPJ on bass in the rehearsals in the pic? I thought Paul Martinez was nailed on for bass from the start

I suggest watching the Live Aid performance. JPJ is the guy playing the bass on RnR and WLL. Martinez played bass during STH. Blame Plant for that shit too, along with his silly pants.:lol:

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2 hours ago, 76229 said:

If only Plant had stuck to wearing the tank top for the live performance rather than that godawful shiny "it's the 80s you know!" thing he wore.

 

ETA: Do my eyes deceive me or is that JPJ on bass in the rehearsals in the pic? I thought Paul Martinez was nailed on for bass from the start

Jimmy should have stuck to that t-shirt as well. His oversized pink shit shirt looked stupid as hell, kinda like some drunk dude who raided his hamper at the last minute. Or, a wasted carnival barker, take your pick.

Was that rehearsal just before the show? Does anyone know how long they rehearsed?

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5 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

Nah, Jason can't do it properly either. Notice how he uses his left hand on high-hat and right hand on snare? Thats weak man.:D 

Unless you're a lefty... 

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it might not just be the poor -ish quality of the music that Page did want the public to own via the DVD, there's also the visual sloppiness. Page nearly bumping into a stagehand while taking a bow, getting himself tangled up with a mic stand as they start playing. he was lucky not to have tripped over his scarf which was perilously close to his feet. all helping to reduce his iconic image

couple this to the out of tune guitar and horrendous guitar effects, Plantys hoarseness and Collin's interloping and its not good overall

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I do not think any artist were quite at their best at Live Aid tbh. It was what the event was being held for that was the most important thing. That said, I enjoyed it.

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