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Did Led Zeppelin make the right decision to break up?

276 posts in this topic

17 hours ago, irondirigible said:

The Who with  Moon did their best work.  I simply believe there are there are a few very good songs and good concerts post-Moon.   I can't see all of their out-put (what little there is) after Moon's time as being all bad.  It's certainly not on the level of what they did while Moon was around.  But also my point was that we can't be 100% sure that there decline was because of Moon's absence.  I don't begrudge the decision of a band to carry on or to keep going even after it appears their best songs have been written and their best performances have been done.  If we'd gone back in time and changed the future to make Zeppelin continue into the 1980s and 1990s, results may have been interesting, but they made their decision and it one we all accept.  However I don't begrudge the decision of band to go on after it seems their best work is behind them or their best performances are behind them.  Zep didn't move forward, and i accept and respect what they decided. 

Ok. but, you didn't answer the question....

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Led Zeppelin are one of those bands where it's the precise combination of those particular people that produced the magic. You can't bring on a sub and have the same thing, no matter how talented or creative that person may be. Page, Plant, Bonham, Jones - you can't plan chemistry like that and you can't bottle it, quantify it or reproduce it. Take away any one element and the spell won't work. You might not end up with a complete travesty (eg. Jane's Addiction without Eric), you could actually get something that was good in its own right (eg. Sabbath with Dio). But when the chemistry between particular people is the issue, it doesn't matter either way. Even if you have three-quarters of the thing in place, you still don't have the actual thing itself. I remember the announcement being made in 1980 and even then I thought it was the right thing to do. I still think that.

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1 hour ago, blindwillie127 said:

Ok. but, you didn't answer the question....

4 days after Entwistle's death they were back onstage.. I found the answer in about half a minute. Huge tour booked with Robert Plant as a special guest opener.  It must have been a hard decision and very sad time. 

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Wow.  I did not know this.  4 days later?!  The Who were always odd.  Lots of stories of them physically fighting each other.  They were so serious.  Different animals altogether.  But that is news to me that they played 4 days after Entwistle's death.  Was it kind of in tribute to him?  

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2 minutes ago, irondirigible said:

Wow.  I did not know this.  4 days later?!  The Who were always odd.  Lots of stories of them physically fighting each other.  They were so serious.  Different animals altogether.  But that is news to me that they played 4 days after Entwistle's death.  Was it kind of in tribute to him?  

They were on tour. They brought in Pino Palladino to play out that tour.

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20 hours ago, the chase said:

4 days after Entwistle's death they were back onstage.. I found the answer in about half a minute. Huge tour booked with Robert Plant as a special guest opener.  It must have been a hard decision and very sad time. 

I'll bet it took less time for Townshend & Daltrey to make this "hard decision" than the "half a minute" it took you to find the answer to my question...a lot less. Besides, the Ox wouldn't have given a shit either way:

“I wasted my whole fucking career on The Who,” he said between gulps of Remy Martin brandy, his favourite tipple. “Complete fucking waste of time. I should be a multi-millionaire. I should be retired by now. I’ll be known as an innovative bass player. But that doesn’t help get my swimming pool rebuilt and let me sit on my arse watching TV all day. I wouldn’t want to, but I’d like the chance to be able to.” 
This interview took place in the mid-nineties, at a time when John’s frustration at The Who’s post-Moon stop-start career, itself a product of Townshend’s need to find creative fulfilment elsewhere, was at its worst. There was also the gut-wrenching realisation that because of catastrophic business moves in the mid-sixties The Who would never make anything like as much as they deserved in royalties from the sales of their records. It is not hard to imagine John brooding over the rock star names in the Sunday Times Rich List, the individual Beatles, Stones, Floyds, Zeppelins and Queens, and, brandy bottle to hand, cursing his luck that he wasn’t amongst them.
 

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20 hours ago, irondirigible said:

Wow.  I did not know this.  4 days later?!  The Who were always odd.  Lots of stories of them physically fighting each other.  They were so serious.  Different animals altogether.  But that is news to me that they played 4 days after Entwistle's death.  Was it kind of in tribute to him?  

I believe Pete simply stated that to pull out of the tour would be a complete disaster for everyone involved so it was a business decision I guess to try to do the right thing for the majority.

Read Pete's autobiography and it gets ridiculous how many times the band was supposed to end but Pete finds himself being dragged back in. He really despises The Who at points.

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23 minutes ago, Tremelo said:

I believe Pete simply stated that to pull out of the tour would be a complete disaster for everyone involved so it was a business decision I guess to try to do the right thing for the majority.

"Majority" my ass!:lol: They wanted that money, man. Plain and simple. 

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3 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

"Majority" my ass!:lol: They wanted that money, man. Plain and simple. 

Your probably right, I mean that does make the remaining members of The Who callous. I imagine just quitting in the middle of a tour, there has to be repercussions on some level. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. 

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38 minutes ago, Tremelo said:

Your probably right, I mean that does make the remaining members of The Who callous. I imagine just quitting in the middle of a tour, there has to be repercussions on some level. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. 

Zep cancelled the September 75' - January 76' tour dates after Robert's accident. They cancelled the majority of the third leg of the 77' tour after Robert's son died. They cancelled the NA leg of the 80' tour after Bonham's death. Looks like it is not that hard to cancel a tour if one so desires.

I figure there is language in the contracts which allows release should a member die, after all, I don't think anyone would have expected The Who or any other band to continue a tour after a member dies.

Regarding The Ox, I guess if he wanted to retire and live it up in his swimming pool he could have saved and invested his money instead of wasting it all on coke & hookers. 

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

I'll bet it took less time for Townshend & Daltrey to make this "hard decision" than the "half a minute" it took you to find the answer to my question...a lot less. Besides, the Ox wouldn't have given a shit either way:

“I wasted my whole fucking career on The Who,” he said between gulps of Remy Martin brandy, his favourite tipple. “Complete fucking waste of time. I should be a multi-millionaire. I should be retired by now. I’ll be known as an innovative bass player. But that doesn’t help get my swimming pool rebuilt and let me sit on my arse watching TV all day. I wouldn’t want to, but I’d like the chance to be able to.” 
This interview took place in the mid-nineties, at a time when John’s frustration at The Who’s post-Moon stop-start career, itself a product of Townshend’s need to find creative fulfilment elsewhere, was at its worst. There was also the gut-wrenching realisation that because of catastrophic business moves in the mid-sixties The Who would never make anything like as much as they deserved in royalties from the sales of their records. It is not hard to imagine John brooding over the rock star names in the Sunday Times Rich List, the individual Beatles, Stones, Floyds, Zeppelins and Queens, and, brandy bottle to hand, cursing his luck that he wasn’t amongst them.
 

 Obviously they didn't contemplate if they should continue the Tour for weeks Willie.  They were back on stage four days later... That doesn't necessarily mean it was an easy decision..  or not a sad time for them. Maybe they were thinking of their 50 pc road crew that would have been out of work.. or the hundreds of thousands of fans who had already purchased tickets. Maybe some of the tour proceeds still went to John's family who might have desperately needed money..maybe his family already received a huge advance.. Who knows? I don't know if it's callous or not.. There was no turning back after Keith Moon died. You can't unring that bell. They continued on. And I consider Moon as irreplaceable to The Who as John Bonham was to Led Zeppelin. 

Led Zeppelin are unique in that they didn't continue. I truly admire them for that.. I do. They've turned their backs on potentially Billions ... and it does set them apart. But that doesn't necessarily make every other band that does continue callous. Someone back some pages mentioned Bon Scott.. The members of AC/DC loved Bon. Everything they did and do to this day is in his memory. Bon's own mother told them they should continue. So it's not cut and dry in many cases.  

Edited by the chase

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Not many other big bands have stopped and never restarted. Pink Floyd & The Smiths is about the only ones I can think of, and that's only because the "frontmen" can't stand to be in a room together, never mind share a stage.

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17 hours ago, the chase said:

 Obviously they didn't contemplate if they should continue the Tour for weeks Willie.  They were back on stage four days later... That doesn't necessarily mean it was an easy decision..  or not a sad time for them. Maybe they were thinking of their 50 pc road crew that would have been out of work.. or the hundreds of thousands of fans who had already purchased tickets. Maybe some of the tour proceeds still went to John's family who might have desperately needed money..maybe his family already received a huge advance.. Who knows? I don't know if it's callous or not.. There was no turning back after Keith Moon died. You can't unring that bell. They continued on. And I consider Moon as irreplaceable to The Who as John Bonham was to Led Zeppelin. 

Led Zeppelin are unique in that they didn't continue. I truly admire them for that.. I do. They've turned their backs on potentially Billions ... and it does set them apart. But that doesn't necessarily make every other band that does continue callous. Someone back some pages mentioned Bon Scott.. The members of AC/DC loved Bon. Everything they did and do to this day is in his memory. Bon's own mother told them they should continue. So it's not cut and dry in many cases.  

Hey Chase. I totally get where your coming from on this, so let me explain where I'm at on this subject: It always chaps my ass when The Who and Led Zeppelin are compared in this context. Led Zeppelins decision (including Grant) not to continue without Bonham was a testament to the importance of his contribution to the band as well as any desire or need to continue on as a unit without him. The Who (on the other hand) did the exact opposite with their two most most crucial elements that comprised the sound of the band. After those two were gone, what are you left with? Kinda reminds me of The Fast And Furious Franchise pt 17. Awww shit one of lead characters just got burned alive....next, gotta keep it moving man, theres still money to be made here folks. I can't really blame them though, this is how they put bread on the table....and we all need bread.B)

 

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The Who were cheated, but in fact Townsend and Daltrey beyond the 70's were never close to poor, or even upper middle class. However Moon went thru money like water, and Entwhistle lived a round the clock sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll plus

mansions etc. lifestyle. Being rather mild millionaires and not heavily rich like Page for example, Townsend said a few times

they went on the road because Entwhistle was close to destitute, although mainly by his own hand. I only read this stuff

for a bit, but it was sad but fascinating how The Ox had no sleep/off switch, just on full blast 24/7.

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18 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

Hey Chase. I totally get where your coming from on this, so let me explain where I'm at on this subject: It always chaps my ass when The Who and Led Zeppelin are compared in this context. Led Zeppelins decision (including Grant) not to continue without Bonham was a testament to the importance of his contribution to the band as well as any desire or need to continue on as a unit without him. The Who (on the other hand) did the exact opposite with their two most most crucial elements that comprised the sound of the band. After those two were gone, what are you left with? Kinda reminds me of The Fast And Furious Franchise pt 17. Awww shit one of lead characters just got burned alive....next, gotta keep it moving man, theres still money to be made here folks. I can't really blame them though, this is how they put bread on the table....and we all need bread.B)

 

It's cool Willie. I'm just thinking there had to be a reason for that Tour to continue.  

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They absolutely made the right decision. While I'm sure any of the rumored "replacement" drummers could have played the part on the studio tracks had they recorded a new album, it was the live shows where Bonham was irreplaceable. He was always playing on the edge of a cliff yet somehow kept it all together while sounding amazing. 

Long time lurker, first time poster. 

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On 17/06/2017 at 2:44 PM, blindwillie127 said:

I'll bet it took less time for Townshend & Daltrey to make this "hard decision" than the "half a minute" it took you to find the answer to my question...a lot less. Besides, the Ox wouldn't have given a shit either way:

“I wasted my whole fucking career on The Who,” he said between gulps of Remy Martin brandy, his favourite tipple. “Complete fucking waste of time. I should be a multi-millionaire. I should be retired by now. I’ll be known as an innovative bass player. But that doesn’t help get my swimming pool rebuilt and let me sit on my arse watching TV all day. I wouldn’t want to, but I’d like the chance to be able to.” 
This interview took place in the mid-nineties, at a time when John’s frustration at The Who’s post-Moon stop-start career, itself a product of Townshend’s need to find creative fulfilment elsewhere, was at its worst. There was also the gut-wrenching realisation that because of catastrophic business moves in the mid-sixties The Who would never make anything like as much as they deserved in royalties from the sales of their records. It is not hard to imagine John brooding over the rock star names in the Sunday Times Rich List, the individual Beatles, Stones, Floyds, Zeppelins and Queens, and, brandy bottle to hand, cursing his luck that he wasn’t amongst them.
 

I thought the reason they kept getting back together was because John Entwhistle wasn't particularly savvy with his spending and needed to pay off his debts.

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10 hours ago, babysquid said:

I thought the reason they kept getting back together was because John Entwhistle wasn't particularly savvy with his spending and needed to pay off his debts.

No, thats the reason 'Entwistle' kept touring. Notice how many times they've toured after Entwistle died? That blows that theory right out the window. 

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On 2017-6-16 at 1:11 PM, Brigante said:

Led Zeppelin are one of those bands where it's the precise combination of those particular people that produced the magic. You can't bring on a sub and have the same thing, no matter how talented or creative that person may be. Page, Plant, Bonham, Jones - you can't plan chemistry like that and you can't bottle it, quantify it or reproduce it. Take away any one element and the spell won't work. You might not end up with a complete travesty (eg. Jane's Addiction without Eric), you could actually get something that was good in its own right (eg. Sabbath with Dio). But when the chemistry between particular people is the issue, it doesn't matter either way. Even if you have three-quarters of the thing in place, you still don't have the actual thing itself. I remember the announcement being made in 1980 and even then I thought it was the right thing to do. I still think that.

I agree about the precise combo of individuals creating a magic.  But I do think that a band with a substitute for one who has left or died can play the songs that the original line up played and it can still be very enjoyable and worthwhile.  I would LOVE To have seen The Who in the early 70s.  I would still like to have seen The Who in the late 80s.  I am kind of too young for either.  Well, actually not too young for the late 80s.  In any case, you get my drift

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They should have taken it up again once Jason was able to keep up, like others have posted. Especially to allow Page to do a follow up album after the horrendous ITTOD. Page stated he and Bonzo planned a more riff driven album for the follow up, I so wonder how great that would have been. What a loss.

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Well that sounds great but I'm not sure either issue(replacing Bonzo with Jason for a full tour) or Page coming up with a

real hard rock album after ITTOD would have been pulled off. Jason was excellent at the 07' reunion, but IMO in relation

to other rock drummers, not his father. Just listen to the bootlegs, and in 90'-91' when Zep almost toured, Robert said of

Jason, "He's just not that good". A long time ago, but Jason as much as he has improved, is just not his father. And Jimmy

when in his polysubstance abuse has sometimes blown hot air. There was a really cool interview/article in Musician magazine

earlier in 83' where Jimmy was talking up maybe onstage playing the Roland synth guitar, not his usual guitars, and saying

that he was working on very interesting material not sounding like Zep. And saying that it will still be something Zep fans will

appreciate. Now does this sound like the Firm ??

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On ‎22‎/‎06‎/‎2017 at 6:25 PM, irondirigible said:

I agree about the precise combo of individuals creating a magic.  But I do think that a band with a substitute for one who has left or died can play the songs that the original line up played and it can still be very enjoyable and worthwhile.  I would LOVE To have seen The Who in the early 70s.  I would still like to have seen The Who in the late 80s.  I am kind of too young for either.  Well, actually not too young for the late 80s.  In any case, you get my drift

I saw the Who on their first tour after Moon had died (1980/81 I forget which) with Kenney Jones filling in. I love Jones' work in the Faces but he just didn't fit in with the Who at all, in my opinion, and it wasn't very enjoyable at all. I passed on every other tour after that

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23 hours ago, dandak said:

They should have taken it up again once Jason was able to keep up, like others have posted. Especially to allow Page to do a follow up album after the horrendous ITTOD. Page stated he and Bonzo planned a more riff driven album for the follow up, I so wonder how great that would have been. What a loss.

the quote from Page about this was stated some time after the split if I remember rightly and there's no guarantee at all it would have happened. Would Page and jones wanted to revert back to a riff based album after their taking more control on ITTOD? maybe not. and of course there's the chance that Page was fried out his brains when he said this and it was just something he said in passing that has a lot more speculation put on it than it really deserves

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IMO Bonham's contribution to the band was impossible to duplicate studio and writing wise, he was that essential fourth element. Bonham does not get the credit he deserves in regard to what he added or left out which sculpted the songs into what they were. This, more than anything else was his unique contribution which could not be duplicated. Regarding live playing, yes Bonham was one of the best, but to think him or anyone else in a live setting is irreplaceable is just silly. For every Bonham, Moon, Peart, Paice, Baker, etc. there are a hundred unknown players in every town who can play just as good if not better than any of those legends. 

I am glad Zep broke up because the chemistry could never be duplicated plus it would have reeked with a lack of integrity IMO. However, if they wanted to say continue on with a tour or one-off's playing the old songs, they could have done it. There are several drummers which come to mind who could have filled Bonzo's shoes live such as Ansley Dunbar and Ian Paice to name just a couple. Pace's drumming is on-par with Bonham's and his performance on Burn is something to behold. However, as a creative entity, Zep died on Sept 25th, 1980 and there was no coming back from that.

Disclaimer: Regarding live playing I need to clarify I am referring to post 77' live playing. I doubt another drummer could have pulled off the tight-but loose arrangements on the extended improvised jams in D&C, WLL, BIOH, NQ and other tunes like Bonham did. If they stuck to the original arrangements like they did in 79' & 80' it could have been done but the original, jam based live Zep...no way.

So yes, they made the right decision to call it a day.

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Si. Oui. Jah. Yes. Yes. Yes. A thousand times YES.

One listen to any Led Zeppelin concert should be all the proof needed to see that Bonham was irreplaceable. Tony Thompson? Alan White? Cozy Powell? Carmine Appice? Phil Collins? Don't make me laugh.

As for Jason Bonham, he was too young at the time. I'm sure he's a nice bloke and he can simulate the rudiments of his dad's sound and style, but he could not give Led Zeppelin concerts that feeling of being constantly on edge, never sure of what spontaneous combustion was going to happen next and when.

John Henry Bonham = IRREPLACEABLE.

As were John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant. Led Zeppelin was an equation for one-of-a-kind musical magick.

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