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osoz

Did Led Zeppelin make the right decision to break up?

273 posts in this topic

The decision was made for them when John Bonham died

Totally agree. Led Zeppelin ceased to exist the day John Bonham died. Their is just no intelligent debate to the contrary. He meant that much to that band!!!

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Totally agree. Led Zeppelin ceased to exist the day John Bonham died. Their is just no intelligent debate to the contrary. He meant that much to that band!!!

+1

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One thing that Page mentioned that I'm not sure was mentioned here was Jimmy's perceived or actual almost ESP connection with

Bonzo live, with the other band members as well. They were close but not nearly as close socially wise as many would suspect.

But Jimmy also said besides a new drummer matching Bonzo's overall prowess, a tremendous problem in itself, the new drummer

would have to improvise brilliantly during songs at certain parts, something Jimmy said would put totally unreasonable pressure

on the best of drummers.. So IMO the breakup wasn't 100% social as some would believe, although certainly it was very important.

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One thing that Page mentioned that I'm not sure was mentioned here was Jimmy's perceived or actual almost ESP connection with

Bonzo live, with the other band members as well. They were close but not nearly as close socially wise as many would suspect.

But Jimmy also said besides a new drummer matching Bonzo's overall prowess, a tremendous problem in itself, the new drummer

would have to improvise brilliantly during songs at certain parts, something Jimmy said would put totally unreasonable pressure

on the best of drummers.. So IMO the breakup wasn't 100% social as some would believe, although certainly it was very important.

I don't remember anyone here ever pondering an all acoustic reunion and tour, with no drummer? Take the need for the drummer's prowess and insult the Bonham's legacy out of the picture. They have enough material, and could do unplugged versions of their other songs. It would satisfy the mellower Plant, Jones certainly could still carry it, and Page wouldn't be pressured to solo. What fans would complain or not want to see it?

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Page's live guitar skills definitely too a hit, beginning with inconsistent performances on the 77 tour. I actually think Plant may have been more inclined to consider a full reunion had Page not been so messed up whenever they played together following the band's breakup. The Atlantic show was the worst, and although blame was shared for Live Aid, I think Page was in bad shape. I think Page was still not yet clean when they did their first Page and Plant tour, with Jimmy still having that drinkers bloat look, and needing a back-up guitarist in the shape of Porl Thompson.

That is the weird part, whenever I saw Page in the 80's in The Firm or solo he always played beautifully, very well. However for the Atlantic 40th he really sucked balls, just crappy, yet when I saw him in Phoenix for Outrider either just before or just after the 40th he was again brilliant. Just my opinion but I feel, during the 80's, when he was on his own he could cope better and did not get as wasted pre-show. I think during the Atlantic 40th in particular he was really feeling the nerves and just got too damn drunk pre-show. I really believe it is as simple as that. Page suffers from horrible stage fright, plus with the added pressure of a Zep reunion and he just cannot handle it sober, at least not in the 80's.

I don't agree with your assessment of Porl Thompson as a "back-up" guitarist, he was a second guitarists which allowed P&P to perform songs they could not with only one guitarist. I was at both the 95' & 98' tours and as a guitarist I had my eye on Jimmy & Porl the whole time. Unless Porl is magic or Jimmy was miming to a backing track, Porl cannot play a solo around the 12th - 15th frets while playing rhythm on the third fret. Jim played great at both the 95' & 98' shows though I preferred the 98' show because Jimmy's playing was, IMO, the best playing he ever did live, period. Jimmy 98' - 2000' was the best live Jimmy, this was, for me, Jimmy's peak, where technical proficiency met emotional projection and created absolute musical brilliance.

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That is the weird part, whenever I saw Page in the 80's in The Firm or solo he always played beautifully, very well. However for the Atlantic 40th he really sucked balls, just crappy, yet when I saw him in Phoenix for Outrider either just before or just after the 40th he was again brilliant. Just my opinion but I feel, during the 80's, when he was on his own he could cope better and did not get as wasted pre-show. I think during the Atlantic 40th in particular he was really feeling the nerves and just got too damn drunk pre-show. I really believe it is as simple as that. Page suffers from horrible stage fright, plus with the added pressure of a Zep reunion and he just cannot handle it sober, at least not in the 80's.

I don't agree with your assessment of Porl Thompson as a "back-up" guitarist, he was a second guitarists which allowed P&P to perform songs they could not with only one guitarist. I was at both the 95' & 98' tours and as a guitarist I had my eye on Jimmy & Porl the whole time. Unless Porl is magic or Jimmy was miming to a backing track, Porl cannot play a solo around the 12th - 15th frets while playing rhythm on the third fret. Jim played great at both the 95' & 98' shows though I preferred the 98' show because Jimmy's playing was, IMO, the best playing he ever did live, period. Jimmy 98' - 2000' was the best live Jimmy, this was, for me, Jimmy's peak, where technical proficiency met emotional projection and created absolute musical brilliance.

I saw Jimmy on both Page and Plant tours in Boston and again in Mansfield Mass. I had great seats for 2 of the 3 shows I saw, 5'th row center aisle in Boston and 12'th row in the middle of the bowl at Mansfield. Jimmy was brilliant both nights but much more so in the second tour. I was blown away at well he played. I didn't think Jimmy needed Mr. Thompson for the first Page and Plant tour and was pretty good but hot damn! Jimmy was on Fire during the second tour.

Edited by juxtiphi

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People fail to see Led Zeppelin was always based on Improvising their music live and it was the atmosphere and audience that elevated their music to a different dimension. You can't plop Jason in the picture and say Ok here is a Led Zeppelin reunion. It's much complicated than that. --- Can Ya Feel It ?

Edited by ZoSo925

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Definitly feeling it... Exactly right I think by not trying to find a replacement for the irreplacable they keep their integrity and legend intact

Edited by ksgemini

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I just have to chime in and say that although 98' P/P live was not Zeppelin, The 3 shows I saw Jimmy absolutely blew the roof off as far

as stunning guitar brilliance. He was very consistent, had almost shredding technique(no bull !!!) his tone was killer with a ton of

emotion. Many have somehow almost criminally overlooked these shows, also downplaying even some actual critic's reviews, who

had pointed out that Page was playing with the fire and gusto of someone half his age.

A point well made about a acoustic reunion, it would ease many of Plant's concerns and lighten Page's load. But I thought Plant had

actually half-heartedly suggested this a while ago.

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I think they would have put Led Zeppelin on hold in the 80s, there wouldn't have been a "Coda". Maybe they would have filmed a 1980-1981 concert for home video. People were just happy at the time that they were touring again, but once that was over, I don't know if they would have wanted to keep going as a band.

Robert still would have moved forward with a solo career. The Firm probably would have happened because Bad Company broke up.

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Yes, they made the right decision to split up.

I remember reading the announcement on the day it was published in the music papers and it just felt 'right'.

I suspected at the time that Bonzo's death would be the final straw for Robert, so I wasn't surprised.

All these years later, it still feels like it was the right decision.

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I think they would have put Led Zeppelin on hold in the 80s, there wouldn't have been a "Coda". Maybe they would have filmed a 1980-1981 concert for home video. People were just happy at the time that they were touring again, but once that was over, I don't know if they would have wanted to keep going as a band.

Robert still would have moved forward with a solo career. The Firm probably would have happened because Bad Company broke up.

Their late 1980 North American tour dates were already scheduled, with tickets already sold. We've also already read the stories of them wanting to make a heavier "next album". From a commercial perspective, it would seem that there was no indication of stopping the beast. However, what we've come to learn is that Led Zeppelin as a functioning band were in serious trouble at that time, what with substance abuse by Page and Bonham (you could include Grant, but his was largely the result of losing Bonham), and Plant itching to sail his own ship. I think they could have soldiered on had Bonham survived, with an eventual change of pace, where Plant would have been given some freedom to work with other musicians. They would probably have done what the Rolling Stones did, where they took long breaks between tours and albums.

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I read something about in early '70, there was an idea of Robert to do a Solo album. Also around 1975 there is a video interview and Robert said something along the lines that if they lost a member of the band, it would be impossible to carry on.

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I believe absolutely the right decision at the right time. What is fascinating is that at the time despite Zep's huge popularity, the band was

still not all that well known except thru their live and studio output. Page in particular was an enormous enigma; very few knew the the

extent of his addictions or the real danger he was in, as was Bonzo. They rarely gave interviews(Page from the early to mid 70's , disgusted

by critics, gave maybe 6-7 ?? interviews), whereas now or the last 15 years or so Page is practically on rock or guitar mags almost

continuously. Anyway few were aware of the gigantic schisms forming in the band, or even that Page's and Bonzo's playing had

Declined notably. So even if Bonham had not died, the 80' tour, whether on paper or theoretically, IMO would not have been a likely

success. These days with the net, half this stuff would be known , and fans would know what to expect.

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Well if anything it certainly cemented the bands legacy into mythical status there after. That much influential music in that short of a time span, then poof, ... gone.

I really thought the Live Aid appearance in '85 was gonna be the catalyst for a full reunion. Before that anything in the catalog was taboo even for solo shows. Although It was probably the right decision, I think they coulda reinvented the band without losing too much. 

Songs like 'Thru with the two step' and 'Like I've never been gone' coulda been LZ album material IMO...

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Songs like 'Thru with the two step' and 'Like I've never been gone' coulda been LZ album material IMO...

'Slow Dancer' too, as dalsh327 rightly mentioned.

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Well if anything it certainly cemented the bands legacy into mythical status there after. That much influential music in that short of a time span, then poof, ... gone.

I really thought the Live Aid appearance in '85 was gonna be the catalyst for a full reunion. Before that anything in the catalog was taboo even for solo shows. Although It was probably the right decision, I think they coulda reinvented the band without losing too much. 

Songs like 'Thru with the two step' and 'Like I've never been gone' coulda been LZ album material IMO...

What about Too Loud??? Just joking.

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I read something about in early '70, there was an idea of Robert to do a Solo album. 

I seriously doubt you ever read this, but if you did I find it preposterous and unsupported by any evidence whatsoever.   

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Peter Grant said Robert approached him about a solo album once..Paraphrasing..

Peter asked him. "Well who would you get for a drummer?" 

R "I suppose I'd ask Bonzo"

P "and Bass?'

R "Jonsey"

P "Guitar" .... 

R "It'd have to be Pagey"..

So there's the evidence.

Grant said it never went any further. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by the chase

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Add to that when Plant did actually go solo and his choice of band members.  Some years ago, I read an interview by Robbie Blunt (Plant's guitarist), and Robbie said something to the effect that Plant was trying to get him to play in a way that was very Page, and different from Robbie's own style.   

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I have always respected Zeppelin for their loyalty to Bonzo, and their principled stance; however, I have always wished that they carried on. In my opinion, some music is better than no music, and the solo material never really scratched the itch, as it were, apart from Walking into Clarksdale. 

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I don't know about some better than none. It has to be the right way for the right reasons, which is why they could no longer continue without Bonzo.

Besides the personal issues that were tearing them apart, like Jimmy said, they were so cohesive live, who could you get to come in and play all those intricate improvised parts?

And memorizing another's part went against the essence of Zep anyway. They were each integral in bringing out the musical creative best of the other, and to that end, they were one.

It's like the principle of irreducible complexity: you take away one essential part, the whole doesn't work.

Best for each to go on a new path, and should they converge now and again, only in that same genuine spirit.

I think it's an interesting ride to get to see who they are musically outside of Zep.

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