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ThreeSticks

Led Zeppelin in the months following Bonzo's passing

170 posts in this topic

On 03/18/2017 at 1:42 AM, Mook said:

Some of the top selling LPs in 1980 were The Wall (Pink Floyd), Emotional Rescue (Rolling Stones), The Game (Queen) & Back in Black (AC/DC) so there were plenty of 70s rockers doing well for themselves going into the 80s.

Also worth point out that Deep Purple split up between '76 & '84 & writing off punk rockers as 'poorly educated' is a bit of a sweeping generalisation when a lot of them came out of art schools.

Having said that, I'm of the opinion that some things belong in a certain time & place & I would apply that to Led Zeppelin & the 1970s, I think it's for the best that they broke up & left a pretty untarnished reputation musically.

Poorly educated Punk rockers was perhaps a general statement. Yes, many were well educated but they liked to give the impression they were uneducated and stifled by the constraints of middle upper class, to appeal to those that actually were. Punk was about giving the finger to establishment, and you couldn't get away with that if you were born from/into the establishment. That is my understanding of English punk anyway. Apparently England in the late 70's was the wrong time to be bragging about being rich and educated - Thatcher recession?

American punk was just about having a good time, English punk was to prove a point (more or less), and that having a chip on your shoulder was a valid excuse for being a teenager. Punk was also about that you didn't have to be an indulgent musical virtuoso (Page, Blackmore) to be in a band.

The stated rock bands were just 'general examples': the point being that to progress into the eighties you had to somewhat alter your sound and image, which those bands that were successful did just that. Compare the Stones, Queen, Pink Floyd etc, their early work to their later work and it is obvious they grew and adapted to the times.

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What you said about the punks was very insightful. Funnily enough there's a Jimmy Page interview before Knebworth

where he recalls reading letters from fans. The fans mentioned punk but said they got into Zep because of the musical

content. Certainly bands like the Clash, The Damned, and Black Flag etc. had some good musicianship. Still, punk bands

mostly were very repetitive and were not designed for more than a 30-45 minute set. A good thing in a way, but limited

in other ways. I think some of the huge bands of the 70's adopted some of the new technology of the 80's, but totally

changing their approach, hmmm....  . Queen definetly did it, but the Stones, Floyd IMO just tried to not repeat themselves.

Actually a band like Asia(except for the keys player) totally went from prog epics to hummable top 40 hits, as to an extent

did Yes. But many dropped the forced change back to the original vision(Santana,the Kinks(quite abruptly)etc.,.

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I can't believe they all were going on tour in 1980 with Jimmy in the shape he was in.  He was in bad shape in 77 also and the shows were...less than killer?  I thought that was the consensus.

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On 3/24/2017 at 6:06 PM, Mithril46 said:

What you said about the punks was very insightful. Funnily enough there's a Jimmy Page interview before Knebworth

where he recalls reading letters from fans. The fans mentioned punk but said they got into Zep because of the musical

content. Certainly bands like the Clash, The Damned, and Black Flag etc. had some good musicianship. Still, punk bands

mostly were very repetitive and were not designed for more than a 30-45 minute set. A good thing in a way, but limited

in other ways. I think some of the huge bands of the 70's adopted some of the new technology of the 80's, but totally

changing their approach, hmmm....  . Queen definetly did it, but the Stones, Floyd IMO just tried to not repeat themselves.

Actually a band like Asia(except for the keys player) totally went from prog epics to hummable top 40 hits, as to an extent

did Yes. But many dropped the forced change back to the original vision(Santana,the Kinks(quite abruptly)etc.,.

Good stuff. Also, there was a huge difference between East coast punk like the Ramones and west Coast punk like the Germs. The East coast stuff melded well with the New Wave and many were interchangeable with it. The West coast punk however was looking to burn shit down! Those were some crazy mofo's on the West coast and would beat the living shit outta you if you even mentioned the Talking Heads.

The Stones and Floyd just sucked in the 80's and that includes The Wall. The Stones Tattoo You was their last good album but it was not great. Floyd became a snooze fest. Queen was the only stand out as their musical influences were so diverse they had much to pull from. Queen's final albums were perhaps the best stuff they ever did. There is a reason old Robert chose to sing Innuendo at the Freddie Mercury tribute, it is one of Queen's best and most ambitious songs.

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And If I recall, that 85' Queen album( The "Game" ??) didn't do too well where I lived, neither "Hot Space". But the band was trying new things for sure. For some reason if I think of Zep with Bonzo, I just run into a huge featureless white space

had they continued on. Total blank spot. And about Jimmy's fragile state, etc., there are many contradictions about continuing touring. Remember that even a totally straight Jimmy in the 60's had to quit touring  with some pre-"Birds"

group. I believe that before the drugs/alcohol Jimmy may have been overly sensitive, but also quite strong willed and

disciplined. So even though I doubt he even weighed 120 pds in 80'( when I was 17 I was 5'11 and 125 pds, still not

skeletal like Page) Jimmy was still very enthusiastic about playing live, and that dbl-neck---that's like 34 pds, yet Jimmy

could throw it around no problem. But then in some 77'-80' gigs he barely moved--no sleep? Coke benders ? bonafide

stomach trouble(confirmed) ??. Many contradictions.

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, Mithril46 said:

And If I recall, that 85' Queen album( The "Game" ??) didn't do too well where I lived, neither "Hot Space". But the band was trying new things for sure. For some reason if I think of Zep with Bonzo, I just run into a huge featureless white space

had they continued on. Total blank spot. And about Jimmy's fragile state, etc., there are many contradictions about continuing touring. Remember that even a totally straight Jimmy in the 60's had to quit touring  with some pre-"Birds"

group. I believe that before the drugs/alcohol Jimmy may have been overly sensitive, but also quite strong willed and

disciplined. So even though I doubt he even weighed 120 pds in 80'( when I was 17 I was 5'11 and 125 pds, still not

skeletal like Page) Jimmy was still very enthusiastic about playing live, and that dbl-neck---that's like 34 pds, yet Jimmy

could throw it around no problem. But then in some 77'-80' gigs he barely moved--no sleep? Coke benders ? bonafide

stomach trouble(confirmed) ??. Many contradictions.

That picture of him at ARMS holding it up with one hand has always baffled me how he did it flawlessly

I think he's had long term trouble with his stomach since childhood, although the narcotics didn't help

Edited by TheStairwayRemainsTheSame

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You know the bullshit thing about the music biz? Everyone loves a twenty year old rock star to worship, but by the time you actually know what you're doing and can really play, and write (you'd be about 40 by then) nobody wants to know you 'cause your a has been. I don't approve of that, but it probably sums up why you get so many great musicians wasting away their peak years living in some seedy motel while the maid cleans the room, and tries not to knock over the rarely used guitar sitting in the corner, and tries not to vacuum up the pawn broker receipts carelessly tossed around.

You either understand that or you don't, and it is of course just a stereo type joke.

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10 hours ago, Mithril46 said:

So even though I doubt he even weighed 120 pds in 80'( when I was 17 I was 5'11 and 125 pds, still not

skeletal like Page) Jimmy was still very enthusiastic about playing live, and that dbl-neck---that's like 34 pds, yet Jimmy

could throw it around no problem.

34 lbs???? It's made from wood, not lead!

My '69 deluxe weighs about 9lbs and it's not a light guitar. The doubleneck could possibly weigh twice that, at a push (although the SG style body is much thinner than an LP). I think it's more likely to be in the 12-18lbs range. I wouldn't want to have over my shoulder for 2 hours, but 15-20 minutes? Even at his most emaciated it shouldn't have been too much of a burden. Lifting it above his head for a few seconds? Not really an issue.

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2 hours ago, woz70 said:

34 lbs???? It's made from wood, not lead!

My '69 deluxe weighs about 9lbs and it's not a light guitar. The doubleneck could possibly weigh twice that, at a push (although the SG style body is much thinner than an LP). I think it's more likely to be in the 12-18lbs range. I wouldn't want to have over my shoulder for 2 hours, but 15-20 minutes? Even at his most emaciated it shouldn't have been too much of a burden. Lifting it above his head for a few seconds? Not really an issue.

Yes, they weigh about 13 lbs. The guitar is more awkward than heavy IMO.

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What I should have mentioned is that the mass production models( not Page's custom made for him by Gibson) are

weight relieved and are not the same guitar in other respects. Around 2007-8 ? they released a total replica of Page's

ES-1275, only 100 made or a low number. The 34 pds number is indeed ridiculous, but the site was spot on for all 

else. Perhaps with the case, but I have a 71' Gibson LP that's 12 pds. That's heavy mahogany and pretty sure Page's

double-neck is heavily mahogany. However I am really going to check this out. I do know for a fact the mass made

models are much lighter than Page's. Now investigate......assume nothing.

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Well to correct, Jimmy's dbl-neck was about 12-13 pds. The exact replicas were(250 made) very close. However

many mass production models were easily 14-16 pds. The ridiculous number that I quoted rather foolishly must have

been the guitar in one of those bulletproof 4' by 6' travel cases, though I should have realized that. HA HA HA, but still

rather interesting how Page appeared so weak yet was able to so easily balance the dbl-neck with one hand. I'm pretty

strong and that 12 pd LP I have, I can't easily do that.

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Ha Ha. Stuck my foot in my mouth with the dbl-neck. I think what was heroic about Jimmy, at least until the drugs and

booze sabotaged him eventually, was live it really seemed like he wanted to put on a spectacle and give every fan his

money's worth. So he was cheap with money, but he fully gave himself very generously with his art. The albums, the

album covers, of course the studio tracks, Jimmy was not satisfied until every song was cut with diamond precision.

Of course some tracks were first or second takes, etc.,. And Jimmy was not always healthy, and not just because of

the drugs. The drugs may have initially helped with his frailties, not just a partying thing. He may have not even got thru

those 77' marathons without drugs, although that is speculation. Not going to hear it from Jimmy, for sure.

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I just want to point out, something about Jimmy's playing and health/appearance which may not be mentioned much.

Supposedly up to about 71' , 72', Jimmy made a determined effort to practice 3 hrs a day. You can quite easily trace

Jimmy's dexterity going quite clearly down noticeably from 75' on. Substance downfall, yes, but I really doubt Jimmy

was 75' on practicing regularly let alone hours a day. Possibly spending much time turning a studio track into a workable

live version, sure. Also many musicians who do a lot of heroin still play well if they keep up their practice. Another

conundrum is Jimmy's stomach troubles, it got to the point where he was blending banana daiquri's with vitamins

and protein powder. Any doctor will tell you such a regimen cannot substitute for real food, it's a bit comparable

if you're in a hospital very ill and being fed IV, you'll lose weight. Stupid to put in the alcohol of course, and certainly

some heroin addicts can get pretty thin. But of course there isn't much fact to be found here. Like at Knebworth, Page

was still too thin, but facewise he IMO looked healthy. Even Nick Kent said so.

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35 minutes ago, Mithril46 said:

I just want to point out, something about Jimmy's playing and health/appearance which may not be mentioned much.

Supposedly up to about 71' , 72', Jimmy made a determined effort to practice 3 hrs a day. You can quite easily trace

Jimmy's dexterity going quite clearly down noticeably from 75' on. Substance downfall, yes, but I really doubt Jimmy

was 75' on practicing regularly let alone hours a day. Possibly spending much time turning a studio track into a workable

live version, sure. Also many musicians who do a lot of heroin still play well if they keep up their practice. Another

conundrum is Jimmy's stomach troubles, it got to the point where he was blending banana daiquri's with vitamins

and protein powder. Any doctor will tell you such a regimen cannot substitute for real food, it's a bit comparable

if you're in a hospital very ill and being fed IV, you'll lose weight. Stupid to put in the alcohol of course, and certainly

some heroin addicts can get pretty thin. But of course there isn't much fact to be found here. Like at Knebworth, Page

was still too thin, but facewise he IMO looked healthy. Even Nick Kent said so.

Jimmy's dexterity was spot on during most of 75', especially the March US gig's and most of the Earl's Court run. Check out NQ from May 23rd. Jimmy's playing blows the 73' TSRTS NQ away and has become my favorite version of the song. 77' - 80' I agree, he was hit or miss and inconsistent but I do blame it more on the drugs vs. lack of practice. The reason being you don't go from amazing technical dexterity on IMTOD & SIBLY and then take a massive dump all over a simple tune like SA due to lack of practice. To me that sounds like the ebb and tide of a drug high to me. Coherent enough to take care of business and then out of it to where he could not find the damn fretboard. Then there is the fact that some of Jimmy's most brilliant, technical, and perfect soloing live is indeed done from 77'- 80', however there are serious turds spread liberally throughout as well. Seems like drugs to me more than anything.

Regarding the stomach issues...again, most likely heroin related as opioids cause constipation and cramping. 

I am a lucky dog as every time I saw Jimmy is was brilliant and the stuff of legend. Completely lived up to the hype. I saw him with Zep on April 10th 77' in Chicago, in 85' with the Firm, 88' as a solo artist, 95' & 98' with Page & Plant.

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6 hours ago, IpMan said:

 

I am a lucky dog as every time I saw Jimmy is was brilliant and the stuff of legend. Completely lived up to the hype. I saw him with Zep on April 10th 77' in Chicago, in 85' with the Firm, 88' as a solo artist, 95' & 98' with Page & Plant.

10th April '77, the legendary "Stormtrooper outfit" show. You are indeed a lucky dog, if you'd chosen the previous night to go, then....!

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3 hours ago, 76229 said:

10th April '77, the legendary "Stormtrooper outfit" show. You are indeed a lucky dog, if you'd chosen the previous night to go, then....!

Actually, I was 9 so I did not choose shit. My cousin Tom who is 20 years older than me is a big Zeppelin fan...also a big opera fan as well, funky. Anyway, it was Easter Sunday and the extended family were over for early supper (2pm). Once the festivities wound down around 6pm my cousin takes my parents aside and talks to them for about 30 seconds. He then comes up to me and my 14 year old brother and asks us if we would like to go to a show with him at the Chicago Stadium. Of course we said yes but we also did not know what we were going to see (in those days asking such a question was considered impolite...you don't look a gift horse in the mouth). Once we got in the car he told us the show we were going to. Both me and my brother were massive Zeppelin fans and this was the first concert for both of us. Talk about a concert to lose your "concert virginity" to. Needless to say with the bar set so high from the outset I was never truly satisfied with any live act again. Of course from 1980 to the present I have seen hundreds of shows and dozens of bands. Only attended a handful of bad shows so I feel I am fortunate indeed. But that first show, a Zeppelin show to boot, was the best damn concert I have ever seen. Even the Blue Man Group or Cirque du Soleil cannot compare. Hey, think of the possibilities...Zeppelin performing painted all blue, a giant baby in the background, and some jackass on a bicycle on a high wire. Kinda like Celine Dion meets Zeppelin. Damn I am a genius.

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Well that's a tremendous story, and others have pointed out to me that hearing a sbd or excellent audience tape

is not at all comparable to being at the show. And I would say Jimmy's slide in playing ability was subtle from 73' to

75'. Still many amazing shows, but now there would be the hint of what would come in 77', sometimes a few songs in a

row or more with Jimmy playing erratically. I agree that drug highs( onstage, I would totally bet coke,possibly alcohol,

on top of heroin addiction) can create real instability in physical ability. However having had experience with these

things, if Page was snorting 2 lines of coke every few songs, this likely would create total exhaustion eventually, as 

your adrenals would just work barely. I'm not a doctor, and I think Jimmy did fall down once during the 77' tour, but

either Jimmy has/had superhero stamina in 77' despite the drugs, or maybe then he had to go to speed. All speculation,

but other bands like Aerosmith, Sabbath(Ozzy) etc. did in fact have total or near collapse onstage, coke exhaustion the

main culprit. Look, Jimmy doesn't talk, actually had nasty stomach/intestine trouble before Zep. If Jimmy could tell his

drug/alcohol misadventures particularly in 77', I think it would be an amazing story. Otherwise, my murky guesses.

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Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, IpMan said:

Actually, I was 9 so I did not choose shit. My cousin Tom who is 20 years older than me is a big Zeppelin fan...also a big opera fan as well, funky. Anyway, it was Easter Sunday and the extended family were over for early supper (2pm). Once the festivities wound down around 6pm my cousin takes my parents aside and talks to them for about 30 seconds. He then comes up to me and my 14 year old brother and asks us if we would like to go to a show with him at the Chicago Stadium. Of course we said yes but we also did not know what we were going to see (in those days asking such a question was considered impolite...you don't look a gift horse in the mouth). Once we got in the car he told us the show we were going to. Both me and my brother were massive Zeppelin fans and this was the first concert for both of us. Talk about a concert to lose your "concert virginity" to. Needless to say with the bar set so high from the outset I was never truly satisfied with any live act again. Of course from 1980 to the present I have seen hundreds of shows and dozens of bands. Only attended a handful of bad shows so I feel I am fortunate indeed. But that first show, a Zeppelin show to boot, was the best damn concert I have ever seen. Even the Blue Man Group or Cirque du Soleil cannot compare. Hey, think of the possibilities...Zeppelin performing painted all blue, a giant baby in the background, and some jackass on a bicycle on a high wire. Kinda like Celine Dion meets Zeppelin. Damn I am a genius.

That's amazing! You and I are about the same age, and I grew up in Chicago. I wish I had a hip cousin or family member that would have taken me to the Stadium that April of 77! At that time I was 10 , I was in the KISS Army, still had yet to discover Zeppelin. That happened in late '78 when my dad took me to see TSRTS. We went way off topic here but I enjoyed the tangent. As far as the speculations about Jimmy's drug and alcohol impacting his playing...to my ears there is no question it had a significant impact on his articulation. He always retained the fire and creativity, and there are definitely some brilliant solos on that tour , but I can't agree that his playing post 75 was ever as fluid and lucid as 73 and earlier.  

Edited by porgie66

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On ‎3‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 6:42 PM, JeffLZ said:

I can't believe they all were going on tour in 1980 with Jimmy in the shape he was in.  He was in bad shape in 77 also and the shows were...less than killer?  I thought that was the consensus.

I think that Jimmy was in worse shape in 1977 than he was in 1979 or even 1980. I have listened to every Europe 1980 show, and none of them drop to the low points of some of the 1977 gigs when Jimmy had be carried to the limo. I felt Robert's vocals were much better in 1980 than 1977 as well. Don't get me wrong: I think Jimmy was in bad shape, and he desperately needed to clean up his act, but I think it could've been a better overall tour than the 1977 tour was. But I am just guessing.

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Yeah, consistency wise Jimmy was IMHO noticeably better in 80' than in 77'. Problem was fewer train wrecks, more even

tecnique , but also not many really good/great solos and still a decline or absence of the long lyrical passages of the past.

Jimmy's style kept evolving(even in 80' there were new solo ideas, etc.), to give him some credit. At the same time though,

it is still a jolt to hear a 80' boot and Jimmy sounding uninspired  half the time. That reminds me of the 5-6 NY area Firm

shows I saw. At least at the shows I saw, my friend( a guitarist like me)and I were saddened that although Jimmy never

messed  up or was sloppy, his ability to solo/ jam was gone, total meandering. To be fair, I have 6-7 audio/video shows

where Jimmy is playing amazing kamikaze B-bender solos, not repeating any Zep licks, and having killer technique. But what

happend in NY ? At one show I was in the 2nd row almost center, Page almost never smiled, barely moved, looked very

wasted or drunk. A wild guess, but I think at times I think Jimmy was not satisfied with the Firm, and possibly had to drag

himself on stage somewhat conflicted, regardless of pro responseability. But Firm, not sloppy, but little fire.

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