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The Old Hermit

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About The Old Hermit

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    Zep Head

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    Over the hills and (very) far away...

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  1. The difference in quality regarding the various Zeppelin shows filmed and released (officially and otherwise) is largely due to what they were filmed on; Videotape - Earl's Court '75, Seattle (and Pontiac, if it exists) '77, Knebworth '79. 16mm film - Royal Albert Hall '70, backstage footage MSG '73. 35mm film - Onstage footage MSG '73 (plus the accompanying fantasy sequences in that film). It's also why TSRTS has been released in the hi-def format of Blu ray and DVD hasn't; videotape simply doesn't have the resolution to be upgraded to HD. Regarding the latter release, I wish Jimmy had released the full Knebworth show (no doubt almost entirely from the 4/8/79 show) on that disc, left the MSG '73 footage for the remastered TSRTS, and just not included the Earl's Court '75 footage in the first place, saving that legendary run for an audio live album at some point in the future (God willing!)... just my own humble opinion, of course.
  2. Interestingly, Jimmy once singled out 'No Quarter' at Earl's Court - not sure which night though - as a definite inclusion on his long-proposed chronological live album had it been realized... hopefully we'll hear it some day if an official EC live album ever happens.
  3. I believe it was Motival he was prescribed; a mood-altering anti-anxiety medication... according to Richard Cole (pinch of salt included, I know!), he pleaded for Bonzo to quit smack just prior to the Over Europe tour, and Bonzo supposedly replied that if it became a problem, he'd quit. It would appear he did indeed quit between then and the ill-fated rehearsal for the North American tour, hence the aforementioned prescription. When Cole (now incarcerated in Italy) was first informed by his lawyer that one of the band had died, his first reaction was "poor Pagey"... but was utterly stunned when told it was Bonzo.
  4. Rex King picked Bonzo up from Old Hyde - his country estate - around noon on September 24th, 1980, and the latter asked to go to the pub, wherein he downed four quadruple screwdrivers (Vodka and orange juice) and a ham roll for breakfast. According to Benji LeFevre, he was visibly the worse for wear when he arrived at the rehearsal, where he continued to drink throughout, and was reportedly rather leery and complaining repeatedly about the upcoming North American tour. According to John Paul Jones, not much rehearsal got done, especially - or because - of Bonzo's increasing inebriation as the day wore on, falling off his drum stool several times in the process... leading to Robert Plant calling a halt to proceedings and suggesting picking it up again the next day. They retired to Jimmy's Old Mill House where Bonzo continued drinking, and complaining about having to go to America, until he passed out around midnight and was half carried/half dragged to bed by Jimmy's assistant Rick Hobbs and (I believe) either King or LeFevre, propped up with pillows at his back and lain on his side. Apparently he was checked on at around 8:30am and seemed to be fine and still breathing, but when Jones and LeFevre tried to rouse him at 1:45pm, he was unresponsive and there was also a bad smell in the room that supposedly wasn't there when he was checked on earlier (not exactly something you'd miss). A sad and tawdry but sadly inevitable end for Bonzo... and sadly ironic too; he drank because he was homesick and missing his family, but by doing so to that extent, he ultimately lost them and everything else he held dear in the process. He was also on mood-altering prescription medication to help him with his recovering heroin addiction, and that plus alcohol plus the anxiety and depression about his decreasing stamina and abilities, plus leaving his family again and returning to America (especially after the Oakland incident in '77), all resulted in a fatal combination for John Henry Bonham, alas... Can you imagine what it was like for whoever disassembled Bonzo's drum kit at Bray studios after he died... how eerie and surreal a moment that must have been!!!
  5. Well my birthday is on July 7th, so if there's something witchy about that date, I'm royally screwed... it would certainly explain a few things in my life though.
  6. If anything, the most we can expect for HTWWW is a vinyl release at some point... which would suit me just fine.
  7. I think it was a mistake not to include Jonesy for the P & P project... the guy is a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and master arranger, and considering the world music areas they were exploring on that project - and to a lesser extent on Walking Into Clarksdale - Jonesy would have been ideal for such a situation. I do understand Page and (more likely) Plant's reason for not including him, but it came across as petty and disrespectful, especially the latter's 'parking the cars' comment at the time. And had they included Jonesy, and the inevitable Led Zeppelin reunion questions came about, they could have easily shot it down by simply pointing out that it's not LZ in all but name because Bonzo isn't there... end of story. Just as a last thought; I often wonder when I listen to it, what Jonesy's contribution could have done to a song like 'Most High'... that song could have been on Physical Graffiti had it been written at the time (it's that good), and with Jonesy orchestrating the string arrangements that went with it, it could have been awesome.
  8. Ever watch The Song Remains The Same ...?
  9. Add 'Wearing and Tearing' before 'Carouselambra' and you have a deal... I do think ITTOD is diminished somewhat by not having the former track included, that album needs at least one straight-ahead rocker, but I understand Jimmy's reasons for not including it.
  10. I don't think it was a case of being tired of what they were wearing between '73 and '77 or of trying to "deconstruct the mythology" that had grown around them, but I do think it was a case of both a new decade/new attitude - hence the 'cut the waffle' ethos on the Over Europe tour - but also I think the band took criticism of their Knebworth shows personally, and that directly influenced their appearance thereafter... wanting to get back to basics, stay relevant, and quit the whole 'godhead' stuff (as Mick Wall so memorably put it)... times they were a-changing and even the mighty Zeppelin were acknowledging that on the '80 tour. Personally, I don't think they would have lasted much longer past the planned North American tour(s) anyway, but we'll never know for sure, and the Over Europe tour was at least a valiant effort to keep things fresh and move forward into a new decade. I also think it's ironic that just as Zeppelin were moving away from the 'godhead' stuff, rock music was heading in the opposite direction for that ensuing decade...
  11. 'Baby Come On Home' was missing presumed lost until 1991, when it was discovered (allegedly) in a refuse bin outside Olympic Studios during renovations, so obviously that couldn't have been included on Coda in 1982, but both 'Hey, Hey, What Can I Do' and 'Sugar Mama' could and indeed should have been included... Jimmy even remixed the latter for inclusion, but dropped it at the last minute.
  12. The very reason many - myself included - believe why Plant consistently vetoed the proposed chronological live album Jimmy so desperately wanted to put together and release throughout the 1980's and 1990's. I admire Percy's integrity and like his ultra-dry sense of humor, but at the same time I can fully understand why his actions drive Jimmy into a foaming rage at times, there's always an ulterior motive with him.
  13. The then-Labour government should be blamed in this case, absolutely they should; forcing people who have become successful in life's endeavors to leave their home and family rather than hand over the near-totality of their earnings to the government isn't socialism, it's outright tyranny... Zeppelin were right to leave, but they shouldn't have been forced to in the first place, no-one should. Anyone who lived in the UK that time will remember just how BAD things were... but then, every time Labour is in 10 Downing Street, they always end up wrecking the country.
  14. There won't ever be an Earl's Court Blu ray... it was shot on videotape, which doesn't have the resolution for an HD upgrade, so don't hold your breath on that one. I think we'll either get an Earl's Court live album and/or a vinyl release of HTWWW... or both if we're REALLY lucky.