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SteveAJones

Cinematic Blunders: The Song Remains The Same

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1 hour ago, Strider said:

 

A properly filmed and multi-tracked Seattle '75 would blow away MSG '73.

 

Maybe as a whole with that monstrous set list, but I don't think Page was on as well as MSG 73. His soloing on No Quarter, Dazed, and TUF leave a lot to be desired. And whoever tuned his guitar for that Seattle show needed a beatdown. Robert's voice was also noticeably weaker.

But yeah, I'd take a pro shot Seattle 75 without fantasy sequences over TSRTS if it was whittled down to about 12 of the best performances. Too much noodling in 75.

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1 hour ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Maybe as a whole with that monstrous set list, but I don't think Page was on as well as MSG 73. His soloing on No Quarter, Dazed, and TUF leave a lot to be desired. And whoever tuned his guitar for that Seattle show needed a beatdown. Robert's voice was also noticeably weaker.

But yeah, I'd take a pro shot Seattle 75 without fantasy sequences over TSRTS if it was whittled down to about 12 of the best performances. Too much noodling in 75.

Man I disagree with this...have you heard the Seattle 75' show in the recent release? Jimmy's playing is easily just as good as MSG 73' however I do agree Robert's voice is not as strong as 73'. 

I just don't get the noodling from Jimmy at this show as you say. I listen to Seattle 75' more than any other boot except for LTTE which is my favorite Zep performance that I have. LTTE is a show which puts TSRTS to shame in every way imaginable. Better playing and Robert's voice is almost 72' level strong.

Also, Strider is correct, the fantasy sequences were never originally planned. They were inserted to cover the gaps in filming. The original intent of TSRTS was for a straightforward concert movie. What I find particularly ironic & hilarious is that Grant was too cheap to hire a real director yet somehow The Band had the dough to hire Martin Scorsese??? WTF??? The Last Waltz is what TSRTS SHOULD have been.

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Even if the fantasy sequences had been planned beforehand, if they had had full coverage of the concert in hand, then when they sat down to watch a rough cut, someone with some sense could have said "Yo, these fantasy bits are dodgy and are distracting from the performance on stage...and they are going to be as dated as Earth shoes when this is released. Let's scrap it and just use the concert footage."

But because they didn't they were forced to use it...especially when Robert's accident in Greece cancelled the Summer '75 tour, nullifying any further filming.

The other irony about "The Song Remains the Same" is how dodgy it makes John Paul Jones look. His hair and clothes keep changing by the minute. Now, in the times I saw Led Zeppelin, Jones usually was a cool cat. In 1972, he was downright beautiful with long, flowing hair...maybe the longest in the band. No silly clothes. At the Forum in 1973, he had a mustache and a Prince Valient cut which didn't flatter him. 1975 was my favourite look for Jonesy...short hair and black dress shirt and trousers and vest. He looked cool and sharp. In 1977, he grew his hair back out and tended to favour all-white outfits. Nothing great but nothing egregious, even though he tended to look like Greg Lake on this tour.

So, how unfortunate it is that on the two occasions they recorded their concerts for posterity, MSG '73 and Earls Court '75, Jones decides to wear that onion jacket monstrosity. What was he thinking? Someone should have burned it...especially after 1973. The fact he brought it back for Earls Court and no one said "No Jonesey!" is a shame. Compare Jones on the 1975 U.S. tour to '75 Earls Court...it's no contest. He's dressed to kill on the U.S. tour and he should have kept that look for Earls Court.

The less said about the dopey wig the better. That's the point where the band should have realized that the film was gonna be a bust. Did they really think nobody would recognize Jones was wearing a wig and that it made him look foolish?

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45 minutes ago, IpMan said:

"Man I disagree with this...have you heard the Seattle 75' show in the recent release? Jimmy's playing is easily just as good as MSG 73' "

Yes, and I disagree. Although 3/21 is a masterpiece for 75, I don't think Jimmy is as fluid. But that's a matter of opinion. Except for No Quarter, which is quite messy.

"I just don't get the noodling from Jimmy at this show as you say."

Dazed and Confused. Is. Way. Too long. And very uninspired, with jimmy trying everything to fill the gaps. Same with some others. I don't get why they had to extend EVERYTHING. Especially when it was just Page cramming lead notes everywhere possible.

"Also, Strider is correct, the fantasy sequences were never originally planned. They were inserted to cover the gaps in filming."

Do you have a source for this?

Forgive the quotations, I'm on mobile.

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30 minutes ago, Strider said:

Now, in the times I saw Led Zeppelin, Jones usually was a cool cat. In 1972, he was downright beautiful with long, flowing hair...maybe the longest in the band. No silly clothes. 

I liked Jones' look on the Danish TV special. He was the coolest, most confident looking member in the band. WTF happened.

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Jones did have some hair and wardrobe issues, but I myself watching a fully filmed Zep show, If the music was

top notch, I think this would fade fast. Remember how in 70' RAH Zep was really ho-hum about the dress aspect,

but the performance blew away any care about fashion. It is indeed a minor tragedy that more Zep wasn't filmed

and especially full length shows in 35mm. However, there is something not mentioned....Even at their best, most

great shows, there were always some dead spots or uninspired passages. Especially from 75' on. The real nonstop

onslaughts for me would be like Dallas 69', Fillmore West 4/27, etc. But then some would argue as amazing as those

shows were, especially filmed, Zep was still developing as a band, subtlety would take some time. Now Seattle 77'

is not the best example as Jimmy is sick, and at best the show is just a bit above average for 77'. Even so, there are

noticeable dips but also some spikes, even within the same song. This would happen, although to a lesser extent,

even in the better/excellent shows. Actually the EC shows are a great example, the isustained roar of the past is

slowly  breaking up. Just saying that of course 3 73' Garden shows would probably work great, but again Zep never

really stayed at the same energy or intensity.

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2 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Forgive the quotations, I'm on mobile.

The source for the movie info is in several books, a quote from both Grant and Cole as well.

BTW, I respect your opinion even if I do not concur. All good.

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3 hours ago, Strider said:

Even if the fantasy sequences had been planned beforehand, if they had had full coverage of the concert in hand, then when they sat down to watch a rough cut, someone with some sense could have said "Yo, these fantasy bits are dodgy and are distracting from the performance on stage...and they are going to be as dated as Earth shoes when this is released. Let's scrap it and just use the concert footage."

But because they didn't they were forced to use it...especially when Robert's accident in Greece cancelled the Summer '75 tour, nullifying any further filming.

The other irony about "The Song Remains the Same" is how dodgy it makes John Paul Jones look. His hair and clothes keep changing by the minute. Now, in the times I saw Led Zeppelin, Jones usually was a cool cat. In 1972, he was downright beautiful with long, flowing hair...maybe the longest in the band. No silly clothes. At the Forum in 1973, he had a mustache and a Prince Valient cut which didn't flatter him. 1975 was my favourite look for Jonesy...short hair and black dress shirt and trousers and vest. He looked cool and sharp. In 1977, he grew his hair back out and tended to favour all-white outfits. Nothing great but nothing egregious, even though he tended to look like Greg Lake on this tour.

So, how unfortunate it is that on the two occasions they recorded their concerts for posterity, MSG '73 and Earls Court '75, Jones decides to wear that onion jacket monstrosity. What was he thinking? Someone should have burned it...especially after 1973. The fact he brought it back for Earls Court and no one said "No Jonesey!" is a shame. Compare Jones on the 1975 U.S. tour to '75 Earls Court...it's no contest. He's dressed to kill on the U.S. tour and he should have kept that look for Earls Court.

The less said about the dopey wig the better. That's the point where the band should have realized that the film was gonna be a bust. Did they really think nobody would recognize Jones was wearing a wig and that it made him look foolish?

Haha, wow...agreed on all counts. BTW , wouldn't Bonzo have been wearing a wig too for the filming at Shepperton studios in August of 74? His hair in those scenes looks pretty unnatural . 

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Well, no matter how slipshod the movie is at times, it still touches on the wonder and power of Zep at points. And in the

70's, unless you were there, Rock'n'Roll was almost a religion. Sometime in the mid-to late 80's the whole idea of concert

films interspersed with whatever else coming out in regular theaters just died. By 1990, even the midnight movie

phenomena had pretty much disappeared. TSRTS loses much on the small screen, although the band fantasies aren't

really made better by the big screen. I also wonder how much drugs may have deluded the band into a state of 

invincibility, as Page and Grant had started upon the opium highway somewhere around 75'.

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The mix was really bad at first, which made it sound weird and the fantasy sequences were alright for me at first, then I started to perceive them as amateurish and B type movie thing, now I really like them, they are more about the message then the quality of execution. And Bonzo and Jonesy really get on a few times, Page is great and who says the singer has to sing that high right ta the beginning. It's good.

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8 hours ago, Strider said:

The first and biggest mistake was hiring the clowns they did to film the shows. Instead of D.A. Pennebaker, the Maylses Brothers, or someone competent, Peter Grant went cheap. Well, you get what you pay for.

Surely this must go down as Peter Grant's greatest single fuck up in regards to managing the band (with the greatest respect to him). All in all, there is not enough live footage, and the drug indulgence wasn't his best move, but this, sheeeesh!!!

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Part of the problem with Grant and even Jimmy may have been that they could have wanted too much control over

the filming even though that is not their skill. Most really good directors/film makers may have their own ideas or

suggestions. Not sure Grant or Jimmy would go for that.

 

 

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4 hours ago, SamoKodela said:

The mix was really bad at first, which made it sound weird and the fantasy sequences were alright for me at first, then I started to perceive them as amateurish and B type movie thing, now I really like them, they are more about the message then the quality of execution. And Bonzo and Jonesy really get on a few times, Page is great and who says the singer has to sing that high right ta the beginning. It's good.

Yes! It was capturing a moment in time. Although a bit cheesy perhaps, I like them as they represent bits about each of the four of them aside from being musicians. 

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12 hours ago, Strider said:

So, how unfortunate it is that on the two occasions they recorded their concerts for posterity, MSG '73 and Earls Court '75, Jones decides to wear that onion jacket monstrosity. What was he thinking? Someone should have burned it...especially after 1973. The fact he brought it back for Earls Court and no one said "No Jonesey!" is a shame.

I saw it on display at the RRHoF while on the Page/Plant tour in 1998, so it seems JPJ had kept it all those years.

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8 hours ago, rm2551 said:

Surely this must go down as Peter Grant's greatest single fuck up in regards to managing the band (with the greatest respect to him). All in all, there is not enough live footage, and the drug indulgence wasn't his best move, but this, sheeeesh!!!

Yes, even the great Beatles had Brian Epstein who made poor decisions concerning their world tours. IF we had had the Internet back in the day maybe fan wishes could have been noted and realized despite what a well-meaning Mr. Grant would have otherwise intended.

As to 1973 vs 1975... I saw both tours, and I favor the '75 tour much more than I favor the '73 tour. That's just me and my personal experiences. Visually, the '75 Tour beats the '73 Tour. My dream concert film would be from 1975, easily.

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4 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

I saw it on display at the RRHoF while on the Page/Plant tour in 1998, so it seems JPJ had kept it all those years.

I've seen the jacket in person, too. Just as bad in the flesh as in photos/film.

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Man, I've been reading "The Garden Tapes" by Eddie Edwards and it's kinda blowing my mind how much editing went on for both the film and soundtrack. It honestly makes me lose some respect for them. Hell, even the Plantations were spliced from different nights. The whole thing is more or less a sham. It's really hard now to say "The version from TSRTS is the best" because....that's not an actual performance.

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1 hour ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Man, I've been reading "The Garden Tapes" by Eddie Edwards and it's kinda blowing my mind how much editing went on for both the film and soundtrack. It honestly makes me lose some respect for them. Hell, even the Plantations were spliced from different nights. The whole thing is more or less a sham. It's really hard now to say "The version from TSRTS is the best" because....that's not an actual performance.

The level of detail Eddie Edwards achieved in his analysis is mind boggling. I can't imagine dissecting every bar of every officially released track and comparing them the audience and board tapes of the three nights. It is quite a chop job but all in all I'm still very happy to listen to it, given the paucity of multi-tracked recordings.  The Rain Song and most of No Quarter are pretty much unaltered, and those are two of my favorite versions ever. 

Edited by porgie66

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8 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Man, I've been reading "The Garden Tapes" by Eddie Edwards and it's kinda blowing my mind how much editing went on for both the film and soundtrack. It honestly makes me lose some respect for them. Hell, even the Plantations were spliced from different nights. The whole thing is more or less a sham. It's really hard now to say "The version from TSRTS is the best" because....that's not an actual performance.

Most of the instrumental sections are from one night only, it was mostly for the vocals. Now once you got to 1977.....

There is something rather stupid in not taking a long break imidiately after you start to have voice problems,

but it's still not quite as stupid as many times not listening to other instruments when you are recording some instrument. Now who could that be?  Not Led Zeppelin for sure!

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On 12/27/2017 at 1:15 AM, Strider said:

The first and biggest mistake was hiring the clowns they did to film the shows. Instead of D.A. Pennebaker, the Maylses Brothers, or someone competent, Peter Grant went cheap. Well, you get what you pay for.

All of you complaining about the fantasy sequences...there would have been no need for those sequences if the film crew had properly filmed the three MSG concerts. Three gigs should have been more than enough to get full coverage as well as enough closeups to put together a reasonably good concert film.

The decision to film the final three shows of the tour at MSG on 27-29 July '73 was very much a last-minute decision on Jimmy's part; Joe Massot had approached the band previously about filming a concert performance but was declined... until Jimmy and 'G' decided in early July that year it would be a good idea after all, and hired Massot literally at a moment's notice, who then had little to no time to hurriedly assemble a crew and get their tails to Uncle Sam to start filming.  Most of the backstage 16mm-shot footage was not captured in MSG but on previous dates on that final leg leading up to the final three dates that were shot on 35mm and used for the movie.  It was all a little haphazard if truth be told, in concept and execution, but God help me, for all it's flaws, I still love it!!!

With hindsight, they should have waited, but it probably seemed a good idea at the time - cocaine's a helluva drug, don't ya know! - and besides, those were both heady days and witchy times anyway...

Edited by The Old Hermit

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10 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Man, I've been reading "The Garden Tapes" by Eddie Edwards and it's kinda blowing my mind how much editing went on for both the film and soundtrack. It honestly makes me lose some respect for them. Hell, even the Plantations were spliced from different nights. The whole thing is more or less a sham. It's really hard now to say "The version from TSRTS is the best" because....that's not an actual performance.

I have some sad news for you then buddy...they ALL do it. Pretty much every official live release you have ever heard is seriously altered from its original presentation. As a musician, you are typically pretty egocentric by nature and refuse to let other people know you are human and make mistakes now and again. To call out Zeppelin for doing what everyone else did is kinda wrong IMO. I mean, do you really think Journey sounded that good live in Detroit 80' on Captured? Um, no. Or how about Nine Tonight from Segar, that baby made TSRTS seem like a court document by comparison. Don't even get me started on how edited The Last Waltz was or Exit...Stage Left.

Nature of the beast

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1 hour ago, The Old Hermit said:

The decision to film the final three shows of the tour at MSG on 27-29 July '73 was very much a last-minute decision on Jimmy's part; Joe Massot had approached the band previously about filming a concert performance but was declined... until Jimmy and 'G' decided in early July that year it would be a good idea after all, and hired Massot literally at a moment's notice, who then had little to no time to hurriedly assemble a crew and get their tails to Uncle Sam to start filming.  Most of the backstage 16mm-shot footage was not captured in MSG but on previous dates on that final leg leading up to the final three dates that were shot on 35mm and used for the movie.  It was all a little haphazard if truth be told, in concept and execution, but God help me, for all it's flaws, I still love it!!!

With hindsight, they should have waited, but it probably seemed a good idea at the time - cocaine's a helluva drug, don't ya know! - and besides, those were both heady days and witchy times anyway...

IMO, Joe Massot and his crew are responsible for what I consider to easily be the best concert footage of Zeppelin ever captured. There are so many obvious examples of this thru out TSRTS film (excluding Shepperton inserts) that speak for themselves. Just watch the first minute of the song TSRTS, or Jimmy ripping through the WLL Boogie section, or JPJ saying "oops" to Bonham's "mistake" during D&C and then helping him through it...or this:

 

Edited by blindwillie127

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4 hours ago, The Old Hermit said:

The decision to film the final three shows of the tour at MSG on 27-29 July '73 was very much a last-minute decision on Jimmy's part; Joe Massot had approached the band previously about filming a concert performance but was declined... until Jimmy and 'G' decided in early July that year it would be a good idea after all, and hired Massot literally at a moment's notice, who then had little to no time to hurriedly assemble a crew and get their tails to Uncle Sam to start filming.  Most of the backstage 16mm-shot footage was not captured in MSG but on previous dates on that final leg leading up to the final three dates that were shot on 35mm and used for the movie.  It was all a little haphazard if truth be told, in concept and execution, but God help me, for all it's flaws, I still love it!!!

With hindsight, they should have waited, but it probably seemed a good idea at the time - cocaine's a helluva drug, don't ya know! - and besides, those were both heady days and witchy times anyway...

 

2 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

IMO, Joe Massot and his crew are responsible for what I consider to easily be the best concert footage of Zeppelin ever captured.

I couldn't have said either of these things any better.  It's always great to me when someone digs up a topic from the past (thread is 8 years old).  I don't mind the edits to the music.  Most bands did it back in the day.  The fact is they weren't playing 3 minute Stones songs because there was improv going on every night.  It's the video that kills me.  I don't mind the fantasies. . it's the sequencing that is all over the place. These are my musical heroes so a little insight on what the UK means to the guys and their music is pretty cool to me (I'm from PHX. . its a desert if you get my meaning).  I'm glad that G decided to do the gangster scenes instead of showing off his cars like he intended.  It's sucks that the visual representation of the band live wasn't properly documented.  While hastily put together it doesn't seem that from a directors perspective it was taken seriously.  I mean how many cameras were filming?  There are not a lot of long shots to be seen of the whole band in action and lucky for us they went to Shepperton otherwise I think it would be 2 hours of Percy's crotch. However what we do have when it's synced is pure magic and we are lucky to have it.  Remember this was a band that gave us albums and live performances and that was about it.  

 

On 12/27/2017 at 1:01 AM, rm2551 said:

Surely this must go down as Peter Grant's greatest single fuck up in regards to managing the band

If you read his autobiography he stated hiring John Bindon was the biggest mistake in his career.  Although the movie was a bitch for them it was still very profitable.  

 

4 hours ago, SamoKodela said:

There is something rather stupid in not taking a long break imidiately after you start to have voice problems

Easier said than done.  Certainly when Percy got sick in the first weeks of the 75 tour shuffling around a date or two is one thing but to take a LONG break as you stated in the middle of the 1975 tour of the United States would never happen. 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS ZEP HEADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by Bozoso73

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50 minutes ago, Bozoso73 said:

 

 

 

Easier said than done.  Certainly when Percy got sick in the first weeks of the 75 tour shuffling around a date or two is one thing but to take a LONG break as you stated in the middle of the 1975 tour of the United States would never happen. 

 

 

 

I'm talking about October 1972, but there has already been a long discussion about it in other topic.

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27 minutes ago, Bozoso73 said:

If you read his autobiography he stated hiring John Bindon was the biggest mistake in his career.  Although the movie was a bitch for them it was still very profitable.  

According to Grant, TSRTS movie was his 'personal' financial masterstroke. Atlantic thought they owned it, until Grant brought the "fine print" to their attention.

 

 

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