Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
mrmike9

Phil Collins says he's not the one to blame for Zeppelin's Live Aid Performance

Recommended Posts

A lot of artists - especially those from the 60s and 70s - sucked that day. It was more about the cause, than musical perfection. In general, the sound from the JFK stage was horrible as well. Better from Wembley. But Collins is right, he has unfairly been made a scapegoat by Page for that performance for years. Plant was hoarse and Page was wasted, out of tune, and had his flanger set to 10. Collins must concede that he didn't know what the **** he was doing either though. A car crash all round.

But, TBH, I actually like the performance and think Page plays some decent licks in WLL and the sense of occasion is huge. Much better than Atlantic 88.

Collins gets a mauling from the tabloids in the UK as the poster boy for bland middle-aged rock that was never off the radio. Very unfair. Great original drummer and some of his early solo stuff is good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Boleskinner said:

Collins gets a mauling from the tabloids in the UK as the poster boy for bland middle-aged rock that was never off the radio. Very unfair. Great original drummer and some of his early solo stuff is good.

Agreed, but his life in music wasn't exactly like Keith Moon's. He needs stories like this out there and in the book for some sizzle to an otherwise corporate, safe and vanilla journey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never knew about the bad vibes between Page and Collins at that show. I wonder why? I remember reading that Phil and maybe Jones were trying to teach Tony Thompson the intro to Rock and Roll because he couldn't feel where it started. LOL! Dumb idea to have two drummers anyway. I think Tony Thompson had just had a car accident too. He's a funky dude but that set was awful. Page was blotto and Plant sounded pretty rough. 

Edited by porgie66

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SteveAJones said:

Agreed, but his life in music wasn't exactly like Keith Moon's. He needs stories like this out there and in the book for some sizzle to an otherwise corporate, safe and vanilla journey.

Yes, playing with Zeppelin was the nearest Collins ever came to genuine rock and roll and he blew it. Bringing him in was Plant's idea - Collins played on Plant's first couple of solo albums - much to Jimmy's chagrin. Another example of Plant calling the shots in Zep reunions and ruining things. Another was his refusal backstage to play STH in 88 and spooking Jimmy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a big Collins fan and am looking forward to reading his autobiography.. But, he acted like an egomaniac at Live Aid. He had more than enough attention and glory by playing both venues.. the ambassador of Live Aid...

He played a duet with Sting at Wembley, then with the whole world watching, jetted off on the Concorde to Philadelphia, arrived in Philly like it was President Reagan with MTV breaking away from whoever was playing to capture the moment,  played with Eric Clapton, another solo set (same two solo songs he played at Wembley) and then sat in on by far the biggest reunion of the entire 1980's.. and he couldn't bother to learn three songs.. I heard he listened to them on a Walkman flying over from Wembley...  what an effort.. He should not have been up there and looked like a show hogging D.B. 

Tony Thompson did ok. I don't know why he is always getting dragged into this.. He did well enough that P.P. and J worked with him again in 86..But neither drummer knew the Live ending of WLL.. that was a mess.

and Phil Collins even introduced both RP solo and The big 3 at Atlantic 40th... I don't think anyone was too mad at him.. and it wasn't all his fault. But, he made "Led Zeppelin" at Live Aid much worse than it would have been without him..

One of the drummers almost came in a verse early on STH (you can hear someone clicking in). My guess is it was you know who. That could have been a huge disaster..

Jimmy and Robert were both not great, (JPJ was). but at least they knew the material..and it was their reunion.. not Phil Collins' 

Edited by the chase

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main problem with the gig was the intro to WLL, in which the drummer arrives early. The camera doesn't care which drummer got there first. Robert seems surprised to have to sing over that hence he's a little flat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Boleskinner said:

Yes, playing with Zeppelin was the nearest Collins ever came to genuine rock and roll and he blew it. Bringing him in was Plant's idea - Collins played on Plant's first couple of solo albums - much to Jimmy's chagrin. Another example of Plant calling the shots in Zep reunions and ruining things. Another was his refusal backstage to play STH in 88 and spooking Jimmy.

It wasn't supposed to be a Led Zeppelin reunion. However, once JPJ was all in (...if you need a bass player...") and it became clear that it would be one I think on a subconscious level Robert welcomed and supported Phil's presence with them as it was a direct connection to the solo career he was forging for himself at the time. This was not a man confidently calling the shots and ruining things, it was a man caught up in something he was ambivalent about in the first place. Recall the epiphany he said he had about all of this while performing onstage..."Should I be doing this?"    

I blame MTV to some extent for putting Led Zeppelin in this position. As far as MTV were concerned, Phil Collins the solo artist was of equal stature to a reunited Led Zeppelin. Watch the telecast coverage to see this in evidence. Hell, Collins is even the one to introduce them! It's very telling that in the aftermath Phil is more concerned about MTV (VJ Mark Goodman) than Page, Plant and Jones. 

Led Zeppelin, such as it was in 1985, would have benefited greatly from Peter Grant's guiding hand in the sequence of events leading up to this day. We know a connection to Grant was no longer there, and into that void competing agendas flourished.    

 

Phil & Kal's excellent adventure

live10-400.jpg
AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer
 

One of the day's biggest stories — MTV covered him as if he were a president or Pope — was Phil Collins' playing both London and Philly. He did a solo set at Wembley, then hopped a Concorde supersonic jet to New York's JFK Airport and, from there, a chopper to JFK Stadium, where he joined the Led Zeppelin reunion.

Also on the transatlantic flight was local philanthropist Kal Rudman, publisher of the influential, Cherry Hill-based radio-industry tip sheet, Friday Morning Quarterback, which told music-station programmers what records they should be playing.

Rudman had seen the London show, and when Collins learned he was on the flight, the musician insisted that Rudman sit next to him.

Rudman remembers that Collins experienced some jitters, but not because he was on his way to one of the day's most anticipated reunions, live in front of 100,000 people and a global TV audience estimated at one billion.

Said Rudman, "Phil later told me that when he saw me [on the plane], he died and went to heaven. Here he was, sitting next to the guy who determined whether his records were going to live or die. He was rather tongue-tied and nervous."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ the MTV VJ's were pretty awful all around at Live Aid ... especially Alan Hunter.. Mark Goodman made a special announcement that JOHN PAUL JONES would be appearing.. Hunter cuts him off and blurts "LED ZEPPELIN's DRUMMER" Goodman, horrified and half smirking ... slowly corrected him.  

Hunter later interviewed PPJ, Phil Collins and Paul Martinez...it was obvious that he thought Martinez is the 3rd surviving member of Zeppelin.. just a pinhead.. I've seen interviews and things with Hunter more recently and he seems ok, but he sucked that day.

But I'd take that crew and format over what passes as MTV today .. no question.. 

Edited by the chase

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, the chase said:

^ the MTV VJ's were pretty awful all around at Live Aid ... especially Alan Hunter.. Mark Goodman made a special announcement that JOHN PAUL JONES would be appearing.. Hunter cuts him off and blurts "LED ZEPPELIN's DRUMMER" Goodman, horrified and half smirking ... slowly corrected him.  

Hunter later interviewed PPJ, Phil Collins and Paul Martinez...it was obvious that he thought Martinez is the 3rd surviving member of Zeppelin.. just a pinhead.. I've seen interviews and things with Hunter more recently and he seems ok, but he sucked that day.

But I'd take that crew and format over what passes as MTV today .. no question.. 

I believe the VJ's were seriously coked up, especially Goodman & Hunter, they are both way, way over the top and acting like teenage boys at a panty raid.

I still do not believe the Zep set was bad at all though. Robert was hoarse during RnR but warmed up nicely and hit most of the notes afterward. Jimmy, though obviously wasted, played damn good, did not flub notes, and nailed all his solos. The ONLY problem with Jimmy's playing was his use of the flanger for some odd reason but there was not a god damn thing wrong with his playing. Collins should not have been up there and his excuse is both lame and shameful. You SAW two drum kits on stage, what the hell did you think the second one was for? Symphonic resonance? He did not know the songs as is evident by his watching Thompson the whole time and, wisely, faking drumming at times as well.

There there was the mistake, made by good old Robert, of him coming in early at the end of the STH solo and cutting Jimmy off. This was the only mistake made by an actual band member which on the one hand pissed me off and on the other hand made me laugh as it was a real Spinal Tap moment.

The fact is, it was a pretty good set and a goddamned excellent set considering the lack of rehearsals and other elements. It was sure a far sight better than the Atlantic 40th three years later. Oh fuck was THAT bad. I figured some twat came up to Jimmy back stage and sounded off about how bad the Live Aid gig was so he figured, "really, you thought that was bad, well, check this shit out mate....I will make Live Aid sound like RAH 70' compared to what I have in store for ya."

Edited by IpMan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, IpMan said:

It was sure a far sight better than the Atlantic 40th three years later. Oh fuck was THAT bad. I figured some twat came up to Jimmy back stage and sounded off about how bad the Live Aid gig was so he figured, "really, you thought that was bad, well, check this shit out mate....I will make Live Aid sound like RAH 70' compared to what I have in store for ya."

Mystery solved?️‍♀️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil's assessment of Live Aid if we take off our Zep glasses is probably not far off. He admits he didn't have a clue of what he was doing. And when he says Plant away from Zep is one person and another with Zep may be accurate too. Maybe Robert knows this also and one of the reasons why he simply wants nothing to do with it any longer. 

I saw Phil with Clapton in I believe 87 ( at the old Richfield stomping grounds outside of Cleveland) and it was the first time I ever heard him play (not on pop records) and he was actually a pretty good drummer.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ He's an excellent drummer. One of my all time favorites.. But that doesn't mean he can waltz up on stage and play John Bonham's licks unprepared.. I think he learned a harsh lesson in front of a billion people.. 

Edited by the chase

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, mrmike9 said:

In an interview on CBS Sunday Morning he stated that although he almost drank himself to death (his organs were failing) he feels that he could have another drink today without a problem. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, sixpense said:

In an interview on CBS Sunday Morning he stated that although he almost drank himself to death (his organs were failing) he feels that he could have another drink today without a problem. 

His private life's been messy: his divorce made the front page of the UK tabloids (I think he divorced one wife via a fax). Plus he struggled to cope with being tagged as the boring AOR guy who was never cool. He was the butt of jokes for many years in the UK, even by fellow musicians. I remember Bowie on Jonathan Ross saying that in the early 80s he was playing to safe Phil Collins-type crowds and it made him feel uneasy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Although Collins only agreed to play as a favour to Plant, Zeppelin in the meantime recruited American drummer Tony Thompson, who was unhappy about sharing the spot and simply ignored Collins". Am I the only person here who thinks that Plant might have insisted that Collins play in order to make clear to Jimmy (and band) that he calls the shots now, despite others opinions. Also, Plant's bringing Collins into the devils lair was like bringing a lamb to the slaughter house. On the bright side (for Phil) he has his LZ/Live Aid experience to use as a way to promote his book. '3o mins Next to Jimmy Page' should be the title, give credit where credit is due. 

Edited by blindwillie127

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil Collins was a terrific drummer and some of his work with Genesis is excellent.  I even liked a couple (but just a couple) of his solo tracks...In The Air Tonight, Mama...

But he sucked royally at Live Aid, his ego was really over the top (and apparently still is).  Of course it wasn't his fault that at one point, the hacks at MTV had him billed BEFORE the Zeps (and their guitarist "Jimmy Paige")...but he apparently thought he could wing it onstage, which was a ridiculous mistake on his part.  And that most certainly was his fault.

And now we see that apart from Jimmy Page, he doesn't think too much of Paul McCartney either.  Just another legendary British contemporary that he can't measure up to.

http://www.nme.com/news/music/phil-collins-explains-really-doesnt-like-paul-mccartney-1684488

Collins strikes me as quite bitter that his 15-minutes of MTV over-hyped Master of the Universe status ended a short 30 years ago.

Just my opinion, but perhaps he should tighten up what he says to the press.  Just concentrate on talking about whatever he's trying to do musically, and stop whining about other musicians whose accomplishments vastly outstrip his own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On October 23, 2016 at 1:15 AM, mrmike9 said:

Here's the thread you started 6 years ago, about this topic, in case you wanted more information:

The thread is in the Master Forum section, btw.

Edited by Walter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People like to blame Phil for the shitty Live Aid performance. That is rather rubbish. The only one who is to blame is Jimmy! He was drunk as hell, could barely play his guitar! Page was never honest about his alcohol and drug addiction. He was never the same again after that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Jimmy Page sounded pretty good to me at Live Aid... Phil Collins didn't know the material, so he shouldn't have been up there.. period.

His drum kit was set up because he also played with Eric Clapton ... Phil knew EC's material, so he sounded very good... the slow  section of Layla was quick but still sounded very nice.. 

 I can't imagine Jimmy Page jumping up and dropping clams all over a major Genesis reunion.. It wouldn't happen in a million years. That's my only real issue with him. He should have bowed out, especially seeing there was another more prepared drummer there... or even just play Rock and Roll and ... scram.. 

Edited by the chase

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Live Aid was a clusterfuck. You can't have Led Zeppelin without Bonham. And by that, I mean John Henry Bonham. They should never have agreed to do it. End of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, the-ocean87 said:

People like to blame Phil for the shitty Live Aid performance. That is rather rubbish. The only one who is to blame is Jimmy! He was drunk as hell, could barely play his guitar! Page was never honest about his alcohol and drug addiction. He was never the same again after that.

They are not mutually exclusive. Phil Collins' timing was way off . He should have rehearsed with the band. And Jimmy Page playing his Les Paul through those awful effects didn't help either. 

Edited by sixpense

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, morningson said:

Live Aid was a clusterfuck. You can't have Led Zeppelin without Bonham. And by that, I mean John Henry Bonham. They should never have agreed to do it. End of.

I hear ya, but world hunger is as good a reason as you're ever going to get.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it was a train wreck. Didn't bother me in the slightest - slick, polished and going-through-the-motions wasn't something I ever looked for from Zeppelin! Robert's said in the past that that they were 'pretty ramshackle' much of the time and Jimmy's often said that he likes to 'wing it'. That approach made for a lot of edge-of-your-seat exhilaration on a good night. Live Aid just happened to be a bad night. Yes, they hurled themselves over the cliff with the world watching - but wasn't that headlong approach closer to the spirit of Zeppelin than some note-perfect recitation would've been?      

Edited by Brigante

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×