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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. Hey Steve... are you saying that, in your considered opinion, that the would-be live album that Jimmy intimated was imminent back in 2017 was Japan '71...? I know you're pretty plugged-in to the grapevine, so I'm just interested where or how you came to this deduction? A Japan '71 live set would be just awesome, and the digital production technology we have now could enhance the multi-track tapes nicely to Jimmy's satisfaction... why did that live release not happen, Steve, did you hear any rumors on the grapevine about a reason? I'm still holding out for an Earl's Court live release; that would be the big one for me... and it would have real commercial cache too, those shows are legendary for a reason!!! If Jimmy really is retired now, having sorted out his recorded legacy over the last decade, then it's time we Zepheads faced the fact it could really, truly be over... the band are finished, not just as an active musical entity (that happened on September 25th, 1980) but as an album-releasing one too. Jimmy could still surprise us yet, but I just feel it's completely over now... hope I'm wrong though...
  2. I'd love to see the miniature stage set-up for the planned October/November 1980 U.S. tour that Dave Lewis was shown by Jimmy Page himself whilst visiting the Swan Song office just a week before Bonzo's fatal bender... was there any photos taken of it, or has anyone ever asked Dave Lewis to draw it from memory? Apparently they were working with Iggy Knight again (who designed the lighting for the 1973 tour)... would just love to see how the stage set-up would have looked had that tour actually taken place, alas...
  3. Probably a break BEFORE Bonzo's death would have been more fitting - the guy really did not want to go back out on tour, that much is obvious - but hey, that's a hindsight issue and they were different (better?) times...it's also clear that both Jimmy and Peter Grant desperately wanted Zeppelin back on the road in the lucrative/high profile U.S. and worked on Percy to achieve that objective... it's just a pity that Bonzo was the weak link they never counted on breaking, alas...
  4. Oh boy... 'Whole Lotta Love' Berlin 1980 is in a class by itself; that freak-out jam session is a thing of beauty, Jonesy playing bass like Jimmy plays guitar, it's magisterial... almost as if they (subconsciously) knew it was the last hurrah for them and they gave it their all one last time... it's magnificent even if the rest of that show was spotty, alas...
  5. Not sure if it's a 'controversial' opinion as such, but I've never heard a live rendition of either 'Whole Lotta Love' or 'Achilles Last Stand' that worked for me, much less equaled the superior studio versions... the strength in those two tracks were how they were produced/mixed, and you just couldn't replicate that onstage. Again, my own humble opinion, of course.
  6. Robert Plant reportedly told a mutual of friend of himself and Barney Hoskyns that the latter's Trampled Under Foot oral bio was the most accurate account of all of them. Make of that what you will...
  7. Really though, what's still left in the vaults live-wise other than Earl's Court '75 and Japan '71 - the latter of which Jimmy has definitively ruled out as a release in the foreseeable future - to warrant a major new release, for the 50th anniversary or otherwise? It will be interesting to finally discover where the forthcoming live album will be from, 'cause I'm at a loss as to what it might be, unless it's from a heretofore unknown multi-track that Jimmy only recently obtained or one he hadn't disclosed the existence of all these years... I'm sure dollars to donuts it isn't Southampton '73 and I never believed the recent rumors of '68 material, so I'm stumped. Guess we'll (hopefully) find out come the new year...
  8. Okayyyy... having just finished HotG recently - read it years ago and literally didn't remember a thing about it, so recently gave it a re-read - I have to say it was rather more tame than it's reputation and infamy suggests; yeah, it's loaded with salacious tales of sex, drugs, and violence, but the book itself didn't seem, to me at least, to be solely focused on that aspect of the band's tenure - certainly both Mick Wall's and Barney Hoskyns' respective Zep bios don't skimp on the mayhem either - it's mostly an historical account of the Zeppelin saga and does sometimes go out of its way to give context and another side to a particular story... I enjoyed it even whilst easily spotting numerous inaccuracies. As to it's supposed 'loose' historical veracity, I would say much of what is written probably did happen but maybe Davis' accounts are a little wonky in timelines and actual specific details of how it all played out at the time... human memory is the least trustworthy of all, more so when booze, birds, and blow enter the equation. If I have an overriding complaint about the book, it does indeed sound like Davis had an agenda against John Paul Jones, who is continually portrayed throughout as difficult, taciturn, and aloof when the actuality of it was he just an all-round professional and a pretty easy-going guy who wasn't phased by all the madness going on around him and who kept his dignity and wits throughout whilst others were losing theirs in a blizzard of increasing and escalating insanity. Would I recommend the book to anyone? Yeah I would, it's a fun read and a good introduction for any Zep newbie (just read it with a pinch of salt at the ready)... but at the same time, I would strongly recommend both Mick Wall's When Giants Walked The Earth and (especially) Barney Hoskyns' Trampled Under Foot... between those three books, you get a pretty complete panoramic picture of what went down (in all senses) for those twelve incredible years.
  9. If I remember that story correctly, the guy's boss told him to get the feck outta there... quickly... 😀
  10. If you're talking about heroin, according to Benji LeFevre - as recounted in Barney Hoskyns' definitive Zep bio Trampled Under Foot - Jimmy didn't finally get the monkey off his back until mid-way through the second Firm U.S. tour in 1986...
  11. Didn't Bonzo allegedly once say to a journalist that "if Jimmy would just stop all that fookin' magick shit, none of this would be happening"...? I remember reading that somewhere, whether or not it's an apocryphal story. He did once ask Jimmy (either on the '75 or '77 tours) "what do you do, hang upside down in the wardrobe all day?" with regards Page's perenially nocturnal activities 😁... and that particular story was true.
  12. I find it ironic that whilst Peter Grant stated years later, and with the benefit of clear-headed hindsight, that Bindon being employed by the band for the infamous '77 tour was the biggest mistake he made as Zeppelin's manager, it was Grant himself who brought him onboard; Bindon was an associate of Richard Cole, often went drinking with him at The World's End pub across the road from Swan Song, and that's how he entered Zeppelin's orbit. Grant found Bindon amusing to be around, more so after his divorce proceedings started when he needed cheering up, and thus when the '77 tour was beginning, the manager turned up in America with Bindon in tow as security detail... much to the surprise and bemusement of many in the band and organization. If there is ever to be a film made about Led Zeppelin, they should focus on the '77 tour, 'cause that traveling insane asylum was a story unto itself...
  13. Bonham was involved in the beating of Jim Matzorkis at that infamous Oakland show in July 1977; it was he who saw the latter push Warren Grant and quickly came over to voice his disapproval by promptly kicking Matzorkis in the groin! But Bonzo wasn't actively involved in the pummeling that Grant and Bindon gave the unfortunate Matzorkis a little later... not that it mattered to the fully-armed SWAT team who arrested all three the morning after the last Oakland show. And I believe Jimmy Page did visit Crowley's abbey in Sicily; during his and Plant's (and families) holiday in Rhodes during August 1975, Page left Charlotte Martin and Scarlet with the Plants to visit Sicily by himself for a couple days to view Crowley's former property there, and that's when the car accident back in Rhodes happened... I'm sure I read that somewhere in the mists of time.
  14. I'm still hoping for a vinyl re-release of the original 1976 album some day... maybe even a limited Record Store Day release or something... c'mon Jimmy, the vinyl masters are already done; by Bernie Grundman back in the early 2000's for the Classic Records reissue... and it sounded amazing!!!
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