Thank you, Bonzo_fan for your astute observations. Your mention of the unbelievable and unsurpassed chemistry between Bonzo and Jimmy is something I have been very much aware of too. Indeed, Jimmy has commented on this, marveling at Bonzo's understanding of his playing. Your remarks about the quality of post 73 recordings, yes I agree some sound great, I was just saying you can't guarantee that was the actual sound. I further fully agree about the cohesive chemistry Zeppelin possessed and this is what captured audiences and singled them out relative to other bands. The real point here is that to generate that cohesion requires exceptional musical ability. Just a comment about Dazed and Confused live. It requires incredible musical and physical stamina to play at the high level required for 30 minutes on this song, where the focus is primarily on the guitarist. Also, just occurred to me, I remember listening to around 72 D&C and John McLaughlin live on, I think a track from Birds of Fire. I was very struck with the similarity of the solos. Now one would normally think of these two players as poles apart, but, again, I go back to Jimmy's training and absorption of all the sounds around him. I would add that McLaughlin is renowned as a very fast player, but, when the music required it, Jimmy could play very fast as well. Just to end by saying I was fascinated at the similarity of some of the musical passages.
I want to make some comments about Jimmy Page. I am a lifelong fan of Led Zeppelin and a lifelong guitarist. First, he was a top session guitarist. Not just a session guitarist but a top one. I have read comments by people in the record industry that he was "the best, period." My point here is that this ultra rigorous training would always stay ingrained in him. My opinion, and it is just that, is that the best live period was 69 to 73. After that, life events factors came into play. There are many bootleg recordings but my issue with these is the recording quality especially with LZ. Perhaps the 77 MM Forum recordings are an accurate representation but I'm not sure. What we do have is the official live records. Now, I know there has been a lot of comment how TSRTS has been edited etc but for reference I have listened to the Garden Tapes and it appears that the guitar solo on NQ is as played on the night. I'm specifically singling this solo out because I believe it to be one of the best solos I've heard, anywhere. I think it shows JP at his best, with superb phrasing and beautiful legato runs. JP has said a solo should take you on a journey and this solo talks to me on that journey. I want to contrast this with Jeff Beck's playing which, though amazing, consists of very short sharp runs. I think JB would struggle to play such a fluid solo as Jimmy does here on NQ. Regarding sloppiness. Applies to all of us at times. I do think though that many believe it to be sloppy as they do not understand what Jimmy is playing. I have read JP saying "it's time somebody else took a chance." This seems a comment related to the whole ethos of LZ in going out and playing "tight but loose" and seeing where it took them and their audience. With such freedom in the playing some musically uneducated people are going to interpret this as sloppiness, which is not quite accurate. Final comments. JPJ, by anybody's estimation, a world class musician, has said JP has "always been one of his favourite guitarists." Such a rating by such a musician would clearly not apply to a sloppy player. Paul Rodgers said JP was "technically the best guitarist in the world, along with JB." I'll leave it at that for now.