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Dirigible

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  1. The Boston Tea Party 1969 gigs that I've listened to were a mother. So were their Fillmore sets prior to that. Almost anything from 1970 is stellar. Same can be said about the second night in Berkeley 1971 (9-14-71 IIRC). Zep kicked ass in Oz in February 1972 and the California leg of the '72 USA run was likewise great. I've got half a dozen shows from the March 1973 sojourn and all of them are fantastic despite Plant's diminished vocals. Bonzo started hating Moby Dick early on and usually only played it in America where it was expected of him and he played a lot more call and response drums with Page's guitar during Dazed & Confused in March '73 to display those drum solo chops. D&C was the highlight of that tour as well as the rock and roll medley. The shows in May and July 1973 in the US are great too; 6-2-73 (the only June date) sounds like it was one of Zeppelin's best nights. I bet I've got a dozen soundboard recordings from 1975 (USA & UK) but can't get excited about any of them. They're accomplished performances, but 1977 is different! The LA run in June '77 was inspired, of course, but Lanham 5-26-77 is hellafied too. Knebworth wasn't so hot, I prefer the Copenhagen warm-ups. 1980 found the band much better rehearsed, especially nice were Dortmund, Cologne and Mannheim, but Zurich is my personal favorite, the audience acted like they were enjoying it and Page, Plant, Jones & Bonham responded to the good vibe. The first concert I saw was Led Zeppelin; they're the best live rock act I've ever seen. Just before Sharon Tate (and others) were murdered I saw the band on August 4th, 1969. They opened with Train Kept A'Rollin' which segued into I Can't Quit You, Baby followed by a short 15-minute version of Dazed & Confused. I wondered who the big fat guy on the side of the stage was whispering heatedly in Percy's ear during the bow part. After Dazed & Confused Robert announced: "Even though Led Zeppelin is advertised as playing the [Lewisville] Pop Festival, we haven't even been asked yet!" Boos from the audience. At the end of the next song Plant announced (after another word with the fat man) that: "I'm glad to say we've just been asked to play the festival!" Cheers. The most well-received song that night was the yet-to-be released The Lemon Song because Plant sang a very funny and quite naughty dialogue in the middle with Page noodling along with him while Jones and Bonham laid out. This bit had little Robert Anthony stalking a young female, tying her to his bed and the last line was a long drawn out (several seconds between each word in fact): "...then...I...asked...her...to...squeeze...my..................lemon." The audience laughed like a comedian was onstage instead of a band. For an encore they played the longest version of Communication Breakdown I've ever heard. My dad wouldn't let me go to the pop festival so the second time I saw Led Zeppelin was two years later in Dallas, August 24, 1971. I sat on the fourth row but at an angle to the right side of the stage, Bonzo was completely obscured, I only saw the side of his green bass drum. Pity. The band was much better than the '69 show I'd seen but Plant's voice was shot, he said something about thinking he caught the flu. (A friend saw them two nights later in Houston. He claims he got backstage with a reporter he knew who told everyone he was his photographer and they met the band before the concert. There was some blotter acid circulating and my friend said he took one hit and tripped hard. Also he watched each member of Zeppelin ingest four hits apiece of it then go out and play. I wasn't there so this isn't an eyewitness account. Remembering his story years later I rehearsed in my band tripping once unbeknownst to my fellow bandmates and didn't have any problem playing. I asked the guitar player afterward if he noticed anything different about my drumming that night and he said no. I guess if I could handle it the mighty Led Zep could too.) May 18th and 19th, 1973 were the third and fourth time I saw the band perform in Dallas and Ft. Worth; I recall being pissed off they didn't play The Ocean. I was on a mental high for two weeks, those 1973 shows were the two best rock concerts I've ever seen. These were rivaled only by the last time I saw them on May 21, 1977. Fabulous from start to finish, they played a show that night as long as a Grateful Dead concert. I sat way up in the balcony of the Houston Summit but the band had Showco doing sound and every note was crystal clear and super loud at the back of the hall. Great versions of Nobody's Fault But Mine and In My Time of Dying and a far superior acoustic set than in 1971. The Battle of Evermore was unexpected and intense. I never got excited about Kashmir until I saw them play it live that night, gawd da-yum. Then Achilles Last Stand trampled me underfoot. I'd've given a testicle to see them in Zurich 1980.
  2. I'm a Seattle 7-17-73 man myself, had the audience tape since '76, but five years ago got the soundboard. The differences are vast. Jones sounds huge on the audience tape but less so on the board recording. Pagey and Bonzo played well that night in Seattle. Plant was in much better voice than he was in NYC. Percy lost some octaves after June 1972; till then he could sing a line such as "got no time to back my bags, my foot's outside the door" and hit the notes he hit on the album. But never after June 1972. I always thought he had a throat operation to remove nodes from his vocal cords between then and the October '72 Japanese tour, where he sounds hoarse, and different. Same thing with the December '72 through January '73 UK tour. By March '73 in Germany he sounded like he did during the US '73 shows, and sang in a lower register till 1980.
  3. Peter Grant destroyed the Silverdome footage, kdh? I, too, must ask: how do you know this?
  4. People who did not attend the Cleveland 1977 shows but say they were great is beyond me. "Destroyer" sounds as sterile as a medical operating theater; in person however the Houston concert was a visceral kick in the chest although the soundboard doesn't live up to being there. If bootlegs are any indication (and they're not, they're a 32-year-old barometer reading at best) I'd've rather seen the Landover gigs than NYC. Judging from recordings, the L.A. concerts were the apogee of that tour, basically performed at the end of the long '77 road grind when the band was on top of their game after getting a few dozen concerts under their belts to fine tune their presentation. When they returned to the stage in July for the third leg they seemed to have lost the edge they had at the end of the second.
  5. The point I was trying to make about Moon was alcoholism is a disease that can ruin people's lives, or end them, as the premature deaths of Moon and Bonham emphasize. Whether Moon's appearance at the Badgeholders show amused people or depressed them, one thing is certain, that concert kicked ass because of Led Zeppelin, not cameo appearances by members of other bands.
  6. Absolutely right, I was hopin' you could show me those. As far as concerts go, Seattle '73 and the last night in L.A. in '73 are two of the band's best concerts.
  7. My exact words from post #24 were: Did you know Moon killed a man by driving a limousine over him? To try to twist the meaning of that very matter of fact statement into 'painting a picture of someone who got away with murder' and Moon 'was hysterically hopping around the car while the driver stood behind the bumper trying to calm him and instead, Moon backs him over to shut him up' makes me wonder if (1.) you've downed a few yourself or (2.) are having paranoid delusions or (3.) just full of shit or (4.) 14 years old or (5.) all of the above. Can't say for sure about the others, bigstick, but I am positive about (3.) Anytime you want me to show you how to play those post '70 Moon licks, just let me know, won't take but three or four minutes. Not because I'm a great drummer or anything, it's just those Moon licks are so simple to play. If we were talking about Bonzo, it could take years.
  8. I'll write what I want to write and post it wherever I please, bigstick, whether you disagree with it or not. And I don't take kindly to your suggestion so please mind your manners. I think you read a lot into what I posted, if you read it at all. No one's bashing Moon. His bad manners on June 23, 1977 that amuse others so much, just depress me for the reasons I listed. If drunken loudmouth behavior gets you off, far be it from me to deny you that pleasure. Please don't try slanting what I wrote either: I never used the word deliberately when recounting Moon ran over someone in a car. I stated the facts on public record, and lamented them. I don't want anyone to mistakenly think I don't like Moon's drumming, but his playing is over-rated. He made a great clown prince of rock although his drumming ability never floored me. To me his drumming was a bit better than Ringo's, but a far cry from Bonzo's. I don't know if you play the drums or not, bigstickbonzo, or how long you have if you do, but as someone who's been drumming since 1968 the only amazing chops I've EVER heard from Moon were prior to and last heard on 'Live At Leeds.' Before 'Who's Next' was recorded Moon didn't even play a hi-hat; guess you can chalk that up to how unique he was. If you want to hear how exciting rock drumming can get, listen to Townsend's favorite drummer Simon Phillips. The drummers I mentioned before (Danelli, Baker, Mitchell) are all technically equal to and surpass Moon's best drumming in the sixties. If Moon's your idea of an amazing drummer get a load of Tony Williams, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, Billy Cobham or even that other over-rated skin basher, Neil Peart. You may not want to admit it, but Moon was more known for running his mouth than running circles around other drummers.
  9. If we can believe what we read Bonzo was bi-polar, Moon was nuts 24/7---since grade school. There've been drying-out clinics since the thirties, badgeholder; and psychiatrists before that. Dougal's book is indeed funny, but he was just another one of Moon's enablers; Dougal does paint a bleak picture of the troubled drummer if you look hard enough. Read Tony Fletcher's MOON for a more objective look; if you can stand reading it, it's that painful. I like the Who, I just feel sorry for Keith Moon, the quintessential man without a friend. He had plenty of fake friends to be sure. Ultimately nobody gave a shit about him; Moon was a party waiting to happen and a free ride to those around him, right down to his groupie friends like Miss Pamela and Lori Maddox. But what really bugs me is Moon didn't seem to want to help himself, all his attempts to clean up were quickly abandoned. Anyone who's ever seen a family member or friend self destruct because they're drinking themself to death don't think Moon's antics during the Badgeholders gig are amusing at all; if they do they're really callous. 16 months later Moon was six feet under; three years and three months later Bonzo was too. Basically the same scenario happened to Bonham, just another rock casualty, one more death by misadventure. If that's anybody's idea of "Rock 'N Roll" I feel sorry for them. Eight months after Moonie was laid to rest the Who were playing concerts with Kenney Jones. I saw one of their stateside shows in 1979 and thought Kenney played remarkably. As far as Moon goes drumming-wise, after 1970 and the Who's fame took off in the USA, he no longer had those crisp little rolls and accents in his playing. Like Jaco and Bonham, it's just too bad he squandered so much of his potential drinking.
  10. You got the insane part right, jp66. Moon genuinely belonged in an institution if for nothing other than his rampant alcoholism. After TOMMY his drumming skills atrophied bigtime; he was OK, but not in Bonzo's league by any stretch, or Dino Danelli's, Mitch Mitchell's, Ginger Baker's, Kenney Jones', or any number of other drumming peers. The method in which the Who and their manager Bill Curbishley (now Jimmy's manager) handled Moon was deplorable. Instead of hospitalizing Keith, round-the-clock handlers kept him out of trouble, after all, a man who's in a hospital can't tour and record (and that in turn might negatively impact someone else's income). I've read two very sad biographies about the Who's late drummer. Moon interfered with flight crews, terrorized old women, entered restaurants stark naked and walked across tabletops putting his feet in dinner plates, and lived in a house full of dogshit that he couldn't be bothered cleaning up. Did you know Moon killed a man by driving a limousine over him? None of that is funny, or cool. They're insane acts. If you or I pulled stunts like that we'd be in straitjackets. I can debunk two rock 'n roll writ-in-stone myths in one sentence: Moon never did drive a Cadillac into a swimming pool any more than Keith Richard got a blood change operation in Switzerland to cure heroin addiction. A drunken Moon did drive a car into a fish pond at his house. Moon is remembered as a rock 'n roll wild man and a comedian instead of a chap with a real problem nobody around him gave a damn about. Call me a spoilsport, but I think that's about as humorous as Moon showing his ass in front 20,000+ people on June 23rd, 1977.
  11. I like Eddie over Badgeholders because on the latter Page's guitar is buried in the mix. Badgeholders does have a better No Quarter, but Eddie has Bonzo's stunning single stroke roll entrance to TSRTS. Pagey could play the blues when he felt like it, just like Bonham could play a single stroke roll, except I NEVER heard a roll like that one. Per the St. Millard recordings, both nights sound like Zep on top of their game. And on Badgeholders, Moon the Loon (the most over-rated drummer in rock) detracts from and intrudes upon Led Zeppelin's show, he wasn't even funny, just an embarrassing drunk. Look at the look on his face when Plant snatches the mike out of his hand. I'm surprised Richard Cole didn't throw that idiot head first into the parking lot.
  12. I was being facetious saying the prototype video cameras were as big as a car but they were probably the size of half a dozen toasters bundled together. Enormous.
  13. Trust me, Sibh, video players in 1980 cost around $1000; I priced them then. Very few teenaged dope-smoking Zeppelin fans could afford that kind of cash outlay, neither would their priorities be likely to lie in that direction either. You didn't say TV cameras in your post before this one either, you said VHS recorders. Those are not cameras by any stretch, VHS recorders can tape TV shows and other VHS tapes, same for Beta, they weren't cameras. A video camera is another species altogether and were NOT available to the public in 1977. Prototype video cameras then were only slightly smaller than a Volkswagen. Maybe you were thinking of Super8, but those only had minutes worth of tape and seldom had audio capability. People may shoot video from the Luxury Boxes now, they didn't in 1977.
  14. I noticed that's a mirror, too. How stupidly dangerous to mount one high above a stage, Bonzo could've died before his time. But, Sibh23, I'm going to have to say no, nay, nein, nyet, nofuckinway about VHS recorders (not to be confused as the same thing as a video camera by the way). In 1977, that was HIGHLY unlikely. People may smuggle video cameras into concerts nowadays, but not 30 years ago. VHS players for the home were expensive as hell even in 1980, but video cameras were only prototypes in 1977, few people outside the television and movie industry even knew they existed. Bob Crane, Hogan of Hogan's Heroes, was murdered in 1978 for video-taping himself having sex with other mens' wives and girlfriends. He was one of the few people who owned a video camera and (if you Google the crime scene photos you can see for yourself) that sucker was huge. You'd have to have a wheel barrow to cart one around in '77. Had Grant seen somebody lugging one of those around at a concert, Crane wouldn't've been the only one murdered.
  15. Different restrictions apply at various venues. At Madison Square Garden in 1973 the band was allowed to use pyrotechnics like flashpots and fire on Bonzo's gong stand, but the fire codes in certain cities prevented them from using them in every show. Stage sizes differ too and that may be the reason in some shows Bonzo's drum riser moved to centerstage in 1977, and others it did not.
  16. Nick, the 5-31-73 and 7-17-73 soundboards have lots of audience noise, yet on the 5-18-73 soundboard the crowd noise is distant. The '75 and '77 tour bootlegs seem to have a lack of audience leakage too, guess the soundmen got consistently better at mike placement perhaps because the band was giving more consideration for a future live album and wanted clean tapes to work with. Only a theory.
  17. I can confirm The Rover is correct, Sibh, about the absence of a video feed big screen on the Houston date at the Summit. Since I sat a quarter of a mile from the band in the back of that barn I distinctly recall the only 'minus' of the show for me was the members of Zeppelin being the size of the fingernail of my pinkie. Had there been a big screen I would've remembered it. I recall how grateful I was someone lent me a pair of binoculars for a couple of songs. The Rover stated he saw BOTH the Houston and Ft. Worth shows; what a lucky guy.
  18. Fortunately I got to see this concert. I sat in the third row from the back in Nosebleed City at the Summit. Even as far away as I was every note was crystal clear and startlingly loud. Starting in '69 I got to see them in concert and each year the band roared into town they kept getting better, and I saw two nights in a row in 1973 and thought they could never touch those magnificent shows. But they did. Don't know what bootleg I have of this but it's a throroughly enjoyable listen. Nothing compares to actually being there but what can I say. Nobody's Fault But Mine and In My Time of Dying were the best songs performed I thought, but Kashmir and Achilles Last Stand were also great.
  19. Calling all hellhounds: I re-listened to HOTH and HTWWW and all my bootleg Oceans and every one sounds like 'hell high Hellas ball' to me. Hydro helped my balls . . .
  20. Page painted that? I'll be damned.
  21. Finished Pileggi's WISE GUY, started Jordan's EYE OF THE WORLD for the fourth time. Never finished it but currently on page 180.
  22. Even if Plant can't sing in the high registers anymore the guy is still a great vocalist. When I heard Jones' lame warbling alongside Plant's voice on The Battle of Evermore live in 1977 it really emphasized just how good a singer he is.
  23. I second that. Also I thought Cologne, Dortmund, Zurich and Frankfurt were exciting sounding 1980 bootlegs.
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