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Posts posted by Dirigible

  1. Thanks, huw! Exhibit A.

    Vis-à-vis Led Zeppelin and the blues, I prefer their rock music. As a musician I suppose I’m prejudiced in viewing blues as a tired cliché and steer clear of playing or listening to much of it. It’s fairly easy for musicians to throw a blues tune together on the spur of the moment; and musicians the caliber of Bonzo, Pagey and Jones with a vocalist like Plant can play a pretty damned mean blues when the spirit moves them. Their Willie Dixon stuff, ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and ‘In My Time of Dying’ never fail to move me, but otherwise . . . no apologies.

    From a songwriting/compositional perspective to me it smacks of: “One more track finishes the album, lads, then it’s down the pub.” And ten minutes later beer is flowing and the band’s patting itself on the back.

  2. As far as I'm concerned, Bonzoghost, you've presented evidence that would stand up in a court of law. You've proven to me beyond all reasonable doubt that the Polar studios photo you posted is where John Henry played his parts on the New Yardbirds' final studio recording. The reason I visit this forum is to glean minutiae like that; I celebrate it, revel in it.

    Since this thread is about the drums of PRESENCE I should mention the album at least, but want to comment on IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR first.

    IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR took me years to appreciate the deepest depths and chiaroscuro musical layers, to finally 'hear' the collection of songs with a proper frame of reference. Zeppelin had, for the eighth time, advanced their music beyond where it had been before, higher up the mountain, if you will. I could appreciate the immediacy of 'In The Evening,' 'Hot Dog,' and 'Carouselambra' and immediately dismissed the obligatory blues track 'I'm Gonna Crawl,' but the other compositions took some time, 'Fool in the Rain' to name just one. The album disappointed me until I absorbed it over a two or three year period, then it made sense. From first listen I assigned the blame on John Paul Jones' synthesizer-heavy compositions. One review of the album nailed it by observing Jones functioned better behind Page instead of in front of him.

    I immediately loved PRESENCE however the first time I heard it, something that hadn't happened for me since their fourth album. It's a deliberate rock and roll record whereas IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR is something removed from that. PRESENCE showcases the band's hardest edged studio music in a leaner back-to-basics format. PRESENCE has its own turgid blues on it too, but the rest of it rocks: 'Nobody's Fault But Mine,' 'Hots on for Nowhere,' 'Royal Orleans,' etc. Bonzo's aggressive syncopated approach is the main reason it rocks as hard as it does, he's got more sonic space. Why? PRESENCE is sans keyboards. Great rock bassists like John Paul Jones [and Geddy Lee] should stick to their knitting and veer far far away from keyboards, synthesized ones especially.

  3. I hate to admit it but until about ten seconds ago I thought the other kit was silver sparkle, but it is indeed stainless steel. So as Ed McMahon used to say to Johnny: "You are correct, SIR!" What really convinced me was the cymbals around the set. I know Bonzo's gear well enough I ought to have seen it the first time I looked; that is indeed his cymbal configuration, and heights too (ride very close to the bass drum). I agree that that is the drum room for the IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR sessions. Richard Cole said Jones and Percy recorded during the day, and the heroin-fueled Pagey and Bonzo played at night. Plant stated, "Jonesy and I wrote most of the tunes because we got to the studio ahead of everyone else." Sounds like everybody in the band's got their story straight.

    I would not agree the lack of a bass drum head meant 'absolutely nothing' to John, he was anal about that, and in every studio photo I've seen of him the front head is on, intact, without any circular mic cutouts.

    As a side note I saw Bonzo play his blonde wood kit in August 1969, "a" green one in August 1971, his Vistalites twice in May 1973 and that stainless steel kit in May 1977. All sounded great. Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention) would agree with me, I think. Peggy said he visited the Bonhams right after Bonzo had bought Jason a miniature kit. He asked Bonzo about the 9/8 time signature part in The Crunge. Bonzo demonstrated on Jason's little kit. Pegg was agog: "I forgot all about my question. Bonzo sounded just like the record on that toy set."

    Forgive the digression (and all quotes are paraphrased).


  4. The green sparkle Ludwigs have always been a mystery to me. The kit was supposedly destroyed onstage during a riot in Milan in July 1971. I've seen photos of the aftermath and the bass drum looks like it survived but afterwards may not have been road-worthy or studio-worthy. Yet Bonzo played a green sparkle set onstage until the end of the March 1973 German tour. How many green kits did he have anyway? Safe to say at least two. I'm still unconvinced either drum set in the Polar brochure belonged to Bonham, especially the green one. In the studio he insisted upon having a front head on the bass drum, no mic holes---the green one in the photo has no front head, there looks to be a pillow stuffed in there too.

    But those tympani drums are definitely a clue. They look exactly like Bonzo's stage tympani, and the intro to 'In The Evening' keeps echoing in my head........

    Sod it! =\

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. This does not have to do with Houston 5/21/77 but in reference to the Silverdome gig. Peter Grant destroyed the video of that show. So thank him for where we are today

    Peter Grant destroyed the Silverdome footage, kdh? I, too, must ask: how do you know this?

  8. I don't think that there's any question that the best shows of the 77 tour were in LA. Better than Cleveland, better than Landover, better than New York.

    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.

  9. I, too, think Bonzo was stellar in March 1973. I don't often agree with Luis Rey, the author of the bootleg reference book LIVE, but his assessment that the drumming was so inventive and rocking during that German tour was because of the absence of Moby Dick from the setlist makes perfect sense (to me anyway). Apparently Bonham didn't much care about soloing for fifteen or twenty minutes at a whack, even though Moby Dick received the loudest and longest applause at many concerts. But it was back in the show for the American tour a month later.

    Had the topic been best studio drumming I think some of Bonzo's most inspired work is during the first minute of How Many More Times.

  10. To end all the discussion about Moon being a distraction-or the man who drove the show to legendary status.

    Now whether you find Moon's comments funny or feel sorry for him, that's up to you, he'd pass away not long after this, so that could be an opinion changer, but to me IMHO, Moon's appearance & drunken spirit, actually adds to the wild party-esque jovial atmosphere of the show.

    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.

  11. i actually think that some of the best examples of bonzo's groove and co-ordination are in poor tom and D'yer Mak'er, the latter for it's general groove and oddly-timed fills but poor tom for the consistant co-ordination throughout between his feet and his hands and feet also. It one of those grooves that you listen to and say "No Problem! gimme 10 minutes" then you sit down at the drums and you emerge 10 minutes later and go "that's harder than I thought" and it takes you absolutely ages to get all of the nuances of the style down.


    Poor Tom sounds like a New Orleans second line groove to me, or a stuttering cousin of it. Where a 22-year-old British kid picked that up, as well as the tricky Gallow's Pole, is anybody's guess. D'yer Mak'er I learned by singing the notes to myself. The last bombastic fill toward the end, the one that resolves with the stick striking the hi-hat as it opens and then quickly closing it again with the foot, may be the easiest drum part of the song to play; it's the fills Bonzo slipped in between lyrics that are the hippest (and hardest) to master.

  12. Awww, because the 60s licks will take more than 5 minutes? :rolleyes:

    Absolutely right, I was hopin' you could show me those. :blink:

    As far as concerts go, Seattle '73 and the last night in L.A. in '73 are two of the band's best concerts.

  13. Immigrant Song

    Since I've Been Loving You

    You Shook Me (been getting on this one a lot recently)

    Trampled Underfoot (much better than studio)

    Kashmir (same deal as above)

    Sick Again (same deal as above)

    Dazed & Confused

    Stairway To Heaven

    Bron Yr Aur Stomp

    Going to California

    Black Dog

    What is and What should never be

    Over The Hills And Far Away

    No Quarter

    Thank You

    Bring it On Home

    As Long As I Have You

    some WLL's

    You crack me up, Sibh, and we think so much alike. That's my favorite song too! :o

  14. No, you didn't. But you also come off trying to paint a picture of someone who got away with murder. You make it sound as if he 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.

    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. B)

  15. Keep your Moon bashing for another thread.

    FYI, he did not deliberately kill anyone. He accidentally backed his car over his driver when leaving the pub one night. The authorities ruled it an accident and Moon himself emotionally never recovered from the incident. As for his drumming, he is hands down one of the most inspiring and influencial drummers of all time. 1970 was his peak? Ehh, "Whos Next - 1971" "Quadraphenia - 1973" "Odds & Sods - 1974" "The Who By Numbers - 1975" "Who Are You - 1978" all showcase a drummer with amazing chops and a uniqueness that was and has yet to be matched.

    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. :D

    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. :rolleyes:

  16. "Full Moon" by Dougal Butler is a great rock and roll book, there's some hilarious shit in there. And Keith was a very unique drummer, he supplied real excitement to the music, (unlike Kenny Jones).

    Yes his story is sad, but also highly entertaining. Don't be so hard on ol' Moonie, there wasn't any decent treatment available for bipolar conditions back then. (see Jaco Pastorious for a similar story)

    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.

  17. really..? I thought Kieth insane moon made the badgeholders show even more classic.

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. The marquee said, vanilla fudge, taj mahal and support. I thought, "Wow, here we are: Support!" That's a great name for a band, too.

    Free Drinks is also a great band name if the band could get a club owner to put it on the marquee. A guaranteed crowd, likely a disgruntled one too. :)

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