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    Only Once...In 1971

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  1. I have to say, that despite 25 years of Zep devotion and a particularly acute fan status of Bonzo's wizardry, I never bothered to see if Buddy Rich was any good. Any fan of Zep has likely heard at least once Keith Moon's dress down of Rich's apparent status as the world's best drummer, rather than Mr. Bonham - all captured on the "For Badgeholder's Only" audience capture of 1977/06/23. But as I watch this video, I slowly come to the realization that perhaps Mr. Moon made an unwise early conclusion.....
  2. All of this 1980 bashing with very little in the way of specifics. Easy to briefly listen to a show and say it sucks if you have already made up your mind prior to putting on your headphones. Plant comments how he's enjoying himself more in '80 than how he's not - you've got to take every word from every show into account. It's all in the Plantations, but if you only remember the negative comments and nothing else than you can't say that's a consensus can you? You want your Zeppelin tight but loose, you're going to get some mistakes. They screw up Kashmir once in NYC and once in LA, and in Zurich and Rotterdam (briefly) in 1980. There may be one or two more. That's hard to count? They picked their instruments in 1980 based on where the technology was going and what other musicians were playing. I guess you've never heard "Shaken n' Stirred" before? Everybody just chimes in with a pat on the back saying "yeah that sucked man"...Three pages and nobody cited Bonham in New York in '75 at the end of Heartbreaker following the solo? What about Bonham forgetting the drum break in ALS in Oakland on 7/24/77? How about Page's Heartbreaker performance in Vancouver in '75. These are specifics, not "fuck 1980, that shit sucked" generalities.
  3. I think the general consensus is that Page plays well below par for most of the evening's songs - likely the worst without a known drug reaction (such as Chicago '77). Even at Tempe in '77 he plays a fantastic STH solo, which coincidentally is not much shorter than Berlin's version. The best method of gauging his playing this night is to compare it to earlier '80 shows. There are hints of struggle in NFBM and BD - the first major issue of the night is the outro solo in ITE where Page would normally play a nice fluent string solo while slowly working the wah-wah pedal. His picking on this in Berlin is quite labored - compare it to Vienna's version. Later in TUF, while the solo is definitely epic in some ways, his attempts at fluency again are stifled by deliberate and labored picking. At the onset of the SIBLY solo he doesn't even attempt the quick burst or two of notes, instead opting for a somber bluesy start. I believe ALS was skipped this evening because of Page, while in Vienna it was due to Bonham's fatigue and poor eating habits (not bananas by the way, that was a cover up for the real etiology of days of excessive drinking combined with poor diet). Page tells the audience they are changing the program since its the last one of the tour, but since when did Zeppelin ever eliminate songs during important finales (i.e. Forum '77, Earls' Court 1975/05/25, NYC '73, etc.) He couldn't pull a confident version off due to his speed issues. WS/BMS has been discussed ad nauseam in the past. STH shows Page trying hard - the band wants to celebrate and enjoy the evening, after all they had been through a lot in the few years prior and wanted to bask in the glow of playing together as a working band again. But it ultimately lacks real excitement and he struggles for an energetic bridge to the final verses. Lastly I believe Let That Boy Boogie was not played in light of Page's inability to pull off the required solo runs. Further Jones takes control of WLL from the onset and really makes Berlin's unique version what it was. I've a number of photographs in an old Japanese picture book that show a good bit of snot gleaming off of Page's upper lip. He also had lost several teeth by this point which are clearly reflected in the images - you may notice the lack of smiles from Page with his teeth showing in the '79 - '82 period. He sniffs a good bit during the BD intro as well as his explanation of the WS/BMS delay. You want pure conjecture - Page layed into the alcohol heavily that day due to a lack of necessary "supplies", thus his cold symptoms. Page himself failed to appear at the aftershow / tour party at the hotel, and Steven A. Jones in an interview by Dave Lewis states that Page was unhappy with the performance, although frustratingly so Lewis did not push Mr. Jones for clarification. It was basically an off night - his playing in Rotterdam, Vienna, a number of gigs in 80' was quite good. Pity his worst showing was the last one.
  4. I listen to one to two 1980 shows a week. Seems crazy but whatever floats your boat... I also listen to at least one 1977 show a week, then likely one 1972 show and one 1975 show a month. After that sprinkle a little '69 occasionally...
  5. SIBLY is consistently played below average on this tour, however Brussels, Hannover and Munich's versions seem to rise above. The other end of the spectrum finds both Mannheim performances and Berlin. Tea for One or I'm Gonna Crawl would have served better by this point.
  6. You know the coda section at the end on 1977/07/24 is pretty sweet with the funky Steely Dan ish keyboards and Jimmy's guitar feeding off this.
  7. Does anyone know why there seemingly are so few offstage photos of the band during the L.A. Forum run? There are a good number of offstage shots taken in New York earlier in the month. Is it just me? Surely there are photos from the after show party on the 23rd in the hills. What about the 26th - I wanna see Joney's strawberry tart dammit!?
  8. I too think the NQ from 6/23 is somewhat overrated, although Jones' bit with the organ is incredible. The jam itself is lacking in spots. I can't say that 6/23 overall is overrated, there are definite highlights - ALS and particularly a super nasty version of SA. The acoustic set is subpar however. Its a tough call... Little has been said about 6/26 which features IMO Jimmy's best playing of the entire stretch. NQ is phenomenal and includes a return to form for Bonham from the previous night. STH this night is also amazing as is OTHAFA. I really like 6/27, both NQ and the show as a whole. Jimmy drags a little taking up 36 minutes by just himself but OTHAFA, TUF, the acoustic set are all killer. 6/22 is to me the most muscular no nonsense performance, very heavy with little room for experimentation. The night before had nervous energy, this night has justified ego and determination. Its easy to see that this topic is popular because all of these shows were so good and are very fun to listen to time and time again. As good as Bonham is in LA however he still had his best night ever on 4/28. Deal with it...
  9. 1977/04/28 is the best show outside of LA that year in my opinion, and is clearly stronger than 06/25.
  10. ^^ Pontiac MI 1977/05/01 in the early hours of the morning
  11. I think Seattle is the video soundtrack. The debate goes back and forth. Either way I think it's too dry
  12. Perhaps we will see a complete soundboard of 9/28 one day... Has the Mr. Peach source been confirmed as being recorded by him? What info is known?
  13. It should be mentioned that Tempe has an amazing STH, with a brilliant solo from Page in my opinion.
  14. I don't care about the latter day Zep haters, they usually listen to Destroyer and Berlin and then make misguided summary judgments of entire tours. That's okay, I'll enjoy my Birmingham and my Pontiac and my Koln and my Rotterdam and everything will be just fine.
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