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    Zep Head

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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. ^^ This is a tougher question (best quality gig) than I think it initially appears to be. Most say Zurich, Frankfurt, or Munich. However there are great moments from every '80 gig (even Page's solo in NFBM in Nuremberg I suppose). Concerning sound, I would say the soundboard recording of Zurich is the absolute best audio of an '80 show (its perhaps the best sounding Zep soundboard ever). But as far as the performances, I tend to suggest the first four shows as best reflecting the energy, enthusiasm and revamped focus that the band was trying to convey. Dortmund is great, not rusty at all but reflects some nerves - Plant thought the performance was fantastic for the opening night of a tour. I would recommend Cologne or Brussels - particularly Cologne as it has a great full sounding audience recording (which replicates a more pleasing tone from Jones' keyboards) as well as a good soundboard. Of course Zurich, Frankfurt and Munich are solid efforts (ALS from Zurich is amaze-balls) but they lack the initial urgency of the first few gigs. I've rambled. Push come to shove, try to get your hands on the Cologne audience recording and Zurich soundboard, this will be a good compromise of sound and performance. I think you'll find when all four cylinders were firing (indeed some nights Bonham and Page were not) that Zeppelin still had that excitement and power we all love.
  3. I was just listening to Rotterdam a few days ago and thought the same about "Heartbreaker" - simply a stunning version. Plant's vocals at the very end are amazing and Page is indeed blazing through his a cappella and accompanied solos. Brilliant and a true sign that the group still had it when they were believing in themselves, which was the case for the first four shows straight through. There is a dip in Bremen and the first night in Mannheim where they were likely hesitant to look each other in the eye and acknowledge that it was indeed harder to pull it off every night. That's the difference about '80, at times each one very likely wondered, just for a show or two, once or twice, offstage or maybe on, that perhaps this wasn't such a good idea anymore. Regardless, the Rotterdam citizens came around after a low key initial reception to show the band that the audience could still be won over by the mighty balloon.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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...
  7. 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.
  8. I think one could confidently assume there are more than 1 source for the other nights. 6/22 has four that are known alone (a non-Millard night of course) and 6/23 has two exceptional sources (including Millard). Frankly if the brief snippet of the 6/22 source found at the end of SIBLY was released in its entirety, combined with an extra source or two for 6/26 we'd all be set for life.
  9. Appears you've picked up on the weedwacker uploads of Millard's recordings. They were (are) heavily desirable among more enthusiastic collectors due to the unmarked tapes and pre-tamped (remaster) status. While JEMS may have shared them recently I believe WW shared them several years back. The unmarked tapes were sourced from the owner of the record shop where Millard purchased his blanks. In exchange for free blanks Millard gave copies of the shows to the owner. Sources for the other audience tape are known but soliciting is extremely unlikely to be successful. The sound is rather muddy anyway. But I can see the desire, hell I spent months hunting down the alternate audience source for Vienna 1980 (and finally got it I'll note!).
  10. 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.
  11. 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!?
  12. 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...
  13. I suppose I know these shows too well....I took a quick 30 second listen and already ascertained that NFBM is from Frankfurt and ALS is from Zurich. I'm gonna make a game out of this for myself!
  14. Cool creation. I second Nutrocker's request for a detailed breakdown of what comes from where. I like the discussion here regarding Plant's voice. It seems to me to be an underappreciated enigma but his live vocals on the '83 American tour and Japan / Australia '84 shows are fantastic. Still powerful and strong throughout lows, mids and highs. The live endings of "Stranger Here...Than Over There" sound like the chaos sections from 1980 WLL's. By 1988 in my opinion his powerful youthful voice was gone, replaced by a man sounding like early middle aged, which he was at the time. The new Hong Kong '84 recording has gone almost completely unnoticed, at least it seems that way...Not to me though.
  15. 1977/04/28 is the best show outside of LA that year in my opinion, and is clearly stronger than 06/25.
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