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Bong-Man

The Firm Thread

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You were there? How cool. This is the first time I've ever met anyone else who was at that show.

Yes I was! I haven't met anyone else either that was at that show!

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Unfortunately there's none in circulation. I think I have a photo. The Wichita Eagle Beacon published a feature titled Firm's Resume Is Impressive on March 1, 1985. I'm still seeking a copy of that article.

That is too bad there isn't any video. I remember your post that you were looking for the Wichita Eagle Beacon article that was published. I don't have a copy of it since I wasn't living in Wichita at the time and wasn't aware of the article till I read your post about it on here.

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If I didn't mention already, The Morning After, Boogie Mama and Live in Peace were originally released in October 1983 on Paul Rodger's Cut Loose album, later covered by The Firm on record and in concert. It happens to be a fav of mine.

Steve, can you clear your PM box please. Trying to send you a PM but it says you cannot accept any new messages. Thanks!

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"Morning After" is on a whole Firm DVD with the whole concert, plus rare bonus Firm stuff called Joining Forces. Jimmy even introduces the song. I was able to find the DVD at ioffer. (It is also where my aviatar is from. The whole 1986 interview is one of the bonuses).

Thank you aen27! I only had it on a tape I recorded from the MTV broadcast, which due to age is not in the best shape anymore.

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Thank you aen27! I only had it on a tape I recorded from the MTV broadcast, which due to age is not in the best shape anymore.

Cool. You're welcome! :D

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Steve, can you clear your PM box please. Trying to send you a PM but it says you cannot accept any new messages. Thanks!

Fire away.

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I saw The Firm 2 times in 85 and I think the biggest mistake they made was not playing any material from Jimmy's and Paul's past bands. The audience apeared to be very bored and lifeless at the shows. However for those of us who missed out on seeing Zep live in the 70's it was our opportunity to finally get to see JP live.

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I saw The Firm 2 times in 85 and I think the biggest mistake they made was not playing any material from Jimmy's and Paul's past bands. The audience apeared to be very bored and lifeless at the shows. However for those of us who missed out on seeing Zep live in the 70's it was our opportunity to finally get to see JP live.

Speaking for myself, I have to disagree- as much as I love Zeppelin & Bad Co. too- I was not disappointed that they didn't do any LZ or Bad Co songs (just like I wasn't disappointed that Robert didn't do any on his first solo tour). I was very excited to see this new band that Jimmy & Paul put together and was looking forward to hearing all the songs from the album. And actually they did do some "past" material- they did a few songs from "Death Wish 2" (Prelude, City Sirens, The Chase) as well as "Live In Peace" from Paul's solo album Cut Loose.

I see you're from Queens, so you probably saw the April 29th show at MSG- I was there (3rd row) and it seemed like everyone around me was pretty much into it, but of course when you're that close to the action everybody's gonna be into it. That show did get a negative review from the Newsday music critic though.

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And actually they did do some "past" material- they did a few songs from "Death Wish 2" (Prelude, City Sirens, The Chase) as well as "Live In Peace" from Paul's solo album Cut Loose.

I see you're from Queens, so you probably saw the April 29th show at MSG- I was there (3rd row) and it seemed like everyone around me was pretty much into it, but of course when you're that close to the action everybody's gonna be into it. That show did get a negative review from the Newsday music critic though.

...Boogie Mama and The Morning After The Night Before are also from Paul Rodgers' 1983 solo album 'Cut Loose'.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

The Fellows from The Firm

by Stephen Williams

Newsday (Long Island)- May 1 1985

Let's all try to think of a reason why The Firm exists.

Give up?

Try profit. The Firm is making money on its debut album, titled "The Firm", and its single, "Radioactive", which was at No. 57 on the Billboard charts last week. Not exactly burning up, but respectable pull for a group made up of an ex- Led Zeppelin and an ex- Bad Company man.

Which is essentially the problem here. It's in the material.

There were flashes of lightning, but the 2 hour set from these guys on Monday was dullsville. Boring, monotonous, about as much fun as watching the 6:13 to Babylon pull out of Penn Station.

This you would not expect from Jimmy Page, guitar extraordinaire, and Paul Rodgers, a singer with lungs of gold but a penchant for picking the wrong material. And when each song sounds like the next- and none of them sounds real good- the night, even a 2 hour night, goes on forever.

We're told that The Firm had its genesis about two years ago when Rodgers, trying to emerge from the shadows of Bad Company and a failed solo album, hooked up with Page, who'd been relatively quiet since the breakup of Led Zeppelin in 1980. Page had been the mainspring of Zeppelin, the lead as well as the lead guitar, the architect of Zeppelin's tense style, the functional force behind it's sweep to supergroup status and, above all, a consummate technician and disciplined, understated artist.

As far as the crowd at the three quarter full Garden was concerned, it was The Jimmy Page Show, and Rodgers, a veteran lead vocalist for Free and Bad Company, was lead appendage on Monday. Bad enough that the brunt of The Firm's material is leaden- only "Radioactive" sheds some sparks- but worse that Rodgers, who knows better, virtually ignores the melody of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling", which is further wrecked by drummer Chris Slade. Slade, who has worked with Manfred Mann and Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, actually plays a march in the middle of that number.

The Firm's fourth member is bassist Tony Franklin, who was recruited by Page (as was Slade) and who contributed the chunkiest solo of the evening, rattling his bass and his blond locks and the front rows into a frenzy.

But five minutes do not a concert make. Even Page's machinations- stumbling around with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, his bobbing head trailing puffs of smoke, he is the soul of presence- were practiced. Playing electronic feedback and making it "sing" only works in spurts, and rarely, and Page overdid it Monday.

What might have been magic between Page & Rodgers- and what they're obviously hoping for and someday may achieve with better songs- was mostly degenerate noise, beat-'em-over-the-head rock that leaves no lasting memories, save a headache.

Courtesy Steve A. Jones Archive

Edited by SteveAJones

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As usual (not all) but most freaking critics :beat::rtfm:

I will still stand by my opinion that they were great. Loved The Firm when they began and still love the music today!

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As usual (not all) but most freaking critics :beat::rtfm:

I will still stand by my opinion that they were great. Loved The Firm when they began and still love the music today!

The sad thing is if Jimmy and Paul had played a set heavy with Zep/Bad Co. numbers, they would have been ridiculed for relying on their past. Their music was/is good. The time they came out... mid-1980's... wasn't. Think of what was popular at the time... hair bands... playing Pop Metal with many efforts to sound/look like Zep, British bands like Duran 2, The Alarm, Culture Club and Adam Ant.

The Firm stood out drastically. But, having seen two of their shows I can testify they were really good live. That they didn't lean on their glorious pasts should have been rewarded instead of criticized. I remember reading a quote by Jimmy saying that Zep was always ahead of its time... it took fans and media a year or so to catch up to where the group was at... I think it's safe to say The Firm was also.

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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Since JP played Zep and Whitesnake tunes on Coverdale/Page's only tour in Japan and Paul did Free and Bad Co with Queen then the Firm should have dabbled in performing Zep, Free, and Bad Co songs. It's what gets the crowd going. Paul's solo album Cut Loose was a good album but do the audience really want to hear that or the past classics?

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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Since JP played Zep and Whitesnake tunes on Coverdale/Page's only tour in Japan and Paul did Free and Bad Co with Queen then the Firm should have dabbled in performing Zep, Free, and Bad Co songs. It's what gets the crowd going. Paul's solo album Cut Loose was a good album but do the audience really want to hear that or the past classics?

...but that Coverdale/Page tour was 13 years after the end of Led Zeppelin, while Page & Rodgers began collaborating only three years after. The Firm was meant from inception to be a vehicle to help Jimmy move forward, not look back.

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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Since JP played Zep and Whitesnake tunes on Coverdale/Page's only tour in Japan and Paul did Free and Bad Co with Queen then the Firm should have dabbled in performing Zep, Free, and Bad Co songs. It's what gets the crowd going. Paul's solo album Cut Loose was a good album but do the audience really want to hear that or the past classics?

My belief is they {Page/Rodgers} didn't perform Zep/Bad Co numbers because A: it was too soon for Jimmy - B: they wanted their new music to stand on its own and C: Rodgers was trying to distance himself from Bad Co. You have to remember, they first hooked up in late 1983/early 1984. Just shortly after Bonham's passing and the dissolving of their respective bands.

When Jimmy toured Japan with Coverdale he had another 10 years behind him and he had played, very well I might add, Zeppelin tunes on the Outrider tour. I think that Page, and Plant too, needed some time before dipping back into their catalog and I think each wanted to make a statement with their new music.

As a musician, as a fan and as a human being, I understand their decisions. They chose a path slightly more difficult and were able to navigate new waters quite well. After a reasonable amount of time passed... in their case, 8 years, they revisited some of those old songs while still creating new and exciting music.

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My belief is they {Page/Rodgers} didn't perform Zep/Bad Co numbers because A: it was too soon for Jimmy - B: they wanted their new music to stand on its own and C: Rodgers was trying to distance himself from Bad Co. You have to remember, they first hooked up in late 1983/early 1984. Just shortly after Bonham's passing and the dissolving of their respective bands.

When Jimmy toured Japan with Coverdale he had another 10 years behind him and he had played, very well I might add, Zeppelin tunes on the Outrider tour. I think that Page, and Plant too, needed some time before dipping back into their catalog and I think each wanted to make a statement with their new music.

As a musician, as a fan and as a human being, I understand their decisions. They chose a path slightly more difficult and were able to navigate new waters quite well. After a reasonable amount of time passed... in their case, 8 years, they revisited some of those old songs while still creating new and exciting music.

Steve and Dr Death, I Could not have put it into words any better :thumbsup:

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"I briefly flirted with the idea of calling our group Thunderhead Spitfire and the Black Bombers," claims Paul Rodgers with a laugh. "Then we opened up the dictionary to 'F' and our name just popped off the page - no pun intended."

- Philadelphia Daily News, May 10, 1985

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The Firm: Introduction of the Band

I know I posted this on the Zeppelin related videos, but thought it was fitting here as well.

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awhile back i saw some footage on youtube of jason bonham playing with paul rodgers in the 90s, it was great. a reformed -the firm w/jason on drums would probably be a very good band. would be interesting to hear a new record and have the older firm music to tour with too. just daydreaming here, haha. at the -outrider show i saw in 88, midnight moonlight and tear down the walls were really good,quite a different vibe than the album versions.

Edited by middlezep

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awhile back i saw some footage on youtube of jason bonham playing with paul rodgers in the 90s, it was great. a reformed -the firm w/jason on drums would probably be a very good band. would be interesting to hear a new record and have the older firm music to tour with too. just daydreaming here, haha. at the -outrider show i saw in 88, midnight moonlight and tear down the walls were really good,quite a different vibe than the album versions.

Here are a few from Jasons website :D

Jason Bonham w/ Paul Rodgers - "Feel Like Making Love" 1994

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGGwPfzfGJA

Jason Bonham w/ Paul Rodgers - "Stone Free" Germany 1994

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghM3Zp6POLE

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The Firm Tingley Coliseum Albuquerque, New Mexico March 18, 1985

19850318002DManweller.jpg

Photo Credit: D. Manweller

19850318003DManweller.jpg

Photo Credit: D. Manweller

19850318001DManweller.jpg

Photo Credit: D. Manweller

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The Firm Mecca Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin March 7, 1985

19850307001O-Kim.jpg

Photo Credit: O-Kim.

The Firm Civic Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, March 24, 1986

19860324001MikeM.jpg

Photo Credit: Mike M.

Edited by SteveAJones

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Very nice Steve, thanks for sharing. Do you have any like these w/ Jimmy on the Brown Bomber?

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Very nice Steve, thanks for sharing. Do you have any like these w/ Jimmy on the Brown Bomber?

I'm sure I do, it's just a matter of finding them.

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Here are a few from Jasons website :D

Jason Bonham w/ Paul Rodgers - "Feel Like Making Love" 1994

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGGwPfzfGJA

Jason Bonham w/ Paul Rodgers - "Stone Free" Germany 1994

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghM3Zp6POLE

hey -deborah j, yeah those are the ones i saw on youtube, that version of stone free is very good, that band played well together and it seemed paul rodgers was inspired by it, sang great. i never knew that jason bonham toured with paul rodgers, so that was interesting to see that footage. i think there are a few more on youtube too, all european shows i think.

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i never knew that jason bonham toured with paul rodgers, so that was interesting to see that footage. i think there are a few more on youtube too, all european shows i think.

Jason was on drums for the European leg of Paul Rodger's World Tour supporting the release of the album 'Muddy Waters Blues' (Aug-Oct 1993).

The video clips are from the Alter Wartesaal in Koln, Germany (Feb 3, 1994) as the complete was concert aired on WDR as Rock Life: Paul Rodgers and Company on June 10, 1994. That lineup is Paul Rodgers, Jason Bonham, Ian Hatton, Josh Spencer & Reese Caldwell.

Jason also backed Rodgers on drums for Woodstock '94 (Aug 14, 1994) and an album and video were released.

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