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Zep 4 Life

Longest Version of Moby Dick

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We all know about Bonhams epic song Moby Dick and how amazing he was in concert. I was wondering if anyone knew of his longest recorded drum solo or version of Moby Dick. If so what concert was it?

Thanks in advance! (sorry if this is discussed somewhere else, I couldn't find it)

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I think it was the one on How The West Was Won, it was like 19 minutes.

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Yes, the May 26/77 Landover is the longest drum solo, with the following night (28th) actually being second longest! However, IMO, they're actually not that impressive, and dare I say boring. Bonzo certainly did better solos (and in half the time, more often than not.) Now, I love "Moby Dick"/"Over The Top" and consider the drum solo to be a highlight of any given performance, but I think by '77 the concept was pretty much played out. When you consider that some of these drum solos are longer than most Beatles albums (for example) you'd reckon they could have stuck an actual song or three in that spot.

I remember hearing years back that sometimes the rest of the group would actually go back to the hotel whilst Bonham was doing his thing on stage (probably bullshit though- by '77 most cities they played they weren't even staying in a hotel in the venue city.)

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:slapface: It just occurred to me, continuing with the Beatles analogy, that some of these epic drum solos are even longer than a Beatlemania-era (63-66) performance! I remember reading that George Harrison saw one of the 1973 LA shows (Bonzo's birthday, perhaps? I know he attended the actual party) and was shocked by the length of Zeppelin's show:

"Fuck me!" Harrison supposedly said. "With the Beatles we were offstage in half an hour, and usually could be off in twenty minutes!"

That's one thing I love about Zeppelin: though some of the "latter day" shows could be pretty shaky, at least they gave the audience value for money! Christ, nowadays, who plays for three and half hours with no opening acts or intermission?

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I agree with your points. I realize that a half an hour drum solo can get somewhat boring, or you can at least forget what your listening to at certain points. However since I have started looking into the Zeppelin Bootlegs I figured that I would search for Bonzo's longest drum solo.

On your point with the Beatles, I couldn't agree more. A 30 minute concert is hardly a concert at all in my mind. One of my uncles said he saw Zeppelin in 75 and the concert only lasted 45 minutes. After looking into it further it seems as though his memory is a little shaky. However there are still ZERO bands today that seem to give such amazing concerts as Zeppelin.

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:slapface: It just occurred to me, continuing with the Beatles analogy, that some of these epic drum solos are even longer than a Beatlemania-era (63-66) performance! I remember reading that George Harrison saw one of the 1973 LA shows (Bonzo's birthday, perhaps? I know he attended the actual party) and was shocked by the length of Zeppelin's show:

"Fuck me!" Harrison supposedly said. "With the Beatles we were offstage in half an hour, and usually could be off in twenty minutes!"

That's one thing I love about Zeppelin: though some of the "latter day" shows could be pretty shaky, at least they gave the audience value for money! Christ, nowadays, who plays for three and half hours with no opening acts or intermission?

I recently went to a Billy Joel/Elton John concert no intermission about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Zeppelin was doing 3 hour gigs as early as 71 probably. By about March of 75 almost every show as probably 3 hours. The longest Zeppelin show recorded was one of the Earls Court shows.

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I recently went to a Billy Joel/Elton John concert no intermission about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Zeppelin was doing 3 hour gigs as early as 71 probably. By about March of 75 almost every show as probably 3 hours. The longest Zeppelin show recorded was one of the Earls Court shows.

Ah, but were Billy and Sir Reg onstage together for the whole 3:45? Or was it Billy in the first half, and Reg in the second? If they were together for the duration, I gotta say I'm impressed at their stamina for a couple of old guys!

And, yeah- longest Zep show was 25 May/75 at Earls Court, with, IIRC, the 27 June/77 LA show a close second (or is it the other way round? I can't remember.) The Seattle '77 show also seems interminably long!

But I'm sure at least an hour of that Billy/Elton show wasn't taken up by self indulgent (gotta love 'em) drum, piano and bowed guitar solos like with latter day Zep. I mean, in '75, Zeppelin generally played, what, fourteen or fifteen tunes, including encores? I'd reckon Joel and Reg busted out probably three times that. That said, Paul McCartney usually does about thirty five tunes a night these days, coming close to three hours. Of course, CSNY's first show of their 1974 reunion tour in Seattle was fourty songs and a bit over four hours (I think that's the longest single concert in my collection.) And I won't even mention those old Dead or Allman Bros concerts where they literally played all night...

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I agree with your points. I realize that a half an hour drum solo can get somewhat boring, or you can at least forget what your listening to at certain points. However since I have started looking into the Zeppelin Bootlegs I figured that I would search for Bonzo's longest drum solo.

On your point with the Beatles, I couldn't agree more. A 30 minute concert is hardly a concert at all in my mind. One of my uncles said he saw Zeppelin in 75 and the concert only lasted 45 minutes. After looking into it further it seems as though his memory is a little shaky. However there are still ZERO bands today that seem to give such amazing concerts as Zeppelin.

:D Shit, some nights in '75 "Dazed And Confused" alone was fourty five minutes! The only "short" Zep concerts I can think of were the ones that were ended/stopped prematurely, like April 9 (Chicago) or June 3 (Tampa)in '77 or June 27 (Nuremburg) in 1980.

Not all of Bonzo's half hour solos were boring, mind you. Probably my favourite -for '77 at least- is the one from Fort Worth, something like 28 minutes and change. He just goes apeshit on that one! IMO the problem with the record breaking May 26 solo is (assuming you have yet to hear it) is that it's very repetitive and just plain lazy sounding. He sounds tired. The groupies backstage at the Capital Center must have been pretty good to keep the rest of the band occupied for damn near thirty six minutes! It also doesn't help that, on the soundboard recording, it switches to the really crappy sounding audience recording right at the start of the synthesized tympani section (the SBD kicks back in literally at the ending of the tune, after they return with the "Moby Dick" coda) making the last twelve minutes or so just a big rumble of noise. And the May 28 drum solo -second longest- is pretty much more of the same, right down to a crappy audience recording patched in during the tympani section ( :P and no, they aren't the same recording, though for all intents and purposes they might as well be!)

Edited by Nutrocker

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Not all of Bonzo's half hour solos were boring, mind you. Probably my favourite -for '77 at least- is the one from Fort Worth, something like 28 minutes and change. He just goes apeshit on that one!

I love the solo from 5/21/77 in houston. it's only 19 mins long but it is so creative, like the solos in 71-72. the energy on that one os really great as well

now i gotta find the ft. worth over the top

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"How the West Was Won" 3-disc CD

CD 2

Dazed and Confused 25:25

What Is and What Should Never Be 4:41

Dancing Days 3:42

Moby Dick 19:20

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If you can find the uncut bootlegs on MSG in 73, those drum solos were all 28-29 minutes. Look for "The Garden Tapes" volumes.

Oh yeah, "Moby Dick" was more or less butchered for TSRTS...the actual solo is like twice as long as on the album or in the film!

As I recall, the Seattle '73 solo is pretty epic as well, it's over half an hour, if memory serves...

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Ah, but were Billy and Sir Reg onstage together for the whole 3:45? Or was it Billy in the first half, and Reg in the second? If they were together for the duration, I gotta say I'm impressed at their stamina for a couple of old guys!

It was about 3:45 minutes non stop. But Billy and Elton started it for the first 30 minutes minutes. Elton played his hour and half long set. Then Billy played for about an hour 15 minutes, then the two came back together for the last 30 minutes. But it was 3:45 minutes non stop music. I bet Elton played 2:30-3 hours with or without Billy Joel.

But a solo act going over 3 hours? Doesn't happen much. You may get some that go over 2 hours. Elton John did a 4 hour gig a couple years ago for his birthday or something like that. But I haven't really heard of any other recent acts that still go out there and play for 3 hours alone.

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