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PAGE & PLANT @ HOLLYWOOD BOWL Sept. 19, 1998.


Strider

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Thanks to Jimmy Page for reminding me this gig was in September...I always think it was October 98.

Anyhow, I'm listening to the show right now as I write this...Jimmy is blazing through No Quarter at the moment...and so I thought I'd post a brief word or two about this concert, the first and only time Robert and Jimmy have played the Hollywood Bowl.

While the first Page & Plant tour(the Un-Ledded tour of 1995) was great, and I enjoyed all 4 concerts I saw from that tour, I was even more excited about 1998's Walking Into Everywhere tour. They had a new album out with new songs to play: Walking Into Clarksdale. An album that was underrated when it was released but has held up rather well over time. I still like it to this day...in fact, I may like it even more now than I did back in 1998. Burning Up contains some of Jimmy's most incendiary post-Zeppelin playing.

Another reason I was looking forward to the tour was that, unlike the Un-Ledded tour, where Jimmy had guitar help from Porl Thomson, this time Jimmy was shouldering the load himself. And it was back to a basic quartet format...with occasional keyboard help from Ed Shearmer. No orchestras to help camouflage the sound.

If Jimmy was really and truly back to former form, this 1998 tour would reveal the answer.

Having scored front row garden box seats for the Hollywood Bowl show the day tix went on sale, I was gonna let the Bowl show suffice for that tour. But as the date drew nearer, I started getting the urge to see the Irvine Meadows show that would be held the night before the Bowl show.

So on Sept. 18, 1998, a few of us decided to drive down to Irvine from LA and see if we could score some cheap lawn seats. We could and we did.

Even from way back in the lawn section, the show was amazing. Jimmy was playing great and showing some of that old fire and razzmatazz. They even busted out Celebration Day for the encore!

After the show, me and my friend who also was going to the Bowl show couldn't wait for the next day. If the Irvine show was great, how much better would the Bowl show be with us having great seats?

Sept. 19 was a gorgeous day, but all I could think was for the night to hurry up and arrive. I didn't have to work that day, so I was able to sleep in after being out late at the concert the night before.

I was bringing my portable recording Walkman and 2 90 minute Maxell tapes to tape the concert. I was also bringing a camera...a 35mm SLR...so I spent most of the afternoon figuring out my plan of sneaking both in.

There was no opening band...at least, I don't remember one. There were a few loudmouths in the box to the left of us, but they behaved better as the show progressed.

The opening intro tape featured some spacey music, and before you knew it, Jimmy, Robert and the band were on stage, ripping into Wanton Song! It took a bit before the soundguy figured out the Hollywood Bowl acoustics and delivered optimum sound.

But once the sound was sorted out, the concert took off, around the time they played "Ramble On". Then came some of the new songs like "When the World Was Young", which sounded better in concert than on record.

"No Quarter" was scorching hot! At this point you could see Jimmy was as close as he'd ever been to his former glory days. Of course, you could also ksee Jimmy drooling, but I won't dwell on that.

One emotional highlight of the show was when they played "Going to California"...the cheer from the crowd was so loud me and my friend turned our heads to look back and were greeted with the sight of hundreds of lit lighters held aloft. Robert Plant was especially in fine voice for this song...he even gave a little dedication to the Riot House and Miss Pamela.

Another jaw-dropping moment: How Many More Times(introduced by Robert Plant as "psychedelic jazz"), with Jimmy whipping the bow out for a near spot-on rendition of the recorded bow segment from the first album. My friend had never seen Led Zeppelin, so this moment was extra special to him, seeing Jimmy whip his guitar with a little of the old ultra-violence.

Most High was one of my favourite new songs and live, it did not disappoint...a hypnotic, swirling mass of sound. If there was any disappointment, it was that they didn't play more new songs from the Walking Into Clarksdale album.

Where was Burning Up?! This should've been mandatory! I would have gladly sacrificed a few more Zeppelin tunes for more Clarksdale songs. And I have a feeling Robert felt the same way, which was probably one reason why they split following the tour.

All in all, though, it was a great night, and proof that Jimmy's playing was back to where it belonged. From this tour he would go on to form his alliance with the Black Crowes, and play more great shows until, alas, his back or hip gave out and he had to stop.

From that point on, all momentum was lost. Aside from the O2 gig in 2007 and his joining Foo Fighters at their Wembley gig, public performances have been rare and spotty.

Hopefully he'll get his mojo back someday.

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I was there bro. Great show. Paid a bunch to sit right up front too. I remember a lot my friends from NJ being upset with me because I didn't want to fly home for our high school reunion. Screw that. P&P all the way.

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Wow, you sneaked in a camera and a tape recorder.

How did the recordings turn out to be, since I never saw or heard anything from that show.......

The tapes came out pretty good...it's got the usual amount of tape hiss that you get with cassettes. I managed to time my tape flips pretty good so I only missed a few seconds at the end of Most High and one of Plant's remarks...but otherwise it's complete. I've just never bothered to convert it to either mp3 files or burn it to cd. I've only made a few copies for friends.

After I had a bunch of my bootleg master tapes stolen(all my 80's and early 90s tapes), I stopped trading.

The pictures came out so-so...trying to deal with taping the show and taking pictures was difficult. I have a few buried in my archives...I'll try to unearth them.

What's funny is that the security came over and told me to stop taking photos. The whole time they are reading me the riot act, I was praying they wouldn't spot the microphone clipped to my baseball cap! Sure, I'll stop taking photos...now just stop talking over the music and go away before you discover my tape recorder, haha.

Anyway, if you're interested in a copy, pm me.

It's not Mike Millard quality, but it's better than Bath 70 or those bozos that taped Montreal 75.

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  • 4 weeks later...

In retrospect, '98 was both spectacular and sad as well. Indeed, for the most part Jimmy had returned to form. I saw them at MSG in NY, and when he started playing Heartbreaker, I was like...oh oh, but he pulled it off and the show was amazing. I would love to know exactly what happened between '95 and '98, perhaps Robert encouraged him to get straight, practice etc...whatever it was, it worked.

As for the sad part, '98 seems to be the coda for Jimmy in terms of taking on a full tour. If you think about it, just when Jimmy gets his chops back, Robert takes off and leaves. You can look at it two ways..maybe Robert's mission was to try to help Jimmy get back to form and once he did, Robert thought "job done, now he can stand on his own two feet". Or perhaps, once Robert saw that Jimmy was becomming a monster on stage again, Robert felt threatened a bit and left so he can assume his position as the headlne performer.

Perhaps this is giving Robert too much credit for Jimmy's revisal but it certainly makes you think about the timing of everything.

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Wow, you sneaked in a camera and a tape recorder. How did the recordings turn out to be, since I never saw or heard anything from that show.......

Third Eye Productions released a very good audience-shot VIDEO of the complete show. It's 1 hr 52 mins 36 secs in length.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My best friend and I were at the Irvine show as well, Strider. We also attended the Unledded show in San Diego, which was great. But the '98 show was much closer (perhaps obviously) to the "Zep feel." We had box seats pretty close, and the show was indeed smokin' hot.

;^)

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  • 1 year later...

Great memories of the Hollywood Bowl show, Strider.....!

I was at this one as well as the Irvine Meadows show in 1998 (man, that is a STEEP hill where the lawn seats are at Irvine).... What great memories!

I definitely made it a point to see the Southern California shows in 95 & 98. (Both LA Forum shows and the San Diego gig in early 1995, came back out for the two Irvine Meadows shows in Oct 95 (the 2nd is preserved on an excellent pro shot video) and both the Irvine Meadows and Hollywood Bowl shows in 1998.... They really threw down some great shows in that stretch, to be sure.....

One of the wilder memories from the LA Forum shows.....looking back in the "Will Call" line as I was waiting to pick up my passes - I saw John Tesh, the king of new age symphonics and ANGIE DICKINSON, the original "Police Woman", waiting dutifully in line to pick up their passes.... Angie "Freaking" Dickinson ?!? - didn't peg her as a Zeppelin fan....!

What throws me now? - It's been 15 YEARS since those last Page/Plant shows!!

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I'll put details here. I hope it doesn't raise a fuss.I mean it's not an official copyrighted thing. There's a lot of live unofficial P&P stuff on youtube anyway. Maybe jaiii can pay this forward. I'll still send you a pm just to see if it can reach to the Darkest Depths of Mordor.

Artwork can be found on Zeppelinart. http://www.zeppelinart.com/browse.asp?dir=page%2Dplant%2F1998%2F1998%2D09%2D19+hollywood

19th September 1998
Hollywood Bowl,
Los Angeles

Lineage: CD-A(x)> EAC/WAV> FLAC(TLH)
AUD: 8.5/10
Another fine show and one I have never seen in general circulation.

CD1
01 Egyptian Intro
02 The Wanton Song
03 Bring it on Home
04 Heartbreaker
05 Ramble On
06 Walking Into Clarksdale
07 No Quarter
08 When The World Was Young
09 Going To California
10 Tangerine
11 Gallows Pole
12 Heart In Your Hand
CD2
01 Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
02 How Many More Times
03 Most High
04 Whole Lotta Love
05 Black Dog
06 Rock And Roll

Art incl.
Thanks to Zepfan & Badloser
Gallows@DaD June 2009 on behalf of EHI(European Hoarders Inc)
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Well, since I have yet to convert my cassette masters to digital or cd, everyone might be better off with apantherfrommd's offer, as it'll be quicker that way. When I get around to 1) finding my tapes(most of my concert tapes are boxed up in storage); and 2) getting them transferred to disc, I'll let you know.

If anyone is still intetested, we can work out a trade.

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