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Reed Perry

Bonhams Best Shows

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What are some of the shows youve listened to where bonham was on fire. Playing at his best.

Personally i love the playing from the 6-21-77 show. The opening numbers are so intricate. Opinions?

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Houston '77

Knebworth #1 '79

Albert Hall '70

...haven't heard anything that ever disappoints. I don't think the man mailed in a single performance

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Personally, I don't think I have ever heard him not play his best. All the concerts I've heard from '68 to '80 were top notch.

Edited by ZeppMan93

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Personally, I don't think I have ever heard him not play his best. All the concerts I've heard from '68 to '80 were top notch.

Give San Diego 19/6/77 a listen to hear Bonham sounding not like himself, at least for the first few songs. He had too many rhinestones that night...see also Nuremburg 27/6/80- the infamous show where Bonzo begged off after three songs because supposedly he ate something like 27 bananas...sure he did :lol:

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Hm. I haven't seen those shows so that is probably why hahaha. I'll give it a listen.

Edited by ZeppMan93

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Every show from 1968-1980

- I will say San Diego 6-19-77 and Nuremburg 6-27-80 were off nights but still better than most other bands.

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1977/05/22. Bonzo makes this show his bitch.

You got that right, even if his overenthusiasm in places almost throws the band into chaos ("In My Time Of Dying" being a prime example)...I've praised Bonham's drum solo from Fort Worth many times, here and elsewhere- it's one of those shows where Bonham is the star, he owns the performance.

I will say San Diego 6-19-77 and Nuremburg 6-27-80 were off nights but still better than most other bands.

As far as the San Diego show goes, to their credit, Page, Plant and even JPJ with his bad back make up for Bonzo's decidedly 'off' performance. Still, you can tell from the get go that John Bonham was not in good shape on the night, and I suspect from when his playing does pick up probably needed a whole lotta blow to make it through the show...it was either that or cancel at short notice and risk all hell breaking loose, I s'pose.

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He's especially hot during the '73 tour of Europe. I think he was trying to cover for his mate.

Agreed, he was on fire in March in the German shows. During Dazed & Confused in Hamburg and Vienna, he threw in rolls and stops and starts that he never did before or after. Just sick.

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I tend to opine Bonham's top shows come from his greatest year: 1977

06/21 - self-explanatory

04/28 - standouts SIBLY, ALS, RnR, - generally the whole show features incessant and unrelenting fills, time signature play and start/stops. This show will rocket to the top amongst fans if and when a soundboard is released.

05/21 - standout ALS. Insane fills.

07/17 - standouts OTT, SA, ALS - fantastic bombastic confident drumming. Get the audience recording, screw the dry video soundtrack. The audience source has the atmosphere of Pontiac with much better sound.

05/22 - standouts OTT, ALS, whole show - he's not afraid to show off here.

Towards the end of Zeppelin playing the shows themselves were the only thing that distracted Bonham from his drug exacerbated rapidly deteriorating manic depressive mental state. He constantly worried about whether he still had the chops to be the drummer of the world's greatest band - every night of '77 he was on a mission to prove to himself and the public that he still had it. When he stumbled, as in San Diego, he came back doubly determined.

From the band's account his passing in 1980 was in part motivated by his anxiousness and insecurities.

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I tend to opine Bonham's top shows come from his greatest year: 1977

Naturally, I tend to agree!

06/21 - self-explanatory

Clearly Bonzo felt he had to make up for his poor showing in San Diego two days earlier. The 21/6/77 "The Song Remains The Same" is of course the stuff of legend, and rightfully so.

04/28 - standouts SIBLY, ALS, RnR, - generally the whole show features incessant and unrelenting fills, time signature play and start/stops. This show will rocket to the top amongst fans if and when a soundboard is released.

Even without the soundboard, it is clear the whole band was especially on the ball on 28/4/77, but Bonham pretty owns this performance too.

05/21 - standout ALS. Insane fills.

05/22 - standouts OTT, ALS, whole show - he's not afraid to show off here.

Trouble with these shows is Bonham comes dangerously close to overplaying on these shows; his fills near the end of IMTOD both nights nearly derail the song altogether. As Rick James would say, "Cocaine's a helluva drug!" :lol:

07/17 - standouts OTT, SA, ALS - fantastic bombastic confident drumming. Get the audience recording, screw the dry video soundtrack. The audience source has the atmosphere of Pontiac with much better sound.

Plant and Page were more or less below par in Seattle, but Jones and Bonham in particular rose to the occasion. Agreed on the audience tape, you totally get that sense of 'event' you don't get from the video/video soundtrack.

Towards the end of Zeppelin playing the shows themselves were the only thing that distracted Bonham from his drug exacerbated rapidly deteriorating manic depressive mental state. He constantly worried about whether he still had the chops to be the drummer of the world's greatest band - every night of '77 he was on a mission to prove to himself and the public that he still had it. When he stumbled, as in San Diego, he came back doubly determined.

Absolutely goddamn right on all of the above. To his credit, in spite of his depressions and addictions Bonham had a sense of perfection and professionalism that somebody like Keith Moon lacked.

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I cannot imagine the pressure- even listening to the ITTOD outtakes it was obvious that he felt like he was on a runaway locomotive with only a tightrope as a rail. He was brilliant yet most likely to him he was barely hanging on. Hearing him fight through the All My Love takes...

went back and listened to 7/17- Sick Again is balls out

Naturally, I tend to agree!

...Bonham had a sense of perfection and professionalism that somebody like Keith Moon lacked.

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I think he was at his best in 1977, too. But from other years, there are Bonham performances that stand out to me because he's playing kind of different than his usual style. Off the top of my head, I think of How Many More Times from Texas Pop '69, and Dazed and Confused from Stoke, 1973. Those are performances where he deliberately changed the usual way he played, I assume just to experiment, and played kind of lighter, airier, jazzier. If I had to pick, I prefer the hard hitting (but always swinging) Bonham....but it's cool to hear him mix things up and show that he can do anything.

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What are some of the shows youve listened to where bonham was on fire. Playing at his best.

Personally i love the playing from the 6-21-77 show. The opening numbers are so intricate. Opinions?

There are so many

Bonham was just killing during Led Zeppelin's 1973 European tour! I'd love for the Peart fans to listen to any concert from this tour, and they would come to the realization that Bonham is better than ole' Neil. I've never heard Neil Peart play like Bonham played on this great tour.

Bonham tore up the 75' North American tour. Listen to the bootleg "Chasing The Dragon" from Dallas, TX 3/4/75. Bonham is just spectacular during Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, etc., etc. Actually, Bonham was on fire during this whole tour!

In 77' Bonham was awesome too. His speed, power, and chops were "Over The Top"

Edited by Amstel

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To those saying March 1973, I heartily concur, but don't forget about January '73, too. Those Winter UK shows were on fire, too, and showed Bonzo already preparing for his European onslaught.

Liverpool, Stoke-on-Trent, Aberdeen...all of these Jan. '73 shows are worth checking out. A far cry from the tentativeness of the Dec. '72 start of the tour.

I also tend to agree his playing overall was better in 1977 than 1975...in 1975 it seemed he sometimes suffered from too many 'ludes. However, aside from the aforementioned June 19 77 San Diego night, I would also advise staying away from May 26 Landover, too. This is Bonzo at his most brutally boring and sluggish and lost. The WORST IMTOD I've ever heard...ALS is a mess and not even Kashmir saves the night. Over the Top is almost a crime against the audience...well over 30 minutes of aimless plonking. My heart sunk the first time I listened to this concert.

But apart from 5.26 and 6.19, all other 1977 shows I've heard show Bonham blazing and in consistent good form. Note: I have not heard Tempe '77. ;)

Edited by Strider

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Quite a few of Bonham's best shows during the latter era were done when someone special was in the wings.

06/30/80 - Ahmet

07/05/80 - Simon Kirke

06/23/77 - Moon. But if I were Bonham I wouldn't have been that motivated. I don't think Moon even knew where he was, much less focusing intently on watching the only man that played the skins better than him.

07/24/77 - lots of backstage eyes were peering at Mr. Bonham on this day

For someone juggling alcoholism, a cocaine habit, and bi-daily experiments with heroin he played remarkably well. It would appear Robert and Bonzo would stay relatively clean prior to and during the show, whereas Page's performance was determined by how "subtle" his afternoon blend was, and I'm not referring to bananas and alcohol.

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To those saying March 1973, I heartily concur, but don't forget about January '73, too. Those Winter UK shows were on fire, too, and showed Bonzo already preparing for his European onslaught.

Liverpool, Stoke-on-Trent, Aberdeen...all of these Jan. '73 shows are worth checking out. A far cry from the tentativeness of the Dec. '72 start of the tour.

Yes, the 1/15/73 Stoke show is great...sweet soundboard and Bonham destroys it.

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If I had to pick the Bonzo's best show. I would have to pick 6/21 show. TSRTS literally made me regret picking up drum sticks. I tell you one thing, I want whatever he was having that night, especially that song.

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I talk a lot about Bonham during '77 - reason is it seems to be the year where he threw in the most fills and mixed things up.

What are his top shows in '75, wherein he deviates and creates regularly, and allows his drums to take front stage like he did so often in '77?

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The first show from Dallas in 1975 is awesome in terms of his drumming imo, especially the first few songs.

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