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How Many More Times

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In light of the new '69 tape, I've been having some interesting conversations with other forum members here regarding How Many More Times and its significance/influence within the canon of Zeppelin's live performances. It's certainly a production masterpiece, and the songwriting created a fascinating mosaic of different influences/genres; Zeppelin's first symphony, if you will. But the live performances of HMMT also provide an intriguing portrait of Zeppelin's birth as a live-performing unit, while also foreshadowing the evolution of the band as a unique, cohesive, and experimental force to be reckoned with. (And, to be frank, any live performance of HMMT is always a balls-to-the-wall good time. B) )

Out of curiosity, my questions are these:

  • In your opinion, how is HMMT's influence demonstrated over the course of Zeppelin's career as a live act (through performance in general and/or future live performances of other songs)? I think this could be answered in a multitude of different ways - individual improvisation, interplay among the band members, creation of medleys, instrumentation, etc.

  • For the forum members who have performed HMMT live: what are some creative choices you have made or risks you have taken while performing the song? Is it a piece that can be easily rehearsed/planned beforehand, or do you find that it takes on a life of its own in the moment?

  • To piggyback off of some recent threads here: what is your favorite live performance of HMMT, and why?

Looking forward to your responses. :)

Edited by lightandshade
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Well I was never really into this song itself. I like its live renditions, cos of the medleys and interplays uve mentioned. This song put basements (along with DaC) that evolved into 30min No Quarters and other LIVE masterpieces. It shaped Zeppelin as we know it. Thats for sure, but ofc if there was no HMMT, there would be some other song they would be putting medleys into. The song itself is very easy and there is nothing special about it IMO.

Ive never performed HMMT live, but IF I were to, I guess it would be just what it is. A basement for further improvisation and musical communication right on stage with other musicians up there. Nothing to really shape or rehearse, more sort of... let it flow kind of stuff. Ofc you need to rehearse it to see if it works in the band, what ideas could we work around etc etc, but it would be a LIVE song in the setlist for sure (again, cos on its own, its kinda "boring", one riff song. What makes it special is what comes with it).

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well written post L&S

1. definitely a sparkling example for the performance driven band, curious why they dropped it as a part of the set as quickly as they did unless they had taken it as far as they felt like they could at the time

2. have played it live <50 times, to get the feel right requires a lock-step in the rythym section that most bands can approximate, its the dynamics that can mercilessly fling you off into the weeds if you attempt them faithfully

3. favorite performance is the next time they play it, up til now its the 12/30/68 Gonzaga- to me this is the text book and elemental primer for all things Led Zeppelin

this song has a message, a story and when Led Zeppelin perform it they convey a nonverbal communication that is truly special- it exudes confidence, competence and a virtuoso moxy that I don't think I have seen and it not be faked.

It has balls.

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The song itself is very easy and there is nothing special about it IMO.

I love how musicians learn how to play someone else's music, and then claim it's easy to play. It may be easy, but coming up with it is the hard part.

Have you come up with something so good, so powerful, that was easy to play? I didn't think so.

Edited by Amstel
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As a musician myself (I play but can't write for shit) all I can say is this, you practice enough and put your sweat into it, you can learn to play just about anything, regardless of how complex it is. The hard part is writing, the creative process if you will. That, a person is born with, it cannot really be taught and therefore is where the real talent lay.

Look at it this way, in 100 years no one will ever know who Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhodes, or Yngwie Malmsteen were, however history will remember the likes of Hendrix, Page, Clapton, BB King, and Robert Johnson.

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The song has a great infectious groove and the band would jam the shit out of it during a live performance and would really bring down the house night after night with this number.

The best way to demonstrate it is to just listen to a few great live versions:

Copenhagen 1970 :

Houston 1970:

Tampa 1970:

Central Park 1969:

Edited by Sticks of Fire
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