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cloudstr

Creem September 1973

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Best thread ever!

Wow!!! I completely agree. I read and learned so much that I had to post a comment. Nice!!!

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Sorry all, I thought I posted to wrong thread so everything has been deleted. I will bring it back in a moment :)

So, here is an interview with Plant and Page while they were on tour in America in 1973. That was a cool interview, always nice to hear from Mr. Page :rolleyes:

Source: http://www.geocities.com/brandyzep/zines.htm

Unspeakable Practices Unnatural Act
The Led Zeppelin circus is back.

by Lisa Robinson

"I think I realized what Led Zeppelin really was about around the end of our very first American tour. We started off not even on the bill in Denver, and by the time we got to New York City we were second to Iron Butterfly and they didn't , t want to go on! And I just started getting this little light... glowing inside, and I began wiggling me hips and realizing that it was all a fantastic trip, y'know? I'm not even really sure what it is that I've got to do, but I'm doing it... I guess it is magic in a way and I'm just glad that I possess it. I suppose I didn't always possess it ... possibly it was rough and raw, but it was always there. I'd always give everything I have to give," said Robert Plant as lie let the sun beat down on his body at poolside, the Royal Orleans Hotel, New Orleans.
"As far as I'm concerned," he continued, "we don't need no gimmicks. We are us, and there's nobody else who's us."
He's right. Just as you've almost forgotten them, ... wham, bam, back come Zeppelin with a number one album and a sellout concert tour. If you don't have a ticket already you probably won't get one in your town, because Zep's tickets go so fast it's ridiculous.
Their reputation has preceded them. There are the usual rumors, warnings, mumblings about unspeakable practices, and unnatural acts that accompany Zeppelin's presence in these parts. Watch out for these weirdo ruffians... they're Worse than The Faces, or The Who, or anyone you could imagine involved in Tile Crusades with a case of road fever. The interesting thing is that much of this imagining is done by those outside of Led Zeppelin, lecherous promotion men types who want Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones to act out fantasies for them in some vicarious depravo drama that they can chortle about in the privacy of their own homes. Come and hear about the Zeppelin circus! Sharks! Groupies! Whips! Didja hear what they did this time?? They THREW George and Patti Harrison in a POOL! Man, they smashed up all these paintings in a movie theater!! And they drove a motorcycle down the hallway of the (hardly, sacro? Continental Hyatt House! Far out...
Forget all that. If they were guilty of committing unnatural acts perhaps it was by creating some of the most magical rock and roll moments ever... performing non-stop for two and a half hours for thousands and thousands of American kids. 56,800 of them in Tampa. 49,304 in Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. 49,236 in Atlanta. And so it went with Led Zeppelin on this tour.
They hit towns like Jacksonville, Tuscaloosa, St. Louis, Mobile, New Orleans behind the supersonic force of having broken (in Tampa) the Beatles' Shea Stadium record for the highest paid attendance at a concert given by a single group-- ever. In all those cities and others they performed the massive rush rock they're famous for, as well as conjuring up moods with evolving and explorative versions of "Whole Lotta Love," "Dazed and Confused", and "Stairway To Heaven." They did songs from the new Houses of the Holy too. Jimmy Page did impeccably dazzling solos on both his six string and doubleneck Gibson guitars, and weaved electrical magician's spells with bits and flourishes on the theramin. Plant's strutting and accompanying vocal energy reached amazing heights-- the whole spectacle was an emotional, hardhitting and outrageous masterpiece.
And there were no gimmicks. No tuning up, no intermissions, no mandatory opening act, no platform shoes, no staged show, no dancing girls, no spaceship, no rhinestones, no bullshit. Just four boys and two and a half hours of their music and it's pretty damn visual all the same, thank you. It was, in fact stunning, and rendered one (who allowed oneself to get involved) helpless, and there was never enough. You couldn't possibly not fall in love with it.
New Orleans is a funny town. The French Quarter, where the band was staying, is only about 6 by 14 blocks but people say you can live your whole life in the city and never leave that section. You walk down Bourbon Street to the corner of lberville and there's The Gateway where Frankie Ford sings nightly, although you probably won't get him to sing "Sea Cruise" or "Roberta" unless you really ask him, as Robert Plant did. Frankie's heavy into singing "Fly Me To The Moon" these days. . Clarence "Frogman" Henry and Ernie K. Doe are alive and well and performing in such places like the Nite Cap Lounge and King's Castle. Broken Bottles and malt liquor cans fill the curbs of the Quarter and there are more than the usual number of people walking around mumbling to themselves. It's a wicked, sexy town. The decaying iron lacework Tennessee Williams balconies that line the streets house lots of bars serving "hurricanes"--jazz preserved here-- and you come to the Deja Vu, an appropriately named hangout for the local teenage talent and visiting rock and roll stars.
After Zeppelin's concert at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, "The Crunge" blasts out of the stereo system at the Deja Vu. People sit lazily on the balconies, sipping drinks and watching the full moon that conveniently seems to be following Zeppelin on this tour. Robert Plant stands alone inside at the billiard tables wearing a glittery silver blouse open to the waist. "I felt so nervous tonight," he confesses, smiling, "it was like playing in me home town. We've been here for a week, I feel that I know all the kids and everything. . ."

The sun is hot on the morning after and the entourage assembles around the pool, oiling up for the day's tanning rays. Richard Cole, Peter Grant, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and nameless others. Cole is the one who keeps it all together on the road, getting people and equipment in and out of cars with the efficiency of an army sargeant. A victim of the rock and roll wars with such groups as The Young Rascals, The Who, The Creation, The New Vaudeville Band, Cole-- like Plant and numerous pirates before them--wears a single gold hoop earring in one ear.
The owner of the Deja Vu drops by. "I know he's going to want something. . ." mumbles Peter Grant ominously. Grant is one of those supermanagers who is just as much a part of the group as any of the members who go on-stage. It is impossible, having met him even just once, to imagine Zeppelin without Grant's careful guidance and devoted concern somewhere nearby. Sure enough, the owner of the club wants to start a new tradition; he wants Zeppelin to put their hand and footprints in the cement outside the Deja Vu, just like Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. (Only, he keeps referring to Grauman's as a Chinese restaurant.) "Does this mean we've arrived?' asks Grant, laughing. "Why don't you get them to put their cocks in?," he suggests, "go on, ask Robert." Mr. Deja Vu does so and returns with the reply that Robert didn't know if it would make an imprint...Robert73.jpg
Sitting on the rooftop "observation dock" that overlooks the Mississippi 'River, Robert, relaxing in a red bikini, talks about how usually Zeppelin pack up once a year, say let's go, and do the tour. "But since about eight months ago we decided we wanted to work like hell and have been doing that for months.
"I really wanted it to be like it was in The Band of Joy," he smiles, "I wanted to go out and really work hard and at the end of the day be really finished, really zapped, and then wake up the next day and rock on, y'know? And that's exactly what we did and how I wish I'd never done it!"
Claiming that it's "sort of" a feeling of power on-stage, Robert continued. "It's really the ability to make people smile, or just to turn them one way or another for that duration of time, and for it to have some effect later on. I don't really think it's power... I like to think that people go away knowing that we're pretty raunchy and we really do alot of the things people say we do, but at the same time-- this is what we're getting over: it's goodness. It's not power, revolution, put your fists in the air, I like them to go away feeling the way you do at the end of a good chick, satisfied and exhausted.
"I don't know about riots -- that's all gone. And if there's anybody who wishes to create them in this business, he should be electrocuted on-stage. In his own chair. That's really negative.
"I could never be bored," he says,. sipping some grotesque Southern fruit punch concoction, "because I know that I could have easily been a chartered accountant, that was what I was set out to do. As long as there's a face looking up at me in the middle of the ocean that knows what I'm doing, it could never be boring."
He grins, "Some nights I just look out there and want to fuck the whole first row. . . "
We talk a bit about the new music and the press reaction. This is perhaps touching on dangerous ground, for one always hears how sensitive Zeppelin is to their press. . . but Robert laughs when he talks about "D'Yer Maker" in particular, a song I say I think should be a single. "Do you know how much that song is hated in the English press? They really dept writing things like WILL DESMOND' DEKKER JOIN LED ZEPPELIN. That's the trouble in England, y'see... you've got Emerson, Lake and Palmer who, aside from being a bunch of old queens people think okay, Emerson, Lake and Palmer must be great because they're good musicians, they've go capability. But where is the magic? Where is the transmission of something apart from what everybody expects?
"I'm not worried about press really. I mean you saw it, I saw it, 50,000 people saw it in one town, and it's the relation of it to the people who don't see it and the cacaphony of bullshit. If it was related properly, if they wrote down what they saw, that would be cool. But too many people --when it comes to us, say 'oh well, Zeppelin were fantastic, they 've always been fantastic,' and that's it. Full stop. And the thing is it's constantly changing and improving and taking on different filters of color and intensity which they don't even see and if they do they don't write it down.
"Every paper in England was full of things like 'Well -- Zeppelin was the greatest group in the world, that's it what shall we have next.' And Melody Maker had this big center spread that said our next lp would be crucial," he laughs. "Christ our next album will be cosmic... it will be terrestrial!!! We're just going along different lines than those people, y'know, I don't know what they expect from us, but they ain't gonna get what they want."
Led Zeppelin decided that they wanted to talk to the press this time in America--that is, Robert and Jimmy are talking to the press. Of the two, Robert is the more outgoing, raunchy, rollicking, loving. More accessible. With Jimmy you always have to wait a day longer to talk to him, and you're not completely sure that he wants to talk at all. There is an element of curiosity on his part -- like he wants to hear what you've got to ask more than what he has to say-- but he soon warms to the subject of his band and his music. Nonetheless, there is a sense of holding back; the words, when they come, come hesitantly though they are perceptive and articulately spoken. He just seems a bit pained by being on the road, almost as if he wished there were someone around to talk to on a higher mental plane. If you could get close to him you might discover some spiritual secrets, but it's not magic he's about to give away easily.Jimmy73a.jpg
Why did he decide to do interviews on this tour? "Well, apart from the fact that nobody knew who I was," he laughed, "I thought it was time to say something. There was a time when I didn't do any interviews for about eighteen months because I was just so thoroughly sick of that aspect of the business and didn't want to be a part of it. More so in England, because it seemed to be losing the essence of what was important and that was music, purely. They seemed to be having orgies on other issues that didn't have anything to do with it. Well, they do, don't they? Wallow in rubbish. And you know, I'm not that much of a masochist -- well, I might be a masochist in other regions, but I'm certainly not to that extent where I'm going to pay money to tear myself to bits--reading.
"I've asked all the reporters I've been doing interviews with this time around 'when was the last time you saw the group' ? purely out of curiosity, and it's quite surprising," Jimmy continued. "For many it's been two or three years and they've made pre-conceived judgments. See with us, we're always changing on-stage every night, we never get two guitar breaks that are the same. All these riffs appear out of nowhere every night. And I have a theory that if we were the sort of a group that went out and played exactly the same each night like... well, I'm not going to name anybody, but obviously there are groups that play every guitar note exactly the same as it is on the record and everything is so predictable that it becomes a total bore. If we were like that, the albums would have all stuck in the same grove more or less. But as all our minds are alive and still working, we go through these changes.
" 'Dazed and Confused' changes every night," he continues. "So it's a vehicle for exploring and getting off, for me personally. And if we felt that we didn't enjoy doing a number we'd drop it. That's all there is to it. If somebody in the group said 'god, we can't ever play 'Whole Lotta Love' again', we wouldn't play it. And the same with 'Stairway,' whatever, if someone couldn't play it, it would have to go."
As far as the inevitable Yardbirds questions are concerned, Jimmy says that he understands there is this nostalgia thing about the band but yes, he does get tired of people asking. "I did an interview with Zig Zag magazine in London and as far as I'm concerned, that was the final interview on the Yardbirds. It explained it totally in terms of chronology without going into information that wasn't for other people's ears. There are things about that band that are purely for people who were involved in that situation; I know there are other people who were with the group who have been indiscreet, but that's up to them"
Does he ever contemplate working alongside another guitarist again? "Sometimes I've thought it would be nice to have another guitarist onstage," he admits, "but it would have to be somebody really capable, not just a rhythm guitarist because that wouldn't be any good at all. It would be nice to get somebody you could work out double lead passages with. When I was with the Yardbirds and Jeff and myself used two guitars, doing leads, I think that was the first band to use two guitars. Since then it's been an obvious progression, there are so many groups who, pull it off well now. Also, the concept of two lead guitars is a nice one. But then again, I don't think it would be right, because it's more of a challenge to try and get it with just what we've got. That's the thing really--if we can just keep it together ourselves, and just play. And John Paul Jones has a really good command of other instruments-- we should be able to orchestrate anything on our own."
We talk of the size and grandeur of this tour-- they spent the month of May in the South, the West, and West Coast--and returned in July for the East, Northeast, and Midwest... "Primarily because we couldn't get fully around last time," Jimmy explains. "We came here for about three weeks and we did something like 19 dates in 22 days, and with all the jet commuting it did in totally. After that, I just slept for about a week, I was so exhausted. You know ? we were playing for about three hours then and it takes everything out of you. We've cut it down a bit now I to about 21/2 hours," he smiles, " and this time we decided it would be better to come here for four weeks, then go home and return for four weeks and get right around."RobertTampa.jpg
The mention of the amazing numbers of kids coming to see them this tour brings a look of real pleasure to his beautifully sensitive face (his photos really don't do him justice), and he says, "It's quite an experience really; I mean to think that we've only been here twice in the last two years ... "
"I must admit that when I went to the first gig it was a bit nervy. It wasn't the biggest, about 50,000 or something but we went down there-- in Atlanta: when we got there-- to view the place. And there was all this equipment, there was more equipment than was at Woodstock. And power there were four big speakers which in fact was what it needed, so even though it was a ridiculous amount of equipment, it was right. Anyway, there was all this equipment and this huge great stage and backcloth mirrored thing with the revolving balls and I was looking around... huge great arena... and I thought, my god there's only four of us, and that's it, they're coming down to see us. And you're bound to get a bit nervy when you think that they might be coming there with a hypercritical attitude... Well, actually I shouldn't have said that because they didn't there. In Atlanta they were really warm and naturally you react to the warmth of the audience. Sometimes the audience is better than the group, and we really get off on them. At that particular gig one had nothing to worry about and in fact, this whole tour has had this sort of warmth about it. You go out and they're giving you so much that you have to give it back to them."
"It's like 'light a candle'," Robert had said to me earlier, "I think they realize that we give so much, and they want to give it right back... I think if concrete could propel itself, we could all go over the hills and far away right into the land of good times, y'know?

Edited by cloudstr

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