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Wolfgang

The 1977 Tour

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I was at the June 7th show at Madison Square Garden in NYC at 14 years old.My brother and I had no tickets,so the early trip to the Garden was in order.We were there around 3:00PM for an 8:00 show and within 30 minutes,we scored 2 Loge seats for $30 a shot.$30 per ticket we thought? $10.50 face value?? Boycott Led Zeppelin,(those were the days,today the program costs $30).Anyway,strange crowd.Lots of hard drugs around,lots of violence.The NYC riot squad was around the arena and weren't in the mood for bullshit.We were actually allowed in the arena at 5:00 PM for an 8:00 start.Watching the sound crew still building the scaffolding that would hold the PA.This show would not start on time.Zeppelin came out around 9:30.Page was a mess.Was this the same great player I was looking forward to seeing? Sure didn't seem it.Bonham and JPJ were rock solid as usual and Plant was up for the NYC shows.Whata shame Page was in the drug haze he was in as the set list was long,varied and interesting.His playing though was terrible.Noise,just noise.I had no idea this would be it though.Within 3 months,Plants son died and even though they toured in 1980 and released In Through the Out Door this was it for America.For that reason,the 77 tour was sort of a goodbye.Even though Page was a basket case and the sound system sucked,I still remember this show with amazing clarity.I just wished I could have caught them in a better state.But we were all in that state in 1977....

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saw zep on the 5th night of 6 @ la forum. sat front row. the ever so cool webmaster of this site has graciously attached my name (Paul Dahbour class 80 San Gabriel high) to pics i submitted from this show( i know you can't verify) but anyone who knows me from days @ Seal Beach with my Tony Juliano to the wild times in Hollyweird etc knows I am a hard core fan ( who ever stole my tix stub from one of my "Paul production Parties @ 1357 Elm ave San gabriel, give it back!). anyways. my girlfriend, Lisa Gilmour (sorry I was such a shit/last time i ever saw you/wish i could take back my behavior) went to get tix w/parents & was there when the first 3 shows sold out in like 10-15mins. She heard rumors about other shows being added. Anyways, she was by tix window when they opened to sell for night 5 after night 4 sold out fast. I have seen most of the bands i grew up loving & still listen to besides zep such as Black sabbath ( 78 tour still a crime Boston was headliner @ Anahiem Stadium, Van hurtin & hager also on the bill) Pink Floyd, Priest, John Mayhall, remember the Starwood? Anyways, I still believe that Zep concert was magical & the gig was the ultimate. I am saddened to read so much about how the 77 tour had so many lowlights as per others. Still, I am unduanted as it was an amazing show! I believe they rose to the occassion @ some of their fav places to such as LA, NY, etc. on that tour I remember the electricity, the haze of smoke, the showmanship, the band-members appeared to be enjoying themselves, the sound was clean, etc. I think the concert lasted around 4 hours, but went by faster. My ears were ringing for a couple of days as it was very loud concert. I know I'm rambling, but I enjoy TSRTS way better that HTWWW. Iknow we lost the great no Quarter solo on new re-mastered TSRTS, but the CD's f'in rock. I would agree with those who say the "73 tour was Zep @ their concert best, based on many bootlegs etc, but that night in LA was so great, wish i could be more eloquent in describing my experience. I'm hoping the webmaster posts a pic i sent w/JP playing double neck & looking right @ me. take care, I gotta get back to work.

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This will draw debate Im sure. In my opinion the 77 tour absolutely has to be considered the best ever. And I say this because it included Physical Graffiti and Presence while the earlier ones did not. I think that only IV could be argued to be a better album than Graffiti. Of course its a double but it is so versatile. You have the rockers like The Rover and Custard Pie and the incredible Kashmir which I consider a mix of hard rock and classical. And then you have Black Country Woman which is sort of reminiscent of the material on III. And you even have a country/rock mix with Down By the Seaside. Bonham's drumming is prcision perfect as always. Trampled Under Foot is a combo of rock and disco. It has everything. I certainly have to say it blows Presence away, but of course they took 18 months between Houses of the Holy and its release. To the casual Zep fan, IV and II are probably always going to rank the hightest. But to the die hard fans like myself, I believe Graffiti is special. Just my opinion. Now brinig on the onslaught of criticism. Im ready.

Considering they didn't play The Rover, Custard Pie or Down By The Seaside live on the 77 tour (or ever, for that matter), that's the first issue with your post.

Have you ever heard any of the live shows? The '77 tour, in my opinion and many others', has high points but was riddled with sloppy playing and lackluster nights compared to earlier tours.

Edited by solar

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I was at the Memorial day concert in DC (Landover MD on May 30 1977). No they didnt play the ones you mentioned, even though they medleyed the Rover, but they played Kashmir and Black Country Woman, and In My Time Of Dying and Achilles Last Stand just to mention a few. And they were not sloppy. And after being robbed, I didnt even get a puff until a couple of locals broke out with some good hashish of the day. So my senses were quite intact even though Id have preferred a moderate buzz.

The bulk of the shows I've heard from the '77 tour (including two from Landover) are relatively bland compared to the '70, '71 and '73 tours. Even the latter half of '75 was dynamite. Like I said, there were high points and exhilirating shows on the '77 tour, but they weren't the norm when you listen to Zeppelin's whole body of live work.

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You know I always thought it was probably better to catch a band when they had the night before off. During these gruelling tours it must take alot out of Jimmy and Bonzo physically to have to play two or three nights in a row. I saw them rested, last night in DC, but the other guy on this site saw them the next night in Greensboro, NC. I wonder if anyone has ever compared these bootlegs to see which was better. I have a half ass recording of the one I was at. All the songs cut off before the end. I guess I didnt know how to do it right. /and then there was this converting Flac to Wav files. Very confusing to the casual computer user like myself. As for the 77 tour, Im just saying that there was more of their material to hear. so I liked the fact tha Graffiti was played much.

Certainly no argument about the setlist from the '77 tour. The nights when they were hot were mindblowing, and I think you're right about the off day in between. Even on the '73 and '75 tours it seemed to help, other than L.A. shows when they were always on fire.

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This will draw debate Im sure. In my opinion the 77 tour absolutely has to be considered the best ever. And I say this because it included Physical Graffiti and Presence while the earlier ones did not. I think that only IV could be argued to be a better album than Graffiti. Of course its a double but it is so versatile. You have the rockers like The Rover and Custard Pie and the incredible Kashmir which I consider a mix of hard rock and classical. And then you have Black Country Woman which is sort of reminiscent of the material on III. And you even have a country/rock mix with Down By the Seaside. Bonham's drumming is prcision perfect as always. Trampled Under Foot is a combo of rock and disco. It has everything. I certainly have to say it blows Presence away, but of course they took 18 months between Houses of the Holy and its release. To the casual Zep fan, IV and II are probably always going to rank the hightest. But to the die hard fans like myself, I believe Graffiti is special. Just my opinion. Now brinig on the onslaught of criticism. Im ready.

No criticism here, bro. I was at the 1977 tour, and I can't understand what all the gripes are about either. I saw 3 nights at Madison Square Garden in NYC, and they were all pristine. Page was awesome as always, and his playing was incredible, especially during the acoustic portion- Black Country Woman, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, Battle of Evermore, etc. I have no idea what anybody is talking about regarding a drug-stupored Page- it simply isn't true- I was there! Also in agreement with you about Physical Graffitti being one of their best- definitely an underappreciated LP with songs like "In My Time of Dying" and "In the Light" not getting enough recognition.

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Good to see someone out there agrees with me. We got to see them with all but In through the Outdoor released. And as we all know, that tour never happened. I would rate that album even with Presence. But the first 6 were better than both. Ive always said that Coda doesnt really count because it never would have been released if not for the tragic passing of John Bonham.

"We" here must mean in the U.S. because Zep played ITTOD stuff at Copenhagen and Knebworth in 79, then again when they toured Europe in '80. There are plenty of top-notch recordings from 77, 79 and 80 tours....but they really don't sparkle consistently performance-wise like the tours from '69-'71. Even the '73 and '75 tours have stretches of lesser shows, but also many more stretches of ear-shattering goodness.

Many here feel Presence is the best album and ITTOD the least well-rounded. Presence is either 2 or 3 for me, personally.

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I would probably rate 77 as the worst overall year for the band. Mostly because Page had so many nights that were so bad. Bonham was still great but he wasn't the same as he was in 73 or 72. Plant couldn't sing a few songs as well as he did earlier. Jonesy was Jonesy he was always solid. 77 was their worst overall tour. They did clean up some for the 79 and 80 shows but they still weren't in the form of the earlier years. 73 or 72 is about was the Zeppelin at it's best.

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Well if you think they got worse in 77, then how do you think they will be 30 yrs later? I dont suppose you are very optomistic of a great performance?

It's been well documented that substance abuse surrounding the '77 tour caused the inconsistent and subpar performances. The same doesn't hold true in '07.

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Well if you think they got worse in 77, then how do you think they will be 30 yrs later? I dont suppose you are very optomistic of a great performance?

Drugs had a lot to do with 77 being bad not age.

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I experienced Zeppelin on May 18,in Birmingham.A friend of my brother recorded the show,which I listened to many times in the late 70's and early 80's. Sadly, I don't know what became of the tapes...

To the point: This was the first show beginning the 2nd leg of '77 US tour.They hadn't been on stage since the Silverdome concert on April 30. Rested and ready.Thanks to the tapes, what follows is committed to my memory.

On TheSong Remains The Same,Page's fingers traveled further up the neck on his solo than any other version I've heard.Truly remarkable. John Paul Jones had abit different bass line toward the end

of the song as well.

At the end of Sick Again,Plant roars,"BIRMINGHAM!!!" The crowd was allready rocking the rafters."From one Birmingham to another.Not too much talkin' tonight, a little bit more playin' than usual.''

The version of Since I've Been Loving You, was an absolute masterpiece.Tenfold better than any other version I've heard. Page deviated from some of the standard licks and Plant voiced the true emotion of the song as I picture it.

I really got off on JPJ piano solo on No Quarter... as well as Pages guitarwork.Here again,the best version of No Quarter I've ever heard, hands down.

At one point after a thounderous ovation,Plant says "It's our pleasure, and it shall be our pleasure later too.Did you catch that Peter?"

This was Zeppelins first concert in Birmingham and it was easy to see they reveled being on stage in Birmingham.At one point Page added a verse of "Dixie" before going in to another song.

At the beginning of the acoustic set,Jonesy's triple neck guitar malfunctioned briefley, to which Plant responded"This is John Paul Jones secret weapon.Not many people see it, and they say it only comes out at night."(laughs) I'm guessing this was in reference to the Royal Orleans saga.

Achilles Last Stand was suberb,echo effect at the end really cool.Kasmir... excellent.Only encore was Rock And Roll

The thing to me about the Led Zeppelin I saw,was the stage presence and cocksuredness of the band, especially Plant. Without question, the best show I've ever attended.

If Page was walking through the poppy patch on this tour,it wasn't evident to me in Birmingham.These four were the epitome of their profession the night I saw them,May 18,1977.

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Did anyone get a chance to see a show on this tour? I was at the Tampa Fla show where the show got rained out after three songs :( The band sounded Amazing! The three songs they played were, The Song Remains The Same, Sick Again and Nobodys Fault But Mine. Thanks for any reviews of the full set.

I was at a show in Los Angeles at the Forum. I was pretty young and in high school but I'm really glad I saw them live.

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Saw both shows in Richfield, Ohio (Cleveland 1977) on a Wednesday and Thursday night, that was the year I was a senior in high school and the concert was just like watching the movie the Song Remains the Same, real close.

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Listenable, yes. The quality of many shows is excellent. Performances are lacking precision and intensity much of the time, if you ask me.

The 77 show in Cleveland (Richfield) was the most legendary boot of all time (Destroyer) and was fantastic and of the highest quality.

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In the old days (1980's) they were all published on LP Vinyl, even photo albums with pictures of Robert Plant embedded within the record itself.

Since we are not allowed by forum rules to discuss bootlegs you will have to find them at record conventions on CD.

Edited by Kashmir Bob

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I waited 2 1/2 weeks in line...I was the very first person in line to buy tickets in the DC/MD area. Infact tickets were scheduled to go on sale at 10:00am Sat morning....and at 4:00am Sat...the police came and escorted the first 10 of us into the cap center and sold us our tickets...tickets were $9.50 with a .50 service charge...so the very first $10.00 concert tickets.

Elvis played the good ol' Cap Centre the week before Zep came to town. Tix were $15. ;)

Good to see another Landover alumn here.(I grew up in Bowie) I was at the last show on the 30th. Was really young (my oldest brother took me) was very stoned....and all I really remember was mainly the parking lot scene(The Cap Centre had one of the best parking lot pre show parties of any place I've ever seen ;):P ), and my brother passing out during Moby Dick....just to jump to his feet when the band kicked back in (acting like he never missed a second :lol: ) He also went to all 4 shows(plus the one in 75).

Overall, the 77 shows were a visual spectacle no boot will ever recreate. When listening today, I HAVE to skip over the drum solos, the guitar noise solos, the lounge piano solos.......it's just too much noodling for me. And all the long solos IMO lent to too much backstage time for Page and Co. to indulge in the Jack Daniels, etc.......not that that was the only reason he had sticky fingers on this tour....he also battled an aching left hand from a previous injury and was suffering symtoms of tendonitis. But being there was entirely different. Not even the dredded Seattle video can really capture what it would have been like to see it from the audience.

This was definitely a "you had to have been there" tour. Listening now can be painful at times. Thanks God Bonham and Jones were solid as a rock throughout. They MADE the tour and IMO Bonham's coming out of the shadows to often "overplay" his parts was a conscious descision to make up for the lack of stellar playing from Page. Someone had to save the show.

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Since we are not allowed by forum rules to discuss bootlegs you will have to find them at record conventions on CD.

FYI, bootlegs and live recordings can be discussed. However, links to such material are not permitted.

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Elvis played the good ol' Cap Centre the week before Zep came to town. Tix were $15. ;)

Good to see another Landover alumn here.(I grew up in Bowie) I was at the last show on the 30th...

Overall, the 77 shows were a visual spectacle no boot will ever recreate... This was definitely a "you had to have been there" tour...

I too was @ the Cap Centre for this tour (stationed @ Ft. Meade), but I don't remember which night. I had tickets for each night, but I sold most of them to make a profit ... so I basically got in for free. Brenda, my date (our 1st), was 16 and I was 19. The Cap Centre was always a place to "get high" (all of the Rockin' shows) just by being there... without bringin' your own stash.

However, I gave up my partying daze when I got saved 2/24/78. BUT... I'll get tickets again if they bring a tour to America! You bet!

Larry

USAF ('75-'79)

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Ocean

I was at the Memorial Day (may30th) in Landover. Im 50 now , so I was 20 then. You just answered a question that I have always wondered. I saw the smoke bomb go on stage right at the beiginning of the Song Remains the Same (the opener) and always wandered if it was real or staged. Plant did seem pissed and as I remember he kicked at it and then kept playing. i was afraid they would walk off. does this sound right. Your view was better than mine. I was 25-20 feet back stage. You may recall the backstage seats with speakers facing in back? I also rememher the blue lazer light effect during Kashmir.

Rick

Howdy, fellow Capital Center refugees....

I was at the Wednesday night show (May 25th). Ocean, your description really brought me back to that place. I was in the nosebleed seats, and watched the show through a thick fog of reefer smoke (and cigarettes too...those were the days...) Anyway, it was my first concert. I was 14. I remember Nobody's Fault very well...the dry ice and lasers during No Quarter... the yellow and red lighting for Kashmir...the moving drum riser with flashpots during Bonzo's solo...I remember the way the laser pyramid made the dragon on Jimmy's pants look like it was moving...lol! ... great show--at least in my memory.

You both are mentioning the explosion on stage at Monday's show. A friend who was there at the time seemed to think it was a flashpot missfire that scorched Plant's shirt. And yes, he was pissed!

Cheers... B)

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Elvis played the good ol' Cap Centre the week before Zep came to town. Tix were $15. ;)

Good to see another Landover alumn here.(I grew up in Bowie) I was at the last show on the 30th. Was really young (my oldest brother took me) was very stoned....and all I really remember was mainly the parking lot scene(The Cap Centre had one of the best parking lot pre show parties of any place I've ever seen ;):P ), and my brother passing out during Moby Dick....just to jump to his feet when the band kicked back in (acting like he never missed a second :lol: ) He also went to all 4 shows(plus the one in 75).

Overall, the 77 shows were a visual spectacle no boot will ever recreate. When listening today, I HAVE to skip over the drum solos, the guitar noise solos, the lounge piano solos.......it's just too much noodling for me. And all the long solos IMO lent to too much backstage time for Page and Co. to indulge in the Jack Daniels, etc.......not that that was the only reason he had sticky fingers on this tour....he also battled an aching left hand from a previous injury and was suffering symtoms of tendonitis. But being there was entirely different. Not even the dredded Seattle video can really capture what it would have been like to see it from the audience.

This was definitely a "you had to have been there" tour. Listening now can be painful at times. Thanks God Bonham and Jones were solid as a rock throughout. They MADE the tour and IMO Bonham's coming out of the shadows to often "overplay" his parts was a conscious descision to make up for the lack of stellar playing from Page. Someone had to save the show.

The Capital Center had the best parking lot! I always tried to park in the corner by the tree line...long walk to the arena, but you could see the cops coming long before they got to you...ha!

I completely agree with your point about Bonzo's overplaying--and had never thought of it in that way, but I'll bet you're right: it was a conscious decision by him to make up for Jimmy's flaws on that tour. Someone had to save the show indeed. (tho I think Plant was in fine voice for this tour, imo)

Had to be there....yep, you had to be there...

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Did anyone get a chance to see a show on this tour? I was at the Tampa Fla show where the show got rained out after three songs :( The band sounded Amazing! The three songs they played were, The Song Remains The Same, Sick Again and Nobodys Fault But Mine. Thanks for any reviews of the full set.

fuggin' awesome - I was there.

My memories...

The ticket had no time, just "Friday Evening"

As the stadium filled, every so often they would noticeably increase the volume of the background music playing, and the crowd would go wild each time.

When a stage hand walked onto the stage with the double-neck guitar and set it in the stand, the whole place blew up - I remember thinking "Holy shit, he's gonna PLAY that soon!"

I remember the ultra-black line of Florida thunderstorm clouds moving right over the stadium.

We were burning weed under a sheet of roll plastic while it rained, and when they broke into Nobody's Fault But Mine, we looked at each other and tossed the plastic :lolo:

permanent, indelible memories.

when I'm drooling with Alzheimer's at 85, I'll still remember that.

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I saw them play 4-30-1977 at Pontiac Silverdome. I was 17, my mom drove me and my best friend down to the concert. I was center stage 20 yards back in a crowd of 80k. They rocked for 4 plus hours and they seemed too good to be real. Of course my world and mind was a little aultered at the time. I sent off for tickets for the 1980 return gig and the next day a guy at work told me John Bonham had died. I didn't believe him but i soon found out it was true. Led Zeppelin is truely the best live band of all time and I hope to see them again one day!

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I saw the Oakland 7-24-77 show in person. Now, if I was to judge that year solely on the show I saw, I'd say 1977 wasn't too kind to them.

But I have all the LA Forum boots in addition to a few other '77 shows. On a good night, they were the best they'd ever be. Particularly in LA, 6-21 and 6-23.

Best versions ever of NQ were played that year. And a whole lot of other spectacular performaces. The best STH I ever heard was from the 6-23 show.

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Did anyone get a chance to see a show on this tour? I was at the Tampa Fla show where the show got rained out after three songs :( The band sounded Amazing! The three songs they played were, The Song Remains The Same, Sick Again and Nobodys Fault But Mine. Thanks for any reviews of the full set.

YEA, I was there. I remember getting our tickets at the Orange Bowl in Miami. There was a few small skirmishes there. I also remember the whole town of Tampa was full of stoner hippy Zep heads, it was fucking great. They played like 2 1/2 songs and it started pouring down rain. They announced to hold on to your ticket stubs that they would play the next night; but it was like the tickets dissolved when they got wet. There were some pissed off fans. I wouldn't call it a riot, but there was definitely a melee. The day after, in all the local papers (Tampa Tribune, Miami Herald) there was a full page ad on page A-2 from the band apologizing and telling how to get a refund (My stub made it and I kept it.) Superimposed as big as the page was the Swan Song label. I also save that paper for years but finally lost it in all the moves. I would love any info on how to get that memorabilia. That was the only time I ever seen Zep, it sucked they only got off 2-3 songs but at least I got to hear and see that much.

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I was in attendence on 6/23/77, LA Forum. Yes, I was a Badgeholder and the show was For Badgeholders Only. My first and only time to see the band before destiny had its way with them. Well storied and documented gig. I also have the bootleg of the same name of the same night. Kieth Moon was there in his drunken glory clowning with Bonzo all nite sneeking up behind the kit, getting a few hits in and running away. No one knew who it was until Plant let everyone in on the strange visitor that nite, the 3rd of a 6 night, sold out run. I dont believe Bonham EVER gave up his throne to anyone other than Kieth during a gig, which on that particular evening was for a bit of the solo in Moby Dick. By the end of the almost 3 hour set, he was sitting on one of Jimmy's half stacks kicking his feet and smacking the kettle drum like the lunatic he was. There are a couple of good pix on this site of that evening. They were clearly all having a great time. A year later, Kieth was gone. 3 years later, Bonzo. A somewhat historic gig? Let me think, the 2 best and hardest hitting drummers in the business at that time, together on the same night, the same stage, the same kit? Are you kidding me?

F***ING PRICELESS!

Have read many reports of bad performances and drug abuse during this tour, but can't really compare this show to any other. All I know is they were flippin incredible that nite. I was 16 and have been to probably over 1000 shows since but no one has ever come close. Can only hope for a return to thier beloved LA when Percy finishes with his Krauss project.

I always love to play the trainwreck (on the bootleg) the band incurred during Kashmir for my other musician friends as an example of how the mighty Zep can musically go in 3 different directions and how effortlessy they find their way back. While no one can ever replace Bonzo, it is incredible to see the only guy who could even attempt it (or have a right to even try!) back with the original 3. And from what I've read and seen on the bootleg of the 21st century, Youtube, doing it extremely well. I truly never thought they (Plant) would do it without Bonham.

I'd venture to say Bonzo and Moon the Loon are both looking on with great approval....and laughing their asses off!

6-23-77-4.jpg

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