Jump to content

1977 Showco Soundboard Tapes


mrledhed
 Share

Recommended Posts

Why was Showco so careless when recording the 1977 shows on cassette? Every show is badly cut in the middle of tracks, and sometimes they forgot to turn over the tape quickly enough and even more music is lost (5/30 Landover NQ, 5/26 Moby Dick, 5/28 BYAS etc).

I mean there's 10+ minutes of missing music on those examples, how long does it take to turn over a cassette? I guess they would forget to change tapes. But this did not appear to happen on prior tours. In 1975 it appears they had been very diligent about only turning tapes over between tracks during the banter.

So here's another way of posing this question. Did they not care because PERHAPS they were recording with a separate deck that was started at different times so there would be overlap anyway? We have not yet heard any tapes that would suggest that (though the 5/26/1977 monitor mix could perhaps be a tiny sign they had two Nak 550s running). Some former Showco employees that I have spoken to over the years hinted that might have been the case. However, they didn't remember well enough to say for certain.

 

Edited by mrledhed
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another possibility: given the amount of drugs that were floating around Zeppelin's entourage in '77 the sound guys were just high and forgot to flip the tape for a few minutes? Or maybe they just sorta figured, "Oh, well, it's only a boring piano/drum solo, who cares?" :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another possibility: given the amount of drugs that were floating around Zeppelin's entourage in '77 the sound guys were just high and forgot to flip the tape for a few minutes? Or maybe they just sorta figured, "Oh, well, it's only a boring piano/drum solo, who cares?" :lol:

I was thinking the same thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably because the recording wasn't authorized by the band?

Well, that shouldn't really be a factor, though. Showco was a big enough company, even if Peter Grant told them "Don't tape our shows", and the sound guys could have said "Fuck you" if they wanted to...what was the band gonna do, hire another sound company :lol: When it came to sound, Showco knew their shit and probably would have been inclined to record every show if even on the QT (and, you know, it wouldn't really surprise me if they did...)- so probably the large cuts in some of the tapes probably does have to do with distractions or whatnot. Think about it- they sound crew are sitting out on the arena floor, who the hell knows what was going on around them at the time? Yeah, booze and/or drugs might have also been a contributing factor, but it was a rock concert in the 70's nevertheless. Strider can testify to this, I'm sure, since he attended most of the '77 L.A. shows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^^Never sat near the soundboards, though...at least not for Zeppelin. But yeah, they were employees of Showco, after all. Their first priority was their job...to work the lights and sound for the concert. Manning the soundboard tape-deck was probably left to whomever wasn't busy at the time, which at a concert as big and chaotic as a Led Zeppelin show probably didn't leave many candidates.

There are always problems with lights and sound popping up at a concert. The PA isn't working, there's a glitch with one of the amps or the singer's mic or guitar player's rig. It is busy all the time for those guys.

Be thankful for what we've got...it's a miracle they were able to tape as much of the shows as they did. So what if there's a few minor gaps here and there.

Edited by Strider
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably because the recording wasn't authorized by the band?

But it WAS authorized by the band, they recorded every concert for the band themselves. The intent back then was not for public release, but for the band's own use. It is  known that every 1977 show was recorded (Dave Lewis "The Concert File"). Where the entire tour is today, I have no idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember Page saying the thing he does not like the most is the raw studio sessions and out-takes floating around.  He said that many of those contain rough ideas that was used for other sketches and chemistry to build other songs.   He doe not like his rough ideas floating around or something.    But all the news over the years, how much material did Page take from others ?    I could care less, that was the beauty of Zeppelin able to take anything and improve it much better.  

Edited by TheGreatOne
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Page has the soundboards for the '77 LA gigs, why didn't he sync the audio to the small bonus clip in the 2003 official DVD of one of those gigs?

Because Page probably doesn't have the soundboards, that's why...if memory serves he got a copy of Mike Millard's audience recording directly from Millard's family, and that's what he used for the DVD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

I think he choose the Millard tape because the June 21 Millard tape sounds better  then the 77 board tapes. The double neck guitar tone on th 77 sb tapes is very muddy and buzzy. The 77 sb tapes don t show page in a good light. Soundboard audio synced to 8mm can footage would seem very odd and jarring for some people. An audience recording synced to 8mm audience footage would come across as much more authentic. The average zep fan he only ever listens to or buys official product would not know the footage and audio are from different performances. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I seriously doubt show co would say fuck you we will record your shows if we want because we are irreplaceable zeppelin was one of their biggest clients and i am sure they would want to keep that relationship a good one. Zeppelin gave show co their break they were just s small  start up company when zeppelin hired them. Zeppelin may not have been able to replace show co but they could make sure the guys running  the board who said fuck we are recording didn't work the next tour and if they recorded the shows and leaked them they could be sued by zeppelin. There are more then one way to skin a cat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/11/2015 at 3:30 PM, TheGreatOne said:

I never got into Coke, but seemed like the drug of choice back then with weed.  I think Coke put the "Hell On Wheels" and boost in their performance.

I've never done the drug, but I've been around a few that did, and I can tell you Jimmy Page circa 72/73 probably had some powder on his nose. The recently discovered live footage from Japan 72 with Page dancing around like a ballerina is a giveaway. Notice how his movements switched after 73 when he started drinking and dabbling with heroin. Also his accuracy lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am just not as enamored and desirous of 1977 soundboards as the rest of you. It's not just Jimmy Page that suffers, but the '77 soundboards also make John Paul Jones sound worse.

Only for those shows where no audience-tape exists or the audience-tape quality is poor is there a need for a soundboard.

I guarantee you if soundboards came out for the entire L.A. Forum run, you'd given them a listen or two and then go back to listening to the Millard tapes. I think I would eventually prefer listening to the 6.22.77 audience-tape over the plonky '77 soundboard.

As for the difference in quality and completeness between the 1975 and 1977 soundboards, I heard a while back that the 1975 boards were recorded on reel-to-reel while the 1977 boards were recorded on cassette.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...