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NealR2000

Backstage arguments?

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I've seen a number of these fly-on-the-wall scenes, as well as read many, where bands come off stage and get into sometimes heated arguments over mistakes made during the performance.  I don't recall reading anything about similar happenings with Zep.  Does anyone know any different?   On one hand, I suspect there were some, as Zep live wasn't always great, but on the other hand, I'm not so sure as the one at "fault" was invariably Page, and what with his position, I'm not sure any of the others would say anything. Don't get me wrong, I don't think any of the others were in awe of Page or intimidated by him, but I just don't see any of them challenging his musicianship.

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I think Bonham's drinking would've been the main issue early on, as there was certainly one show in 69 where he was unable to perform. I can't imagine Page ripping into him for it, especially someone as irreplaceable as Bonzo. He might've suggested he ease up a bit until after the show lol.

I'm sure as long as most shows were solid and the money was rolling in, nobody criticized anybody. So from 73 to the end, I highly doubt there was any arguing over performances. They may not have been intimidated by Page, but I guarantee they knew what they had with him at the helm. Whether he was good or bad on any night, he was still bringing in the crowds and he was still the bandleader.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, NealR2000 said:

I've seen a number of these fly-on-the-wall scenes, as well as read many, where bands come off stage and get into sometimes heated arguments over mistakes made during the performance.  I don't recall reading anything about similar happenings with Zep.  Does anyone know any different?   On one hand, I suspect there were some, as Zep live wasn't always great, but on the other hand, I'm not so sure as the one at "fault" was invariably Page, and what with his position, I'm not sure any of the others would say anything. Don't get me wrong, I don't think any of the others were in awe of Page or intimidated by him, but I just don't see any of them challenging his musicianship.

It's toss up between Plant & Page

Plant started losing his vocal range towards the end of '72. The Euro tour '73 Plant was struggling big time. He recovered his voice quite well for the most part of the North America '73 tour, despite his frequent squeaking/voice cracking (which has never bothered me one bit) , and by the 1975 PG tour...his voice was obviously gone. Somehow, Plant managed to turn in decent performances for the EC run though (thank god).

For the 1977 tour (which was postponed several months due to another one of Plant's flu's :blink:), we see that Plant has learned how to sing again within his new limited range, and pull it off quite well with attitude and emotion...but his previous amazing voice was in the past.

Page's  performances didn't start to get inconsistent until the 1975 tour. Another finger injury at the beginning of the tour didn't help at all, but he adapted to it by developing his three finger technique along with consuming codeine pills and Jack Daniels to get thru it. 

For the 1977 tour, Page could either be great...or abysmal, there was very little in between. 

So, if you do the math, I would say that Led Zeppelin's live performances were marred more by Plants shitty vocals than Page's shitty guitar playing.

Also, think about all the cool LZ songs they had to drop due to Plants inability to legitimately pull them off anymore? Its a pretty long list...

And, to answer your original question, I seriously doubt anyone in LZ ever reprimanded each other for making "mistakes". I think they just laughed that shit off and counted their money. B)

 

Edited by blindwillie127

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Epic disagreement between Plant and Page just before the Atlantic 40 HBO filmed / Reunion w/ Jason Bonham sitting in on drums for his father in 1988. RP didn’t want to do Stairway and JP got upset. JP’s performance that evening was lackluster / uneven at best as a possible result of that last minute disagreement just before going on stage. 

R😎

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What about the time when Bonzo punched Percy  back stage in Japan  because  Robert refused  to pay Bonham back over petrol (gas) money?

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“RICHARD COLE I'd flown over to Copenhagen for the Knebworth warm-ups. I had their money for drugs, because Jimmy and Bonzo and I needed the fucking gear. My dealer was in the next room in the hotel, and when I was pulled about it in this big meeting that Robert called, Jimmy said he knew nothing about it. Bonzo said, “Don't be so fucking stupid. If there's no gear, there's no show!”

Excerpt From
Led Zeppelin
Barney Hoskyns
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/led-zeppelin/id635418041?mt=11
This material may be protected by copyright.

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8 hours ago, bluecongo said:

“RICHARD COLE I'd flown over to Copenhagen for the Knebworth warm-ups. I had their money for drugs, because Jimmy and Bonzo and I needed the fucking gear. My dealer was in the next room in the hotel, and when I was pulled about it in this big meeting that Robert called, Jimmy said he knew nothing about it. Bonzo said, “Don't be so fucking stupid. If there's no gear, there's no show!”

Excerpt From
Led Zeppelin
Barney Hoskyns
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/led-zeppelin/id635418041?mt=11
This material may be protected by copyright.

Wow, that's interesting. Must've been good gear as the Copenhagen warm ups were unreal. Enough to clear the mind and "heighten" without it being too strong??? Strange.

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It was the 70's, no one knew there would be amateur recordings of almost every show in shitty to good quality. Typically speaking if someone made a mistake or had a crap show no one cared as the audience was so F'ed up they likely would not have noticed anyway. Band arguments back then typically were not about show quality as compared to simple personality conflicts, money issues, etc. As the boys all got on relatively well and they were making a shit ton of loot, what was there to argue about?

Of course today you really cannot get away with a sub-par performance due to social media etc. but in 77'...hell yes, no worries there.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, PeaceFrogYum said:

It was the 70's, no one knew there would be amateur recordings of almost every show in shitty to good quality. Typically speaking if someone made a mistake or had a crap show no one cared as the audience was so F'ed up they likely would not have noticed anyway. Band arguments back then typically were not about show quality as compared to simple personality conflicts, money issues, etc. As the boys all got on relatively well and they were making a shit ton of loot, what was there to argue about?

My assumption about their arguments is that they were along the lines of "Bonzo, can you stop riding your motorcycle down the hall after 2:00 AM  so I can get some sleep?" or "Bonzo, if you're going to throw my TV out the window, can you wait until after after the Wolves match is over?" To the latter, I assume Bonzo replied "I'm doin' you a favor so you don't have to watch them lose again." :)

Edited by SteveZ98

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On tour over europe setlist, jpj talks to jimmy. Jpj: jimmy the band would like to discuss the setlist regarding a couple of the old songs like, stairway to heaven and white summer possibly being changed out of the setlist. Jimmy: no. Jpj: ok

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7 hours ago, kirchzep27 said:

On tour over europe setlist, jpj talks to jimmy. Jpj: jimmy the band would like to discuss the setlist regarding a couple of the old songs like, stairway to heaven and white summer possibly being changed out of the setlist. Jimmy: no. Jpj: ok

lol.

I wonder about the setlist for the coming US tour that never eventuated. Surely White Summer was gone.

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1 hour ago, rm2551 said:

lol.

I wonder about the setlist for the coming US tour that never eventuated. Surely White Summer was gone.

I bet it was essentially the same set list as the 80 tour over Europe ‘80 (maybe with a few more “rockers” to encourage Bonzo).

R😎

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I know that there were indirect arguments between the band members on the 77 US tour.  On this tour, "jobs" were given the members of the extended family members of the Bonham and Plant families as favors.  The problem was, these family members didn't take their work too seriously and assumed it was a drunken funfest, not appreciating that fuzzy zone between family and work.  Apparently, Jimmy would get angry and sack them, only to have the issue smoothed over later in the day.

I think that if there were actual issues between band members, it was dealt with on an intermediary basis via Grant, with the best known example in the early days where Jimmy got Bonzo to not play so loud.

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7 hours ago, NealR2000 said:

I think that if there were actual issues between band members, it was dealt with on an intermediary basis via Grant, with the best known example in the early days where Jimmy got Bonzo to not play so loud.

Where can I read about this?

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9 hours ago, NealR2000 said:

I think that if there were actual issues between band members, it was dealt with on an intermediary basis via Grant, with the best known example in the early days where Jimmy got Bonzo to not play so loud.

If I remember correctly Bonzo´s loudness wasn´t the problem. Young John Henry showed some nerves and simply overplayed everything, too many fills, breaks & rolls- simply too much.

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Does Jimmy’s acceptance of a good smack in the face from Plant for showing up drunk to a show in ‘95 count as a good backstage disagreement?

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34 minutes ago, zooma said:

Does Jimmy’s acceptance of a good smack in the face from Plant for showing up drunk to a show in ‘95 count as a good backstage disagreement?

Did that actually happen? 

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42 minutes ago, Xolo1974 said:

Did that actually happen? 

Yes. It was backstage at the Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, if I recall correctly.

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1 hour ago, SteveAJones said:

Yes. It was backstage at the Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, if I recall correctly.

Did Jimmy clean up his act after that? 

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10 hours ago, Autumn Moon said:

If I remember correctly Bonzo´s loudness wasn´t the problem. Young John Henry showed some nerves and simply overplayed everything, too many fills, breaks & rolls- simply too much.

This is correct, Page had Grant tell Bonham to calm it down a bit or he would be out on his ear.

I think time has proved Page right as well, Bonham's drumming has aged better than the likes of Mitch Mitchell, who did overplay a lot in the studio.

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Thats really interesting about Bonzo. Think of how beautiful the drumming is even as early on as How Many More Times when he is whispering through the middle break and other light touches in later tracks like Ten Years Gone - it seems he did have a good understanding of light and shade. Maybe very early nerves???

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3 hours ago, Xolo1974 said:

Did Jimmy clean up his act after that? 

There was definitely a big difference in Page between the P&P 95 and 98 tours.  In the former, Page was still drinking, evident by that bloated puffy look. By the latter tour, he looked much healthier, not to mention playing sharper (and doing all the guitar work alone).

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52 minutes ago, rm2551 said:

Thats really interesting about Bonzo. Think of how beautiful the drumming is even as early on as How Many More Times when he is whispering through the middle break and other light touches in later tracks like Ten Years Gone - it seems he did have a good understanding of light and shade. Maybe very early nerves???

I think a lot of it was late 60s macho, showing off, especially live. Most rock drummers were at it then.

There's an interview with one of Bonham's old bandmates in a book I've got, he says Bonham turned up at his house with a copy of the first album & when he played it, the other guy said to him, 'Where are all your fills, John?". When you look back on that album now, it's pretty heavy on the fills as well, so you can only imagine what Bonham's playing was like in the mid 60s.

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6 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

Yes. It was backstage at the Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, if I recall correctly.

I was front row at this show, Jimmy was off, big time, and they had very little interaction during show.  I only learned of this backstage incident many years later, but it sure makes sense. 

Page was WAY better in 98, but that 95 show was a letdown for me 

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