Jump to content

Best live Celebration Day '71?


Recommended Posts

Not sure if this has been covered in a stand alone thread here. I was just listening to the Hampton Rhodes show from 9/9/71 which by the way is a blistering show. Jimmy is ON! The first '71 Celebration Day I ever heard was the one from Toronto just 5 nights earlier when I bought the silver cd called Jennings Farm Blues in the early 90's. Then that same month I got the Hampton show, the version with JPJ's bass on the left channel. My top 3 Celebration Day's from '71 are as follows...


9/4/71 (But easily tied with the 9th)


I love the solo from the 9th the best. Just love what Jimmy does! What are your favorite Celebration Day's from 1971?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I would say that Orlando 71 and Osaka 9/29/71 are my favorite versions.  But as you say, all the 1971 versions are astonishing.  In another thread I said that in all great music and art there is sometimes a fine line between genius and madness.  Celebration Day 1971 is an example of that.  It is a wondrous, barely controlled chaos of unrestrained virtuosity and musicianship.

Regarding Orlando 71 - hearing that soundboard tape cut off right after Jimmy's unique intro to Celebration Day is like hearing the Royal Albert Hall 1970 tape cut out before the final section of Heartbreaker.

If the rest of that Orlando soundboard version were available I think it would blow my mind.  Same goes for Osaka 9-29-71.   Of course the 71 board versions that are available are also outstanding.  I remember the first time I heard the Toronto version - that was so overwhelming.  Same goes for the 9/28-71 version - still reeling from that one.  The anticipation on that was exquisite - first hearing that the whole portion of the show was being released on soundboard, then seeing the actual track list printed on the cover on line, then hearing from people who confirmed the song was there, then finally hearing it myself. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Strider said:

All of the 1971 Japanese Tour ones, Toronto and Orlando are even better than Hampton.

Agreed. Plus the original TSRTS soundtrack Celebration Day is a scorcher as well! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Walter said:


Yes actually reading the thread title helps...🤣🤣🤣

Yeah, stick to the topic man! Hehe. Seriously, the original TSRTS version is a classic. That ending solo is up there with Page's best live solo's. I have to re-listen to the Orlando one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's interesting to point out that, now that we have the 9/23/71 video, we see Jimmy played this song on the double neck in 71. And at least part of it, on the 12 string. The passage with this song during the video only lasts a few seconds so we can't really appreciate the song, but perhaps this helps explain why this song sounded so chaotic during this period. I think the first 71 version I heard was 9/24. Absolutely out of control! I got the sense that had I entered in the middle of the song, I'd have had a hard time determining what they were playing!

So, I guess we can point to at least 3 different ways Jimmy played this song over the years. The isolated - and possibly first - performance from Copenhagen 71 where it's inside Breakdown. Must've been on the Les Paul. Then the Tokyo video shows us he used the double neck and played at least part of CD on 12 string. In USA 73 it was back to the Les Paul; obviously out of necessity since R&R leads straight into CD. In 79 the double neck was necessary since CD immediately followed TSRTS. But it appears CD was played exclusively on the 6 string neck in 79.

In North America and Japan 71, Jimmy would have had his choice of guitars. There was certainly ample time following Stairway to swap out guitars if he wished. Perhaps an experiment or he may have been feeling the song differently during this period. But I think the Tokyo video sheds light on the difference between 12 string and 6 string treatment. The 6 string performances may have sounded tighter - though not necessarily better - while the 71 versions were pure madness. Equally fun to listen to in their own ways.

Thanks for starting this topic. Interesting stuff.

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.

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.

  • Create New...