Jump to content

Nitpicking Page 1988- Atlantic 40th Anniversary

Recommended Posts

Nitpicking Page 1988 Atlantic 40th Anniversary


Another video nitpick. The three surviving members show up yet again for an attempt to revive Zep, this time with Jason Bonham on drums.. Let's see how it goes.

First of all, the intro video must be watched if simply to work as an appetizer to the performance afterwards. Featuring none other than Phil Collins, once again, introducing the band. Cringe level here is pretty high.


The performance

Kashmir- The song kicks off with almost no guitar in the mix, which slowly comes in later. 1:00, Page plays behind the beat just a bit. 2:06, Robert kicks his mic stand down. 3:15, Robert's mic cuts out. 3:24, he gives a quick smile as to acknowledge that his mic isn't working. 4:23, Robert dodges a beach ball. 4:31, vocal flub. 5:20, Robert pulls on his mic cable which seems to be hung up. Seconds later he pulls again which results in a feedback squeal.  

Heartbreaker- A solid start. Solo- Page rolls up his sleeve to get down to business. 10:49, incredibly sloppy phrase here as Page diverts and plays an arpeggiated riff instead. 11:13, bad articulation to end this solo before jumping into WLL. 

WLL- Page goes straight into the alt riff for the song. Solo- Page makes an effort to follow the original phrasing but struggles some. 15:04, Plant hits a good high note. Not bad apart from the solo. 

Misty Mountain Hop- 18:36, Page seemingly jumps back into the verse a bar early. Solo- A little rough around the edges, but not bad overall. 20:30, excellent drum fill. 

Stairway- 24:30, Plant sticks a rose in his pants. 27:12, nice drum sequence here. 27:43, flubbed chords. Solo- Page nails a series of mundane, but decently played phrases. He doesn't attempt to extend the solo in any way as he jumps into the finale. 30:40, Page's chording gets very sloppy. The echo effect on Page's guitar did him no favors here, but it was definitely a redemption from Live Aid. 

Final Assessment- Not quite as bad as I remember but still pretty bad in places. The major flaws are the technical issues during Kashmir, possibly the worst Heartbreaker solo ever, a sloppy WLL solo, and a poorly chorded Stairway. Jason definitely improves upon the bad image Collins and Thompson created at Live Aid. JPJ was mostly ignored, just like at Live Aid. Plant's voice was in fine form however and Page's guitar tone for the middle three numbers was massive. If you can ignore the inevitable bad luck of these guys it's a pretty decent performance from some dinosaurs.

Edited by gibsonfan159
Link to post
Share on other sites

i've only watched this once since its original showing. i'll have to watch it again now you've detailed it. I've just watched the intro and I really didn't remember that at all. very cringey indeed.

my memory was that a the time I thought it was pretty bad, especially the heartbreaker solo, which was terrible. although some of that opinion may have been because of the poor mix of guitar/keyboard in Kashmir.

i'll watch it later

Edited by jsj
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the pick slide to end Heartbreaker...damn, what a mess

I remember watching Robert & his bands performance earlier in the evening and thinking how smoking hot Plant's performance was and how good the band sounded. His set was really strong, energetic, and just damn good...Doug Boyle is such a good guitarist. After that I figured Jimmy was thinking he really had to bring his A-game to not look like a fool compared to Boyle. I guess Jimmy thought getting wasted was more important than delivering a good performance. Too bad they didn't put Boyle in a Jimmy Page wig and have him play during the Zep set while Jimmy stayed back stage.

Edited by PeaceFrogYum
Link to post
Share on other sites

Having watched it again just now, I’ll have to agree with Bluecongo that you’re too kind in your assessment. It’s shit

Jason improves upon the terrible drumming at live aid. Jones seems to be fine, as always. Plant sounded a bit rusty in his voice and remembering all the lines and cues. Perhaps playing twice drained him a bit, so he has an excuse. But he wasn’t terrible, though far from great. It was Page who was the culprit again. Had he have nailed it then Planty’s wobbles wouldn’t be so noticeable. I’m with Plant, they should have ditched Stairway and played Rock & Roll, or something else instead, especially when it was obvious Page wasn’t on form

We’re told Page was nervous on the night and the schedule was running way behind time but is that an excuse? Everybody else managed to get it together. It seems to me that if the crowd are going nuts Page believes it’s just like old times and he’s on it and it’s 75 again, regardless of the mess coming out his amp. The solo in Heartbreaker was embarrassing and Stairway was close behind it

Consider it this way, if we were watching a tribute band In a little bar and they played the Heartbreaker and Stairway solos as bad as here, I think there would be trouble, people laughing out loud at the guitarist and shouts for a refund, even if it was a free event

I think live aid was actually better playing wise (bar the drums) Had Page not have had that terrible flange/phase effect on, and had a tuner onstage, they may have got away with it. Here, the sound was better, but he, as a player was worse.

i shalln’t be watching it again that’s for sure. Live aid I can watch every 5 - 10 years if I’m drunk enough, at least there was some excitement there.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I clearly remember watching this complete train wreck, having just bought tickets for the Outrider tour.  I was beginning to think I'd wasted my money...
Couldn't believe how awful Page was.  I mean, I was prepared for merely 'not very good' after the Live Aid debacle, but this was on another level.  I think the general consensus is that he'd had waaaay too much to drink before going onstage.  He played the Heartbreaker solo like somebody who had once watched Jimmy Page playing it without the sound on.... the motions were there, but his left hand seemed to have virtually zero strength or coordination.  I was embarrassed for him.
And yet, six months later at Hammersmith his playing was very good indeed.
I think if he's not touring he simply doesn't practise - he just relies on muscle memory.  Muscle memory is a fantastic thing, but if you don't practice regularly you lose strength and dexterity.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to differ. When Jimmy was in the Firm, both US tours, Jimmy was pretty erratic soloing, but strangely enough he

didn't play sloppy at all on rhythm guitar or riffs. I saw him in 86' almost front row center, he was a bit bloated and likely very drunk. He actually looked somewhat dejected, and only smiled at the encores. But 88' Outrider was much different,

there really weren't many bad shows, the shows I saw Jimmy had 90% of his technique back. Also not sloppy. For some

strange  reason many fans consider the Outrider tour and even the P/P shows as pretty bad regarding Jimmy's playing.

Very odd, have any critics or fans actually listened to these shows ? The 98' P/P tour Jimmy played very close to his peak

in Zep, but obviously it's not Zep. Also some people don't know or realize that Jimmy at times could be a very nervous

person, and so nervous this could affect his performance. Hard to imagine, but true.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw Page the following dates: April 10th 1977, March 1985, October 1988, May 95' and Sept 98'. Jimmy played extremely well every time I saw him however I would rate these shows as follows:

1. Sept 24th, 1998': Page was at Jeff Beck level of technique and control of his instrument, this is the best playing, hands down, I have seen from Jimmy. All the elements were there and for me this was his pinnacle of playing ability

2. April 10th, 1977: Another excellent performance where he was playing near 73' era levels, his only real flub of the night was during the first TYG solo, everything else was spot on.

3. May 10th, 1995: Page did a great job at this show and I have the DVD of the Irvine, CA show as well from this tour and both performances were very similar. What I really liked about this show were the added musicians which allowed P&P to represent correctly, for the first time, many Zep songs. I always believed Zep needed, required a second guitarist especially post 73' as the compositions became very difficult for three musicians to pull off live. ALS is a good example. I may get shit for this but the 95' tour had the best ALS, this is how the song should have sounded live. The difference Porl made as second guitarist made all the difference in the world. My only complaint here is Porl was more a second lead player than strictly rhythm. I really liked Porl's playing and his soloing was fantastic but I really wanted this to be more Jimmy's show. This is just a preference on my part and I have to admit, it is just a selfish nit.

4. October 1988: Another crackerjack show at a great venue, Mesa Amphitheatre at sunset. Just an amazing vibe and I went with my brother which made it extra special. Only complaint was I really did not like the lead singer John Miles but Jimmy played great if a wee bit reserved. I was very surprised he played this well after seeing him suck hard just a few months prior at the 40th. Believe me, just about everyone was surprised and when he just nailed the STH solo the crowd erupted after holding their collective breath. The old Jimmy was BACK!

5. March 1985: This is a weird one because Jimmy played extremely well at this show but as pointed out, he did not seem very happy in general. He was looking in good health, fit, wearing his white pants and t-shirt and just played his ass off. I guess I was hoping for fun, vibrant 73' MSG Jimmy and instead got a Ritchie Blackmore'esque performance, great playing but he just stood in one place and hardly moved, until the encores where he did come alive.


So I have been very lucky as I never caught a bad or even mediocre performance by Page. I will again point out the 98' tour as even though Page had a gut, he was not only at the top of his playing ability but was just having one hell of a time as well, the pure joy was all over his face and in his movements.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Mithril46 said:

Jimmy at times could be a very nervous person, and so nervous this could affect his performance. Hard to imagine, but true.

This is my take as the primary factor behind the Atlantic reunion performance. The long wait for the Zeppelin set to start didn't help. Too much to drink and this was caused by building nerves imo. The nervousness carried right through the performance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Zep Hed said:

This is my take as the primary factor behind the Atlantic reunion performance. The long wait for the Zeppelin set to start didn't help. Too much to drink and this was caused by building nerves imo. The nervousness carried right through the performance.

Imagine having firecrackers exploding in front of you unexpectedly for a decade. I'd be on heroin too when playing live.

Link to post
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...