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Sticks of Fire

Awesome post about Led Zeppelin soundboards

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There goes all my hope for a Back to Clubs tour soundboard or Copenhagen ‘71. At least it gives us a system to tell if a soundboard exists.

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Although Odense, the day after Copenhagen is possible, so maybe that could be another performance of Four Sticks! Also, ‘72 soundboards are basically confirmed now hopefully unless this whole thing turns out to be wrong

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There could be sound boards before this time made by the band like the German tour in the Summer of 1970 or simple state type recordings.  That post does nail it for the 1971-1980 soundboard recordings I believe 100%.

I have always posted that no one really knows if the shows were done on reels or cassette.  And the myths get repeated and turn into facts.  But that Post really lays out all the evidence for the 1971-1980 shows done on cassette.

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Now that we have real evidence thanks to blackmikioto, for which Cassette machines were used then next factor is why the quality varies from year to year. One huge factor In the difference would be the type of cassettes were used.  Quality can really vary depending on if 120 min no real bias cassettes were used and the tape bias setting was properly used etc.   High quality chrome or metal tapes would definitely have better more crisp sound. 

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Awesome is an understatement. I'm in the middle of my own research for a Zeppelin piece I've been planning for some time and that post and entire thread completely derailed me, haha. Amazing work tracking down those photos and examining all the gear. 

I am curious about some things. Such as why no mics on the stage amps in 1970? Were the band just relying on the sound from the stage amps to fill the arena and using only drums and Robert's voice in the P.A.?

That post also shows how ahead of the game Mike Millard was that he had a Nakamichi the same time as a huge company like Showco.

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Great read right down to the info on the stolen tapes. Probably nothing new here for most, but I was unsure if "stolen" meant just "copied" or physically stolen. I guess they are gonesky. That is a real tragedy for Jimmy and hella fucked up. While we are clearly the better for that in that Jimmy had no intention of releasing any of it, it is practically a record of his core life's work, and for that reason cannot be condoned - even while we all savour the releases.

And for me it begs the question...

Just where the fuck are those tapes now??????? Not to mention, does anyone think they will show up some day? Or have been discreetly returned to Jimmy as he must have known the individuals that lifted them in the first place, but has always been discreet himself.

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Guest WD52

Just a superb read and thanks for the effort and research it must have taken!

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If in fact they used a Nak 500 for the 1975 shows, it does have the tape bias setting but not only that a 3 position EQ.  Maybe that’s the difference in the higher fidelity on the 1975 boards.  

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Posted (edited)

Guys, most of the questions posed above are answered on the replies to the RO post, and on blackmikito's link in the original post to his sister thread on 1968-1970 soundboards.

 

RE tapes stolen from Page - he and others has been quoted as saying at some point in the last 20 years or so (could be the 90s to a few years ago, can't locate original source right now) a collector helped return most of the tapes that were stolen from him BUT I don't think it was made clear whether these were available sources of each show in common circulation, or whether the collector had sources unavailable to the unwashed masses, or whether they were the original tapes. I would imagine it's most likely the first scenario, very much doubt the original cassettes were returned. 

Relying on memory again but I seem to remember there were two thefts from Page's collection in the 80s, firstly in around 1982 and again a few years later. The stolen tapes appear to be the source of some studio outtakes and soundboards from 1973 and 1980. The many soundboards released in the last 15 years or so (primarily from 1975) likely come from another source.

Edited by SilverVishnu

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2 hours ago, SilverVishnu said:

Guys, most of the questions posed above are answered on the replies to the RO post, and on blackmikito's link in the original post to his sister thread on 1968-1970 soundboards.

 

RE tapes stolen from Page - he and others has been quoted as saying at some point in the last 20 years or so (could be the 90s to a few years ago, can't locate original source right now) a collector helped return most of the tapes that were stolen from him BUT I don't think it was made clear whether these were available sources of each show in common circulation, or whether the collector had sources unavailable to the unwashed masses, or whether they were the original tapes. I would imagine it's most likely the first scenario, very much doubt the original cassettes were returned. 

Relying on memory again but I seem to remember there were two thefts from Page's collection in the 80s, firstly in around 1982 and again a few years later. The stolen tapes appear to be the source of some studio outtakes and soundboards from 1973 and 1980. The many soundboards released in the last 15 years or so (primarily from 1975) likely come from another source.

Everything you said seem correct.    I can only guess that Page did get all the tapes recovered.   He knew who took them so...his quote may be playing dumb a little in regards to getting them back because of the bootleg trial that he was questioned about.

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On 7/13/2020 at 4:35 PM, Sticks of Fire said:

Everything you said seem correct.    I can only guess that Page did get all the tapes recovered.   He knew who took them so...his quote may be playing dumb a little in regards to getting them back because of the bootleg trial that he was questioned about.

Page being disingenuous about something...nope, Jimmy never does that!😅

Where are the Munich and Vienna 1980 soundboards, Jimmy?

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Great article, thank you for the link.

My question regarding cassettee vs reel-to-reel soundboard recordings: how do the, say, 1975 boards, not have any break or cassette flip in a three-hour show? If it was a single cassette there'd be the flip every 45min or 60min, but those shows just seem to flow complete from start to finish. Plus the linked article shows that there was only one on-stage recorder. Anyone?

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7 hours ago, FavouriteTipple said:

Great article, thank you for the link.

My question regarding cassettee vs reel-to-reel soundboard recordings: how do the, say, 1975 boards, not have any break or cassette flip in a three-hour show? If it was a single cassette there'd be the flip every 45min or 60min, but those shows just seem to flow complete from start to finish. Plus the linked article shows that there was only one on-stage recorder. Anyone?

The 1975 shows have cuts about every 60 min.   So they were probably 120 min. TDK  or Maxell cassettes.

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42 minutes ago, Sticks of Fire said:

The 1975 shows have cuts about every 60 min.   So they were probably 120 min. TDK  or Maxell cassettes.

Really? I'll have to check my ears then! Thanks for the comment. It's just that I've never heard a cut mid-song on any of the 1975 boards, hence my query.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, FavouriteTipple said:

Really? I'll have to check my ears then! Thanks for the comment. It's just that I've never heard a cut mid-song on any of the 1975 boards, hence my query.

By chance the 1975 soundboards ran perfectly for tapes with 60 mins each side.

The USA 1971 soundboard tapes have tape flips around the 45/50 min mark (Orlando seems different tho). 

The UK 1973 soundboard tapes have flips around the 45 min mark.

The USA 1973 soundboard tapes have flips about the 60 min (if I’m remembering this tour correctly).

The USA 1977 soundboard tapes have flips around the 45 min mark.

The Europe ‘80 shows have flips about the 60 min mark (if I’m remembering correctly).

 

Edited by Sticks of Fire

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Posted (edited)

Cool article...informative and detailed. Interesting as to how the band used Sony/Nak. I read of Plant's remark dismissing the Japan 1971 recordings stating that they made better recordings using their Revox machine. 

Edited by gcczep

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11 minutes ago, gcczep said:

Cool article...informative and detailed. Interesting as to how the band used Sony/Nak. I read of Plant's remark dismissing the Japan 1971 recordings stating that they made better recordings using their Revox machine. 

Plant is probably referring to earlier tapes they made with a simple set up with Pages Revox and a couple mics onstage like the Germany tour of 1970:

 

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22 hours ago, FavouriteTipple said:

Really? I'll have to check my ears then! Thanks for the comment. It's just that I've never heard a cut mid-song on any of the 1975 boards, hence my query.

 

21 hours ago, Sticks of Fire said:

By chance the 1975 soundboards ran perfectly for tapes with 60 mins each side.

The USA 1971 soundboard tapes have tape flips around the 45/50 min mark (Orlando seems different tho). 

The UK 1973 soundboard tapes have flips around the 45 min mark.

The USA 1973 soundboard tapes have flips about the 60 min (if I’m remembering this tour correctly).

The USA 1977 soundboard tapes have flips around the 45 min mark.

The Europe ‘80 shows have flips about the 60 min mark (if I’m remembering correctly).

 

Correct, it just so happened that the 1975 setlist synced up well with the length of the tapes.  The first flip is between "Kashmir" and "No Quarter," which worked out to be just under an hour into the show most nights -- check the second night in Vancouver and you'll clearly hear a truncated Plantation introducing NQ.  The second flip would then occur between "Moby Dick" and "Dazed And Confused." 

The numbers get a bit trickier for that third side especially later in March when Dazed was consistently over 35 minutes and the encores were getting longer.  I'm pretty sure on the second night in Seattle there is a flip between Dazed and Stairway, which makes sense with the addition of SIBLY on top of the longer NQ's by this point in the tour -- plus a 26-minute "Moby Dick" and a 40-minute Dazed.  In fact, I seem to remember there being a flip during MD, so "side 3" is just 2/3 of MD and Dazed.  It would be interesting to hear where the flips are on the March 27 board when it finally surfaces.  SIBLY, NQ & TUF are over 50 min together, so they presumably flipped before MD, but that wouldn't last through Dazed.

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I'm enjoying the discussions coming up because of blackmikito's royal-orleans post. Learning a lot from all of it. Just goes to show, there's always more to discover. Always. The post itself is just awesome: gotta be the most informative, comprehensive and thoughtfully written in-depth Zep info I've read in many a moon. I guess I almost felt compelled to say this. With all the bullshit flying everywhere these days, about everything under the goddam sun, it just feels RIGHT to see a solid and passionate take on good ol' rock and roll, which is one of the few things keeping me and mine sane in this madhouse of a world.

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Posted (edited)

When I taped concerts I never used anything over 90 minutes. It was always either a C90 or C60 cassette. I read that 120 minute cassettes weren't good to use because there was too much tape on the spindle and it increased the chances of you getting wow and flutter on your recordings.

So I am surprised that Showco would use 120 minute cassettes for the soundboards. I always figured it was 90 minute tapes. Has anyone actually seen the actual soundboard tapes that EVSD has been using for their soundboard revolution releases?

Edited by Strider

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Strider said:

When I taped concerts I never used anything over 90 minutes. It was always either a C90 or C60 cassette. I read that 120 minute cassettes weren't good to use because there was too much tape on the spindle and it increased the chances of you getting wow and flutter on your recordings.

So I am surprised that Showco would use 120 minute cassettes for the soundboards. I always figured it was 90 minute tapes. Has anyone actually seen the actual soundboard tapes that EVSD has been using for their soundboard revolution releases?

Agreed but I did love 110 min metal tapes from the 1990s.   Helped do things right many times.

Its possible at the time the technology was still new and high bias 120 min tapes were thought of as high quality and professional and a good way to only use a tape or two per show. Just a thought.  It is what it is...

I listened to a bunch of shows today and it seems the Japan 1971, Europe 1973, USA 1973 and USA 1975 are all 120 min tapes.  UK 1973,  USA 1977 and Europe ‘80 were 90 min tapes

Edited by Sticks of Fire

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Yes the Orlando 1971 soundboard recording is sort of odd for the tape flips.  

First side is 23 min

2nd side is 37 min

3rd side is 37 min

4th side is about 12/15

My only guess is it was accidentally started at the end of the tape from the night before and when the first tape ran out after 23 min a fresh tape was put in and why the sides match perfectly and then a 3rd tape was used for the final part of the show 

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