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Zeppelin Mysteries Hosted by Steve A. Jones


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Just to go back to my original thought . The original Black Beauty had the three toggle switches but the one in the RAH DVD does not. It makes me wonder if indeed, the original didn't actually go missing in 69

You may be confused, Ally.

Sometime between February and April 1970 two extra switches were added. Assumed to be for extra pickup combos, not split, series/parallel, or any of that. It would make sense for them just to be for extra combinations too. He favored the typical Les Paul middle position a lot even early on and with the stock Black Beauty set up he couldn't get that unless he had the ability to take some of the pickups out of the mix hence the extra switches. -- Courtesy of "Whole Lotta Led" in Pennsylvania

As far as studio use goes, there has been some talk about it being used on the second album. Page himself has said #1 was the main guitar for II, however in one interview he infers the Black Beauty being used for Whole Lotta Love; can't really tell what he meant though. -- Courtesy of "Whole Lotta Led" in Pennsylvania

Guitar World January 1991: "Which guitar did you use on Whole Lotta Love?

Page: The Les Paul. I had been using a Black Beauty, which got nicked (stolen) in the States. It disappeared in airports, somewhere between Boston and Montreal. A lot of my studio work had been done with that guitar. I didn't want to take it out of the house. Funny that once I did take it out, it got nicked!

(Note: The next gig after Montreal was Ottawa on 4/14 and the next gig after that was Evansville, IN on 4/16. He was in Montreal on 4/15 and went antique shopping that evening...perhaps flight to Evansville on 4/16 had a connection/change in planes in Boston? Or did he mean to say between Bloomington and Montreal, which would correlate to what I suggested earlier about 4/13/70?) --SAJ

Royal Albert Hall London January 9, 1970

GibsonLPBlackBeauty1RAH.jpg

Curtis Hickson Hall Tampa, FL April 9, 1970

GibsonLPBlackBeauty1Florida1970.jpg

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The guitar may have been stolen on April 13th 1970, the day the band was flown from Minneapolis to Milwaukee to Toronto to Montreal for their gig at the Forum that night.

Cole's Winnepeg '70 anecdote, if it is presented correctly here, is worthy of further

examination as we know for certain the guitar was stolen in 1970 enroute to a

concert in Canada. However, it doesn't seem to be entirely accurate (boating down the river) as they were partying at the International Inn Hotel in Winnepeg while the event was moved at 7pm from Winnepeg Stadium to Winnepeg Arena on account of heavy rains.

I can add Peter Grant insisted on being paid in US cash as opposed to Government of Manitoba checks and Ann Stark of the 'Winnepeg Free Press' interviewed the band after the gig at 3am in their hotel (International Inn Hotel) near the airport. There is no talk

of boating in the interview published.

The advert in Rolling Stone was not placed by Jimmy until nearly three years later.

Thank you Steve.

From the Hammer of The Gods.......

"The Tour began in Vancouver on March 21, 1970. On the way to Canada Jimmy's favorite Les Paul guitar was stolen off a truck at the airport. Page later advertised for it in Rolling Stone, just a photo with no name and a reward offer. But it never turned up."

--------

"We were stuck in Winnipeg"

"The next day was off, and Led Zeppelin was rotting in its hotel. One of Cole's specialties was finding things to keep the band amused.............."Maybe we could go on a boat trip or something." Grant said, "Not that you cunt. Can't we get some strippers or dancers?" so Richard rounded up four strippers for a private performance in the hotel."

it is confirmed from here, they were NOT on a boat, but in Hotel.....

You are right as always in every detail.....Regards.....

Edited by PlanetPage
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"It's buried in the endzone at Lambeau Field"

"Maybe, Jimmy Hoffa had something to do with it, even though he's buried in the endzone at Giants Stadium"

"Lombardi was a huge Zeppelin fan Ya knoooo"

I must say I'm seriously wondering why I ought continue to contribute here.

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You may be confused, Ally.

Sometime between February and April 1970 two extra switches were added. Assumed to be for extra pickup combos, not split, series/parallel, or any of that. It would make sense for them just to be for extra combinations too. He favored the typical Les Paul middle position a lot even early on and with the stock Black Beauty set up he couldn't get that unless he had the ability to take some of the pickups out of the mix hence the extra switches. -- Courtesy of "Whole Lotta Led" in Pennsylvania

As far as studio use goes, there has been some talk about it being used on the second album. Page himself has said #1 was the main guitar for II, however in one interview he infers the Black Beauty being used for Whole Lotta Love; can't really tell what he meant though. -- Courtesy of "Whole Lotta Led" in Pennsylvania

Guitar World January 1991: "Which guitar did you use on Whole Lotta Love?

Page: The Les Paul. I had been using a Black Beauty, which got nicked (stolen) in the States. It disappeared in airports, somewhere between Boston and Montreal. A lot of my studio work had been done with that guitar. I didn't want to take it out of the house. Funny that once I did take it out, it got nicked!

(Note: The next gig after Montreal was Ottawa on 4/14 and the next gig after that was Evansville, IN on 4/16. He was in Montreal on 4/15 and went antique shopping that evening...perhaps flight to Evansville on 4/16 had a connection/change in planes in Boston? Or did he mean to say between Bloomington and Montreal, which would correlate to what I suggested earlier about 4/13/70?) --SAJ

Royal Albert Hall London January 9, 1970

GibsonLPBlackBeauty1RAH.jpg

Curtis Hickson Hall Tampa, FL April 9, 1970

GibsonLPBlackBeauty1Florida1970.jpg

Well that explains it. So 1970 without a doubt then. Thanks Steve B)

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PlanetPage provided this excerpt from 'Hammer of the Gods' by Stephen Davis:

"The Tour began in Vancouver on March 21, 1970. On the way to Canada Jimmy's favorite Les Paul guitar was stolen off a truck at the airport. Page later advertised for it in Rolling Stone, just a photo with no name and a reward offer. But it never turned up."

The b&w photo of Jimmy backstage at the Curtis Hickson Hall in Tampa on 4/9/70 refutes Davis' assertion it was stolen on 3/21/70 entoute to Vancouver.

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"It's buried in the endzone at Lambeau Field"

"Maybe, Jimmy Hoffa had something to do with it, even though he's buried in the endzone at Giants Stadium"

"Lombardi was a huge Zeppelin fan Ya knoooo"

I must say I'm seriously wondering why I ought continue to contribute here.

:o What? no sense of humor mate! :beer:

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PlanetPage provided this excerpt from 'Hammer of the Gods' by Stephen Davis:

"The Tour began in Vancouver on March 21, 1970. On the way to Canada Jimmy's favorite Les Paul guitar was stolen off a truck at the airport. Page later advertised for it in Rolling Stone, just a photo with no name and a reward offer. But it never turned up."

The b&w photo of Jimmy backstage at the Curtis Hickson Hall in Tampa on 4/9/70 refutes Davis' assertion it was stolen on 3/21/70 entoute to Vancouver.

Absolutely ! Hense the confusion

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This isn't so much of a "mystery question" Steve. JPJ said they were working on new material when they were rehearsing for the possible tour a few months back. You think they taped any of this stuff or the rehearsals with other singers? If so, you think we'll ever hear it (aka boot wise)? I would love to hear some new riffs by them even if the "songs" were in infancy.

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This isn't so much of a "mystery question" Steve. JPJ said they were working on new material when they were rehearsing for the possible tour a few months back. You think they taped any of this stuff or the rehearsals with other singers? If so, you think we'll ever hear it (aka boot wise)? I would love to hear some new riffs by them even if the "songs" were in infancy.

It is known the trio was working on new material as far back as Spring '08, as reported

in this forum. It is not known (or cannot yet be divulged) if that new material was a direct result of the rehearsals or pre-existing ideas brought into the rehearsals.

I can tell you Jimmy and Michael Lee developed a fair amount of instrumental material during their rehearsals sans Plant in Summer '99 which have never been released, with the exception of 'Domino' premiered at Net Aid. JPJ is also known to have conceptual "demos" he may ultimately complete and release as a solo album, but may have presented to them.

Insofar as the singers being brought in to rehearse, again it remains unconfirmed by the band what they had attempted together. I can't say to what extent any rehearsals

were recorded, but it seems to me they didn't record anything at Bath in Jan '86 and

only "home movie" footage is circulating from the Atlantic '88 reunion gig rehearsals.

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John Paul Jones Fantasy Segment in The Song Remains The Same

Earlier in this thread I examined JPJ's fantasy segment in Led Zeppelin's 1976 film 'The Song Remains The Same'. John himself has explained how he reinterpreted elements of

the Doctor Syn story when they were unable to obtain licensing rights to use the original

footage. Now, for the first time, Walt Disney has made the Doctor Syn films available on

dvd:

DrSyn1.jpg

Created by author Russell Thorndike in his 1915 book Doctor Syn: A Tale of the Romney Marsh and subsequently injected with family-friendly hero qualities by this Walt Disney production, the character of vicar by day, smuggler by night Dr. Christopher Syn is something of a Robin Hood type based off the English coast in the 18th century. The background of the Dr. Syn character is at least as fascinating as the actual Disney incarnation, and even though Syn's popularity is largely relegated to a smallish cult who best remember him as played by Patrick McGoohan, there's a nice rumbling germ of a legend to be uncovered on the man whose alias was the Scarecrow.

A full twenty years after the first Dr. Syn book, Thorndike resurrected his protagonist for a series of new stories that were all prequels to the initial iteration. This coincided with a film version called Doctor Syn, released in 1937 and starring George Arliss in the title role. However, it wasn't until 1960 that Walt Disney apparently became interested in the story. His company snapped up the rights to yet another incarnation of the character, a new book called Christopher Syn that was credited to both William Buchanan, an American, and Thorndike. A couple of years later, right after Hammer Films turned out the Syn-inspired Captain Clegg, James Neilson was brought in to direct a cast including McGoohan, George Cole and Michael Hordern. It's interesting that McGoohan states in a featurette on the first disc of this set that he was under the impression they were making a regular feature film while shooting was taking place. Disney's plans were somewhat broader. In a serialised three-part run on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, the Dr. Syn adventures were dubbed "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh." Each entry works as a standalone, but the three also connect to form an episodic whole. Meanwhile, the UK got a theatrical version that was condensed into 98 minutes, known as Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow. Pleasing most everyone, both versions are included in this two-disc release.

To start off part one of the television version, viewers of this set will see a grandfatherly Walt Disney introduce the episode with the assurance that Dr. Syn and his exploits were real, occurring during the reign of King George III and taking place in the area commonly known as the white cliffs of Dover. The fact that Disney is either fibbing or misinformed seems almost beside the point. Walt was a peddler in fantasy just as much as any famous magician or illusionist and telling everyone gathered around their shiny new colour television sets that they're about to see a story dealing with a real, adventurous hero was just another way to insulate the magic. Technology has perforated Disney's stories, as has an increasingly cynical world doomed by manufactured pop stars and brand marketing that's so out of control one could sincerely question whether the world of Disney continues as a means of entertainment or an excuse to advertise all the various products for children (and suckers) of all ages. Yet, when the Disney mystique was really geared up sprinkling pixie dust on all who'd allow it, the films and shows produced in that time, including Dr. Syn, have an almost unparalleled ability to make you feel like a kid again regardless of age. Something like Dr. Syn isn't great art, but it can be viewed as great escapist entertainment that never seems corny or reaches beyond its boundaries. There's a place for that, too.

The stories in the three television offerings do basically resolve themselves within the length of each one, but the overarching plot is consistent in that the Reverend Syn serves as vicar to an impoverished coastal community while secretly acting as the Scarecrow by night to smuggle imported goods that can then be sold off to keep the townspeople afloat. Only two other people know of his dual identity: loyal Mr. Mipps (Cole) and young John Banks (Sean Scully), son of the town squire. They also belong to the Scarecrow's band of gentlemen smugglers, all of whom wear masks to protect their own identities. The Scarecrow's reputation is that of a villain and he's highly sought after by the authorities, foremost being General Pugh (Geoffrey Keen) in the serial and film. The locals actually respect and appreciate the Scarecrow's efforts despite his undeniably illegal methods.

When trying to decipher the merits of either the film or the longer television version, there's the sheer excitement of storytelling to appreciate, but, more than anything, the performance of Patrick McGoohan is just outstanding. He gives Syn a fierce intelligence that does well to assure the viewer this man could really pull all this off. His Scarecrow is, amazingly, cool, creepy and silly all at once. The barking growl he ejects through the Scarecrow sounds ferocious and fully intimidating, as does his maniacal laugh. There's little hint of Syn in McGoohan's Scarecrow and vice versa. His costume too is a mixture of silly and deranged. The stitched and crooked cut for a mouth makes him resemble either a super hero or a comic book villain. Though the Disney version leans decidedly for the heroic, McGoohan's characterisation flirts with an angrier result, one that seems ready to violently erupt at any moment even if we know it's not in the cards here. This is all made even more interesting by the stark contrast to a calm, scholarly demeanor exhibited by the vicar. It's difficult to reconcile that these two halves are of the same whole.

But it's quite fun to try to do so. When the Scarecrow is featured, he's a magnetic mystery man. It's a similar feeling as watching Don Diego transform into Zorro, Clark Kent into Superman, or Bruce Wayne put on the batsuit. The only complaint is the relative scarcity of instances when we do see the Scarecrow. His time on screen pretty much fits the story, but there's that little feeling of anxiously waiting until his next appearance in the meantime. That's not necessarily meant to imply that the rest of the action is lacking, as the other performances are also effective and the stories mostly captivating. McGoohan as Syn is nonetheless the anchor of film and series, sort of making him the Holmes to everyone else's Watson.

Though the changes from the three parts in the Disney television version to the shorter theatrical film are fairly small, careful viewers may notice a few inconsistencies. Generally, the longer serial fleshes out characters and situations and makes for the richer experience. The one obvious mistake is a scene where Dr. Syn and Mr. Mipps give sanctuary to an American fugitive (played by Tony Britton) wanted for sedition that appears in both the first and last episodes. The escapee, no doubt an addition intended to win over stateside viewers, figures in both these installments, but feels unnecessary in the movie. Similarly, a bit of confusion arises in the latter when Lt. Brackenbury (Eric Flynn) is blamed by General Pugh following a humiliation in the courtroom. The film version doesn't give any reason to put fault on Brackenbury, though the serial makes it clear. An entire subplot from the first episode is also lost in the theatrical release, involving the town's gentlemen smugglers hiding out when the King's men arrive. Overall, both work fine, but the television installments seem to be the preference and understandably so.

The Packaging

Packaging seems to change slightly every year and, guess what, it's a bit different again this go-around. The back card is still glued on to the back of the tin with two blobs of sticky gunk. Still no cardboard bands or embossed cases. The difference is with the DVD case itself, which is now a figure-eight style with the two discs overlapping one another. Criterion very briefly used this type of case just before switching to the most recent design, and it's a real pain to dislodge the discs. The case is still extra thick and comes with an eight-page booklet, individually numbered certificate of authenticity, and collectible art all tucked inside.

Each tin in this wave is limited to only 39,500 units, though the text of the certificate lists the print run at 35,000. Either way, that's the lowest of any in the Walt Disney Treasures series thus far and these are sure to become hard to find sooner rather than later.

The Discs

Both discs in the set are dual-layered, with lots of unused space on disc two, and the transfers are progressive. The first instinct for many upon seeing that the television version, as well as the theatrical film, has been set in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio may be one of confusion. Leonard Maltin explains in his introduction that this is actually how it was originally filmed due to the British cinema screenings. The television broadcasts were thus in the wrong ratio without anyone being the wiser. Interestingly, Walt Disney's segments before and after the episodes were also filmed in widescreen, though weren't not told exactly why this was. Despite that, the opening and the Disney introductions are displayed as pillarboxed 1.33:1, with black bars on the left and right sides of the screen. The widescreen Walt Disney intros can be found as extras on disc one. Adding to the confusion, while the Dr. Syn film and episodes are both enhanced for widescreen televisions, as are the Disney segments, the other bonus material is letterboxed.

Far less contentious is the quality of the restoration for the main content. It looks very fine indeed, and remarkably clean with no visible damage. Much was filmed day for night so there's quite a bit of fake-looking darkness, but detail is still rather good. When not shaded, the colours are bright and vivid, especially the red British uniforms, though skin tones are a tad ashen. Grain is present without appearing too heavy. Everything looks to be in great shape, but there is some mild digital noise for the nitpickers.

Both versions get the option of hearing restored original mono or an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Purists should find the mono to be of their liking. It's clear, consistent, and without issue. The surround track also sounds excellent. There are a few sound effects that will get your attention, but the main bump is in the rousing score, which thankfully still doesn't become overpowering. It very nicely complements the action while maintaining an acceptable level of volume in comparison to dialogue, which is also easily understood. There are also optional English for the hearing impaired subtitles, yellow in colour.

Resident Treasures mascot Leonard Maltin introduces both discs (2:43 & 3:08) with some informative background on Dr. Syn. These introductions play automatically but can also be accessed from the main menus. The first disc, which contains the television version "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh," has a nice little retrospective featurette, "Dr. Syn: The History of the Legend" (16:13), about the character's roots. Several scholarly and historian types are interviewed, as is Patrick McGoohan. Walt Disney's introductions in widescreen (4:27), as mentioned above, are also in the first disc's supplemental material.

Disc two has just one other extra feature, a short look at Walt Disney's satellite studio in England called "Walt Disney: From Burbank to London" (11:39). It again features the persons interviewed in the Dr. Syn featurette, as well as director Ken Annakin, and discusses the Disney productions like Treasure Island and The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men that were made in the UK. Even though the bonus material here isn't extravagant, I prefer good quality extras like these to having lots and lots of filler material. We really don't need something like an interactive Scarecrow game or the Scarecrow theme song performed by the cast of High School Musical. The set as a whole feels entirely worthwhile and fans of Dr. Syn will hopefully be happy just having the content in a fantastic presentation.

DrSyn2.jpg

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I remember watching the scarecrow when I was a kid, used to give me the creeps but I still enjoyed watching it :) I can see the connection although I always thought it was more Phantom of the Opera-isk

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I remember seeing Dr. Syn at the movies and falling madly in love with the young hero, who I assume must have been Sean Scully. Wonder whatever happened to him? Anyway, it was an enjoyable tale (for the young and impressionable, anyway).

I've never heard of this :o But I'm going to check it out now :D

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Here's one SAJ:

What became of some the props from TSRTS? The sword from Robert's sequence, masks from No Quarter, Jimmy's hermit get-up, etc?

Was curious if they were just discarded after filming or did the lads keep them for prosperity or, as only a collector would ask, are these items out there somewhere to be obtained?

Thanks in advance.

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Here's one SAJ:

What became of some the props from TSRTS? The sword from Robert's sequence, masks from No Quarter, Jimmy's hermit get-up, etc?

Was curious if they were just discarded after filming or did the lads keep them for prosperity or, as only a collector would ask, are these items out there somewhere to be obtained?

Thanks in advance.

Jimmy still has the mold used to create the aging of his face for his fantasy sequence. I believe he still has the robe as well. Sam might know if Jonsey kept his mask and cape. Robert remembers the crew pouring kerosine on the lake and lighting it to create the flames but I'm not sure about the sword's fate. I've certainly never seen any props from the film up for sale or auction. Promotional items, sure, but nothing the band actually wore in the film.

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Jimmy still has the mold used to create the aging of his face for his fantasy sequence. I believe he still has the robe as well. Sam might know if Jonsey kept his mask and cape. Robert remembers the crew pouring kerosine on the lake and lighting it to create the flames but I'm not sure about the sword's fate. I've certainly never seen any props from the film up for sale or auction. Promotional items, sure, but nothing the band actually wore in the film.

Great question Bonzo1026. I had been wondering about that stuff myself, in particular the sword (it would go great with my collection). Thanks for the reply SteveAJones. What were the promotional items for the film?

(I apologize in advance if the answer to my question was already stated in another thread on this forum)

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Jimmy still has the mold used to create the aging of his face for his fantasy sequence. I believe he still has the robe as well. Sam might know if Jonsey kept his mask and cape. Robert remembers the crew pouring kerosine on the lake and lighting it to create the flames but I'm not sure about the sword's fate. I've certainly never seen any props from the film up for sale or auction. Promotional items, sure, but nothing the band actually wore in the film.

Fantastic as usual, Steve! Eye Thank Yew!

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