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31 March 2007 2,428 views No Comment

And the 1977 tapes keep rolling. As part of my research for the extensive coverage of the 1977 US tour in the next Tight But Loose, I’ve been wading through a crop of live CD’s from that celebrated period. One performance that always stands out is the version of Over The Hills And Far Away as captured on the last night of their six show Los Angeles Forum stint.
It commences with a series of tantalising warm up runs from Jimmy before he embarks on that revolving intro which is guaranteed to send shivers down the spine every time. The solo is just out of this world. A series of staggered ripples form the Gibson that swoop and glide across the speakers. It brings to mind that story from one of their gigs at the beginning of the ’75 tour when Jimmy informed Robert not to expect any long solos as he was tired and ill – only for that particular nights Over The Hills to stretch to over eight minutes and more. This LA version is of similar length. It’s a stark reminder that Led Zeppelin could still be as vital and enterprising in 1977 as they had been in 1969. And at the helm of it all still…was the true lord of the strings.

That 1977 performance of Over The Hills And Far Away features in the 60 great Jimmy Page performances listing that forms the centrepeice of the new Tight But Loose magazine. Last Tuesday night my computer clock ticked over to precisely 10pm as I sent the final round up of revisions for the new issue to Martyn. It signalled the end of a journey that has had many twists and turns along the way, including a planning meeting last November that ended rather abruptly with me being carted off by the paramedics. Laugh? We didn’t much at the time, but that was just one of the many hurdles that had to be overcome in the quest to bring the new issue to fruition. Hopefully when you see the end result it will all have been worth it.

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