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CELEBRATION DAY GLOBAL WATCH PARTY/JOHN BONHAM ON THE OCCASION OF HIS BIRTHDAY/LIVE IN OSAKA 1971 – AN INSPIRATION/ TBL ARCHIVE -ROBERT PLANT KINGS HEAD 1993 /DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

28 May 2020 1,582 views 11 Comments

Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day set for global watch party:

This one has been widely reported and you can count me in..

This report via the Classic Rock website:

Led Zeppelin’s famous 2007 reunion performance is to be shown in full for free this coming weekend.

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones played with Jason Bonham at the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at the O2 in London on December 10, 2007 – a benefit show in memory of the co-founder and president of Atlantic Records.

It was Led Zeppelin’s first show in 27 years and saw approximately 20 million people applying for tickets through a worldwide lottery.

Celebration Day will be streamed through Led Zeppelin’s official YouTube channel, with the global watch party set for 8pm BST this coming Saturday (May 30), with a trailer available to watch below.

The film will only be available for three days before the video is taken down.

Led Zeppelin crammed in a total of 16 tracks on the day, including Black Dog, Dazed And Confused, Kashmir, Whole Lotta Love, No Quarter and Stairway To Heaven.

See links at:

https://www.loudersound.com/news/led-zeppelins-celebration-day-set-for-global-watch-party

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9SUXIHWCgY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1BMvpFouWFDHJFcO9yPeDnmlnqglQC2TJ4DE0LYudbDcxom3HDsEEjf6g

………………………

The celebrations commence…

On the occasion of John Bonham’s 72nd Birthday – May 31, 2020……

I love this photo – it may not be the sharpest image but for me, it captures the joyous spirit of John Bonham in full flight during Kashmir. It’s taken at Knebworth of course and frames the screen shot of Bonzo as it was being relayed on the backdrop screen by the video cameras. John Bonham’s total commitment to making it all tick over those two nights was pivotal to the success of that comeback. They all knew they had a lot to lose if they did not step up to the mark. As Robert reflected years later ” One or two of us might have been struggling at that point but Bonzo still had it.’’.

His performances on August 4 and 11 were exemplary and as you will read on below, were amongst his finest. John Henry Bonham…forever missed and forever loved….Happy 72nd Birthday on Sunday..…

Dave Lewis – May 27,2020  

JOHN BONHAM: AN APPRECIATION – 72 AT 72 – THE TBL BIRTHDAY PLAYLIST:

Greatest Beats – Percussive Perfection – 72 Examples of the John Bonham Drum Craft

Sunday May 31, 2020 is John Bonham’s 7sst birthday. The intervening years since his untimely death at the age of 32 in 1980, have only enhanced his reputation as the outstanding rock drummer of all time.

To quantify that statement and in celebration of his life and legacy, what follows is a listing of 72 of his most notable performances.

It’s continually evident how integral the percussive element was to the overall impact of Led Zeppelin’s unique sound.

This was well apparent at the 02 reunion -clearly Jason Bonham’s understanding and contribution to that ethic was a key factor in the overwhelming success of that night.

It was his father of course who first laid down the template – the following listing highlights the varied aspects of his playing – from snare drum stampedes, though hi hat syncopation, jazzy interludes and sheer brutal power – it was this percussive talent that was at the heart of the group from the very start.

As with any celebration of their music, it’s designed to point readers in the direction of the 71 selections that span the man’s entire career. So be ready to be overawed once again by the sheer inventiveness of this very special musician.

For John Bonham at 72, this is his greatest beats…and percussive perfection…

Notes about this listing: The 72 selections are presented in chronological order of their year of recording – for the studio inclusions that means not necessarily the year they were released (ie in the case of Physical Graffiti recorded 1974 released 1975). The list covers John Bonham’s entire recorded career from the first Band Of Joy demos in 1967 through to the final performance on stage with Led Zeppelin on July 7, 1980 – it also hones in on performances  on the Companion Audio Discs of the Jimmy Page produced reissues released during 2014/5/6.The commentary tracks his ongoing prowess and periodically clocks the appropriate points of percussive perfection to be heard amongst the various examples of his vast percussive skills.

So air drumming at the ready….

For What it’s Worth Band Of Joy (1967)

Hear It: Robert Plant – Sixty Six To Timbuktu (Atlantic)

Hey Joe – Band Of Joy (1967)

* The earliest recorded remnants of the teenage Bonham with the Band Of Joy and fellow Midlander one Robert Plant.

Robert Plant said: ‘’You can hear Zeppelin in there. Bonzo’s doing a lot of those drum figures and fills which were quite popular with drummers like Carmine Appice all that virtuoso drumming. It was like ‘’Here I am everybody: somebody get me in a really big band quick -I want to get away from Plant!‘’

Hear it: Robert Plant – Sixty Six To Timbuktu (Atlantic)

Jim’s Blues/George Wallace Is Rollin’ In This Mornin’ – PJ Proby (1968)

* Enter The New Yardbird and his speed king foot pedal is heard for the first time with his new band mates on this PJ Proby session just prior to the recording of  the first Zep album.

Hear It: Your Time Is Gonna Come /The Roots of Led Zeppelin (Castle)

Good Times Bad Times (1968)

*From the dramatic two beat opening, John Bonham puts the whole kit through it’s paces. That pioneering use of bass drum triplets heralded the arrival of a very special drummer.

Jimmy Page said: ‘’In terms of John’s playing, a big point of reference is Good Time Bad Times. He’s playing brilliantly on everything else but this is right out of the norm – playing a bass drum pattern that no one else has ever heard.’’

Hear It: Led Zeppelin (Atlantic)

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You (1968)

* The noble art of percussive dynamics as Bonzo alternates from cymbal crashing crescendo to hi hat swing.

Hear It: Led Zeppelin (Atlantic)

Sugar Mama (Mix) (1968)

*To quote from my review of Sugar Mama when it first appeared on the Coda reissue, in 2015 – ”Then there’s drummer John Bonham – long time friend of the aforementioned Plant and drafted into this new line up at the recommendation of the singer who had performed in the Band Of Joy with him. John had more recently forged a reputation touring with Tim Rose – Jimmy Page duly checked him out at a Tim Rose gig in Hampstead the previous July and saw the immense percussive potential. That potential is all over this track, most notably from 1 minute 23 to I minute28 -in that space of time, Bonzo as he will become known, delivers one of those seemingly impossible bass drum shuffles that will became a unique part of the Led Zep sound.”

Hear it: Coda Reissue –  Companion Audio Disc (Atlantic/Swan Song)

Pat’s Delight (Live Fillmore West 1969)

* Before Moby Dick, Bonzo’s live solo outing was known as Pat’s Delight affectionately named after his wife. On this early live rendition from the April 27 Fillmore West show in San Francisco ,you can clearly trace elements of the soon to be recorded Led Zeppelin 11 solo.

Hear It: Kozmic Blues (Beelzebub bootleg)

Communication Breakdown ( BBC Session 1969 )

* This take from their first John Peel session cut on March 3 1969 sizzles along -and Bonzo’s right at the heart of it.

Clock the percussive perfection: From 2 minutes 22 seconds the point were it veers off and the drummer free falls across tom tom and snare of the much employed maple Ludwig kit.

Hear It: The Complete BBC Radio Sessions (Empress Valley bootleg)

How Many More Times (Live BBC Playhouse Theatre 1969)

* An early live fave of course with that stimulating Gene Krupa inspired jazzy opening.

John Bonham said :‘’Gene Krupa was the first big band drummer to be really noticed. He came out and played the drums much louder than they ever had before. People didn’t take notice of drums until Krupa came along’’

Hear It: The Complete BBC Sessions (Atlantic)

Whole Lotta Love (Rough Mix with vocal)  (1969)

Nearly four decades on this track has lost none of it’s originality or power. One of one of their most potent studio moments and perhaps Bonzo’s best studio performance.

On this welcome alternate take from the 2014 reissues there’s no cough at the intro and straight to the riff. Where the chorus should come is a wonderfully disorientating moment because there is no chorus! Equally startling is the middle section which is devoid of the later overdubbed backwards echo effects. Instead, there’s sparse use of tympani and some neat rim shots from Bonzo. The whole mix has Bonzo right upfront enabling to him shine on this track like never before.

Clock the percussive perfection: Where else but that battering ram snare roll at 2.24 that leads into where Jimmy’s solo normally kicks in – but not on this occasion…

Hear It: Led Zeppelin II reissue Companion Audio Disc (Atlantic)

Ramble On (1969)

* The pitter patter of bare hands against drum dominates throughout.

John Bonham said: ‘’You get a lovely little tone out of the drums that you couldn’t get with the sticks. You get an absolute true drum sound because there’s no wood involved’’

Hear It: Led Zeppelin 2 (Atlantic)

Moby Dick (1969)

* The drum solo to play to those that claim they don’t like drum solos. A veritable Bonham stickfest.

Hear It: Led Zeppelin II (Atlantic)

La La (Intro Outro Rough Mix) (1969)

A newly discovered instrumental for the 2014 reissue, this is  a brilliant piece of Page wizardry with Jones keyboards to the fore initially all supplemented by Bonzo’s speed fast playing. He is in there  tearing along and then on into yet another time signature switch as it slows to a bluesy feel and then a step on the wah wah for a scintillating Hendrix like finale.

Clock the percussive perfection: At 1.05 just prior to Jimmy’s switch to acoustic – Bonzo kicks in at lightening speed across the kit.

Hear it: Led Zeppelin II Reissue Companion Audio Disc)

Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown (Live at The Olympia 1969)

*A short lived set opener that combined the instrumental intro of Good Bad Times with a frantic Communication Breakdown.

Clock the percussive perfection:  At 00.39 when John leads them into the into of Communication Breakdown with a storming barrage of snare and tom tom attacks.

Hear it: Led Zeppelin reissue Companion Audio Disc) 

Wailing Sounds – Lord Such & Heavy Friends (1969)

* A rare session for the outrageous Sutch. Note Bonzo’s two beat snare drive that dominates the track – a tactic that he would later repeat notably on the live Over The Hills And far Away arrangement and Candy Store Rock on Presence

Hear It: Your Time Is Gonna Come -The Roots of Led Zeppelin (Castle)

We’re Gonna Groove (Live at The Royal Albert Hall 1970)

* Simply Devastating. From the moment Bonzo warms up the kit through the frenzied opening and ride cymbal onslaught. Definitive John Bonham.

John Paul Jones said: ‘’I’ve seen all three James brown drummers stand around him at the Newport Festival in disbelief wondering how one guy does what all three of them did’’

Hear It: Led Zeppelin DVD (Warner Music Vision)

I Can’t Quite You Baby (Live Royal Albert Hall 1970)

* A wonderfully atmospheric performance from the glorious Royal night of Albert thankfully all captured on film.

Hear It: Led Zeppelin DVD (Warner Music Vision)

Moby Dick (Live at The Royal Albert Hall 1970)

* Yes seeing is believing – superbly restored for the 2003 DVD this is 15 minutes of sheer percussive brilliance. Bonzo clatters, rattles, shakes and bangs his way into percussive immortality.

John Bonham said: ‘’My son Jason plays. I’ve got a kit made to scale for him. He’s got a great sense of time- even when we go out in the car he takes his sticks to bash on the seats. Before the end of Led Zeppelin I’m going to have him onstage with us at the Albert Hall’’

Hear It: Led Zeppelin DVD (Warner Music Vision)

Immigrant Song (1970)

* Marvel at how he drives this tremendous opening track  with a forceful full on percussive attack. The pace here is just relentless.

Hear It : Led Zeppelin III (Atlantic)

Friends (1970)

* In which Bonzo forfeits the sticks for the bongos, and has no trouble in keeping up with JPJ’s relentless string swirl.

Hear it: Led Zeppelin III (Atlantic)

Since I’ve Been Loving You (1970)

* Proving there’s no sin in omission, Bonzo’s sparse incisive back beat allows the rest of them to build the tension. The opening two minutes are just masterful.

Clock the percussive perfection: 48 seconds in with that positively nuclear cymbal crash over Page’s Gibson squeals and Plant’s instinctive shout of ‘’Oh!’’

Hear It: Led Zeppelin 3 (Atlantic)

Out On The Tiles (1970)

* Not for nothing did he have a joint song writing credit for a performance of sheer explosive power.

Clock the percussive perfection: At 2.35 as the long fade out kicks in with Bonzo flailing around the kit – all deftly panned in stereo splendour.

Hear It: Led Zeppelin 3 (Atlantic)

Gallows Pole (1970)

*Again that sense of  light and shade dynamics is applied to this tradition tune in a manner only they could muster.

* Clock the percussive perfection: The tension builds and then blam! John Henry is in at 2.04 to gallop amongst the gallows.

Hear It: Led Zeppelin 3 (Atlantic)

Poor Tom (1970)

* An invigorating New Orleans jazz straight eighth shuffle opens and carries the track throughout. An absolute masterclass of controlled percussion.

Hear It: Coda (Swan Song)

St Tristans Sword (rough mix) (1970)

This three way instrumental work out from 1970 is built around a totally invigorating bass and drum pattern – the bass and drum syncopation between JPJ and Bonzo is just outstanding. Bonzo putting to good use his best New Orleans shuffle ala Poor Tom. This was one of the finds of the whole reissue series and yet another prime example of Bonzo pushing the percussive boundaries beyond the norm.

Hear it: Coda Reissue –  Companion Audio Disc (Atlantic/Swan Song)

Bring It On Home (Live at LA Forum 1970)

*One of the all time great Zep live performances.

* Clock the percussive perfection: From 6.25 as Page and Bonzo lock horns in a classic guitar and drums battle.

Hear It: Live On Blueberry Hill (Trade Mark Of Quality bootleg)

If It Keeps On Raining (When the Levee Breaks Rough Mix) (1970)

* This is a simply sensational initial run through from November 1970 with a totally alternate laid back swampy feel, slightly faster in tempo to the original. Robert’s vocals have a sparse low register echoed scat singing element to them, adding to the almost soundcheck run through quality of the piece. It certainly has a total groove of its own with incessant bass line from JPJ, Bonzo’s drumming funky as hell with a distinctive snare drum sound

Hear it: Coda Reissue –  Companion Audio Disc (Atlantic/Swan Song)

Rock And Roll (1971)

* Guaranteed to cause severe outbreaks of air drumming from the moment that cymbal crashing intro commences.

*Clock the percussive perfection: It has to be that final flurry at 3.25. The most concise percussive statement ever committed to tape.

Hear It: Led Zeppelin 4 (Atlantic)

Black Dog (1971)

* To paraphrase a Jason Bonham album title, this is clear case of the disregard of time keeping. Simple in it’s execution -nigh on impossible to copy -John is totally locked in to the rhythm with JPJ.

John Paul Jones said: ‘’Musically we were very proud of our capabilities. The empathy we had when we played was always incredibly exhilarating, but then I was fortunate. I was playing with the best drummer Id ever known – and I’d know a lot’’

Hear It: Led Zeppelin 4 (Atlantic)

Misty Mountain Hop (1971)

* Clock the percussive perfection: From 3.55 to 4.01 as Bonzo strikes up a magnificent drum roll and the whole affair drifts off into the psychedelic sunshine. ‘’I really don’t know..ohoh ohoh.’’

Hear It: Led Zeppelin 4 (1971)

Four Sticks (1971)

* Yet another remarkable percussive statement. Bonzo tears along with a four stick attack clicking the rims of the drums in the process. Innovative and totally infectious.

Hear It: Led Zeppelin 4 (Atlantic)

When The Levee Breaks (1971)

* The remake – one drum kit, one stairwell, one microphone over the banister…a thousand samples…and the greatest of beats.

Robert Plant said: John always felt his significance was minimal but if you take him off any of our tracks, it loses it’s potency and sex. I don’t think he really knew how important he was‘’

Hear It: Led Zeppelin 4 (Atlantic)

Heartbreaker (Live at Berkeley 1971)

A classic live performance as recorded on September 14 1971 and immortalized on the Going To California bootleg.

Clock the percussive perfection: At 5.04 the moment Bonzo re enters after Jimmy’s virtuoso guitar solo. The power of his pummelling even for him is just immerse…

Hear it – Going To California TMQ Bootleg double album

Immigrant Song (Live in Osaka 1971)

Another classic live performance as recorded on September 29 ,1971 at the Festival Hall Osaka – available again on the More Comedy Less Work 4 CD set.

Clock the percussive perfection: From the moment Bonzo’s shouts ”Louder, louder” and crashes into the intro and locks right in with Page and Jones – a perfect example of the way he drove the rhythmic machine…

Hear it – More Comedy  Less Work  4 CD TARC Bootleg set

No Quarter (Rough Mix with JP keyboards -overdubs -no vocals) (1971)

Another standout highlight from the 2014 reissue. A December 1971  instrumental mix with JPJ piano very prominent, theremin effects and the drums crystal clear. This is a clear case of Bonzo allowing the feel of the song to breath – as was so often the case – it’s not what he plays  but what he doesn’t play that provides the air between it all.

Clock the percussive perfection: At 3.58 when he comes in out of JPJ’s solo to add a subtle hi hat shuffle – the right effect at the right time…

Hear It: Houses Of The Holy Reissue Companion Audio Disc (Atlantic)

The Crunge (1972)

* Talking of which – the boys get off on the good foot and Bonzo applies a ridiculous 9/8 time. Could anyone do The Crunge..? John Bonham evidently could…

Walters Walk (Rough Mix) (1972)

This vocal less rough mix only heightens Bonzo’s driving of the rhythm – it’s a relentless groove

Clock the percussive perfection: From 2.28 when the riff kicks back in and Bonzo tears along with it right to the fade…

Hear It: Houses Of The Holy Reissue Companion Audio Disc (Atlantic)

D’yer Ma’ker (1972)

* Less reggae, more 50’s fun time led all the way by Bonzo’s huge upfront wide screen playing -leading to a deserved lead song writing credit.

Hear It: Houses Of The Holy (Atlantic)

The Rover (1972)

* First tried for Houses, it’s eventual release three years later was well worth the wait. Bonzo’s snare drum torrents subside for Page’s melodic embellishments.

Hear It: Physical Graffiti (Swan Song)

Dazed And Confused (Live at LA Forum 1972)

* A 25 minute tour de force with Bonzo in the middle of it all guiding them through early stabs at Walters Walk and The Crunge in the process.

Hear It: How The West Was Won (Atlantic)

 

Happy Birthday Dear Bonzo/Heartbreaker (Live LA Forum 1973)

* A fantastic sequence – ‘’John Bonham! John Bonham! John Bonham!’’ exclaims R. Plant on the night of John’s 25th birthday. Then it’s the obligatory ‘’Happy Birthday To You’’ and a comment of ‘’Far out’’ from Plant. Bonzo’s intro to the old live warhorse Heartbreaker is just that.

Hear It: Bonzo’s Birthday Party (Trademark Of Quality bootleg)

The Rain Song (Live Madison Square Garden 1973)

* More controlled dynamics.

Clock the percussive genius: From 5.59 after Robert’s ‘’But I know that I love you so’’ line. Bonzo is all across the tympani right though to the final flurry on the gong.

Hear It: The Song Remains The Same Soundtrack (Swan Song)

No Quarter (Live Madison Square Garden 1973)

* Clock the percussive perfection: From 9.01 as Bonzo plays behind Jimmy’s wah wah solo displaying a hi hat syncopation favoured by the likes of 70’s funkateers Sly Stone and Tower of Power

Hear It: The Song Remains The Same Soundtrack (Swan Song)

The Ocean (Live Madison Square Garden 1973)

* Totally uplifting. This is mid period Zep in all it’s unchained unabashed carnal glory. Via the DVD we can vividly see Page playing not only to an ocean but right off the drummer’s cues and shouts. Absolutely joyous.

Hear It: The Song Remains The Same Soundtrack  2007 reissue (Swan Song)

Kashmir (Demo 1973)

* Heard in it’s purest form – no overdubs, no vocals – just Page, Jones and Bonham driving the riff on and on.

Hear It: Brutal Artistry (Midas Touch bootleg)

Everybody Makes It Through (In The Light) Early Version/In Transit) (1974) 

A totally different work in progress arrangement with John Paul Jones’ Elizabethan harpsichord keyboard sequence being later replaced by the drone links.  Very much a Headley Grange mix with live drumming. Some elements of this version were retained for the re make  –notably Bonzo’s drum parts and Jimmy’s guitar melody.

Clock the percussive perfection: The closing moments from 5.42 to 6.29  with John Bonham’s relentless drum fills are some of the very best applied to any Led Zeppelin track.

Hear It: Physical Graffiti Reissue Companion Audio Disc (Atlantic)

The Wanton Song (1974)

* Classic machete Zep. Again it’s John Henry steadying the ship as Page’s angular riffs take hold. It’s that rock steady beat that keeps it all in line.

Hear It: Physical Graffiti (Swan Song)

In My Time Of Dying (1974)

* Perhaps their most intense and brutal studio performance – and it’s Bonzo constantly underpinning it all.

Clock the percussive perfection: From 7.12 and those four military barrages of power shared by Bonham and Page before Robert comes in with the line ‘’And I see it in the streets’’

Hear It: Physical Graffiti (Swan Song)

Trampled Underfoot (1974)

* Journalist Lisa Robinson commented at the time ’’It sounds like The Beatles battled the Stones in a parking lot, and Led Zeppelin won.’’ Yet another example of their diversity.

John Bonham said: ‘’When we first ran through it John Paul and Jimmy started off the riff and we thought it was a bit souly for us. Then we changed it about a bit. It’s great for me – a great rhythm for a drummer.It’s just at the right pace and you can do a lot of frills.’’

Hear It: Physical Graffiti (Swan Song)

Kashmir (1974)

* Now in it’s full splendour and yet another masterful Bonham contribution. There’s no doubt that the economy in his playing gave the song it’s vastness.

Robert Plant said: ‘’A lot of Kashmir was done to Bonzo. He was a real thrifty player. It was often what he didn’t do that made it work.’’

Hear It: Physical Graffiti (Swan Song)

Over The Hills And Far Away (Live Earls Court 1975)

* Always a live favourite – the studio version was merely the starting point for this particular tangent within the framework.

Clock the percussive perfection: From Plant’s shout of ‘’Acapulco gold’’ at 2.35 as Bonzo drives the rhythmic experiments of Page’s solo with a two hit snare run not dissimilar to that employed on Candy Store Rock

Hear It: To Be A Rock And Not To Roll (Watch Tower bootleg)

In My Time Of Dying (Live Earls Court 1975)

* The brutality of the studio version carries though to the live performance and as can be seen in close up on the DVD. Bonzo’s bass kick was all important here.

Hear It: Led Zeppelin DVD (Warner Music Video)

Bron Yr Aur Stomp (Live Earls Court 1975)

* The good vibes of the time perfectly encapsulated. Bonzo’s the star as he leads them on a merry dance, contributing backing vocals and even castanets.

John Bonham said: ‘’I enjoyed those concerts. I thought they were the best shows we‘ve ever put on in England. I thought the video screen was really worth doing. You could get close ups you would never be able to see normally at a concert’’

Hear It: Led Zeppelin DVD (Warner Home Vision)

Achilles Last Stand (1975)

* The chemistry of all four perfectly in sync to pull off perhaps their most inventive composition.

Clock the percussive perfection: So many to choose from – how about 1.17 and the first fill ,then again at 2.29 and another burst of power, or there’s the point at 4.08 when the first machine gun rally with Page kicks in.

Hear It: Presence (Swan Song)

Royal Orleans (1975)

* Bonzo cleverly plays against the riff with a funky edge on another of his co compositions.

Clock the percussive perfection: 1.56 and the interjection of bongos with the main drumming. A deft touch.

Hear It: Presence (Swan Song)

Hots On For Nowhere (1975)

* As Charles Shaar Murray noted, what the Glenn Miller orchestra would have sounded like had they been a murderously heavy four piece rock band. This one swings along with some incredible fills.

Clock the percussive perfection. At 4.01 through to the finish as he clatters around the spiralling Page runs.

Hear It: Presence (Swan Song)

10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod Pod” (Reference Mix) (1975)

So Jonesy did take the piano out of the flight case for the Munich recordings – it’s emergence on the 2015 reissue throws a new light on what had previously thought to be an  18 day frenzy of guitar, bass and drums arrangements.

Mournful, forlorn and reflective, it creates a beautiful atmosphere. Jimmy drifts in at 2mins 39 with some minor descending electric strumming, quite possibly courtesy of the Telecaster B bender. Behind all that there’s an acoustic guitar – all very autumnal and Ten Years Gone- ish. Then John Bonham enters at 3 mins 02 and like Jimmy says, it will make you smile – it might even make you cry. It all leads on to something of a crescendo in an All My Love outro tempo.

Clock the percussive perfection: The aforementioned entry at 3.01 -so poignant – the three of them instrumentally coming together in perfect harmony.

Hear It: Presence  Reissue Companion Audio Disc (Atlantic)

Bonzo’s Montreux (1976)

* Enter the John Bonham orchestra. Bonzo had long harboured a plan for a dramatic new solo piece and the period in tax exile gave him the opportunity to experiment in Mountain Studios. The result – another percussive landmark.

Hear It: Coda (Swan Song)

The Song Remains The Same (Live LA Forum 1977)

* Despite all the off stage lunacy surrounding them now, Bonzo came through when it mattered. It certainly mattered any time they played Los Angeles and this opening night in LA was a triumph.

Clock the percussive perfection: From 1.25 to 1.36 a ten second torrent of furious snare attack as the song builds.

Hear It: Listen To This Eddie (Empress Valley bootleg)

Over The Top/Moby Dick (Live LA Forum 1977)

* The last hurrah for the long drum solo. On the ‘77 tour the opening riff preceding the solo was cribbed from Out On The Tiles.

Hear It: Listen To This Eddie (Empress Valley bootleg)

Keep Your Hands On The Wheel – Roy Wood (1978)

* With Zep off the road there was ample time for extra curricular work. Helping out fellow Brummie rocker Roy Wood, he brings that huge Bonham sound to a melodic stomper from the Wizard man

Clock the percussive perfection: From 2.42 to 3.03 with Bonzo reprising the mighty snare roll of Whole Lotta Love as they switch back to the main chorus.

Hear It: Roy Wood On The Road Again (Warners)/The Bonham Sessions (Hammer Jack bootleg)

Rockestra Theme – Paul McCartney & Wings (1978)

* A massive jam sharing the drum chores with Kenny Jones and Wings Steve Holly down at Abbey Road for the fab Macca’s rock orchestra – later to be reproduced on stage at the Hammersmith Odeon for what would be Bonzo’s last live performance in the UK. Footage of this studio session where he plays a black Billy Cobham flared style kit, can be seen on the Paul McCartney Wingspan DVD

Hear It: Wings – Back To The Egg (EMI)/The Bonham Sessions (Hammer Jack bootleg)

South Bound Suarez (1978)

Another masterclass of understated percussion as he underpins the shuffle of the song with pin point precision.

Clock the percussive perfection. At 3.27 as John’s snare, bass drum and hi hat combination ushers them into that delightful ”sha la la la” fade out

Hear It: In Through The Out Door (Swan Song)

Fool In The Rain (1978)

* On this outstanding Bonham showcase we can hear the fusion influence of jazz players such as Benard Purdie and Alphonse Mouzon.

Clock the percussive perfection. Firstly at 2.25 when the whistle blowing ushers in a Latin samba delight, then to the dexterity of his playing from 3.32 to 3.50 and the entry of Jimmy’s solo.

Robert Plant said: ‘’If you listen to Bonzo on that album -things like Fool In The Rain ,well he was weaving with as much dexterity and finesse as on the early days. One or two of us might have been struggling at that point but Bonzo still had it‘.’

Hear It: In Through The Out Door (Swan Song)

Wearing And Tearing (1978)

* He’d mixed it with the punks down at the Roxy club in ‘77 so attacking this track with Rat Scabies like vigour was chicken feed. Fast and loose and then some…Punk rock? Never ‘eard of it…

Hear It: Coda (1978)

Sick Again (Live Knebworth 1979)

* As mentioned above, Knebworth was an absolute triumph for Bonzo -his playing throughout was exemplary. One of the surprise highlights of the set was this  stand alone version of Sick Again – and he is just phenomenal all the way.

Clock the percussive perfection: From 3.44 and onwards as he puts the metallic kit through it’s paces and whips up a storm right through to the stop gap ending at 5.07

Hear It: Led Zeppelin DVD (Warner Home Vision)

In The Evening (Live Knebworth 1979)

*More magnificence as Bonzo builds the drama with that phased tympani intro.

Clock the percussive perfection: From 7.10 onwards as he compliments Plant’s pleading and Page’s Stratocaster strut with a tribal tom tom assault.

Hear It: Led Zeppelin DVD (Warner Home Vision)

Whole Lotta Love (Live Knebworth 1979)

* The finale – a stripped down remodel with added spice and a new middle section that gave the song a new lease of life.

Clock the percussive perfection: From 2.16 where Page kicks in the new riff and Bonzo supplements it with a solid beat.

Hear it: Led Zeppelin DVD (Warner Home Vision)

Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Live Cologne 1980)

* The 1980 Over Europe tour brought with it a clear sense of  rejuvenation. John attacked this latter day favourite with all the verve and bluster of their first Europe trek nearly eleven years earlier.

Hear It: A Close Shave bootleg (Condor)

Whole Lotta Love (Live Munich 1980)

* With Simon Kirke guesting, Munich witnessed the rare sight of two drummers jamming it out for what would be the penultimate delivery of the classic anthem

Simon Kirke said: ”I remember we were in his hotel room literally with our hands on our knees just getting the rhythm. It was a wonderful experience to be on stage with Zeppelin.’’

Hear It: Munich 1980 (Tarantura bootleg)

Kashmir (Live Berlin 1980)

* Perhaps the best received number on the tour – rightfully taking it’s place at the latter end of the set.

Clock the percussive perfection: At around 7.12 as Bonzo paves the way home with a serious of phased drum fills each one a little more frenzied as they reach the climax.

‘’John Bonham on drums….’’

They did not know it but Robert Plant had just made the last introduction to his life long friend and integral band mate.

Hear It: Last Stand (Toasted Condor bootleg)

Stairway To Heaven (Live in Berlin 1980)

* And finally…

An extraordinary performance. Page’s solo on this last ever Led Zeppelin delivery meandered to take the track to nearly fifteen minutes in duration. Bonzo’s task was to intrusively follow the guitarist lead which he does with deft skill.

The camaraderie of recent weeks seemed to will them on to keep the flame burning for as long as they could on this final night.

A little over 80 days later Led Zeppelin were no more

Robert Plant said: ‘’The band didn’t exist the moment Bonzo had gone to me.”

Hear It : Last Stand (Toasted Condor bootleg)

So there you’ve it – 72 vivid examples of the John Bonham drum craft – play them today and remember him this way…

Happy 72nd Birthday John Bonham…

John Bonham 72 at 72 listing compiled by Dave Lewis  

……………………….

Now this is what I call an inspiration…

My thoughts on…

Led Zeppelin-  More Comedy – Less Work: Live At The Festival Hall Osaka Japan September 29,1971

4 CD long box package Transatlantic Records

I’ve come a little late to the party when it comes to the recent soundboard tapes that have surfaced from Led Zeppelin’s tour of Japan in 1971. I recently acquired the Please Please Me 6 CD set via the Eelgrass label and I am looking forward to wading through this expansive set of recordings of their September 28, 1971 performance at the Festival Hall in Osaka.

The following night, the last of the Japanese tour has appeared on a variety of releases, most recently as 929 How The East Was Won – this I have on a double CD set, again via Eelgrass that presents the soundboard source.

Now there’s a much longer presentation of this celebrated performance under the title More Comedy Less Work.

It presents the near complete performance with a mix of the aforementioned soundboard source plus the so called multi-track stage recording and a couple of extracts from the September 28th show. All this has been achieved via a Winston tape overhaul. For those who are unaware, Winston is an avid fan who is highly skilled at improving the sound of Zep bootleg recordings. Over the years Winston has widely and freely shared his remastered recordings, many of which have been acclaimed as definitive versions.

With that prospect in mind I could not resist the opportunity to delve into this new version. Especially as I was able to take receipt of this long box package during one of the daily walks the good lady Janet and I embark on to strengthen her leg. A slight detour allowed a social distance rendezvous not far from our house with our trusted supplier and hey presto, said package was in my possession.

I am of course looking forward to soaking up the previously mentioned 6CD Please Please Me set that chronicles the previous night ( I will report back on that one in due course), but my eagerness to hear a complete September 29 Osaka presentation had me ripping off the outer cellophane ready to get intimate with the three CDs. Note a fourth CD in the package showcases an Up Close radio show from 1992 and a Jimmy Page interview from 2017.

The reasons for my enthusiasm are simple:

For a start, all self-respecting Led Zep fans know that the three city, five show Japanese tour the band undertook in September 1971 was very special. Across those gigs they varied the set list considerably, throwing in all sorts of one offs and unique cover versions. The night of September 29 was no exception, in fact being the final night they really went to town.

The basic set list is also pretty much as it was a mere 53 days on from this memorable Osaka 1971 performance when on the night of Sunday November 21, I was lucky enough to witness Led Zeppelin live for the first time on a night of pure electric magic at the Empire Pool Wembley.

During this period Led Zeppelin were right on top of their game – and then some…

These were the nights where they sought as Jimmy would put it, that fifth element. There’s a hunger and vitality in the playing – a sense of wonderment at what they could achieve and how far they could push the boundaries. There was nothing they could not attain musically, their ambitions were infinite.

Other factors: Robert Plant’s vocal register was at its highest and most potent – a quite remarkable instrument in itself that he deployed to maximum effect.

The interplay between Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham was at a new peak of creativity..

They had a brand new fourth album in the can and ready for imminent release and they knew it was good – and of course they were more than eager to preview material from it.

In short, their confidence was absolutely sky high and boy did it show…

Now my relationship between Led Zeppelin and this Japanese tour goes way back. In 1976 I first got to hear what it sounded like via a bootleg LP.

Led Zeppelin A Cellarfull Of Noise – Live In Japan was a single LP on the Kornyfone label. I purchased it from the Sounds Ahead record shop in Marlborough Court just off Carnaby Street – a tiny record shop that specialised in under the counter releases.

Unfortunately this recording of the fabled September 29 Osaka show was strictly lo-fi and it also played slightly slow. It did however open my ears for the first time to the potency of their playing and also included that bizarre interlude when John Bonham went missing. ‘’Where’s Bonzo?’’ proclaimed Robert repeatedly prior to a drummer-less performance of Tangerine.

Things did improve considerably with the acquisition of the various September 29 audience sourced CD set that surfaced in the 1990s. Last year came the much welcomed new double CD of soundboard highlights. It’s always been one of my all-time fave Zep gigs.

Now the oddly titled More Comedy Less Work presents the full show in genuine Winston style.

The packaging itself is fairly rudimentary   – a cartoonish illustration with an overhead airship on the front of the digipack long box. The Led Zeppelin script is lifted from the Led Zeppelin III cover and a sticker indication noting that this is a limited run of 300 portrays the group image featured on the back of that album sleeve. The back cover has some brief explanatory notes about how the recording was pieced together. An eight page booklet has small photos from the tour and reproduces the 1971 Japanese tour programme, though in very small black and white thumbnail type pics.

Some further explanatory notes about the unique content of the set list would have been an asset. It’s all in the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book and TBL issue 31 thanks to Mike Tremaglio’s diligent chronicling.

As for the music, well, let them take you there ….to the Festival Hall in Osaka for the final night of what had been a highly successful tour.

I am well versed with this performance via the previous recordings but hearing it complete in such quality is an absolute revelation.

Right from the moment you hear Bonzo exclaim ‘’Louder, louder’ the listener is hurtled right into the action and let me put it on record from the off: This performance of Immigrant Song may well be the best ever – Plant’s echoed shrill is a pure joy, Bonzo pushes it all ahead in tandem with JPJ and as for Jimmy… the moment he opens up the wah wah for a truly scintillating run is one of the all-time great Zep live moments. The unrelenting energy of it all is just extraordinary.

From there, well it’s a total tour de force. Everything that is great about the band – everything that they have learned to harness in a mere three years is all here. The matchless confident stomp of Heartbreaker really hits the mark – as does the slow burn blues rock of Since I’ve Been Loving You. The seamless patch in of Black Dog from the 28th keeps the momentum flowing.

Dazed And Confused is a cavalcade of electric magic – there’s no other words to describe it, and there’s a drop in for a one off extract of Pennies From Heaven. It’s worth noting here that whenever Zep extended the studio versions of their catalogue, as they did many times – it always came out sounding like a development rather than an indulgence – and there’s no finer example of that than this marathon performance.

Stairway To Heaven is a suitable regal delivery and Celebration Day is always great to hear from this era – actually whenever I hear it I am always reminded of the opening sequence at Knebworthon August 4, 1979 when it made a welcome return to the set.

The acoustic set offers blissful light and shade acoustic harmony moving through That’s The Way and Going To California followed by that aforementioned amusing interlude where Bonzo goes missing prior to a sweet Tangerine. What follows is a rare piece of Zep concert history: the only known live delivery of the Led Zeppelin III staple Friends –which is followed by an ad hoc short cover version of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

A strident What is And What Should Never Be ushers in a complete Moby Dick – the master Bonham and his art..

The Whole Lotta Love medley is a 31 minute veritable Zep Spotify playlist. Try this for a starters: Elvis Presley’s I Gotta Know segued into Twist And Shout performed as The Beatles used to, followed by Benny Spellman’s Fortune Teller. Again via Mike Tremaglio’s research in the Evenings With book we know this trio are ‘one and only’ recordings, save for a 40-second snippet of Fortune Teller which was (also played in Oakland on September 2, 1970 concert. As they had done during the first show in Tokyo, the band also throw in the rarely played live Good Times Bad Times and a blues wailing You Shook Me.

Finally, after an emotionally draining Thank You this three hour show concludes with Rock And Roll – another preview from their upcoming fourth album and a first time outing on this Japanese tour.

The September 29 Black Dog is added on in the multi-track version.

To summarise:

So what we have here is a near complete representation in the best sound quality yet of one of the truly great evenings with Led Zeppelin.

I’ve been playing non-stop since I got my hands on it -and what a much needed inspiration it’s been..

Whilst Led Zep and related artists are never far too away from the player here, this is the first real genuine new Led Zep aural experience I’ve soaked up in a good while. It’s a recording that offers a stark reminder of why I have invested so much time and energy into chronicling this band these past 50 years – and why Mike and I spent a sizable amount of our waking hours over a five year period producing the 576 pages that made up the Evenings With book. It’s one of those times when the power of music – and there’s no finer music than Led Zeppelin at full throttle live in concert in my book – gets right to the soul and provides such inspiration, and as we all know, in these unprecedented times any inspiration right now is much welcomed…

More Comedy Less Work will rightfully take its place alongside the Fillmore West April 27, 1969 performance , Plays Pure Blues (Texas International Pop Festival August 31, 1969), Live On Blueberry Hill (LA Forum September 4, 1970) and Going To California (Berkeley September 14, 1971) as my go-to fix when it comes to the in- concert appreciation of the first three years of Led Zeppelin’s existence.

In a world of current confusion one thing certainly remains ever constant – listening to Led Zeppelin perform live in 1971 is a truly wonderful thing… and this overwhelming September 29 performance of that year is more than ample proof…

Dave Lewis – May 25, 2020

More on More Comedy Less Work – TBL contributor and Zep Live on CD expert Paul Sheppard’s observations:

Led Zeppelin – More Comedy, Less Work

Osaka, September 29 , 1971

Background and Context

There are, to the best of my knowledge, 2 main audience sources plus two soundboard sources for this show. These can be sub-divided into several generations for each audience source plus two generations for the soundboard sources. Over the years, in the realm of Cd bootlegs, we have had copious releases of varying quality using one or the other source or mixes of both.

What it comes down to are the following groupings for the Cd releases that have emerged:

  • An actual soundboard – a maximum length of about 90 minutes with Empress Valley feeding out individual track releases as well
  • An actual soundboard mix – in reality a mix of audience sources
  • Source 1 “soundboard – possibly two different versions and short of the whole show
  • Sources 2 &3
  • Sources 4 & 5
  • Mixes – where most of the show is available and where ‘More Comedy – Less Work’ fits in

More Comedy – Less Work (LZ/TAR) 4 Cd

What we get:

CD1

01 – Welcome To Osaka 929 [aud]

02 – Immigrant Song [sbd] 929 + 928 wail fix edit

03 – Heartbreaker [sbd] 929

04 – Since I’ve Been Loving You [sbd] 929

05 – Black Dog [sbd] 928

06 – Dazed and Confused [sbd] 929 patched

CD2

01 – Stairway to Heaven [sbd] 929

02 – Celebration Day [MT] 929

03 – That’s The Way [MT] 929

04 – Going To California [MT] 929

05 – Tangerine [MT] 929

06 – Friends [sbd] 929

07 – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes [sbd] 929

08 – What Is and What Should Never Be [sbd] 929

09 – Moby Dick [sbd] 929 patched edit

CD3

01 – Whole Lotta Love [MT] 929 +patched audio

02 – Communication Breakdown [sbd] 929

03 – Organ Solo [MT] 929

04 – Thank You [MT] 929

05 – Rock and Roll [MT] 929 – Bonus track

sbd – soundboard (speed corrected -2%)

MT – multi track stage recording (edited to completion with Plantations and various patches by Winston)

As described in the accompanying notes:

This is a merge of the newly released soundboard, previously released stray soundboards and the excellent remaster done by Winston.

Besides the speed correction on the SB portion there are a few small fixes to clean up some very minor sloppiness in the performance. Moby Dick is not quite complete but about 90% there. Black Dog is from the 28th (for the SB).

SB levels were brought down in order to level match and for headroom. Very minor eq and limiting was applied and only in spots to get more cohesion in sound.

The Verdict:

A clean and relatively uncluttered recording with Tarantura influenced packaging (though by no means as luxurious as Tarantura’s). The ‘soundboard’ parts are especially good. Owning as I do, 15 versions of this show either on Cd or stored, I can say that this is as good as it gets and highly recommended. Ok, so we have to accept the inclusions from the night before (notably ‘Black Dog’) but I can live with that. Always a pleasure too to hear the ‘Pennies from Heaven’ segment within ‘Dazed’ which a lot of other releases miss out.

The fourth CD contains eight tracks from a US radio show broadcast on 28th Jul, 1992 called ‘Up Close’ which focuses on the 1990 Remasters alongside an interview with Jimmy Page in 2017.

Paul Sheppard

Many thanks to Paul

……………………………..

TBL Fate Of Nations Archive special:

27 years….now where did that go?

It was all of 27 years ago this month that Robert Plant kicked off his Fate Of Nations touring campaign with two low ley appearances in Fulham. It was the beginning of a hugely enjoyable period as he toured across the globe in support of the truly excellent Fate Of Nations album. We pick up the story right at the beginning. These secret appearances were incredibly exciting and I count myself very lucky to have been right there in the forefront of a new Plant era. I actually got wind of the dates by a tip off from Charlie Jones at the press launch of the album in April 1993. He told me to look out for a band named Fate Of Nations in the coming weeks gig listings. Sure enough in the NME of week commencing May 10 there was the ad – Fate Of Nations -Kings Head Fulham May 14.

So it was on the afternoon of that day that we, that’s me Gary Foy, Krys Jantzen and Kam Assi turned up at the Kings Head pub. I was still in that seeing is believing mode as we grouped in the bar…then from the band room area we could hear the plaintive tones of an instrumental What Is And What Should Never Be.

We were on…big time!

So let’s travel back to the spring of that year when it was all happening down in Fulham…here’s the TBL on the spot report that appeared in issue 8:

First Night of the Fate Of Nations World Tour Reviewed

Rejuvenation in Fulham…       

What Is And What Should Definitely Be…

FATE OF NATIONS

King’s Head, Fulham, May 14 1993

Just prior to their European dates, Robert Plant chose to premier his new touring band under the pseudonym Fate Of Nations for a date at London’s King’s Head, Fulham on the Friday preceding the FA Cup Final.

Although thousands will witness the projected 1993/4 Fate Of Nations tour, a mere 150 packed in to the South London pub to see Robert debut a new band and a new set. For the staff and locals it was no real surprise that Robert should select this venue for a warm-up as he and his band have used the place to rehearse throughout the past year.

One of the last times I had seen Robert perform in his own right was amongst the thousands at Knebworth ’90 and the opportunity to view the new line-up in this most intimate of surroundings was incredibly exciting and a throwback to those early ’80s Honeydripper days.

Even back then though, the stages were never as small as the one Robert walked on to around 10p.m. Dressed in black Jeans and a cut off T-shirt, emblazoned with what appeared to be an Arabic slogan. Flanked by Charlie, Phil, new guitarists Kevin Scott McMichael and Francis Dunnery plus drummer Michael Lee, he proceeded to kick start the 1993 campaign in to action with a vibrant ‘Calling To You’ which works great live. Over the next hour, the band ran through a tight no-messing selection of numbers which are likely to form the basis of the festival set they will take around Europe this summer. ‘Calling’ was followed by a return to active duty for ‘Trampled Underfoot’ played with a nagging insistency which then segued into Tall Cool One now devoid of all the samples and sounding well refreshed.

There was little in-between chat from Robert aside from the obligatory ‘’Good Evening’’ and a brief opening statement: “Welcome to the first night of a tour that takes in Morocco, Casablanca and many other strange places”. ’29 Palms’ came next, clearly the song of the moment to be found on radio, on TV and now live and happening in Fulham High Street and embellished with a slowed-down complete ending.

The new line up is firmly spearheaded by Francis Dunnery’s lead playing supplemented by Kevin Scott McMichael with Phil Johnstone concentrating on guitar rather than keyboards. This makes for a much punchier sound than the ’88 to ’90 outfit and the whole set up echoes the air of rejuvenation that Robert is experiencing with this new phase of his career. It was immediately apparent that on stage, he has already created a productive alliance between the two new guitarists.

Judging by this opening set, it would also seem that Roberts fave Zep album at the moment might well be ‘Led Zeppelin 2′ as there were no less than three selections included from that album.

First up was What Is And What Should Never Be’ (what a joy it is to write that statement!). Incredibly, it’s first live airing in 21 years. And it sounded wonderful, performed very faithful to the original right down to the stereo planning between the PA for the power chord guitar outro shared by Kevin and Francis. Following a passionate pairing of ‘Tie Dye On The Highway’ and ‘Nirvana’, Francis slugged out the intro to ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and Robert proceeded to re-enact a slice of his history with his first ever solo non-Zep reunion rendering of that old cock rock classic.

The middle part found Francis delivering the required fret board effects across Robert repeating the line “Just a little bit, just a little bit”, ala the old BBC Session version.

All too soon this compact performance was over, but not before the band were called back for two encores. They ran down the new ‘Promised Land’, a number that grows in stature on repeated hearings (I’m constantly waking up with the chorus in my head). Finally a rousing Livin Lovin’ Maid’ with Robert stalking the stage majestically and baptising the front row (yours truly included) in a shower of sweat in the process.

The message was clear for all those in attendance at this first night run through. The Fate Of Nations tour is underway and ready to trail blaze its way across Europe and beyond, with a vitality that will impress any audience it encounters.

“We must be in Heaven” laughed Plant as he left the stage, paraphrasing that Woodstock ‘Tie Dye On The Highway sample. Indeed we were . . .and incredibly, there is more to come at this venue very soon…

Dave Lewis  – May 16, 1993

TOUR WATCH SUMMARY:

Venue: Kings Head Fulham

Friday, May 14, 1993

Background: Robert and the band have been consistent visitors to the popular London pub venue for the past year (pics of Robert and the staff adorn the walls in the public bar) and he had promised landlord Les a couple of warm up dates as far back as early April. This first show was much more low key than the May 20 show. Those with a keen eye would have seen a group called Fate Of Nations billed as the Friday attraction at the Kings Head in the NME gig guide for that week. The lucky few that were in the right place at the right time and paid the £5 entrance fee were treated to a very personable first night preview with around 150 in attendance.

In The Crowd/Backstage: Nigel Kennedy puts in a non playing appearance and Fontana’s Dave Bates and ‘Fate Of Nations’ engineer Mike Gregovich also spotted. General low key turn out mostly filled by Fulham set regulars with just a few lucky Plant/Zep heads down the front (say hello Gary, Krys, Kam and Julie!)

Soundcheck: The band (minus Robert) come in around 5pm and run through instrumental versions of ‘Trampled Underfoot, Tie Dye On The Highway’ and ‘Nirvana’. Francis practises the solo of ‘What Is And What Should Never Be.

Set List: Calling To You/Trampled Underfoot/Tall Cool One/29 Palms/What Is And What Should Never Be/Tie Dye On The Highway/Nirvana/Whole Lotta Love-Encores: Promised Land/Livin’ Lovin’ Maid. (NB – The written set list taped to the stage had ‘Heaven Knows’ crossed out after ‘What Is, so it can be assumed that number had been rehearsed).

Performance Notes: Robert wears a cut down ‘Om Kalsoum’ T-shirt and just for safe measure has the lyrics of Nirvana’, ‘Tall Cool One and ‘Hurting Kind’ taped to the floor of the stage (‘Hurting Kind’ is subsequently not performed). The band are a little rough at the edges but look to be well at ease with each other and perhaps well relieved to be finally playing in front of an audience. There’s a no messing approach to the set with little in between spiel. Trampled’ and Tall Cool One’ sound particularly vibrant in their new guise, but What Is And What Should Never Be is the song of the night, returning to live duty for the first time in 21 years and causing this writer to swoon just ever so slightly as Plant effortlessly delivers the opening line.

A truly manic ‘Livin’ Lovin’ Maid’ completes a great night in the most intimate of surroundings and for me personally the best live Zep related experience since Leicester University five years previous. The next day’s FA Cup Final stalemate draw between Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday seemed all the more tedious with the hangover I was experiencing!

Dave Lewis – May 22,1993

Wow those were the days…it seems like a lifetime ago but then again a second…

What memories…

Dave Lewis May 29, 2020.

……………………

Collectors Corner:

Us record collectors are used to the delights of Japanese LP releases with their deluxe packaging and obi strips etc…but this is real beauty on cassette.

The Japanese issue of the 1985 John Paul Jones Scream for Help album compete with an overlay that advertises Robert Plant’s Honey drippers Vol 1,Pririnciple Of Moments and Shaken’n’ Stirred albums plus Led Zeppelin’s Coda –and fold out lyric sheet.What a beauty and thanks to my fellow collecting comrade Steve Livesley  for coming across that one and passing it my way –thanks mate!

……………………

DL Diary Blog Update:

On the player last weekend…

 

Saturday is platterday…on the player some early morning Steely Dan namely the excellent Katy Lied – sparking more Zep at Earls Court memories of 45 years ago as this was one of the albums played over the PA before they came on stage…

Saturday is platterday…on the player on this 45th Anniversary weekend of Zep at Earls Court… Led Zeppelin III – for me they are, were and always will be the best…and this album nearly 50 years on from its release sounds better than ever this morning…

 

 

Led Zeppelin Earls Court related memories 1975 and 2014…

It was 45 years ago today:
May 24, 1975: The Bedford crew in the front of the Earls Court stage ready to take our second row seats – myself,Dec Hickey Phil Harris and Gary Felts..

It was 6 years ago yesterday:
May 23 2014: Three of the Bedford crew (myself,Phil and Dec) 39 years later at the Team Rock Led Zeppelin Reissues Playback at HMV Oxford Street – pictured with DJ Nicky Horne who hosted the event and the man who introduced Led Zeppelin on stage on that celebrated night of nights on May 24,1975……Nicky is holding an original Earls Court ticket…

………

I’ve been reading the Steve Howe autobiography All Our Yesterdays

Talking about the Yes Time And A Word album Steve notes:’

”The sleeve of the Time And A Word album had been rejected by the US market, where it was considered too sexist – and a brand new cover picture of the current line-up was used on the cover instead. For this reason many people in the US thought I was the original guitarist. I took issue with Atlantic Records about this and eventually the UK image was adopted for the States.It doesn’t really surprise me there’s so much confusion over who was in the band any given time, not just albums as this would keep happening when other members left or returned.’’

On checking my copy of the Time And A Word album –mine is the US pressing and lo and behold there in the line-up is Steve Howe –even though it was Peter Banks who played on the album

The book is a breezy read, high on technical detail but a bit low on any in depth inter band issues of which given the ever changing line ups, there must have been a few – but I enjoyed it and it’s taken me back to their superb first few albums of which has also been on the player …

Update here:

I had to go for a blood test at the Health Centre on Tuesday for my type 2 diabetes reading. I was incredibly anxious in doing so – and went fully masked up as you have to now. It was very well organised and that went ok though I was glad to get it over with – I now await the results. It’s amazing how the most simple tasks we took for granted can now feel like climbing a mountain. Like I said it caused much anxiety and for a couple of days I struggled a bit

Aside from that there’s been some work on TBL projects ahead, plenty of great music on the player and the warm and sunny weather has certainly been a tonic. The good lady Janet and I have been on our daily walk helping to strengthen her leg and she is doing well using just one crutch. As ever, we hope the healing process is taking its course…

Some inspirations this past week…

Listening to the truly awesome More Comedy Less Work September 29 1971 Osaka CD set…

Watching a variety of Led Zeppelin YouTube footage on TV last Sunday night with the good lady Janet on the 45th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court…

The new issue of Uncut dropping through the door…

A lovely gift from my life long fellow Led Zep connoisseur and all round top man Russ Rees – thanks you yet again mate…

Inspiring phone catch ups with Pete Gozzard, Chris Maley and Krys Jantzen …

Thanks for listening – stay safe and well you very lovely people…

Dave Lewis – May 28, 2020

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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11 Comments »

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Nothing on that myself

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Horishi thanks for that

  • Larry said:

    Superb edition of the webpage Dave, thanks!

    As I move along thru life, I find myself drawn more and more to Bonzo’s Montreux. I loved it from Day One, and I literally mean Day One as I bought Coda the day it was released, as I’m sure many of us did. I was blown utterly away by that track from the first listening and my estimation and appreciation of it continues to escalate as the years continue to pile up. It’s not a drum solo, it’s an actual song with power and drama. No other drummer could have come up with something that stunning. Jimmy was right to present that on the LP and his “electronic treatments” enhanced the piece carefully and tastefully. Truly one of the underrated pieces in the catalogue in my opinion.

    More Comedy Less Work is a terrific version of the famous 929 gig. I’m sure the band probably isn’t happy that this and the recent 928 board passages have leaked, but what can we fans say other than that we’re very fortunate to be able to enjoy them. Japan 71 is the peak in my opinion, and having the boards to augment the audience tapes is one of the most significant milestones in the audio history of Led Zeppelin. The magnificent playing during this era has never been approached by any other rock outfit, bar none.

    And talking of peaks, Fate of Nations, along with its great b-sides, is the peak of Robert’s solo career. Will definitely be breaking that material out this week and giving it a spin or two…

    Now all we need is the Earls Court box set official blu-Ray release of all 5 complete shows!

  • VHP said:

    Dave,

    Happy Birthday Bonzo, always greatly missed. Just watching Celebration Day on You Tube as my DVD is in storage due to work on my house! But, I can’t help but wonder if the O2 will be Jimmy’s final full length concert appearance? Despite promising frequently to play live again since the O2, the fact is that he has now not toured properly for nearly 20 years. Sadly, by the time this Covid virus lets us attend gigs once next year more he will be 77 years old.

    So, how much fire does he have to play live? Other guitarists of his era – Iommi, Clapton, Beck, Gilmour and Blackmore to name a few, have all toured over the last 20 years, and are still playing. I just hope that Jimmy hasn’t left it too late, but maybe he has?

    Anyone else got any thoughts on this subject? But, if the O2 is to be his final full-length concert, then at least it was a good one.

    Anyway, best wishes to everyone who visits this excellent site, stay safe and stay well please.

  • Graham Craig Rodger said:

    Amazon UK has a new Jimmy Page RARE BROADCASTS DVD listed for release on 5th June. Does anybody have more information about it…?

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jimmy-Page-Rare-Broadcasts-NTSC/dp/B087FGV3X6/ref=pd_rhf_cr_p_img_5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MJ1SFV9XAD6C4N8RW8N0

  • Hiroshi said:

    Regarding the famous “missing Bonzo” incident on the final Osaka show 1971. The received wisdom is that Robert needed John for singing the chorus part of Tangerine — I don’t think so. I have never come across a picture of Jimmy, Robert and John performing the acoustic Tangerine from the years 1971-72. They invariably show only Jimmy and Robert on stage, the former strumming the Giannini 12-string. While Robert is trying to bring back John to the stage, calling out, “Mr. Bonham!” with the audience, one can hear Jimmy incessantly retuning the 6-string Harmony Sovereign, most likely for Friends that was originally intended to come next, with John playing the bongo. After a failed attempt to have John back, they change the idea on the spot, Jimmy swapping the 6-string with the 12 string (notice the guitar sound changes here, from the crispy to the jangling), and launch into Tangerine. That is my interpretation of what happened there and then.
    FTR the recently published Live Tour In Japan 1971 & 1972 book has three pics of Robert duetting with John playing the tambourine — that is Down By The Riverside on September 28, not Tangerine.

  • Graham Craig Rodger said:

    Can’t wait to take delivery of MORE COMEDY, LESS WORK next week. Your excellent review and analysis of this 4CD set prompted me to order a copy immediately.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Greg

  • Greg Enright said:

    Thank you for yet another enjoyable read, Dave. Even a bit of Yes this time, too! Oh, how I wish I could have been in those seats at Earls Court in your picture. But I was only 5… Your passion for all things Zep is truly inspiring. Wishing you good health and good times from Canada.

  • ChrisCook said:

    Hi Dave
    Thanks as ever for all your hward work and writing.
    Nice to read a snippet of Yes trivia too. For me they are always number 1.
    Messrs Plant, Page, Bonham and Jones come a close second if push comes to shove.
    I can’t explain why.

    But one other random thing I wanted to bring to your attention.
    I chanced upon this TedTalk this week and it’s subtle proof that the influence of Led Zeppelin is as strong as ever on younger generations, were we in any doubt.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UotQ5T-f1o

    best wishes and stay strong and healthy

    Chris

  • yannick vinson said:

    Hello
    I am an avid reader of everything you write, thank you so much !!

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