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ROBERT PLANT “DIGGING DEEP: SUBTERRANEA” (Es Paranza / Warner 2020) – TTT

2 Nov

Nuova raccolta per il biondo di Birmingham, un doppio cd che contiene alcuni suoi “classici” pezzi del periodo migliore della sua carriera solista (1982 – 1993), brani del periodo successivo, e tre inediti. Copertina standard, nessuno sforzo creativo e realizzativo particolare.

Apre Rainbow, che fa parte dell’ultimo periodo del Golden God, il periodo che critici e molti fan apprezzano, il periodo che fa scrivere frasi già lette mille volte su come RP ricerchi strade nuove, su come non abbia dormito sugli allori, su come sia sempre riuscito sempre a rimettersi in gioco. Tutto vero, noi però non riusciamo ad esaltiamo troppo per gli ultimi album di Percy; certo non avremmo voluto vederlo – come ad esempio Gillan, Coverdale e parecchi altri – perpetuare il ruolo di cantante hard rock perché quando fisico e voce finiscono per tradirti ti mettono ovviamente in grande imbarazzo, ma non siamo nemmeno pronti a sostenere a cuore aperto quel miscuglio di americana-space-afro-rock alternativo.

Sono i pezzi dei primi lustri post Zeppelin a risplendere: Hurting Kind, buon brano rock tirato e scevro dai luoghi comuni del rock duro,

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e la delicata meraviglia di Ship of Fools ad esempio.

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Il mai pubblicato prima Nothing Takes the Place of You (Alan Robinson / Toussaint McCall) è in perfetta sintonia con le ultime voglie di Robert, traccia che proviene dalla colonna sonora del film del 2013 “Winter In The Blood

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Per Heaven Knows (comprensivo di un bell’assolo con lo stringbender di Jimmy Page) e In The Mood vale il discorso fatto in precedenza, due grandi brani del primo periodo da solista

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In Charlie Patton Highway (Turn It Up – Part 1) (Giovino/Miller/Robert Plant), secondo inedito, Plant torna alle radici del blues, lo fa in maniera meno scontata di tanta altra gente, ma secondo noi aggiunge poco.

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Altri classici del passato più remoto: Like I’ve Never Been Gone, splendida ballata del 1982 con Cozy Powell alla batteria e I Believe del 1993, commovente secondo omaggio a Karac, il figlio che perse nel 1977.

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Notevole anche la versione acustica di Great Spirit registrata nel 1993 insieme all’indimenticato Rainer Ptacek e alla sua chitarra National. Blues tenebroso e intenso.

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La solenne Anniversary (1990) ha ancora il suo perchè

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così come la frizzante Fat Lip del 1982

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e il gran singolo del 1993: 29 Palms

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Agli appassionati del genere americana piacerà l’inedito Too Much Alike (Feat. Patty Griffin).

Finale lasciato a due bei brani rock del 1993 venati di blues e di piombo Zeppelin e al contempo moderni come Memory Song (Hello Hello) e Promised Land, prima di essi però non poteva mancare probabilmente il singolo più riuscito di Robert Plant, l’evocativa Big Log: atmosfera superlativa, gran testo perfetto e videoclip d’accompagnamento pressoché perfetto.

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Una raccolta molto articolata (di diversi brani abbiamo scelto di non parlare), forse pure troppo, che spazia tra i bei classici e le ottime deep cut anni ottanta e novanta e le prove – a nostro giudizio non proprio indimenticabili – degli ultimi due decenni. Detto questo, riascoltare certi pezzi di Robert Plant è sempre un’emozione.

CD1

  1. Rainbow
  2. Hurting Kind
  3. Shine It All Around
  4. Ship of Fools
  5. Nothing Takes the Place of You *
  6. Darkness, Darkness
  7. Heaven Knows
  8. In the Mood
  9. Charlie Patton Highway (Turn It Up – Part 1) *
  10. New World
  11. Like I’ve Never Been Gone
  12. I Believe
  13. Dance with You Tonight
  14. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
  15. Great Spirit (Acoustic) 

CD2

  1. Angel Dance
  2. Takamba
  3. Anniversary
  4. Wreckless Love
  5. White Clean & Neat
  6. Silver Rider
  7. Fat Lip
  8. 29 Palms
  9. Last Time I Saw Her
  10. Embrace Another Fall
  11. Too Much Alike (Feat. Patty Griffin) *
  12. Big Log
  13. Falling in Love Again
  14. Memory Song (Hello Hello)
  15. Promised Land

* Previously Unreleased

BOOTLEGS: Led Zeppelin Los Angeles Forum, June 21 1977 (Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS) – TTTTT

30 Ott

Mike Millard Legacy intro

Di Mike Millard su questo blog ne abbiamo parlato più volte, amante del rock proveniente dalla west coast americana, dal 1973 al 1992 registrò parecchi concerti tenutisi in quell’area. Lo fece con una strumentazione di qualità, per quei tempi davvero notevole, portandola all’interno delle arene in questione usando diversi stratagemmi (a volte anche fingendosi disabile e quindi su una sedia a rotelle). Le sue sono dunque registrazioni audience, cioè prese dal pubblico, ma di una qualità micidiale; non è un un caso che ancora oggi – tra il giro di appassionati – siano considerate tra i documenti migliori per quanto riguarda l’epoca d’oro della musica rock. Sì perché con le registrazione audience si ha l’idea esatta di cosa fosse andare ad un concerto rock, la performance dell’artista catturato nella sua essenza più pura: l’umore e le scosse emotive del pubblico, la musica messa su nastro senza artifici (e dunque senza le modifiche e i trucchetti presenti nei dischi dal vivo ufficiali), i commenti dei fans che a tratti finivano sul nastro. La fortuna ha voluto che i LZ fossero tra i suoi gruppi preferiti e, ad esempio, le sue registrazione di alcuni dei sei concerti tenuti nel 1977 a Los Angeles sono per tutti noi testimonianze preziosissime. Nel 1994 Millard decise di togliersi la vita, decisione che non ci permettiamo di giudicare e quindi tralasciamo di commentare gli abissi di dolore a cui deve essere andato incontro. Per moltissimo tempo le sue cassette rimasero archiviate nella sua stanza a casa di sua madre, le registrazioni che circolavano provenivano infatti da copie che lo stesso Millard aveva fatto per amici e altri collezionisti. Successe poi che sua madre finalmente affidò ad amici intimi di suo figlio le tante cassette (si parla di 280 concerti registrati) in modo che potessero essere trasferite e quindi salvate su DAT. Sotto all’articolo riporto (oltre al testo che accompagna la registrazione di RP di cui tra poco parleremo) tutta la lunga storia in caso qualcuno fosse interessato. Per chiudere questo breve riassunto, quando si pensava che i master originali di Millard fossero andati persi, ecco che vengono ritrovati, rimasterizzati e messi gratuitamente in circolo da generosi collezionisti e amanti del rock come noi. E’ dunque doveroso mandare un pensiero a Mike Millard perché grazie ai suoi nastri il rock si mantiene vivo e noi possiamo ancora illuderci di vivere in prima persona i momenti più esaltanti della musica che amiamo.

Live Recording reflections: Led Zeppelin, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA, June 21, 1977

Tra tutti i concerti registrati dal grande Mike Millard, questo è di sicuro quello più famoso, la prima data dei sei concerti tenuti al Forum di L.A. dai LZ bel 1977. Di questo show sono stati stampati decine di bootleg e fatte innumerevoli versioni rimasterizzate, questa dovrebbe essere la migliore dal punto di vista qualitativo dato che proviene direttamente dal master di Millard. Nella piccola parte mancante di Ten Years Gone – dovuta al cambio cassetta al momento della registrazione – il team JEM ha usato parte della registrazioni fatta al tempo da un altro fan, un certo GaryB. Millard registrò quattro delle sei date dei LZ al Forum, questa – insieme a quella del 23 – cattura il gruppo nel momento migliore del tour del 1977, tour come sappiamo di enorme (!) successo ma corrotto dallo stato del chitarrista e del management, tutti sotto la forte influenza di sostanze chimiche. Anche Bonham lo era, ma le sue performance fortunatamente non ne risentirono, solo una volta suonò male, successe a San Diego, il 19 giugno 1977; il batterista ebbe problemi di stomaco dovuti ad una intossicazione alimentare che minò la sua esibizione ma una volta ristabilitosi decise di riprendersi la scena alla prima occasione, ovvero al concerto successivo che guarda caso è quello di cui parliamo oggi.

I concerti al Forum si sarebbero dovuti tenere in marzo (cinque le date previste in origine) ma, è cosa nota, poco prima di partire per il tour Robert Plant ebbe una forte tonsillite che costrinse lo spostamento di tutto il tour. Le date di Los Angeles furono spostate a giugno, ne fu aggiunta una vista le continue richieste di biglietti. Sei concerti di fila al Forum, e due settimane prima sei concerti di fila al Madison Square Garden … nel 1977 nessuno come i LZ!

Los Angeles, 1977 © David Swift

Qualche anno dopo uno del giro dei dischi pirata entrò in possesso di questa registrazione di Millard e ne fece un primo bootleg dal titolo “Listen To This Eddie” (ascolta questo Eddie). Si dice che il titolo fosse riferito a Eddie Van Halen e ad alcune sue affermazioni circa certe discutibili esibizioni live di Page. Io queste dichiarazioni di Van Halen non le ricordo, quel che so per certo è che Edward fu un po’ critico con Page e con i LZ subito dopo l’uscita di In Throught The Out Door, visto il massiccio uso di tastiere presenti nel album del 1979 (cosa oggi divertente visto che da lì a qualche anno anche il grandissimo Edward Van Halen si mise a fare un gran uso di tastiere nei dischi del suo gruppo). Recentemente è emersa anche la teoria secondo cui il titolo potrebbe essere diretto all’ingegnere del suono Eddie Kramer (colui che registrò le tre date al Madison Square Garden di New York nel luglio del 1973 da cui fu tratto il primo album dal vivo ufficiale del gruppo uscito nel 1976).

Per portare all’interno del Forum il suo equipaggiamento, Millard si finse invalido su sedia a rotelle facendosi accompagnare dal suo amico Jim R.

Aerial view of the Forum in the 1970s.

Come accennato John Bonham vuole rimediare alla sua performance sfasata di due giorni prima e quel che suona in The Song Remains The Same è semplicemente incredibile. Una carica così non la si era mai sentita, il richiamo della foresta versione rock. Mai sentito un batterista rock suonare in questo modo. La qualità audio è ovviamente audience, ma come quasi tutte le registrazioni di Millard è una meraviglia, la sensazione è quella di essere in seconda fila al Forum di Los Angeles ad ascoltare i LZ – decadenti ma sempre meravigliosi – del 1977. Qualche battuta di The Rover quindi inizia Sick Again – dove ad un certo punto la chitarra di Page viene scollegata. Il gruppo sembra fermarsi un attimo ma poi Page torna e il rock del gruppo torna a volare alto. Page pasticcia nel primo assolo, ma la versione del brano nel suo insieme è solida e convincente.

RP: Well good evening. I mean, good evening! Well we finally did it. Haven’t seen you since, uh, anybody here when we played with Bad Company? That was the first time that we ever managed to get back on stage again. So tonight, oh, sweet smell, tonight no beating around the bush. We’re just gonna play cause that’s what we’re here for.

L’inizio con la chitarra effettata di Nobody’s Fault But Mine non sempre convince del tutto dal vivo ma qui al Forum il suono è pieno, potente, cosmico. Robert canta benissimo e il gruppo rockeggia alla grande.

RP: Thank you very much, ta. It is indeed, uh, our great pleasure to be back in California, for many many reasons. Among those it’s very hard to see the sun in a place bigger than New York. This is a song about, um, well it’s not even worth telling you what it’s about, you know.

Over The Hills And Far Away fila via liscia, l’assolo di Page è da sottolineare: Jones e Bonham offrono una base ritmica corposa e dinamica mentre the master of the guitar è ispiratissimo.

RP: Well that was a song that, uh. That was a song that speaks for itself. This is a song that comes from what you might call the urban blues of the United Kingdom. It’s a song that you probably already know, but it’s a song that is very close to all of us in the band from time to time, and things like that.

La Since I’ve Been Loving You del 1977 mantiene la grande carica drammatica della (stellare) versione live del 1973 ma aggiunge l’alone di decadenza tipico di questo tour. Qui il gruppo è semplicemente magnifico immerso com’è in quel sentimento al contempo pesante e leggero da orizzonti perduti. Bonham semplicemente maestoso, Jones impeccabile, Robert Plant favoloso e Jimmy Page degno del suo nome. Sentirla in cuffia a buon volume cambia la vita. Dopo le parole di Robert a proposito di Jimmy il pubblico esplode in un boato.

RTP: ah it’s starting to cook. We’d like to welcome back to the world John Bonham who had a terrible, uh, fit of food poisoning. Welcome back, John Bonham. He ate far too many rhinestones. That, by the way, featured Jimmy Page on guitar. How ‘bout then? It’s really nice to be back in the sun. So, if all we gotta do to go down well is say Jimmy, Jimmy. Something a little harder then. We’re gonna feature a very, uh, very warm friend of ours who’s often playing with the band these days. John Paul Jones on keyboards. ‘No Quarter.’

Lo stesso boato si protrae una volta che JPJ inizia No Quarter, quanto amore incondizionato aveva Los Amgeles per i Led Zeppelin! La qualità audio è sensazionale (come sempre dico, va tenuto presente che trattasi di registrazione audience, ovvero presa dal pubblico), perfetta per perdersi tra le profondità di pezzi come questo. Il gruppo è molto coeso, Bonham è di nuovo uno spettacolo, un suono di batteria così in campo rock non lo si sarebbe mai più sentito. L’assolo di John Paul Jones è ricco di ricami sia cupi che sfavillanti, ricami che poi virano sul blues, per andare a formare quindi la solita bluesjam – a mio parere sempre un po’ fuori luogo in una brano come questo. Durante l’assolo di chitarra Page sembra ispirato a sufficienza, certo siamo distanti dall’eccellenza raggiunta nello stesso assolo del 1973; la stesura della sua improvvisazione non avviene infatti in maniera organica, sembra piuttosto un collage un po’ disgiunto di frasi alla Jimmy Page. Gli va comunque dato il merito di cercare sempre nuove soluzioni, di buttarsi a vita persa nell’intento di raggiungere l’estasi musicale. Durante questo assolo di chitarra John Bonham è irrefrenabile, io una cosa così in un contesto Rock non l’ho mai sentita. Ecco, se la versione di No Quarter del 1973 contenuta nell’album dal vivo The Song Remains The Same è di un perfezione assoluta, questa del 21 giugno 1977 va ascritta nell’albo dei capisaldi solenni dei LZ: dilatata, epica, sgranata, cosmica, mastodontica, Bonhamesca. 29 minuti di musica universale.

RP: John Paul Jones, grand piano. Oh boy, that certainly moved along a little bit. So, uh, we found ourselves in a, hang on a tic, we found ourselves in a position of, some-what, forced, uh, stalemate for about two years. A sort of physical stalemate which was not very, you know, it was a bit frustrating. So, when we started to rehearse with a view to travelling the world and seeing many hotels we thought, hah, we thought what we’d do is we’d look back through some of the old material and some of the material that we ha, hang on, hold it, wait a minute, I didn’t say Jimmy. Through some of the, uh, material that we, we’d had to ignore because of the, the fact that we’re a four piece band, and Jonesy most kindly went out and bought a three-necked instrument which has since then has often hurt his back in many a hotel. So with the aid of Jonesy’s three-necked instrument we’re gonna try a thing from Physical Graffiti called ‘Ten Years Gone.’

Ten Years Gone è probabilmente il mio pezzo preferito dei Led Zeppelin ed è sempre per me un’ emozione particolare riascoltarlo nella variante live, sebbene sia un brano complesso da riproporre davanti ad un pubblico con solo tre strumentisti. Le molte chitarre dell’originale sono impossibili da replicare dal vivo, il gruppo – noto per la sua temerarietà – ci prova ugualmente con Page che cerca di fare del suo meglio nell’arrangiare il tessuto chitarristico per una chitarra sola (la Fender Telecaster con lo Stringbender), aiutato da Jones che suona contemporaneamente la chitarra acustica 12 corde e la pedaliera basso. Il risultato è comunque sorprendente, se teniamo presente appunto le complessità che deve affrontare Page e lo stato in cui versava in quegli anni il nostri chitarrista preferito. Il Dark Lord infatti ogni tanto incespica durante gli assoli (soprattutto nelle frasette a bicordi) ma personalmente starei ore a sentirlo improvvisare così con l’uso particolare che fa dello stringbender. La sensibilità dei Led Zeppelin pur sostenuta da una ritmica sempre maschia era una cosa stupefacente. “I’m never gonna leave you, “I’m never gonna leave you, I’m never, I’m never, I’m never, I’m never ooh yeah” finale toccante.

RP: Well that’s, thank you very much, ta. As senility creeps in and we reach the age of twenty-five, we decided to do something that we haven’t done for years and years. You know what I mean, Bonzo? Way back in 1971, when we came to Los Angeles, we used to sit down and play some of the stuff that we, um, we found came around from our dealings in the Welsh mountains and the Scottish highlands, and it was called an acoustic set, and this brings a rather warm vibe, and it brings a man who had a very bad stomach complaint to the front of the stage, John Bonham, John Henry Bonham. Come on! The rhinestone cowgirl. I guess he’s, he’s the cowgirl in the sand.

Il set acustico del 1977 parte con The Battle Of Evermore, Page al mandolino, Jones alla chitarra e Bonham al tamburello. Mi sono sempre chiesto perché non fosse John Bonham a fare i coretti a Robert Plant, Jones infatti non brilla certo per doti vocali mentre il thunder boy di Redditch non era davvero niente male. Suggestiva la prova di Plant.

RP: Sorry, just discussing some arabic. Um, this next song, uh, I guess we should dedicate to a lot of good friends that we’ve met along the way. Some are going back to New York tomorrow. Dear Danny, we’ll miss you so much. You and your American Express card. Ha ha! Um, lots of good people that we’ve met, especially the people who made us write this song. Wow. …. Fortunately the guy who tunes Jimmy’s guitars comes from Scotland, and he always tends to tune them in Scottish, which is, uh, alright for some.

Robert inizia a cantare Going To California e il pubblico californiano – come sempre – esplode. Plant la canta molto bene, pur non essendo più il cantante memorabile del triennio 1970-71-72, rimane un vocalist formidabile. Qui Page suona la chitarra acustica mentre Jones è al mandolino. Finito il pezzo si sente un fan, evidentemente vicino a Mike Millard, urlare “Heartbreaker”. Che stonati che c’erano in giro…sei lì sprofondato in un bel momento delicato con il gruppo alle prese con strumenti acustici e tu gridi Heartbreaker. Mah.

RP: (Sometimes it’s terribly hard.) I wonder if she still lives there. (Hang man, hang man. Hold it a little while.) To be continued.

Black Country Woman è ridotta ad un paio di strofe, sufficienti comunque per godersi Bohnam e Jones (al contrabbasso). Bron-Y-Aur Stomp coinvolge il pubblico, il battimani generale trasforma tutto in una divertente festa campagnola. Il lavoro di Page sull’acustica è notevole, quello che fa con la mano destra è superlativo, pennate dinamiche che sanno di flamenco.

Di nuovo gente che grida “Heartbreaker” e “Rock And Roll”.

Gli intricati e lunghi arpeggi di White Summer(include Swan Song)/Black Mountain Side portano a Kashmir. Tutto molto bello.

RP: Uh, that was called ‘Kashmir.’ Ahh. Let me take you there. Trouble with the musical equipment up here. Right now, the man who fought, the man who fought against the elements. The man. The man who, who fought food poisoning. The man who drinks Heineken. The man who doesn’t get out of bed. The man who hasn’t got a cymbal. The man who’s having a chat with his man who knows the man who tunes Jimmy’s guitar who comes from Scotland, and doesn’t know the man they call Tim, but does know Audrey from Dallas. Thank you. Shh, hang on. The man who now learns how to construct his own drum kit. The man who’s not very professional. Shut up, wait a bit, shhh. The man who said he could go back to a building site anytime, and we all agreed. The man who’s holding up the show. The rhinestone cowgirl. Come on, Bonzo, get on with it. That’s what the quaalude stagger is. The man who played the Los Angeles Aztecs and beat them 10-1 by himself. The man who, one wonders, is he worth waiting for, and doesn’t really realize there’s a curfew here. A childhood friend. A man who many people once said, never heard of him, John Bonham. Over the Top!

Out On The Tiles intro > Moby Dick è lo spazio lasciato a John Henry Bonham e alla sua batteria. 15 minuti di spettacolari peripezie ritmiche.

RP: John Bonham! John Bonham!! John Henry Bonham. John Bonham! Come on!

Parte Heartbreaker e il pubblico diventa matto, al di là di tutto il piombo zeppelin è sempre parte fondamentale del successo del gruppo. La versione è buona, l’assolo senza accompagnamento parte in maniera incerta e prosegue più o meno con lo stesso astratto costrutto. Vi sono momenti riusciti e altri meno, lo stesso dicasi per il prolungamento dello stesso suonato insieme a Jones e Bonham, ma nel complesso Heartbreaker è ampiamente sopra la sufficienza.

Il Guitar Solo (include Star Spangled Banner e Dixie) del 1977, preludio a Achilles Last Stand, lascia come sempre qualche perplessità. Chi assistette al tour di solito lo ricorda come un momento riuscito, chi lo ha ascoltato solo dalle registrazione non può che chiedersi che senso avesse. Chitarra effettata come non mai, strani effetti sonori a cui si aggiunge l’uso del Theremin e dell’archetto di violino. Sì certo, Page che dialoga con le forze oscure dell’universo, ma a me la prima parte è sempre sembrata fine a se stessa. Una curiosità: intorno al minuto 8:00 Page usa effetto e fraseggi simili a quelli che avrebbe usato Edward Van Halen per la parte introduttiva a Dancing In The Street, la cover rifatta dai VH presente sull’album Diver Down del 1982.
Achilles Last Stand è uno di quei pezzi da suonare dal vivo solo se i musicisti sono in ottime condizioni (soprattutto il chitarrista visto il gran numero di chitarre presenti nella versione da studio) perché è un brano impegnativo, non è un caso che siano rare le versioni dal vivo davvero convincenti. Il Page annebbiato dalle sostanze chimiche non ha quasi mai reso giustizia alla magniloquenza del pezzo. Anche qui, in questa prima serata a Los Angeles, difetta di precisione. L’inizio dell’assolo è imbarazzante e il prosieguo non incanta di certo. E’ un peccato perché Bonham, Jones e Plant sono spettacolari. Mi si dirà che sono sempre troppo critico col Dark Lord, ma il fatto è che se ti chiami Jimmy Page devi essere all’altezza della tua fama.

RP: Achillies Last Stand’, at least we thought. We seem to be going through mic stands at an amazing rate. Showco’s, uh, Plastic Mic Stands Incorporated. It’s very nice to see some friends just arrive from England, Mr Phil Carson. A man who’s played bass in Japan with Dusty Springfield a long time ago. You see, we know all the oldies. All the push, …, ha ha! Well there’s no doubt you picked up by the atmosphere at least on stage tonight, it’s, it’s like sort of the highpoint of the whole tour to be back here. And that’s, maybe after six nights it will not be so easy to say that, but at the moment, we’d like to, uh, uh, we give you this song.

La versione di Stairway To Heaven invece è di buon livello anche da parte di Page, certo vi è il tocco della decadenza che contraddistingue gli ultimi anni dei Led Zeppelin, ma sono dettagli. Jones e Bonham durante l’assolo di Page si danno al reggae, Bonham in particolare in alcuni punti fa di tutto per distruggere il tempo e ricostruirlo seguendo un istinto tutto suo.

RP: LA! Thank you very much. You’ve been extremely nice. Good night.

Quello che succedeva nei camerini durante le lunghe pause dove solo un membro del gruppo restava sul palco a suonare e nei momento tra la fine del concerto è i bis e facile intuirlo. Il gruppo – Page in primis – tornava on stage in condizioni spesso assai discutibili. Whole Lotta Love >Rock And Roll stavolta non sono male e chiudono bene questo gran concerto.

RP: Oh? Just like a good woman. Good night.

Registrazione e remaster dunque da avere assolutamente. Il solo modo per capire cosa è stato essere a Los Angele nel 1977 a vedere i Led Zeppelin è avere questa live recording e ascoltarla in cuffia.

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Led Zeppelin
The Forum
Los Angeles, CA
June 21, 1977
Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS
Mastered Edition
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 50

Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder

Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Yamaha KX-W592 Cassette Deck > Sony R-500 DAT > Analog Master DAT Clone > Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 > Sound Forge Audio Studio 13.0 capture > Adobe Audition > iZotope RX8 > iZotope Ozone 8 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC

01 The Song Remains The Same (omitted as it is officially released on the LZ DVD)
02 Rover intro > Sick Again
03 Nobody’s Fault But Mine
04 Over The Hills And Far Away
05 Since I’ve Been Loving You
06 No Quarter
07 Ten Years Gone
08 The Battle Of Evermore
09 Going To California
10 Black Country Woman
11 Bron-Y-AUr Stomp
12 White Summer/Black Mountain Side >
13 Kashmir
14 Out On The Tiles intro > Moby Dick
15 Heartbreaker
16 Guitar Solo
17 Achilles Last Stand
18 Stairway To Heaven
19 Whole Lotta Love >
20 Rock And Roll

Known Faults:
-Tape flip in “Ten Years Gone” patched with GaryB master tape second source

Introduction to the Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Series

Welcome to JEMS’ Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone series presenting recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77. For the complete details on how tapes in this series came to be lost and found again, as well as JEMS’ long history with Mike Millard, please refer to the notes in Vol. One: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=500680.

Until 2020, the Lost and Found series presented fresh transfers of previously unavailable first-generation copies made by Mike himself for friends like Stan Gutoski of JEMS, Jim R, Bill C. and Barry G. These sources were upgrades to circulating copies and in most instances marked the only time verified first generation Millard sources had been directly digitized in the torrent era.

That all changed with the discovery of many of Mike Millard’s original master tapes.

Yes, you read that correctly, Mike Millard’s master cassettes, long rumored to be destroyed or lost, have been found. Not all of them but many, and with them a much more complete picture has emerged of what Millard recorded between his first show in late 1973 and his last in early 1992.

The reason the rediscovery of his master tapes is such a revelation is that we’ve been told for decades they were gone. Internet myths suggest Millard destroyed his master tapes before taking his own life, an imprudent detail likely concocted based on the assumption that because his master tapes never surfaced and Mike’s mental state was troubled he would do something rash WITH HIS LIFE’S WORK. There’s also a version of the story where Mike’s family dumps the tapes after he dies. Why would they do that?

The truth is Mike’s masters remained in his bedroom for many years after his death in 1994. We know at least a few of Millard’s friends and acquaintances contacted his mother Lia inquiring about the tapes at the time to no avail. But in the early 2000s, longtime Millard friend Rob S was the one she knew and trusted enough to preserve Mike’s work.

Led Zeppelin, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA, June 21, 1977

As we approached the Vol. 50 milestone in our Millard recording series, it seemed appropriate to reach for something truly special to mark the occasion. But what show should it be?

There is little debate as to Mike the Mike’s most famous recordings, but choosing which one to celebrate for the big 5-0 proved vexing. Then came a great idea: Release the 50th show Mike recorded. We started to count from show No. 1 (The Who, November 23, 1973) and low and behold, show No. 50 just so happened be what is undoubtedly Mike’s most famous recording of all: Led Zeppelin at the Forum, June 21, 1977. You may have first met it under its all-time great bootleg title, Listen To This Eddie.

Fate, ladies and gentleman.

So here it is, Mike’s best known recording, transferred by Rob S from the original master cassettes to DAT in the early 2000s. This show has been bootlegged dozens of times and there are many remasters in the world, notably the work of our ally Winston Remasters.

The underlying transfers used for the best circulating copies most likely come from two primary sources: first generation cassettes (including JEMS’ Dolby-decode transfer of unmarked tapes made by Millard himself) and a first-gen copy Millard made from his master tapes to VHS HiFi, which at the time was an inexpensive, high-resolution alternative to digital formats like DAT. The VHS HiFi first gen was then converted to DAT and spawned a lot of the versions before the JEMS “Dolby On” series appeared.

This release has a verified lineage of master cassettes to DAT and we believe it represents the highest quality transfer of Mike’s master recording available. We are presenting the recording in two versions: one a flat transfer, the second lightly mastered by JEMS to move the sound image a little closer and lift Jimmy and Robert up slightly in the mix. Our Mastered Edition also uses the second recording of the show by GaryB (which JEMS released a few years ago) to patch the missing piece of Ten Years Gone when Mike flipped his tape. The choice is yours.

The show itself was the opener of the band’s six-night stand at the Fabulous Forum, what most fans consider to be the high-water mark on the 1977 tour. Mike recorded four of the six shows, and if you’re wondering why he didn’t do the other two, money and ticket availability were practical considerations for Millard at the time. As Jim explains in his notes, the scalping around these shows reached unprecedented levels and Millard’s salary as a furniture truck driver (he wouldn’t become an AV clerk a the college until late 1979) meant he couldn’t afford the seats he wanted for every show.

The Forum stand was originally scheduled for five shows in March (opening night was meant to be March 9) and went on sale January 31. Robert Plant’s tonsillitis forced rescheduling, the announcement for which included the addition of a sixth and final show on June 27.

Any Led Zeppelin collector would do themselves a favor by obtaining a copy of Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio’s authoritative book Evenings With Led Zeppelin: The Complete Concert Chronicle. It is an encyclopedia of Zeppelin’s touring history, packed with details, reviews, contemporary newspaper clippings, photos, ticket stubs, known recordings and so much more. If JEMS had a book club, this would be one of our first selections.

The tome includes a fantastic section on the ’77 Forum run, calling the concerts “among the most highly acclaimed performances of Led Zeppelin’s career. Thankfully, taper Mike Millard captured four of the Forum shows in exceptional quality audience recordings on his Nakamichi cassette deck. Bootleggers got ahold of Millard’s opening night tape and pressed it on one of the most popular Zeppelin bootlegs ever- Listen To This Eddie.”

The legend surrounding the bootleg title is that it was in response to negative feedback about Page’s playing attributed to Eddie Van Halen, though the book offers a second theory that the title was aimed at Eddie Kramer, calling out his engineering and production on The Song Remains The Same soundtrack.

One of Millard’s friends recently told us that he showed him the Eddie bootleg CD when it was released in 1990 and Mike blew a gasket. He was frustrated by vinyl bootlegs before, but the CD release of 6/21/77 heightened his anger about bootleggers profiting from his work.

Lewis and Tremaglio go on to say Mike’s recording of 6/21/77, “is still held in high esteem and is perched atop the list of many Zeppelin fans’ all-time favorite bootlegs.”

With good reason. The recording is a marvel of clarity, proximity and power. There’s an on-going debate about the overall appeal of soundboard recordings vs. audience tapes, nowhere more so than in the Zeppelin fan community. There’s no denying the sharpness of a great soundboard, but they can also sound a little clinical and usually have little to no audience atmosphere.

It can be especially disorienting when a soundboard emerges of a show we have all heard in excellent quality via an audience tape for years. Being so familiar with the sound of a specific audience recording, at times it can feel like the soundboard source lost something vs. gained something.

To me, Millard’s 1977 recordings are THE sound of Led Zeppelin in this era, period. Even if a complete board tape were to emerge of an LA ’77 show, it could never supplant the musical memory of Mike’s recording that is now so deeply engrained in our synapses. History is written and Mike’s incredible master tapes are essential, primary documents of the Led Zeppelin live experience.

The only rain on the Vol. 50 parade is that we’ve had to omit the opening song of the night, “The Song Remains The Same,” because Mike’s own recording of the song was officially released on the Led Zeppelin DVD, buried in a submenu.

While JEMS rarely if ever posTs shows thaT require us to cut officially released songs, given the wiDe availability of this recording already and the historic value of the show, we’ve elected to post sans “TSRTS.” Checking your local listings for other theaters where it might be playing.

In another bit of kismet, this release comes one day after the 40th anniversary of John Bonham’s death and the end of Led Zeppelin as we knew them. He was only 32 when he died.

Here’s what Jim R recalled about the momentous opening night of Led Zeppelin at the Forum 1977:

I attended the June 21, 1977 Led Zeppelin concert at The Forum, the first of six nights. I pushed Mike in the wheelchair.

Getting tickets for this set of shows was an ordeal. To be one of the first in line required a marathon Box Office camp out that began eight days before tickets went on sale. In January, even LA was chilly enough to warrant down jackets at night. By the time the box office opened there were thousands in line. Several local ticket brokers had crews of kids queuing on their behalf to maximize ticket acquisition. Demand was HUGE and resulted in the first $100 scalper price for a rock concert in LA.

The box office limit was a strict six tickets. Some people were already talking in line about pocketing hundreds of dollars after selling their tickets, but Mike and I being fans were focused on the best seats for the most nights. I scored six front row center tickets. Mike scored 18 tickets by going to a box office window two extra times. We called this technique “bouncing,” as in bouncing from ticket window to ticket window. Bouncing was dangerous as getting caught resulted in security confiscating all of your tickets.

Opening night we sat second row on the floor, a third of the way over from center. After getting to our seats, the wheelchair was tucked away next to the stage, ironically near Peter Grant standing on the side. Taping from the second row is perilous, being so close to security and to Peter Grant and his brutal reputation for “handling” tapers. Stage lights would spill onto our location and light us up. Not Good. But we got away with it four times without incident, though not without a lot of frayed nerves.

Two days before, we attended the San Diego show where Bonham had food poisoning. This affected his playing and likely results in one of the worst shows on the tour. But this night they more than make up for it. June 21st is considered by many to be one the best Led Zeppelin shows ever.

Included are a handful of pictures I took sitting next to Mike in the 2nd row.

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JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R, Barry G and others to release Millard’s historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself.

We can’t thank Rob enough for reconnecting with Jim and putting his trust in our Millard reissue campaign. He kept Mike’s precious tapes under wraps for two decades, but once Rob learned of our methods and stewardship, he agreed to contribute the Millard DATs and cassettes to the program. Our releases would not be nearly as compelling without Jim’s memories, photos and other background contributions. As many of you have noted, the stories offer an entertaining complement to Mike’s incredible audio documents.

On the thank you list again is Goody, for his pitch stamp of approval. And last but never least, mjk5510 for his post-production work that polishes key JEMS releases week in and week out.

Finally, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.

BK for JEMS

BOOTLEGS: Jimmy Page, L.A. Forum, CA – October 7, 1988 (Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS ) TTTT

24 Set

ITALIAN / ENGLISH

Mike Millard Legacy intro

Di Mike Millard su questo blog ne abbiamo parlato più volte, amante del rock proveniente dalla west coast americana, dal 1973 al 1992 registrò parecchi concerti tenutisi in quell’area. Lo fece con una strumentazione di qualità, per quei tempi davvero notevole, portandola all’interno delle arene in questione usando diversi stratagemmi (a volte anche fingendosi disabile e quindi su una sedia a rotelle). Le sue sono dunque registrazioni audience, cioè prese dal pubblico, ma di una qualità micidiale; non è un un caso che ancora oggi – tra il giro di appassionati – siano considerate tra i documenti migliori per quanto riguarda l’epoca d’oro della musica rock. Sì perché con le registrazione audience si ha l’idea esatta di cosa fosse andare ad un concerto rock, la performance dell’artista catturato nella sua essenza più pura: l’umore e le scosse emotive del pubblico, la musica messa su nastro senza artifici (e dunque senza le modifiche e i trucchetti presenti nei dischi dal vivo ufficiali), i commenti dei fans che a tratti finivano sul nastro. La fortuna ha voluto che i LZ fossero tra i suoi gruppi preferiti e, ad esempio, le sue registrazione di alcuni dei sei concerti tenuti nel 1977 a Los Angeles sono per tutti noi testimonianze preziosissime. Nel 1994 Millard decise di togliersi la vita, decisione che non ci permettiamo di giudicare e quindi tralasciamo di commentare gli abissi di dolore a cui deve essere andato incontro. Per moltissimo tempo le sue cassette rimasero archiviate nella sua stanza a casa di sua madre, le registrazioni che circolavano provenivano infatti da copie che lo stesso Millard aveva fatto per amici e altri collezionisti. Successe poi che sua madre finalmente affidò ad amici intimi di suo figlio le tante cassette (si parla di 280 concerti registrati) in modo che potessero essere trasferite e quindi salvate su DAT. Sotto all’articolo riporto (oltre al testo che accompagna la registrazione di JP di cui tra poco parleremo) tutta la lunga storia in caso qualcuno fosse interessato. Per chiudere questo breve riassunto, quando si pensava che i master originali di Millard fossero andati persi, ecco che vengono ritrovati, rimasterizzati e messi gratuitamente in circolo da generosi collezionisti e amanti del rock come noi. E’ dunque doveroso mandare un pensiero a Mike Millard perché grazie ai suoi nastri il rock si mantiene vivo e noi possiamo ancora illuderci di vivere in prima persona i momenti più esaltanti della musica che amiamo.

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Live Recording reflections

NB: in realtà questa nuova remasterizzazione è fatta non dal master originale (è andato perso?) ma da una copia 1 generation.

1988, a due anni dall’ultima attività con i Firm (disco e tour) JPP torna con “Outrider” (apripista / battistrada) l’unico album solista (se escludiamo l’eccellente colonna sonora del 1982 DEATH WISH II, un disco che su questo blog amiamo moltissimo), disco oggi interlocutorio, non troppo a fuoco, prodotto e arrangiato in maniera non troppo convincente, ma all’epoca mi sembrava il gran ritorno del dio della chitarra che tutti conosciamo.  L’album arrivò alla posizione 27 della classifica USA conquistando il disco d’oro.

Sette anni fa scrissi su questo blog una recensione di una data del tour relativo (NY 12 novembre 1988), iniziai quel mio write of winter così:

“Ah, l’Outrider tour, l’ultima volta in cui Page è stato Page; pur non essendo stato un avvenimento memorabile nella storia della musica Rock, per i LZ fan rimane un caposaldo nella storia di Jimmy Page chitarrista Rock. La band non era un granché: Jason Bonham alla batteria (all’epoca ancora immaturo e sopra le righe) e un oscuro session man di Capo Verde al basso (tal Durban Laverde) non permisero a Page di raggiungere gli spazi siderali, i viaggi cosmici a cui aveva abituato con i LZ; persino il grandissimo JOHN MILES era stato istruito ad essere una copia di Plant e scrivere cose trite e ritrite per compiacere MTV … tuttavia con un Page finalmente in ottima forma, i mesi di ottobre e novembre di quel OUTRIDER tour del 1988 furono entusiasmanti… un musicista finalmente di nuovo col completo controllo del suo strumento … “

Le prime date del tour (come spesso capitava con Page) non sono un granché, dal punto di vista chitarristico, Page sembra ancora indietro nella preparazione, ma poi le cose cambiano (soprattutto da ottobre inoltrato) e nel resto della tournée si avrà il Page migliore dal 1973, un Page che nemmeno i tour del 1993 con Coverdale&Page e del 1995/98 con Page&Plant rivedranno più.

Nella (ottima) registrazione (del grande Mike Millard) i primi momenti di Who’s To Blame (da Death Wish II – 1982) contengono tagli e distorsioni (dovuti al mettere in funzione l’equipaggiamento) ed è un peccato perché Who’s To Blame a mio avviso è uno dei grandi pezzi di Page, un brano che sarebbe diventato di riferimento se la storia avesse seguito un percorso diverso e fosse finito sull’ipotetico successore di In Through The Out Door. Come sempre capita con le registrazione del mai dimenticato Mike Millard, la qualità audio è ottima (parlando di fonte audience). John Miles alle tastiere e alla voce fa il suo porco lavoro, mentre Page si fa avanti a colpi di hard rock esoterico. Il Forum di Los Angeles esplode quando Jimmy parte col suo primo assolo (sulla Les Paul dotata di Stringbender), ma si sa, Los Angeles era la seconda patria del dirigibile di piombo. Il Prelude (da Death Wish II – 1982) di Chopin non mi ha mai convinto troppo, quell’effetto alla Santo & Johnny suonato con la mano pesante mi è sempre sembrato un po’ imbarazzante, benché Jimmy lo infarcisca con svisate tutte sue.

Col primo pezzo dei Led Zeppelin il Forum deflagra: Over The Hills And Far Away (da Houses Of The Holy 1973 – Led Zeppelin). John Miles canta come Robert Plant fece sul disco, è davvero incredibile; negli Stati Uniti il biondo cantante della Contea di Durham non è conosciuto né apprezzato a dovere, ma qui in Europa – in primo luogo qui alla Domus Saurea – John Errington in arte Miles è un dio. L’assolo di Page (sempre con lo Stringbender) nell’intermezzo in FA#- è oggetto di venerazione da parte del pubblico. Durban Laverde al basso fa il compitino, mentre Jason Bonham enfatizza il lavoro ritmico.

jimmiepage_62.jpg

Page introduce dapprima lo scopo del concerto e quindi il nuovo brano che è Wanna Make Love (da Outrider) introdotto dal riff di Liquid Mercury (da Outrider). Il brano in realtà non è granché, il testo men che meno, bisognava compiacere come scritto MTV e il pubblico medio americano imbambolato in quegli anni da parecchio hair metal di qualità scadente. Miles è comunque bravissimo e Page si diverte con la leva del vibrato. Jimmy introduce la band e dunque parte con Writes Of Winter (da Outrider), strumentale degno di nota ma che soffre quel tempo di batteria che andava di moda negli anni ottanta, roba da Micheal Schenker Group, non da James Patrick Page. L’effetto Rockpalast (come lo chiamiamo io e il grande Stefanino Piccagliani) rovina infatti un po’ tutte le belle cose che Page fa alla chitarra. Jason qui sembra più legnoso del solito. Laverde neutrale some sempre … va mo là che certa gente ne ha avuto di fortuna in campo musicale. Il brano è collegato – in maniera poco fluida –  al successivo tramite la sezione aggiuntiva di Whole Lotta Love versione 1979, ma il gruppo è costretto ad interrompersi perché Page rompe una corda. Tear Down The Walls (da Mean Business 1986 – The Firm) comunque inizia poco dopo. Mi è sempre piaciuta, niente di trascendentale, un buon pezzo rock solare comunque arricchito da contrappunti musicali in puro stile Page. Di nuovo giù il cappello per John Miles che dopo aver affrontato vittoriosamente lo stile del Robert Plant dell’immaginario collettivo, convince anche nel raffronto con lo stile del grande Paul Rodgers. L’assolo di chitarra sullo Stringbender è sporcato da un uso non corretto del delay.

Emerald Eyes (da Outrider) è uno strumentale assai carino (dedicato presumibilmente agli occhi di Patricia Ecker, all’epoca moglie del Dark Lord) qui suonato con convinzione da Page aiutato strumentalmente anche da John Miles. Nella registrazione si sente un fan parlare del pezzo dei Firm che sta per essere presentato: Midnight Moonlight (dal primo album dei Firm 1985) w/Black Mountain Side (da LZ I – 1969). MM come sappiamo deriva dal brano strumentale Swan Song composto da Page nel 1973 e mai portato avanti in modo definitivo dai LZ. Page lo riprese in mano nel 1983 e insieme a Paul Rodgers lo trasformò nella bellissima Midnight Moonligh (Lady), lo presentò dal vivo nel tour americano del 1983 del progetto benefico ARMS e lo incluse nel primo album dei Firm nel 1985. Qui lo presenta John Miles che lo canta tra l’altro in maniera divina. Nella parte centrale dedicata ai ricami chitarristici di Page (il brano è in accordatura aperta) Jimmy accenna anche a Black Mountain Side (e a Kashmir) con gran godimento del pubblico. In My Time Of Dying (da Physical Graffiti 1975 – Led Zeppelin) risveglia tutti dall’incanto appena terminato e trascina il Forum verso i sentieri del blues pesante a base di chitarra slide.

LA Forum

Il bel riff di City Sirens (da Death Wish II – 1982) funge da intro all’assolo di batteria di Jason Bonham, assolo che nel tour di cui stiamo parlando non è mai stato memorabile; molto anni 80, sopra le righe e rigido. Gli accenni a Moby Dick e a Rock And Roll sono gratuiti.  Someone To Love (dal primo album dei Firm 1985) è un discreto brano di hard rock suonato e cantato qui con convinzione mentre Prison Blues (da Outrider) è un bluesaccio mediocre con un testo imbarazzante (per le sciocche metafore sessuali), non fosse per Page alla chitarra (sempre disposto a rischiare e a dare nuovi colori) sarebbe un pezzo senza nessuna importanza. Su disco Chris Farlowe si cantò addosso, qui John Miles per certi versi cerca di essere meno ridondante.

Laverde-Bonham-Page-Miles 1988

The Chase (da Death Wish II – 1982) è uno strumentale che in questa occasione serve per dar spazio a Page alla sua solista (sempre con lo stringbender) e ai suoi esperimenti sonori che comprendono la sezione archetto di violino, il bizzarro guitar solo versione tour 1977 e la parte finale di Dazed And Confused (dal primo album dei LZ – 1969) a cui manca però lo swing di Jones e John Bonham.

Wasting My Time (da Outrider) fu il primo singolo dell’album, qui è suonata in modo confuso, qualcosa non funziona nella chitarra di Page, (che alla fine accennerà al fatto di aver rotto una corda).

Blues Anthem (da Outrider) mi è sempre piaciuta parecchio, come scrivo spesso è un quadretto blues color pastello in cui mi riconosco molto. Jimmy con la chitarra acustica insieme a John Miles: un paio di strofe, un ritornello, altre due strofe, uno sconclusionato passaggio strumentale a mo’ di assolo, il ritornello e il finale. Ma poi entra la band, e Page alla solista ci regala l’ennesimo assolo con lo Stringbender, poi ancora il ritornello e la chiusura.

Il finale non poteva che essere dedicato (più o meno) ai Led Zeppelin).

In Custard Pie (da Physical Graffiti 1975 – Led Zeppelin) John Miles è di nuovo bravissimo. La sezione ritmica si rivela ancora una volta non all’altezza di Jimmy Page, manca dinamica, swing e magia. Il riff di Custard Pie è arricchito con passaggi tratti da The Ocean e sul finale da Black Dog (con Miles all’armonica).

Il gruppo esce e quindi torna onstage.

Train Kept-a Rollin’ (di Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay e Lois Mann – vecchio cavallo di battaglia degli Yardbirds ripreso dal vivo nel 1968/69 e 1980 dai LZ) è un pezzo che mi entusiasma, sia nella versione di Tiny Bradshaw del 1951, che in quella degli Yardbirds con Jeff Beck e pure in quella degli Aerosmith. Il rifacimento dei LZ non mi è mai parso particolarmente efficace, mentre la versione di Page pare scorra meglio (pur essendo assai simile a quella dei LZ).

Alla vista della doppio manico il pubblico si scalda … il primo arpeggio, le tastiere (suonate da Miles) e il pubblico che canta, questa è la Stairway To Heaven (da IV 1971 – Led Zeppelin) post LZ. La versione non è granché, poco precisa, poco sciolta, nervosa, ma l’emozione è nemica in questi casi. Nell’assolo Page si accartoccia un po’ su se stesso. Inascoltabile il doppio pedale di Jason durante la sezione a bicordi di Page (vedi tour 1975/1977), il figlio del grande John Henry rimarrà sempre un centurione, come diciamo qui dalle mie parti.

Outrider Tour dates

Per i concerti migliori del tour occorrerà aspettare ancora qualche data ma è indubbio che la registrazione di Mike Millard di un concerto del 1988 di Page occorre averla. Concerto comunque godibile, grazie alla versatilità di Miles e alla presenza del Signore Oscuro che tanto amiamo, sì perché un Page con parecchie sbavature ma comunque degno del suo nome è un bel sentire. Page non è un artista solista, al microfono non ci sa granché fare (cosa comunque comune a parecchi chitarristi, in primis Jeff Beck), ma in quegli anni averlo ritrovato dopo il buio del primo post LZ sembrava una gran cosa.

01 Who’s To Blame
02 Prelude
03 Over The Hills And Far Away
04 Liquid Mercury
05 Wanna Make Love
06 Writes Of Winter
07 Tear Down The Walls
08 Emerald Eyes
09 Midnight Moonlight w/Black Mountain Side
10 In My Time Of Dying
11 City Sirens
12 Drum Solo
13 Someone To Love
14 Prison Blues
15 The Chase
16 Bow Solo > Dazed And Confused
17 Wasting My Time
18 Blues Anthem
19 Custard Pie
20 Train Kept A-Rollin’
21 Stairway To Heaven

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Outrider Tour Sul Blog:

https://timtirelli.com/2013/12/27/jimmy-page-new-york-the-ritz-12-november-1988-bootleg-no-label-bootradr-2012-upload-ttttt/

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(spaghetti)ENGLISH

Mike Millard Legacy intro

We have talked about Mike Millard on this blog few times, he was a rock music lover from the US west coast and from 1973 to 1992 he recorded several concerts held in that area. He did it with quality equipment, for those times truly remarkable, bringing it inside the arenas in question using different stratagems (sometimes even pretending to be disabled and therefore in a wheelchair). His are therefore audience recordings, that is, taken by the public, but of a deadly quality; it is no coincidence that even today – among the circle of fans – they are considered among the best documents regarding the golden age of rock music. Yes, because with audience recording you have the exact idea of ​​what it was like to go to a rock concert, the artist’s performance captured in its purest essence: the mood and emotional shocks of the audience, the music put on tape without artifice (and therefore without the edits and the tricks present in the official live records), the comments of the fans who sometimes ended up on the tape. Luckily LZ were among his favorite bands and, for example, his recordings of some of the six concerts held in 1977 in Los Angeles are precious testimonies for all of us. In 1994 Millard decided to take his own life, a decision that we do not allow ourselves to judge and therefore we neglect to comment on the abysses of pain that he must have gone through. For a very long time his cassettes remained archived in his room at his mother’s house, the records circulating in fact came from copies that Millard himself had made for friends and other collectors. Then it happened that his mother finally entrusted the many tapes (we are talking about 280 recorded concerts) to close friends of his son so that they could be transferred and then saved on DAT. Under the article I carry over (in addition to the text that accompanies the registration of JPP which we will shortly talk about) the whole long story in case anyone is interested. To close this short summary, when it was thought that the original Millard masters had been lost, here they are found, remastered and put into free circulation by generous collectors and rock lovers like us. It is therefore a duty to send a thought to Mike Millard because thanks to his tapes rock remains alive and we can still delude ourselves to experience firsthand the most exciting moments of the music we love.

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Live Recording reflections

NB: in reality this new remaster is made not from the original master (has it been lost?) but from a 1 generation copy.

1988, two years after the last activity with the Firm (disc and tour) JPP returns with “Outrider” the only solo album (if we exclude the excellent soundtrack of 1982 DEATH WISH II, a record that we love very much on this blog), an interlocutory record today, not too focused, produced and arranged in a not too convincing way, but at the time it seemed to me the great return of the guitar god we all knew. The album reached position 27 on the US chart, earning a gold record.

Seven years ago I wrote on this blog a review of a relative tour date (NY 12 November 1988), I started my write of winter like this:

Ah, the Outrider tour, the last time Page was Page; while not a memorable event in the history of Rock music, for LZ fans it remains a staple in the history of Jimmy Page rock guitarist. The band was not that great: Jason Bonham on drums (at the time still immature and over the top) and an obscure session man from Cape Verde on bass (a certain Durban Laverde) did not allow Page to reach the sidereal spaces, the cosmic journeys he had accustomed with LZ; even the great John Miles had been instructed to be a copy of Plant and write standard stuff to please MTV … yet with a Page finally in great shape, the October and November months of that 1988 OUTRIDER tour they were thrilling … a musician finally back in full control of his instrument … “

The first dates of the tour (as often happened with Page) are not very good from the guitar point of view, Page still seems to be behind in the preparation, but then things change (especially from late October) and in the rest of the tour you will have the best Page since 1973, a Page that not even the 1993 tours with Coverdale & Page and the 1995/98 tours with Page & Plant will see again.

In the (excellent) recording (by the great Mike Millard) the first moments of Who’s To Blame (from Death Wish II – 1982) contain cuts and distortions (due to putting the equipment into operation) and it is a shame because Who’s To Blame to my notice is one of Page’s great pieces, a track that would have become a reference if the story had followed a different path and ended up on the hypothetical successor of In Through The Out Door. As always happens with the recordings of the never forgotten Mike Millard, the audio quality is excellent (speaking of source audience). John Miles on keyboards and vocals does his dirty job, while Page steps forward with esoteric hard rock. The Los Angeles Forum explodes when Jimmy plays his first solo (on the Les Paul equipped with the Stringbender), but you know, Los Angeles was the second home of the lead blimp. Chopin’s Prelude (from Death Wish II – 1982) has never convinced me too much, that Santo & Johnny effect played with a heavy hand has always seemed a bit embarrassing to me, although Jimmy stuffs it with his own twist.

With the first Led Zeppelin song the Forum explodes: Over The Hills And Far Away (from Houses Of The Holy 1973 – Led Zeppelin). John Miles sings it like Robert Plant did on the record, it’s really amazing; in the United States, the blond singer from County Durham is not well known or appreciated, but here in Europe – primarily here at the Domus Saurea – John Errington aka Miles is a god. Page’s solo (again with the Stringbender) in the interlude in F # – is an object of public veneration. Durban Laverde does his homework on bass, while Jason Bonham emphasizes the rhythmic work.

Page first introduces the purpose of the concert and then the new song which is Wanna Make Love (from Outrider) introduced by Liquid Mercury‘s riff (from Outrider). The song is not really that great, the lyrics least of all, they had to please MTV as written and the average American public in those years stunned by a lot of poor quality hair metal. Miles is still very good and Page has fun with the vibrato bar. Jimmy introduces the band and therefore plays Writes Of Winter (from Outrider), a noteworthy instrumental that suffers from that drum tempo that was fashionable in the eighties, stuff for the Micheal Schenker Group, not James Patrick Page. The Rockpalast effect (as the great Stefanino Piccagliani and I call it) ruins all the good things that Page does on the guitar. Jason here looks more woody than usual. Laverde sounds neutral as always … it goes there that some people have had luck in the music field. The song is connected – in a not very fluid way – to the next one through the additional section of Whole Lotta Love 1979 version, but the group is forced to stop because Page breaks a string. Tear Down The Walls (from Mean Business 1986 – The Firm) however begins shortly after. I have always liked it, nothing transcendental, a good sunny rock piece however enriched by musical counterpoints in pure Page style. Once again hats off to John Miles who, after having successfully faced the style of the Robert Plant, also convinces in the comparison with the style of the great Paul Rodgers. The guitar solo on the Stringbender is soiled by an incorrect use of the delay.

Emerald Eyes (from Outrider) is a very nice instrumental (presumably dedicated to the eyes of Patricia Ecker, wife of the Dark Lord at the time) played here with conviction by Page, also instrumentally helped by John Miles. In the recording we hear a fan talking about the Firm track that is about to be presented: Midnight Moonlight (from Firm’s first album 1985) w / Black Mountain Side (from LZ I – 1969). MM as we know comes from the instrumental piece Swan Song composed by Page in 1973 and never brought forward definitively by LZ. Page picked it up in 1983 and together with Paul Rodgers transformed it into the beautiful Midnight Moonligh (Lady), presented it live on the 1983 American tour of the ARMS charity project and included it in the Firm’s first album in 1985. John introduces it here. Miles sings it in a divine way. In the central part dedicated to Page’s guitar embroideries (the piece is in open tuning) Jimmy also mentions Black Mountain Side (and Kashmir) to the great enjoyment of the public. In My Time Of Dying (from Physical Graffiti 1975 – Led Zeppelin) awakens everyone from the enchantment that has just ended and drags the Forum towards the paths of heavy blues based on slide guitar.

The beautiful riff of City Sirens (from Death Wish II – 1982) serves as an intro to Jason Bonham’s drum solo, a solo that in the tour we are talking about has never been memorable; very 80’s, over the top and stiff. The hints to Moby Dick and Rock And Roll are gratuitous. Someone To Love (from Firm’s first album 1985) is a decent hard rock track played and sung here with conviction while Prison Blues (from Outrider) is a mediocre blues track with embarrassing lyrics (for the silly sexual metaphors), without Page on guitar (given that he is always willing to take risks and give new colors) it would be a piece without any importance. On record Chris Farlowe sung it with much emphasis, here John Miles in some ways tries to be less redundant.
The Chase (from Death Wish II – 1982) is an instrumental that on this occasion serves to give space to Page’s lead guitar (always with the Stringbender) and to his sound experiments which include the violin bow section, the bizarre guitar solo version  1977 tour and the final part of Dazed And Confused (from the first album of LZ – 1969) which however lacks the swing of Jones and John Bonham.

Wasting My Time (from Outrider) was the first single of the album, here it is played confusingly, something is wrong with Page’s guitar, (who will eventually hint that he broke a string).

I have always liked Blues Anthem (from Outrider) a lot, as I often write it is a pastel-colored blues picture in which I recognize myself a lot. Jimmy with the acoustic guitar together with John Miles: a couple of verses, a chorus, two more verses, a rambling instrumental passage as a solo, the chorus and the ending. But then the band enters, and Page plays another solo with the Stringbender, then again the chorus and the ending

In Custard Pie (from Physical Graffiti 1975 – Led Zeppelin) John Miles is again good. The rhythm section proves once again to be not at Jimmy Page level, it lacks dynamics, swing and magic. Custard Pie’s riff is enriched with passages from The Ocean and at the end from Black Dog (with Miles on harmonica).

The group exits and then returns onstage.

Train Kept-a Rollin ‘(by Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay and Lois Mann – old Yardbirds workhorse shot live in 1968/69 and 1980 by LZ) is a piece that excites me, both in the 1951 version of Tiny Bradshaw , in the one of the Yardbirds with Jeff Beck and also in that of Aerosmith. The one of LZ has never seemed particularly effective, while the version of Page seems to flow better (although very similar to that of the LZ).

At the sight of the double neck the audience warms up … the first arpeggio, the keyboards (played by Miles) and the singing audience, this is the Stairway To Heaven (from IV 1971 – Led Zeppelin) post LZ. The version is not great, not very precise, not very loose, nervous, but the emotion is the enemy in these cases. In the solo, Page curls up a bit on himself. Jason’s double pedal use during the bichord section of Page’ solo (see tour 1975/1977) is a shame, the son of the great John Henry will always remain a centurion, as we say here in my part of the world.

For the best concerts of the tour it will be necessary to wait a few more dates but there is no doubt that Mike Millard’s recording of a 1988 concert by Page is essential. Still enjoyable concert, thanks to the versatility of Miles and the presence of the Dark Lord we love so much, yes because a Page with many smudges but still worthy of his name is a damn good vibe. In my opinion Page is not a solo artist, he doesn’t know much how to deal with the microphone (something common to many guitarists, first of all Jeff Beck) and seems uncertain without a rock-steady project behind him, but in those years having found him after the darkness of the first post LZ seemed a great thing.

 

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Other Outrider Tour review:

https://timtirelli.com/2013/12/27/jimmy-page-new-york-the-ritz-12-november-1988-bootleg-no-label-bootradr-2012-upload-ttttt/

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Note che accompagnano la registrazione / Notes accompanying the recording:

Jimmy Page
The Forum
Inglewood, CA
October 7, 1988
Mike Millard First Generation Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 47

Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder

Transfer: Mike Millard First Generation Cassettes > Nakamichi RX-505 (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX7 > iZotope Ozone 8 > Audacity > Peak Pro 6 > xACT 2.39 > FLAC

01 Who’s To Blame
02 Prelude
03 Over The Hills And Far Away
04 Liquid Mercury
05 Wanna Make Love
06 Writes Of Winter
07 Tear Down The Walls
08 Emerald Eyes
09 Midnight Moonlight w/Black Mountain Side
10 In My Time Of Dying
11 City Sirens
12 Drum Solo
13 Someone To Love
14 Prison Blues
15 The Chase
16 Bow Solo > Dazed And Confused
17 Wasting My Time
18 Blues Anthem
19 Custard Pie
20 Train Kept A-Rollin’
21 Stairway To Heaven

Known Faults:
-Distortion and cuts in the first two minutes as Mike gets set up.

Introduction to the Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Series

Welcome to JEMS’ Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone series presenting recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77. For the complete details on how tapes in this series came to be lost and found again, as well as JEMS’ long history with Mike Millard, please refer to the notes in Vol. One: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=500680.

Until 2020, the Lost and Found series presented fresh transfers of previously unavailable first-generation copies made by Mike himself for friends like Stan Gutoski of JEMS, Jim R, Bill C. and Barry G. These sources were upgrades to circulating copies and in most instances marked the only time verified first generation Millard sources had been directly digitized in the torrent era.

That all changed with the discovery of many of Mike Millard’s original master tapes.

Yes, you read that correctly, Mike Millard’s master cassettes, long rumored to be destroyed or lost, have been found. Not all of them but many, and with them a much more complete picture has emerged of what Millard recorded between his first show in late 1973 and his last in early 1992.

The reason the rediscovery of his master tapes is such a revelation is that we’ve been told for decades they were gone. Internet myths suggest Millard destroyed his master tapes before taking his own life, an imprudent detail likely concocted based on the assumption that because his master tapes never surfaced and Mike’s mental state was troubled he would do something rash WITH HIS LIFE’S WORK. There’s also a version of the story where Mike’s family dumps the tapes after he dies. Why would they do that?

The truth is Mike’s masters remained in his bedroom for many years after his death in 1994. We know at least a few of Millard’s friends and acquaintances contacted his mother Lia inquiring about the tapes at the time to no avail. But in the early 2000s, longtime Millard friend Rob S was the one she knew and trusted enough to preserve Mike’s work.

The full back story on how Mike’s master tapes were saved can be found in the notes for Vol. 18 Pink Floyd, which was the first release in our series transferred from Millard’s original master tapes:

http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=667745&hit=1
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=667750&hit=1

Jimmy Page, The Forum, Inglewood, CA, October 7, 1988

The hero comes home.

This week’s jewel from the Millard mine captures the return of Jimmy Page to what one might call his home court in America, the Fabulous Forum, for the one LA show on what remains to date Page’s only proper solo tour. In fact, outside of his performances with Robert as Page/Plant, since the end of Led Zeppelin in 1980 Jimmy has only performed 60-70 proper concerts depending on one’s definition, 37 on this 1988 trek.

Jimmy Page back at the Forum for a single show on his one and only solo tour was indeed a momentous occasion for fans and the man himself. “I’m really looking forward to playing tonight, Jimmy says earnestly at the top of the show. “Every time I’ve been here before it’s been fantastic.” You know he meant every word.

For Millard, the excitement had to be nearly as high. While he had recorded Page at the ARMS Concert in the same venue in 1983, this was the first full concert appearance by Page in Los Angeles since Led Zeppelin wrapped its six-night Forum ’77 stand on June 27.

Millard of course was hardly alone in terms of anticipation, and the crowd is fully engaged in the show, though in true Mike the Mike fashion, he manages to avoid detrimental audience noise on his recording for the most part. But he did have some recording challenges.

As noted above, Mike took a couple of minutes to get his levels right and mics set up, the result of which is a bit of distortion at the start of the show and a few longish dropouts which we have mitigated to the best of our abilities. Also, somewhere in the microphone to tape deck cable chain, which includes a stop at the microphone power packs, something wasn’t plugged in correctly which caused his recording to go out of phase for most of the show. It flips back and forth on part one and stays steadily out of phase for the remainder of the set.

Happily, phase issues are easily corrected by inverting one channel, which only takes a few clicks of the mouse to do seamlessly on a modern digital audio work station. The result after those fixes are applied is a much narrower, nearly mono recording compared to Mike’s typical stereo spread. While pure speculation on my part, the Nakamichi 550 has three microphone inputs, not the usual two: Left, Right and Blend. I have a hunch Mike may have plugged into the blend input which would explain the narrow sound field.

Technical difficulties aside, this is an excellent recording and likely one of the best captures of the Outrider tour, which saw Page joined by Jason Bonham on drums (fresh off the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary Zep reunion), singer John Miles and bassist Durban Laverde. Mike sounds like he is near his sweet spot and the capture is clear and powerful. Samples provided.

The tour setlist is an interesting blend of songs from Outrider, other Page solo work, a few Firm tracks, plus songs from the Led Zeppelin oeuvre: “Over The Hills and Far Away,” “In My Time of Dying,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Custard Pie,” “Train Kept A-Rolln’” and of course “Stairway to Heaven.”

All of the Zep-related songs are played with purpose and having not really heard much from this tour before, I was impressed with Jimmy’s playing. For me, “Over The Hills” stands out with some cool extra riffs in the arrangement. “Custard Pie” is interesting as it was never performed live by Led Zeppelin. Finally, Page made a great decision to perform “Stairway” as an instrumental, letting the song’s magical arrangement and musicality carry the day, while also saving Miles from having to attempt to sing it.

As noted above, Page knew his return to the Forum was special and while the setlist is the standard one for the tour, I’m sure this is one of the best performances he gave in 1988.

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JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R, Barry G and many others to release Millard’s historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself.

We can’t thank Rob enough for reconnecting with Jim and putting his trust in our Millard reissue campaign. He kept Mike’s precious tapes under wraps for two decades, but once Rob learned of our methods and stewardship, he agreed to contribute the Millard DATs and cassettes to the program. Our releases would not be nearly as compelling without Jim’s memories, photos and other background contributions. As many of you have noted, the stories offer an entertaining complement to Mike’s incredible audio documents.

Big ups to Goody for pitch checking as well as helping address some of the phase and other issues on the recording.

As always, we tip our hat to mjk5510 for his on-going support on JEMS work and beyond. We have friends and we have allies: mjk5510 is both.

Finally, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.

BK for JEMS

BOOTLEGS: Led Zeppelin, Long Beach, CA March 11, 1975 (Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS and Dadgad) TTT½

26 Lug

ITALIAN / ENGLISH

BOOTLEGS: Led Zeppelin,Long Beach, CA March 11, 1975 (Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS and Dadgad The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 37) – TTT½

Mike Millard Legacy intro

Di Mike Millard su questo blog ne abbiamo parlato più volte, amante del rock proveniente dalla west coast americana, dal 1973 al 1992 registrò parecchi concerti tenutisi in quell’area. Lo fece con una strumentazione di qualità, per quei tempi davvero notevole, portandola all’interno delle arene in questione usando diversi stratagemmi (a volte anche fingendosi disabile e quindi su una sedia a rotelle). Le sue sono dunque registrazioni audience, cioè prese dal pubblico, ma di una qualità micidiale; non è un un caso che ancora oggi – tra il giro di appassionati – siano considerate tra i documenti migliori per quanto riguarda l’epoca d’oro della musica rock. Sì perché con le registrazione audience si ha l’idea esatta di cosa fosse andare ad un concerto rock, la performance dell’artista catturato nella sua essenza più pura: l’umore e le scosse emotive del pubblico, la musica messa su nastro senza artifici (e dunque senza le modifiche e i trucchetti presenti nei dischi dal vivo ufficiali), i commenti dei fans che a tratti finivano sul nastro. La fortuna ha voluto che i LZ fossero tra i suoi gruppi preferiti e, ad esempio, le sue registrazione di alcuni dei sei concerti tenuti nel 1977 a Los Angeles sono per tutti noi testimonianze preziosissime. Nel 1994 Millard decise di togliersi la vita, decisione che non ci permettiamo di giudicare e quindi tralasciamo di commentare gli abissi di dolore a cui deve essere andato incontro. Per moltissimo tempo le sue cassette rimasero archiviate nella sua stanza a casa di sua madre, le registrazioni che circolavano provenivano infatti da copie che lo stesso Millard aveva fatto per amici e altri collezionisti. Successe poi che sua madre finalmente affidò ad amici intimi di suo figlio le tante cassette (si parla di 280 concerti registrati) in modo che potessero essere trasferite e quindi salvate su DAT. Sotto all’articolo riporto (oltre al testo che accompagna la registrazione di RP di cui tra poco parleremo) tutta la lunga storia in caso qualcuno fosse interessato. Per chiudere questo breve riassunto, quando si pensava che i master originali di Millard fossero andati persi, ecco che vengono ritrovati, rimasterizzati e messi gratuitamente in circolo da generosi collezionisti e amanti del rock come noi. E’ dunque doveroso mandare un pensiero a Mike Millard perché grazie ai suoi nastri il rock si mantiene vivo e noi possiamo ancora illuderci di vivere in prima persona i momenti più esaltanti della musica che amiamo.

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Live Recording reflections

Benché in molti considerino i concerti tenuti dai LZ negli anni che vanno dal 1968 al 1980 delle esperienze cosmiche, degli eventi determinanti per le vite di chi gli ha vissuti (e io non ho nessun dubbio a tal proposito), è ben essere realisti e schietti (e chi frequenta questo blog sa che cerchiamo di esserlo con buona determinazione) e ammettere che dal 1975 in poi i tour del gruppo furono grandiosi dal punto di vista dello spettacolo, del botteghino, del business, ma che non sempre lo furono dal punto di vista musicale. Il chitarrista spento e disconnesso causa uso di sostanze chimiche, il cantante alle prese con grossi problemi alla voce dovuti ad una presunta operazione alle corde vocali (avvenuta forse tra il 1973 e il 1974), a continue bronchiti e influenze e soprattutto ad un uso scriteriato della (incredibile) voce nei primi 5 anni di esistenza del gruppo (se entri a freddo – senza nessun riscaldamento vocale – e parti con Immigrant Song, sera dopo sera, è chiaro che prima o poi paghi dazio). Il tour del 1975 ne è la prova più evidente: il gruppo arriva a Chicago nel gennaio del 1975, Robert Plant si becca l’influenza che per tutta la durata della tournée tormenterà lui e di conseguenza gli spettatori presenti ai concerti. Questo concerto di Long Beach di cui scriviamo oggi non ha grandi estimatori tra i fan storici del gruppo eppure a me a tratti non sembra niente male ma è chiaro che ne parlo perché di questo concerto esiste la registrazione del leggendario Mike Millard, registrazione recentemente rimasterizzata dal Team JEMS in collaborazione con Dadgad (tra l’altro nostro personale amico, che il Dark Lord lo abbia in gloria); sebbene esista da qualche anno anche una eccellente versione soundboard, quello che riescono a dare le Mike Millard recording in termini di pathos non ha confronto, dunque versione questa da preferire.

Il tour del 1975 si apre con due warm-up gig a Rotterdam (11/01) e a Brussels (12/01) per poi prendere il largo nel Nord America dal 18/01 in Minnesota al 27/03 in California e ritornare in Europa in maggio per le cinque date di Earls Court a Londra. Lo show dell’11/03 è la prima di due date che si tengono alla Long Beach Arena, un edificio con una capacità di 15.000 posti per quanto riguarda i concerti.

Long Beach Arena

Long Beach Arena

ANNOUNCER: the house lights are down, now, so you’ll have a good view. The people behind the stage, keep your seats. You have a good seats now. Thank you very much. The American return of Led Zeppelin.”The American return of Led Zeppelin”.

E’ questo che dice l’annunciatore prima che il gruppo si lanci in Rock And Roll. La qualità audio è sin da subito fantastica (come sottolineo sempre, tenendo presente che si tratta di una registrazione audience … presa dal pubblico insomma). Ti sembra di essere al concerto, posizionato nelle prime file. Voce e strumenti sono ben bilanciati e perfettamente distinguibili, i ragazzi della Showco sapevano davvero il fatto loro. La voce di Robert non è disastrosa come mi sembrava di ricordare. Non amo molto Sick Again, un discreto per quanto anonimo brano rock che i LZ hanno comunque spesso suonato dal vivo. Durante l’uso dell’effetto Phaser 90 della MXR, il suo della chitarra copre un po’ troppo gli altri strumenti.

RP: Good evenin’! Good eveeenin’! We must apologize for the, um, the slight delay, but, um, we couldn’t get into the building. And, we haven’t got any tickets. Um, it’s a fact. A sort of well known scalper, well, he, he, you know, I mean, we blew it, you know. And it was blown as well. So tonight we’re gonna tell you what we intend to do. We intend to take six and a half years of changes and give you, and give you just a little taste of the six and a half years. A little bit from here, a pinch of the best. The best rock, if you take my meaning. It starts like this.

Over The Hills And Far Away non è niente male. La qualità audio si conferma altissima. Nel tour del 1975 il suono di chitarra di Page era più pulito del solito, forse persino troppo, un pelo di sustain in più non avrebbe guastato. Buono il lungo assolo di Page, sostenuto come sempre da un inarrestabile Bonham e da un perfetto Jones.

RP: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Ah, feeling really invigorated by the English weather you, you’ve been havin’, you know. It’s, uh, it’s put us back into the healthy, um, you know, sometimes on the road you gets a bit, uh, and then you get the English weather in L.A., that’s too much. So watch out. If you intend to sit still, forget it. We just managed, uh, not only to get a record label together, but to get an album together, Physical Graffiti. And, um, once again it has a large variety of material and, um, thoughts of our consciousness. We gonna play some of it for you. This is the first one. It comes from way way back, older than my boots.

In My Time Of Dying è suonata molto bene, d’altra parte è un brano in accordatura aperta e con questo accorgimento di solito i chitarristi sono facilitati nell’adempiere al loro dovere. La voce di Robert regge, il chilometraggio blues le dà suggestive sfumature. Bonham è di nuovo uno spettacolo, e Jones tiene tutti agganciati al terreno. Che magnifico bassista.

RP Thank you. I see the front row’s filling up very slowly. Who is Atlantic Records? Bloody state. Right, now this is a song that you definitely will have heard before, unless you’ve had your ears shut for two and a half years. It depicts a tale, or rather it, it lends itself to a series of events and, and places and ports of call throughout the world that we stopped at where, fortunately, the foot of Western man hadn’t trodden too often. And it was in these places that everything seemed to be good and wholesome and cheap and clean. And the red lights always shone brightly. In fact, ‘The Song Always Remained the Same.’

The Song Remains The Same / The Rain Song. L’introduzione di TSRTS è uno di quei momenti che ti fa comprendere come il buraccione LZ sia componente fondamentale del successo interplanetario della band. Qualità audio sempre altissima, tanto che una volta di più occorre mandare un pensiero al grande, grandissimo Mike Millard. The Rain Song in alcuni momenti pare disgiunta, forse a causa dei problemi al Mellotron.

RP: Ladies and gentlemen. For the benefit of anybody who was making a bootleg then, the twelve-string was out of tune on ‘Song Remains the Same.’ Sunny California. Hang on, tick. Is that gonna be alright? We gonna, um, we gonna continue with John Paul Jones trying to manipulate a mobile orchestra. John Paul Jones on mellotron, who I might add is looking a little bit harassed with the sounds that are coming out of it. Harassed. Excuse me. This song is, um, it’s a song that we created, or it created itself in amongst a lot of chaos and, um, change. And yet the song is basically quite a very straight forward, straight thinking thing. Lateral thinking, as my friend James puts it. Uh, this is a song about the wasted land, the land that was once green and fertile. ‘Kashmir.’

In Kashmir (altro pezzo in accordatura aperta) la batteria trattata con effetti non crea l’atmosfera giusta secondo me, il Mellotron continua ad avere problemi ma la versione del pezzo è buona. Robert la canta con grinta.

RP: John Paul Jones on mellotron. A complete Pakistani orchestra, all in one pool player. John’s been studying and concentrating a lot on the keyboards. He’s also got into Chuck Randall and, uh. You will excuse us if we have a good time, won’t you? This is another track that features, uh, hang on, John’s in trouble. And, this short break should be really filled up with a bit of schpeel, but, um, I really can’t tell schpeely things. There’s a man in the wings who is very good at doing Lenny Bruce imitations. This is a track about another song about a journey, um, a journey which will never, ever be finished for anybody. It’s called ‘No Quarter.’ 

Ogni volta che parte No Quarter ho i brividi: il suono di tastiera galleggiante, quello tondo, corposo e pieno della batteria di Bonham, l’alone di mistero e di sopranaturale del pezzo, la profondità del cosmo che ci schiaccia verso paure ancestrali … ec lavòr, ragàs (come diciamo qui in Emilia)! L’assolo di piano (con qualche problema di collegamento tra i vari cavi che genera fastidiosi rumori di fondo) di Jones e di chitarra di Page stasera sono poco ispirati e un po’ tediosi, alla batteria Bonham invece è sempre superlativo.

RP: John Paul Jones, grand piano. The taste of naughty equipment. We seem to have a little trouble on the keyboard side of things at the moment. There’s a little bit of buzzin’ and hummin’. But nevertheless, we shall hot things up a little bit. Now, a long time ago, in the South of Ameri, in the South of North America, there was a guy called Robert Johnson who wrote a lot of really good blues things, and this maybe should be a tribute to his art, or capabilities, this next song, ‘cuz anyway, it’s, it’s slightly relative in its, where it comes from. This is a song all about motorcars, but on the other hand. The drumming and the hammering is by courtesy of Acme Quaalude Company, Limited, in the back. This is a guy building a chicken pen. Can you hear it? I mean, over to our roving reporter. Shithead. This is called ‘Trampled Underfoot.’

In Trampled Underfoot Robert fatica, ma con stile ed esperienza rende le sbavature quasi un marchio distintivo. Anche qui John Paul Jones e Jimmy Page hanno problemi di ispirazione ma la carica del brano riesce a celare queste performance opache.

RP: Yes, that’s one for the motor car trade, or the trade or the motorcar. Uh, Jimmy just broke two strings, and John Bonham is just about to have a hernia. Hang on a bit. We’d like to dedicate this next song to, uh, The Chateaux Marmont, and the Continental Hyatt House, and all the places where there’s cockroaches on the floor. And, um, we’re gonna feature now, in fact, the, the grand work and the grand percussion skills of the one and only Mr Dynamo! Mr Cockstarch! John Bonham! ‘Moby Dick!’

Durante il giro di Moby Dick, il gruppo pare a tratti fuori tempo, sarà forse per il suono di batteria completamente cambiato e sicuramente peggiorato. Verso la fine il solito lavoro sui timpani sintetizzati, ma anche qui il sound non sembra funzionare e quindi convincere. Ad ogni modo 21 minuti di follia tambureggiante.

RP: Bonzo Bonham! Let’s hear it for John Bonham, ‘Moby Dick!’ John Bonham. John Henry Bonham. Gardener of the year. Good evening. Nice of you to make it. Ahh. I didn’t see you on the way in. …, hold on, vocal diarrhea. A long time ago, uh, when I was nineteen, and we all got together in a room that cost two dollars fifty for a week. Just in case it didn’t work. To see if it could work. The second thing that we tried made us sure. The first thing that we did was sign a contracts. Second thing that we did, we were really sure that we should be together from now until the ultimate finale of the big bright light. And this is the second thing.

Devo ancora rimarcare l’ottima qualità audio, in cuffia a buon volume l’inizio di Dazed And Confused è una meraviglia. Considerati i problemi alla voce, Robert si dimostra un grande: coraggioso e impavido. Benché il gruppo non fosse al suo massimo, la Dazed And Confused del 1975 rappresenta uno dei picchi dei LZ. Tra i 28 e i 40 minuti di esoterismo musicale, dipinto con i colori della decadente grandeur che il gruppo sfoggiava a quel tempo. Scrivo questo al minuto 5:30, sembra incredibile che nel 1975 avessero questa forza espressiva. L’entrata di Bonham prima del magniloquente arpeggio MI- / DO (su cui stasera Robert canta il testo di Woodstock) è uno di momenti ritmici patrimonio della umanità. Se avessi potuto essere presente ad un concerto – seppur standard – come questo e dunque aver vissuto una Dazed And Confused di tale spessore, ne sarei uscito pronto per imbarcarmi su un vascello diretto a sfidare le maestose insidie di Capo Horn. L’uscita di Bonham dalla sezione dell’arpeggio citato è di nuovo un esempio del suo grandissimo talento. Il lavoro del Dark Lord con l’archetto di violino è efficace e seducente. Quando va sugli alti sembra di soccombere al canto delirante delle sirene di Ulisse. Mi fanno davvero pena i fan dei LZ che non vanno oltre il 1972, perché una Dazed And Confused come questa vale tantissimo. La qualità sonora è semplicemente perfetta, che razza di nastro audience questo! Durante la sfuriata elettrica Page è un portento (sporco, illuminato, ispirato) e Bonhan e Jones sono poderosi. 28 minuti di estasi e tempesta elettrica. Solo i Led Zeppelin!

( assente nella registrazione: RP: On guitar, Jimmy Page. That was a combination of, um, key signatures that just will never occur again. Amidst the, um, rushing and the screaming of cowboys. (Our cowboy in the sand.) Um, now and again there comes, uh, a song that we really, really really dig and we find that we can get right across with no trouble at all. This is for the people beyond the third row. The people in the darkness)

Stairway To Heaven inizia bene, la voce di Robert non ha scricchioli e quando entra Bonham tutto sembra paradossalmente ancora più chiaro. La pedaliera basso si sente benissimo, quelli delli Showco erano davvero i numeri uno al quel tempo per quanto riguarda la amplificazione dei concerti Rock. Buono l’assolo di chitarra, che comprende il 4 giri di bicordi che qui alla Domus Saurea appassionano molto.

RP: Long Beach! Thank you very much for your time and, uh, goodnight.
Well?

Come spesso capitava in quegli anni, di ritorno sul palco per i bis, il gruppo si presentava in condizioni discutibili. Il riff di Whole Lotta Love è suonato da Page con poca dinamica e la band sembra scollata. Peggiora anche il suono degli strumenti., Solo il basso di Jones sembra essere all’altezza. The Crunge è un po’ approssimativa, la sezione Theremin invece funziona a dovere. L’intenzione di Plant in Black Dog è quella giusta, peccato il sound meno definito di chitarra e batteria.

Ladies and gentlemen of Long Beach, goodnight. Sleep well. Half a quaalude with water

Registrazione dunque eccellente di un discreto (a tratti ottimo) concerto dei LZ.

Qui l’audio pubblicato due settimane fa su youtube:

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(macaroni)ENGLISH

Mike Millard Legacy intro

We have talked about Mike Millard on this blog few times, he was a rock music lover from the US west coast and from 1973 to 1992 he recorded several concerts held in that area. He did it with quality equipment, for those times truly remarkable, bringing it inside the arenas in question using different stratagems (sometimes even pretending to be disabled and therefore in a wheelchair). His are therefore audience recordings, that is, taken by the public, but of a deadly quality; it is no coincidence that even today – among the circle of fans – they are considered among the best documents regarding the golden age of rock music. Yes, because with audience recording you have the exact idea of ​​what it was like to go to a rock concert, the artist’s performance captured in its purest essence: the mood and emotional shocks of the audience, the music put on tape without artifice (and therefore without the edits and the tricks present in the official live records), the comments of the fans who sometimes ended up on the tape. Luckily LZ were among his favorite bands and, for example, his recordings of some of the six concerts held in 1977 in Los Angeles are precious testimonies for all of us. In 1994 Millard decided to take his own life, a decision that we do not allow ourselves to judge and therefore we neglect to comment on the abysses of pain that he must have gone through. For a very long time his cassettes remained archived in his room at his mother’s house, the records circulating in fact came from copies that Millard himself had made for friends and other collectors. Then it happened that his mother finally entrusted the many tapes (we are talking about 280 recorded concerts) to close friends of his son so that they could be transferred and then saved on DAT. Under the article I carry over (in addition to the text that accompanies the registration of RP which we will shortly talk about) the whole long story in case anyone is interested. To close this short summary, when it was thought that the original Millard masters had been lost, here they are found, remastered and put into free circulation by generous collectors and rock lovers like us. It is therefore a duty to send a thought to Mike Millard because thanks to his tapes rock remains alive and we can still delude ourselves to experience firsthand the most exciting moments of the music we love.

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Live Recording reflections

Although many consider the concerts held by the LZ in the years from 1968 to 1980 of cosmic experiences, of the decisive events for the lives of those who lived them (and I have no doubt about it), we got to be realistic and frank (and those who frequent this blog know that we are straight shooters ) and admit that from 1975 onwards the group tours were great from the point of view of the show, the box office, the business, but that it was not always the case from the musical point of view. The guitarist turned off and disconnected due to the use of chemical substances, the singer struggling with major voice problems due to an alleged vocal cord operation (perhaps between 1973 and 1974), to continuous bronchitis and influences and above all to a reckless use of the (incredible) voice in the first 5 years of existence of the group (if without any vocal warming you start a show with Immigrant Song, evening after evening, it is clear that sooner or later you pay duty). The 1975 tour is the most evident proof of this: the group arrives in Chicago in January 1975, Robert Plant gets the influence that for the duration of the tour will torment him and consequently the spectators present at the concerts. This Long Beach concert we are writing about today does not have great admirers among the historical fans of the group and yet at times it does not seem that bad but it is clear that I am talking about it because of this concert there is the recording of the legendary Mike Millard, a recording recently remastered by the JEMS team in collaboration with Dadgad (our personal friend, may the Dark Lord bless him); although an excellent soundboard version  exists, what Mike Millard recordings can do in terms of pathos has no comparison, so this version is preferred.

The 1975 tour opens with two gig warm-ups in Rotterdam (11/01) and Brussels (12/01) and then take off in North America from 18/01 in Minnesota to 27/03 in California and return to Europe in may for the five dates of Earls Court in London. The 11/03 show is the first of two dates held at the Long Beach Arena, a building with a capacity of 15,000 seats for concerts.

ANNOUNCER: the house lights are down, now, so you’ll have a good view. The people behind the stage, keep your seats. You have a good seats now. Thank you very much. The American return of Led Zeppelin. “The American return of Led Zeppelin”.

This is what the announcer says before the group launches into Rock And Roll. The audio quality is immediately fantastic (as I always emphasize, bearing in mind that it is an audience recording … taken by the public in short). You seem to be at the concert, positioned in the front rows. Voice and instruments are well balanced and perfectly distinguishable, the Showco guys really knew what they were doing. Robert’s voice is not as disastrous as I seemed to remember. I don’t like Sick Again, a discreet though anonymous rock song that LZ have often played live anyway. While using the MXR’s Phaser 90 effect, the guitar covers a little too much the other instruments.

RP: Good evenin ‘! Good eveeenin ‘! We must apologize for the, um, the slight delay, but, um, we couldn’t get into the building. And, we haven’t got any tickets. Um, it’s a fact. A sort of well known scalper, well, he, he, you know, I mean, we blew it, you know. And it was blown as well. So tonight we’re gonna tell you what we intend to do. We intend to take six and a half years of changes and give you, and give you just a little taste of the six and a half years. A little bit from here, a pinch of the best. The best rock, if you take my meaning. It starts like this.

Over The Hills And Far Away is not bad. The audio quality is confirmed to be very high. On the 1975 tour, Page’s guitar sound was cleaner than usual, perhaps even too much, a hair of more sustain would have helped the general impression. Page’s long solo is good, supported as always by an unstoppable Bonham and a perfect Jones.

RP: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Ah, feeling really invigorated by the English weather you, you’ve been havin ‘, you know. It’s, uh, it’s put us back into the healthy, um, you know, sometimes on the road you get a bit, uh, and then you get the English weather in L.A., that’s too much. I know watch out. If you intend to sit still, forget it. We just managed, uh, not only to get a record label together, but to get an album together, Physical Graffiti. And, um, once again it has a large variety of material and, um, thoughts of our consciousness. We gonna play some of it for you. This is the first one. It comes from way way back, older than my boots.

In My Time Of Dying it played very well, on the other hand it is a piece in open tuning and with this trick guitarists are usually facilitated in fulfilling their duty. Robert’s voice is okay, the blues mileage gives it suggestive nuances. Bonham is again sublime, and Jones keeps everyone hooked to the ground. What a magnificent bass player.

RP Thank you. I see the front row’s filling up very slowly. Who is Atlantic Records? Bloody state. Right, now this is a song that you definitely will have heard before, unless you’ve had your ears shut for two and a half years. It depicts a tale, or rather it, it lends itself to a series of events and, and places and ports of call throughout the world that we stopped at where, fortunately, the foot of Western man hadn’t trodden too often. And it was in these places that everything seemed to be good and wholesome and cheap and clean. And the red lights always shone brightly. In fact, ‘The Song Always Remained the Same.’

The Song Remains The Same / The Rain Song. The introduction of TSRTS is one of those moments that makes you understand how the LZ “buraccione” (sound impact) is a fundamental component of the band’s interplanetary success. Audio quality is always very high, so much so that once more it is necessary to send a thought to the great, great Mike Millard. The Rain Song at times seems disjointed, perhaps due to problems with the Mellotron.

RP: Ladies and gentlemen. For the benefit of anybody who was making a bootleg then, the twelve-string was out of tune on ‘Song Remains the Same.’ Sunny California. Hang on, tick. Is that gonna be alright? We gonna, um, we gonna continue with John Paul Jones trying to manipulate a mobile orchestra. John Paul Jones on mellotron, who I might add is looking a little bit harassed with the sounds that are coming out of it. Harassed. Excuse me. This song is, um, it’s a song that we created, or it created itself in among a lot of chaos and, um, change. And yet the song is basically quite a very straight forward, straight thinking thing. Lateral thinking, as my friend James puts it. Uh, this is a song about the wasted land, the land that was once green and fertile. ‘Kashmir.’

In Kashmir (another piece in open tuning) the drumes are treated with effects  and they does not create the right atmosphere in my opinion, the Mellotron continues to have problems but the version of the piece is nice enough. Robert sings it with determination.

RP: John Paul Jones on mellotron. A complete Pakistani orchestra, all in one pool player. John’s been studying and concentrating a lot on the keyboards. He’s also got into Chuck Randall and, uh. You will excuse us if we have a good time, won’t you? This is another track that features, uh, hang on, John’s in trouble. And, this short break should be really filled up with a bit of schpeel, but, um, I really can’t tell schpeely things. There’s a man in the wings who is very good at doing Lenny Bruce imitations. This is a track about another song about a journey, um, a journey which will never, ever be finished for anybody. It’s called ‘No Quarter.’

Every time No Quarter starts I get chills: the floating keyboard sound, the round, full-bodied Bonham’s drums, the halo of mystery and supernatural of the piece, the depth of the cosmos that crushes us towards ancestral fears .. . ec lavòr, ragàs (as we say here in Emilia, what a great work, boys!)! The piano solo (with some connection problems between the various cables that generate annoying background noises) of Jones and Page’s guita solo tonight are not very inspired and a little tedious, Bonham drums it is always superlative.

RP: John Paul Jones, grand piano. The taste of naughty equipment. We seem to have a little trouble on the keyboard side of things at the moment. There’s a little bit of buzzin ‘and hummin’. But nevertheless, we shall hot things up a little bit. Now, a long time ago, in the South of Ameri, in the South of North America, there was a guy called Robert Johnson who wrote a lot of really good blues things, and this maybe should be a tribute to his art, or capabilities , this next song, ‘cuz anyway, it’s, it’s slightly relative in its, where it comes from. This is a song all about motorcars, but on the other hand. The drumming and the hammering is by courtesy of Acme Quaalude Company, Limited, in the back. This is a guy building a chicken pen. Can you hear it? I mean, over to our roving reporter. Shithead. This is called ‘Trampled Underfoot.’

In Trampled Underfoot Robert struggles, but with style and experience makes the burrs almost a distinctive brand. Here, too, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page have problems of inspiration but the charge of the song manages to conceal these opaque performances.

RP: Yes, that’s one for the motor car trade, or the trade or the motorcar. Uh, Jimmy just broke two strings, and John Bonham is just about to have a hernia. Hang on a bit. We’d like to dedicate this next song to, uh, The Chateaux Marmont, and the Continental Hyatt House, and all the places where there’s cockroaches on the floor. And, um, we’re gonna feature now, in fact, the, the grand work and the grand percussion skills of the one and only Mr Dynamo! Mr Cockstarch! John Bonham! ‘Moby Dick!’

During the Moby Dick riff section, the group seems maybe out of time, perhaps due to the completely changed and certainly worsened drums sound. Towards the end we have the usual work on the synthesized timpani, but even here the sound does not seem to work and therefore convinces. Anyway 21 minutes of drumming madness.

RP: Bonzo Bonham! Let’s hear it for John Bonham, ‘Moby Dick!’ John Bonham. John Henry Bonham. Gardener of the year. Good evening. Nice of you to make it. Ahh. I didn’t see you on the way in. …, hold on, vocal diarrhea. A long time ago, uh, when I was nineteen, and we all got together in a room that cost two dollars fifty for a week. Just in case it didn’t work. To see if it could work. The second thing that we tried made us sure. The first thing that we did was sign a contracts. Second thing that we did, we were really sure that we should be together from now until the ultimate finale of the big bright light. And this is the second thing.

Still I have to point out the excellent audio quality, in headphones at good volume the beginning of Dazed And Confused is a marvel. Considering the problems with the voice, Robert proves to be great: brave and fearless. Although the group was not at its best, the 1975 Dazed And Confused represents one of the peaks of LZ. Between 28 and 40 minutes of musical esotericism, painted in the colors of the decadent grandeur that the group sported at that time. I write this at 5:30, it seems incredible that in 1975 they had this expressive force. Bonham’s entry before the magniloquent E- / C arpeggio (on which Robert sings Woodstock’s text tonight) is one of humanity’s rhythmic moments. If I could have been present at a concert – albeit standard – like this and therefore had lived a Dazed And Confused of such thickness, I would have come out ready to embark on a vessel directed to challenge the majestic pitfalls of Cape Horn. Bonham’s exit from the aforementioned arpeggio section is again an example of his tremendous talent. The Dark Lord’s work with the violin bow is effective and seductive. When he goes on high tones we seems to succumb to the delusional song of the sirens of Ulysses. I really pity LZ fans who don’t go beyond 1972, because a Dazed And Confused like this is worth a lot. The sound quality is simply perfect, what kind of audience tape this is! During the electric outburst Page is a portent (dirty, illuminated, inspired) and Bonhan and Jones are powerful. 28 minutes of ecstasy and electric storm. Only Led Zeppelin!

(absent in this recording: RP: On guitar, Jimmy Page. That was a combination of, um, key signatures that just will never occur again. Amidst the, um, rushing and the screaming of cowboys. (Our cowboy in the sand.) Um, now and again there comes, uh, a song that we really, really really dig and we find that we can get right across with no trouble at all. This is for the people beyond the third row. The people in the darkness)

Stairway To Heaven starts well, Robert’s voice has no creaks and when Bonham enters everything seems paradoxically even clearer. Jones’ bass pedal is so clear, Showco was really the number one at that time as regards the amplification of the Rock concerts. The guitar solo is focused enough and it includes the 4 bichords lickes that here at Domus Saurea we are very passionate about.

RP: Long Beach! Thank you very much for your time and, uh, goodnight.
Well?

As often happened in those years, returning on stage for encores, the group presented itself in questionable conditions. The Whole Lotta Love riff is played by Page with little dynamics and the band seems to be unglued. The sound of the instruments also worsens. Only Jones’ bass seems to be up to par. The Crunge is a bit rough, the Theremin section works properly. The attitude of Plant in Black Dog is the right one, too bad the less defined sound of guitar and drums make things worse.

Ladies and gentlemen of Long Beach, goodnight. Sleep well. Half a quaalude with water

Therefore excellent recording of a discreet (sometimes excellent) concert by LZ.

Here the audio published two weeks ago on youtube:

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[Youtube = http: //www.youtube.com/watch? V = flGMqcj9Nv4 & t = 428s]

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Note che accompagnano la registrazione / Notes accompanying the recording:

Led Zeppelin
Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA, March 11, 1975
Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS and Dadgad
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 37

Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder

Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Yamaha KX-W592 Cassette Deck (Dolby off) > Sony R-500 DAT > Analog Master DAT Clone > Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 > Sound Forge Audio Studio 13.0 capture > Adobe Audition 3.0 > iZotope RX and Ozone > Peak Pro 6 > FLAC

01 Rock And Roll
02 Sick Again
03 Over The Hills And Far Away
04 In My Time Of Dying
05 The Song Remains The Same
06 The Rain Song
07 Kashmir
08 No Quarter
09 Trampled Underfoot
10 Moby Dick
11 Dazed And Confused
12 Stairway To Heaven
13 Whole Lotta Love / The Crunge
14 Black Dog

Known Faults: None

Introduction to the Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Series

Welcome to JEMS’ Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone series presenting recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77. For the complete details on how tapes in this series came to be lost and found again, as well as JEMS’ long history with Mike Millard, please refer to the notes in Vol. One: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=500680.

Until 2020, the Lost and Found series presented fresh transfers of previously unavailable first-generation copies made by Mike himself for friends like Stan Gutoski of JEMS, Jim R, Bill C. and Barry G. These sources were upgrades to circulating copies and in most instances marked the only time verified first generation Millard sources had been directly digitized in the torrent era.

That all changed with the discovery of many of Mike Millard’s original master tapes.

Yes, you read that correctly, Mike Millard’s master cassettes, long rumored to be destroyed or lost, have been found. Not all of them but many, and with them a much more complete picture has emerged of what Millard recorded between his first show in late 1973 and his last in early 1992.

The reason the rediscovery of his master tapes is such a revelation is that we’ve been told for decades they were gone. Internet myths suggest Millard destroyed his master tapes before taking his own life, an imprudent detail likely concocted based on the assumption that because his master tapes never surfaced and Mike’s mental state was troubled he would do something rash WITH HIS LIFE’S WORK. There’s also a version of the story where Mike’s family dumps the tapes after he dies. Why would they do that?

The truth is Mike’s masters remained in his bedroom for many years after his death in 1994. We know at least a few of Millard’s friends and acquaintances contacted his mother Lia inquiring about the tapes at the time to no avail. But in the early 2000s, longtime Millard friend Rob S was the one she knew and trusted enough to preserve Mike’s work.

The full back story on how Mike’s master tapes were saved can be found in the notes for Vol. 18 Pink Floyd, which was the first release in our series transferred from Millard’s original master tapes:

http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=667745&hit=1
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=667750&hit=1

Led Zeppelin, Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA, March 11, 1975

The time has come.

We now know Mike Millard captured hundreds of great concerts, but without question Mike The Mike’s most famous works are his recordings of Led Zeppelin. Mike recorded his favorite band a total of ten times, five shows in 1975 and another five in 1977.

His now legendary rig, AKG 451 microphones and Nakamichi 550 cassette deck, was purchased in early 1975 for the express purpose of recording the upcoming Zeppelin shows at the Long Beach Arena and The Forum. Mike wanted to upgrade his gear to get the best possible results. Did he ever.

He tested out his new rig at a March 5, 1975 show by Rod Stewart and Faces at the Forum, six days prior to Zeppelin’s first SoCal date in Long Beach. The new equipment passed with flying colors: The Faces tape (Vol. 13 in our series) is outstanding. Mike was ready for “the American return of Led Zeppelin” as the stage announcer says just before the band takes the stage.

Since our Millard series resumed we’ve seen a few message board posts asking why we were waiting to do Mike’s Zeppelin tapes. The answer is we wanted to do them right, which isn’t as simple as it sounds as I will attempt to explain.

All of Mike’s Zeppelin masters in our possession come from the first batch of tapes Rob S borrowed from Mike’s mother and transferred to DAT. It’s no surprise Rob started with Mike’s best-known recordings, but that means our source is a 1644 DAT, not the master cassettes themselves.

The good news is Rob made excellent transfers from cassette to DAT, and while it would have been ideal to do azimuth correction on playback (as we do with all of Mike’s master cassettes), tape alignment doesn’t appear to be a material issue.

Mike’s Led Zeppelin recordings have been widely circulated for decades and exist in bootleg and download form in myriad versions, largely owning to the many remasters in circulation.

The provenance of extant Millard Zeppelin recordings can be cloudy. Around 2010, JEMS transferred a verified, unmarked set of first generation cassettes made by Mike himself. These tapes were transferred Dolby On, though Millard almost certainly played back his masters Dolby Off, which was his standard practice when making copies: master off, copy on.

Where other sources originate is murkier, though we know some trace back to a set of VHS Hi-Fi tapes Mike made from his masters for a collector who sent him a VHS recorder to do the transfers. These VHS tapes were then converted to DAT and often circulate as first-gen sources.

Anyone who has compared JEMS’ flat, Dolby-on transfers with the various remasters from other sources know they sound quite different. Many of us have grown accustomed to the remasters’ sound, which have often gone through a fair amount of processing to boost or drop frequencies, tame hiss, compress, expand, etc. That’s not a criticism of them, simply stating a fact. In fact, some of them are uncanny in terms of the fidelity they derived from the circulating sources.

Given that, the question I pondered about the transfers of Mike’s LZ cassette masters to DAT Rob made in the early 2000s is how would they compare to the remasters? Would they disappoint because the sound we are all used to is somewhat removed from the original sound? Or would that one true generation closer make a difference?

I did a few comparisons between Rob’s DATs and circulating versions, and struggled to land on a clear POV. Because we had a lot of other Millard tapes to work through, I figured the Zep masters could wait.

But a couple of months ago I decided to reach out to Dadgad, as I admired the work he had done on some key Zeppelin soundboards and the JEMS transfer of 6/27/77. Of the folks who had done a substantial number of Zep remasters, I liked what he and Winston did best. That’s my subjective opinion and it is a subject for which many collectors seem to have strong opinions.

There was also a decision to be made about what order to release the Zeppelin shows given the hodgepodge approach we have taken with Millard’s work so far. Chronological felt like the obvious and correct answer. With that decided, I sent Dadgad a sample of the Millard 3/11/75 Long Beach recording and what he sent back convinced me we had found the right path for this tape.

After some back and forth we settled on a version that polishes and sharpens Mike’s master tape while still keeping the music sounding natural. Dadgad found the power in the recording and the performance has never sounded fresher to my ears. Of course, we’re fortunate to have a soundboard recording of this particular show, and a good one at that, but it doesn’t diminish the appeal of Mike’s master which captures the performance and the atmosphere in excellent quality. Samples provided.

The performance itself surely needs no endorsement. As Jim says below, the SoCal run is one of the peaks of the ’75 tour. While I personally lose a little interest in the “Moby Dick” and “Dazed and Confused” portions of these shows, the first half of the set, “Rock and Roll” through “Trampled Underfoot” is pretty fucking great. Listening anew, I found appreciation for Robert Plant’s friendly, casual manner. He may have looked like a rock god fronting the biggest band in the land, but he addressed the audience in a charmingly informal manner.

Here’s what Jim R recalled about the first Led Zeppelin ’75 Long Beach show:

I attended the Led Zeppelin concert with Mike Millard on March 11th, 1975. It was at the Long Beach Arena.

This was the beginning of the wheelchair era, which itself had two phases. Initially, a friend of ours named Mike L (who was partially paralyzed) offered to bring in Mike’s equipment using his personal wheelchair. Mike L got the gear in for this show but was extremely late the following night (3/12) which explains why Mike only got a partial recording of the second Long Beach show. More on that when we post the 3/12 recording. By the time Zep was back in LA for the start of the Forum run on March 24, Millard had gotten his own chair and I pushed him in. “If you want a job done right, you do it yourself.”

We sat in Riser Section 20, Row B. One row up off the floor and even with about the 10th row of the floor. Definitely a PA recording.

During the show, you can hear Plant comment, “I see the front row is filling up slowly… bloody Atlantic Records.” It was opening night in the LA area, and because this was a highly anticipated show, the music industry had numerous ticket holds. Limited inventory due to those holds likely explains why Mike and I sat in the Risers. We had much better seats for the other nights; 5th row on the floor was our “worst” seat.

On March 10, the night before Long Beach, Mike and I actually drove down to San Diego and timed that show for tape flips to make sure we didn’t miss a note in Long Beach. Which begs the question, why didn’t we record the first San Diego show? The answer is the San Diego show was general admission in a venue that was already acoustically challenged. Mike only wanted to record from his preferred locations, which is why we went to such lengths to get the seats he desired for Long Beach and Inglewood. Hard as it is to believe now, if Millard couldn’t record from the location he wanted, he would stand down, preferring no tape at all to a recording not up to his high standards.

Speaking of questions, we have seen a few message board posts inquiring if Mike ever met any rock stars. The answer is yes. Here’s one of those stories.

Between the Long Beach and Forum shows there was a 12-day gap where the band performed in Seattle, Vancouver and a second San Diego concert (bizarrely there was no Bay Area stop on the ’75 tour). LA was their hub for all the West Coast dates. Knowing this, we checked the tour schedule, and on an off night took a drive to the Continental Riot House in Hollywood (Riot instead of Hyatt, as Plant had renamed it). As luck would have it, three of the four members of the group were in the lobby: Plant, Bonham and Jones. Page was presumably up in his room.

I brought along printed photos from the Long Beach 3/12 show where I shot from the 3rd row. Mike and I got autographs from all three guys, who were cordial and liked the pictures. Bonham was especially boisterous and fun. We then followed them to the Rainbow Room where we watched them eat hamburgers.

Led Zeppelin was still near their peak for these ’75 shows. An electric buzz in the building. Awesome shows every night. Mike and I attended all seven Long Beach, LA Forum and San Diego performances. We couldn’t get enough Zep. But it still bugged Mike for years that he didn’t record the full 3/12 show.

I hope you enjoy the March 11 recording. I’ve included some pictures from the show. Keep in mind my pictures from the other performances turned out much better since we had much closer seats.

Cheers to Mike.

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JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R and Barry G to release Millard’s historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself.

We can’t thank Rob enough for reconnecting with Jim and putting his trust in our Millard reissue campaign. He kept these precious tapes under wraps for two decades, but once Rob learned of our methods and stewardship, he agreed to contribute the Millard DATs and cassettes to the program. Our releases would not be nearly as compelling without Jim’s memories and photos. As many of you have noted, the stories offer  a wonderful complement to Mike’s incredible audio documents.

As always, post-production support comes from the skilled hand of mjk5510, our partner and friend.

Finally, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.

BK for JEMS

Rolling Stones “Scarlet” – 1974 outtake featuring Jimmy Page

23 Lug

ITALIAN / ENGLISH

Si parla di questo pezzo da così tanti anni che mi sembra quasi incredibile poterlo ascoltare oggi. All’epoca si scriveva fosse un reggae scritto nel 1973 da Keith e Jimmy e dedicato alla figlia di quest’ultimo. Oggi non mi sembra plausibile, per di più sulle scatole dei nastri originali vi è riportata la data 5-10-74, dunque non è una outtake di Goats Head Soup, l’album del 1973 dei Rolling, benché sia contenuta nella nuova versione del disco in uscita il 4 settembre. Oggi il canale del gruppo su Youtube l’ ha messa in circolazione, ed è un piacere davvero poterla ascoltare.

RS 1974

A Keith Richards par di ricordare che “noi arrivammo allo studio per iniziare delle sessions mentre i Led Zeppelin finivano le loro (senza dubbio quelle di Physical Graffiti ndTim) e mi sembra Jimmy decise di rimanere. Non avevamo intenzione di registrala come canzone vera e propria, ma solo come demo, come dimostrazione del feel che potevano esprimere, ma devo dire che alla fine venne fuori bene, con una formazione come quella poi meglio usarla”.

KR 1974

Al primo ascolto mi è sembrata un po’ sconclusionata e confusa, al quarto invece mi è parsa magnifica. Una outtake certo, non rifinita, slabbrata, ma vivida e pieno di ardore. Keith che parte con un riff reggae rock, arricchito dal lavoro di Page, poi Jimmy enfatizza un accordone sostenuto e sospeso e quindi si passa al bel ritornello melodico con Jagger jaggering away. Segue un mini intervento alla solista di Jimmy e di nuovo il riff, accordone, ponte e ancora il bel ritornello con sotto il lavoro di Jimmy tra ritmica e solista. Finale tipico dei Rolling di quel periodo, con la lead guitar di Page che si infila sinuosa.

JPP 1974

Scambio qualche impressione col nostro Polbi:

Polbi: “Ho sempre voluto sentire i miei due chitarristi preferiti insieme, sarà un po’ grezza ma mi piace molto. Page con la sua maestosità cosmica riesce a trasformarsi in un perfetto lead guitarist per gli Stones. Dio benedica il Rock e tutto quello che si porta appresso.

Tim: “Se non ci fosse il Rock non so dove saremmo. Gli Stones 1971/75 sono i miei preferiti, l’arrivo di Wood è stata una disgrazia, avrebbero dovuto prendere Page :-), si sarebbe trasformato in un chitarrista perfetto per loro come dici tu, senza la cazzonaggine priva di talento di Wood e il distacco di Taylor”

Polbi: “Esattamente. Ora voglio sentire tutto il catalogo degli Stones 1966/75 con Page :-)’Il distacco di Taylor’, per quanto lo ami è una considerazione perfetta. Specialmente dal vivo suonava spesso per i cazzi suoi.”

Insomma, bel pezzo rock suonato insieme a Page e a Ric Grech dei Traffic / Blind Faith. Oltre alle tre outtake ormai molto reclamizzate, la deluxe edition conterrà anche il mitologico album dal vivo Brussels Affair del 1973, uno dei live album più entusiasmanti della musica Rock sebbene incredibilmente mai pubblicato dal gruppo negli anni d’oro.

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ENGLISH

We have been talking about this song for so many years that it seems almost incredible to be able to listen to it today. At the time it was written that it was a reggae composed in 1973 by Keith and Jimmy and dedicated to the latter’s daughter. Today it does not seem plausible to me, moreover on the boxes of the original tapes there is the date 5-10-74, therefore it is not an outtake of Goats Head Soup, the RS 1973 album, although it is contained in the new version of the record out on September 4th. Today the group on Youtube channel has put it into circulation, and it is a real pleasure.

RS 1974

Keith Richards says, “My recollection is we walked in at the end of a Zeppelin session. They were just leaving, and we were booked in next and I believe that Jimmy decided to stay. We weren’t actually cutting it as a track, it was basically for a demo, a demonstration, you know, just to get the feel of it, but it came out well, with a lineup like that, you know, we better use it.”

KR 1974

At first listen it seemed a bit rambunctious and confused, at the fourth it seemed magnificent to me. Yes, sure, just an outtake, unfinished, tattered, but vivid and full of ardor. Keith starts it with a reggae rock riff, enriched by the work of Page, then Jimmy emphasizes a sustained and suspended chord, the bridge and then everything moves on to the beautiful melodic refrain with Jagger jaggering away. A lead guitar mini-intervention follows and then again the riff, the chord, the bridge and the beautiful refrain with Jimmy’s work being a mix between the rhythmic and the soloist. Typical ending a la Rolling Stones of that era, with Page’s lead guitar twisting sinuously.

JPP 1974

I exchange some impressions with our Polbi:

Polbi: “I’ve always wanted to hear my two favorite guitarists together, it will be a little rough but I like it a lot. Page with his cosmic majesty he can transform himself into a perfect lead guitarist for the Stones. God bless Rock and all that it carries with it. “

Tim: “If there wasn’t Rock I don’t know where we would be. The 1971/75 Stones are my favorites, Wood’s arrival was a disgrace, they would have had to take Page :-), he would have turned into a perfect guitarist for them, like you say, without Wood’s untalented nonsense and Taylor’s detachment “

Polbi: “Exactly. Now I want to hear the whole Stones 1966/75 catalog with Page :-) ‘The detachment of Taylor’, as much as I love him it is a perfect consideration. Especially live he often played for himself.”

In short, nice rock song played together with Page and Ric Grech of Traffic / Blind Faith. In addition to the three very popular outtakes, the deluxe edition will also contain the mythological live album Brussels Affair from 1973, one of the most exciting live albums of Rock music although incredibly never released by the group in the golden years.

 

BOOTLEG: Robert Plant, San Diego, CA 9 August 1990 (Mike Millard Master Cassettes via JEMS The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 35 1644 Edition) – TTTTT

27 Giu

ITALIAN / ENGLISH

Di Mike Millard su questo blog ne abbiamo parlato più volte, amante del rock proveniente dalla west coast americana, dal 1973 al 1992 registrò parecchi concerti tenutisi in quell’area. Lo fece con una strumentazione di qualità, per quei tempi davvero notevole, portandola all’interno delle arene in questione usando diversi stratagemmi (a volte anche fingendosi disabile e quindi su una sedia a rotelle). Le sue sono dunque registrazioni audience, cioè prese dal pubblico, ma di una qualità micidiale; non è un un caso che ancora oggi – tra il giro di appassionati – siano considerate tra i documenti migliori per quanto riguarda l’epoca d’oro della musica rock. Sì perché con le registrazione audience si ha l’idea esatta di cosa fosse andare ad un concerto rock, la performance dell’artista catturato nella sua essenza più pura: l’umore e le scosse emotive del pubblico, la musica messa su nastro senza artifici (e dunque senza le modifiche e i trucchetti presenti nei dischi dal vivo ufficiali), i commenti dei fans che a tratti finivano sul nastro. La fortuna ha voluto che i LZ fossero tra i suoi gruppi preferiti e, ad esempio, le sue registrazione di alcuni dei sei concerti tenuti nel 1977 a Los Angeles sono per tutti noi testimonianze preziosissime. Nel 1994 Millard decise di togliersi la vita, decisione che non ci permettiamo di giudicare e quindi tralasciamo di commentare gli abissi di dolore a cui deve essere andato incontro. Per moltissimo tempo le sue cassette rimasero archiviate nella sua stanza a casa di sua madre, le registrazioni che circolavano provenivano infatti da copie che lo stesso Millard aveva fatto per amici e altri collezionisti. Successe poi che sua madre finalmente affidò ad amici intimi di suo figlio le tante cassette (si parla di 280 concerti registrati) in modo che potessero essere trasferite e quindi salvate su DAT. Sotto all’articolo riporto (oltre al testo che accompagna la registrazione di RP di cui tra poco parleremo) tutta la lunga storia in caso qualcuno fosse interessato. Per chiudere questo breve riassunto, quando si pensava che i master originali di Millard fossero andati persi, ecco che vengono ritrovati, rimasterizzati e messi gratuitamente in circolo da generosi collezionisti e amanti del rock come noi. E’ dunque doveroso mandare un pensiero a Mike Millard perché grazie ai suoi nastri il rock si mantiene vivo e noi possiamo ancora illuderci di vivere in prima persona i momenti più esaltanti della musica che amiamo.

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Dopo la fine dei LZ, RP decide di dar vita ad una carriera solista. Il primo e il secondo album diventano dischi di platino in USA (un milione o più di copie vendute). Lo stesso accade per l’EP degli Honeydrippers nel 1984 (album dedicato al rock and roll degli albori). Il terzo album (1985) non va al di là del disco d’oro (500.000 copie vendute, anche se pare raggiunga le 750.000) poi arriva, nel 1987, Now And Zen. Completato con il terzo album il tragitto che porta al distanziamento assoluto dai LZ, Robert torna con una nuova formazione e un nuovo approccio. Al di là dei discutibili suoni anni ottanta, l’album non è male, contiene alcune belle canzoni e riporta Robert al grande successo (3.000.000 di copie vendite solo in America). Manic Nirvana viene pubblicato nel 1990, buon disco di rock moderno, sarà l’ultimo lavoro di RP a diventare disco di platino (se escludiamo i dischi fatti in collaborazione con Page e con Alison Krauss). Ebbi modo di vedere una data (Firenze) del tour che seguì, è quindi un piacere avere a disposizione una registrazione di Mike Millard tratta dal tour di Manic Nirvana.

La potente e suggestiva Watching You (da Manic Nirvana 1990) apre lo show, la qualità audio – considerando che stiamo parlando di una registrazione audience – è spettacolare. La voce di Plant è chiara, sicura e piena di chilometraggio blues. Tramite vocalizzi che provengono da Friends (da Led Zeppelin III 1970) arriva Nobody’s Fault But Mine  (da Presence dei LZ 1976) e con essa torna in vita il possente approccio del gruppo che fu. Robert canta benissimo, il gruppo non ha abbastanza blues in corpo per poter competere con la versione originale, ma la rilettura modernista si fa ascoltare comunque. L’assolo di chitarra di Doug Boyle non è niente male davvero.

Robert al quel tempo era fissato con lo psychobilly e Billy’s Revenge (da Now And Zen 1988) ne è una testimonianza, personalmente non ho mai amato il genere e quel tipo di pezzi ma stavolta finisco per ascoltarlo con piacere, sarà l’ottima qualità audio … in cuffia a buon volume questo concerto è uno sballo. Tie Dye On The Highway (da Manic Nirvana 1990) è condotta dalla feroce chitarra di Doug Boyle. Stupisce un po’ Robert, all’epoca cantava in maniera sublime, non lo ricordavo così in forma. Bello il momento con la chitarra “blues” di Boyle e l’armonica di RP. Il pubblico è caldissimo.

La bella In The Mood (da The Priciple Of Moments 1983) riporta la melodia al centro dell’attenzione, e anche qui ottimo assolo di Doug Boyle. Chris Blackwell alla batteria e Charlie Jones al basso fanno un gran lavoro. Robert stuzzica il pubblico accennando That’s The Way (da Led Zeppelin III 1970). Arriva quindi il tempo di battere i sentieri che gli altri non prendono: No Quarter (da House Of The Holy 1973 dei LZ). Non appena Phil Johnstone introduce al piano i primi ricami il pubblico “va giù di melone” come diciamo qui in Emilia. Per quanto la versione sia più che degna e fresca, non si può non notare una certa rigidità ritmica, d’altra parte Bonham e (John Paul) Jones erano di altri universi. Liar’s Dance (da Manic Nirvana 1990) è il quadretto in accordatura aperta (dove tra l’altro RP accenna Gallows Pole da LZ III 1970 e Stairway To Heaven da LZ IV 1971) a cui segue Going To California (da Led Zeppelin IV 1971). Pubblico in visibilio.

Little By Little (da Shaken ‘n’ Stirred 1985) proviene da un album difficile e non proprio riuscito ma è un pezzo che ho sempre amato molto. Bel groove e sviluppo di rilievo. Nirvana (da Manic Nirvana 1990) è un brano che non gradisco e continuo a trovare insipido.

Immigrant Song (da LZ III 1970) rimette in carreggiata il concerto, versione convincente suonata nella tonalità originale (FA#), ben centrato l’assolo modernista di Boyle. Hurting Kind (da Manic Nirvana 1990), singolo designato del disco allora appena uscito, inizia con una lunga introduzione per poi partire con il dovuto ritmo scatenato. Nel mezzo della canzone Robert stuzzica i presenti con gli “oh my jesus” presi da In My Time Of Dying (da Physical Graffiti dei LZ 1975) Ancora da sottolineare la qualità sonora, registrazioni audience di questo calibro sono una meraviglia.

Robert saluta e quando torna per il bis, prima del rush finale, è il delizioso momento di Ship Of Fools (da Now And Zen 1988). Non appena Robert inizia a cantare il pubblico gli dimostra un grande, grande, grande affetto. Wearing And Tearing (da Coda 1982 dei LZ) e una delle outtakes del 1978 tratta dalle sessions di In Through The Out Door del 1979 dei LZ. Rock serratissimo e indiavolato. Il gruppo se ne va e quando rientra se ne parte con Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman) (da LZ II 1969). Interpretazione coinvolgente, grande assolo aggiuntivo di Doug Boyle. Si chiude con Tall Cool One (da Now And Zen 1988), una sorta di Train Kept A-Rollin’ modello anni ottanta. I campionamenti presenti nel pezzi riportano prepotentemente in pista i Led Zeppelin. Verso la fine Robert e il gruppo citano (al di là dei sampler) The Ocean/Black Dog/Custard Pie ei LZ.

Registrazione dunque stupenda, certo non avrà la qualità di un disco dal vivo ufficiale ben registrato col multitraccia, ma il suono del rock che ti ribolle nella pancia è catturato in modo perfetto. Gran bootleg dunque, gran concerto, grande prova di Robert e dei ragazzi … allora era ancora il golden god e dava la paga ai gruppi tipo Whitesnake in quegli anni ormai annegati nel metal radiofonico americano.

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(broken)ENGLISH

We have talked about Mike Millard on this blog few times, he was a rock music lover from the US west coast and from 1973 to 1992 he recorded several concerts held in that area. He did it with quality equipment, for those times truly remarkable, bringing it inside the arenas in question using different stratagems (sometimes even pretending to be disabled and therefore in a wheelchair). His are therefore audience recordings, that is, taken by the public, but of a deadly quality; it is no coincidence that even today – among the circle of fans – they are considered among the best documents regarding the golden age of rock music. Yes, because with audience recording you have the exact idea of ​​what it was like to go to a rock concert, the artist’s performance captured in its purest essence: the mood and emotional shocks of the audience, the music put on tape without artifice (and therefore without the edits and the tricks present in the official live records), the comments of the fans who sometimes ended up on the tape. Luckily LZ were among his favorite bands and, for example, his recordings of some of the six concerts held in 1977 in Los Angeles are precious testimonies for all of us. In 1994 Millard decided to take his own life, a decision that we do not allow ourselves to judge and therefore we neglect to comment on the abysses of pain that he must have gone through. For a very long time his cassettes remained archived in his room at his mother’s house, the records circulating in fact came from copies that Millard himself had made for friends and other collectors. Then it happened that his mother finally entrusted the many tapes (we are talking about 280 recorded concerts) to close friends of his son so that they could be transferred and then saved on DAT. Under the article I carry over (in addition to the text that accompanies the registration of RP which we will shortly talk about) the whole long story in case anyone is interested. To close this short summary, when it was thought that the original Millard masters had been lost, here they are found, remastered and put into free circulation by generous collectors and rock lovers like us. It is therefore a duty to send a thought to Mike Millard because thanks to his tapes rock remains alive and we can still delude ourselves to experience firsthand the most exciting moments of the music we love.

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After the end of LZ, RP decides to start a solo career. The first and second albums become platinum in the USA (one million or more copies sold). The same happens for the Honeydrippers EP in 1984 (album dedicated to the early rock and roll). The third album (1985) does not go beyond the golden disc (500,000 copies sold, although it seems it reached 750,000) then arrives, in 1987, Now And Zen. Completed with the third album the journey that leads to absolute distancing from the LZ, Robert returns with a new line-up and a new approach. Beyond the questionable eighties sounds, the album is not bad, it contains some beautiful songs and brings Robert back to great success (3,000,000 copies sold only in America). Manic Nirvana is released in 1990, it is a good modern rock record, it will be the last RP work to become platinum (if we exclude records made in collaboration with Page and with Alison Krauss). I was able to see a date (Florence) of the tour that followed, so it is a pleasure to have a recording of Mike Millard available from the Manic Nirvana tour.

The powerful and suggestive Watching You (from Manic Nirvana 1990) opens the show, the audio quality – considering that we are talking about an audience recording – is spectacular. Plant’s voice is clear, confident and full of blues mileage. Through vocalizations that come from Friends (from Led Zeppelin III 1970) comes Nobody’s Fault But Mine (from Presence of LZ 1976) and with it the mighty approach of the group that came back to life. Robert sings very well, the new group does not have enough blues in the body to compete with the original version, but the modernist reinterpretation is good anyway. Doug Boyle’s guitar solo isn’t bad at all.

Robert at the time was set with psychobilly and Billy’s Revenge (from Now And Zen 1988) is a testimony to this, personally I have never loved the genre and that type of pieces but this time I end up listening to it with pleasure, it may be the excellent audio quality … in headphones at high volume this concert is a blast. Tie Dye On The Highway (from Manic Nirvana 1990) is conducted by Doug Boyle’s ferocious guitar. Robert at the time sang in a sublime way, I didn’t remember him so fit. Nice moment with Boyle’s “blues” guitar and RP harmonica. The audience is hot.

The beautiful In The Mood (from The Priciple Of Moments 1983) brings the melody back to the center of attention, and here too I must underline Doug Boyle’s excellent solo. Chris Blackwell on drums and Charlie Jones on bass do a great job. Robert teases the audience by mentioning That’s The Way (from Led Zeppelin III 1970). So the time comes to choose the path where no-one goes: No Quarter (from LZ’s House Of The Holy 1973). As soon as Phil Johnstone introduces the first embroideries to the piano, the audience “goes down of melon” as we say here in Emilia, meaning going crazy/out of their heads. Although the version is more than worthy and fresh, one cannot fail to notice a certain rhythmic rigidity, on the other hand Bonham and (John Paul) Jones were from other universes. Liar’s Dance (from Manic Nirvana 1990) is the lovely little picture in open tuning (where, among other things, RP mentions Gallows Pole from LZ III 1970 and Stairway To Heaven from LZ IV 1971) and it is followed by Going To California (from Led Zeppelin IV 1971) . The Audience is in raptures.

Little By Little (from Shaken ‘n’ Stirred 1985) comes from a difficult and not quite successful album but it is a piece that I have always loved very much. Nice groove and nice musical development. Nirvana (from Manic Nirvana 1990) is a song that I don’t like and I continue to find bland.

Immigrant Song (from LZ III 1970) puts the concert back on track, a convincing version played in the original key (F# / ), well centered on Boyle’s modernist solo. Hurting Kind (from Manic Nirvana 1990), the single designated of the disc then just released, begins with a long vocals introduction and then starts with the due unleashed rhythm. In the middle of the song Robert teases those present with the “oh my jesus” taken from In My Time Of Dying (from Physical Graffiti of LZ 1975). I have to repeat myself: audience recordings of this caliber are a marvel.

Robert says goodbye and when he returns for the encore, before the final rush, it’s time for the delicious moment of Ship Of Fools (from Now And Zen 1988). As soon as Robert starts singing the audience shows him a great, great, great affection. Wearing And Tearing (from Coda 1982 by LZ) is one of the outtakes of 1978 taken from the sessions of In Through The Out Door by LZ 1979 . Tight and frenzied rock music. The group leaves and when it comes back it dive into Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman) (from LZ II 1969). Engaging  interpretation, great additional solo by Doug Boyle. The show closes with Tall Cool One (from Now And Zen 1988), a sort of Train Kept A-Rollin ‘eighties model. The samples in the pieces forcefully bring Led Zeppelins back on track. Towards the end Robert and the group quote (beyond the samplers) The Ocean / Black Dog / Custard Pie.

So, it’s a wonderful recording, it certainly won’t have the quality of an official live album well recorded with multitrack, but the sound of the rock that boils in your belly is captured here perfectly. Great bootleg therefore, great concert, great performance of Robert and the boys … then he was still the golden god and he could won easily on groups like Whitesnake that in those years were drowning in American radio mainstream and blatant metal.

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Robert Plant, Sports Arena, San Diego, CA. August 9, 1990
Mike Millard Master Cassettes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 35, 1644 Edition

Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder

Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Nakamichi RX-505 (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX6 > iZotope Ozone 6 > MBIT+ resample to 16/44 > xACT 2.39 > FLAC

01 Watching You
02 Nobody’s Fault But Mine
03 Billy’s Revenge
04 Tie Dye On The Highway
05 In The Mood
06 No Quarter
07 Liar’s Dance
08 Going To California
09 Little By Little
10 Nirvana
11 Immigrant Song
12 Hurting Kind (I’ve Got My Eyes On You)
13 Ship Of Fools
14 Wearing And Tearing
15 Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman)
16 Tall Cool One

Known Faults: None

Introduction to the Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Series

Welcome to JEMS’ Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone series presenting recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77. For the complete details on how tapes in this series came to be lost and found again, as well as JEMS’ long history with Mike Millard, please refer to the notes in Vol. One: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=500680.

Until 2020, the Lost and Found series presented fresh transfers of previously unavailable first-generation copies made by Mike himself for friends like Stan Gutoski of JEMS, Jim R, Bill C. and Barry G. These sources were upgrades to circulating copies and in most instances marked the only time verified first generation Millard sources had been directly digitized in the torrent era.

That all changed with the discovery of many of Mike Millard’s original master tapes.

Yes, you read that correctly, Mike Millard’s master cassettes, long rumored to be destroyed or lost, have been found. Not all of them but many, and with them a much more complete picture has emerged of what Millard recorded between his first show in late 1973 and his last in early 1992.

The reason the rediscovery of his master tapes is such a revelation is that we’ve been told for decades they were gone. Internet myths suggest Millard destroyed his master tapes before taking his own life, an imprudent detail likely concocted based on the assumption that because his master tapes never surfaced and Mike’s mental state was troubled he would do something rash WITH HIS LIFE’S WORK. There’s also a version of the story where Mike’s family dumps the tapes after he dies. Why would they do that?

The truth is Mike’s masters remained in his bedroom for many years after his death in 1994. We know at least a few of Millard’s friends and acquaintances contacted his mother Lia inquiring about the tapes at the time to no avail. But in the early 2000s, longtime Millard friend Rob S was the one she knew and trusted enough to preserve Mike’s work.

The full back story on how Mike’s master tapes were saved can be found in the notes for Vol. 18 Pink Floyd, which was the first release in our series transferred from Millard’s original master tapes:

http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=667745&hit=1
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=667750&hit=1

Robert Plant, Sports Arena, San Diego, CA, August 9, 1990

Our weekly dip into the Millard archive carries on with Mike’s master cassettes of the San Diego stop on the Manic Nirvana tour in support of the album of the same name. As we know, Led Zeppelin topped the list of Mike’s favorite artists and he documented many solo shows post 1980 by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

Speaking of Zep, Plant’s choice of songs to include in the set from his former band include two great picks that Zeppelin never performed live. The first is the LZII ditty “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman),” which I’ve always found delightful. It is performed with straightforward charm.

The second is the brilliant In Through The Out Door outtake “Wearing and Tearing,” which legend has it was briefly considered for a single release around the time of Knebworth ’79. It’s a high-energy stormer that rides a great riff and, in my opinion, would have been a welcome addition to ITTOD, instead of being released after Bonham’s death on Coda. While I’m on the subject, “Wearing and Tearing” and “Ozone Baby” are both highly underrated and “Darlene” (the third outtake of the ’79 trio) isn’t too shabby either. I genuinely love all three.

The rest of the set smartly mixes Manic Nirvana songs with the best of Plant’s solo career and a few extra Zeppelin nuggets. I particularly like RP’s vocals on “In The Mood” and “Ship of Fools.”

As we’ve previously discussed, the Sports Arena in San Diego is not the Sydney Opera House in terms of acoustics, but Millard’s taping location seems to be ideal on this night and he gets a very fine, close capture without a lot of the hall muddying things up. Samples provided.

Neither Jim, Rob nor Barry were along for the ride this time, so we don’t have a first-person account to share. We do know Mike recorded the opening act, Alannah Myles, the Canadian hard rock singer you might remember from her hit song, “Black Velvet.” He also recorded Plant’s show one night later in Irvine.

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JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R and Barry G to release Millard’s historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself.

We can’t thank Rob enough for reconnecting with Jim and putting his trust in our Millard reissue campaign. He kept these precious tapes under wraps for two decades, but once Rob learned of our methods and stewardship, he agreed to contribute the Millard DATs and cassettes to the program.

Three cheers to mjk5510 for his post-production work on this. And to Goody his pitch inspection and beyond.

Lastly, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.

BK for JEMS

 

Welcome to a truly extraordinary new chapter of JEMS’ Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone series presenting recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin done in and around LA circa 1975-77. For further details on how some tapes in this series came to be lost and found again, as well as JEMS’ history with Mike Millard, please refer to the notes in Vol. One: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=500680

To date the Lost and Found series has presented fresh transfers of previously unavailable first-generation copies made by Mike himself for friends like Stan Gutoski of JEMS, Jim R and Barry G. These sources were upgrades to circulating copies, and in most instances marked the first time verified first generation Millard sources had been directly digitized in the torrent era.

Now, we are ecstatic to present what had been previously unthinkable, unimaginable, perhaps even impossible: a direct, high-resolution transfer from Millard’s original master tapes.

Yes, you read that correctly, Mike Millard’s master cassettes, long rumored to be destroyed or lost, have been found. Not all of them, but many, and with them a much more complete picture has emerged of what Millard recorded between his first show in late 1973 and his last in early 1992.

The reason the rediscovery of his master tapes is such a revelation is that we’ve been told for decades they were long gone. Internet myths suggest Millard destroyed his master tapes before taking his own life, an imprudent detail likely concocted based on assumptions that because the master tapes had never surfaced and Mike’s mental state was troubled, he would do something that rash WITH HIS LIFE’S WORK. There’s also a version of the story where Mike’s family dumps the tapes after he dies.

The truth is, Mike’s masters remained in his bedroom for many years after his death in 1994. We know at least a few of Millard’s friends and acquaintances contacted his mother inquiring about the tapes after his death to no avail. But in the early 2000s, longtime Millard friend Rob S was the one she knew and trusted enough to preserve Mike’s work.

Here’s Rob’s account of how Millard’s master tapes were saved:

After Mike left us, I visited his mom Lia occasionally, usually around the holidays. She’d talk about the grandkids and show me pictures. She had no one to help out around the house so I did some minor improvements like fixing a kitchen shelf that collapsed and another time a gate that hadn’t worked for years.

After a few visits, I explained to Lia how the tapes were metal, up to 25 years old already and would eventually deteriorate. She agreed to let me take the tapes and make copies. We went into Mike’s bedroom and it was exactly like I remembered it when I was there years before. I loaded up every tape I could find and went to work copying them. Oldest first, some requiring “surgery.”

Months later when I was done copying, I compared what I had copied to a list Mike had compiled of his masters and realized there were many shows missing. I returned the tapes and asked Lia if we could see if there were any more somewhere else in the house. We went into a back bedroom and found a bunch of boxes filled with more original master tapes. I loaded them up, thanked Lia and left. This was the last time I would see her. I copied the rest of the tapes and stored the masters in a cool dry place until late last year when Jim R. reached out. We had known each other through Mike. After speaking with Jim, and later BK who had tracked him down, I knew their partnership was the “right way” to get this music out to everyone who wanted it, and I’m sure Mike would have agreed.

Initially, Rob copied a large batch of Millard’s master cassettes to DAT and returned them to the house. The second time around, he was given a large portion of the cassette collection, different from what he had copied to DAT.

The first round of DAT transfers features some of Millard’s most famous recordings of Led Zeppelin, ELP, the Rolling Stones and Jethro Tull. The second traunch of actual cassette masters includes his captures of Yes, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Rush and Pink Floyd.

As exciting as it is to access Millard’s masters of the shows we know and love, there are many new recordings in both collections from artist like Elton John, Queen, Thin Lizzy, Eric Clapton, The Who, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Guns N’ Roses, Linda Ronstadt, David Bowie, the Moody Blues, U2 and more.

Even with an information gap in the mid ‘80s when Millard was surely taping but there is no tape or written evidence as to what he captured, we have now confirmed some 280 shows Millard did record. Of those, there are master cassettes for approximately 100 shows, DATs off masters of another 75 and first generation analog copies for 20-25. Together, that nearly quadruples the number of extant Millard recordings. In the coming months we will release more amazing shows from the recovered treasure, some familiar, some entirely new. But we had to start somewhere.

And so we begin this new era of Mike the MIC master tapes with one of the most beloved recordings in the Millard canon: his incredible capture of Pink Floyd on night four of the band’s five show stand at the Sports Arena in LA on the Wish You Were Here tour. This recording has been bootlegged and circulated in many forms, most recently from what are claimed to be (and in fairness probably are) first-generation sources that sound excellent. In fact, we were preparing to post Jim R’s first generation cassettes made by Mike (which have particularly brilliant cassette art) before this fortunate turn of events.

Mike’s master recording is sublime, a sonic marvel not merely for what it captures from the stage but for how little the audience can be heard, save for when you want to hear them. It is full, rich and close in a way that makes the argument for why the best audience recordings can be more satisfying than a soundboard tape. Mike used TDK KR 90 cassettes, an early chrome tape which would soon be rebranded to the more familiar SA 90.

The tapes were recorded Dolby on, but for this edition transferred Dolby off, as Mike did himself when he made copies for friends. The sonic signature should be familiar to those who have done close listening to the best first-generation sourced versions (like buffalofloyd’s update of Sigma’s Definitive Millard), but hopefully that title more accurately applies to this version.

To our ears, the Millard master transfer is everything you love about the extant recording and more: lower lows, clearer highs, less hiss. It is balanced, warm and immersive. We’ve made the recording available in both consumer friendly 1644 and audiophile 2496 editions, with mastering at a bare minimum to let the pure power of the capture shine through. Samples provided.

Millard’s dear friend Jim R was with Mike at the show and shot the original unpublished photos we are fortunate to include with this release. Here’s what he recalls:

Mike and I attended the Pink Floyd concert on April 26, 1975. I pushed him in the wheelchair.

It was the fourth night of a five night stand at the LA Sports Arena. Due to Pink Floyd’s popularity, tickets were in extremely high demand and expensive. As a result, we attended only the one night. Since the LA Sports Arena was owned by LA County, all of the choice seats were controlled by downtown ticket brokers. Fortunately, we were in tight with several of them and had our choice of where to sit.

Ahead of time, we heard about the high quality sound system Pink Floyd was using and that it would be a Quadrophonic setup. Knowing that, we decided on seats a little further back than normal, in the 16th row in order to pickup some of the Quad sound. Indeed it was a fantastic sound system with PA stacks in each corner of the floor.

What really makes this show one of the most memorable of the 200 or so concerts Mike and I attended together was the fact that there were over 500 drug busts made during Pink Floyd’s LA run (detailed in a big LA Times story about the crackdown). Regardless, we were able to sneak in a Nakamichi 550 cassette recorder, which is the size of the yellow pages phone book and nearly 15 pounds. Amazingly, people got busted for a couple joints and somehow we smuggle in a huge tape deck and get away with it. What a rush!

The recording turned out superb and it was aided by a very polite crowd. At the very beginning of the recording Mike says “testing 123.” The lighting was on the dark side (pun intended), and since we sat 16 rows back, my pictures turned out a little on the fuzzy side. Oh well.

Meeting Jim, then Barry and ultimately connecting with Rob has added incredible new chapters to my personal Mike the MIC story that started in 1986 when I first saw a box of Millard tapes and heard stories about how he recorded. I’m lucky and grateful that we all four of us share a deep appreciation for what Mike documented over the years and the on-going belief in his mission to share the music among friends, which is why we do this.

As joyous as this initial Millard master release has been, it is bittersweet. The person who showed me that original box of Millard tapes and told me the stories was Stan Gutoski, the S in JEMS. He met Mike face to face on two occasions and the pair had a few phone calls, sharing notes on how they recorded shows, comparing gear and ultimately trading copies of their recordings. Game respecting game. During a 1992 meet up in SoCal, they even spoke about losing their fathers and hugged each other in camaraderie, something Stan never forgot.

Sadly, on Friday, January 24, 2020, Walter Stan Gutoski, passed away. He was 74.

Stan had gone into the hospital in December because of a spinal infection that severely limited his mobility. I spoke to him at the time, sharing various JEMS updates which always lifted his spirits, even as he sounded weak. He was released, but his condition didn’t improve after he left the hospital, and in mid January I got updates from his son that didn’t sound promising. Last week, his son told me Stan was back in the hospital battling pneumonia, and it was clear his health was rapidly deteriorating. I began to consider how soon I could fly up to see him.

On Thursday night, I asked if there was an opportunity to call Stan in the hospital, and his son said perhaps he could put me on speaker phone for a minute if his dad was up to it. Sensing that might not happen, I followed up with a text: “Please tell Stan I love him dearly and that we found Mike Millard’s master tapes a few weeks ago.”

His son replied, “Wow. The taper’s ‘Ark of the Covenant.’ That’s amazing. I’ll tell him.”

Mid morning the next day, Friday, his son texted, “Good morning. My dad passed away a few minutes ago.”

It was the stomach punch I knew was coming, but not this fast. Way too fast. I started crying. His son then texted:

“My brother and I and my youngest son stayed with him until 6:30 am. He never went to sleep. He kept fighting it. He was impressed about the 280 shows [Millard recorded]. He kept making me repeat the number. He wanted to know what years and what cities/venues. I guess he can just ask him now in person. [They are] hanging with Jared watching Tom Petty and George Harrison play.”

If ever there was a moment of happiness and sadness at the same time, reading that text was it. While I’m not religious, the thought of Mike Millard, Stan Gutoski and our late, great friend Jared Houser (the J in JEMS) all hanging together in heaven is something I am only too happy to believe.

JEMS is thrilled to partner with Rob, Jim R and Barry to release Millard’s historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself. It has been 25 years since Mike passed away and his legend only continues to grow. Along with the tapes, Rob also had a copy of Mike’s tape list circa 1983, which details all his master tapes including his own quality rating system: Stereo-EX, Stereo-Good, Stereo-Fair and Stereo-Poor. He was a tough critic of his own work: the outstanding recording of the Rod Stewart and Faces 1975 show at the Forum only rated Good.

We can’t thank Rob S enough for reconnecting with Jim and putting his trust in our Millard reissue campaign. He has kept these precious tapes under wraps for two decades, but once he learned of our methods and stewardship, he agreed to contribute his DATs and cassettes to the program.

Our production support team also deserves credit. Thanks to Goody for giving this his stamp of pitch approval and to mjk5510 for his essential work on all JEMS projects. We can’t do it without you.

Finally, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone, Jared Houser and Stan Gutoski. May they rest in peace. Can’t wait to hear the heaven tapes someday.

BK for JEMS

Info file View Info file (13.71 KB)

BOOTLEGS: Led Zeppelin, Vienna 16/03/1973 (new 4 source matrix)

29 Apr

ITALIAN / ENGLISH

Il tour europeo del Led Zeppelin del marzo 1973 è – per quanto riguarda le performance – uno dei picchi del gruppo. Sebbene RP tra la fine del 1972 e gennaio 1973 avesse sofferto di problemi alla voce e non fosse probabilmente più il cantante rock con timbro celestiale ed estensione senza limiti che aveva in mente il pubblico, dal punto di vista strumentale la band viaggiava su livelli stellari. La scaletta era la più ricca sino a quel momento, il mood del gruppo era ancora altissimo, il management al pieno della propria capacità e lucidità e Jimmy Page suonava come il Jimmy Page dell’immaginario collettivo. Copenhagen (02/03/1973, Goteborg (04/03/1973), Stoccolma (06/03/1973), poi due spettacoli cancellati in Svezia e Norvegia e quindi Norimberga (14/03/1973) e appunto Vienna il 16/03/1973. Dopo, altri 11 concerti spesi tra Germania e Francia (dove ne vennero comunque annullati altri due per disordini), quattro settimane di pausa e poi via per l’altrettanto leggendario tour americano speso tra maggio, giugno e luglio.

IL concerto di Vienna si tenne alla Stadthalle, sala indoor da 16.000 posti e fu un successo, questo uno stralcio del resoconto di allora del Melody Maker:

“The historic city of Vienna, normally bulging at the seams with Strauss and grand operas, played host on Friday night to Led Zeppelin at the enormous Wiener Stadthalle.
“Introduced as the ‘Rock sensation of the year’, the group took the stage and went straight into a deafening version of ‘Good Times Bad Times’ [sic]. Robert Plant strode around with chest barred and hair flailing, thrusting his pelvic grind at the audience, while Jimmy Page, wearing his Les Paul low-strung, crushed out well amplified chords. ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ followed, and both songs included some dynamic drumming from John Bonham, who hammered the skins for all his was worth.
“Things quieted down in ‘Bron-Y-Aur Stomp’, their only acoustic number. Page then brought out his double-necked Gibson for ‘The Song Remains the Same’, from the new album and John Paul Jones who it was announced was suffering from a stomach complaint, provided some superb orchestral effects on the mellotron.
“The opening bars of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ were greeted with a huge roar, and when the band finally broke into ‘Whole Lotta Love’, that was the cue for a general stampede towards the front of the sage.” — Dave Hopkins [Melody Maker, 1973-03-31]

Wiener Stadthalle

La porzione soundboard di questa registrazione esiste da tempo immemorabile e qualunque fan dei LZ che si rispetti ne gode dunque da moltissime lune, ma da poco è stata resa disponibile nei circuiti internet che si occupano di registrazioni dal vivo non ufficiali la versione forse definitiva, quella creata mettendo insieme nel miglior modo possibile le tre registrazioni audience (prese dal pubblico) e quella soundboard (presa dal mixer).

La produzione (che comprende anche le copertine e le note e le specifiche tecniche) è a cura di Nite Owl production. E’ bene precisare che NiteOwl si è servito dell’ottimo lavoro fatto a suo tempo da Winston Remasters con Danke Vienna.

LED ZEPPELIN – 1973-03-16 – Vienna – NEW 4 SOURCE MATRIX (16bit)

Led Zeppelin – “Vienna Fireworks: Live in Europe 1973”
Recorded Friday evening March 16, 1973 at the Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria

STEREO MATRIX of 4 recordings synchronized & mixed together in varying levels & combinations: AUD sources 1-3 and SBD (where available).

SONGS: [2:11:25]
01. introduction [0:57]
02. Rock and Roll (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) [3:48]
03. Over the Hills and Far Away (Page, Plant) [6:41]
04. Black Dog (Jones, Page, Plant) [6:18]
05. Misty Mountain Hop (Jones, Page, Plant) [4:27]
06. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Jones, Page, Plant) [9:09]
07. Dancing Days (Page, Plant) [5:53]
08. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (Jones, Page, Plant) [6:26]
09. The Song Remains the Same (Page, Plant) [5:20]
10. The Rain Song (Page, Plant) [9:19]
— [* = board tape available / optional disc division @ 58:19]
11. Dazed and Confused (Page, Holmes) * [28:30] contains:
San Fransisco (Phillips)
Mars, the Bringer of War (Holst)
12. Stairway to Heaven (Page, Plant) * [10:59]
13. Whole Lotta Love (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant) [25:36] contains:
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (Wexler, Berns, Burke)
Boogie Chillun’ (Besman, Hooker) *
(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care (Leiber, Stoller) *
Let’s Have a Party (Robinson) *
I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) *
14. Heartbreaker (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) * [8:01]

 

Il Robert Plant che parte in Rock and Roll è finalmente altra cosa rispetto a quello con continui problemi alla voce delle settimane e mesi precedenti; anche il gruppo pare in forma sin da subito benché serva sempre un po’ prima di carburare. Over the Hills and Far Away mi è sempre sembrata fuori posto come secondo pezzo della scaletta, ma il gruppo qui la suona bene comunque. Nella parte hard rock RP evita i picchi vocali usati nella versione da studio ma il brano sta in piedi ugualmente. La qualità audio audience (il soundboard è relativo solo al secondo disco) è molto buona, il lavoro fatto da Nite Owl sembra già in queste prime battute ottimo, suono corposo e chiaro. Sul finale scoppia un petardo.

RP: Good evening. Good evening! Steady. Now tonight we must be very careful not to do too many things, because Mr Jones, has, uh, colic. Must be careful. So, all your spiritual feelings must go straight to Mr Jones’ stomach, for a bit of health. Beyond that note. Here is a song about, uh, about a rather oversexed, uh, member of the canine family. This is called ‘Black Dog’.

Robert annuncia dunque che John Paul Jones stasera soffre di coliche, ma a sentirlo suonare non si direbbe proprio.

Black Dog è suonata molto bene, il tocco di Page nel riff è di quelli magici, pieno di dinamica. La voce di Robert è aiutata da un po’ di echo (o delay) mentre Jones e Bonham sono sempre una meraviglia da ascoltare. I giochetti di cassa di Bonham sono fenomenali.

RP: Danke schön. This is, uh, an instrum, a number that features Mr Jones on piano. And he’s having a lot of trouble gettin’ about. This is a song that in England, uh, it’s understandable because wherever you go to enjoy yourself Big Brother is not very far behind. And Big Brother is a term used for the paranoid establishment. And, uh, if it’s ever happened to you, you know what it’s like. But this is what comes of walking through the park with a packet of cigarette papers. What does that man mean? This is called ‘Misty Mountain Hop.’

Misty Mountain Hop è il solito trampolino di lancio per l’ennesima grande versione targata 1973 di Since I’ve Been Loving You. Jimmy Page pare spiritato sin dall’inizio; nelle parti lente e riflessive il feeling è di un candore impressionante, al tempo stesso immacolato e  dissoluto. L’interplay tra Robert e Jimmy è un meraviglia. La qualità audio si conferma ottima (tenendo sempre presente che stiamo parlando di una registrazione audience). In cuffia la sensazione è quella di essere presenti al concerto.

RP: Thank you. Danke schön. It’s very nice to be here in Vienna. Very nice. You’ve even got some good groupies. Ha ha, ha ha. Um, this is a song, about, uh, this is a song off the new album which comes out sometime this year. The LP is called Houses of the Holy. We all hope you rush out and, uh, look at a copy. And this is a song about little school girls, and, uh, not too little, mind you, not too little, and, uh, my love for ‘em. Remembering what happened to Jerry Lee Lewis, I think I’ll take it easy. Mr, Mr Bonham there? Two hundred pounds? ‘Dancing Days.’

Le versioni live di Dancing Days sono sempre divertenti; John Bonham sembra spassarsela sempre un sacco.

RP: Thank you very much. Very nice to be, uh, walking towards the mic stand. This is our number where we show our age and we have to sit down a little bit. You’ll have to shut up up there! Sshh, sshh. I don’t know what you’re sayin’, but it’s, uh, contrary to the state regulations. Actually, this is a clean up tour for us, as opposed to a mop up. Shut up! Here is a song that was written in the, in the mountains in, in, in Wales, where there is no electricity, no running water, no chicks. Actually, I tell a lie, and plenty of sheep. Ha, ha, ha. It is a song about a little dog who I know very well. …. This is a song called ‘Bron-Yr-Aur.’ Ooops. This is a song with a Welsh title. It’s a song I enjoy singing in foreign parts ‘cuz it reminds me of the good times that I have with my dog. That’s a, now for those pople who can’t speak English, this is called ‘Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp.’ And you can all help us with the aid of your dolies(?). I know. We must wait for Mr Jones who has a bad tummy. Bless you. Now don’t do that, nicht gut. You’ve got it. It’s just the rhythm.

Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (including a bit of That’s The Way) come sempre vede John Bonham alla seconda voce. Solito irresistibile quadretto danzereccio campagnolo.

RP: Another, um, this song is, uh, for a couple in Moulin Rouge. And Mr. Bonham’s delight at the Moulin Rouge tonight. Far out. Ha ha. This is called ‘The Song Remains the Same.’

Con The Song Remains the Same la vaporiera LZ si getta tra le acque agitate del fiume a tutta velocità per poi attraccare in insenature tranquille grazie alla bellezza assoluta di The Rain Song. Da segnalare l’assolo di Page sulla 12 corde durante TSRTS, spettacolare!

RP: John Paul Jones played the mellotron with a bad stomach.

RP: Here is, uh, a song that comes from a long long long time ago. When we were all nineteen. You never did, you schmuck. Wait, stop, go home. On you, the Scotsman. You’d have to be a Scotsman to do that. Anyway, here’s one from a long time ago.

Dazed And Confused è la consueta tormenta elettrica costruita su fasi diverse a loro volta ispirate dalle differenti missioni umane: l’esplorazione del cosmo, degli inferi, del mistero della vita. Che un gruppo Rock sapesse suonare, improvvisare e restare compatto in quel modo è ancora oggi per me un evento inspiegabile. Poco dopo il minuto 5:00 inizia la transizione tra registrazione audience e registrazione soundboard, la qualità audio migliora sensibilmente ma vale pena ribadire ancora che anche la registrazione audience ha comunque il suo perché. Il solito accenno a There Was A Time di James Brown e poi è già tempo di San Francisco. I quattro musicisti si allineano sull’arpeggio di MI minore e DO di Page, Plant vi canta sopra l’immancabile If You’Re Going To San Francisco di Scott McKenzie, quindi tutti insieme vanno a quietarsi per poi perdersi nel mare dell’inquietudine della violin bow section. Page si mette il vestito da negromante, illusionista e stregone e ipnotizza il pubblico con i suoni che fuoriescono dalla sua Les Paul trattata con l’archetto di violino. Abbiamo descritto questo momento tante volte, ma l’effetto che ha sulla nostre psiche non ci permette di esimerci dal magnificare il talento pittorico di Page nel mettere su tela i suoni dell’infinito. Subito dopo, breve botta e risposta da Page e Bonham e via che si parte per la sgroppata a rotta di collo lungo i sentirei dell’improvvisazione più alta. Dopo l’ultima strofa, la chiusura è di nuovo un portento di improvvisazione … mai sentito un gruppo Rock a questo livello. 27 minuti di meraviglia sonora.

RP: (Happiness is a warm gun.) That was an old song called ‘Dazed and Confused.’ And now we’d like to. John Paul Jones’ stomach … This song is for you, Dalia, wherever you are. Oh, there she is.

 

Stairway To Heaven è piena si sentimento ed è il ritratto perfetto della bellezza musicale. Ognuno ha le sue preferenze ma è indubbio che le versione del tour del 1973 di certi pezzi sono da considerarsi definitive (penso in particolare a STH, SIBLY, NO Q e WLL).

RP: Danke schön. This is a song for people who like to boogie a little bit. In fact, it’s the most basic thing that anybody can possibly do. In fact, we should all be doing it tonight. Ha ha, ha, ha, ha.

Dopo STH torna il piombo Zeppelin. Whole Lotta Love (Ain’t It Funky Now/Sing A Simple Song/Cat’s Squirrel, Boogie Chillum, Boogie Mama, Baby I Don’t Care, Let’s Have A Party, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Lemon Song) si riempie di riferimenti e di divertissement. Si parte, dopo le prime strofe, con accenni strumentali a Ain’t It Funky Now di James Brown, a Sing A Simple Song di Sly & The Family Stone e a Cat’s Squirrell dei Cream. Dopo l’assolo e la terza strofa ci si butta in Boogie Chillum di John Lee Hooker e quindi nella sempre travolgente Boogie Mama, per me – nella versione del live ufficiale del 1973 (1976) TSRTS – uno dei punti più alti del gruppo. Seguono (You Are So Square) Baby I Don’t Care, successo di Elvis scritto nel 1957 da Leiber & Stoller, e Let’s Have A Party anch’essa del 1957 e cantata da Elvis e scritta da Jessie Mae Robinson. Si chiude il siparietto con I Can’t Quit You Baby e The Lemon Song, un lungo unico blues dove i ragazzi provano a smontare i confini delle 12 battute e a riscrivere – da bianchi – la musica dei neri che li ha formati.

RP: Thank you very much and goodnight. That’s, that’s enough. Good.

L’improvvisazione prima di Heartbreaker è da sempre fonte di gioia per i fan; trattasi di 60 secondi scarsi di hard rock funk improvvisato, Jones e Bonham che accontentano Page seguendolo in uno dei suoi riff meravigliosamente strampalati creati sul momento. Nell’assolo centrale Page cerca di parlare al pubblico con la chitarra prima di iniziare la famigliare scarica di note. Sentirlo suonare in maniera così potente, sicura (e sporca) è una delle belle cose della vita. Bourrée, il pezzetto Ragtime e infine la ripartenza con tutto il gruppo. Plant canta la strofa finale un po’ a fatica, è attento a non esagerare, nelle sue condizioni essere arrivato a fine concerto in maniera ben più che dignitosa è tanto, meglio non cadere proprio alla fine.

RP: Thank you very much, Vienna. And goodnight. Thank you very much. It’s been a very nice night

Già, a a very nice night, un gran bella serata quella passata a Vienna 47 anni fa. Gran concerto e gran bella versione di questa registrazione live.

◊ ◊ ◊

◊ ◊ ◊

MATRIX NOTES:

The general aim was to provide the whole concert in as consistent and upgraded a listening experience as could be stitched together from the various recordings which are all incomplete. While there are always some downsides to matrixing analog recordings that have been manually synchronized, it is hoped that the benefits, such as the improved stereo dimension, of the results outweigh those deficiencies. Further lesser quality audience sources than those described below also exist but were not used.

AUD source #1: The master was reportedly a TDK SA 90 cassette, which matches the 45 + 45 minutes which are extant and captured tracks 2-8 & 12 and parts of 1, 9, 11, 13. Winston Remaster used for the first part (which is unmatrixed on that version). Best of the audience recordings overall, recorded close to the stage towards one side. The guitar is somewhat buried here.

AUD source #2: A lower/medium quality cassette recording at a greater distance to the stage, used only to patch missing AUD sections of tracks 1 & 9-11 (and the encore break before 14).

AUD source #3: Captured most of the concert except for the introduction and notably two gaps in DAC. The master reported to have been recorded with Sony mics to Uher Report reel-to-reel. Close to the quality of AUD.1 but with a different sound balance (guitar is prominent, vocals somewhat buried) and recorded towards the other side of the stage. Matrixing with AUD.1 thus allows reproducing the occasional stereo panning effects of the house mix (which are not present on the SBD): guitar break in Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, bow solo in DAC, Theremin in WLL.

SBD source: Apparently a 60 minute cassette which contains most of tracks 11-14. However, several minutes of 11/DAC & 13/WLL are missing, as the tape was not flipped immediately when the side or reel A ran out. There was probably another cassette on which the first hour of the concert was recorded (or copied), including the beginning of DAC, with the engineer likely missing some two minutes of the song between the cassettes, after the first one stopped and until recording resumed on a fresh tape. The reason why only the second cassette is available (for this and also certain other dates) is perhaps that someone in or with the band wanted a listening copy of just the songs with improvisation. The mix that was recorded is not exactly the same as what was played over the PA, as some of the delay/reverb effects (particularly on the vocals), as well as the panning, heard on the audience recordings are not present.

Track by track breakdown:
tr.01: AUD.2+1. AUD.2 contains half a minute more of the pre-show compared to AUD.1, none of which is on AUD.3.
02-08: AUD.1+3. SBD not available for the first part of the show but AUD.1 & 3 run practically without breaks until the end of BYAS.
09: AUD.1/2+3. AUD.1 has breaks during the intro and its side A completely cuts out @ 1:30 into TSRTS; the taper evidently did not flip the tape and resume recording until well into DAC which gap has here been patched with AUD.2.
10: AUD.2+3. AUD.1 thus does not exist for The Rain Song; the lower quality tape of AUD.2 used to substitute.
11: AUD.2/1+3. AUD.1 continues recording @ 5:00 while AUD.3 cuts out around 6:45 for one minute. Both gaps in DAC have been patched by matrixing with AUD.2, except for the section between roughly 2:50 and 4:00 where that tape itself has a discontinuity.
11: SBD & AUD.1+3. SBD cuts in about 15 seconds after AUD.1, i.e., around 5:15 into DAC from which point on it is the main source for the matrix but augmented with AUD.1 & 3 – and some patching from AUD.2 – as far as they are available.
12: SBD & AUD.1+3. AUD.3 has short cuts in the introduction; SBD cuts out after STH ends as the tape side ran out.
13: AUD.1+3 / SBD & AUD.1+3. Side B of the AUD.1 cassette runs out around 10:15 into WLL but SBD continued recording 4 minutes before that.
13-14: SBD & AUD.3. The segment containing the last 13 minutes of WLL and nearly all of Heartbreaker is therefore a matrix of SBD and AUD.3 since AUD.1 was no longer recording. The encore break is largely cut on both sources between the songs: AUD.3 misses about 2:20 of atmosphere while SBD loses only 1:30 and has the first notes of Heartbreaker intact. For the sake of completeness the missing part has again been patched from AUD.2 although the change in sound is noticeable.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Thanks to all the tapers and the persons who made the digital transfers, and Winston Remasters whose version of AUD source 1 has been appropriated. (Indeed the whole of “Danke! Vienna”, which matrixes only the parts where both AUD.1 and SBD are available, was useful for reference. Note that in the notes to that title, AUD.3 is called “Aud Source 2” whereas here it is referred to as AUD.3.)

Artwork included. A Nite Owl production (NO-2020-12).

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(broken) ENGLISH

The LZ European tour of March 1973 is – as far as performances are concerned – one of the group’s peaks. Although RP between the end of 1972 and January 1973 had suffered from voice problems and was probably no longer the rock singer with celestial timbre and limitless extension that the audience had in mind, from an instrumental point of view the band traveled on stellar levels. The songlist was the richest so far, the mood of the group was still very high, the management at full capacity and lucidity and Jimmy Page sounded like the Jimmy Page of the collective imagination. Copenhagen (02/03/1973, Goteborg (04/03/1973), Stockholm (06/03/1973), then two shows canceled in Sweden and Norway and then Nuremberg (14/03/1973) and precisely Vienna on 16. Afterwards, another 11 concerts spent between Germany and France (where two more were canceled due to riots), a four-week break and then off to the equally legendary American tour spent between May, June and July.

The Vienna concert was held at the Stadthalle, 16,000-seat indoor hall and it was a success, an excerpt from the Melody maker’s account of the time:

“The historic city of Vienna, normally bulging at the seams with Strauss and grand operas, played host on Friday night to Led Zeppelin at the enormous Wiener Stadthalle.
“Introduced as the ‘Rock sensation of the year’, the group took the stage and went straight into a deafening version of ‘Good Times Bad Times’ [sic]. Robert Plant strode around with chest barred and hair flailing, thrusting his pelvic grind at the audience, while Jimmy Page, wearing his Les Paul low-strung, crushed out well amplified chords. ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ followed, and both songs included some dynamic drumming from John Bonham, who hammered the skins for all his was worth.
“Things quieted down in ‘Bron-Y-Aur Stomp’, their only acoustic number. Page then brought out his double-necked Gibson for ‘The Song Remains the Same’, from the new album and John Paul Jones who it was announced was suffering from a stomach complaint, provided some superb orchestral effects on the mellotron.
“The opening bars of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ were greeted with a huge roar, and when the band finally broke into ‘Whole Lotta Love’, that was the cue for a general stampede towards the front of the sage.” — Dave Hopkins [Melody Maker, 1973-03-31]

Wiener Stadthalle

The soundboard portion of this recording has existed from time immemorial and any self-respecting LZ fan has therefore enjoyed it for many many moons, but recently the whole recording has been made available, on the internet circuits that deal with unofficial live recordings, in a new version created by putting together the three audience recordings (taken from the audience) and the soundboard (taken from the mixer) in the best possible way.

The production (which also includes the covers and the notes and the technical specifications) is by Nite Owl production. It is good to point out that NiteOwl has made use of the excellent work done at the time by Winston Remasters with Danke Vienna.


LED ZEPPELIN – 1973-03-16 – Vienna – NEW 4 SOURCE MATRIX (16bit)

Led Zeppelin – “Vienna Fireworks: Live in Europe 1973”
Recorded Friday evening March 16, 1973 at the Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria

STEREO MATRIX of 4 recordings synchronized & mixed together in varying levels & combinations: AUD sources 1-3 and SBD (where available).

SONGS: [2:11:25]
01. introduction [0:57]
02. Rock and Roll (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) [3:48]
03. Over the Hills and Far Away (Page, Plant) [6:41]
04. Black Dog (Jones, Page, Plant) [6:18]
05. Misty Mountain Hop (Jones, Page, Plant) [4:27]
06. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Jones, Page, Plant) [9:09]
07. Dancing Days (Page, Plant) [5:53]
08. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (Jones, Page, Plant) [6:26]
09. The Song Remains the Same (Page, Plant) [5:20]
10. The Rain Song (Page, Plant) [9:19]
— [* = board tape available / optional disc division @ 58:19]
11. Dazed and Confused (Page, Holmes) * [28:30] contains:
San Fransisco (Phillips)
Mars, the Bringer of War (Holst)
12. Stairway to Heaven (Page, Plant) * [10:59]
13. Whole Lotta Love (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant) [25:36] contains:
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (Wexler, Berns, Burke)
Boogie Chillun’ (Besman, Hooker) *
(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care (Leiber, Stoller) *
Let’s Have a Party (Robinson) *
I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) *
14. Heartbreaker (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) * [8:01]

 

The Robert Plant that starts in Rock and Roll is finally something else than the one with constant problems with the voice of the previous weeks and months; the group seems to be in shape right from the start although it always serves a little before fueling. Over the Hills and Far Away always seemed to me out of place as the second piece of the setlist, but the group here does it well anyway. In the hard rock part RP avoids the vocal peaks used in the studio version but the song is still standing. The audio audience quality (the soundboard is relative only to the second disc) is very good, the work done by Nite Owl seems already in these first few bars excellent, full-bodied and clear sound. At the end of the song a firecracker breaks out.

RP: Good evening. Good evening! Steady. Now tonight we must be very careful not to do too many things, because Mr Jones, has, uh, colic. Must be careful. So, all your spiritual feelings must go straight to Mr Jones’ stomach, for a bit of health. Beyond that note. Here is a song about, uh, about a rather oversexed, uh, member of the canine family. This is called ‘Black Dog’.

Robert therefore announces that John Paul Jones suffers from colic tonight, but hearing him play you’d say he is in perfect shape.

Black Dog is played very well, the touch of Page in the riff is magical, full of dynamics. Robert’s voice is helped by a little echo (or delay) while Jones and Bonham are always a marvel to listen to. Bonham’s bass drum tricks are phenomenal.

RP: Danke schön. This is, uh, an instrum, a number that features Mr Jones on piano. And he’s having a lot of trouble gettin’ about. This is a song that in England, uh, it’s understandable because wherever you go to enjoy yourself Big Brother is not very far behind. And Big Brother is a term used for the paranoid establishment. And, uh, if it’s ever happened to you, you know what it’s like. But this is what comes of walking through the park with a packet of cigarette papers. What does that man mean? This is called ‘Misty Mountain Hop.’

Misty Mountain Hop is the usual springboard for yet another great 1973 version of Since I’ve Been Loving You. Jimmy Page seems spirited from the beginning; in the slow and reflective parts the feeling is of an impressive candor, at the same time immaculate and dissolute. The interplay between Robert and Jimmy is a marvel. The audio quality is confirmed to be excellent (always keeping in mind that we are talking about an audience recording). With the headphones the feeling is that of being present at the concert.

RP: Thank you. Danke schön. It’s very nice to be here in Vienna. Very nice. You’ve even got some good groupies. Ha ha, ha ha. Um, this is a song, about, uh, this is a song off the new album which comes out sometime this year. The LP is called Houses of the Holy. We all hope you rush out and, uh, look at a copy. And this is a song about little school girls, and, uh, not too little, mind you, not too little, and, uh, my love for ‘em. Remembering what happened to Jerry Lee Lewis, I think I’ll take it easy. Mr, Mr Bonham there? Two hundred pounds? ‘Dancing Days.’

Live versions of Dancing Days are always fun; John Bonham always seems to be having a great time.

RP: Thank you very much. Very nice to be, uh, walking towards the mic stand. This is our number where we show our age and we have to sit down a little bit. You’ll have to shut up up there! Sshh, sshh. I don’t know what you’re sayin’, but it’s, uh, contrary to the state regulations. Actually, this is a clean up tour for us, as opposed to a mop up. Shut up! Here is a song that was written in the, in the mountains in, in, in Wales, where there is no electricity, no running water, no chicks. Actually, I tell a lie, and plenty of sheep. Ha, ha, ha. It is a song about a little dog who I know very well. …. This is a song called ‘Bron-Yr-Aur.’ Ooops. This is a song with a Welsh title. It’s a song I enjoy singing in foreign parts ‘cuz it reminds me of the good times that I have with my dog. That’s a, now for those pople who can’t speak English, this is called ‘Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp.’ And you can all help us with the aid of your dolies(?). I know. We must wait for Mr Jones who has a bad tummy. Bless you. Now don’t do that, nicht gut. You’ve got it. It’s just the rhythm.

Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (including a bit of That’s The Way) as usual features John Bonham on backing vocals. Usual irresistible rural dance picture.

RP: Another, um, this song is, uh, for a couple in Moulin Rouge. And Mr. Bonham’s delight at the Moulin Rouge tonight. Far out. Ha ha. This is called ‘The Song Remains the Same.’

With The Song Remains the Same, the LZ steamboat flows into the troubled waters of the river at full speed and then moors in quiet coves thanks to the absolute beauty of The Rain Song. Noteworthy is Page’s solo on the 12 strings during TSRTS, spectacular!

RP: John Paul Jones played the mellotron with a bad stomach.

RP: Here is, uh, a song that comes from a long long long time ago. When we were all nineteen. You never did, you schmuck. Wait, stop, go home. On you, the Scotsman. You’d have to be a Scotsman to do that. Anyway, here’s one from a long time ago.

Dazed And Confused is the usual electric blizzard built on different phases which in turn are inspired by different human missions: the exploration of the cosmos, the underworld, the mystery of life. That a rock band could play, improvise and remain compact in that way is still an inexplicable event for me even today. Shortly after minute 5:00 the transition between audience recording and soundboard recording begins, the audio quality improves significantly but it is worth reiterating that the audience recording also has its charm. The usual hint of James Brown‘s There Was A Time and then it’s already San Francisco time. The four musicians line up on the arpeggio of E minor and C by Page, Plant sings over it the inevitable If You’Re Going To San Francisco by Scott McKenzie, then all together they go to quiet down and then get lost in the sea of ​​restlessness of the violin bow section. Page puts on his necromancer, illusionist and sorcerer outfit and hypnotizes the audience with the sounds that come out of his electric Les Paul treated with the violin bow. We have described this moment many times, but the effect it has on our psyche does not allow us to exempt ourselves from magnifying Page’s pictorial talent in putting the sounds of infinity on canvas. Immediately afterwards, a short call and response from Page and Bonham and off we go for the ride along the paths of the highest improvisation. After the last verse, the closure is once again a portent of improvisation … never heard a Rock group at this level. 27 minutes of sonic wonder.

RP: (Happiness is a warm gun.) That was an old song called ‘Dazed and Confused.’ And now we’d like to. John Paul Jones’ stomach … This song is for you, Dalia, wherever you are. Oh, there she is.

 

Stairway To Heaven is full of feeling and is the perfect portrait of musical beauty. Everyone has their preferences but there is no doubt that the 1973 tour version of certain pieces are to be considered definitive (I think in particular of STH, SIBLY, NO Q and WLL).

RP: Danke schön. This is a song for people who like to boogie a little bit. In fact, it’s the most basic thing that anybody can possibly do. In fact, we should all be doing it tonight. Ha ha, ha, ha, ha.

After STH the lead Zeppelin returns. Whole Lotta Love (Ain’t It Funky Now / Sing A Simple Song / Cat’s Squirrel, Boogie Chillum, Boogie Mama, Baby I Don’t Care, Let’s Have A Party, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Lemon Song) fills up of references and divertissement. It starts, after the first verses, with instrumental hints to James Brown’s Ain’t It Funky Now, to Sly & The Family Stone‘s Sing A Simple Song and to Cream‘s Cat’s Squirrell. After the solo and the third verse they throw themselves in John Lee Hooker‘s Boogie Chillum and then in the always overwhelming Boogie Mama, for me – the version of the official live of 1973 (1976) TSRTS – one of the highest points of the group.Then (You Are So Square) Baby I Don’t Care, an Elvis hit written in 1957 by Leiber & Stoller, Let’s Have A Party also from 1957 and sung by Elvis and written by Jessie Mae Robinson and I Can’t Quit You Baby and The Lemon Song, a long single blues where the boys try to dismantle the boundaries of the 12 bars and rewrite – as whites – the music of the blacks who formed them.

RP: Thank you very much and goodnight. That’s, that’s enough. Good.

The improvisation before Heartbreaker has always been a source of joy for fans; it is a matter of 60 seconds of improvised hard rock funk, Jones and Bonham content Page by following one of his wonderfully bizarre riffs created on the spot. In the central solo Page tries to speak to the public on guitar before starting the familiar burst of notes. Hearing him play so powerfully, lively (and dirty) is one of the good things in life. Bourrée, the Ragtime piece and finally the restart with the whole group. Plant struggles a bit in the last verse, he is careful not to overdo it, in his condition having arrived at the end of the concert in a way more than dignified is so much, better to not fall right at the end.

RP: Thank you very much, Vienna. And goodnight. Thank you very much. It’s been a very nice night

Yes, a very nice night indeed the one in Vienna i 47 years ago. Great concert and great version of this live recording.

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MATRIX NOTES:

The general aim was to provide the whole concert in as consistent and upgraded a listening experience as could be stitched together from the various recordings which are all incomplete. While there are always some downsides to matrixing analog recordings that have been manually synchronized, it is hoped that the benefits, such as the improved stereo dimension, of the results outweigh those deficiencies. Further lesser quality audience sources than those described below also exist but were not used.

AUD source #1: The master was reportedly a TDK SA 90 cassette, which matches the 45 + 45 minutes which are extant and captured tracks 2-8 & 12 and parts of 1, 9, 11, 13. Winston Remaster used for the first part (which is unmatrixed on that version). Best of the audience recordings overall, recorded close to the stage towards one side. The guitar is somewhat buried here.

AUD source #2: A lower/medium quality cassette recording at a greater distance to the stage, used only to patch missing AUD sections of tracks 1 & 9-11 (and the encore break before 14).

AUD source #3: Captured most of the concert except for the introduction and notably two gaps in DAC. The master reported to have been recorded with Sony mics to Uher Report reel-to-reel. Close to the quality of AUD.1 but with a different sound balance (guitar is prominent, vocals somewhat buried) and recorded towards the other side of the stage. Matrixing with AUD.1 thus allows reproducing the occasional stereo panning effects of the house mix (which are not present on the SBD): guitar break in Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, bow solo in DAC, Theremin in WLL.

SBD source: Apparently a 60 minute cassette which contains most of tracks 11-14. However, several minutes of 11/DAC & 13/WLL are missing, as the tape was not flipped immediately when the side or reel A ran out. There was probably another cassette on which the first hour of the concert was recorded (or copied), including the beginning of DAC, with the engineer likely missing some two minutes of the song between the cassettes, after the first one stopped and until recording resumed on a fresh tape. The reason why only the second cassette is available (for this and also certain other dates) is perhaps that someone in or with the band wanted a listening copy of just the songs with improvisation. The mix that was recorded is not exactly the same as what was played over the PA, as some of the delay/reverb effects (particularly on the vocals), as well as the panning, heard on the audience recordings are not present.

Track by track breakdown:
tr.01: AUD.2+1. AUD.2 contains half a minute more of the pre-show compared to AUD.1, none of which is on AUD.3.
02-08: AUD.1+3. SBD not available for the first part of the show but AUD.1 & 3 run practically without breaks until the end of BYAS.
09: AUD.1/2+3. AUD.1 has breaks during the intro and its side A completely cuts out @ 1:30 into TSRTS; the taper evidently did not flip the tape and resume recording until well into DAC which gap has here been patched with AUD.2.
10: AUD.2+3. AUD.1 thus does not exist for The Rain Song; the lower quality tape of AUD.2 used to substitute.
11: AUD.2/1+3. AUD.1 continues recording @ 5:00 while AUD.3 cuts out around 6:45 for one minute. Both gaps in DAC have been patched by matrixing with AUD.2, except for the section between roughly 2:50 and 4:00 where that tape itself has a discontinuity.
11: SBD & AUD.1+3. SBD cuts in about 15 seconds after AUD.1, i.e., around 5:15 into DAC from which point on it is the main source for the matrix but augmented with AUD.1 & 3 – and some patching from AUD.2 – as far as they are available.
12: SBD & AUD.1+3. AUD.3 has short cuts in the introduction; SBD cuts out after STH ends as the tape side ran out.
13: AUD.1+3 / SBD & AUD.1+3. Side B of the AUD.1 cassette runs out around 10:15 into WLL but SBD continued recording 4 minutes before that.
13-14: SBD & AUD.3. The segment containing the last 13 minutes of WLL and nearly all of Heartbreaker is therefore a matrix of SBD and AUD.3 since AUD.1 was no longer recording. The encore break is largely cut on both sources between the songs: AUD.3 misses about 2:20 of atmosphere while SBD loses only 1:30 and has the first notes of Heartbreaker intact. For the sake of completeness the missing part has again been patched from AUD.2 although the change in sound is noticeable.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Thanks to all the tapers and the persons who made the digital transfers, and Winston Remasters whose version of AUD source 1 has been appropriated. (Indeed the whole of “Danke! Vienna”, which matrixes only the parts where both AUD.1 and SBD are available, was useful for reference. Note that in the notes to that title, AUD.3 is called “Aud Source 2” whereas here it is referred to as AUD.3.)

Artwork included. A Nite Owl production (NO-2020-12).

©Tim Tirelli – april 2020

Led Zeppelin – “Please Please Me” 28/09/1971 Osaka, Japan – Previously Unreleased Soundboard – Empress Valley 2020

9 Mar

ITALIAN / ENGLISH

Di questo soundboard ne discuto con il mio amico – illustre LZ live recording collector e high level Led Head Amduscia – ormai da diversi anni, da quando insomma ci arrivò la notizia – tramite le nostri fonti – della effettiva esistenza nelle mani della Empress Valley di questo gioiellino e finalmente oggi possiamo godere di questa registrazione soundboard mai sentita prima. Ah, se penso ad alcuni lustri fa quando scambiavo cassette live dei LZ tramite la rete esoterica che avevo tessuto in tutto il mondo e mi accontentavo spesso di registrazioni audience con qualità assai discutibile quando poi negli ultimi anni la Empress Valley Supreme Disc (la mitologica etichetta bootleg nipponica) ha pubblicato parecchi sounboard subito messi a disposizioni della rete dai più generosi… che cambiamento … ormai anche un soundboard di questa portata ci sembra normale amministrazione. Questo nuovo bootleg non è completo, ma poco importa visto che contiene una larga porzione del primo show tenuto alla Festival Hall di Osaka il 28/09/1971. Quello del 1971 in terra giapponese è un tour ritenuto leggendario dai fan dei LZ, il gruppo era probabilmente all’apice delle sue potenzialità, Robert Plant cantava come forse mai nessun altro cantante hard rock aveva mai cantato, il gruppo era coeso, spiritato, divertente, LZ IV stava per essere pubblicato, insomma si era nel periodo d’oro non solo del gruppo ma anche della musica Rock.

AVVERTENZE: per assaporare appieno un bootleg occorre mettersi nella giusta predisposizione d’animo e creare l’atmosfera adatta. Leggo i primi commenti di altri fan (?): “Carino“, “niente male” etc etc…e rimango basito. Non è sufficiente sentire la cosa a pezzi e bocconi, è indispensabile mettersi di buona voglia, preferibilmente in cuffia, riservarsi uno spazio di tempo adeguato e precipitare laggiù negli anni settanta al cospetto di sua maestà il Rock!

La registrazione inizia con la coda dell’assolo di Page in Heartbtreaker (manca dunque la Immigrant Song e la prima parte di HB appunto). Il secondo assolo (quello in cui JPP è accompagnato da Jones e Bonham) è la solita tormenta elettrica. Non appena rientra Plant non ci si può che accorgere della potenza vocale del cantante.

RP: Arigato. Tonight, tonight you will be happy. And so will Phil Carson. This is, uh, this is indeed a pleasure. We had a wonderful, we came from Hiroshima yesterday and, uh, your glorious train was really far out. Long big train with many sleeping and things like that and such. Good milk. And, uh, so we’re in top spirits and, uh, to avoid walking in more bullshit, we’ll go straight on. This is called ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You.’

Ascoltare la batteria d John Bonham in modo così chiaro in Since I’ve Been Loving You è una cosa meravigliosa. Tutto è ben bilanciato, piano elettrico/organo e pedaliera basso perfettamente udibili. Bonham è incontenibile e la voce di Robert Plant è una lama al calor bianco che ti entra il cervello. Il Dark Lord è ispirato e bravo, molto bravo, seppur a tratti un po’ sporco (ma lo sappiamo, è una delle sue caratteristiche). Durante l’assolo di chitarra John Bonham non sta fermo un attimo.

RP: Arigato. I have a terrible problem with my shoes nightly. They keep coming undone. But we, uh, tonight you’ll be more than happy and, thank you. This is one from many moons ago. It’s called, uh, no, I’ll leave you to guess. Mr Jones? Good evening. Right on. This is a thing, in about three weeks time we’ll have a, a new LP coming out, by the fourth album, and, uh, this is one of the tracks from it. It’s called ‘Black Dog.’

LED ZEPPELIN IV non era ancora uscito in quei giorni e chissà cosa ne pensava il pubblico dei nuovi pezzi. Out On The Tile  intro/ Black Dog è suonato con la cazzimma tipica dei LZ del 1971. Semplicemente magnifici!

RP: Wait a minute. Um, this is one from about the same time as that. When we, uh, this is the guy, him. Totally different, right. John Paul Jones.

Dazed And Confused live è musicalmente il consueto portento occulto, 30 minuti di interazioni elettriche atte ad evocare il suono delle profondità cosmiche. Nel finale magmatico fuoriesce anche Third Stone From The Sun di Jimi Hendrix.

RP: Yeah goodevening, you must wake up, wake up. This is indeed a great and most honorable pleasure. Far out, man. This is another track off the fourth album, uh, and, um, this, uh, takes on an entirely different mood, really, to anything that we’ve ever done before. And, uh, it’s called ‘Stairway To Heaven.

Stairway To Heaven è eseguita con una purezza ed un candore commoventi.

 

Col secondo disco inizia l’avanspettacolo: cazzeggio, improvvisazioni di pezzi altrui, la gioia di vivere … un portento insomma.

RP: Arigato. Good evening! You are too quiet. Much too quiet. Dishonorably quiet. It’s not cool. Not far away to the East there is, uh.

Plant sta ancora parlando e Page accenna a Please Please Me (Beatles), Robert non si fa pregare e abbozza il pezzo dei Fab Four. Non contento si butta in From Me To You (Beatles) presto seguito da tutto il gruppo. Uno spasso. Jimmy poi parte con l’intro di Celebration Day e il piombo zeppelin pieno di groove prende di nuovo il sopravvento. Che schianto di band! John Paul Jones superlativo.

Il set acustico inizia con Bron-YR-Aur Stomp a cui è collegata That’s The Way. In quest’ultima Robert a volte si lascia andare a strilli calibrati che ti capovolgono.

LZ Osaka sept 1971

RP: Arigato. Thank you. Thank you. Um, this, this next song is, um, another one from the fourth album. And, uh, this is, uh, no, it’s nothing to do with that at all, man. No, no, now listen, you’ve got to wait. …, there’s no more use saying that. That’s all you know in English. I know a little bit more, you see? Now this is off the fourth album and it’s a sitting down one. ‘Cuz I must have sat through about thirty times for us at two each. If I have spoken more English over here than I ever did in America, it just means I’m happier here, no … ever the same way out. So this is called, uh, ‘Going To California.’ Which is, California being, uh, somewhere between here and the lost continent of Doom (?) and, uh, Atlantis, and, uh, the British Isles. Nevertheless, some people go there. In fact, in California, there is a place called San Francisco and, uh, San Francisco is, uh, I mean, uh, I really wish it could be …, promise they’re not on stage, but it was a wonderful place, so, ‘Going To California.’

Page cambia accordatura – on stage, in diretta, aiutato dal mandolino di Jones – per Going To California. La versione del pezzo è estesa, oltre 8 minuti, parecchi i momenti strumentali sostenuti da chitarra e mandolino; è chiaro che il pezzo in versione live è ancora in divenire, i due musicisti provano e improvvisano, cercano le vie giuste per rendere al meglio questo celestiale quadretto acustico.

RP: Arigato.

Page cambia chitarra acustica, controlla e aggiusta l’accordatura e quindi parte con un bel giro di fingerpicking. Poi Robert si lancia in We Shall Overcame, momento da brividi che continua con Tangerine, versione chitarra voce con Jimmy che nel ritornello canta insieme a Robert. Altro accenno al fingerpicking e quindi i due partono con Down By Th Riverside. Trattasi di spiritual della metà del 1800, pubblicato per la prima volta sembra nel 1918 in una raccolta di canti delle piantagioni. Canzone tra l’altro dai toni pacifisti.  Nel corso del pezzo Jones aggiunge l’organo e quindi la pedaliera basso. I LZ non smettono mai di sorprendere.

◊ ◊ ◊

◊ ◊ ◊

Altro siparietto country prima di ripartire col Rock di What Is And What Should Never Be. 

RP: Good evening! It’s our greatest and, uh, most honorable, uh, pleasure, as often as possible, and, uh, I don’t know how you say it in …, but in English, ladies and gentlemen, it’s your old friend, for a summer season, ladies and gentlemen, John Bonham, ‘Moby Dick!’

Moby Dick chiude il bootleg con la sua inesorabile carica percussiva.

RP: John Bonham! ‘Moby Dick!’ 

All’appello mancano: Whole Lotta Love (+medley) / C’mom Everybody / Hi-Heel Sneekers / Communication Breakdown.

Original Festival Hall – Osaka.

Registrazione dunque da avere a tutti i costi per tornare a sognare e per potersi rendere conto una volta di più di che cosa era la musica Rock e i Led Zeppelin nel 1971. BEST BAND EVER!

 

La porzione soundboard inizia al minuto 21:20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLkRU9SH0wM

(broken) ENGLISH

I am discussing this soundboard with my friend – illustrious LZ live recording collector and high level Led Head –  Amduscia for several years now, since in short we got the news – through our sources – of the actual existence in the hands of the Empress Valley of this little gem and finally today we can enjoy this soundboard recording never heard before. Ah, if I think of a few decades ago when I was exchanging LZ live recordings on cassettes through the esoteric network that I had woven all over the world and I was often satisfied with audience recordings with very questionable quality when then in recent years the Empress Valley Supreme Disc (the mythological Japanese bootleg label) has published several sounboards immediately made available to the network by the most generous … what a change … now even a soundboard of this magnitude seems routine. This new bootleg is not complete, but it does not matter since it contains a large portion of the first show held at the Osaka Festival Hall on 09/28/1971. Japan 1971 is a tour considered legendary by LZ fans, the group was probably at the peak of its potential, Robert Plant sang like perhaps no other hard rock singer had ever sung, the group was cohesive, spirited, funny, LZ IV was about to be published, in short it was the golden age not only of the group but also of Rock music.

WARNINGS: to fully enjoy a bootleg, you need to put yourself in the right frame of mind and create the right atmosphere. I read the first comments of other fans (?): “Cute“, “not bad” etc etc … and I am disgusted. It is not enough to hear the thing in pieces and bits, it is essential to put yourself in good will, preferably with the headphones on, reserve an adequate space of time, surrender and  precipitate down over there in the seventies in the presence of his majesty Rock music!

The recording starts with the solo of Page in Heartbtreaker (therefore the Immigrant Song and the first part of HB are missing). The second solo (the one in which JPP is accompanied by Jones and Bonham) is the usual electrical storm. As soon as Plant returns, one cannot but notice the vocal power of the singer.

RP: Arigato. Tonight, tonight you will be happy. And so will Phil Carson. This is, uh, this is indeed a pleasure. We had a wonderful, we came from Hiroshima yesterday and, uh, your glorious train was really far out. Long big train with many sleeping and things like that and such. Good milk. And, uh, so we’re in top spirits and, uh, to avoid walking in more bullshit, we’ll go straight on. This is called ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You.’

Listening to John Bonham’s drums so clearly in Since I’ve Been Loving You is a wonderful thing. Everything is well balanced, perfectly audible are electric piano / organ  and bass pedal. Bonham is uncontainable and Robert Plant’s voice is a whitewashed blade that enters your brain. The Dark Lord is inspired and good, very good, albeit at times a little dirty (but we know, it is one of his characteristics). During the guitar solo John Bonham does not stand still for a moment.

RP: Arigato. I have a terrible problem with my shoes nightly. They keep coming undone. But we, uh, tonight you’ll be more than happy and, thank you. This is one from many moons ago. It’s called, uh, no, I’ll leave you to guess. Mr Jones? Good evening. Right on. This is a thing, in about three weeks time we’ll have a, a new LP coming out, by the fourth album, and, uh, this is one of the tracks from it. It’s called ‘Black Dog.’

LED ZEPPELIN IV had not yet come out in those days and who knows what the public thought of the new pieces. Out On The Tile intro / Black Dog is played with the typical LZ “cazzimma*” of 1971. Simply magnificent!

*(Napoletanity is something difficult to explain – as the famous “cazzimma”, they are feelings more than simple words, untranslatable terms, guttural sounds, soul assonance. Anyway think about something like cocky/badass attitude. ED)

RP: Wait a minute. Um, this is one from about the same time as that. When we, uh, this is the guy, him. Totally different, right. John Paul Jones.

Dazed And Confused live is musically the usual occult wonder, 30 minutes of electrical interactions designed to evoke the sound of the cosmic depths. Jimi Hendrix’s Third Stone From The Sun also emerges in the magmatic ending.

RP: Yeah goodevening, you must wake up, wake up. This is indeed a great and most honorable pleasure. Far out, man. This is another track off the fourth album, uh, and, um, this, uh, takes on an entirely different mood, really, to anything that we’ve ever done before. And, uh, it’s called ‘Stairway To Heaven.

Stairway To Heaven is performed with moving purity and candor,

 

With the second disc, the vaudeville begins: fooling around, improvisations of other people’s songs, the joy of living … in short, a portentous.

RP: Arigato. Good evening! You are too quiet. Much too quiet. Dishonorably quiet. It’s not cool. Not far away to the East there is, uh.

Plant is still talking while Page mentions with the guitar Please Please Me (Beatles), so Robert sing a small bit of the Fab Four’s song. Not yt happy he throws himself in From Me To You (Beatles) soon followed by the whole group. A real treat. Jimmy then starts the intro of Celebration Day and the zeppelin leaded groove takes over again. What a band! John Paul Jones is superlative.

The acoustic set begins with Bron-YR-Aur Stomp to which That’s The Way is connected. In the latter Robert sometimes lets himself go to calibrated shrieks that turn you upside down.

LZ Osaka sept 1971

RP: Arigato. Thank you. Thank you. Um, this, this next song is, um, another one from the fourth album. And, uh, this is, uh, no, it’s nothing to do with that at all, man. No, no, now listen, you’ve got to wait. …, there’s no more use saying that. That’s all you know in English. I know a little bit more, you see? Now this is off the fourth album and it’s a sitting down one. ‘Cuz I must have sat through about thirty times for us at two each. If I have spoken more English over here than I ever did in America, it just means I’m happier here, no … ever the same way out. So this is called, uh, ‘Going To California.’ Which is, California being, uh, somewhere between here and the lost continent of Doom (?) and, uh, Atlantis, and, uh, the British Isles. Nevertheless, some people go there. In fact, in California, there is a place called San Francisco and, uh, San Francisco is, uh, I mean, uh, I really wish it could be …, promise they’re not on stage, but it was a wonderful place, so, ‘Going To California.’

Page changes tuning – on stage, live, aided by Jones’ mandolin – for Going To California. The version of the piece is extended, over 8 minutes, several instrumental moments  by guitar and mandolin; it is clear that the piece in live version is still in progress, the two musicians try and improvise, looking for the right ways to make the best of this celestial acoustic picture.

RP: Arigato.

Page changes acoustic guitar, checks and adjusts the tuning and then starts with a nice fingerpicking sketch. Then Robert begins We Shall Overcame, a thrilling moment that continues with Tangerine, guitar/vocals version with Jimmy who sings with Robert in the refrain. Beautiful. Another hint of fingerpicking and then the two start Down By Th Riverside. This is a spiritual from the mid-1800s, published for the first time in 1918 in a collection of plantation songs. this song, among other things, has pacifist tones. Jones adds the organ and then the bass pedal. LZ never cease to surprise.

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Another country tease before What Is And What Should Never Be.

RP: Good evening! It’s our greatest and, uh, most honorable, uh, pleasure, as often as possible, and, uh, I don’t know how you say it in …, but in English, ladies and gentlemen, it’s your old friend, for a summer season, ladies and gentlemen, John Bonham, ‘Moby Dick!’

Moby Dick closes the bootleg with his relentless percussive charge.

RP: John Bonham! ‘Moby Dick!’

The missing tracks: Whole Lotta Love (+ medley) / C’mom Everybody / Hi-Heel Sneekers / Communication Breakdown.

Original Festival Hall – Osaka.

Live recording therefore to have at all costs to be able to return to dream and to be able to realize once more what Rock music and Led Zeppelin was in 1971. BEST BAND EVER!

 

La porzione soundboard inizia al minuto 21:20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLkRU9SH0wM

Led Zeppelin,Tokyo, Budokan 23/09/1971 new sensational footage

8 Mar

All’improvviso qualcuno carica su youtube un filmato amatoriale dei Led Zeppelin ripresi a Tokyo il 23 settembre 1971 in qualità mai vista prima e tu a momenti non ti ribalti sulla sedia. Mi meravigliano sempre queste novità, quando meno te l’aspetti escono audio-video fino a ieri impensabili. Che meraviglia i Led Zeppelin nel settembre del 1971!

Suddenly someone uploads on Youtube an amateur footage of Led Zeppelin filmed in Tokyo on September 23, 1971 in a never seen before quality and you almost fall on the ground. I am always amazed at these news, when you least expect it, audio-videos of this calibre come out out of the blue. What a wonder the Led Zeppelins in September 1971!

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The Dark Lord Tokyo 23/09/1971

Carouselambra / Live from Ye Olde Absynthe House …

17 Gen

Un paio di mesi fa è stato pubblicato su Youtube questo video dei The Secret Team, trattasi di una versione supersonica di CAROUSELAMBRA dei Led Zeppelin, suonata da una grande band il cui video è stato filmato in un posto per noi mitologico: Ye Olde Absynthe House di New Orleans, il bar da cui il visual di In Through The Out Door fu tratto. Per me tutto davvero esaltante.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NECfRohWNWw