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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).

◊ ◊ ◊

(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.

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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

LED ZEPPELIN at Knebworth: 40th anniversary blues

4 Ago

L’estate del 1979 è quella che considero la “mia” estate: ancora adolescente, ero in piena fustinella per il Rock; certo il “mio” Rock era sotto attacco, l’odiata disco music, il punk e la new wave stavano minando il dominio della musica più bella e colorata del mondo, ma io imperterrito continuavo a vivere per quel concetto musicale, per quel sound, per quegli ideali. Naturalmente ero già consapevole che gli anni cosmici di quella musica erano forse (appena) passati e che io non li avevo colti appieno vista la tenera età. Il 1969, il 1970, il 1971, il 1972, il 1973 e via discorrendo erano gli anni dei dischi con cui plasmavo il mio essere, ma sembravano anni appena passati e gli album relativi appena usciti … era come poter attingere dal pozzo dietro casa acqua freschissima mentre il ruscello che scorreva davanti a casa continuava imperterrito – seppur in modo discontinuo –  la sua corsa.

Nel 1979 erano già usciti o stavano per uscire dischi comunque formativi per il giovane Tim, album che contribuirono a modellare la mia struttura ossea, molecolare e spirituale. Desolation Angels dei Bad Company, Muddy “Mississippi” Waters Live, Nights In The Ruts degli Aerosmith, Cheap Trick At Budokan, Van Halen II, The Long Run degli Eagles, Breakfast in America dei Supertramp, Discovery della ELO e ancora Broken English di Marianne FaithfullDamn the Torpedo di Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rust Never Sleeps di Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Joe’s Garage di Frank Zappa etc etc.

Naturalmente ero anche attento alla musica del momento: Reggatta De Blanc dei Police me lo porto cucito addosso tuttora … quel disco fu uno shock musicale fortissimo, lo stesso dicasi per Machine Gun Etiquette dei Damned, poi Sex Pistols, Clash, Joe Jackson, Ramones, Blondie. Facevo poi i primi tentativi col Jazz Rock, assorbivo i cantautori italiani e continuavo nella scoperta del blues nero.

Ma il 1979 è naturalmente l’anno di In Throught The Out Door dei miei adorati Led Zeppelin, album che – come se ce ne fosse bisogno – mi spinse ancora di più verso il mio gruppo preferito.. Sì è vero, era un album di transizione e forse non esattamente a fuoco ma, vista la mia predisposizione per gli album obliqui, diventò uno degli album fondanti di quel mucchietto d’ossa che chiamano Tim Tirelli. Qui di fianco le riflessioni fatte a proposito quando uscì la deluxe edition: https://timtirelli.com/2015/09/16/led-zeppelin-deluxe-editions-presence-ittod-e-coda/

Qualche giorno prima dell’uscita dell’album i Led Zeppelin suonarono due date al festival di Knebworth, il 4 e l’11 agosto. Fu il ritorno ufficiale del gruppo dopo due anni di fermo dovuto alla morte del figlio di Robert Plant. Per anni si è parlato di 210.000 spettatori la prima serata e 110.000 la seconda, ma in realtà furono poco più di 100.000 la prima e poco oltre i 40.000 la seconda. Tutto sommato niente male per un gruppo fermo da due anni e che ritorna in un momento – musicalmente parlando – ad esso assai poco favorevole. Non erano più i Led Zeppelin dell’immaginario collettivo, il chitarrista faceva regolarmente uso di pesanti sostanze stupefacenti e le sue performance non erano certo più le stesse. Meglio dei concerti di Knebworth furono le due date warm up a Copenhagen il 23 e il 24 luglio 1979 …

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Nonostante questo le date di Knewborth (discreta quella del 4, slabbrata quella dell’11) sono un dolce ricordo per i fan dei Led Zeppelin. Segnarono il loro ritorno, si pensava che avrebbero ripreso a correre e che quindi si avrebbe avuto la possibilità di vederli finalmente dal vivo. La sera del 4 agosto di 40 anni, me ne stavo sul balcone di casa con lo sguardo e l’animo volto a nord pensando a loro. Non sapevo che un ragazzo 17enne di un paese non troppo lontano dal mio – ragazzo che sarebbe diventato uno dei miei più grandi amici (yes, Riff, it’s you!) – fosse partito all’avventura insieme ad un paio di suoi sodali qualche giorno giorni prima a bordo di una Dyane 6 e stesse, in quel momento, guardando i giganti del Rock. Averlo conosciuto prima forse adesso potrei dire di aver visto i Led Zeppelin a Knebworth.

Qualche settimana dopo, il resoconto di Ciao 2001; comprai il settimanale di prima mattina ed eccitato lessi l’articolo prima di andare al lavoro (dove arrivai con un ora di ritardo). Il giornalista – parlando di Page – scriveva che (cito a memoria) “mostra qualche incertezza sulla mano sinistra, il peso di questo ritorno è enorme e Jimmy lo sta sentendo tutto su di sé”.

Chi avrebbe pensato che di li a un anno sarebbe finito tutto? Ma oggi è giorno di festa dunque al bando le malinconie … celebriamo il ritorno dei grandi Led Zeppelin a Knebworth 40 anni fa!

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Led Zeppelin, Knebworth (UK) 1979

Led Zeppelin, Knebworth (UK) 4 august 1979

Led Zeppelin, Knebworth (UK) 4 august 1979 Photo © 1979 Ove Stridh

Led Zeppelin, Knebworth (UK) 4 august 1979

Led Zeppelin, Knebworth (UK) 4 august 1979

Led Zeppelin, Knebworth (UK) 4 august 1979

Led Zeppelin, Knebworth (UK) august 1979

 

La copertina di The Song Remains The Same & il nuovo video amatoriale dei LZ al Kezar Stadium il 2 giugno 1973

15 Lug

La Copertina di The Song Remains The Same

Avendo scoperto i LZ con il doppio live The Song Remains The Same, la copertina relativa mi è sempre stata molto cara, e non ho paura di affermare che secondo me si tratta di una delle più belle copertine di un disco live di musica rock. Per anni ho fantasticato su quel teatro riprodotto sulla cover, immaginavo vecchi edifici americani presi a modello ed invece, ecco che viene svelato un altro piccolo grande segreto della storia dei Led Zeppelin, una minuzia per un essere umano medio, una notizia fondamentale per uomini di blues come noi.

La copertina fu creata da George Hardie della famosa Hipgnosis, che prese a modello il vecchio cinematografo Scala di Brixton, quartiere londinese; il teatro fu aperto nel 1911 e chiuso 1957, dopo di che venne usato per gli usi più disparati.

I due link riportati qui sotto spiegano bene la storia. E’ sempre curioso come ognuno di noi costruisca castelli immaginari su fondamenta che spesso sono ben poca cosa. Ma questo, lo sappiamo, è il potere del Rock.

http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2019/07/brixton-history-led-zeppelins-live-album-and-a-closed-theatre-on-brixton-hill/?fbclid=IwAR36vlYSLVrRmFWfnGOQDNw7mVHEObvtRtMcy1MufiwDEXiv-HyAlh6rV0c

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http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2013/06/the-old-south-beach-barscala-cinema-on-brixton-hill-looks-in-a-terrible-state/?fbclid=IwAR1TvAy2t2ufbznW8ZcV0zMx-XTBWnZ2SLKnTh4G9RqAt6py9lLFhRE9iDg

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LED ZEPPELIN, San Francisco Kezar Stadium 2/6/1973

Nuovo video caricato su youtube attinente allo show dei LZ al Kezar Stadium di San Francisco il 2 giugno 1973 (sì, il concerto da cui fu tratto quel famoso poster di Robert Plant con la colomba bianca in mano). Frammento filmato da un fan presente al concerto a cui qualche volenteroso ha sincronizzato l’audio soundboard del bootleg esistente di quella data.

Naturalmente la qualità è amatoriale, ma per noi fan è un gran bel vedere.

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Aggiungo questo link visto che si dice che la qualità della sincronizzazione sia migliore.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Khgcc6Bl7ehYBKDAToGL8eDfZpX7pPag/view

 

 

BOOTLEGS: The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany, December 3rd 1984

31 Mag

ITALIAN/ENGLISH

The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984 (upgrade 2016)

LABEL: no label

TYPE: audience

SOUND QUALITY:TTT½

PERFORMANCE: TTT½

ARTWORK: no artwork

PACKAGING: no packaging

BAND MOOD: TTTT

COLLECTION ZEP FAN: TTT

COLLECTION CASUAL FAN: T

Jimmy Page impiega più o meno 4 anni per riprendersi dal drammatico delirio dell’ultimo periodo dei Led Zeppelin. La morte di Bonham, il frantumarsi del suo progetto, l’uso feroce di sostanze chimiche pesanti, la mancanza di volontà riguardo l’essere di nuovo il magnifico musicista che era, il radicale cambiamento musicale che avviene tra i due decenni fan sì che i primi anni ottanta siano per lui un periodo di confusione. Una colonna sonora (per la verità ottima) nel 1982, la discutibile partecipazione all’ARMS tour a supporto della ricerca per la sclerosi multipla nel 1983, le sghembe apparizioni come ospite e un disco interlocutorio con Roy Harper. Page non troverà mai più la forza e la lucidità per modellare un proponimento concreto e duraturo ma all’epoca il progetto Firm sembrava l’inizio di una nuova era per il nostro. Il 16 luglio 1984 me ne stavo in piazza Duomo a Pistoia in attesa della sua apparizione per il tributo ad Alexis Korner. Ricordo chiaramente che già ero al corrente del suo sodalizio con Paul Rodgers. In quanto fan dei LZ, della Bad Co e dei Free, ne ero entusiasta. Si vociferava di Cozy Powell alla batteria, ma come sappiamo la sezione ritmica sarà poi formata da Tony Franklin (conosciuto grazie alle recenti collaborazioni con Roy Harper) e Chris Slade (figura nota tra le seconde linee del rock inglese e a quel tempo batterista piuttosto richiesto e in auge).

Sul finire del 1984 la band parte per un mini tour europeo, tour che anticipa l’uscita del primo album prevista per febbraio 1985 (disco che arriverà nella top 20 americana, diventando disco d’oro).

1984
11.29 Gota Lejon, Stockholm
11.30 Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen
12.01 Olympen, Lund
12.03 Kongresshalle, Frankfurt
12.04 Pfalzbau, Ludwigshafen
12.05 Audiomax, Hamburg
12.07 Town Hall, Middlesborough
12.08 Hammersmith Odeon, London
12.09 Hammersmith Odeon, London

A quel tempo i bootleg sono persino stampati anche in Italia, poco dopo infatti riesco ad acquistare nel negozio di dischi da cui mi fornivo regolarmente (nel centralissimo Corso Canalchiaro angolo Piazza Grande di Mutina) il doppio Live in Frankfurt da fonte audience.

Black Cover – The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984 – photo TT

Black Cover – The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984 – photo TT

Dello stesso bootleg ne stampano anche una versione con la copertina rossa.

Red Cover – The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984

34 anni dopo mi decido a cercare un upgrade, cosa non certo impossibile nell’era digitale dove tanto è condiviso in rete. Sono al corrente che ne esiste già una versione uscita …

Versione precedente su cd

Versione precedente su cd

ma riesco a trovare una buona versione del 2016 e mi ci butto sopra.

A dir la verità, non è che il miglioramento sia poi così evidente rispetto al bootleg in vinile in mio possesso, ma la tecnologia di oggi non può che migliorare – in fatto di pulizia – vecchie registrazioni live prese dal pubblico, cosicché questo nuovo transfer risulta molto gradevole per un fan dei Firm quale sono.

Il concerto inizia con la classica introduzione usata dal gruppo in quel periodo, la maestosa Jupiter di Gustav Holst da i Pianeti (1914)

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Il riff di Closer (The Firm – first album – 1985) apre le danze, nonostante sia solo il quarto concerto il gruppo pare coeso e in palla. E’ il periodo in cui Page suona quasi esclusivamente la Telecaster con lo Stringbender, un Page in discreta forma, lontano certamente dallo zenit raggiunto con i LZ, ma – per un fan – tutto sommato niente male. Finito il pezzo il pubblico si di mostra molto caldo e lo sarà per tutto il concerto. Questo è curioso, sono anni in cui il classic rock degli anni settanta non è certo di modo, punk, new wave e in parte NWOBHM la fanno da padroni, il gruppo propone brani da un album non ancora pubblicato o dai recenti dischi solisti (non certo di successo) di Page e Rodgers e si rifiuta di giocare facile inserendo in scaletta qualche pezzo dei LZ o della Bad Co.

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Segue City Sirens (Jimmy Page – Death Wish II soundtrack 1982). Slade  e Franklin formano una ottima seziona ritmica. Quest’ultimo suona un basso fretless, strumento molto in voga negli anni ottanta (e venuto alla ribalta nella seconda metà degli anni settanta grazie a Jaco Pastorius), apparentemente non adattissimo al rock di questo tipo, ma Tony riesce ad essere assolutamente convincente con esso, il lavoro che fa è entusiasmante. La carica del gruppo è contagiosa.

Subito dopo l’ incedere quadrato di Make Or Break (The Firm – first album – 1985) il pubblico inizia a gridare “Jimmy Jimmy” segno che, a dispetto del periodo, l’amore per lui e per i LZ in Germania è ancora forte. Morning After The Night Before (Paul Rodgers – Cut Loose – 1983 album) è un po’ caotica e fuori fuoco ed è seguita da Together (The Firm – first album – 1985). Questa la presenta Jimmy, quando si avvicina al microfono il pubblico si infiamma ancor di più. Con Together il gruppo torna compatto, è evidente che Page sia più a suo agio con i brani a lui direttamente collegati.

The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984

Cadillac (The Firm – Mean Business album – 1986) è una outtake del primo album che verrà pubblicata l’anno successivo sul secondo. Il pezzo ha un vago sapore new wave. Prelude (Jimmy Page – Death Wish II soundtrack 1982) è la controversa versione di Page del preludio in MI minore Op 28, n. 4 di Chopin, nemmeno due minuti di musica strumentale con la solista che esegue la melodia in un arrangiamento non certo indimenticabile. Classiche atmosfere Rodgersiane in LA minore per Money Can’t Buy (The Firm – first album – 1985), discreto assolo di Page con l’ausilio del wah wah. Radioactive (The Firm – first album – 1985) è il singolo tratto dall’album. Un tempo sostenuto guidato dall’acustica di Rodgers. Ennesimo sviluppo in minore. Il riff dissonante che rese famoso il pezzo in studio fu suonato da Rodgers (quando tutti per anni pensammo fosse Page) e in ambito live naturalmente da Jimmy Page. Live In Peace (Paul Rodgers – Cut Loose – 1983 album /The Firm – Mean Business album – 1986 ) è il quarto pezzo in minore consecutivo e mi chiedo a cosa pensassero Jimmy e Paul quando buttarono giù la scaletta. Sei giorni più tardi i Firm ne faranno una grande versione all’Hammersmith Odeon di Londra, versione poi pubblicata nel Maxi Single contenente il remix di Radioactive, con in evidenza uno dei più riusciti assoli di Page degli anni ottanta. Qui a Francoforte l’assolo non sembra essere della stessa qualità, ma rimane ad un livello certamente buono; il pubblico applaude convinto. Midnight Moonlight (The Firm – first album – 1985) proviene dalla prima metà degli anni settanta. Page infatti la registrò insieme a Bonham al tempo delle session di Physical Graffiti col titolo provvisorio di Swan Song. I LZ non ne fecero nulla e così Page usò la base per scrivere il pezzo insieme a Rodgers poco prima del tour americano dell’Arms  del dicembre 1983, a cui parteciparono entrambi. Brano molto bello, articolato, profondo e per certi versi epico. Rodgers qui a Francoforte la canta molto bene. Nella parte centrale dedicata alla chitarra, Page gioca con l’accordatura aperta, cita White Summer e Black Mountain Side. Quando rientra la band è facile intuire che i Firm avrebbero davvero potuto essere una grande band se solo Page fosse stato più concentrato e volenteroso. La versione live You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling ((The Firm – first album – 1985) dei Righteous Brothers non ha mai convinto del tutto e quasi scompare dinnanzi a quel piccolo capolavoro che è la versione registrata in studio. Qui a Francoforte però l’intenzione è quella giusta e il pezzo fila.

Promo shot 1984 - The Firm

Promo shot 1984 – The Firm

La sezione dedicata agli assoli dei singoli musicisti è un po’ fine a se stessa, erano anni in cui certe cose andavano evitate. Inizia Tony Franklin; tre minuti e mezzo di assolo per poi unirsi al gruppo per lo strumentale The Chase (Jimmy Page – Death Wish II soundtrack 1982). Quattro minuti insieme per arrivare al momento in cui Page prende l’archetto di violino per un esoterico momento zeppeliniano. Il pubblico naturalmente apprezza molto. Nel finale Jimmy aggiunge anche la parte con l’effetto usata nel tour americano del 1977. Segue assolo di batteria. Full Circle ((The Firm – first album outtake) è un’altro inedito del primo album e che mai verrà pubblicato. Hard Rock grintoso seppur senza brividi particolari. Curiosità, sembra contenere, nella parte finale, il giro di accordi poi usato da Jimmy in Over Now dall’album Coverdale-Page del 1993.  Someone To Love (The Firm – first album – 1985) chiude il set con la sua consueta carica. Durante l’assolo di Page la chitarra smette di funzionare. Franklin, Slade e Rodgers continuano (con un grande lavoro di basso) sino a che la chitarra di Page torna in vita. Il pubblico risponde alla grande alla richiesta di feedback da parte di Rodgers.

I bis sono costituiti da Boogie Mama (Paul Rodgers – Cut Loose – 1983 album) e Everybody Needs Somebody To Love di Solomeon Burke in una versione molto simile a quella che erano soliti fare i LZ nella tournée europea del 1973. Boogie Mama è un bis niente male, un bluesaccio che si sviluppa in uno scatenato rock and roll. Rodgers, Franklin e Rodgers (voce/chitarra) in alcuni momenti sono incredibili, Page non è male. ENSTL invece non funziona, sarà forse perché non ho mai gradito quell’arrangiamento ma il pezzo non decolla. Dopo circa 5 minuti la band lascia il solo pubblico a cantare il ritornello e se ne va per un paio di minuti, poi ritorna e riprende il pezzo da dove lo aveva lasciato. 11 minuti non certo indimenticabili.

The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984

Concludendo, una registrazione audience buona per avere una testimonianza (insieme al soundboard di Londra 9 dicembre 1984) del primo mini tour dei Firm.

The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984

 

Artist: The Firm
Source: Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984
Time: Disc 1: 59:33
Disc 2: 57:11
Disc 1:
1. Intro (1:30)
2. Closer (4:09)
3. City Sirens (5:03)
4. Make Or Break (5:25)
5. Morning After The Night Before (4:55)
6. Together (4:21)
7. Cadillac (5:28)
8. Prelude (1:51)
9. Money Can’t Buy (4:20)
10. Radioactive (4:28)
11. Live In Peace (6:37)
12. Midnight Moonlight (11:27)
Disc 2:
1. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (6:17)
2. Bass Solo (3:26)
3. The Chase (4:07)
4. Guitar Solo (6:48)
5. Drum Solo (5:28)
6. Full Circle (4:50)
7. Someone To Love (6:48)
8. Boogie Mama (8:07)
9. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (11:21)

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(broken english)ENGLISH

The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984 (upgrade 2016)

LABEL: no label

TYPE: audience

SOUND QUALITY:TTT½

PERFORMANCE: TTT½

ARTWORK: no artwork

PACKAGING: no packaging

BAND MOOD: TTTT

COLLECTION ZEP FAN: TTT

COLLECTION CASUAL FAN: T

Jimmy Page takes more or less 4 years to recover from the dramatic delirium of the last Led Zeppelin period. The death of Bonham, the shattering of his project, the ferocious use of heavy chemical substances, the lack of will to be again the magnificent musician he was, the radical musical change that takes place between the two decades, make the early eighties a period of confusion for him. A soundtrack (excellent, after all) in 1982, the questionable participation at the ARMS tour in support of the research for multiple sclerosis in 1983, the crooked appearances as a guest and an interim record with Roy Harper. Page will never find the strength and lucidity to model a concrete and lasting purpose but at the time the Firm project seemed the beginning of a new era for our man. On July 16th 1984 I was in Piazza Duomo in Pistoia waiting for his appearance at the tribute to Alexis Korner. I clearly remember that I was already aware of his association with Paul Rodgers for his new adventure. As a fan of LZ, Bad Co and Free, I was thrilled. Cozy Powell was rumored to be on drums, but as we know the rhythm section will then be formed by Tony Franklin (known thanks to recent collaborations with Roy Harper) and Chris Slade (a well-known figure among the second lines of English rock and a drummer in vogue at that time).

At the end of 1984 the band left for a European mini tour, a tour that anticipated the release of the first album scheduled for February 1985 (a record that will arrive in the American top 20, becoming a gold record).

1984
11.29 Gota Lejon, Stockholm
11.30 Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen
12.01 Olympen, Lund
12.03 Kongresshalle, Frankfurt
12.04 Pfalzbau, Ludwigshafen
12.05 Audiomax, Hamburg
12.07 Town Hall, Middlesborough
12.08 Hammersmith Odeon, London
12.09 Hammersmith Odeon, London

At that time the bootlegs were even printed in Italy, shortly afterwards in fact I manage to buy at my local record store (in the very central Corso Canalchiaro near Piazza Grande in Modena) the double lp live in Frankfurt from audience source.

Black Cover – The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984 – photo TT

Black Cover – The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984 – photo TT

They also print a red cover version of the same bootleg.

Red Cover – The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984

34 years later I decide to look for an upgrade, which is certainly not impossible in the digital age where so much is shared on the net. I am aware that another version already exists …

Versione precedente su cd

Versione precedente su cd

but I find a good version of 2016 and jump on it.

Actually, it’s not that the improvement is so obvious compared to the vinyl bootleg in my possession, but today’s technology can only improve – in terms of cleaning – old live audience recordings, so that this new transfer is very pleasant for a Firm fan as I am.

The concert begins with the classic introduction used by the group at that time: the majestic Jupiter by Gustav Holst ‘s Planets (1914)

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The Closer riff (The Firm – first album – 1985) gets it on, although it is only the fourth concert the group seems cohesive and on the ball. It is the period in which Page plays almost exclusively the Telecaster with the Stringbender, Page is in discreet form, certainly far from the zenith reached with the LZ, but – for a fan – all in all not bad. Once the piece is ended, the audience appears very hot and it will be so for the whole concert. This is curious, these are years in which the classic rock of the seventies is certainly not trendy, punk, new wave and in part NWOBHM are the masters, the group offers songs from an album not yet published or from recent (and obscure) solo albums of Page and Rodgers and refuses to play easy by inserting a few pieces of LZ or Bad Co. into the setlist.

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City Sirens (Jimmy Page – Death Wish II soundtrack 1982) is the second number. Slade and Franklin form an excellent rhythm section. The latter plays a fretless bass, a very popular instrument in the eighties (and came to the fore in the second half of the seventies thanks to Jaco Pastorius), apparently not very suitable for hard rock, but Tony manages to be absolutely convincing with it , the work he does is exciting. The drive of the group is contagious.

Immediately after the square run of Make Or Break (The Firm – first album – 1985) the audience began shouting “Jimmy Jimmy” a sign that, despite the period, the love for him and for the LZs in Germany is still strong . Morning After The Night Before (Paul Rodgers – Cut Loose – 1983 album) is a bit chaotic and out of focus and is followed by Together (The Firm – first album – 1985). This is introduced by Jimmy, when he gets closer to the microphone the audience gets even more crazy. With Together the group becomes solid again, it is clear that Page is more at ease with the songs directly connected to him.

The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984

Promo shot 1984 - The Firm

Promo shot 1984 – The Firm

Cadillac (The Firm – Mean Business album – 1986) is an outtake of the first album to be released the following year on the second album. The piece has a vague new wave flavor. Prelude (Jimmy Page – Death Wish II soundtrack 1982) is Page’s controversial version of the prelude in Minor MI Op 28, n. 4 by Chopin, not even two minutes of instrumental music with the lead guitar performing the melody in an arrangement that is certainly not unforgettable. Classic Rodgersian atmospheres in A minor for Money Can’t Buy (The Firm – first album – 1985), with a good enough solo by Page with the help of wah wah. Radioactive (The Firm – first album – 1985) is the single from the album. and its driven by Rodgers acoustic guitar. Yet another minor music development. The  famous dissonant riff in the studio was played by Rodgers (when for years we all thought it was Page) and in the live set is obviously played by Jimmy Page. Live In Peace (Paul Rodgers – Cut Loose – 1983 album / The Firm – Mean Business album – 1986) is the fourth minor piece in a row and I wonder what Jimmy and Paul thought when they scribbled down the setlist for the tour. Anyway six days later the Firm will make a great version of it at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, a version later published in the Maxi Single containing the Radioactive remix, highlighting one of the most successful solos of Page in the eighties. Here in Frankfurt the solo does not seem to be of the same quality, but it remains at a certainly good level; the audience applauds convinced.

Midnight Moonlight (The Firm – first album – 1985) comes from the first half of the seventies. Page in fact recorded it together with Bonham at the time of the sessions for Physical Graffiti with the working title of Swan Song. The LZs did nothing with it and so Page used that almost complete sketch to write the piece with Rodgers shortly before the Arms US tour in December 1983, in which both took part. Very beautiful piece, articulate, deep and in some ways epic. Rodgers sings it very well here in Frankfurt. In the central part dedicated to the guitar, Page jokes with the open tuning, he cites White Summer and Black Mountain Side. When the band rejoin in it is easy to see that the Firm could really have been a great band if only Page had been more concentrated and willing. The live version You’ve Lost That Lovin ‘Feeling ((The Firm – first album – 1985) by Righteous Brothers has never completely convinced me and almost disappears in front of that little masterpiece that is the studio recorded version. Here in Frankfurt though the intention is the right one and the song flows.

Promo shot 1984 - The Firm

Promo shot 1984 – The Firm

The section dedicated to the solo spots is a bit of an end in itself, they were years when certain things had to be avoided. Tony Franklin starts the thing; three and a half minutes of soloing and then he joins the group for The Chase (Jimmy Page – Death Wish II soundtrack 1982). Four minutes of intsrumental music together to arrive at the moment in which Page takes the violin bow for the esoteric zeppelinian moment. The audience naturally appreciates a lot. In the final section of his solo spot Jimmy also adds the part with the guitar effect used in the American tour of 1977. Then we have the drums solo. Full Circle ((The Firm – first album outtake) is another outtake of the first album and it will never be released. Gritty Hard Rock without any particular thrills. It seems to contain, in the final part, the chords section used by Jimmy in Over Now for the 1993 album Coverdale-Page. Someone To Love (The Firm – first album – 1985) closes the set with his usual charge. During the solo Page’s guitar stops working. Franklin, Slade and Rodgers coolly continue (there’s a great bass work at that point) until Page’s guitar comes back to life. After that Rodgers request some feedback from the fans, and the audience explodes.

The encores are Boogie Mama (Paul Rodgers – Cut Loose – 1983 album) and Everybody Needs Somebody To Love by Solomeon Burke in a version very similar to what LZs used to do on the 1973 European tour. Boogie Mama is an good encore, some badass blues that develops into a wild rock and roll. Rodgers, Franklin and Rodgers (vocals / guitar) are incredible at times, Page is again a bit out of focus. ENSTL on the other hand does not work, it may be because I have never liked that arrangement but the piece really does not take off. After about 5 minutes the band leaves the public alone to sing the chorus and leaves for a couple of minutes, then returns and picks up the piece from where it left it. 11 minutes certainly not unforgettable.

The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984

In conclusion, a good audience recording that serves for an account (along with the London 9 December 1984 soundboard) of the first Firm mini tour.

The Firm – Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984

 

Artist: The Firm
Source: Kongreßhalle, Frankfurt, Germany. December 3rd 1984
Time: Disc 1: 59:33
Disc 2: 57:11
Disc 1:
1. Intro (1:30)
2. Closer (4:09)
3. City Sirens (5:03)
4. Make Or Break (5:25)
5. Morning After The Night Before (4:55)
6. Together (4:21)
7. Cadillac (5:28)
8. Prelude (1:51)
9. Money Can’t Buy (4:20)
10. Radioactive (4:28)
11. Live In Peace (6:37)
12. Midnight Moonlight (11:27)
Disc 2:
1. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (6:17)
2. Bass Solo (3:26)
3. The Chase (4:07)
4. Guitar Solo (6:48)
5. Drum Solo (5:28)
6. Full Circle (4:50)
7. Someone To Love (6:48)
8. Boogie Mama (8:07)
9. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (11:21)

 

NEWS: nuovo bootleg soundboard dei Led Zep (LA 1975), nuovo video degli ELP a Fresno nel 1977, nuova biografia di Robert Johnson

23 Mag

LED ZEPPELIN

La famosa etichetta bootleg Empress Valley qualche giorno fa ha reso noto che a metà di giugno farà uscire (per la prima volta in assoluto) una registrazione soundboard di uno dei tre concerti che i LZ tennero al Los Angeles Forum il 24,25 e 27 marzo 1975.

Ancora non si sa di che data si tratti ed inoltre il concerto non sara completo (il bootleg in questione sarà composto da un solo cd), ma per un fan dei LZ l’uscita di un nuovo soundboard mai apparso prima è sempre un piccolo avvenimento, a maggior ragione sei si tratta di Los Angeles, “LA” città dei LZ.

Led Zeppelin – LA Forum marzo 1975

Dei tre concerti di Los Angeles del 1975 esistono come sappiamo le registrazioni da fonte audience (grazie al grande e mai compianto abbastanza Mike the Mike Millard), abbiamo parlato tempo fa qui sul blog di una delle tre:

https://timtirelli.com/2015/11/30/bootleg-led-zeppelin-los-angeles-forum-2531975-mike-the-mike-tribute-series-winston-remasters-2015-ttttt/

ma naturalmente poter godere di un soundboard è sempre molto eccitante.

Nuovo capitolo dunque per la cosiddetta Soundboard Revolution della Empress Valley che pubblicherà questo nuovo cd col titolo di The Night STalker e al contempo farà uscire anche una nuova versione (pubblicizzata come huge upgrade) dei tre concerti audience col titolo The Pareidolia Paradox, versione che conterrà anche il cd soundboard come bonus disc.

Nell’attesa godiamoci questo videoclip amatoriale di youtube:

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER

Quasi dal nulla appare un nuovo video degli ELP alla Selland Arena di Fresno il 5 agosto del 1977. 28 minuti di magnificenza rock in ottima qualità video. Una vera meraviglia.

ROBERT JOHNSON

Il 4 giugno verrà pubblicato Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson, nuova biografia in inglese di RLJ. Sembra che sarà lo studio più approfondito mai apparso sino ad ora sul nostro padre putativo preferito. La sinossi qui sotto è molto promettente e io non vedo l’ora di averlo tra le mani.

SINOSSI:

Robert Johnson is the subject of the most famous myth about the blues: he allegedly sold his soul at the crossroads in exchange for his incredible talent, and this deal led to his death at age 27. But the actual story of his life remains unknown save for a few inaccurate anecdotes. Up Jumped the Devil is the result of over 50 years of research. Gayle Dean Wardlow has been interviewing people who knew Robert Johnson since the early 1960s, and he was the person who discovered Johnson’s death certificate in 1967. Bruce Conforth began his study of Johnson’s life and music in 1970 and made it his mission to fill in what was still unknown about him. In this definitive biography, the two authors relied on every interview, resource and document, most of it material no one has seen before. As a result, this book not only destroys every myth that ever surrounded Johnson, but also tells a human story of a real person. It is the first book about Johnson that documents his years in Memphis, details his trip to New York, uncovers where and when his wife Virginia died and the impact this had on him, fully portrays the other women Johnson was involved with, and tells exactly how and why he died and who gave him the poison that killed him. Up Jumped the Devil will astonish blues fans who thought they knew something about Johnson.

BOOTLEGS: Led Zeppelin, Fort Worth,19 May 1973 (dadgad remaster 2019)

13 Mag

ITALIAN/ENGLISH

Led Zeppelin, Fort Worth, Texas, USA Tarrant County Convention Center 19 May 1973 (dadgad remaster 2019)

LABEL: no label

TYPE: soundboard

SOUND QUALITY: TTTT

PERFORMANCE: TTTT

ARTWORK: no artwork

PACKAGING: no packaging

BAND MOOD: TTTT

COLLECTION ZEP FAN: TTTT

COLLECTION CASUAL FAN: TTT

Terzo remaster del 2019, terza ottima prova di dadgad. Non posso che ripetere quanto già scritto nei precedenti due recenti articoli: nuovo remaster sempre relativo alla prima parte del tour del nord America del 1973. Altro soundboard (una cassetta solitamente stereo registrata dal bancone del mixer) che dadgad riprende in mano e ripulisce con la sua consueta bravura. Due parole sulla prima parte del tour del 1973 le abbiamo scritte nella recensione del concerto di Mobile (pubblicato l’11 aprile), passiamo quindi direttamente al concerto.

13500 (forse 14000) spettatori per la data texana al Tarrant County Convention Center di Forth Worth, data che inizia come da copione con Rock And Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog. La qualità audio è davvero ottima (ricordiamoci sempre che stiamo parlando di bootleg), gli strumenti sono ben bilanciati, seguire la performance è un piacere. Il gruppo sembra in forma. Il basso di Jones è ben presente e pompa con la consueta stupefacente eleganza. Nell’assolo finale di Celebration Day Page sperimenta nuove cose, è chiaro sin da subito che sarà una buona serata. Seguire in cuffia John Bonham i è entusiasmante, le finezze che mette in campo sono godibilissime. Tiene il tempo con la potenza che lo contraddistingue ma tra un giro è l’altro vi infila passaggini deliziosi.

RP: Thank you. Good evening. A little more rapport. What happened to you on that ah, ah? Where you went? You were jerkin’ off. What happened? That’s my game. This is a song from, uh, Houses of the Holy. It’s, uh, it’s about man.

Over The Hills And Far Away è un altro momento adatto per apprezzare la coppia Jones/Bonham; mentre Page è perso nelle sue improvvisazioni, la sezione ritmica regge il pezzo con impeto e passionale precisione.

RP: This is, uh, quite an occasion, he said to himself. This is a track from the fourth album. This is what happens when you go for a walk on a Sunday afternoon in the park, and things don’t go so well. In fact, you end up in the jail house. It’s called ‘Misty Mountain Hop.’

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-19 Fort Worth, Texas, USA

 Misty Mountain Hop e Since I’ve Been Loving You proseguono lungo il sentiero del concerto. In SIBLY il piano di Jones mi irretisce ogni volta. La versione del 1973 è davvero insuperabile: arrangiamento sublime, gruppo sempre pronto a prendersi rischi e azzardare figadini musicali, assolo di chitarra di espressività cosmica.

RP: This, uh. Mr. soundman. This is called ‘No Quarter.’

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-Texas, USA

 

Purtroppo durante No Quarter il suono della pedaliera basso su cui John Paul Jones agisce contemporaneamente alle tastiere non esce in modo chiaro, è infatti un indistinto tumbleweed di frequenze basse che rotola continuamente sotto i piedi del polistrumentista. Buono l’assolo di Page.

RP: That was a new one. This is another new one. It’s about, uh, actually, I’ve got a funny feeling in me pipe. I swear, ha ha. Um, it’s about traveling about in, in, uh, different countries and finding out that at the very end that basically eveybody is just the same. There’s a few crazy people but basically, anywhere, everybody is the same. And it’s called ‘The Song Remains the Same.’

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-19 Fort Worth, Texas, USA

In The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song la definizione del basso di Jones sembra perdersi un po’. Bonham durante TSRTS è la solita furia, stasera sembra ossessionato dall’uso dei timpani (tipo di tamburi della batteria posizionati a terra, in questo caso a destra del batterista). Lo scrivo ogni volta, ma il lavoro di Page sulla dodici corde è uno dei momenti più alti del chitarrismo rock. Alla fine il pezzo va a dissolversi in The Rain Song; la delicata chitarra di Page e il canto celestiale di Robert Plant mi confermano – come se ce ne fosse bisogno – che i LZ sono stati davvero stati i numeri uno. Entra poi il mellotron di Jones e mi sciolgo per l’ennesima volta di fronte alla maestosa musicalità del gruppo.

RP: John Paul Jones played the orchestra. Let’s hear it for John Paul Jones, who played the orchestra! As you’re so responsive, I think you can give yourself a good round of applause. We’d like to, uh, in fact, it’s nothing to do with we, it’s something to do with me. I’d like to dedicate this next one to, uh, an old friend of mine, if she’s about anywhere, The Butterqueen. Ha, ha, ha. The Butterqueen, fantastic. Do you know what it’s like? Far out. [fade cut]Hah. She is too much, really. And so are we. And this is an old one. An oldie but goodie. The Butterqueen.

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-19 Fort Worth, Texas, USA

L’introduzione di Dazed And Confused si caratterizza per un uso masiccio dei timpani da parte di Bonham. Molto bene Plant e assai riuscita la sezione dell’archetto di violino, grande impatto sonoro e magnetismo interstellare, ma è tutto il pezzo ad essere magnifico. I musicisti si trovano e si rincorrono secondo uno schema universale mandato a memoria, un po’ come facevano, nello stesso anno, i giocatori dell’Ajax. Alla fine trenta secondi di ovazione dopo trenta minuti di purissima tempesta elettrica.

RP :Good evening.”

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-19 Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Stairway To Heaven è impeccabile. Niente di più, niente di meno. Uno spettacolo.

RP: Thank you. Thank you very much. I think after, after that I’ll, I will put the lemon tea away and stand on the beer again. Oh, dear. So it’s gettin’ a little more personalized now, right? I’m beginning to feel, feel the presence of fourteen thousand people. [cut]

Anche in questo caso il soundboard si conclude con STH, nastro dunque incompleto ma da avere (anche grazie al lavoro di dadgad), se ci si considera una testa di piombo.

◊ ◊ ◊

◊ ◊ ◊

Artist: Led Zeppelin
Date: 1973-05-19
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Venue: Tarrant County Convention Center
Source: Soundboard
Lineage: Unverified Analogue low gen source>DAT>CDr>WAV>FLAC

Comment: 2019 Remaster, the difference from the old one is subtle but there is.

I received the raw transfer as 1st Gen>DAT>CDR along with the Mobile and Kezar SBDs back in the years.

Considering the saga that surrounds these SBD tapes I prefer to list this as unverified gen.

This and the Mobile one do not belong to the well known branch.

Setlist:
01. Rock And Roll
02. Celebration Day
03. Black Dog
04. Over The Hills And Far Away
05. Misty Mountain Hop
06. Since I’ve Been Loving You
07. No Quarter
08. The Song Remains The Same
09. The Rain Song
10. Dazed And Confused
11. Stairway To Heaven

Speed&Pitch corrected and Remastered

dadgad prog.

Altre produzioni di dadgad sul blog:

https://timtirelli.com/2019/04/24/bootleg-led-zeppelin-salt-lake-city-salt-palace-26-may-1973-dadgad-remaster-2019/

https://timtirelli.com/2019/04/11/bootlegs-led-zeppelin-mobile-municipal-auditorium-13-may-1973-dadgad-remaster-2019/

https://timtirelli.com/2014/08/15/led-zeppelin-san-francisco-kezar-stadium-2-june-1973-dadgad-edition-2010-ttttt/

https://timtirelli.com/2013/07/12/led-zeppelin-the-kings-of-the-stone-age-bootleg-2013-empress-valley-3-cd-doctored-by-dadgad-ttttt/

https://timtirelli.com/2017/02/02/led-zeppelin-must-have-bootlegs-going-to-california-berkeley-14091971/

◊ ◊ ◊

(broken) ENGLISH

Led Zeppelin, Fort Worth, Texas, USA Tarrant County Convention Center 19 May 1973 (dadgad remaster 2019)

LABEL: no label

TYPE: soundboard

SOUND QUALITY: TTTT

PERFORMANCE: TTTT

ARTWORK: no artwork

PACKAGING: no packaging

BAND MOOD: TTTT

COLLECTION ZEP FAN: TTTT

COLLECTION CASUAL FAN: TTT

Third 2019 remaster, third excellent work of dadgad. I can only repeat what I have already written in the previous two recent articles: its a new remaster always related to the first part of the North American tour of 1973. Another soundboard (usually  a stereo cassette recorded by the mixing desk) that dadgad cleans with his usual skills. I wrote few words on the first part of the 1973 tour in the review of the Mobile concert (published on April 11), so we go directly to the show.

13500 (maybe 14000) fas for the Texan date at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Forth Worth, a date that starts as expected with Rock And Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog. The audio quality is really good (always remember that we’re talking about bootlegs), the instruments are well balanced, following the performance is a pleasure. The group seems to be in good shape. Jones’ bass is very present and pumps with the usual astonishing elegance. Page tries new things in the final solo of Celebration Day, it is clear right away that it will be a good evening. To follow John Bonham, with the headphones on, is exciting, the subtleties he puts into play are extremely enjoyable. He keeps his tempo with the power that sets him apart, but between one ride and another he puts on delicious passages.

RP: Thank you. Good evening. A little more rapport. What happened to you on that ah, ah? Where you went? You were jerkin’ off. What happened? That’s my game. This is a song from, uh, Houses of the Holy. It’s, uh, it’s about man.

In Over The Hills And Far Away we can enjoy again the Jones/Bonham rhythm section; while Page is lost in his improvisations, the two Johns holds the piece with impetus and passionate precision.

RP: This is, uh, quite an occasion, he said to himself. This is a track from the fourth album. This is what happens when you go for a walk on a Sunday afternoon in the park, and things don’t go so well. In fact, you end up in the jail house. It’s called ‘Misty Mountain Hop.’

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-19 Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Misty Mountain Hop and Since I’ve Been Loving You continue along the concert trail. In SIBLY, Jones’s piano charms me every time. The 1973 version is truly unsurpassed: a sublime arrangement, a group always ready to take risks and hazarding new musical figures, the cosmic expressiveness of the guitar solo.

RP: This, uh. Mr. soundman. This is called ‘No Quarter.’

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-Texas, USA

Unfortunately during No Quarter the sound of the bass pedal (on which John Paul Jones acts simultaneously while playing the keyboards) does not come out clearly, it is in fact an indistinct low-frequency tumbleweed that continuously rolls under the feet of the multi-instrumentalist. Good Page’s solo.

RP: That was a new one. This is another new one. It’s about, uh, actually, I’ve got a funny feeling in me pipe. I swear, ha ha. Um, it’s about traveling about in, in, uh, different countries and finding out that at the very end that basically eveybody is just the same. There’s a few crazy people but basically, anywhere, everybody is the same. And it’s called ‘The Song Remains the Same.’

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-19 Fort Worth, Texas, USA

In The Song Remains The Same e The Rain Song, Jones’ bass definition seems to get lost a little. Bonham during TSRTS is the usual fury, tonight he seems obsessed with the use of tympani (type of drums positioned on the ground, in this case to the right of our beloved drummer). I write it every time, but Page’s work on the twelve strings is one of the highest moments of rock guitar playing. Eventually the piece dissolves into The Rain Song; Page’s delicate guitar and Robert Plant’s celestial vocals confirm – as if it were needed – that the LZs were really the number ones. When Jonesy’s mellotron enters I melt for the umpteenth time in front of the majestic musicality of the group.

RP: John Paul Jones played the orchestra. Let’s hear it for John Paul Jones, who played the orchestra! As you’re so responsive, I think you can give yourself a good round of applause. We’d like to, uh, in fact, it’s nothing to do with we, it’s something to do with me. I’d like to dedicate this next one to, uh, an old friend of mine, if she’s about anywhere, The Butterqueen. Ha, ha, ha. The Butterqueen, fantastic. Do you know what it’s like? Far out. [fade cut]Hah. She is too much, really. And so are we. And this is an old one. An oldie but goodie. The Butterqueen.

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-19 Fort Worth, Texas, USA

The introduction of Dazed And Confused is characterized by a massive use of the tympani by Bonham. Plant is very good on this track and the section of the violin bow is a real gas, great sound impact and interstellar magnetism. In the end the whole piece is magnificent. The musicians find and chase each other according to a very natural (to them) universal scheme, a bit like the Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax players did in the same years, in fact I have always thought Jimmy Page was the Joahn Cruijff of rock music. At the end we have thirty seconds ovation of the public, after thirty minutes of pure electrical storm.

RP :Good evening.”

Led Zeppelin 1973-05-19 Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Stairway To Heaven is impeccable. Nothing more, nothing less. A unique spectacle!

RP: Thank you. Thank you very much. I think after, after that I’ll, I will put the lemon tea away and stand on the beer again. Oh, dear. So it’s gettin’ a little more personalized now, right? I’m beginning to feel, feel the presence of fourteen thousand people. [cut]

Also in this case the soundboard ends with STH, so it is an incomplete tape, but it’s a recording I suggest to have in your LZ bootleg collection (also thanks to the work of dadgad), if you consider yourselfselves a led head.

◊ ◊ ◊

◊ ◊ ◊

Artist: Led Zeppelin
Date: 1973-05-19
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Venue: Tarrant County Convention Center
Source: Soundboard
Lineage: Unverified Analogue low gen source>DAT>CDr>WAV>FLAC

Comment: 2019 Remaster, the difference from the old one is subtle but there is.

I received the raw transfer as 1st Gen>DAT>CDR along with the Mobile and Kezar SBDs back in the years.

Considering the saga that surrounds these SBD tapes I prefer to list this as unverified gen.

This and the Mobile one do not belong to the well known branch.

Setlist:
01. Rock And Roll
02. Celebration Day
03. Black Dog
04. Over The Hills And Far Away
05. Misty Mountain Hop
06. Since I’ve Been Loving You
07. No Quarter
08. The Song Remains The Same
09. The Rain Song
10. Dazed And Confused
11. Stairway To Heaven

Speed&Pitch corrected and Remastered

dadgad prog.

Other dadgad’s production on this blog:

https://timtirelli.com/2019/04/24/bootleg-led-zeppelin-salt-lake-city-salt-palace-26-may-1973-dadgad-remaster-2019/

https://timtirelli.com/2019/04/11/bootlegs-led-zeppelin-mobile-municipal-auditorium-13-may-1973-dadgad-remaster-2019/

https://timtirelli.com/2014/08/15/led-zeppelin-san-francisco-kezar-stadium-2-june-1973-dadgad-edition-2010-ttttt/

https://timtirelli.com/2013/07/12/led-zeppelin-the-kings-of-the-stone-age-bootleg-2013-empress-valley-3-cd-doctored-by-dadgad-ttttt/

https://timtirelli.com/2017/02/02/led-zeppelin-must-have-bootlegs-going-to-california-berkeley-14091971/