Conflicted about Zep?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by michael landes, Apr 13, 2013.

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  1. JETman

    JETman Forum Resident

    This, in itself, changed the industry positively for the artists. However, being a former wrestler, his approach was more than a little heavy-handed. He might as well have been the mafioso seen in the dream sequence in TSRTS.
  2. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I think the live venue/touring business probably wasn't quite as 'corporatized' back in those days- and if Peter Grant was a bit of a thug, he was probably dealing with some of the same on the other side of the table. As to songwriter credits, if you read the bio/interview with Page that was recently published (the title is something like 'Light and Shade'), he does discuss his view about 'borrowing' in the tradition of blues artists from the past. I'm a copyright lawyer, so i understand the line here, and am not defending Page, just trying to help fill in a few blanks. (That interview book was a fascinating read , it spent less time on LZ 'mythology' and more on Page's career before he formed the band, as well as his take on miking and production in the making of the LZ albums).
  3. bluefish18

    bluefish18 New Member

    Westchester, NY
    Couldn't agree more. I've always thought Plant was completely overrated. On the Plus side, Bonhams drumming is phenomenal, and Page created some historical riffs. But Plants voice is like finger nails on a blackboard, and his attitude, both on and off stage, is nauseating.....
    Carserguev likes this.
  4. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Member Of The Midnight Society

    Greater St. Louis
    I think Plant's vocals give Zeppelin a certain charm, maybe not always, but mostly. His voice makes the music sound "occultish," which works great for the songs.
  5. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Vocals are often a make or break proposition. Doesn't matter how good the songwriting, playing, or 'music' is. If you can't take the vocals, usually nothing else will get past.
    no.nine and Hawklord like this.
  6. Electric

    Electric The Medium is the Massage

    Vancouver, CANADA

    Poseurs, yes. Worthless, no.
  7. SammyJoe

    SammyJoe Up The Irons!

    No conflict for me, there ever was any or will be.
    To me, personally, Led Zeppelin are on the best bands ever and to me theres no doubt about this at all.
    Its my opinion and I respect everyone in their own beliefs.

    For anyone, that has attained such following as Zeppelin, they surely will still divide people
    and sometimes it feels that Page&Co have gotten way too much bashing compared to some other legendary groups/artists.
  8. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Germantown, Md.
    Like Zeppelin a lot, but not the "hits" (Stairway, Dazed, Whole Lotta...) - My first concert was Zeppelin ('73).
  9. Hawklord

    Hawklord Well-Known Member

    I agree thats why as much as I would like to enjoy ACDC the vocalists just kill it for me. I can take them in small doses but thats it. Same with Nazareth
  10. mando_dan

    mando_dan Forum Resident

    Salem, MA
    Right on OP! I have III, IV, Houses of the Holy, the double, Presence, and Coda. About half the songs on each tickle my fancy in a big way but strangely I almost never listen to the albums, perhaps b/c I'm just not as into rock as I used to be. Still, they were great musicians and deserve their place in the rock Pantheon.

    - Great riffs
    - Great drums
    - Some really interesting arrangements

    - Some inane lyrics that I just can't overlook (Gollum!)
    - Shoot me for this but some of the early stuff just sounds immature
    - And, ouch, I still think of the nitwits in junior high and high school who fawned over Zep. At least in one public school system in southern NH in the mid-80s, the college track kids did not listen to Zep (or at least admit to it). The stigma remains.
    margaritatoldtom and One Louder like this.
  11. love4another

    love4another Well-Known Member

    Is that supposed to be funny?
  12. mikefromlongisla

    mikefromlongisla Active Member

    metro ny area
  13. JETman

    JETman Forum Resident

  14. mikefromlongisla

    mikefromlongisla Active Member

    metro ny area
  15. mikefromlongisla

    mikefromlongisla Active Member

    metro ny area
    Led Zeppelin - live Spokane 1968-12-30 (Full Concert)[​IMG]


    Spokane was an early step on 'Len Zefflin's' stairway to stardom

    How obscure was the opening band for Vanilla Fudge at Gonzaga University on Dec. 30, 1968? Well, the ads in both The Spokesman-Review and Chronicle read, "The Vanilla Fudge, with Len Zefflin."

    The ad copywriter misheard the name and thought it was some guy named "Len Zefflin."

    Little did anybody know that old Len would turn out to be Led Zeppelin, one of the most popular and influential rock bands of all time, whose reunion concert this month made worldwide news.

    That 1968 show at Gonzaga's Kennedy Pavilion would later assume a historic status in Zeppelin lore – all because a student brought a small tape recorder.

    Today, this tape – bootlegged and distributed all over the world and the Web – is widely considered the first Led Zeppelin concert ever captured on tape; the earliest live recording of Led Zeppelin ever.

    Here's how lead singer Robert Plant introduced one of the songs: "This is off an album that comes out in about three weeks time on the Atlantic label. It's called 'Led Zeppelin.' This is a tune … called 'Dazed and Confused.' "

    So their first album wasn't even out yet. The album would not make a mark on the charts until February 1969.

    This concert was only their fifth in the U.S. The band had done tours of the U.K. and Scandinavia a few months before, many of them as The New Yardbirds, the band's short-lived original name. Some of these dates were actually leftover bookings for the Yardbirds, guitarist Jimmy Page's earlier band. Page and his new mates Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones had taken over some of these concert bookings.

    So the band was mostly an unknown quantity. Yet at least one concertgoer, Bob Gallagher – a record store 4,000 Holes – was aware that he wasn't going to see some guy named Len Zefflin.

    "We knew who Jimmy Page was, from the Yardbirds, and we heard it was his band," said Gallagher, who was a teenager at the time. "I was a big Vanilla Fudge fan because psychedelia was really happening then. … But we were excited about seeing Jimmy Page."

    Spokane was experiencing a severe cold snap that week, with temperatures dropping to 10 below. Apparently, the Kennedy Pavilion (Gonzaga's gym) wasn't well-heated either, because many fans remember it as being icy inside, as well.

    But when Led Zeppelin launched into the first song, the place heated up.

    "Bonham came out and started drumming on 'Train Kept a-Rollin',' and everybody went, 'Holy crap,' " said Gallagher. "There's never been a drummer like him. He was awesome. Then they all started playing and they were totally amazing."

    Plant said, between songs, "You won't believe this, but I don't think that either ourselves or our equipment is quite used to the temperature. It's taken about three hours of gas stoves under the equipment to get everything going."

    A little later Plant said they were now "getting warmed up properly," and you can hear the crowd response building after each song. By the evidence of the recording, the band's sound was already fully formed, distinguished by Plant's wailing voice – at one point he sounds like a siren – and Page's virtuoso guitar.

    "What I mostly remember is when Jimmy Page took out a violin bow and began bowing his double-neck guitar," remembered Jeff "Tor" Nadeau. "The house was universally mind-blown. It was the most stunning and awesome sound ever."

    "It took about a half a song before everybody was blown away," remembered David Priano. "When Plant harmonized to Page's pipe-wrench riffs, the audience went nuts. The other thing I remember was the drum solo (during 'Pat's Delight'). As a rule I don't like them. This was the exception. When he threw away his drum sticks and finished with his bare hands – far out."

    "We were hoping that the first band wouldn't stay on stage too long," said Kerry Whitsitt of Spokane. "Little did I know that by the end of Led Zeppelin's set, I would be reeling in my seat, transfixed by Robert Plant's voice, body language and raw sexuality (I just knew he was looking straight through me most of the night). … It was electric in every sense of the word. We didn't want them to leave the stage – ever!"

    Whitsitt recalls that Vanilla Fudge "paled in comparison," even though that band was riding high at the time with a hit version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Mike and Dorothy McMurtery said they left the show more impressed with Led Zeppelin, "whose hard rock music was ahead of its time for Spokane."

    Dave Cole said he was startled, at intermission, to see who was standing in line behind him at the concession stand.

    "Right behind me were Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, waiting to order," said Cole. "I thought it was pretty cool at the time. Several months later, when their first album was released and they got a lot more famous, I began to think it was even cooler."

    Gallagher described the show as a turning point in his musical life. He said that he and his friends were simply "flabbergasted" by the time Led Zeppelin left the stage.

    "Then when Vanilla Fudge came on, they were so sleepy," said Gallagher. "It was like, after that, psychedelia was dead and heavy metal was born, all in a three-hour show. We didn't care about psychedelia anymore. We all just ran back to our Yardbirds records."

    "We felt transformed," said Whitsitt. "Those of us who experienced it together felt like we were in a special club."

    About 30 years later, one member of that club walked into Gallagher's store and started talking about that show.

    (by Jim Kershner / The Spokesman-Review)
    jfeldt likes this.
  16. michael landes

    michael landes Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    What a fabulous bit of history. Thanks so much! One small thing however. While the tape of the
    date you mentioned may well be the first recorded document of Zep under the name Led zeppelin, the band
    had already done a tour under another name.
    Recall that the band did a European tour the previous summer, just before returning to the U.K.
    to record the first album. This was the same band, literally the only difference was the name, which they hadn't settled on yet. They toured as The New Yardbirds. Now maybe nobody taped any of these performances. I really don't know. In fact, you clearly know a lot about it. You tell me. Were any performances of that tour taped to your knowledge? Just asking.
  17. mikefromlongisla

    mikefromlongisla Active Member

    metro ny area

    Exact setlists during the first tours are still sketchy. Old Yardbirds' live staples such as Train Kept a Rollin', Dazed and Confused, White Summer and likely For Your Love were performed.
    Material from the yet unfinished debut album was also included, such as: Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, You Shook Me, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, How Many More Times and a Garnett Mimms cover, As Long As I Have You.


    First ever concert by the group, who are billed as The Yardbirds during this short tour of Scandinavia.
    Jimmy Page: "They don't cheer too madly there, you know? We were really scared, because we only had about fifteen hours to practice together. It was sort of an experimental concert to see if we were any good. I guess." (Dec. 1968 interview)
    Teen-Clubs, Box 45, Egegaard Skole
    Ticketprice 5-7 DKR
    Show at 19:30 (* Support: Fourways, Bodies)
    Early show - second performance takes place later this evening at the Brondby Pop Club.
  18. michael landes

    michael landes Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Hi everyone. Time to chime in again. Let me just go on from where this post left off.......

    This time, let's consider Page.
    forget the whole "stealing" thing. I'm not interested, except insofar actual copyright infringement, that's
    just a legal matter. Not my interest here.

    But I'm conflicted about Page nonetheless.

    On the one hand ........
    (I'm glad I'm not doing this in person) the man just can't play.
    Sorry. That's my take. I've seen em live. I've heard all the records. Forget how self indulgent
    the band is live. Just considered the l.p.'s As long as he stick's to his killer riff he's ok. But
    even though on the album, the relatively short breaks are not improvised but essentially pre-planned.
    (why not. He'd be silly not too) these little breaks are just TERRIBLE. I don't mean technically, I mean
    musically. Just awful. Now that would be fine if he didn't do that kind of stuff. But he hasn't the taste/musicality
    to realize that this stuff is dreadful and so there it is on the otherwise tight manicured tracks!! (technically, he's no
    wunderkind either!!!). I wouldn't care, but he tries to play a bit on the records and it just bores the **** out of me.

    On the other hand .......
    The track constructions are not just imaginative, but in some cases unique. Let me give an example off the top of my
    head. ................ Take the last track from Houses of the Holy (The Ocean?) It has has Bonham banging out a continuous
    series of undifferentiated beats. Not primary beat, secondary beat, auxiliary beats. In fact there is no way to
    say from the drumming if this thing is 2/4, 3/4 or 4/4 or none of the above. It's just an even pulse that continues through
    the track. Why? Because he has no choice. The track doesn't break up rhythmically in any standard Western way.
    That is to say. To explain the rhythmic structure in the Western way, in terms of measure and time signature would take the
    same kind of reaching around side ways that was required in the middle ages to explain the motion of the planets assuming
    the Earth at the center of the Solar System. You can do it, but it gets sooooooooooo involved. Let me be more specific about
    this case:

    Ocean starts with this cool riff. It fits right in with the drum beats. The riff is repeated four times.
    Then the riff changes and the singing starts.
    Consider the opening riff. Seems like this thing is in 4/4. The riff occupies 8 beats (two measure).
    Thus, the riff cycle (four iterations) occupies 32 beats/8 measures. Fine. nothing strange there.
    Only none of the above is true!!!! The riff occuppies 7.5 beats, not 8!!! The second iteration of the riff
    begins 1/2 beat before the beginning of the next drum beat (beginning of the supposed 3rd measure).
    Likewise the third iteration of the riff begins another 1/2 beat back, so that the 3rd iteration this time
    DOES synchronize with a drum beat, but it's the fourth (last) beat of the 4th measure, not the first beat
    of the fifth! Likewise, the fourth iteration begins asynchronously with the drums, halfway between the
    third and fourth drum beats of the 6th measure (not the beginning of the seventh) and ends in synch
    with a drum beat exactly in the middle of the supposed 7th measure, on beat 3. ................And then
    the singing begins with a new riff but we won't go there (don't bother to thank me)

    WHAT IS ALL THIS GIBBERISH? It's what happens if you try to hear the opening riff as in 4/4 time.
    It's really not all that complicated. It just becomes complicated if you try to force it into a
    standard Western conceptual model - 4/4 time. It's just a 7 1/2 beat cycle repeated four times. No that's
    not the same as 15/16. It's fine, it's musical, it makes sense. It's just highly non-standard and has
    an affect that is quite unique in the shifting of accents not just from primary beats to secondary beats,
    but from ON the beats to BETWEEN the beats! Very cool. And there's lots of this stuff in Page's
    little constructs. It's just something about his rhythmic intuition. and it's JUST ONE of the things that
    makes some of the Zep tracks not just good, but SPECIAL. Where else can I get this kind of rhythmic
    kick in rock? Where?

    now if only he wouldn't try to solo......................................................................

    I.e. four beats to the measure, an eight-beat riff.

    he constructs these nice imaginative tracks, some of them quite wonderful and then he ruins them with these little
    solos that are just awful. I don't fault him for his weaknesses.
  19. RockWizard

    RockWizard Forum Resident

    Heavy handed or not, at least he made sure the guys were getting the lion's share of the $$$. With their popularity in the 70's, you were lucky to get them booked. Someone once said - would you rather have 10% of a Zeppelin gate opposed to nothing at all?
  20. JETman

    JETman Forum Resident

    I'm guessing that your hearing Crimson play in 17/8 would just 'splode yer head right off its staunches!

    Obviously your views are subjective, and you have every right in the world to have them. However, I can name at least 3 or 4 Page solos that would rank very highly on my "hair standing on end" scale.
  21. JETman

    JETman Forum Resident

    You're preaching to the choir. I already said that he changed things positively for Zep.
  22. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    Millions of listeners, including myself, would disagree with you there. I don't know what your definition of "being able to play" consists of, but mine consists of doing something on the guitar that gives me, the listener, musical enjoyment, and Page does that in spades, from his improvised journeys through the live "Dazed and Confused" to his tightly-constructed studio riffs such as "Dancing Days." The impact of something like the "Stairway To Heaven" solo may have been dulled by over-exposure, but how you could consider a solo like that to be "awful" is beyond me.

    Couldn't agree with you more, however, that tracks like "The Ocean" and "Four Sticks" are fascinating rhythmically - for a guy who "couldn't play," I guess. :sigh:
  23. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    To each his own. I personally think they never got more inventive musically than they did on Presence.
  24. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    Slightly conflicted:

    LOVE them up until "Presence"... no interest after that.

    HATE them for stealing songs from destitute Blues artists (they say they idolized) without paying them for the songs they stole.

    zen likes this.
  25. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    Anyone in that line of work who gets the best results for his clients, like, say, contemporary baseball super-agent Scott Boras, is going to be seen as heavy-handed. It's called "driving a hard bargain" for a reason. If I were in a super-duper great rock band, I think I know who I'd choose to manage me between a guy like Peter Grant and a wet blanket "nice guy" like Brian Epstein, who, despite playing a key role in the Beatles' early success, subsequently negotiated a series of terrible financial deals on their behalf..
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