Led Zeppelin’s Final Tour: The 1980 Tour Over Europe
As a young fan I was always deeply curious about the last days of the mighty Zep. The 1980 tour was (back in the mid 1980’s) not well known (it was a brief tour of Europe. The big US tour was scheduled for later in 1980.), and before the internet, and downloads, there wasn’t much in the way of data.
Well, there is now! I explore the last days of Led Zeppelin, their final tour, and play some really cool songs. Give a listen.
I have been revisiting Led Zeppelin’s 1980 tour, and I had never listened to their July 5, 1980 show, in Munich. This is one of the only (maybe the only) show from this tour that doesn’t have a soundboard out there. That late 1980’s glut of dry soundboards did this tour no favors. Jimmy’s tone is brittle and highlights every flubbed note wayyyyy more than a good audience tape.
Munich is a very good audience tape, maybe even excellent. There’s good stereo separation, good ambience, and you can hear Jimmy’s guitar the way you would have heard it in the hall. On top of that it was a fun show.
At the conclusion of the show, a second drum kit was set up, next to Bonzo’s drums. Not even Keith Moon got his drum kit when he played with Zep in ’77. This is a one time thing.
After a brief break, Led Zeppelin comes back with the drummer from Bad Company, Simon Kirke. Bad Company was the biggest act (aside from Zeppelin themselves) on their Swan Song label, as well as friends with the band, so they had special access. Jimmy and Robert even jammed with Bad Company a couple of times, but that’s the subject of another blog post.
So here is a very cool, very funny, version of Whole Lotta Love, with two drummers. This is also the second to the last time the band would play this song, before Bonzo’s untimely death. It’s a fun one. Jimmy goes into the fun blues things, and even brings the drummers back into line, when they get lost. This recording really changed my mind about this tour, and tipped the scales in deciding to make this tour the topic of my next podcast.
This is old news but I’m an old guy, and I saw this Rick and Morty court transcript reading when it first came out, so I’m still cool. Just about exactly two years ago a story consumed the Internet, about an exchange between a judge and an convict, which was just out of this world filthy, hilarious, and surreal.
This happened in Georgia and nothing else matters other than it’s a completely accurate reading of the actual goings on in that courtroom. Jesus Christ this country is fucked. Hilarious though.
If you would like to read the entire thing, go nuts. It’s just brilliantly magnificent in a truly Discordian sense. I declare both of these men, the judge and the prisoner, Discordian Popes.
This is a smoking hot jam from July 1, 1980, in which Jimmy Page jams with Santana in Frankfurt. Led Zeppelin had just played one of their best shows of their 1980 Tour Over Europe, the night before. Santana (the band) breaks out the old chestnut Shake Your Moneymaker, and Jimmy Page joins in. It’s pretty great.
You don’t get much jamming from Jimmy during the last years of Zep. He had his demons but not this night. The soundboard recording is very hot (oooh hot mic), and a bit shrill to these old ears, but it’s still awesome. Jimmy is at home sparring with the amazing Carlos Santana. It’s got the bounce and enthusiasm of the version, 20 years later done by Jimmy and the Black Crowes.
I’ve been revisiting the 1980 tour and I believe I’m changing my mind about it. For the last 30 years (Jesus, that’s sobering) I’ve thought of the ’80 tour as essential a shell of Zeppelin. This is based on the dry soulless soundboard recordings which abound.
The soundboard boots were everywhere when I was a youth, and even not there are only a relative handful of good audience recordings from this tour. Munich is an exception. It’s audience tape is excellent and it makes the show SO MUCH BETTER. You get the sound with reverb and space, as opposed to the flat line input sound. The soundboards highlight Jimmy’s shaky playing and is the aural equivalent to the fluorescent lighting in a gas station bathroom. It does the subject no favors.
Anyhoo give this a listen and you’ll hear Jimmy giving it his all and playing the fuck out of his Les Paul. Enjoy.
I think the 1980 tour will be the topic of my next podcast. #foreshadowing
Back in the long long ago, the late ’80’s, I managed a record store in Southern NH, and I bought an album from a group about whom I knew nothing (Jon Snow), called The Lyres. One track, this drunken horror show of a take, has stuck with me for 30 years.
She Pays The Rent starts with a shimmering tremolo guitar(which I loved because I had an amp with that effect) and builds into a nice organ based ballad. The vocals are rough. Jeff Connoly plays organ and sings, and if he’s not shitfaced in this song, then he’s doing a great impression of someone who is.
It’s pitchy, it’s politically incorrect, it’s rough, and it’s awesome. She Pays The Rent. There are myriad different versions of this song, but this is my go to. Enjoy.
My first, in fact THE first Led Zeppelin CD bootleg was Zurich, June 29, 1980. It was a dry soundboard recording, like almost all of the 1980 tapes, and it showed precisely how not on their game Jimmy Page and (tragically) John Bonham were at this time. They were both deep in their addictions, and it showed. I’ve compared Zeppelin live in 1980 to Aerosmith, in that it’s not the shows were horrible (although almost all the shows had an awful component… usually White Summer/Black Mountainside or Hot Dog), but they weren’t inspired. Bonzo would sometimes sound tired or like he was just phoning it in. They had to stop a show in Nuremberg (just before this show in Zurich) because Bonzo collapsed and couldn’t play. That stuff hadn’t happened before.
That being said, Achilles Last Stand was great on this tour (Frankfurt is arguably the best live performance ever), as was Kashmir, and the truncated Nobody’s Fault But Mine is bad ass.
This Trampled Underfoot is hands down my favorite. I don’t know if it’s the best, but it is to me. I hope you enjoy it. Jimmy does some hot wah wah work, Bonzo is on it, Robert’s voice is strong as hell (as it was for this whole tour), and fuck… it’s a great song to begin with.
Let me know what you think. I am kind of leaning toward doing an episode on the 1980 Tour Over Europe, since there are some really good performances, some great jams, and it’s the last tour with Bonzo, so it’s special.
Given the condition of half the band I’m glad they never toured the States in 1980, because I think it would have very likely tarnished their reputation. I don’t think they would have pulled off a good tour. In another reality John Bonham and Jimmy Page got clean and sober in the 1970’s, and Zeppelin kept chugging along for years, and years. Alas, that’s not the timeline in which we live.
I love Patrice O’Neal. He was one of the smartest, wisest, funniest, bravest, noblest comedians of the 21st Century, and his early death was a huge loss. In whi
This clip if from his appearance on the NoName Show, speaking of his (never made) Comedy Central show about White People. If you’re not familiar with Patrice O’Neal, he was a comedian in the same crowd as Bill Burr, Joe Rogan, Jim Norton, et al. The Boston Gen X crowd (of which I’m a member) that ascended with the rise of (non music video) MTV.
I forgot that Joan Osbourne toured with Phil Lesh & Friends for a bit. This is of course the post-Jerry, Phil Lesh vehicle (in this case with Trey Anastasio), but they sound wonderful. The sax player is a nice touch. Phil’s bass brings the Grateful Dead bottom to this contemporary performance.
Joan’s voice is strong and full of emotion, as always (I love her), and she does China Doll justice. I am not a Deadhead and I just stumbled upon this while on YouTube, but it was such a delightful surprise, I wanted to share it with you all. It’s from July 6, 2006 and the whole show is available, for free, on Archive.org. Good stuff. Enjoy.
I remember when this banned Family Guy episode was all the buzz. Partial Terms of Endearment was to have been the final episode of season 8, for Family Guy. It’s also the last one shot/aired in standard definition, and the 4:3 (old school tv) aspect ratio.
The subject of this episode is (if you haven’t guessed by now) abortion. Back in 2010 when Ke$ha and Lady Gaga ruled the tundra, this episode was available …. in the woods… so you could download it…. in the woods… and get a rip from the UK broadcast (they aired it), and it was a fine episode. Some good jokes in there, mainly (imo) during the threesome part.
It’s crazy that Family Guy is almost 20 years old. I still watch it and sometimes it still makes me really laugh. That’s more than the Simpsons can say. Zombie Simpsons just sucks (one man’s opinion).
If you want to watch the episode itself, you can easily find it through google, or maybe even Netflix, or Hulu. This video is of a live table read, from 2010, featuring Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis, and a bunch of other people whose voices you’ll recognize. It’s a novel approach toward presenting a previously banned piece of work, and I like it. It also shows the honest skill and talent of the actors.
In any case it made me smile. I hope you enjoy the banned Family Guy episode, Partial Terms of Endearment, read aloud by the actors themselves (except for Seth Green). I am going to be adding posts about other things that interest me, so don’t be surprised to see more humor or esoteric posts in the future. I’ll still focus primarily on Jimmy Page, and Led Zeppelin, but I’m broadening the scope a little bit. Enjoy.
If you are a listener of my podcast you already know that in September of 1983, the ARMS Concerts were held in London. They featured sets from Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. This show, from May of that year, is the first live appearance of Jimmy Page since he jammed (along with Robert Plant), with Foreigner on May 12, 1982.
This Eric Clapton concert was the last show of the Money and Cigarettes tour, and it took place in the UK, at the Guildford Town Hall. After performing his set, Eric brought out some friends for a bit of a jam. Albert Lee was playing in Clapton’s band, but Jimmy Page, Phil Collins (who was just about the biggest star in the world in 1983), and Chas & Dave, came out to play. Irish singer Paul Brady comes out to close out the proceedings with Goodnight Irene.
It’s a fun set. Jimmy is, as you probably know having followed my podcasts, not in the best shape here, but he’s not as bad as I had recalled. This YouTube recording is better than the bootleg I’ve had for years. There’s a lot more definition and clarity here, and it does Jimmy credit.
The songs on which Jimmy plays are:
1:20:53 Further On Up The Road (*)
1:29:12 Cocaine (*)
1:36:13 Roll Over Beethoven (*) (**)
1:43:04 You Win Again (*) (**) (***)
1:46:59 Matchbox (*) (**) (***)
1:53:11 Goodnight Irene (*) (**) (***)
* = Jimmy Page
** = Phil Collins
*** = Chas and Dave
**** = Paul Brady
One thing that’s delightful is that this isn’t just one song. It’s a nice set. You’ll be able tell which guitar is Jimmy’s because he’s using his b-bender telecaster, and nothing else sounds like that.
It’s a delightful artifact of Jimmy’s career post-Zeppelin, but before the Firm was even an idea. This show is also just before Eric Clapton’s career had its resurgence with Forever Man. I hope you enjoy this.