Episode 8 – Led Zeppelin’s Final Tour: 1980 Podcast Now Live

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Led Zeppelin’s Final Tour: The 1980 Tour Over Europe

led zeppelin final tour 1980
I love this poster.

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.

Led Zeppelin & Bad Company Jam On Whole Lotta Love – Munich 1980

led zeppelin bad company munich 1980
The second to last Led Zeppelin concert with John Bonham.

Led Zeppelin & Bad Company

Simon Kirke & John Bonham In Munich 1980

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.

Enjoy!

Jimmy Page Jams With Santana – Frankfurt 1980

led zeppelin santana frankfury 1980
Courtesy of the almighty Steve A Jones, the Venerable Bede of Zep Lore.

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

The Lyres – She Pays The Rent

lyres-she-pays-the-rent
Boston Band The Lyres.

The Lyres – She Pays The Rent

She Don’t Love Me The Way That She Used To

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 Favorite Version Of Trampled Underfoot – Zurich 1980

led zeppelin zurich 1980
Jimmy Page opening the show with Train Kept A Rollin’. Zurich 1980.

Led Zeppelin Live

Trampled Underfoort – Zurich 1980

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.

Joan Osbourne & Phil & Friends – China Doll 2006

joan osbourne china doll phil friends 2006
Joan Osbourne with Phil and Friends.

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.

Jimmy Page Jamming With Eric Clapton & Phil Collins 1983

jimmy page eric clapton 1983
I don’t think this is from this show, because that’s the doubleneck.

Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, & Phil Collins

May, 1983, Guildford

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.

Unreleased Coverdale Page Track – Southern Comfort

unreleased coverdale page
Coverdale Page. They never really got off the ground.

Unreleased Coverdale Page Song

Southern Comfort (Acoustic)


I want to share this nice unreleased Coverdale Page track. It’s a nice acoustic number entitled Southern Comfort. There’s no solo or anything, but the chord voicings could only belong to one Mr. James Patrick Page. I could never connect with the Coverdale Page album.

A few years ago three unreleased songs were “leaked” by David Coverdale on his website. As such only lossy (.mp3) versions of these songs exist out here in the wild. This one, Southern Comfort, is the only acoustic track.

The is some mud in the water regarding this track, with some saying this is a unreleased track from David Coverdale’s 2000 solo album. However, the man himself said on Twitter that this song is from the Coverdale Page sessions. So, case closed. Plus it’s obviously Jimmy Page playing with that tuning.

One of these day’s I’ll cover Coverdale Page on the podcast. Until then let this hold you over.

In any case enjoy this little rarity (although rarities are a rarity in this digital age. Nothing’s rare if it’s on YouTube). 🙂

Awesome Live Led Zeppelin Covers Part One

led zeppelin for your love
Young and hungry. Velvet pants and the telecaster.
led zeppelin whiskey a go go 1969
Imagine being the happy few who saw this gig.

There are some really great songs performed on Zep’s first couple of tours which are never repeated. For Your Love is one of them. This is from January 5, 1969.  Led Zeppelin I wasn’t out yet. They had been in the USA for one week. They’re still driving a van to gigs. They’re not insanely tight yet. They’re rough and raw. Pure power. Jimmy playing the telecaster he played in the Yardbirds. He didn’t have the Les Paul yet. Joe Walsh sold him his Les Paul. Did you know that? You do now. That pic in the video is from the Boston Tea Party in May 1969. Jimmy has the Les Paul there, because he bought it in April.

This show, the Whiskey A Go Go, January 5, 1969, is the first soundboard recording we mortals can hear. The band had only been in the states for their first tour, for a week. They were playing gymnasiums and clubs. Absolutely no one knew who they were, or what they brought.

Led Zeppelin was young and hungry. They set out to blow the acts for which they were opening (Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, The Doors, for example) off the stage.  They succeeded. They had a lot of cover songs in their set, because they only had album in the can, and no one had any idea who they were, aside from ‘the guy from the yardbirds’. And it wasn’t like ‘that guy from the Yardbirds’ had much effect, because at that point, Jimmy Page was the least famous guy from the Yardbirds. Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck were already stars. The Jeff Beck Group was already touring, and had two albums out (or at least one), fronted by Rod Stewart. Zeppelin started from obscurity and fucking conquered.

You can hear that in this performance of the Yardbirds hit, For Your Love. It’s kind of loose, super aggressive, but the thing that stands out for me is that they aren’t gelled completely as a band, yet. They’re awesome for sure but almost unstable in their ferocity. I love it.

Jimmy Page & Roy Harper Live 2011

Same Old Rock Live

At Roy’s 70th Birthday Celebration


It’s an open secret that Jimmy Page has been retired, officially or not, since at least 2000 (when he toured with the Black Crowes), or even 1998 (his last creative period with new material). He has made a few appearances over the years, with Donovan, with Jeff Beck at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and with his old friend, and collaborator, Roy Harper.

This clip is from Roy’s 70th birthday concert, and it’s absolutely brilliant. The song, Same Old Rock, is from his Stormcock album, on which Jimmy played, and it’s anthemic and amazing, and awesome.

Roy’s voice is still strong and pure, and Jimmy comes out and nails his parts like he did back in the early 70’s. It’s great. Dave Lewis has an excellent write up of this gig on his site, if you want to know more.

This song is so good I want you to read the lyrics (if you so desire), because they’re excellent.

jimmy page roy harper 2011 birthday
Old friends. (pic source: Tight But Loose)

 

All along the ancient wastes the thin reflections spin
That gather all the times and tides at once we love within
That build the edges round the shrouds that cloud the setting sun
And carry us to other days and other days to one
And full the single stillness of the mirror that is made
By each and every one of all the colours in a shade
Inside each eye is sitting like the sword inside the blade
And longs for once upon a chance to open love’s cascade
For here we stand – hand to hand
Fighting for the Promised Land

And you try to tell me with consternation
That you have found me a brand new lock
Then you try to warn me that there’s only one combination
One new sling – the same old rock

There is a famous straggler stood on the edge of time
Who held the staff but did not feel the pain
He multiplied the mystery with utterance sublime
And crossed his heart for those who died insane

His friend a restless mouthpiece 7000 years of age
Trends to flash a face to shape his ways
Everlasting light is burning bright inside his cage
He’s only got to breathe to fan the blaze

 Such a groove to have him here on-board Her Ladyship

The man who makes his living out of bed
Such a gas to see him flying through his ceaseless lip
One day, someday soon, he’ll lose his head
And withering in the galleries with eyes fixed on the door
Are who and you and me and thanks a lot
And those who see but cannot stand to walk on any floor
For fear that good is something bad is not

But loud and clear is the call
In black and white across your wall
Damn it all, man, can’t you see

And you try to tell me with consternation
That you have found me a brand new lock
Then you try to warn me that there’s only one combination
One new sling – the same old rock

(Lyrics from Genius)