Episode 11 – Led Zeppelin
How Many More Times – Montreux 1970
Holy shit is this a great performance. 1970 was Led Zeppelin hitting peak swagger wherein the walk was walked, along with talking the talk. They sound completely at ease, and effortlessly soar in that rarefied air reserved for the best. That place where they make it look easy. Ali, Miles Davis, Michael Jordan… they were the high water mark for their genre, as is Led Zeppelin, and this is why.
I got this show in excellent audience and soundboard quality (great stereo too) from Guitars101, so if you want the show for yourself, head on over and grab it. It’s a JRK remaster of the existing audience and soundboards called Intimidating Divinity. It’s peak Zeppelin before Stairway made them gods.
The connection with the audience is palpable, and the band plays like their cruising in the back of a sweet convertible on a sunny afternoon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
It took a year but I have another podcast done. This one highlights the usually excellent acoustic set from Led Zeppelin’s 1977 tour.
John Bonham & Roy Wood
Session From 1979
Did you know that in 1978/79 John Bonham & Roy Wood (former ELO alum) recorded a song together? You do now! It is called Keep Your Hands On The Wheel. It’s a track on Roy Wood’s album, On The Road Again. It’s interesting to hear Bonzo playing with another band.
This session undoubtedly occurred during Led Zeppelin’s hiatus after the death of Robert Plant’s son, in 1977. Last week I posted a session Bonzo did with Paul McCartney, because it’s interesting to focus on John Bonham, after so much attention on Jimmy Page.
The song itself is, in my opinion, nothing to write home about, but the style of John Bonham is evident. No one could mic him as well as Jimmy Page, though. Enjoy.
John Bonham & Paul McCartney
Alternate Version of Beware My Love
John Bonham recorded some tracks with Paul McCartney during the 1975/1976 Led Zeppelin hiatus (Robert was recovering from a terrible car crash, and was in a wheelchair for months), and we are lucky enough to hear one. Beware My Love is the most rocking track (not that it says much for Wings. It’s not like they’re Motorhead) on the Wings At The Speed Of Sound album.
This is a rough track, just a bit more than a demo, as far as polish and quality go, but it’s cool to hear Bonzo’s Presence era drums, a bit like the thump and drive of Achilles’ Last Stand, driving the whitest band in the world.
I posted an audio interview with John Bonham from 1972, if you’re interested in Led Zeppelin related Bonzo content. Otherwise enjoy this little ditty from McZep. The drums don’t have the presence (no pun intended) that Led Zeppelin’s songs have, but that’s a testament to Jimmy Page knowing how to mic drums. It’s fun. It’s cool to know that Bonzo had a life outside of Zeppelin, musically speaking.
John Bonham Interview
Audio From 1972 Led Zeppelin NME Story
As the creator of the World’s Okayest Led Zeppelin Podcast I am constantly scanning for new, and relevant, LZ stuff to share with you. Thanks to the excellent Led Zep fan forum, Royal-Orleans, I’ve discovered audio from a 1972 interview of John Bonham. There are precious few interviews with Bonzo, and this audio is a revelation.
This was right around the time that Houses of the Holy was recorded, right on that cusp before they became HUGE. They were already huge but in 1972 they still played around with cover songs, medleys, and John Paul Jones still had a Hammond Organ instead of a mellotron. It’s incredibly fascinating hearing him speak about how Zep was slagged in the British press about being sellouts, and being too big, while he’s telling Roy Carr (the interviewer for NME) about how Zeppelin was the only band to go back to the clubs (1971).
It’s a great interview where one can hear what a …. good guy Bonzo was. He was only 24 at the time, and he’s got to answer questions like a politician. Defending Led Zeppelin for avoiding television and the press, which is obviously the best thing Zep ever did, given the attitude the press had toward them. Zeppelin made it big DESPITE of the press. DESPITE avoiding publicity and exposure. They made it because they were simply the best rock band in the world. I just published a podcast featuring some unreleased live music from the 1972 tour. Listen and you’ll see why they were so amazing.
Bonzo has a wonderful attitude and I really like this guy we hear. He defends the accusations that Zep sold out and retired to their enormous mansions by telling Roy Carr that he and Robert had the same homes that they had at the beginning. They were country boys and homebodies (especially Bonzo).
I really enjoy this peek into the history of the band at the cusp of SUPER STARDOM, and the year before The Song Remains The Same was filmed. The gist of the whole thing is that Zep were 4 amazing musicians who didn’t let ego change their dynamic (at least at that point) and their talent and synergy meant they could do all this without collaborators, session musicians, or outside input. Enjoy this super cool John Bonham interview.
2 Unreleased Live Led Zeppelin Tracks From 1972
Episode 9 of The Heart Of Markness Podcast
It is finished. A nice 22 minute episode wherein I discuss, then play, two unreleased live Led Zeppelin tracks left off of their live album, How The West Was Won. It’s an audience recording of Louie Louie, Everyday People, and Thank You. Amazingly powerful performances
which also highlight the level of connection Zeppelin had with their audiences. This recording is from June 25th, 1972. I said Long Beach on the podcast, but it was the LA Forum. I just said Long Beach to give a few perfectionists a paroxysm of rage. We are all of us monsters in one way or another.
These 2 unreleased live Led Zeppelin tracks are EXCELLENT. Led Zeppelin in 1972 was at the peak of their powers. Robert Plant’s voice hadn’t gone, and Jimmy Page’s hands were fluid and eloquent. Jonesy still had the organ (pre-mellotron) and all was well. Their cover versions were often legendary.
Want To Help Support The Podcast?
If you like the Heart of Markness Podcast and would like to contribute some moolah to help maintain, and improve, things, then THANK YOU. Much appreciated, amigo/a. I want to get a mixer, a better mic, and a helicopter, for the podcast. If you don’t want to give, no worries, it’s free, but if you wanna…. GO FOR IT. 🙂
Thank you very much.
Episode 9 Looms
Missing Songs From How The West Was Won
I have started work on the new podcast episode. It’ll (hopefully) be a short one (20 minutes or so). I want to talk about, and share, some amazing songs which were left off of Led Zeppelin’s otherwise awesome live album, How The West Was Won. There’s an incredible performance of Louie Louie into Sly and the Family Stone’s Everyday People, into Thank You. Zep didn’t want to pay the royalties to use those songs, aside from Thank You, which is their’s… so they got the axe.
Luckily there’s a very good audience tape of this show (June 25, 1972) and we happy few can hear these lost masterpieces. SOON.
Robert Anton Wilson’s Last Trilogy
Gets A Renaissance
The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles is back in print. I first read The Earth Will Shake (the first book of the Historical Illuminatus Chronicles) in 1992. It was great. It takes place in the 18th Century, and feature ancestors of the main characters of the Illuminatus Trilogy. We have Celines, Malatestas, Moons, as well as amazing cameos by Edmund Burke, George Washington, Tom Paine, and my favorite… de Selby. A fictional character who exists in another fictional world appears (in footnotes) in the second book of the trilogy, The Widow’s Son.
Robert Anton Wilson is a criminally underappreciated writer, in my opinion. I think one reason is that his books are spread throughout the entire bookstore/library. He has written fiction, sci fi, philosophy, literary criticism, plays, humor, treatises, books about sex, drugs, the occult… he’s all over the road. He was a friend and colleague of Timothy Leary, a scholar of James Joyce, Aleister Crowley, Buckminster Fuller, Richard Feyman… he was just as at home speaking of non-locality in quantum mechanics as he was about DMT vs LSD, or the number of mathematical puns are in Finnegan’s Wake.
He was also hilarious. He is a wonderful Hermetic gatekeeper to the realms of all the above. His Illuminatus Trilogy (written with Robert Shea in the late 60’s/early 70’s) contained every extant conspiracy theory of which Wilson was aware. It was Tom Robbins in hyperspace and it will change you forever if you read it, in a good way.
Here’s a nice taste of what Robert Anton Wilson (or Uncle Bob) has to offer.
Listen, I think your life will be enriched, profoundly, by reading some good old Robert Anton Wilson, and The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles are the smoothest entrance into his world I can imagine. Bob passed in 2005 but his daughter Christina has founded a publishing company, Hilaritas Press. This will be used to reissue Bob’s catalog. Getting these books will support the legacy of a great man. Give them a shot.
New Podcast Alert!
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.