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.

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

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.

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)

Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers & Almost All Of Layla

allman brothers beacon eric clapton
Playing Key to the Highway. So good.

The Allman Brothers & Eric Clapton

Beacon Theater 2009

Man, the Allman Brothers were great. I’m sorry that I didn’t realize how great they were, before they disbanded. I never saw them live to my shame. Well, if you know the Allmans at all you probably remember that they would have week long residencies at New York’s Beacon theater. During 2009 they were joined by Eric Clapton.

Clapton has been a fan of the Allmans since day one. Duane was in Derek and Dominoes, and the deluxe version that album has a long jam with the Allmans back in 1970. Amazing. The Allmans (to me) are everything the Grateful Dead are said to be.  That’s not a war cry, just an opinion.  I’ve written of my love of them before.

This show is incredible. I am in awe at the level of interplay, and musical genius, are at work here. Clapton fits in perfectly but in no way overshadows. It’s both a testament to the quality of the Allmans, as much as Eric’s. It makes me sad that he (Clapton) never again went for a real tight but loose jam band, after the Dominoes. I get it. Cream was a nightmare of drama and fighting, Blind Faith was also rife with drama (cough… Ginger Baker… cough), and then the Dominoes faded away into heroin addiction, and alcoholism.

On With The Show

SET LIST: 01. Introduction 02. Key To The Highway 03. Dreams 04. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad 05. Little Wing 06. Anyday 07. Layla 08. Ending

As you see there is a decent chunk of the Layla album represented, both (I think), as a celebration and a homage, to Duane Allman, and all that could have been. The beauty of the set is 100% in the Layla vibe, while completely being Derek Trucks’ and Warren Haynes’ 21st Century creation. The old were great in the way that they were back in 1970. There’s no redefining or modernizing.

The rhythm section with two drummers, and a percussionist, is truly key to this performance, and the Allman Brothers Band, as a whole. Jaimoe and Butch Trucks (RIP) deepen the groove, while making the drums sound like one drummer with four arms. I love them. Oteil Burbridge plays bass so deep in the pocket that you don’t notice that he’s the mortar holding all this together.

I LOVE THIS SHOW. Watch it. Listen to it. Keep listening. It’s astonishing good. My word good not good as newspaper word good, so if you’d like a professional review of this set, here’s the original New York Times write up. Enjoy. I hope you like it.

Episode 7 – Jimmy Page’s Outrider Tour 1988

Holy shit, this took forever. Enjoy.

If you would like to watch a great video of Jimmy Page live from his Outrider tour, then head on over here, where I have a video of his October 28, 1988 (the night before I saw him in Worcester, MA) gig. It’s wonderful. It’s a bootleg fan shot video, but it’s absolutely watchable.

 

If you would like a copy of the concert from which I take the tracks used in the podcast, you can download .mp3 copies of the show from my google Drive. I converted to 320kbs using the LAME Encoder, so yes it’s lossy (that means don’t trade it), but it sounds virtually identical to the raw FLAC files.

If you have no idea what any of that means, no worries. Just download the songs and play them forever. Enjoy.

jimmy page outrider tour 1988
The Golden Ticket

Jimmy Page – The Last Outrider Show. 11/26/88. Manchester UK

https://drive.google.com/open?id=15dwb65ZdbT1Mt04IUm9_1RJmVJ-_OQLw

Jimmy Page Live Outrider Tour Video

Jimmy Page Live Concert Video

Nassau Coliseum Oct. 28, 1988

I posted this video on Youtube years ago, after downloading off of Dimeadozen. I attended the Outrider concert the following night in Worcedeter, MA, but that’s a story for another day.

The Outrider album is… ok. The playing is great which the big thing. After two Firm albums, and a bunch of shaky performances, I was delighted that Jimmy got his chops back and came out swinging.

The Outrider tour was fucking incredible. For the first time since 1980, he was playing Led Zeppelin, along with a couple Firm songs, some Death Wish 2 stuff, and and Yardbirds tune (Train Kept A Rollin). It’s interesting to note that Robert Plant was also touring at this time, and he too was playing Zep tunes for the first time since the breakup.

This is a home shot video with matching audio. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, at all. This is totally something you can listen to in your car as you’re going to work, or at your desk. It’s really really great.

If you’re one of the people who teeth because I do not think the Firm was impressive, watch and listen to this show, and see what impresses me, Jimmy Page-wise.

His touring band was Jason Bonham on drums, Durban Laverde on bass, and John Miles on vocals. John Miles had sung for the Alan Parsons Project (Stereotomy), and he sang ably.

I will do a podcast about the Outrider tour fairly soon, in which I will spend time talking about the whole post Firm timeline, and how Jimmy got his groove back. For now enjoy the amazing document from one of rock’s greatest guitarists.

jimmy page live outrider video
Jimmy Page Rochester 10/25/88