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 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

Led Zeppelin Live Seattle 1975 Soundboard Sounds Amazing

A Holy Grail Sees The Light

After 42 Years


If you follow live Led Zeppelin recordings, you know that the last several years have been the Led Zeppelin Soundboard Revolution. The Japanese boot companies have gotten ahold of a hoard of 1975 tour soundboard tapes. These exist because Showco, the sound & light company that Zep used, would tape each show, for review by the soundmen, and the band.

led zeppelin live sound
The company that provided the lights and sound reinforcement for Led Zeppelin.

The Japanese bootleg label Empress Valley have been releasing ’75 soundboard tapes for more than 10 years, starting with Flying Circus. I am not the biggest fan of the this tour, as it showcases a band not at their best. Robert Plant started the tour with the flu, and Jimmy Page started with a broken finger. They soldiered on and the very early dates (January) has some songs never again played, like When The Levee Breaks, and The Wanton Song. How Many More Times was revived in place of Dazed and Confused to give Jimmy’s finger a break. He played with three fingers on his left hand. Remarkable for sure, but the pain management needed did his growing use, and dependence, on opiates and alcohol no favors.

Ok. Enough with the downers. This is the tour supporting Physical Graffiti, which is their last undisputed great album. Holy shit, you get Kashmir, Trampled Underfoot, In My Time Of Dying, Ten Years Gone…. those alone are the mountaintop of greatness, plus a host of other songs which are merely awesome like, Custard Pie, Night Flight…well, you know what songs are on this album if you’re reading this post.

Anyhoo… The 1975 was a bit of a drop from the energy of the 1973 tour, which was a bit of a drop from 1972 (the last year when Plant’s voice had that killer high range) but this show could be listed as 1973, and no one would know the difference (aside from the Physical Graffiti tracks). This is a good one. Listen to the podcast, listen to the show.

Download a copy here, in lossless FLAC form.

http://www.guitars101.com/forums/f145/led-zeppelin-1975-03-21-seattle-wa-sbd-flac-deus-ex-machina-evsd-433073.html 

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Podcast Episode 1 – Led Zeppelin Copenhagen 1979

The Heart of Markness Podcast

Episode One: Led Zeppelin – Copenhagen 1979


TETELESTAI!!
It is finished. The inaugural episode of the Heart of Markness podcast. It was fun. It was easy. It was deeply fulfilling. I definitely prefer podcasting to blogging. It’s 2017. Podcasts are where it’s at.
This being my first podcast there are some fuckups. The biggest one is forgetting to include the first song I reference, the 1978 rehearsal track “Fire”, from the Clearwell Castle session. Well, relax, friends. Here is the missing song. Rejoice.

The Triumphant Return Of Led Zeppelin

After the tragic death of Robert Plant’s son in July 1977, the band were on an indefinite hiatus. Robert wasn’t really itching to go back on the road, and the band itself was mired in deep addiction, both among the musicians, and the management. In short, Robert Plant wasn’t feeling incredibly pulled to go back.
However his buddy John Bonham talked him into going to a rehearsal, just to kick the tires and see if there was any magic left. There was. The band recorded In Through The Out Door, and then played a couple of warmup gigs in Denmark, in preparation for the huge Knebworth festival gigs they had planned for August 1979.
The Copenhagen shows were first live appearances by Led Zeppelin for, exactly, two years. They were fucking brilliant, with the band on fire, and Jimmy seemingly off the junk, and playing like it was 1973. Truly amazing gigs with truly amazing quality live recordings made (not official recordings, but amateur)
Listen to the podcast to hear about it, and to hear two amazing tracks from their July 24, 1979 concert at the Falconer Theater, in Copenhagen. Dig it.

All pics are courtesy of Led Zeppelin.com

Listen to CSN Live 2012 – Suite Judy Blue Eyes

I’m not a huge fan of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but this song is one of the prettiest ever. CSN have had a rocky road over the years. Epic addictions, fistfights on stage, myriad permutations of individuals (Stills-Young, Crosby-Nash, CSNY, etc.), but they fucking nail it on this night.

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes is, of course, a love song to Judy Collins from Stephen Stills. It’s breathtaking, super hippy, and was omnipresent on the radio throughout the ’70’s and ’80’s. That said, it’s fucking beautiful.

This performance, from 2012, is noteworthy because CSN had not performed Suite: Judy Blue Eyes in years, because they’re old men now (legit in their 70’s old) and those high notes are brutal. To be truthful, I imagine it’s Stephen Stills who had the most trouble as David Crosby and Graham Nash seem to have kept their voices over the … holy shit… 48 year run that CSN has had.

csn

Apparently either Stephen Stills’ voice was strong on this one night, or he worked on regaining range (maybe as simple as lifestyle changes), but in any case this performance is just sublime. Is that the word? Yes, I think so.

The purity of their tone in the harmonies during , “What have you got to lose?” is utter perfection. You needn’t be a fan of CSN to enjoy this. It’s beauty pure and simple, like a sunset, and Stills even throughs in a musical nod to George Harrison during the little guitar break before the doo doo doo part. It’s that Indian sounding bit. It’s the song Within You and Without You, off Sgt. Pepper. Good stuff.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash may rest on the laurels of their earlier work, but when it’s of such a high caliber as this, there’s no shame. Take a listen, really listen, and enjoy.

Fleetwood Mac 1970 Green Manalishi Live

fleetwood mac 1970 green manalishi

Many people forget that before the mid 1970s, Fleetwood Mac was actually a pretty hard rock/blues band. There are about 5 iterations of the band other than the Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham days. Christine McVie was in the band for several lineups, moving from blues/hard rock gradually to the smooth, impeccable, California pop that was the Rumours lineup.

This song is from the Peter Green era of Fleetwood Mac. Green Manalishi is by all rights a metal song. It was covered by Judas Priest for Christ’s sake. In places this could be Black Sabbath, but it isn’t. It’s a top notch band playing stratospherically well, in that way that only the 1968-1972 era really contains.

It’s long. Like 15 minutes long, and from what I glean from the comments, this version is better than other (canonical) versions. I can see why. This is great. Heavy but still delicate. Out there but not too far. Yes, it’s super indulgent with the ten minute plus solo, but did you know much of that solo was played on a Fender Bass VI? That makes it cooler.

Basically, I’m sharing this because I recently discovered it, and it’s so damn good it should be heard by everyone. Enjoy.

David Bowie Live 2002

david bowie berlin 2002 heroes
image from http://jimprovenzano.blogspot.ca/2016/01/six-degrees-of-david-bowie.html

I… I wish I could swim

David Bowie Berlin 2002

My Favorite Performance Of Heroes

[This was originally posted on another blog of mine, https://halfpastlife.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/david-bowie-heroes-live-2002-incredible/] This performance of Heroes, the classic Bowie song, from the Berlin/Eno years, is just so fucking good! He does some rock star repartee at the beginning that totally works, because he can pull it off, and then just absolutely nail Heroes.

His voice is incredible. The deep bass notes, the flawless falsetto, and so much feeling. Just watch and see a real star. Brilliant.

It’s still weird living in a world without David Bowie. He was so vital and insanely good, that even his terrible stuff is (well its terrible) not awful. He has a few clunkers, but fewer overall (in my opinion) than Neil Young, who’s another 5 decade legend of outstanding quality.

Maybe it’s just part of getting older, hooray, to see the brightest lights flicker and extinguish, one by one. That’s how the night gets even darker. Until human voices wake us, and we drown.

But until that moment, we can be Heroes. For although the eternal footman may snicker, he still holds the door.

But Wait!

Bonus Bowie!

I don’t want to end this post on a down note, parroting TS Eliot, so here’s another post from the aforementioned blog, but this one is funny!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9DmcxIZ_fA?rel=0]

David Bowie Was Funny

This Clip From Conan O’Brien Back In The Day

I was on tour in the United States back in ’89. And we did a show in Cincinnati. During that show I shouted out, “It’s great to be in Cincinnati. … … “That was a lie.”

David Bowie was a funny man. You can spend a hours on YouTube watching his various talk show appearances, and laughing your ass off. In this clip from when Conan O’Brien (of whom I’ve previously written) was on NBC is from a bit Conan would do called Secrets. He would have celebrities do an intense confessional scene, in which they unload a terrible secret. Bowie’s was my all time favorite.