Saturday, February 2, 2008

Day 33: 11/5/1969 Kansas City, KS

11/5/1969 Kansas City, KS  (master>cassette>cassette)
Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, How Many More Times

Something's wrong. It's apparent from the moment the tape begins that something isn't quite right. At first it seems to be attributable to the recording quality, perhaps it's that the tape is running a bit slow. But as Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown gets underway, the true culprit is revealed. What happened to Bonzo? His playing is erratic at best, sometimes he seems to disappear completely. By I Can't Quit You Baby it's obvious that Bonzo's odd performance is most likely due to an overzealous consumption of alcohol. He's sloppy, he shouts during the quiet passage in Page's guitar solo, and he fails to play anything during the finale, leaving a very awkward pause in place of his usual thundering showmanship.

Even Page's solos during Heartbreaker sound drunk. After a strange bow solo during Dazed and Confused, Bonzo forgets his cue to come in, leaving Jones and Page to play alone until he remembers. There are no band introductions at the beginning of How Many More Times. Bonzo is still all over the place, barely able to hold the beat. He bangs his gong relentlessly. The Hunter section is a complete mess, though somewhat interesting in its state of disarray. The "got you in the sights..." section is plagued by feedback and Plant's voice failing during the final "gun!" The end of the song falls apart completely. Mercifully, the tape ends there. A true disaster, the low point of '69. Credit must go to Page, Plant, and Jones for keeping it together through the whole show.

The tape is muffled and a bit distorted, but I wouldn't recommend listening to it anyway.

2 comments:

Conner said...

1969-11-05 Kansas City, MO "Birth of The Gods" (Balboa Productions)
I had in my head that this was a worse recording than it was. Sound is a bit muffled and distored, but overall not so bad. However, the performance is not very good. At times it sounds like the band members are playing different songs. Listened to this while running, so I wasn't paying attention to it fully, but I recall that by the end I was happy when How Many More Times ended the recording.

Anonymous said...

I was in 10th row and this was a HORRIBLE concert. Bonham was so drunk that a stage hand came out, squatted down behind him and tried to hold him up. He kept falling asleep and would wake up long enough to bang a few beats.Finally the other three went to the side of the stage, tried to ignore him and salvage the concert.