Monday, March 3, 2008

Day 63: 9/4/1970 Los Angeles, CA

9/4/1970 Los Angeles, CA
Live on Blueberry Hill: The Complete LA Forum Tapes

(TMOQ alt. source)

Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, Bring it on Home, That's the Way, Bron-Yr-Aur, Since I've Been Loving You, Thank You, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown, Out on the Tiles, Blueberry Hill

This is the big one, the tape that started it all. The lives of Led Zeppelin fans would never be the same after this recording made its way into their collective hands. The tape begins with a brief band introduction and Plant telling the crowd "it's been a long time... but tonight we're gonna make up for it." Immigrant Song is devastating, an attack on all fronts from the first note to the last. Page's fingers get a bit sticky during the guitar solo in Heartbreaker, but it doesn't detract from the high energy performance. The crowd goes wild during the bow solo in Dazed and Confused. The band are locked into each other, the relentless attack is mesmerizing.

Plant opines that "18,000 pairs of hands should sound pretty good" before Bring it on Home. That's the Way is flawless, truly beautiful. Plant mentions the less than favorable reception the acoustic numbers have received in the midwest before introducing Bron-Yr-Aur. His voice is raw and powerful during Since I've Been Loving You, heightening the dramatic effect. Plant jokes that the bearded Led Zeppelin are "adverts for Gillette" before introducing Jones's organ solo. Thank You is excellent, Page's soloing soars above Bonzo's thunderous pounding. An epic drama. Bonzo displays great power and finesse during an extended Moby Dick.

As usual, Whole Lotta Love is an explosion of atomic energy. The raucous medley includes Jimmy Rogers's That's Alright, I'm Movin' On, Elmore James's Shake Your Money Maker, a frenzied Some Other Guy, and an excellent rendition of Buddy Holly's Think it Over. It ends with the best slow blues rendition of Honey Bee/The Lemon Song thus far, which includes the great Plant adlib "I don't care how hard you squeeze it mama, just take your teeth out before you get into bed." A firecracker blast punctuates the finale. As the band leaves the stage, the announcer enthusiastically asks the crowd "did you dig it?!"

One of, if not the best version of Communication Breakdown features an extended medley during the breakdown. Good Times Bad Times is followed by a funky bass solo. Another excellent rendition of For What it's Worth is followed by Plant singing the first verse of I Saw Her Standing There over the For What it's Worth theme before the band joins in for an explosive chorus. The most haunting, melancholic rendition of the early Beatles classic I've ever heard. As the band leaves the stage, the announcer tries to calm the frenzied crowd, telling then the band "can't do it all night." They'll surely try though. The band returns to the stage for the first rare appearance of Out on the Tiles. It's amazing this song never became a regular part of the setlist. The show ends with another excellent rendition of Blueberry Hill, with Plant doing his best Fats Domino impression.

As the band leaves the stage for the last time, Plant bids the crowd "goodnight and thanks for everything!" So ends one of the most important concerts in Led Zeppelin history. Absolutely amazing.

One of Led Zeppelin's most well-documented shows, the tape is an excellent audience recording, fit for official release. It doesn't get much better than this. Must Hear.

Click here for audio samples courtesy of Black Beauty.


Anonymous said...

Utterly superb, both in historic value to the band and in the short history of bootleg recordings.
At least 4-5 recorders were going on this hot night in 1970.
The band introduction, and DJ comments after Whole Lotta Love are by Disc Jockey J.J. Jackson.
Some sources are better than others. The very first release is an excellent audience recording in stereo.
It was released (albeit not the complete show) on the old Rubber Dubber records.
It's too bad the rest of the show from this source can't be located, as it is the best...and it's in stereo too.
This show was recorded by the old Tmoq (Trade Mark Of Quality) folks who also recorded the Stones at the Oakland coliseum in Nov. 1969.
They supposedly used a Nagra or Uher reel-to-reel recorded with two Sennheiser shotgun microphones on booms from about 8-rows out.
This accounts for some of the great quality tape sources for CD's and early vinyl releases.
However, there are at least 4-other sources for this great recording.
Some can be identified by a fellow saying: "They Groove Man" just before the start of Immigrant Song, and also by a girl who screams to great effect at the start of HeartBreaker.
This is the Tmoq source.
Also, you can hear the two tapers at the end of Whole Lotta Love say: "Watch The Mic".
This was the very first Led Zeppelin bootleg.
Very cool indeed.
Required listening for any rock fan.....

Anonymous said...

The best Communication Breakdown ever.Zeppelin was always a "tight group" and this song you can hear it.They never miss a beat plus the selection of covers they do in the song.Good Times Bad Times was a great song and I wish they played it more.For What its worth and then I saw her standing there.John Paul Jones awesome strumming as Jimmy breaks a string.The recording to me is outstanding.More later because this is an outstanding show.Zep always loved L.A.

Anonymous said...

This is definitely one of the "must haves" and definitely one of the best shows Led Zeppelin ever played! Fantastic sound, great set list, flawless playing and outstanding vocals, this recording has it all. This show is a constant stream of "one-upmanship," with the opening trio of immigrant song, heartbreaker and D&C being simply awesome. The band keeps up the pace with Bring it on home through SIBLY which are all excellent. Thank you and WIAWSNB are awesome, but the final tracks after a frantic Moby Dick are what sets this recording apart. WLL and Communication breakdown are some of the best ever Zeppelin moments and Out on the tiles is both excellent and rare. The show ends with an equally rare and excellent Blueberry hill. This show is a textbook example of how a live band should perform. 10 out of 10!

Laurence said...

This gig is absolutely fantastic, definitely one of the Top 3 of the 6th U.S. Tour, at the side of New York (evening show) and Oakland. However, i understand why Out On The Tiles wasn't performed never again: that's an awful song (for me). Only for you have an idea, my least favourite ever LZ song. It still doesn't ruins this amazing performance. Definitely an Must Hear.

Anonymous said...

Not only can I not get enough of this show, I love the commentary at the end with the taper and his girl. . .A great moment in time!!