Friday, October 31, 2008

Day 239: 6/21/1977 Los Angeles, CA

6/21/1977 Los Angeles, CA  Mike the Mike
The Song Remains the Same, Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, Over the Hills and Far Away, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, The Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Over the Top, Heartbreaker, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll

The first show of the band's six night stand at The Forum begins with a brief soundcheck as the crowd's excitement builds to a frenzied peak. Following a shaky performance two nights earlier, Bonzo is back with a vengeance, thrashing at his drums in a frantic explosion of energy as The Song Remains the Same crashes into motion. The intense sonic assault doesn't let up as the band launches into a ferocious Sick Again. Page's guitar cuts out briefly during the intro, causing a moment of confused hesitation at the beginning of the first verse. He shreds wildly through the guitar solos as Bonzo continues to pummel the crowd with his thunderous attack. A brutal performance, one of the best thus far. Nobody's Fault But Mine is devastatingly heavy. Plant exclaims "oh Jimmy, excuse me!" as Page begins a blistering guitar solo. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd "it is indeed a great pleasure to be back in California... it's very hard to see the sun in a basement in New York." 

Page blazes through an excellent guitar solo during Over the Hills and Far Away. Since I've Been Loving You is an intense emotional drama. Plant is in top form, belting out each line with power and conviction. As the song ends, he announces "we'd like to welcome back to the world John Bonham, who had a terrible fit of food poisoning," joking "he ate far too many rhinestones." No Quarter is an epic journey. A series of haunting theramin howls introduce Jones's ominous piano solo, which includes hints of Your Time is Gonna Come. Page and Bonzo join in for an outstanding blues improvisation. The band is absolutely on fire during the fantastic guitar solo section, slowly building tension until everything erupts in an explosive climax, crashing down on the crowd in thunderous waves. Page shreds wildly during the song's violent outro. An utterly devastating performance, one of the best ever. 

Page blazes through the guitar solos during an excellent Ten Years Gone. Someone near the taper can be heard shouting "bring on Neil Young!" as the band prepares for the acoustic set. Going to California is beautiful. Plant hints at Gallows Pole before Black Country Woman. Page's fingers dance across the fretboard during White Summer/Black Mountain Side. Kashmir is incredibly powerful. Jones's droning keyboard symphony washes over the crowd as the band defiantly marches into battle. A crushing performance. There is a long pause before Over the Top, during which Plant pokes fun at Bonzo as he tries to fix a problem with his drum kit. The crowd goes wild as Page begins Heartbreaker. His fingers tear across the fretboard in a furious cascade of notes during the blistering guitar solo. 

Shouts of "hey asshole, play some music!" and "we've had the guitar lessons!" can be heard coming from the crowd during a particularly lengthy experimental guitar solo. The band hammers through a violently aggressive Achilles Last Stand at a frantic pace. Plant tells the crowd "it's sort of a high point of the whole tour to be back here" before Stairway to Heaven. Bonzo thrashes wildly at anything within reach as Page shreds through an explosive guitar solo. Plant pushes his voice to the limit during the final verse. Whole Lotta Love is preceded by a heavy a cappella intro from Page with hints of Communication Breakdown thrown in. The band closes the show with a riotous Rock and Roll. As the song ends, Plant announces "it's like a good woman, goodnight!" An unbelievable performance, one of the best ever. Must hear.

The legendary Listen to This Eddie tape is yet another phenomenal Mike Millard recording, briefly augmented by an inferior audience source during Ten Years Gone.

Click here for audio samples courtesy of Black Beauty.


Anonymous said...

I wanted to post a review of my own of this show. Simply put this show smokes from begining to end. We can start with Bonham's crazy drums on TSRTS, and go from there. I can do without the guitar/noise solo, but that's about it. Oh and who can forget...."Heart-Breaker", "Heart-Breaker"!

So many moments! Even Robert's intro of John Bonham prior to the drum solo gets repeated plays!

I bought the SIRA Remaster series of this concert and paid $75.00. I put the first disc on, and my jaw hit the floor! I could not believe what I was hearing coming through my speakers.

Many labels have released this over the years (some good, some bad), and aside from the SIRA edition I would recommend the Winston Remasters version. The atmosphere of the evening is captured perfectly! Thanks to Mike Millard for taping this show.......aside from
9/4/70 this is one of the cornerstones of the Zeppelin live canon.

If a SBD of this show ever surfaces it would still be no match for the AUD! I could
not hear this concert any other way. The only way the AUD recording could be topped is with VIDEO! (One company tried to sync the Seattle 77 Video with
the AUD of this show! Failed miserably) so bring it on! It should also be noted that the audio of TSRTS was used as one of the menus of the official DVD.


Anonymous said...

I love how you put it:

"An unbelievable performance, one of the best ever"

Spot On.

Anonymous said...

Recorded as it happened by the late Mike Millard.
Millard was a very famous taper for shows at the LA Forum during the mid to late 1970's. He taped Yes, the Stones, Pink Floyd, and of course, his favourite Led Zeppelin.
This is a Millard taping, and it is superb, probably his best efforts.
Millard captured the entire show, including encores.
He was ingenious, and pretended to be handicapped and used a wheel chair with his taping equipment hidden underneath.
Millard used a Nakamichi deck with two shotgun microphones for stereo effect, and Maxell high-quality tapes.
Because he pretended to be challenged in a wheel chair, he was allowed to be close to the stage.
Rumor is he taped this show from about 6-rows back in the center.
Millard's tapes are now highly regarded as some of the best recorded bootlegs.
A portion of this show that Millard recorded (Song Remains The Same)can be heard on the official Led Zeppelin DVD set in one of the menu's.
Tragically, Millard committed suicide in the early 1990's and his tapes have been secured by his family ever since.
The master tapes are not available from his family.
Probably the best sounding audience Zeppelin bootleg ever.

Anonymous said...

These are the 1977 shows where they all got it together. They were sober, healthy, happy, and it shows. I'm not a fan of audience recordings, but if you want to have your faith restored in Zeppelin's abilities during 1977, you need to hear these LA shows on audience boots--until Jimmy Page puts out an official best of LA set (please!). These shows are great--check em out. Ten Years Gone is amazing, but there is a drop in audio (dang it!). The guitar also drops as the Rover transitions into Sick Again.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best of an amazing string of shows from '77! Everyone sounds great here (particularly Bonham) and the setlist is awesome. This show was a mammoth undertaking from start to finish and includes some fantastic moments (Stairway, No Quarter). One of the best shows of their career and definitely one of the best (If not THE BEST) of the post '73 recordings

dragonspirit said...

This is my favorite Led Zeppelin show. Highlights for me include the acoustic set and especially Achilles' Last Stand (my favorite version), and TSRTS (possibly my favorite). Kashmir and No Quarter are great, too. Bonham's drumming is unbelievable at times. This is his best performance, in my opinion... a legendary concert.

Paul Harbinson said...

Rumor has it, the title Listen to This Eddie was directed at Eddie Van Halen who, at the time, had made negative comments about Jimmy's playing. Since then, Eddie has changed his 'tune' and considered Jimmy Page a considerable inspiration.

Nick Daxe said...

I thought listend to this edie was directed towards the soundman edie kramer.

Anonymous said...

It is definately named after their studion engineer Eddie Kramer. Edward Van Halen was just 22 at the time and hadn't yet gone into the studio to record the first Van Halen album (though he would just a few months later). Even if he had expressed a negative opinion of JP (which I doubt) there's just no way the comments of an as yet largely unknown guitarist would have registered with the mighty LZ machine at that time!

Anonymous said...

Sorry anonymous...Definitely named after Eddie Van Halen,In his first Guitar Player magazine interview,Van Halen said he liked Page in the studio.Adding "I saw him live recently and he was terrible"...Being from California,it was probably one at the Forum or San Diego shows in '77.

Blondane said...

I was front and center and "M" was center 6 rows back recording this and this is why I can hear me whistling and whawhooing..., (respectly, of course cuz i knew we were being recorded) through the WHOLE concert, fantastic!!!! I cant wait to hear some idiot kept yelling to play i thiink it was "Heartbreaker" and when i heard him say something like "play Heartbreaker assholes" I may have told him to just "shut the fk up". What an Honor to have been f and c this. And the build up was FANTASTIC....this concert had been cancelled.....but My Zeppelin came through to Honor cancellation with a vengeance on this Day 17 Of June,1977, Inglewood,ca at the L.A. Forum.....I will NEVER forget... The best of the best of the Greatest!!!! "HANDS DOWN JAW ON THE GROUND.....PERFECTION" Kelly Yvonne Bates, Norco, CA

Blondane said...

Millard your my Hero, may you rest in peace. I do know this Robert never once left that stage and if so not long, they played all night!!! They played to the point Plant sayiin "what aven't we played"? and "Heres stuff you've never heard before......oh yes theres alot more to this concert....

Unknown said...

Really enjoyed your review. I was at the show and just shared my recording of the show as Listen to This Erik. I have such vivid memories of the show and you really captured the show perfectly. There were so many highlights that night. Thanks! P.S. Check out Listen to This Erik Japanese version on Youtube.