Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 241: 6/23/1977 Los Angeles, CA

6/23/1977 Los Angeles, CA  Zeppelin Digital Vol. 3
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, Trampled Underfoot, Over the Top, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll

The legendary For Badge Holders Only show begins with a brief soundcheck before the band launches into The Song Remains the Same. Page seems to be having trouble with his equipment, causing him to fumble through the guitar solos. The band stops playing as the song ends, leaving Plant to welcome the crowd to "three hours of lunacy" before dedicating Sick Again to John Reid. Nobody's Fault But Mine features an excellent guitar solo. Plant dedicates Over the Hills and Far Away to "perhaps the biggest dreamer in the world... a star quality Badge Holder too, Mr. John Bindon." Since I've Been Loving You is dramatic and powerful.

No Quarter is introduced as "a song about one of those journeys that sometimes can bring surprises that you don't expect to encounter." The instrumental section is introduced by an extended electric piano interlude followed by a series of ghostly theramin howls. Jones's fingers dance across the keys during a fantastic piano solo, which develops into an outstanding blues improvisation as Page and Bonzo join in. The band moves as one as they embark on an epic journey, led by the urgent cadences of Page's blistering guitar solo. The frenzy reaches its peak during the violently explosive finale. A phenomenal performance, the best ever. The band is in high spirits, joking around with each other as Plant attempts to introduce an excellent Ten Years Gone, called "Ten Years Bonham" tonight. Page blazes through the guitar solos. Plant announces "tonight's word in the concert is 'badge'," adding "if you are a Badge Holder of a rock star, you are somebody to be reckoned with" before The Battle of Evermore. Going to California is introduced as "a song that refers to the constant search for the Badge Holder." Plant hints at D'yer Mak'er before Black Country Woman

The band gets completely lost after Jones misses a change during Kashmir, taking an eternity to get back on track. Plant is the only one who seems to know what he's doing. The band hammers through an impromptu Trampled Underfoot following a shouted request from Bonzo. Page disappears momentarily during the initial verses. The biggest surprise of the night is the unannounced appearance of Keith Moon, running onstage during Over the Top, shouting "the best rock and roll drummer in the world living today, Mr. John Bonham!" and "hey John, whip Buddy Rich's ass!... show those jazz motherfuckers!" He later attacks Bonzo's drum kit during the tympani section, violently thrashing at anything within reach. As the song ends, Plant introduces the two drummers as "the dynamic loonies!" Moon announces "I'm looking forward to coming back here with my backing group later on in the year" before leaving the stage. 

Page plays a bit of God Save the Queen before The Star-Spangled Banner during the experimental guitar solo. Achilles Last Stand is a frantic explosion of energy. Page shreds through the guitar solos as Bonzo pummels the crowd with his thunderous pounding. As the song ends, Plant announces "thank you very much, I hope we're not keepin' you up." Stairway to Heaven features a fantastically epic guitar solo. Keith Moon returns to the stage, ranting and raving about rock and roll before Whole Lotta Love. The band plus Moon close the show with a quick and dirty Rock and Roll. Plant announces "LA, it's been very funny, goodnight" as they leave the stage. A fitting end to this wild party.

The tape is a combination of at least two sources. The first, used through Over the Hills and Far Away, is very clear and well-balanced. The second, used for the remainder of the show, is another excellent Mike Millard recording.


Anonymous said...

This should be a must hear!!!

Muchachos said...

There is some footage of this show on [url=http://www.ledzeppelin.com/video/l-6-23-77-w-keith-moon]Led Zeppelin.com[/url]. The banging on the drums duning Moon's rant is actually Plant!

Paul Merklein said...

I love this show. From Robert's opening remarks to Keith Moon's final ravings, it's a wild, hilarious & bumpy ride. All four band members push their talents over the top. The final instrumental part of Stairway To Heaven is pure sonic mayhem that takes the song to an entirely new & breathtaking level.

Anonymous said...

This show is fantastic and rivals the 6/21/77 and 6/13/77 shows as best shows of the tour. Plant sounds great, Page solos with conviction and Bonham and JPJ are solid as always. Over the Hills and far away is great, one of the best versions ever. No quarter is stupendous and SIBLY is epic as always, but the great thing about this show is the recording. Awesome vibe and it sounds like you are right there front and center. Marvelous show, one of the very best of their career!

dragonspirit said...

While most of this show is great, the acoustic set in this show is fairly dull and weak. The show did, however, get a great review from the local press which said that the band was at or near its peak. To me, it's borderline between being a must hear and just a very good show.