Thursday, September 13, 2007

Led Zeppelin To Do a Benefit Show


Cross posted at newcritics.

Led Zeppelin is announcing a reunion concert in London to benefit the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund. Too bad that even in their prime their concerts sucked like an Oreck. Zeppelin were the only band ever to have had the pleasure of being blown off the stage by Grand Funk. The sound of a recent busboy kitchen accident at my local Chinese restaurant was more compelling than any Zeppelin show I've ever heard.

Unlike other trios that multi-tracked their records and then toured with backing musicians, Led Zeppelin opted to forgo that route and instead play paired-down arrangements of their songs during live performances. Not a good idea. Their records usually consisted of Jimmy Page playing 4 or 5 guitar parts (often doing dozens of takes,) the oft underrated multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones covering several keyboard parts as well as the bass, and singer Robert Plant adding multiple vocal tracks. And while they did make some great ones using that technique, their live versions of those records were at best - mildly interesting, and at worst – an abomination. Not only were the arrangements lacking by comparison to the recordings, but Plant couldn't reproduce his trademarked falsetto live and Page's guitar work was revealed as sloppy. I shudder to think what they are going to sound like today.

Having said that, I’ll probably still rent the requisite DVD so I can revel in my own self-righteousness at the sheer banality of the show…


Blogger anita said...

viscount, while not exactly live "concert" work, i think the BBC Sessions are quite, quite an amazing collection. and while i hadn't the good fortune that my older sisters and brother did, of seeing led zeppelin live on their first u.s. tour, i will say concert footage that i've seen is also pretty amazing. to me, page, and particularly plant, in their prime, were a joy to behold and experience. banal is kind of the last word that would possibly come to my mind. call me a mindless zephead, i don't know.

anyway, i know i'm not a regular voice on your site (although i will admit to being a regular lurker), and on whole i have enjoyed your commentary on music, i could't just couldn't keep quiet on this and had to voice my dissent, or counterpoint.

thank you.

6:08 AM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

Hi Anita.

For some more fun on the subject (and see what else I might have to say...) visit the comment section of this post over at

7:47 AM  

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