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Jimmy Page & Robert Plant: The Magic Of The Page And Plant Tour


Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, began to stir up some serious magic for their fans. The timeless team reappeared on stage for MTV Unplugged. The ‘Unledded’ TV special and No Quarter tour enlarged on an earlier Page/Plant recording [Bombay 1972] of Friends and Four Sticks, accompanied by an Indian orchestra. Page and Plant have worked diligently to perfect variations on their classy eye-opening act since that first true-blue reunion tour. Their unique chemistry, individually, and in tandem as the two Led Zeppelin frontmen, is certainly electric, precious, and rare. Most entertainers hope to achieve this highly coveted “iron-clad guarantee” of solid rapport the audience enjoys while Walking Into Clarksdale. Few do. Page and Plant are two masters with the “hermetic seal” of success, bringing us a new chapter for their greater Mercurial biography.

The significance of titles like Super Star and Legend have unique meaning for Page/Plant fans, even among those discriminating and cautious skeptics who have learned by experience to use care when passing out personal power units to entertainers and public figures of stage and screen. Today a world wise audience, street smart and sophisticated, will look beyond stagy illusions that can lack substantive content. Special effects, tinsel, glitz, and plastic (impressive in tasteful amounts of razzle dazzle) can assist a rock & roll show with valid pizzazz, like Led Zeppelin. By itself, packaging does not go the distance. We want content! We want substance! We want the essential ingredient!! Page and Plant deliver ~~ every time!!

986ac060ada054142f93a110_LAs we are swept through the final stage of Pisces into the New Aeon characterized by vivid Aquarian individuality, music is thoroughly investigated and documented in museums throughout the United States. Pisces is an empathic sign, very conscious of the way mainstream atmosphere contributes to creative work. As the power of Pisces phases through the last degrees of the sign, the conclusion will realign global focus. Artists must decide the treasures of the era we will save. New waves are passing through the Aquarian filter to emphasize future cosmic collectives just visible on the horizon. The record will show we want young children to learn music – and that all types of music can be taught in the community context, via rare exhibits of memorabilia gathered for rock & roll museums with biographical, educational, and historical documentation. It is our good fortune we have artists of phenomenal quality, like the members of Led Zeppelin, with the presence of mind to look past superficiality and store up CD documentaries, mini-series, and printed volumes prepared with future generations in mind. People who will never hear live performances by John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, or B.B. King will at least know who the artist really is – for us.

What holds our attention and fascinates us?

Walking Into Clarksdale is the traditional quest based on an implication that we share in the mainstream. Page and Plant launched their “Walking Into….” tour in the best tradition of Mighty Zeppelin as a subtle reference to spirit as concealed treasure. All alchemical schools teach we must investigate, as a constant search, those ‘auto-projections’ we dub as real world surroundings – an environment full of sights, sounds, scents, texture and taste we expect. There are no surprises, nothing outside the definition of what we know will be there when we wake up every day. This is the big sleeper issue of the Piscean Era. Tricking the left brain into an encounter with akasha [spirit in matter] is an art form. In the realm of Carlos Castenada, the ‘spirit-catcher’ captures the sound of silence. Georgia O’Keefe infused akasha into her flower canvas. Fellini planned characters to come at you so fast it is easy to see their origin inside us.

pp2Page and Plant looked in back of and underneath large and small venues in the South that produced extended musical tracks initiated in Clarksdale. Spirit cannot be recognized by the lower five senses in the cement world without liberating instructions on the table. Walking Into Clarksdale maps a way we can free up standard left brain security systems that repeat the waking conscious paradigm everywhere.

Among those on Jimmy and Robert’s personal playlists during the creation of Walking Into Clarksdale were the British world dance outfit Trans Global Underground, the Sikh drummer troupe The Dhol Foundation, Angle-Arabic chanteuse Natasha Atlas and the late Jeff Buckley, who Jimmy and Robert had visited to express their admiration in the year before he left this dimension. As ever, Jimmy and Robert, who first got together 30 years ago to share an enthusiasm for Joan Baez and Howlin’ Wolf, remain true-blue music fans.
-Source: Atlantic Homepage

Led Zeppelin decided to leave center stage when they were still at the top of the charts. Perhaps the unexpected change of plan forced a cut in their long term career strategy plans, including a contemporary tribute to earlier heroes. In a recent interview with Eddie Trunk, Robert Plant referred to his reunion tours with Jimmy Page as the recognition of “soul brothers.” Ken Zearfoss writes in RELIX 15, #1, To acknowledge the tremendous influence black American blues musicians had upon England in the mid-60. Men such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf toured the country in those days, inspiring scores of local white bands to follow in their musical footsteps.

San Francisco/Bay Area people I’ve spoken with between sets during the Page-Plant tour praise the ‘unreal experience’ promised by the golden ticket. The team will certainly summon higher consciousness of any crowd within earshot of their performance. As subtle energy craftsmen, both empathic sound weavers remain true to consistent [mighty Zep standards like ‘Whole Lotta Love’] structural blueprints and build layered sub-text for the show. The song list is like a collection of elusive, essential metals, and freed of dross, will manage to work on an audience like a soft clay that can transfix concentric rings of admirers. This is one audience encouraged to shed its pedestrian miseries and float above common mortal turmoil. Individually and as a team, Page and Plant have forged ahead of the rest of the pack for several years. What is their secret… that makes them so popular, unique, and unhindered by properties of time or place?

Look into both nativities and the star maps for the reunions in 1994 and 1998, and revelations are brought into the light. Keep in mind that in alchemy there is this understanding: For the ordinary man, spirit is figuratively absorbed by the physical temple; but in the case of the true philosopher, the spirit is so greatly increased in power that it absorbs into itself and is nourished by man’s corporeal body. The statement, explored in the greatly undervalued Page-Plant video, Most High.

Jimmy Page, a Capricorn native, has an architectural sense of structure, clearly apparent in his composure and patterning style. His Mercurial quickness in the department of precise equations, is credited to an exact conjunction between his Sun and Mercury in Capricorn, within a degree of perfect, burning up most of the energy and power of both heavenly bodies unless those forces at hand are instantly infused into something. This aspect, known as a “combust” conjunction, has an intensely agitating effect on his nervous system unless the energy is immediately applied as fast as it is generated. At times he must feel like he is walking a high wire and balancing two objects on either side of a long pole – somewhat like his logo ZoSo. His overwhelming energy dynamic requires an ideal outlet for the consistent flow of psycho-kinetic energy units into his system.

Jimmy Page probably discovered at a fairly early age how to direct his awesome power and presence into creative and constructive activities. Intuitively, people near him must sense these urges and archetypal characteristics as harnessed, like a team of champion horses… Socrates often used the idea of the accomplished Charioteer when teaching about individuals with this type of chemistry. The insights he has are brilliant and come forward into the waking conscious mind as full, detailed pictures. His memory could be reviewed using the “bread crumb path” technique.

Anyone who has seen the Led Zeppelin film, “The Song Remains The Same”, knows that Jimmy Page was born while the Sun was moving through the sign of earthy Capricornus, the goat-fish who brought culture and civilization to the world. Positive Capricorns are distinguished by favoring the tried and true path up the mountain side. The fantasy segment Page designed within the framework of the Led Zeppelin movie, incorporates the allegory of the “Misty Mountain” with its hidden yet ever present steps that form the path to the peak. Once the judge refrains from, “NO”, and instructs HOW to act appropriately, the judge and teacher merge and provide the “light on the path” held by the teacher in the movie. The technique is symbolized astrologically by Jupiter sextile Saturn in Gemini.

Plant’s fantasy sequence shows him on the same quest, following the arc [negotiating] pattern, also ascending upward taking a spiral path (ancient Celtic tradition). This may or may not be “subconscious” guidance providing Plant with experiences he wants to have at the conscious level. Plant is known for his support of the annual Glastonbury Tor music festivals ~~ ancient journey to the top of the Tor is in a spiral pathway around the mountain. Oversoul could have added some intriguing details to his film story, catching and making the most of a perfect opportunity on the horizon. His Sun to Saturn conjunction within one degree of perfect in Leo, The Lion really defines the vision of the “chief” with the same universal range as Page. The Sun/Saturn aspect within Plant’s chart appears less than a degree away from Page’s Jupiter in Leo @ near 26 degrees. [The last ten degrees of Leo, symbolized by Corvus, the raven, are ruled by Mars. More than survival instincts, strength of will, and power instincts, the “king maker” Regulus, adds strong motivators. The keyword for these ‘king of the jungle’ degrees is Ambition. Both men are known for their “flowing mane”.] These forces of nature play to the arts, healing, and a greater enactment. Ancient theatres also dedicated events to the teaching that the soul’s true home, free from material form, is a higher octave where one is able to reclaim a natural expression of self. The search for this truth represented by the Glastonbury Tor journey, guides the pilgrim through the ascending seven circuit labyrinth to the ‘centre’ of the pattern a the top of the hill.

At the 1993 festival, Plant observed, “Glastonbury is the reason that festivals should exist. Its like those festivals used to be in Atlanta and Texas and Seattle. I know these are socially very different times, but back in the day the atmosphere was one of community and everybody contributed, everybody was involved, everybody who came through the gate was doing their best to make it something really special. That element’s still there at Glastonbury.”

Regardless, his light at the top of the spiral ascent [click photo], filmed at RAGLAN CASTLE in Wales, was the same illuminating brilliance that Page enjoyed when he completed his long climb. Although Page employs the lantern [wisdom in the material world of ignorance] and Plant he candle, both use the idea of the “FLAME” to convey quiet soul power. Self-realization quests fuel oversoul. Follow the status of Jupiterian fire [Page and Plant] via sustaining profession and repetoire for an audience. The same ‘spirit in matter’ blueprint fascinated Zep favorite Benjamin Henry Latrobe. The ‘flame of truth’ architect who designed Hammerwood carried fire-akasha across the pond with his design for the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the U. S. Capitol, the White House, and other American landmarks.

Jimmy Page uses his Jupiter in Leo visually via imagery from Tarot Trump IX Hermit or Sage, holding the lantern light in the midst of darkness. As the Judge/Teacher in the film, the benevolent character [Higher Mind] is partly revealed. The sub-text suggestion of theurgy, the highest point (summit) according to the Greeks (and early Christians as well) is implied. Unconsciously Page may have directed his sequence with this message in mind because his Jupiter activates the planet of metamorphosis and regeneration there.

Plant’s Jupiter in Sagittarius (Jupiter’s own sign, The Centaur or Archer) also a fire sign, is closely linked to candle flame. Both these performers essentially have basic life paths built on the turning line, as seen in the stage light spirals during the “10 SPOT” TV special (filmed in Bucharest, Bulgaria at Sala Polivalenta in mid-1998). They accurately identify their lessons in life, although they superficially appear to be different at the level of the material illusion. The Jupiter to Saturn business planet aspects from these two nativities and current charts indicate Page would be the partner first at the door as it opens into music business.

Music from Page and Plant opens the doors of perception at the higher degree of soul awareness and coordinate power units composing spiritual paradigms to engage religious/political thought forms operative within both the nativities.

pp3Our initial clues as per harmonics, ideally hoped for with a Page/Plant resurgence, surfaced on July 13, 1985 – LIVE AID – when Zeppelin companions reunited at JFK Stadium in the City of Brotherly Love. The reunion with John Paul Jones, and accompaniment by Paul Martinez, Tony Thompson and Phil Collins was a festival highlight, inspiring kindred souls in the crowd as if cloaked in a full spectrum rainbow after a quick summer rain. Page’s progressed Sun moved to zero degrees Pisces then, quincunx (150 degrees apart) to Plant’s progressed Mercury completing his sojourn through the sign of the orator and public speaker, Libra (vocals, communication, delivery). Pisces and Libra styles combined, resonating with a Sanskrit word meaning ‘prayer, hymns, and sticks,’ for stirring Soma. At LIVE AID, audience imagination tuned to early Sol traces of Page’s mystical poet and impressionist. Combined with Plant’s progressed Sun, Mercury and Neptune in Libra, the very personification of PR finesse and adroitness (especially with the press) the world audience was subtly aware of something taking form in the wings.

You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. In fact, Plant’s progressed Sun, Mercury and Neptune first merged in Libra during mid-1982, aptly represented by “Pictures At Eleven” on Swan Song, released in June of that year. The sign of the balance is known for effortless charm, flirtation, and the love of being in love. Libra seeks everlasting love, fairly shared commitment, and the meeting of minds in an ideal relationship. ~~ Burning Down One Side, Moonlight In Samosa, Pledge Pin, Slow Dancer, Worse Than Detroit, Fat Lip, Like I’ve Never Been Gone, Mystery Title – The contributing musicians joining Plant are Robbie Blunt, guitars ~ Paul Martinez, bass ~ Jezz Woodroffe, keyboard and synthesizer ~ Phil Collins and Cozy Powell on drums ~ and Raphael Ravenscroft on saxophone. A video for “Burning Down One Side” was also released.

Following LIVE AID, Page made several guest appearances with Plant on his tour. January of 1986 opened with Page’s Pisces influence firm as a basic undercurrent from the “La Mer” stream of consciousness” ~~ the River Of Life effect. Competitive style and compositional preferences intensified, with rather fragile chords struck, Page, Plant, Jones and Tony Thompson convened in a humble, low profile setting near Peter Gabriel’s studio at Bath, England. The exact opposition (180 degree distance) between Page’s Sun (Leadership) energy and Plant’s need to spiritualize the terrestrial (Saturn in Virgo) created confrontational rather than creative tones in their meeting. While both Sun (Page) and Saturn (Plant) are conscious of the behavioral rituals, routines and rules conceded within any smoothly produced collaboration, both take different viewpoints as to the order of priorities on the day to day “things to do” list. Additionally, Tony Thompson suffered an injury in a car accident. So the Zeppelin reunion attempt returned to a nebulous status once again.

During 1994 a moving phenomenon occurred. Pieces of the puzzle that had been casually scattered began to retake their natural positions, like some marvelous mosaic that simply required thoughtful direction, rearrangement and some TLC. Page had a progressed map that could have taken him anywhere (and may have done so on multi-dimensional planes). His Sun to Mercury conjunction in Cap heated by two progressed power quincunxes, was his ticket to ideal business ventures designed to take off like a rocket and head straight into the stratosphere! The catalyst was Mars, moving into conjunction with Saturn in Gemini, acting as the fuel source for Sun and Mercury, and rounding out the whole program through the Jupiter in Leo sextile, thus infusing Page’s personality with a very mobile (unplugged) wandering minstrel characteristic.

The progressed Mars and Saturn conjunction appeared in the second decan of Gemini, Canis Major, underscoring the singular and admirable faithfulness Page has to his companions and his high ideals. The dramatic effect of these alchemical shifts in Jimmy Page’s life directly impacted Plant’s Leo stellium, the reservoir for much his dynamic power to woo his audience. These new notes that sounded of pure and central truth must have taken Plant to the hub of his own nature, where resides his firm stand against those who use the brilliancy of their intellects to suppress truth and foist superstition on society (that they may profit by its exploitation.) The motivations behind the decision to reclaim center stage could be quite similar from the viewpoint of both musicians, although they could interpret the “will to act” from different perspectives.

April 17, 1994 was the first publicized appearance of Page and Plant in their current incarnation at The Alexis Korner Blues Show at Buxton, England. By August 1994 they were taping performances in London (8/25 & 26), Wales and Morocco in preparation for a TV special, MTV UNLEDDED (scheduled for October airdate). From this project evolved the CD treasure, NO QUARTER, leading in turn to their first true reunion tour in February, 1995.

NO QUARTER composition consisted of Page and Plant, joined by Charlie Jones (bass/percussion), Michael Lee (drums/percussion), Porl Thompson (guitar/banjo), Najma Akhtar (vocals), Jim Sutherland (mandolin/bodbran), Nigel Eaton (hurdy gurdy), and Ed Shearmur (Hammond organ & orchestral arrangements).

Robert Plant cites various recording conditions of the reunion album, No Quarter, as an example of creative freedom: “When we were out in the desert in Morocco playing with those (indigenous) musicians, it was something we’d never dreamed of doing even though we’d driven down dusty tracks for 20 years together – peering into the dusty desert half-light listening to that kind of music. And then suddenly we’re with these people.

We can go back any time and be a part of that again. Or, we can make a very commercial Led Zeppelin-oriented record in time to come. Or we can do whatever the hell we want to do. And that’s basically an extension of what we’ve always done, and it hasn’t done us so badly.”

Tours in ’95 and ’98 were like Zeppelin touring the Global Village with a New World spin. These musicians are challenged to consistently provide better than 99 44/100% pure perfection. It is stunning to hear The Dynamic Duo is still up for fresh production projects more than 30 years after their initial flight out of the barn. John Paul Jones, at long last ready to unveil his own independent project in 1999, is a Capricorn used to being placed securely on a pedestal by the rest of the music industry, and the Zeppelin circle of admirers. His early recollections of formative years reveal something of the pressures felt. “I’ve rated Jimmy Page for years and years. We both came from South London, and even in 1962, I can remember people saying, ‘You’ve got to go and listen to Neil Christian and The Crusaders – they’ve got this unbelievable young guitarist.’ I’d heard of Pagey before I’d heard of Clapton or Beck.” JPJ (The Black Mountain Side website – History)

The 1998 progressions to both nativities once again usher in newer, more provocative musical samples from the smorgasbord of sound Page and Plant enjoy. Plant’s “gourmet” Virgoan Mercury (intellect, the way he thinks) is joined this year in a waxing conjunction formed with his progressed Venus and Saturn within 2 degrees of perfect. Virgo is the critic of the zodiac and proud of it! The January 3 ’98 radio interview with Plant on the British All Classical Music station, reviewed his really long hair selections. Atop list of ’emotional classics’, his favorite is Nesson Dorma by Pavarotti. Asked which composer he would have most liked to have been, he chose Mahler (“I don’t know how much fun he had when he was alive, but he was inspiring”). Phil Lesh of Grateful Dead fame also names Mahler on his short list of personal favorites, by the way. Music which made Plant feel creative was illustrated by an Om Kalsoom Indian piece enjoyed frequently as opening music for Page and Plant on tour during ’95 & ’96 (Says Plant: “Its a good way to start the day and say “Thank god I’m alive”).

ON THE SIDE: Scanning a FAQ assemblage from a fan’s website, a couple of curious propositions from the peanut gallery popped up that I thought could use some clarification, although I make no claims to be an authority on these subjects. There is a recurrent inquiry about “backwards messages” dubbed backmasking, from a California group who claim to be hearing messages from the devil implanted in, or superimposed over, Zeppelin performances of “Stairway To Heaven”. Applying the noted Capricorn classic: “Silence Is Golden”, with the appropriate diplomatic balm, we hear from Jimmy Page: “Well, I don’t pass any comments on them…”

The “stock” response to them has always been something in the vicinity of, “Our turntables only turn forward.” To these well meaning collectors I direct a suggestion. Pick up a copy of Raudive’s book, BREAKTHROUGH, and read it. I believe it was first published in Europe but is now available in the USA. You may also find, “VOICES FROM THE TAPES”, by Peter Bander, somewhat illuminating. He was recently knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and given the highest honors and awards by the Vatican (short of sainthood) for proving beyond a shadow of a doubt there are other dimensions and it is possible for anyone to communicate with entities there by means of a simple tape recorder and diode. Since these scientific experiments were validated by everybody at the global level during the 1970s, during the same decade that Stairway To Heaven was introduced, it is beyond me what these people could have been doing with their time.

Going To California? May began the first of the two leg WALKING INTO EVERYWHERE Tour through America, that eventually reached a couple of Northern California venues. Tickets for both shows were hot, and both huge outdoor amphitheaters filled to capacity. During the first appearance in Concord on Sept 11, it looked as though Page and Plant taping their own “home movie version of WALKING INTO EVERYWHERE”? The encore “curtain calls” from the crowd were so long and loud, I lost count of how many there were. The first time I caught them live, I assumed Page and Plant taped their shows as a matter of form until Shoreline, the following night when no sign of filming or equipment could be detected. Makes you wonder. December 3, 1998 Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany closed the WALKING INTO EVERYWHERE European leg of the tour, so maybe I’ll never know. But Page and Plant might be cooking up something new for us that is still unseen!

During 1998 Page’s notable Earthless chart channeled for Mercury at the first stage of his sojourn through the sign of opalescent light, Pisces. The earthen vessel holds water for spiritual more than intellectual and even physical thirsts. Plant’s current Grand Earth Trine features advantageous business auguries for success with anything he touches. Teamwork enabled both to rack up some very impressive numbers of play time in ’98 and we can expect even more from them in ’99. First, reports straight from UK publication for Zeppelin enthusiasts, Tight But Loose #13: “Now officially confirmed: Led Zeppelin are the second best selling act of all time in the US. Cumulative sales of 68.8 million albums takes them above Garth Brooks (66 million) and behind The Beatles (100 million). Three Zeppelin albums (Zep 2/4/’Physical Graffiti’) showed in the Channel 4 Music For The Millennium Top 100 – the accompanying TV program showed footage of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ from the Albert Hall 1970 show and some perceptive comments from Lloyd Grossman.” (rumors have it there is a new video of the entire Albert Hall show for the year ahead, to make sure we’ll all party like its 1999!)

The balance between the powerful Sun to Mercury conjunction in Pisces (new) for Page in 1999 and Plant’s Grand Earth Trine promises that this team will be prolific during the final year of this century and well into the next one! We’ll probably see more soundtrack work from both, although I personally wish they would dust off, ‘Train Kept A Rollin’, The Yardbirds repertoire, and rework it with John Paul Jones. It seems the European audiences took to the GODZILLA theme, ‘Come With Me’, from the movie soundtrack faster though not necessarily more enthusiastically than US. ‘Come With Me’, entered the UK music charts at #2 – Bigger than life – a dynamite variation from Puff-Daddy and Jimmy Page on the exotic Zeppelin original ‘Kashmir’. Reviews of the Saturday Night Live performance that brought the house down were appropriately generous (all the TV VJs loved it), and the video version, taped with Page in London and Puffy in USA makes you wish more Hollywood suits had their phone number.

The blend of Pisces imaginative caravansary fantasy (Page) and Virgo’s husbandman goal to press the wine from all the varied experiences of life (Plant), the accomplishments at the end of a Page and Plant day is always an extraordinary elixir. VH1 LEGENDS aired their Led Zeppelin documentary featuring rare film from live performances during the 70s era; this mini-movie was well researched, with high entertainment value, excellently narrated by Aerosmith’s Stephen Tyler. The September 30, 1998 debut of The Song Remains The Same in its widescreen/letterbox edition for laserdisc raises the hope for a VHS and DVD coming attraction.

MTV Network added a new show during June ’98, with online surveys “looking for diehard fans of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant”. FANatic aired shortly thereafter with a brief interview of Page and Plant by one of their fans. There are numerous websites, tributes, and The Ring Of Zeppelin online, as we take on the millenium. Its our guarantee that the Pisces and Virgo sides of the big picture Page and Plant projected onto the ‘reely big’ screen for us all, will be properly told.

Closing on the topic, one more peculiar notion that seems to hound Zeppelin, mentioned more than once in various documentary specials during 1998 (and probably generally misread) should be addressed. The points are raised with some degree of regularity on FAQ lists as well. Although there might naturally be confusion because Jimmy Page is an avid collector of occult books and paraphernalia, so are several high ranking religious leaders from every known religion. The problem is not so much with Jimmy Page or his activities per se, as with the incredible problem for anyone even remotely linked with the writings of Aleister Crowley, considered by most ‘too hot to handle’.

Although most people have heard of Crowley, few know the way he acquired such bad press. Neophytes are unaware that anyone who investigates or studies black, white, and transcendental magic, doubles as a bibliophile, reviews Wagner and Freud, translates Yi King and other sacred scriptures, etc., etc., etc., is not properly called a Black Arts Practitioner, in [non-European] philosophic and metaphysical circles. Since Crowley contributed to all these libraries with great regularity, such classification is considered inaccurate. I will omit references to his poetry, since there is some degree of doubt as to proper classification there. Crowley was, however, a master mathematician, first solving complex problems for centuries regarded as unsolvable (for which he receives 0 credit). The best way to review Crowley in view of his peculiar public image, is via his own biographical “Confessions” and by carefully investigating Mark Twain’s translation of Louis de Comptes, “Jean d’Arc, By Her Page And Secretary”.

On the surface, both appear to arise from different quarters, yet actually target the same terrible truth. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for communing with an entity borne of a French monk’s transcription error. There is no such entity or force in nature with the name ‘Baphomet’ for Joan to have communed with, although at her trial (charged with witchcraft) it was proven she had done so. Because the great game of musical Vaticans and multiple Popes ran concurrent during the period of France’s war with England, some secret teachings held by Rome leaked out into public domain. Although Crowley and Twain weren’t connected, both knew about the injustice to Joan. Also both men sported the same biting humor, so while both found these conditions repulsive and were unable to correct them, it wasn’t beyond either man to intellectually poke at the source.

You will notice Crowley had his picture taken as, Baphomet, the Supreme and Holy King of Ireland, Iona, and all the Britains that are in the Sanctuary of the Gnosis, O.T.O. – Crowley in full Masonic regalia, c. 1916. Naturally everyone took him seriously because he had provided what they were hoping for – an opportunity for them to take aim and fire. There is no record of hesitation on the part of his critics.

bbc-sessionsLed Zeppelin meets the BBC

Papers from the BBC Archive reveal how the fledgeling rockers left a panel of light entertainment experts dazed and confused when they applied to record a radio session in 1969…

The audition reports, the subject of a BBC Radio 6Music Christmas Day special with Page, reveal the corporation’s cautious approach to the rock revolution. Radio 1 was set up in 1967 in response to pirate station gaining more BBC listeners.

If you want to penetrate to the subtle style and meaning of metaphysical writing, keep both these texts around for a while, perhaps one under each arm. It boils down to Crowley’s use of titles, imagery, and symbolism that often scares the hell out of most people. They functioned much like the seeing stones in Middle-earth. You know the attraction to them draws people in because they send and receive so much powerful energy. You should also suspect there is a catch. If you try to glimpse a picture of the future via the Palantíri you find yourself in unchartered territory. Because Crowley played the game of embarrassing ‘polite society’ for the explicit purpose of catching intellectually backward groups off guard, he was unanimously referred to in a derogatory way by those with the power of the press at their disposal. His consistent amusement over his ability to arouse such indignation only deepened sentiment against him. However, this does not invalidate his critique of some popular ‘old boys networks’ of his day. (No one seems to refer to it in the written Led Zeppelin FAQ lists.) Remember there were no less than four popes in the Christian world during the life of St. Joan! Loyalty to the Pope in Rome caused Joan and those from her village more grief than history has recorded.

Congratulations at last! Led Zeppelin delivers May Fete – big time!
New York Times music critic reviews joint CD and DVD release of what we hear will sum up the very last remnant stashed in Zep’s magic treasure box.

plantatl How the West Was Won
Led Zeppelin

… “The music is divided into a three-CD package and a two-DVD set, each with completely different material. The Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, who was largely responsible for compiling the set, has intimated in interviews that this is all the surviving live material he feels is satisfactory for release. Thus, the group is putting it all out at once with the indulgence that has always been its hallmark. Led Zeppelin was never a band that liked to do things in half measures (that is, with the notable exception of its half reunion as Page and Plant).

It comes on like a brick in the face. Finger-slicing guitar rave-ups, scorching castrati-esque wails, joint-popping drum rolls and one anthem after another Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog and, yes, Stairway to Heaven mark the first CD of How the West Was Won (Atlantic). This is Led Zeppelin at full throttle, culled live from two California shows in 1972. It is sweat-drenched vindication for a band that played the blues, but didn’t feel the blues. It felt some other passion, entirely its own, even if it was at times just a passion for itself and its self-appointed role as carriers of the torch passed on from rock’s Tennessee and Mississippi progenitors.

On the second and third discs, the band begins to bloat. Contained here is the indulgence and virtuosity that one simultaneously dreads and savors in a Zeppelin live set. Mr. Page gets experimental with his violin bow on a 25-minute Dazed and Confused, John Bonham takes more than a solo on a 19-minute Moby Dick, and Robert Plant turns Whole Lotta Love into a history lesson, taking us from swing to blues to rock ‘n’ roll, channeling Wanda Jackson, Ricky Nelson and Howlin’ Wolf along the way.

Like any three-hour concert, How the West Was Won has its bruisers and its snoozers, but it would be hard to come up with a better representation of all four cylinders of Led Zeppelin fine-tuned and at peak performance….

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant The Magic Of The Page And Plant Tour | | Leave a comment

The Rolling Stones Liver Than You’ll Ever Be (Oakland, November 1969)


The importance of The Rolling Stones Liver Than You’ll Ever Be cannot be over estimated. Great White Wonder cover the Bob Dylan basement tapes was the first commerically produced bootleg and is rightly priased for the industry it helped promote. The Dylan was produced out of an encounter, happenstance and need, but the Rolling Stones title was produced out of a deliberate act of producing a definitive live souvenir of the first Rolling Stones tour in three years.

And unlike the Dylan and others, this established a market for audience recording sourced bootlegs. The Dub taped used for the original Lurch (and subsequently TMOQ) releases remains one of the most clear, vivid and enjoyable documents from the tour.

Liver Than You’ll Ever Be, the new four disc title on Dog N Cat, is a collection with a newly surfaced audience tape of the November 9th late show. To celebrate this occasion it is packaged with material from the opening acts, the Bill Graham soundboard recording, and the famous TMOQ tape in one convenient package.

Seasoned Rolling Stones collectors may scoff at this release as a cynical attempt to get more money by packaging the new tape with the older. But for collectors who do not have copies of all the tapes DAC-116 is a very good sounding and packaged document.

DAC are self-consciously following the example of last year’s Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out 40th Anniversary edition which included multiple sources for those shows and included a disc devoted to the opening acts (something which Mick Jagger originally envisioned for the project in 1970). Unlike the official product no DVD is included because no footage exists from the show.

The website Revelations On The Rolling Stones summed up the importance of this show the best. In the article “The LIVEr Than You’ll Ever Be’ Story,” he writes:

“‘LIVEr Than You’ll Ever Be’” is not only significant because of its place in the bootleg history, but also because of the mood and feel that it captured as the Rolling Stones returned to live performances for the first time in over three years with new guitarist Mick Taylor. Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, and The Cream had all happened since the last tour through the States. Guitar heroes and songs with great solos were the talk of the day. There was a stark difference between the screaming crowds that marked the close of their last US tour in Hawaii July 28, 1966, and the audiences they were now facing who were sitting down during the shows and listening to the music.

“The Oakland performances were early in the tour and the band was still getting acquainted with itself in a live setting with the sound system that could be heard in the far reaches of the stadiums they were playing in. The recording is primal in it’s musical depth compared to the well known “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” commercial release from the 1969 tour. There are no vocal or instrumental overdubs on LIVEr which enables the listener to compare the band early in the tour to the slicker overdubbed recording that would represent a band that had musically evolved very quickly during the course of the tour. It has been written that ‘Get Your Ya-Ya’s Out!’ was released to counter sales of this record.”

Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA – November 9th, 1969 2nd show

Disc 1 (49:26): Ike & Tina Turner: Come Together, Respect. Terry Reid: Marking Time, I’ve Got News For You, Superlungs My Supergirl. B.B. King: Get Off My Back Woman, instrumental

Disc 2 (74:42): Jumping Jack Flash, Carol, Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Love In Vain, I’m Free, Under My Thumb, Midnight Rambler, Live With Me, Gimme Shelter, Little Queenie, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Woman, Street Fighting Man

November 9th is the third stop (and fifth overall concert) on The Rolling Stones’ first tour of the US in three years after opening in Colorado and Los Angeles. The new tape source is very good but distant from the stage. It has a very loud echo surrounding the music. There is nice balance and detail in the music, and since the audience were catatonic that night there is very little audience interference.

Only fragments of the opening acts are included. Ike & Tina Turner bring their soul and blues revue to Oakland. “Come Together” is a rather faithful cover the The Beatles’ song from Abbey Road. It’s remarkable since the album was only released a few months prior. “Respect” is a long cover of the Arethra Franklin hit, expanded with Tina’s long feminist rap. She gets the audience motivated, telling men that women can be unfaithful too!

Judging by the official release, much of the set is missing including “Gimme Some Loving,” “Sweet Soul Music,” ”Son Of A Preacher Man,” ”Proud Mary,” ”I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and ”Land Of A Thousand Dances.”

Terry Reid’s portion includes three songs. He had toured the US the previous year with Cream and was with the Rolling Stones to promote his new album Terry Reid (US title: Move Over for Terry Reid). He is joined by Pete Solley on keyboards and Keith Webb on drums. The first, “Marking Time,” is a long original number and is followed by the Ray Charles cover “I’ve Got News For You.”

The final song included is the first song from the album, a cover of the Donavan Leitch song “Superlungs My Supergirl.”

B.B. King’s songs are two long guitar based blues numbers. “Get Off My Back, Woman” is an original song released on his latest LP Live & Well. It was issued earlier that year with half of the songs recorded live and five tracks in the studio and was a commercial breakthrough for King since it was his first to enter the Top 100. Judging by the 40th Anniversary version, this is only a small taste of his entire set.

The Stones come on stage after being introduced by Sam Cutler and start with “Jumping Jack Flash.” It is slow, deliberate, and crawls on stage as the band try to warm up. Jagger tells the audience that “we’re really pleased to be back here. Really! No bullshit. We’re really gonna give you … we know it’s a bit late, but we hope you don’t mind if we stay” before the first Chuck Berry cover of the night “Carol.”

“Sympathy For The Devil” is tight if a bit stiff. Jagger tells the audience they are going to “get back to the ladies” before an excellent “Stray Cat Blues.” It is curious how the enthusiasm in the audience drops after the opening number. The vocals for “Stray Cat Blues” are very clear and it causes one to wonder if the audience were shocked by the narrative.

They remain quiet when the rest of the band leave the stage leaving only Jagger and Richards. “At this point we’re gonna sit down … bring out the stools … and you be quiet” Jagger says. Someone in teh audience shouts ”alright Mick” prompting Jagger to respond “alright Jack” to some laughter.

After a brilliant “Love In Vain” they play “I’m Free,” the second oldest song in the setlist (released as a single in 1965). It wasn’t kept long in the set since it didn’t elicit much reaction from the audience. In the second Oakland show it sounds lifeless and dull despite Mick Taylor’s efforts. It would be dropped following the following night’s show in San Diego and not reappeare again until the Stones hit the east coast, when it would form a short medley with “Under My Thumb.”

Jagger tells the audience to shake their asses before an effective version of “Midnight Rambler.” This would be their major improvisational showpiece for this and several other tours and rarely sounds bad live. More new songs follow including “Live With Me” where Taylor’s amplifier breaks down in the middle prompting Jagger to sing “I think we got a problem / I think we got a problem” until it’s fixed. he complains about it afterwards too.

“Gimme Shelter” is the final new song of the night. It was played in the opening night in Colorado and would be played in Phoenix on the 11th, on the ”Ed Sullivan Show,” in Miami on November 30th and Altamont. It wouldn’t be a regular track in the Stones’ stage show until the 1972 tour.

Before “Little Queenie” Jagger wants to see how the audience are dressed before doing “one from a long time ago while when we was all falling out of our cradles.” This little quip found its way into the film Gimme Shelter. The last couple of songs “Honky Tonk Women” and “Street Fighting Man” are a marked improvement over the earlier parts of the show with much more confidence and energy from both band and audience.

FM soundboard source

Disc 3 (36:53): Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Love In Vain, Live With Me, Gimme Shelter, Little Queenie, Satisfaction

Bill Graham himself broadcast this tape on KSAN in San Francisco on October 29th, 1972, the same month the late, great Tom Donohue became program director for this progressive station. The existence of this tape is as much a testimony to the Stones as it is to the glory days of free form radio in the late sixties to the late seventies.

Stations like KSAN in San Francisco and WNEW in New York were not beholden to the rigid programming of the AM top-40 format and the presentation of rock and roll was as much of an art form as the music itself. Hearing music, even from popular bands, out of the context of the proscribed hits was more common then than now.

This tape was first booted on vinyl in Germany and is the source for the earliest CD release, Hangout (World Production Of Compact Music D 047-2). Oakland ‘69 (Audifon AF 005) and Oakland Sixty-Nine (Vinyl Gang Product RS-692 VGP-003) are two more recent releases of this show. The last version before DAC is Oakland Coliseum Arena 1969 FM-SB (SODD-029) released several years ago. DAC sounds much more natural compared to the SODD title.

TMoQ source

Disc 4 (74:40): Jumping Jack Flash, Carol, Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Love In Vain, I’m Free, Under My Thumb, Midnight Rambler, Live With Me, Gimme Shelter, Little Queenie, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Woman, Street Fighting Man

The final disc of this set covers the famous Trade Mark of Quality recording. According to the book Bootleg by Clinton Heylin, the taper used “a Sennheiser 805 ‘shotgun’ microphone and a Uher4000 reel-to-reel tape recorder, which was real small, 7 1/2 inch per second 5″ reels.” The LP was released just over a month after the show on the Lurch label.

The recording has such an impact that it received a review in Rolling Stone. Author Greil Marcus opined, “How it was recorded is more interesting, because the sound quality is superb, full of presence, picking up drums, bass, both guitars and the vocals beautifully. The LP is in stereo; while it doesn’t seem to be mixed, the balance is excellent. One of the bootleggers says the recording was done on an eight-track machine… So these may in fact be tapes that were made on the stage by someone involved in setting up the Stones’ own sound system.”

It has been featured on countless titles over the years including Live’r than You’ll Ever be (The Swingin’ Pig TSP-CD-043), Revolution Sixtinine (Great Dane Records GDR CD 9105), Vintage but Vigorous (WPOCM 0590 D 052), Have a Beer (Teddy Bear Records TB 38), Stone from the Bay (Wild Bird Records WBR CD 9014), The Original Live’r than You’ll Ever be (VGP-024), From San Francisco to Paris (VGP-276), Out of Joint (Black ‘n Blue RSBB-2004/005), Live’r than You’ll Ever be (Tarantura TCDRS-1-1,2) and Live’r than They’ll Ever be (SODD 013). DAC do not tamper with the tape and include the dropouts on the original tape and sounds very nice.

Liver Than You’ll Ever Be is packaged in a basic fatboy jewel case. The front cover contains a reproduction of the concert poster and with several rare pictuers on the back in insides. DAC also include an obi strip (written in Japanese) to be placed over the spine and recounts the other Satanic tour releases in their catalogue. Like many DAC releases, this is redundant for many collectors since much of it has come out before. However for newer collectors it is a very good title worth having.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | The Rolling Stones Live'r Than You'll Ever Be | , | Leave a comment

Santana Caravanserai (1972)


Santana really jumped the shark with this “Caravanserai”, a jazz fusion landmark, which is more like Tangerine Dream’s atmospherics in places, than the customary blasting lead guitar jamming Santana fans may have become accustomed to. The sun soaked atmospheres emblazoned on the cover really highlight the mood of the album. The tribal percussion punches are a main feature, pounding throughout and even inundating the sound with Africana relish, such as on Future Primitive.

Then there are Arabian flourishes that may conjure images of a lone desert scape with a camel making its way across arid sandy mirages.
We hear the desert scape with nature’s sounds in Eternal Caravan of Reincarnation, and then the low hum of the sun’s rays with fluttering flute, until the chimes glisten over cooling down the heat, with swells of keyboard echoes. All the Love in the Universe is a spiritual journey that moves inexorably to a climax, along a bass pulse, finally breaking into a song and then an insane instrumental break with Carlos lead and Gregg Rolie’s Hammond battling for supremacy.

The music flows along organically in the first half with not too many breaks from one track to the next and encapsulates the power of desert ambience. It is a soulful, at times moving journey, and always completely challenging musically. Santana never returned to this style again so it remains a solitude wilderness album, a desert island album literally pulsating with energy. When the guitar is to be heard it comes in a flurry of power at the hands of mighty Carlos such as on Stone Flower, with Rolie’s Hammond shimmers and vocals that echo in the distance.

La Fuente Del Ritmo continues the quest to find the oasis, the water of life, with chaotic piano and cymbal splashes, and the congas and bongos are never far around the corner. The groove locks into frenetic tempo as the lightning fast hands on the congas attack. Carlos’ lead work is exceptional, enigmatic over the arousing African beats. The improvisatory piano runs are competing against the manic tom toms, and then the Hammond blasts return like rain falling into the oasis.

It all leads ultimately to a 9 minute extravaganza ‘Every Step Of The Way’, opening with gentle percussion, with Hammond answers, and the threat of a cascading guitar phrase. As far as jazz fusion goes this really hits the target. Santana take their time getting to the meat, and taking great pains to build up to a crescendo.

This is a tense experience at times, and at three minutes it finally breaks into a downpour of grooving bass and drums as lead guitar swoops like a hungry vulture. Once the vulture is airborn everything melts into the sunshine of the soundscape. The sound of a bird twittering floats overhead and then flutters down into swathes of keyboards and a wonderful brass sound that builds to a climax.

“Caravanserai” is sheer musical poetry and one of Santana’s triumphs; certainly one of their most famous albums and will continue to challenge and move listeners for decades to come; a timeless treasure.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Santana Caravanserai | | Leave a comment

The Who Who’s Next (1971)


After Leeds Townshend was in full rock-opera mode again, but his ambitious Lifehouse project was ultimately aborted. Tensions from the sessions resulted in a falling out between Townshend and producer Kit Lambert, who had basically served as the unofficial fifth member of the band and who was a great “ideas guy.” Fortunately, producer Glyn Johns was brought on board and he did a bang up job, and Townshend’s release of the Lifehouse concept enabled him to focus on a concise all-killer, no-filler 9-track album.

The album, which many including yours truly consider the band’s best, is notable for several things. For one thing, it’s bookended by arguably the band’s two best songs ever, “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Also, Johns delivered a cleaner, more polished arena rock sound that didn’t sacrifice any of the band’s legendary power, Townshend masterfully integrated synthesizers within said full-bodied sound, and Daltrey comes of age on this album, singing not only with his usual cocksure swagger but with a tenderness as well; this album established him once and for all as one of rock music’s finest singers. As previously noted, the album starts with “Baba O’Riley,” one of the best rock anthems ever (as per usual, a “teen anthem,” Townshend’s specialty).

Just thinking about the looped synthesizer intro leading into those dramatic da-da-da piano chords pumps me up, and when Moon’s drums kick in I can’t help but play along. Amazingly, the song gets even better, Daltrey’s masterful “out here in the fields” vocals being the icing on the cake (this is where he became Rock God Roger).

Of course, Pete sings the more sensitive “don’t cry…” section before Keith kicks the song into overdrive along with Pete’s propulsive power chords before a final “teenage wasteland” chorus leads into the fast-paced drums/violin (the latter courtesy of Dave Arbus) duel that provides a scintillating climax to an all-time classic. Whew, I’m tired just writing about that one, but damn it if “Bargain” isn’t almost as great, albeit in a much more low-key way. According to Pete, “this song expresses how much of a bargain it would be to lose everything in order to be one with God,” but more important than any meaning is the song’s delivery.

You just gotta love those mournful synths, which give the song a wistful flavor, and Moon and Daltrey in particular are at the top of their game. Like several songs here, this one is part ballad, part hard rock, but few of the band’s songs have ever come together so perfectly. The short, simply strummed acoustic tune “Love Ain’t For Keeping” is also good but comparatively modest, while “My Wife” is a classic John composition, arguably his best what with its butt kicking groove (as per usual led by Keith), strong riffs, humorous lyrics (a John trademark), and even some well-placed horns.

The next few tunes are less impressive but still enjoyable: “The Song Is Over” is a bit corny perhaps but it’s still a pretty, melodic, and powerful semi-ballad, “Getting In Tune” also features Nicky Hopkins on piano and is another half-ballad, half-rocker with a catchy chorus, more commanding lead vocals from Roger along with some cute backing vocals from the others (another band trademark), and some good soloing, while “Going Mobile,” featuring Pete on lead vocals, may be a minor pop song but it’s an enjoyable effort nevertheless due to its catchy acoustic melody, some wah wah soloing from Townshend, a fun jam ending, and more effectively used synthesizers.

Lest this review get too long, suffice it to say that “Behind Blue Eyes” and especially “Won’t Get Fooled Again” are additional all-time classics, joining “Baba O’Riley” and “Bargain” but perhaps providing an even a better 1-2 punch. OK, what the hell, I have to describe these two as well. I mean, you really feel for the sad soul “Behind Blue Eyes” during the ballad parts, but then it’s air-guitar time during its blistering balls out rock section (i.e. “when my fist clenches crack it open”…), with some great fills from Moon (his specialty) and one of Daltrey’s most vulnerable vocals topping it off. Last but certainly not least is “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” the progressive 8+ minute epic that inevitably provided the finale to many a concert.

The song’s most notable attributes are its haunting keyboards, Pete’s raging power chords (particularly on the intro and outro), it’s catchy chorus and political lyrics, and several solo sections, all of which lead into the greatest scream in rock history and a dramatic overall finale to rival “A Day In The Life.” Anyway, I’m not sure why I went into such detail with this review, most of you who own a radio already know most if not all of these songs, but I guess I got a bit excited. You see, this has always been and always will be one of my favorite albums, it’s the Who album I grew up with and I don’t think they ever topped it.

Although many people prefer their concise, energetic raw early singles and others cite their rock operas as the band’s most “important” contributions to rock’s evolution, I believe that not only is Who’s Next the greatest Who album, but that it’s one of the absolute peak recordings of the rock era. Simply put, this focused masterpiece showed that when The Who put it all together they were an awesome force with few equals.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | The Who Who's Next | | Leave a comment

Led Zeppelin Sweet Dreams, Chicago (July 1973)


Chicago Auditorium, Chicago, IL – July 6th, 1973

Disc 1 soundboard recording: Rock & Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song
Disc 2: Dazed & Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Moby Dick
Disc 3: Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown
Disc 4 audience recording: Rock & Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song
Disc 5: Dazed & Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Moby Dick
Disc 6: Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown

Ever since the soundboard for Zeppelin’s July 6th show in Chicago (the first on the second leg of their long ninth tour of the US) surfaced, this has been considered one of the very worst concert of their career. For whatever reason Robert Plant’s voice is almost completely shot and the band sounded quite rusty.

It seems the month long break was a hindrance and not helpful. Another distraction noted by Plant on stage is the constant fighting by the audience in front of the stage which became severe enough for the police to get involved.

The soundboard recording was released twice about ten years ago, surfacing as Second City Showdown on Midas Touch and in the Grandiloquence box set on Antrabata. The soundboard recording shares the same characteristics of the other boards from this tour: excellent sounding but very flat and lifeless.

It’s great to have such documents but many collectors prefer the audience recordings from this era as being more enjoyable and more authentic representations of Zeppelin’s performances. This board stands out because it contains the whole show and isn’t simply a fragment.

Empress Valley promised an upgrade of the soundboard and they have succeeded. This version sounds better and is more complete. But Zeppelin collectors will be more interested in the newly discovered audience source. It is clear but very distant, picking up much of the echo in the venue. The Chicago Auditorium was criticized for having poor acoustics and this tape is proof of that.

But despite all that the actual concert sounds a bit better than on the soundboard since the echo is able to cover up some of the distressing mistakes and Plant’s weak vocals. Where the soundboard makes them sound sluggish, the audience makes them sound like a menacing death machine rolling over the audience. This source lends credence to the Chicago press who gave these show excellent reviews.

The taper was too far from the stage to record the chaos in the audience that night. But many bangs and explosions are clearly audible during “Rock And Roll” and at other points throughout the evening. The main three-disc release only has the soundboard recording and the strictly limited edition of three hundred copies has both soundboard and audience.

The more obsessive Zeppelin collector will want the limited edition for the audience source. The packaging is very good: all in black and white with several scarce photos from the tour. There are liner notes printed on the front insert titled “Almost Famous” describing the show and tape sources.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Led Zeppelin Sweet Dreams Chicago | , | Leave a comment

Santana III: Legacy Edition (2006)


The year was 1971, and young Neil Schon had a big decision to make. The 17-year-old guitar prodigy was invited by Eric Clapton to join Derek and the Dominoes at the same time that he was invited by Carlos Santana to join his group. Schon chose Santana just in time to go into the studio to join in the recording of the band’s third album.

By the time Santana III was recorded, the band was still riding the huge wave they created with their historic appearance at Woodstock two years earlier. Their self-titled first album had reached #4 on the Billboard Album Chart, and their second, Abraxas, sold more than four-million and reached #1 in 1970. Everything seemed to be going their way.

What most of their fans didn’t know was that the pressure of success was taking its toll on the group, and by 1971 they were on the verge of disintegrating. Santana wanted the band to put emphasis on its Mexican musical roots. Greg Rollie, an original member of the band when it was formed in 1966 as the Santana Blues Band, wanted to go with a more progressive sound and themed concept albums, which suited young Schon just fine, given his classical training.

The tensions became more than the group could handle, and soon after the release of Santana III, the band’s members went their separate ways. Rollie later formed Journey, which would also become Schon’s home.

What’s Significant About Santana III: Legacy Edition
• It is the last album recorded by the original Woodstock-era lineup and the first that included Neil Schon
• It contains three songs that were recorded during those 1971 studio sessions but have not been released previously
• The second CD in the set contains the band’s complete final set on the night that the legendary Fillmore West in San Francisco closed

Carlos Santana is rightfully credited (along with Ritchie Valens, Tito Puente, Jose Feliciano and Los Lobos) with bringing Latin rock into the American mainstream. We shouldn’t forget, though, that Santana was also an important fixture in the late ’60s San Francisco music scene that also included the likes of Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and Creedence Clearwater Revival, all of whom owe a good measure of their success to promoter Bill Graham and his legendary Fillmore West.

The original Santana lineup first played the Fillmore in December 1968. The final Fillmore performance came on July 4, 1971 and is released for the first time in its entirety on this CD set.

Who Should Buy Santana III: Legacy Edition
•Anyone who is new to classic rock and wants to fully appreciate the work of this legendary group
•Santana completists who want to own every version of everything the band and any of its individual members ever recorded
•Rock fans who appreciate the exponentially superior sound of digital reproduction when compared to the vinyl discs we originally heard this music on

Old vs. New: Who Wins?

If there’s any danger here it is that reissuing classic Santana material, especially with the previously unreleased bonuses in this package, may overshadow Santana’s newest album (All That I Am). Of course, it could have the opposite effect and boost both concert ticket and album sales. Either way, this release is well-timed in relation to the Santana comeback that began in 1999 and is still going strong.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Santana III | | Leave a comment

Led Zeppelin Symphony In A Thousand Parts (San Diego, March 1975)


Sports Arena, San Diego, CA – March 10th, 1975

Disc 1 (52:41): Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir

Disc 2 (50:41): No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick

Disc 3 (59:58): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love / The Crunge / Black Dog

Led Zeppelin’s first California date on their tenth US tour was on March 10th in San Diego. Traditionally a site for wild shows, they add more energy to their performance. Symphony In A Thousand Parts presents the only extant recording of this gig. It is a distant but clear recording capturing the insanity of the show very well with several imperfections on the tape.

There is a drop out in 5:23 in “In My Time Of Dying,” a slight shift in balance for sixteen seconds in “The Song Remains The Same,” a small cut before 2:54″Kashmir,” a three second dropout in5:10 to 5:13 ”No Quarter, a cut in ”Moby Dick,” balance issues for ten seconds in “Dazed And Confused” and a cut right before the call and response section, a dropout in “Stairway To Heaven” and a dropout in “Black Dog.” Unfortunately the tape is not complete because they played “Heartbreaker” as a second encore, but the taper either left too early or ran out of tape.

Steven Davis discusses this show at length in Hammer Of The Gods since it is most likely the only Led Zeppelin concert he ever attended. He described the heat and the reaction of the audience and ultimately calls this show a “masterpiece.” There is noticeable fortitude at the beginning and they deliver the most intense version of “Sick Again” on record.

The audience are going wild and Plant has to engage in crowd control at the very beginning. “San Diego, good evening. Now we got to tell you a few things, and the first one is…if you could listen…if you could shut up a minute…if you could shut right up. Don’t get pushing around. Just stand or sit down. Just stand still. Don’t get pushing about because it effects what we’re trying to do, OK? And the second thing is, it should have been the first, but we really, we’re really glad to be back in California, but what happened to the sun? Anyways, it’s bound to shine tomorrow.”

After tight versions of “Over The Hills And Far Away” and “In My Time Of Dying” he continues addressing the problems in the crowd, saying, “If you could creat some kind of order amidst the chaos, then you’d be achieving what we all try and do sooner or later. So try and keep it, don’t wiggle around so much. You can ball afterwards. Mind you, it’s good music to ball to.”

As the din continues, Plant changes the opening line of “The Rain Song” to “This should be the springtime of your loving.” Nevertheless this is another very delicate and gorgeous version of the piece.

He has to interrupt his introduction to “Kashmir,” saying, “Welcome back to San Diego. Right, that featured…hey listen, just please. It really, it really foils the continuity of what we’re trying to do. If you could keep it a little bit human, OK? Here’s a track of um, here’s a track off Physical Graffiti that features John. It’s about another one of those journeys that, even if you just went to San Bernardino, you could end up in the same place as we did. This is called ‘Kashmir.’”

Before “No Quarter” Plant asks for the crowd “to cooperate and move back so the people at the front don’t get their belly’s tossed around in little bits and pieces? If anybody’s gonna enjoy this, they ain’t gonna be able to enjoy it if they’re half was across a piece of wood. So, could you please do the obvious thing? That doesn’t mean sideways. That doesn’t mean round and round. That doesn’t mean. That means just move back a little bit, OK?” Jones’ piece is stretched for twenty minutes in this show with the keyboardist getting into some jazz in the middle.

“Dazed And Confused” reaches the half hour mark and at this point in the tour sounds much tighter and more confident. Although there are some balance problems in the first couple of minutes, the heavy echo in the recording works very well with the dynamics of the piece. It gives the impression of a fever dream where nothing is as it appears to be and is the fodder for pure nightmares. This is one of the standout recordings of the song’s latter days (it would disappear after Earls Court in May).

Plant describes “Stairway To Heaven” as ”a little bit of light came through to us and we’re gonna pass it on to you.” The first encore includes “Whole Lotta Love” stumbling into ”The Crunge” along with the theremin solo closed out with a nine minute version of “Black Dog.”

It is shame “Heartbreaker” wasn’t recorded since reviews speak about how loose it was with Plant kissing the back of Page’s head during the solo. TDOLZ package this in a pretty cardboard gatefold sleeve and since it is the only silver release of this tape it is a good one to have.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Led Zeppelin Symphony In A Thousand Parts | , | Leave a comment

Led Zeppelin World Champion Drummer! (Raleigh, April 1970)


Dorton Auditorium, Raleigh, NC – April 8th, 1970

Disc 1: We’re Gonna Groove, Dazed & Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer/Black Mountain Side

Disc 2: Since I’ve Been Loving You, Organ solo/Thank You, What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick

Led Zeppelin’s spring 1970 tour is bursting with confidence and swagger, probably riding a high from Led Zeppelin II ‘s reaching number one and causing much comment for knocking The Beatles’ Abbey Road out of the number one spot on the charts. For such a strong tour there are very few very good tapes available. This tape has been released several times before as Fearsome Four Live On Stage (Mandala), Groove (Tarantura), We’re Gonna Rock (Blimp) and American Accents (Baby Face).

Two tracks, “Bring It On Home” and “organ solo/Thank You” were lifted from the Mandala release for the famous Cabala box set. It was a good and listenable tape which was very loud. “Bring It On Home,” sounded like a battle with Bonham’s drums fighting Jimmy’s guitar.

World Champion Drummer! is, compared to the Mandala release, a dramatic improvement in sound quality. I would rate the older versions a six at best. Empress Valley boosted the volume without any distortion to make this a solid nine and makes this arguably the finest document from this tour, and this concert definitely deserves such treatment. There are no negatives to this except that “How Many More Times” and “Whole Lotta Love” are still missing.

After the opening number Plant says, “That was a thing called ‘Groove’ which we intend to do and we hope you as well, so get loose!” “White Summer” is played by the “pale Jimmy Page”. “We’ve done things from Led Zeppelin I and Led Zeppelin II, we’d like to do one thing from Led Zeppelin III” Plant explains before another early version of “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, six months before the album’s actual release. A girl in the audience shrieks and Plant responds: “Thank you, have a gargle.” Bonham’s drums still sound massive making both “Bring It On Home” and “Moby Dick” particularly effective.

Empress Valley and all the previous releases claim this is from April 7th in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was demonstrated several years ago through the discovery of ads and handbills that Zeppelin played in Charlotte on April 7th. The Raleigh show was the following night, April 8th. There is no mention of the location or venue on the tape, but this isn’t the Charlotte show since an eyewitness to that show posted his observations on the Electric Magic website and they do not correspond with this tape.

So it’s definitely Raleigh but on April 8th instead of April 7th as posted on the artwork. Other than the date, everything else about this release is fantastic and is another EV release worth having.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Led Zeppelin World Champion Drummer! | , | Leave a comment

The Rolling Stones Emotional Rescue (1980)


The Rolling Stones had such a huge commercial and critical success with Some Girls that they decided to follow it up with a clone, Emotional Rescue. Well, it was a big let-down; these songs aren’t even close to being as infectious as the ones from Some Girls and the instrumentalists are much, much, much sloppier, too. This points to the woeful direction that The Stones were headed towards in the 1980s—lazy old rock stars looking and acting like extra-terrestrials who don’t give half a darn about their music anymore. But, you see, the thing about The Rolling Stones is that even when they’re bad, they still rule. Thus, while Emotional Rescue is a disappointing moment in The Stones’ discography, it still rules.

For some reason, the order of these songs are all wrong. The awesome stuff doesn’t start appearing until the second side. So, let’s talk about those songs first. The second side begins with an insatiable punk take-off “Where the Boys Go.” You can tell right away that these guys weren’t going to come even close to playing as tightly and mightily as they were for the punk take-offs of Some Girls! But at least they had a generally good reason to play like that’s more like how real punk bands played. The melody could have stood to have been catchier, surely, and it could have been more energetic, but I still have a lot of fun with it. They follow that up with one of the album’s major highlights, a blues song called “Down in the Hole.” Once again, they’re playing very sloppily there, but the blues generally benefits from sloppiness! They’ve done better blues songs in their day, but this is what The Stones started out doing, and they prove to be still pretty great at it.

The title track is one of the few moments in this album when these guys really concentrate and come out with a catchy and tightly-played groove. It’s a very toe-tapping mid-tempo funk song with a particularly good bass-line from Wyman. The real star of the song is Jagger, who is hilarious from beginning to end. He starts out singing in a very outrageous falsetto voice, and by the end of the song, he sounds like he’s narrating a B-movie science fiction picture. It’s very jokey! I’m also a fan of their extremely entertaining new wave send-up “She’s So Cold,” which does it just as well as Elvis Costello could, I reckon. (Hey, give me The Stones’ goofing off over Elvis Costello’s seriousness any day of the week!) I also like the Keef-led album closer “All About You” even though I find it to be a little to druggy for its own good. Keef sounds like he’s about to pass out, and the extremely loose instrumentals seem to be helping him do that. It’s an interesting ballad with a good melody, but I just wish I could get myself more captivated by it.

The first side contains some good stuff, as well, but I wouldn’t consider anything there to be a highlight. It starts out with “Dance (Pt. 1),” which is a fun and catchy disco ditty, but it’s not even close to the spirit and infectiousness contained in “Miss You.” …But the important thing is that song is very energetic, Jagger’s vocals are funny, and it inspires me to shake my tail feathers. “Summer Romance” is a Pistols-esque punk ditty, and it’s not bad. It’s not particularly great, either, and the melody surely could have been more memorable. “Send it To Me” is a white reggae that attempts to give The Police a run for their money, but it only ends up being hugely disappointing. Not that The Stones didn’t create a tight groove—they forgot the catchy melody! So, The Police’s distinction as the kings of white reggae was safe. “Let Me Go” sounds like country-rock combined with punk, and it’s pretty fun. Nothing more.

I would say the major disappointment of this album is the ballad “Indian Girl,” which is the first major piece of evidence that The Stones were really starting to stagnate. The Rolling Stones used to always come out with great ballads, but this one seems to miss the mark. The melody doesn’t do it for me, the extremely loose instrumentals don’t seem to work very well in harmony with one another, and Jagger gives a really weird vocal performance. Sorry, but that song is crap. It’s not captivating in the least bit.

Emotional Rescue’s status as one of the most major disappointments of The Rolling Stones’ career is pretty much justified, but it still has its fair share of brighter spots. I think it’s pretty safe to say that if The Rolling Stones didn’t have such high reputations, this would probably be considered a moderately well-loved album today. But as it stands, Emotional Rescue is Some Girls’ little brother, and a fairly insubstantial blip in The Rolling Stones’ mighty discography.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | The Rolling Stones Emotional Rescue | | Leave a comment

Led Zeppelin Triangle Of Love (Baltimore, June 1972)


Civic Center, Baltimore, MD – June 11th, 1972

Disc 1 (63:59): Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California, That’s The Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

Disc 2 (57:00): Dazed & Confused, What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick

Disc 3 (40:09): Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll, Communication Breakdown

There are so few very good documents from one of Led Zeppelin’s greatest tours. Barely half of the shows of the US tour in 1972 were even taped and of the existing documents, the ones that are actually enjoyable can be counted on one hand. Baltimore is one of the better sounding documents in circulation from this era, and benefits from being the complete show.

There have been numerous releases of this show over the years including Baltimore 1972 (Immigrant IM-026~28), Nutty & Cool (Baby Face BF-9604-1-A/2-B/3-C), three discs of the six disc set Baltimore Jack (TDOLZ Vol. 96) and The Axeman Of Cometh (Flagge). Several years ago an improved version of the tape was released on Baltimore 1972 (Wardour-018).

Triangle Of Love on Trantura is the latest version of the Baltimore tape to be released. And while the sound still has somewhat distant, it is louder and cleaner sounding than Wardour.

Zeppelin were touring North America for the first time since the release of their fourth LP and “Stairway To Heaven” had already become a classic, receiving tremendous ovations at every stop. They were also conscious of competing with the Stones tour occurring at the same time and the tapes reveal how ferocious they can be in concert.

There is an air of confidence and unfettered creativity that would disappear after this in their determination to become more professional in their musical presentation. The basic set list is similar to the previous tour. The acoustic set is augmented with the addition of “Tangerine” and “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp,” and with “Dazed & Confused” being placed later in the show. About two weeks after Baltimore they would experiment even more with the inclusion of some songs from Houses Of The Holy, about a year before its release.

“Dazed & Confused” really reached an apex with the usual inclusions of “The Crunge” and riffs from the songs “Walter’s Walk” and “Hots On For Nowhere”. The version played on this night doesn’t have the former song, but it does have the latter with Plant scatting over it. Plant speaks about seeing an Elvis Presley show the previous night in New York City before “Going To California”. The “Whole Lotta Love” medley has the special inclusions of “Need Your Loving Tonight” and “Heartbreak Hotel” joining the standard “Everybody Needs Somebody” and “Hello Mary Lou”.

Tarantura use very thick paper for the gatefold sleeve. The front cover seems to be a very rare photograph from the actual concert along with a picture of the concert ticket. The title comes from a comment Robert Plant makes before “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” calling it a “triangle of love.”

Overall this is a very enjoyable concert and Tarantura have done a great job in offering an upgrade.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Led Zeppelin Triangle Of Love | , | Leave a comment