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Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Concert Review: Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, April 1995

SignFrom oldbuckeye.com

Cincinnati was the place to be last night! It was an absolutely incredible show – it exceeded my expectations! For those of you that want to skip all of the descriptions and go straight to the set list, you can find this at the bottom of this message. Page and Plant put on an incredible 120 minute performance that left the audience in complete awe. Most notable was the absence of any new additions to the set list from the concerts previous in the tour, or any inclusion of the new P/P tunes like Yallah, City Don’t Cry, etc. Yes, this was almost a Led Zeppelin concert.

The band had had a 15 day hiatus, and they really looked well rested, and full of energy. Plant was all over the stage. At one point Robert was spinning around and he knocked a guitar amplifier mic over with his mic stand. Page danced about on many occasions, as well. Plant’s voice was in top shape, I think he cracked only once. Page was just a little, shall I say, sloppy, a couple of times. But, I’m being too critical here. The band has even improved since the filming of UnLeded, they are much tighter musically, and looser emotionally. Everyone in the band was really having a great time and smiles could be seen from them all night long.

Our seats were not real good. We were all the way back in the arena, up high, on Charlie Jones’ side of the stage. I brought binoculars, and it helped immensely. At the top of the stage was a large projection television screen where they showed action of the stage, and blended it with pre-recorded video clips and wild images. This screen really made the show so much better – it was great to see close-ups of Jimmy’s fingers as he blistered through the solos. The sound was very good for the arena, which suffers from the typical reverberations of most arenas in it’s class. The mixing was done excellently, and most importantly, Jimmy’s sound was never drowned out, like in the recent past (so I’ve read).

Of noticeable disappointment was the lack of any good Plantations. He did mention Cincinnati by name a few times, but I didn’t hear a whole lotta humor, as compared to other times. Also, I could NOT find the Miller Genuine Draft Led Zeppelin Memorabilia truck. We went looking for it earlier in the afternoon, as well as right before the show. Oh well.

The concert itself started promptly at 7:30 with the warm-up group. I never did hear what their name was! They were not Rusted Root, since this was a four-piece, all-male group. Could this have been Tragically Hip? The band kind of had a Seattle sound to it. Everyone except for the bass player had short hair and the blonde-haired guitarist didn’t move very much. The band was, for me, okay, at best, and we all gave them an obligatory applause, knowing what was ahead. This band exited the stage at 8:00.

I went down and got a Page/Plant coffee mug for $10. As I got to my seat, at 8:25, the lights went down again. This was it! The Tales of Bron poem was read in the dark, as people screamed and cheered. I couldn’t make out too much of the poem. Then the music started as the band launched into Thank You. Jimmy had his legendary Sunburst Les Paul. [Fashion Report: Robert had on a denim vest, open at the chest, with tight leather pants, and gray snakeskin boots. Page had on a semi-ghastly orange, baggy, shirt, with normal looking dark pants and shoes.] Porl was no where to be found until the band went into Bring It On Home. Next, Jimmy strapped on his gold Les Paul with the transperformance (sp?) tuning gizmo for Shake My Tree. Included in this tune was a famous theramin solo from Jimmy. Robert didn’t seem to mind singing this Coverdale/Page tune, as reported in past posts. Robert did a much better job, too, than Coverclone. Next was a showcase tune for Porl, Lullaby, the Cure tune. Charlie switched to a stand-up bass for this one. People began to sit down for this one.

The people who had just sat down, however, were back up quickly, as Robert and Jimmy sat down now, for No Quarter. This tune featured Plant and Page exclusively, with incredible video shots of the two intertwined with the video of an eagle’s view flying over a lush forest, a la the No Quarter (NQ) video. Plant’s voice wasn’t quite as processed (flanging, echo, etc.) as it was in the NQ video. Jimmy was playing his 12 stringed acoustic guitar. Next, Jimmy switched to his 2-neck acoustic and they launched into Gallows Pole, much to the audience’s delight. In mid song, the rest of the band joined in, including the first appearance of Nigel Eaton, the hurdy gurdy man. This was followed by a hurdy gurdy solo, which, when Robert introduced, said that perhaps this was the first time this instrument had been played in the city. People will not forget this either. Nigel made a very positive impression with this strange instrument. Then came Nobody’s Fault But Mine, the new NQ version. Page, still with his double neck acoustic, launched into some strumming that is quite familiar to us all, it was Hey, Hey What Can I Do. The crowd danced in the isles and sang along with Robert. Nigel played mandolin for this one.

Jimmy then switched to his famous red Gibson double neck electric. It was The Song Remains The Same. Jimmy let Porl play about half the solos on this. Next Robert introduced the Cincinnati Symphony and Symphonium, about a 20-piece orchestra. Jimmy, drenched in sweat, led off the familiar notes of Since I’ve Been Loving You. Porl, who must have had too much of a workout with the solos of the previous tune, took a break. This song, which is one of my favorites off of the NQ show, for me, didn’t seem to be quite as hot. Jimmy was a little tired, but plowed ahead, with some stunning fret work.

Robert then introduced the Hossam Ramzy Ensemble, or as he called them: the “Egyptian Pharaohs”. These guys were loads of fun. They should hire out to do parties! My favorite one is Ibrahim Abdel Khaliq, the guy that does the finger cymbals, and has the protruding teeth. He is always dancing about. At times it looked as if he were doing Robert Plant imitations, with the mystic hand motions and such. They also threw their tambourines high in the air and caught them, and Robert did this too (no drops that I saw!). The band launched into Friends, with page on an acoustic, and Porl still resting somewhere.

Calling To You, a Plant solo from Fate of Nations, was next, as the video screen showed footage from Egypt and other far-away lands. Page was playing a cherry-red Les Paul, and hey, Porl was back, even getting a solo! This song went into an extensive, all-out jam, progressing into the Door’s Break On Through, Dazed And Confused, and back to Calling. Plant, singing the Doors tune an octave higher than Morrison, gave the song a refreshing change. At this point, the crowd was absolutely wild, at the first notes of Dazed, we were all in ecstatic.

Page, back to his double neck acoustic, and Jones with his stand-up bass, went into Four Sticks. Michael Lee, who I neglected to mention had done an absolutely powerful and tight job on drums, with his ever-present smile, started in with two sticks in each hand. Next, with a intro that included some tribal-sounding drums and violins from the Pharaohs, the band launched into In The Evening which led seamlessly into a bit of Caroselambra and back into Evening. Jimmy brought out a Fender Stratocaster for this one. After quite a bit of powerful jamming through this one, the lights went out. It was 10:05, and we finally had a chance to catch our breath! The lighters were out in full force, as the place lit up like a smoky, stary night.

The band soon reappeared. Robert dressed the same, with Jimmy wearing a black Second Harvest T-shirt. “Hey Hey Mama” was the so familiar chant that opens Black Dog, as the crowd was louder than ever. The crowd sang along and sang the responsive “ah ah” parts. But through the loudness of the crowd, Robert’s voice emerged quite strongly and all-out powerful, even for all of the high notes. I was very amazed that he still has it in him to hit those notes at that power level! I have bootlegs of Led Zeppelin, even 20 years ago, where he had trouble hitting those notes. Perhaps a newer lifestyle has helped his throat and lungs recently, I don’t know. At then end of this tune, Robert appeared to be drinking a beer, a Corona or a Miller, clear glass, anyhow. Page strapped on his Gold Les Paul (with the transperformance) and slipped into Kashmir. Personally, I had always thought this song was over-rated, but since the re-arrangement of it in the NQ version, I have a new-found fondness of it, greater than before. The whole orchestration of it really brings the tune to new heights. For everyone on stage, this was just an all-out jam. The Hossam Ensemble’s Wael Abu Bakr had a wonderful violin solo, much like he did in the NQ video. This song was a stunning conclusion to a wonderful night. I guess it had to end somewhere. It was now 10:30. Page, Plant and the band members (without the Orchestras) all joined at center stage, arms interlocked, and bowed to the audience, first in front, then to the sides, then the back of the arena.

They came, they jammed, they went. It will never be forgotten. It was unreal.

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April 4, 2013 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Cincinnati 1995 | | Leave a comment

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Concert Review: Auburn Hills (Detroit), June 26th, 1998

SignFrom angelfire.com

The equipment was set…the lights went out…the place went wild. The Palace was not even half full at this time. they put cloudy lights on the stage, you couldn’t see anything. The tension mounted. Then all of a sudden, the much anticipated moment arrived……everyone was on their feet. The screams came. There they were. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. WOW.

Everything was surreal. Nothing existed except for the stage. They went right into The Wanton Song. After that, Bring It On Home came. Now, i will be honest…I might not get the setlist in order, actually I know I won’t. But I can tell you what I heard the best I can.

Now this next song, really helped get people going. Jimmy was flawless and totally awesome. Heartbreaker. This was one of the many, many, many highlights of the night for me. This was amazing. Pagey was perfect, and Robert’s voice was awesome. They both hopped around and did little dances, almost always smiling. Robert went from one side of the stage to the other, while Jimmy was just all over!

Ramble On and Walking Into Clarksdale were next, I am pretty sure. Everyone knew the Zeppelin songs and that was when everyone was wild, but when the material from the new album came on, no one seemed to care as much. So, as you can guess, everyone took their seats during those songs. Haha, except for me. I never sat down. At a few points, I was the only one in my section standing. It was awesome.

I can’t remember the order of the songs but I think No Quarter was next. Oh, this was awesome. Robert sounded as young as ever and it was amazing! The organ wasn’t the same without JPJ, but sounded great! the place calmed down a bit when Shining In The Light came on. It didn’t matter, it was great.

For the next song, Robert and Jimmy both sat down. We knew something was coming. It was the beautiful Going To California. I was stunned at how Page could play. I mean yeah, I always knew he was great, but when you see him play. It just settles in your mind more. I was just blown away at his onstage talent. and several other songs made me feel the same way.

Tangerine was next I think. This was also a highlight. You never think much about this song, I mean yes you do, but when you hear it live…..it just grabs you.

Now when you want to get Detroit to rock…you play this song. I have never seen a reaction to music like I did this song. And I was extremely, I mean extremely in awe with Jimmy on guitar. It was perfect!!! Wondering the song yet? Gallows Pole all the way. That was the real start to the show. Everyone was on their feet for this one. It was rocking so hard in there, you could just feel it.

If this was planned it was smart…they played Heart In Your Hand, next off of the Walking Into Clarksdale album. Everybody calmed down a lot, but still had that energy. It was a show watching the crowd.

I leaned down and mentioned to my friend that I really really wanted to hear Babe I’m Gonna Leave You. Well guess what came on next? Oh, I was flipping out. It was wonderful. The place was rocking. When the song picks up and gets going you could see people headbanging all over the arena in the lights. It was awesome and so energetic. People were rocking. And it never stopped. Ever.

Now, this tune was wild also. It was such a solid song. It was one of the best of the night. How Many More Times. Everyone was screaming and jumping around and going completely nuts. They had the lights flashing all around and everyone was singing along. Looking at people all you could see were arms flying around. It gave you goosebumps to see all the Zeppelin fans there. It was unconceivable.

The First release off of the walking Into Clarksdale album, Most High followed How Many More Times. Once again, people calmed down quite considerably. Yet, since the night was wild most everyone stayed up and cheered and screamed. But, not as many people sang along. Haha, too many late say zep fans I guess.

The Encore:
The encore was next and was very well rehearsed. They went into each song very smoothly and did a flawless job in my ears. The main song which started and ended the encore, was the most wild song of the entire night besides Gallows Pole. This was Whole Lotta Love. Everyone just went crazy singing. It was wild. And everyone was still jumping around and the younger generation was headbanding. It was awesome. There were really three main songs in the encore. But Whole Lotta Love was the highlight. And the solo…oh, my. That solo rocked the building.

The “almost” end:
Robert said his goodbye and said how Detroit rocked and he was honored to play here. He said it was fun, but it was time to go. Jimmy had a huge smile on his face and he waved and just looked at the crowd in awe. (though he’d seen so much bigger in his life) And then….they were gone. Everyone screamed. I mean it was loud and rockin’. Everyone had their lighters up and. No one was leaving. Soon, everyone chanted

“We want more, we want more, we want more”. And everyone started to stomp and jump up and down. The lights were still off..we knew they’d be back. And a little less than 10 minutes…they were.

The Finale:
Robert came back out with an alcoholic beverage in his hand and everyone just went freaking crazy. And Jimmy also…wow they were back. Robert mumbled something but the crowd was too loud for anyone to hear. Then they did something I thought was unexpected…they didn’t do a hard rocking song like i though. They did Thank You. Oh, gosh, the emotions that came with that song. It was the end and we all knew it. Maybe not the end of the show but the end of the night. It all kind of set in our minds. I stood but didn’t move. I just thought and savored every minute of that song. Tears came to my eyes. It was the emotional highlight of the night.

But of course our boys couldn’t let the night end like that…the lights were placed on the drum set. And then we heard it. The place roared. For the grand finale, they played the ever so energetic Rock And Roll. It was crazy. It was awesome. Jimmy jumped around and did this leg kick that you used to see him do 20 years ago. The crowd just loved it. And he had the biggest smile. Robert put the mic towards the audience for the “lonely, lonely, lonely….time”. And everyone just screamed the lyrics. He did that everytime except for the last verse, he sang and so did we. It was incredible. Everyone at that concert was One. Everyone had the same feelings and emotions. We all knew what the other was feeling…haha well not all of us. Anyways, they played the drum ending like Bonzo used to do, just this was an extended one. It was awesome, it was loud and it was exactly like it used to sound so long ago. And jimmy came in for the end of the drum solo and the show was over.

The Goodbyes:
Everyone on stage was in smiles. Everyone. They all gathered together and bowed to the center, left and right. They said their goodnights and we all knew it was over. And they left. It was the last time i saw Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. The crowed roared and screamed. I danced around and embarrassed whoever was near. I didn’t care.

It was the best night of my life…

April 3, 2013 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Detroit 1998 | | Leave a comment

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

SignFrom diviningnation.tripod.com

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

CRITIC’S CHOICE | NEW CD’S
… “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

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale (1998)

Walking-Into-Clarksdale-coverFrom mouthshut.com

In 1968, Jimmy Page was recruiting members for a band called New Yardbirds. This was when a few people joined the band, included in whom were, bassist John Paul Jones, drummer John ’’Bonzo, the Beast’’ Bonham and vocalist Robert Plant. This band soon changed its name to Led Zeppelin and went on to change the face of music …..forever. They dominated the music scene with one chartbuster after another for 12 years and gave hits like Stairway to Heaven, Black Dog, Whole Lotta Love, Over the Hills and Far Away and the list goes on. Till date the Led Zeppelin albums record one of the highest sales every year. They are ageless, timeless and the best thing that happened to Rock. Infact their popularity gave rise a rumour that the band members had sold their soul to The Devil. In 1980, the band suddenly stopped their conquests after tragic death of drummer John Bonham.

What followed was, each of the guys taking their respective ways never to combine together again. Plant developed a succesful solo career, John Paul worked for some time with Diamanda Galas and Gibby Haynes. While Page formed The Firm with former Bad Company singer Paul Rogers before pursuing his own solo path.

Page and Plant briefly reunited a few times, including a stint in the all-star band the Honeydrippers, and appearances on stage together at Live Aid in 1985 and Atlantic’s 25th Anniversary Concert in 1988.

In 1994, fourteen year after Led Zep broke up, they officially reunited under the apt name Page and Plant and announced some tours and an album called No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded, made up mostly of unplugged versions of their earlier classics. In 1998 they released Walking into Clarksdale , the album that we’re gonna be talking about today .

I think the first and foremost thing that you should keep in mind while going through this album is that, this is not Led Zeppelin, as simple as that. No more soul – searing screams from Plant and drop – dead good looks of Page. That has been replaced by a calm restraint and a sense of reflection and survival. Its as if the guys have achieved salvation and reached the destination they have been looking for, all these years. This is a mature and tranquil effort, with vivid imagery and great lyrics, from the granddads of Rock and Roll.

Before I get too carried away with Page and Plant, let me first mention the two other guys who form a part of this band and co-write all the songs. Bassist Charlie Jones and drummer Michael Lee go a long way in supplying that fresh, young feeling to the band.

Jimmy Page mellows down a little and often assumes the role of the rythm guitarist. However, there are a few occasions when he churns out some killer licks from his axe and gives us a glimpse of the old Zeppelin days.

Robert Plant sings a few octaves lower than he usually does. But whatever he does I guess Plant will always be Plant, the very best. For a man of his age, his voice is strangely youthful in this album, yet riddled with nuances that come with time and experience.

The songs are different in character from Led Zeppelin creations yet contain the same inspiration, diversity, and power. The album opens with Shining in the Light based on solid rocking, acoustic mode with a nice keyboard layering. Guitar chordings are trademark Page bits. Its upbeat acoustic and catchy chorus might remind you of Over the Hills and Far Away. The tracks that follow like Heart in your Hand, House of Love, Sons of Freedom are usual metallic Zeppelin styled renditions with complex arrangements and at times an almost frantic string section that gives a solid progressive texture to the tunes. Upon a Golden Horse is a standout number which suddenly drops into Blue Train which is a laid back bluesy – bass kind of number interluded by some rocking modes. It’s got extremely inspired lyrics from Plant, with smooth, eloquent delivery and Page playing a beautiful rhythm behind the http://lyrics.

Most High was a big radio hit. It is a cohesive composition with the Arabic influences from Zep’s hypnotic Kashmir, complete with an exotic riff and a unique keyboard solo in the middle.
This along with Please Read the Letter are two of the most catchy tracks on the album. However, my favourite track on the album is When the World was Young. This track is reminiscent of what these guys were all about, some years back. Its a sedate and mellow piece with some great distorted guitar works which are the tasteful hardrock elements of the track. Burning Up and Walking into Clarksdale, the title track fit the metal banner in many ways. They have some traditional Zeppelin chordings (at times quite reminiscent of In Through the Out Door). When I was a Child is again a Zeppelinesque ballad with an echoey touch.

What Page and Plant must have meant by their title is the notion of revisiting a mythic past – in this case their own ecstatic dancing days. Seems like Page and Plant have made peace with ’’peace’’ at last. This is a great album with a Zeppelin like feel running throughout its length. I guess you can take out Page and Plant out of Led Zeppelin but you can never take Led Zeppelin out of Page and Plant. If you don’t already have this album go out and get it. I assure you you’d like it unless you have a personal vendetta against the band.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale | | Leave a comment

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale (1998)

Walking-Into-Clarksdale-coverFrom dailyvault.com

You really do have to feel sorry for Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. No matter what they do with the rest of their musical career, it’s always going to be held up for comparison to their former band Led Zeppelin.

Plant rose from the ashes of the former supergroup the easiest, recording albums that were a little jazzier and less bombastic, as if he wanted to put that portion of his life behind him. But even he found himself re-embracing the Zeppelin ghost on Now And Zen, which paired him up again with Page on two tracks. Page kept a low profile, releasing only the soundtrack to Death Wish II and his 1988 solo effort Outrider – reuniting him with Plant on one track. (Page also entered into a partnership with Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale in a project that – thankfully – lasted only one album.)

Following the success of their re-teaming on 1994’s No Quarter, Page & Plant released their first album of original material together in 18 years, Walking Into Clarksdale, in 1998. And as much as I want to take this album on its own merits and judge it as one album, I can’t help but compare Walking Into Clarksdale to a myriad of Led Zeppelin music. Compared to Zeppelin, this album is a tad weak. On its own, it’s not that bad – at least not as bad as some people would like you to believe it is.

Granted, this is an album that you really have to warm up to. I think I had to listen to it three times before I really felt comfortable with what Page and Plant were trying to accomplish on Walking Into Clarksdale. It does seem that they want the listener to forget about the magic that was Led Zeppelin, something they do by not allowing Page to really cut loose on the guitar until well into the album.

Now, Page’s acoustic work on “Shining In The Light” is what makes this song work, and it is impressive. Likewise, the vocal and guitar textures created on the track “Blue Rain” take this one to levels previously unheard of. But I kept wondering to myself, “Why isn’t Page soloing more?”

Halfway through the title track, Page finally is given the green light to set his Les Paul on full shred, and he makes the most of the spotlight. For a good part of the remainder of Walking Into Clarksdale, Page keeps the guitar pyrotechnics handy, and knows when is the right time to put them into play.

For his part, Plant is in fine voice, even if he’s not a kid anymore. “Shining In The Light,” “Please Read The Letter” and “Sons Of Freedom” all show that he’s still got the pipes that can deliver the goods – something he’s been proving his entire solo career.

The difficulty with Walking Into Clarksdale isn’t the lack of crunchy Page solos, or the hand of punk legend Steve Albini. Instead, it’s that many of the songs tend to drag the band into points unknown, and they have a hard time escaping from the doldrums. “When The World Was Young” is a track that could have had some pepper to it, but it constantly changes mood – and it could have wrapped up sooner. Likewise, “Most High” – while keeping a Middle Eastern flavor that neither Page nor Plant have ever shied away from – just doesn’t cut it for me as a single. “When I Was A Child” is another track that just seems to drone on endlessly.

It’s not that Walking Into Clarksdale is a bad album, but knowing the history these two musicians have with each other – and here’s the danger of comparing this to Led Zeppelin coming to the forefront again – it doesn’t hold up as well. It still turns out to be a very entertaining album, especially when given a real chance with repeated listenings. But I question if twenty years from now people will look on this album with the same reverence as they do with many Led Zeppelin releases.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale | | Leave a comment

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale (1998)

Walking-Into-Clarksdale-coverFrom sputnikmusic.com

Review Summary: After years of featuring each other albums, a little irking and a live record, Page and Plant finally recorded a studio album in 1998.
In 1994, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were invited to do a live album in the MTV series “UnLedded”. Even though they could’ve only played Led Zeppelin’s classics, they wrote 3 more songs just for it. And, they liked to do it so much that they went on tour and decided to do a whole studio album with new material. After four years they would release “Walking Into Clarksdale”, the last Page-Plant collaborations as well last studio album Jimmy recorded to date.

But, when you were a member of a huge band such as Led Zeppelin, and then work again with another ex-member of the band, people will always expect a album of the same quality of the band’s older work, wich is a hard thing to achieve. And, unfortunately, as much as “Walking Into Clarksdale” have some relly good tracks, it doesn’t stand in the same level of Led Zeppelin, frustating some fans that wanted a new Zeppelin album.

The album, although, still have a some amazing tracks. “Please Read the Letter” is a very good folk number that would’ve fit well in “Led Zeppelin III”. “Burning Up” is the most heavy song here, with some relly good riffs be Page, “Shinning in the Light” is a great energetic opener and “Walking Into Clarksdale” have also some well written riffs and great atmosphere. And, if you’re wondering if any song here at least comes close to old Zeppelin epics such as “When the Levee Breaks” or “Kashmir”, “Most High” does it. It has that Mideastern fell all over it.

Then whats wrong? While half of the album is great and have deep music, the other one feels rushed and boring, like it was written weaks before the release. “Sons of Freedom” starts with a promising intro, but Robert’s vocals almost ruin it. “Heart In Your Hand” have a nice melody, but it never takes of, such as the similar “When the World Was Young” wich even not being great it get more enthusiastic in the end. The same can be said about “Blue Train”. “House of Love” has a riff too similar to “Most High”, ant it isin’t near as good.

All in all, even with it’s problems it is still a must-hear to any real fan of Led Zeppelin, and gives an ideo of how the band would’ve carry on in they hadn’t broke up.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale | | Leave a comment

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale (1998)

Walking-Into-Clarksdale-coverFrom progresiveears.com

The prospect of new studio material from the Zeppelin camp seemed like a pipe dream in the early ’90’s. Rumors abounded about the possibility of the mighty Zeppelin taking flight again. While ’94’s “Unledded” reunion of guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant didn’t feature much in the way of new music, only 3 songs, it did contain some great re-workings of Zeppelin classics fleshed out with an orchestra and additional sidemen. One of the 3 new songs, “Wonderful One”, certainly gave listeners a taste of what a full fledged Page/Plant reunion with new music could be.

Returning the core of the Unledded band, drummer Michael Lee and bassist Charlie Jones, Page & Plant go for a stripped down, live in the studio sound. Walking into Clarksdale steps away from the Page guitar army approach and yet, at the same time, close listening reveals numerous guitar overdubs. Many of these overdubs are employed quite subtly, ala the acoustic guitar in the 1979 Zeppelin classic, “All My Love”. Nor does the album blow you away with brute force. What makes Walking into Clarksdale successful is its more quiet moments, of which there are plenty.

“Shining in the Light” opens the album with an almost Led Zeppelin III feel. Jones and Lee lay down an impeccable groove that supports Page’s acoustic guitar perfectly. Slashing electric guitars slice through and Plant sounds wonderfully engaged. While this up-tempo romp is a delightful reminder of what Page & Plant can conjure up with an acoustic guitar and a killer rhythm section, the slower, almost Doors like (think “The End”) tracks is where things get interesting. “Blue Train”, “When I Was A Child”, “Please Read the Letter”, and, perhaps, the best song on the album, “When the World was Young” finds Page and Plant inhabiting a space neither musician has frequented. The album does feature several hard rocking tunes that may remind one to put up any loose nails.

“Burning Up” is aptly titled. A powerful number that would feature the best electric guitar riff on the album if it weren’t for the title cut that summons up a veritable smorgasbord of blues images. Plant’s line about being “Out of time, religion and words” is a classic and when Plant sings about the sun going down you can almost envision Legba heading down to the nearest crossroads to tune Poor Bob’s guitar. Jimmy Page gives the track a splash of Yardbirds psychedelia, Zeppelin stomp and 3 killer solo’s. It’s at this point of the record you begin to realize this is a serious attempt at making something that is more than just a reunion between two old mates, but more of a rejoining.

The choice of Lee and Jones from Plant’s solo band gives Page the best rhythm section since John Bonham and another bassist named Jones, and, like Zeppelin, Lee & Jones make whatever Page & Plant elects to do work. While many have acknowledged Steve Albini’s contribution to the album, Page and Plant’s production is on target. They don’t try to recreate the past, not do they toss it aside as if it never happened. They carefully walk the narrow path of balancing where they’ve been and where they are going.

As far as I’m concerned this was, by far, the best album of 1998. Why it didn’t sell in droves defies logic. The tour to support it was a course in how rock music should be played and presented: tight but loose, & minimal stage production. Just 4 men, there instruments, a good sound system and a few lights. With a larger than life legend to live up to and an uncertain future before them, they played with abandon on the supporting tour.

They spit out Zeppelin classic with fire and injected the new tunes with the same take no quarter attitude. Page and Plant have yet to follow up this album, although Plant has recently said he fully expects them to make more records. While Walking into Clarksdale may not be “Physical Graffiti”, it’s the best album Plant or Page has made since the demise of Led Zeppelin.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale | | Leave a comment

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale (1998)

Walking-Into-Clarksdale-coverFrom glaciallymusical.blogspot.co.uk

The prospect of new studio material from the Zeppelin camp seemed like a pipe dream in the early ’90’s. Rumors abounded about the possibility of the mighty Zeppelin taking flight again. While ’94’s “Unledded” reunion of guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant didn’t feature much in the way of new music, only 3 songs, it did contain some great re-workings of Zeppelin classics fleshed out with an orchestra and additional sidemen. One of the 3 new songs, “Wonderful One”, certainly gave listeners a taste of what a full fledged Page/Plant reunion with new music could be.

Returning the core of the Unledded band, drummer Michael Lee and bassist Charlie Jones, Page & Plant go for a stripped down, live in the studio sound. Walking into Clarksdale steps away from the Page guitar army approach and yet, at the same time, close listening reveals numerous guitar overdubs. Many of these overdubs are employed quite subtly, ala the acoustic guitar in the 1979 Zeppelin classic, “All My Love”. Nor does the album blow you away with brute force. What makes Walking into Clarksdale successful is its more quiet moments, of which there are plenty.

“Shining in the Light” opens the album with an almost Led Zeppelin III feel. Jones and Lee lay down an impeccable groove that supports Page’s acoustic guitar perfectly. Slashing electric guitars slice through and Plant sounds wonderfully engaged. While this up-tempo romp is a delightful reminder of what Page & Plant can conjure up with an acoustic guitar and a killer rhythm section, the slower, almost Doors like (think “The End”) tracks is where things get interesting. “Blue Train”, “When I Was A Child”, “Please Read the Letter”, and, perhaps, the best song on the album, “When the World was Young” finds Page and Plant inhabiting a space neither musician has frequented. The album does feature several hard rocking tunes that may remind one to put up any loose nails.

“Burning Up” is aptly titled. A powerful number that would feature the best electric guitar riff on the album if it weren’t for the title cut that summons up a veritable smorgasbord of blues images. Plant’s line about being “Out of time, religion and words” is a classic and when Plant sings about the sun going down you can almost envision Legba heading down to the nearest crossroads to tune Poor Bob’s guitar. Jimmy Page gives the track a splash of Yardbirds psychedelia, Zeppelin stomp and 3 killer solo’s. It’s at this point of the record you begin to realize this is a serious attempt at making something that is more than just a reunion between two old mates, but more of a rejoining.

The choice of Lee and Jones from Plant’s solo band gives Page the best rhythm section since John Bonham and another bassist named Jones, and, like Zeppelin, Lee & Jones make whatever Page & Plant elects to do work. While many have acknowledged Steve Albini’s contribution to the album, Page and Plant’s production is on target. They don’t try to recreate the past, not do they toss it aside as if it never happened. They carefully walk the narrow path of balancing where they’ve been and where they are going.

As far as I’m concerned this was, by far, the best album of 1998. Why it didn’t sell in droves defies logic. The tour to support it was a course in how rock music should be played and presented: tight but loose, & minimal stage production. Just 4 men, there instruments, a good sound system and a few lights. With a larger than life legend to live up to and an uncertain future before them, they played with abandon on the supporting tour. They spit out Zeppelin classic with fire and injected the new tunes with the same take no quarter attitude. Page and Plant have yet to follow up this album, although Plant has recently said he fully expects them to make more records.

While Walking into Clarksdale may not be “Physical Graffiti”, it’s the best album Plant or Page has made since the demise of Led Zeppelin.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale | | Leave a comment

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Ooh La La (Paris, March 1998)

jimmypage-laFrom collectorsmusicreviews.com

La Cigalle, Paris, France – March 30th, 1998

Disc 1 (58:23): Intro., Wanton Song, Bring It On Home, Heartbreaker, Ramble On, Walking Into Clarksdale, No Quarter, When I Was A Child, Going To California, Tangerine, Gallows Pole, Burning Up

Disc 2 (48:07): Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, How Many More Times (incl. We’re Gonna Groove – In The Light), Most High, Whole Lotta Love, Thank You, Rock And Roll

The publicity surrounding Walking Into Clarksdale was enormous. The first album with all original music from Page & Plant since 1979 received much advance airplay with the single “Most High” appearing both on radio and MTV.

In the months leading up its release Page & Plant were busy with warm up gigs in eastern Europe (Croatia, Poland, Czech Republic), a much publicized surprise gig in Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and an appearance on Top Of The Pops. The publicity junket also included a trip to France for a gig in La Cigalle in Paris, broadcast on OUÏ FM radio on March 30th and a television appearance on Canal-1 TV the following day.

Ooh La La contains the complete OUÏ FM broadcast in excellent sound quality. It contains station IDs by both the French DJs and by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page themselves (recorded earlier in the day). They are very quick between some songs and in no way interfere with the show. The only imperfection is a big dropout about 1:14 in “The Wanton Song” and two glitches in ”Most High.” The first glitch occurs at 3:31 where the music stops and a tone is audible. The second sounds like a cut at 3:53.

Another release of this tape from Europe can be found on Four Madmen And A Friend (Dandelion DL024/25) with the next day’s telecast as a bonus. Most High Live (Optimum OPT42/43) is a direct copy of the Dandelion.

The start of the show maintains a distinct feel of the Unledded tours from a few years prior. The same opening tape is played before a few measures of “Immigrant Song” lead into “The Wanton Song.” They follow with the Led Zeppelin II medley common from the past tour with an excerpt from “Bring It On Home,” “Heartbreaker” up to through the solo, and “Ramble On.”

Robert Plant speaks a bit of French in his opening comments. He mentions they now have “no Egyptians, no orchestra, no hurdy-gurdy, just four madmen and a friend” (the friend is keyboardist Phillip Andrews). As he’s introducing the title track from the new album, the audience cheer in recognition and prompts Plant to quip “that’s good, you’ve heard it already.”

The new songs in general sound much better played live than on record. “Walking Into Clarksdale” is a has schizophrenic dallying between various styles, flirting with many but with commitments to none. It’s a brave song which is followed by a stultifyingly orthodox version of “No Quarter.” While the arrangement on the Unledded tours were dark, apocalyptic nightmare visions, this sounds like almost identical to the Houses Of The Holy recording.

“When I Was A Child” is the second new song of the set which Plant says is “the second time we’ve wove our way through that. It takes some concentration. And a chair. A chair!” A three song acoustic set follows with ”Going To California” (complete with Plant’s middle eastern vocal embellishments), “Tangerine” (which, like “No Quarter,” is performed almost exactly as the studio recording) and finally “Gallows Pole.”

They follow with “Burning Up,” the third new song. It would be played the opening week in the US but then dropped in favor of “Shining In The Light.”

Before “How Many More Times” Plant promises they’re “gonna break all the boundaries of music…it’s jazz time.” Played as a reference to the recently released Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions on Atlantic, they throw in the riff to “Smokestack Lightening” and short versions of “We’re Gonna Groove” and “In The Light.”

They close the set with the first single from the album “Most High,” which is their ”desperate attempt to win friends and influence people under the age of ninety.” It is a brilliant synthesis of western rock and northern African arabic music and deservinly won the Grammy award.

Page & Plant give the French radio audience three encores: “Whole Lotta Love,” “Thank You” and finally “Rock And Roll.”

Walking Into Clarksdale was released on April 25th, a month after this broadcast. The publicity paid off. The LP entered the chart at number five and stayed in the charts for six weeks (it did slightly better in the UK by entering at number three).

Page & Plant would make two more trips to Paris this year. They played the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy on their European Walking Into Everywhere tour on November 10th, and in the same venue on December 10th they played a six song set as part of an Amnesty International benefit (and this would be the final live public Page & Plant appearance ever).

Ooh La La is packaged in a single pocket cardboard sleeve. The front has the basic publicity photo from the LP and lettering in the style of the Page & Plant LP with no futher clutter on the artwork. Wild Street was a minor Japanese label releasing several quality titles, and despite the minor imperfections is a good way to obtain this show.

February 22, 2013 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Ooh La La | , | Leave a comment

Page & Plant Blu-Ray DVD bootleg – Watch And Listen (Irvine, October 1995)

From Collectorsmusicreviews.com

Wanton Song, Bring It On Home, Ramble On, Thank You, No Quarter, That’s The Way, Hurdy Gurdy Solo, Gallows Pole, Since I’ve Been Loving You, The Song Remains The Same, Going To California, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Friends, Four Sticks, Whole Lotta Love, In The Evening, Kashmir

Page & Plant took their Unledded concept on the road and toured the US twice in 1995. These tours were marked by a very loose setlist and the orchestral, middle-eastern musical arrangement of classic Led Zeppelin songs. They played two shows in Irvine, California, on October 2nd and October 3rd.

The second Irvine show was professionally videotaped for possible release on home video but never was. Bootleg versions from low generation tapes have been in circulation. Watch & Listen is the first blu-ray edition of this show and it certainly benefits in this format.

Watch & Listen is a substantial upgrade over previous versions. The tape benefits from the enhanced resolution technology. The picture is crystal clear and looks like it was made from the master tape. The production is multi-camera, positioned in front of the stage, behind the stage, one in the back of the venue and one on the stage itself.

And although this is a straight concert video with no interviews, there are some post-production editing such as the four panel effect during the guitar solo in “Thank You,” shots of the landscape during “No Quarter,” and reverse negative shots on the boarders of the screen during Nigel Eaton’s hurdy gurdy solo.

Also notable about the filming is the interesting allotment of screen time given to the musicians. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are of course given a majority of the shots, but there are many closes ups of Michael Lee on drums, Charlie Jones on bass and even Porl Thompson playing second guitar and banjo. During the songs with the Egyptian Pharaoh’s, the orchestra is also given many close ups and reaction shots. This adds to the appreciation of the entire ensemble working together to create the music and is not just a star vehicle for the titular leaders of the band.

The video opens at the end of the orchestral introduction before the band come on stage. They start with the opening riff of “Immigrant Song” as a prelude to “The Wanton Song.” The Physical Graffiti tune is played complete, followed by a few bars of the fast midsection of “Bring It On Home” which segues into complete versions of “Ramble On” and “Thank You,” forming a Led Zeppelin II trilogy.

All the numbers have been up to this point have been faithful representations of the classics songs, with “Thank You” played in the live arrangement c.1970 rather than the studio recording. “No Quarter” is played as it was on the “Unledded” MTV program. The emphasis is upon the phased acoustic guitar rather than the moody organ, and serves as an effective companion to the other ballads played in succession “That’s The Way” and “Gallows Pole” with Nigel Eaton’s hurdy gurdy solo.

The middle of the set has thumping versions of “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (with orchestral accompanying), “The Song Remains The Same” and “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (with the “Stairway To Heaven” quote at the end).

But the tour’s artistic triumphs are contained in the closing numbers, “Four Sticks” and “Friends.” These were the original two songs they attempted to translate into this new fusion of styles twenty-five years before, and now reaches its fulfillment. “Whole Lotta Love” reaches nineteen minutes and includes quotes from “What Is And What Should Never Be,” The Doors’ “Break On Through” and “Dazed And Confused.”

The latter day Zep epic “In The Evening” contains a two line quote from “Carouselambra” and the long arrangement of “Kashmir” closes the evening. This is one of the best visual documents of the Page & Plant era which ended way too soon. It was a unique period on their history that transcended any plans to be a nostalgic cash in on past glories, but is an exemplary example of the fusion between western rock and folk with middle eastern and northern African music remains unsurpassed. Watch & Listen on Cosmic Energy is one of the best blu-ray titles available and is essential.

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Watch And Listen | , , | Leave a comment