Phil Collins Wanted to Flee Disastrous Led Zeppelin Live Aid Reunion

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Zep with Bonzo never lived up to the sound of their studio albums. Page did multi-tracking for the albums so he always sounded thin. Plus, as his drug addiction worsened he was never up to the task. Their music is kinda like hard rock Beatles. Highly produced and difficult to replicate live. Page was by far the biggest liability in Zep. I'm not saying he wasn't great. He just made this hard on a 4 pc band live. Jones & Bonham almost always still sounded great. People never give JPJ enough credit. He really was a fantastic musician and a great bassist. Zep shouldn't have played the liveaid gig but they did. Their music is too hard to pull off in a jam setting. Even with rehearsal & Jason Bonham it's kinda ehh. That's why they were good. That had a thing you can't copy. Especially without Bonzo.
I’m sorry but I don’t feel that I can agree with most of what you just said here Jimmy page is the father of Led Zeppelin and their live shows were legendary. I’m not sure if I follow what you’re saying (but I do agree with you about Jason and Bonham and the rest of it possibly.)

Led Zeppelin live was never about duplicating or replicating their studio albums—it was about carryping the energy of a very powerful band to the people—they sold out every show that they played and it was for good reason.
 

hsosdrum

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If you want to see and hear just how great a live act Led Zeppelin was, watch their 2-DVD set titled simply "Led Zeppelin" (not that awful fever-dream "The Song Remains the Same"). The segment from Royal Albert Hall in 1970 shows the band in all its up-and-coming glory, while the segments from Earl's Court in 1975 and Knebworth in 1979 show how the band had matured into one of the greatest live rock bands ever.

While on the road with my band during the 1970s I played "Stairway to Heaven" more than 1,000 times at live shows, and after giving up playing drums for a living I was so sick of the song that I swore I would never listen to it again. I watched this DVD when it was first released nearly twenty years ago, and the band's Earl's Court performance of "Stairway" had me weeping. They were a superb live band.
 

Whitten

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Having just watched the Live Aid clip for the first time, this back and forth about Phil Collins seems to widely miss the point.
Page was on another planet, completely out of it and lost. His meandering, meaningless guitar solo that goes on forever. Plant seems to think it's all amusing.
I think it's an insult to all the other artists who turned up and played killer sets for a good cause.
Collins may have stolen Tony Thomson's thunder, I don't know. On the day, both in the UK and America, lot's of stars were guesting in each others bands. It was sort of a 'all hands to the pump' to support a good cause. In any case, it wasn't the drumming (by either) that ruined the Zep set, it was Page.
 

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Phill always has been kind of a douche.

He wasn’t really tight with Clapton’s set either I noticed yesterday when watching the DVD.

I did loved his solo piano playing.

And man did artists looked like they had more fun back in the these than now.

Maybe the drugs, or the whole vibe.

Madonna was killing it with Sugarfoot on drums.

But in retrospec, Kershaw was also right:
"Musically, Live Aid was to be entirely predictable and boring. As they were wheeled out – or rather bullied by Geldof into playing – it became clear that this was another parade of the same old rock aristocracy in a concert for Africa, organised by someone who, while advertising his concern for, and sympathy with, the continent didn't see fit to celebrate or dignify the place by including on the Live Aid bill a single African performer." Kershaw also described the event as "irritating, shallow, sanctimonious and self-satisfied" for failing to confront the fundamental causes of the famine and being "smug in its assumption that a bunch of largely lamentable rock and pop floozies was capable of making a difference, without tackling simultaneously underlying problems".[71]
 

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What was almost as bad was the Sting/Phil duet. Their voices are the same register and it was clearly unrehearsed. Cringe
It's really encouraging to see and hear about these people having off-days. I should beat myself up less for having my own.
 

drummingbulldog

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I’m sorry but I don’t feel that I can agree with most of what you just said here Jimmy page is the father of Led Zeppelin and their live shows were legendary. I’m not sure if I follow what you’re saying (but I do agree with you about Jason and Bonham and the rest of it possibly.)

Led Zeppelin live was never about duplicating or replicating their studio albums—it was about carryping the energy of a very powerful band to the people—they sold out every show that they played and it was for good reason.
In their earlier days they were a great live act. Watch Song Remains the Same from 1973. Watch any of their concert footage from then on. Jimmy Page was pretty sloppy and sometimes lousy. In that format you can't be lousy & be great live. Powerful yes. Dazzling no. They were living on their reputation by that point. If you take yourself out of superfan mode & listen, they weren't very good by the late 70s despite concert ticket sales. I love Bonzo & JPJ but they didn't play guitar. The guitar & drums were Zep & when half of that is mediocre you can't say it's great. The Atlantic Records show in 88. Liveaid. Sucked badly. The 02 show & Song Remains the Same were fixed post studio with overdubs because Jimmy knows he wasn't up to snuff. I love JP on the albums. His live work has been ehh for decades.
 

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But in retrospec, Kershaw was also right:
Kershaw was right in not having a single African performer at Live Aid. How telling is that. But I think he was wrong that some performances were predictable or boring. Queen or Bowie's sets were anything but.

Live Aid was over 35 years ago. Will we be debating Woodstock next? Did Michael Shrieve get shortchanged in his solo during Soul Sacrifice?
 
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musiqman

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Kershaw was right in not having a single African performer at Live Aid. How telling is that. But I think he was wrong that some performances were predictable or boring. Queen or Bowie's sets were anything but.

Live Aid was over 35 years ago. Will we be debating Woodstock next? Did Michael Shrieve get shortchanged in his solo during Soul Sacrifice?
He said that right after the shows.

Maybe in his view and as someone who was in the middle of it all for years already.
 

gretschdrummer

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I think we are being a bit too harsh here, its a big charity event, not anyones show, limited time....and lots of unknowns.
Given that, I thought it was fine, saw the whole thing live. Hey its a party for a good cause etc..."check your egos at the door"
was the vibe. One thing is for sure John Bonham drove that band.....and they were spoiled...when he wasn't there.

My hat is off to Robert Plant when he said...."Led Zeppelin died the day John Bonham died.
Exactly

I’m sure non drummers and fans were just happy to see zeppelin play live

So It ain’t studio quality
 

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I didn't think it sucked. I think their reaction was overblown, especially Jimmy Page's, and he was not too sure about doing it in the first place.

What could they have done different? Maybe Plant or Page ought to have told one or the other drummer not to play. Thompson had rehearsed, would have done ok by himself, Phil Collins, had he been alone onstage with the remaining 4 Zep would have done very well in my opinion. The dude could have improved through, in my mind that would have been the best possible outcome, if only due to his experience playing with Genesis, Brand X, Robert Plant, etc.. Hard to choose, Tony Thompson had an incredible heavy sound, would have been great.

So you have the choice between 2 great drummers, and they chose both. Understandable. Lack of communication. No one took control and it ended up mediocre.
 

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I love Led Zeppelin. All their studio recordings. Well, almost all of them. But whenever they released the boxed set with all of the remasters and all of the live recordings, I realized that Led Zeppelin never sounded good live. Or a least they chose all really bad live recordings to put on the boxed set. So of course, unrehearsed with PC was a disaster.
 

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Zeppelin was primarily a blues band. Hard ‘n heavy some times, folky at other times and bombastic noise at others. All that said, Phil rarely ventured into any of that territory. He was a fantastic player, especially with Brand X. But choosing him to play with Zeppelin? Mistake.
 

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So Page asked for a big favor and got what he wanted.
PC should have let the other drummer go at it alone.
 

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I've heard it said, and not by me, but I've heard others suggest that Jimmy Page is sloppier than a 5 dollar you know what.

Now, I neither agree or disagree with it, my opinion is irrelevant, but I listened to a couple of these "reunion" songs, Rock and Roll being one of them and I thought Page was awful, just terrible. Plant is an older guy here, I don't expect aging singers voices to be perfect all the time, it's not anything they have absolute control over. The rest of the song wasn't badly played, the ending sounded kind of chopped up and slammed in but eh...

I grew up in the era where Led Zepplin was overplayed to death on the radio so I lost a sort of appreciation for them because I was so sick of listening to Stairway and Freebird 12 times a day but now later in life I regained some of that appreciation but at any point then or now I'm really not overly interested in reunion shows for a number of reasons.

I remember watching a... interview, photo op or something, Plant and the rest of the surviving original band came out to have their photos taken and someone asked about a potential reunion tour and Pant got condescendingly hissy, like he was going Karen over the question. After that I never thought much of Plant.
 

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I watched the whole 20+ minutes of it, and watched Led Zeppelin of the late 70s and honestly, everyone is dissing Page or whoever. I think they played fine. People forget that Zep, although they had a set list that was pretty consistent on tours, still played loosely, Page used improvisation throughout the tunes. That's Jimmy Page. Overall I thought it was fine only the drums were off, and threatened to pull the whole thing awry, but never quite succeeded. That's my take on it. For a band that wasn't touring they didn't write it in. It was played well considering the drums weren't really locked in like Bonham. The drums rushed some, were a rumble at times, Overall the drums get a C or C- grade, I give JPJones a solid B, Plant gets a B or B- and Page gets a solid B. Anyway when it happened, I watched it and thought it was a bit loose with the drums not locked in, otherwise it was OK for an impromptu reunion for charity. The part that was important again gets totally ignored, that they ought to have raised a bunch of money. Plus, I kinda wonder if Phil had a bunch of drugs on the SST he flew over. I just wonder about behind the stage antics?
 


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