Phil Collins Wanted to Flee Disastrous Led Zeppelin Live Aid Reunion

wflkurt

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I think Zeppelin was incredible live from the beginning through most of 1973. It's mind boggling at just many gigs those guys played and how far they traveled. Obviously in later years they had the big jet, but not so early on. I don't know who made the tour schedule but some of it looks like they just threw darts at a map and picked the order that way. This is just a small sample from the LZ website but they seem to criss cross the US (not to mention going back to Europe) and it jumps all over the place. This pretty much went full on from late 1968-1973. They put out 5 albums in that time and played from here to Timbuktu, which includes all of the US, most of Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. There was a pretty decent break after the 1973 tour concluded in July (where the Song Remains the Same was filmed) and I'm sure those guys were crispy fried. Monitor systems were not that great in those days and I read where Robert got sick at some point in 1971, rather than take a break he pushed through messing up his voice. Add in the fact that the shows were very long, frequent and they all pretty much smoked and did whatever else, that took its toll. The audio show from How the West Was Won was recorded in 1971 and by late 1973, Roberts voice sounds completely different. On the 1971 recording he can sing Over the Hills and far Away in the same register as the studio recording. By the time the Song Remains the same was recorded, he can't come close to that as the melody is song way lower in a different way to save his voice. It's kind of sad to see the drastic change in his voice and it would never be the same again.

Although I think John played some great stuff after 1973, I think he was pretty unhappy being away from his wife and kids by all accounts and that affected him greatly. It is crazy to watch some of the 1980 Knebworth footage and see some of the fills he pulled off. Just incredible stuff. I too was a teenager when Live Aid was happening but I didn't remember too much about the LZ performance. I was 14 in 1983, had been playing drums for two years and didn't hit my full on Zeppelin geek faze until I was in high school. I got the LZ bug so bad that I practically burned myself out on it. I do still absolutely love the early live stuff. When that footage from the Royal Albert Hall came out, I was just floored. The whole band was like a freight train! There are also some moments of the Song Remains the Same that I love. I think the guitar playing and the string parts John paul Jones played in the Rain song were just incredible. Add in the mallets from JHB and Roberts voice and I think it's beautiful. I have no idea how much of that was fixed later but I still love it.

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Deafmoon

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I think Zeppelin was incredible live from the beginning through most of 1973. It's mind boggling at just many gigs those guys played and how far they traveled. Obviously in later years they had the big jet, but not so early on. I don't know who made the tour schedule but some of it looks like they just threw darts at a map and picked the order that way. This is just a small sample from the LZ website but they seem to criss cross the US (not to mention going back to Europe) and it jumps all over the place. This pretty much went full on from late 1968-1973. They put out 5 albums in that time and played from here to Timbuktu, which includes all of the US, most of Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. There was a pretty decent break after the 1973 tour concluded in July (where the Song Remains the Same was filmed) and I'm sure those guys were crispy fried. Monitor systems were not that great in those days and I read where Robert got sick at some point in 1971, rather than take a break he pushed through messing up his voice. Add in the fact that the shows were very long, frequent and they all pretty much smoked and did whatever else, that took its toll. The audio show from How the West Was Won was recorded in 1971 and by late 1973, Roberts voice sounds completely different. On the 1971 recording he can sing Over the Hills and far Away in the same register as the studio recording. By the time the Song Remains the same was recorded, he can't come close to that as the melody is song way lower in a different way to save his voice. It's kind of sad to see the drastic change in his voice and it would never be the same again.

Although I think John played some great stuff after 1973, I think he was pretty unhappy being away from his wife and kids by all accounts and that affected him greatly. It is crazy to watch some of the 1980 Knebworth footage and see some of the fills he pulled off. Just incredible stuff. I too was a teenager when Live Aid was happening but I didn't remember too much about the LZ performance. I was 14 in 1983, had been playing drums for two years and didn't hit my full on Zeppelin geek faze until I was in high school. I got the LZ bug so bad that I practically burned myself out on it. I do still absolutely love the early live stuff. When that footage from the Royal Albert Hall came out, I was just floored. The whole band was like a freight train! There are also some moments of the Song Remains the Same that I love. I think the guitar playing and the string parts John paul Jones played in the Rain song were just incredible. Add in the mallets from JHB and Roberts voice and I think it's beautiful. I have no idea how much of that was fixed later but I still love it.

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I agree. Though Zep was making great music after ‘73, their live shows were like watching a steady slide of a Dionysian carnival. I can tell you as Zep was ‘just okay’ live on even their best night, Jethro Tull was solidifying itself into an absolute deadly force on stage. The band of Barre, Barlow, Evans and Glascock was phenomenal musically! I don’t think there was a band better in the 75 though 78 period. Maybe Blackmore Rainbow with Tony Carey was in their league live, but alas Ritchie never liked sharing the spotlight.
 

boomstick

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Honestly, what I remember from Live Aid more than anything is the Phil Collins Concorde flight because MTV hyped the bejeezus out of it. They would cut away from the concert to give updates.

"We're going live to Heathrow Airport in London where Phil Collins is boarding the Concorde!" (Show images of Collins boarding plane.)

"And now back to the concert." (But show picture-in-picture of the Concorde taxiing down the runway.)

"Breaking: Phil Collins is arriving in New York!"

"Oh, now he's on a chopper from New York to the Live Aid show in Philly!"

etc.

It was like the benefit concert was a sideshow at that point.
 
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Vistalite Black

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Honestly, what I remember from Live Aid more than anything is the Phil Collins Concorde flight because MTV hyped the bejeezus out of it. They would cut away from the concert to give updates.

"We're going live to Heathrow Airport in London where Phil Collins is boarding the Concorde!" (Show images of Collins boarding plane.)

"And now back to the concert." (But show picture-in-picture of the Concorde taxiing down the runway.)

"Breaking: Phil Collins is arriving in New York!"

"Oh, now he's on a chopper from New York to the Live Aid show in Philly!"

etc.

It was like the benefit concert was a sideshow at that point.
Surely the worldwide hype would be reason for a normal person to learn the material!
 

richiegarcia4

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I saw this live on network TV (didn't have cable).
I wasn't bothered by the performance. I was bothered by the fact that they only aired part of one song and Dick Clark was talking over them. They were just background music for his reporting: "There are rumors Madonna will be here, Springsteen may show up...". Who cares, Zeppelin is playing right this moment! I was one outraged fourteen year old boy.
 

Deafmoon

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Honestly, what I remember from Live Aid more than anything is the Phil Collins Concorde flight because MTV hyped the bejeezus out of it. They would cut away from the concert to give updates.

"We're going live to Heathrow Airport in London where Phil Collins is boarding the Concorde!" (Show images of Collins boarding plane.)

"And now back to the concert." (But show picture-in-picture of the Concorde taxiing down the runway.)

"Breaking: Phil Collins is arriving in New York!"

"Oh, now he's on a chopper from New York to the Live Aid show in Philly!"

etc.

It was like the benefit concert was a sideshow at that point.
Right and Philip Baileys tune Easy Lover was playing as background music.
 

Wenindowt Role

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I’m to young for Zeppelins hay day but my parents were not so I know there recorded music well. I also smoked my fair share of grass when I was young so I know every second of Stairway and that was not good stoned or sober.
What the f#&k was Collins thinking? Bad enough he was mid-way through reducing one of the finest, much loved, wholly original and brave prog pioneering groups to some sort of pastey white Diana Ross tribute disaster, but jeez, was the devil's dandruff of such a quality that the man actually didn't know/care he was about to (co) command the engine room of the singular most groove laden and heavy rock and roll juggernauts on the planet, with no rehearsal, no safety net and no clue how to displace the downbeat on the fill leading in to possibly the most recognizable electric guitar solo ever played?
And all these years later, still trying to clean up his mess...
Couldn't wait for the comeback (Of Brand X) which of course was awesome. Not a concert tom in sight...
 

tdcrjeff

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The audio show from How the West Was Won was recorded in 1971 and by late 1973, Roberts voice sounds completely different. On the 1971 recording he can sing Over the Hills and far Away in the same register as the studio recording.
For the sake of accuracy, How the West Was Won was recorded at two shows in June 1972.

There are also some moments of the Song Remains the Same that I love. I think the guitar playing and the string parts John paul Jones played in the Rain song were just incredible. Add in the mallets from JHB and Roberts voice and I think it's beautiful. I have no idea how much of that was fixed later but I still love it.
There is some overdubbing, but mostly there was a lot of cut/paste among the 3 nights (7/27,28,29/73) in the finished product both audio-wise and video-wise for the movie. All sorts of excruciating details (also info about other live releases) here:
 

Vistalite Black

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Heartfelt thanks to all who helped sustain this post for more than five months and 109 posts. So many great thoughts on this!
 


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