Thursday, October 18, 2007

20,000,000 Led Zep Fans Can't Be Wrong...Or Can They?

Plant: Old and in the way?

Well, a couple of weeks back, it was announced that Led Zeppelin, including surviving members Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, and bassist and keyboard player John Paul Jones, and the heir to the mightiest bass pedal EVER, Bonzo's son Jason Bonham would reprise his tantalizingly brief stint on the drums, with his Dad's old mates.

The concert, to be held November 26 at the O2 arena in London, is being described as a "one-off," a one night stand in memory of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, with tickets for the 18,000 seat venue running a cool £ 125 (about $270) apiece. The website, which went live on September 12th, crashed in a matter of hours as in excess of 20 MILLION fans would try to book tickets for the event. The Who's Peter Townshend, and former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, will open. This fueled speculation that the reunited supergroup might do a few nights in the UK, Europe and the US before disappearing into retirement forever. Shortly after, Robert Plant looking much like a besotted extra on the crew of the Black Pearl, announced there would be no tour. At least, that's what they're saying now.

This marks the first time the three surviving members have reunited since their induction into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Prior to that, I witnessed their anticlimactic performance at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary Bash at Madison Square Garden in May, 1988, when they headlined a very long and memorable day of performances with a sloppy Kashmir, Whole Lotta Love, and Rock and Roll. It's not that they were downright bad, just kind of dull and listless. I was actually a lot more pissed that Townshend and Daltrey didn't show, and that Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett weren't going to oblige Rutherford, Banks, and Collins for a brief Genesis reunion. And that Crosby, Stills, and Nash sure seemed weak and wimpy without Young. Or, for that matter, that I had to listen to Debbie Gibson, and hear the late Laura Brannigan do Gloria, and stomp angrily off the stage.

But it seems the bron-y-aurs shall stomp the terra again. At least once.

Would I do it even at $270 a shot? I dunno. I was never that big a fan. The taste I got at the end of a great day, nearly 20 years ago, was good enough- probably sufficient to hold me over forever. And back then, tickets for 12 hours of nonstop (and mostly good!) performances only ran $100, and we each spent easily that much on food and beer over the course of the show that day. But with Mr. Jones, and none of the wretched Page/Coverdale, or Plant/Page rearrangements that I can barely recognize, it's still kind of tempting. Except the hype will no doubt be so thick, and the gouging for t-shirts, and everything from bottled water to beer to lines at the bathroom so outrageous as to take the fun out of it for this veteran of the psychic wars.

I'll probably just wait for the inevitable DVD to come out, and put it in my Netflix cache...unless its at the 9:30 or the Warner. That might be worth checking out...!


The Boys of Planning Yesterday said...

It must be fun in your little anonymous world. Judging the greatest Rock bands to ever live while you sit behind a monitor with a keyboard and a box of twinkies.

Your review about Zep could not have been more off the money. Regardless of where you stand as a fan - there is no questioning the staus of Led Zeppelin. They are without say the greatest, most successful rock band of all time.

As far as their reunion performances not being "up to par" - who freakin cares. No one expects them to be as good as they once were...who can compare a 20 year old performer to a 60 year old performer - even if it's themself.

The shows are about respect and class. You should try showing some in your review instead of openning your stink hole to show how much of an idiot you are.

The O2 reunion show is about the respect of a great business man, and the respect of the greatest rock band to ever live. The band that gave any and every reason for your other bands to even put their pants on in the morning.

Opinions are like faces - everyone has their own, but if your's is going to make you look like an idiot - you should consider getting a new one.

1600 said...

Well, gee, I was gonna update this and say something kind and out of character about the show (which I had on disc about 2 weeks later) when I noticed your barrage. First of all, the performance was pretty good, in fact, a whole lot better than I expected. Yes, Mr. Ertegun was a visionary in the music business, springboarding musicians like Ray Charles, John Coltrane, and CSNY to greatness.

But I'm an idiot, so what do I know?

Guess I can't say that, even if it's true. So how about this: was it worth the obscene money being paid for a ticket, upwards of $20,000?
Sorry, bud- gotta stand by my original statement. It was doubtless filled with over the hill poseurs and one dimensional, brain dead, mouth breathing dilettantes who probably haven't bought a new album since Bonzo died (well, maybe they picked up Coda, and How the West Was Won), and think anything since the 70's sucks.

"The greatest rock band to ever live?" PLEASE! Not even close. Ever heard of the Beatles? The Rolling Stones? The Who? Hey, there's lots of people that believe everything after Elvis was second rate. Don't like my opinion? Check and see who put out the most music, sold the most records, or still has the most successful tours to this day. Without any criteria for making such a blatantly arbitrary and over the top statement, give me some kind of assessment as to why they were the greatest (besides your repeated claims that they are, which don't have any cred with me).

For guitar, I'll take Page with the Yardbirds (and Beck before him!) And they ripped off half their songs from every black blues player that ever lived, from Robert Johnson to Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson, Blind Willie Johnson, and even Richie Valens, for crying out loud, and are only now, 30 years after disbanding, getting around to giving credit where it was due (the acknowledgments to weren't on the original pressings, and I don't think before Y2K- get your 8 tracks out and check 'em if ya don't believe me!)

The reunion is about "respect"? It doesn't have anything to do with MONEY? Actually, you're probably right about that one, ace. They should have gobs of it by now from the Cadillac commercials, and all the other products they've been pimping with their catalogue. Still, the American semi-tour will happen, because they want to retire with MORE. And with the dollar so far in the hole that the Canadian dollar is now worth more, expect the face value to be closer to $350 apiece with scalpers getting over 100 times that. Sorry, I don't make that much. If I did, I'd pay off a year of my mortgage ahead of time. You've got the money and wanna go so bad, have a blast. Go twice!

And me, anonymous?
Hello, numbnuts!
If you can't find me then please have your nurse at the mental hospital show you how to work the mouse, or turn on channel 10 for you (here's a hint: I'm the ugly one)! On the other hand, I really like Plant and Alison Krauss' new record, Raising Sand, because it doesn't seem obliged to show off on every song, and is a pleasant, uncomplicated and enjoyable work- unique and not tired and played out like sooooooo many rock bands that still survive from that era, giving only diminishing returns at the end of their careers.

The Zep reunion was not that, and they really sounded pretty good, better than in their prime, in some cases, because they didn't try to duplicate what they did 30 years ago, but played off of it.
But I wouldn't have gone there, because of the likelihood of running into knucklescrapers who thought the sun rose and set on them, and still worship this band with obsessive zeal. Being in the middle of THAT would have sucked.

Thanks for your opinion, anyhow, even if I disagree. That's what keeps it interesting.

sTEVE said...

No "John Henry Looney Two Shoes Badgeholder Bonham"...No Zep...sorry...

Will I go see a reunion show...not if the tix are the price of the Cream reunion...

Reunion tours are rehashed hits played for all the losers who didn't go see the bands back when they were good.

The only exception to the is KISS who are still great. Ace would mop the floor with Jimmy Page and his stupid violin bow bullshit.

You know why Page takes 20 minutes to play a solo? Because he is trying to figure out what his heroin crippled mind can still play.

And Robert Plant with his frilly dilly shirt open and his dick poking out of his Dwight Yokum tight jeans. Yeah I'm drawn to that look. His vocals sound like a chick's scream in the audience of a Friday the 13th movie.

And those lyrics, "Baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby squeeze my lemon baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby every inch of my love baby baby baby baby baby baby baby."

And wasn't John Paul Jones one of those founding father dudes.

I'd sooner listen to "Mr Roboto" than "Stairway to Heaven".

Hey Bob...think that one will piss the guy off?