Wednesday, November 28, 2007

like a lead balloon

The Contrarian keeps posting about Led Zep. And making me laugh.

I adored Led Zep. I wore their LPs out. To this day, when I hear a Led Zep track, I still hear the pops and scratches from those old LPs in my memory. As much as I loved them and for as long as that love lasted in my blasted mis-spent youth, I can't generate an iota of excitement over the idea of a reunion show. Mostly because I wore that shit out. But also because I saw Jimmy Page on tour with Jason Bonham on drums in like 1986 or '87 at the now demolished Cap Center near DC, and that ranks as one of the worst musical experiences of my entire life. It was worse than one of the musical variety shows they have at amusement parks with painfully earnest Lawrence Welk singing of hit song medlies by pudgy guys and gals in what appear to be fast food restaurant uniforms. With styrofoam hats on. The only other concert for which I paid money that was nearly as awful as Jimmy Page live was Eric Clapton at the Cap Center in the late 80s. He played "I Shot the Sheriff" for like two hours, with that standard yawn-inducing solo he always plays for 1 hour and 53 minutes. And then Phil Collins did "In the Air Tonight" and it was mercifully over.

Jason Bonham as a drummer is at about the level of Tommy Lee, whose greatest claim to fame (as a drummer*) was sitting in a drum kit that rose into the air and spun upside down. At the Cap Center show Jason played his drums by remote control from the front of the stage. The lights were down and there was some kind of loud thumping sound that resembled good drumming--the crowd became interested, and the lights came up and Jason Bonham was standing at the front of the stage, pointing at his drums with his sticks. That was the only interesting thing that happened on the drums during the whole concert, and Jason Bonham had nothing to do with it.

The only other interesting thing to happen that evening was Jimmy Page falling off his stool drunk while trying to remember "Kashmir." He was playing it with a bow, and dropped the bow, tried to pick it up, and fell off the stool. In those crazy bell bottoms.

Page can't play live. He's abysmal. Plant should stick to singing countrified duets with far better singers. John Paul Jones should keep doing whatever he's not doing now that he's not playing bass or groovy blues keyboards. I fully expect the mighty Bonzo Bonham to continue doing what he's doing; that's as it should be.

*his true claim to faim is unveiled in that video. You know the one.


casey said...

Happy to provide a chuckle at the expense of super-rich, bloated, English ex-rock gods.

I almost saw the Outrider tour; my friend went and claimed to love it, but I didn't believe him.

I did, however, see Plant on the "Manic Nirvana" tour; he was OK. Of course, I was 16 and simply in awe that I was watching the Golden God.

I think they'd be smart to leave this one alone. But I'm still incredibly curious, in a morbid kind of way.

You're spot on in comparing Jason Bonham to Tommy Lee. They're both average hard rock drummers at best.

Congrats on the haircut.

PS: did you change your comments structure? It wants to make me sign in to my old Blogger account.


Nyarlathotep said...

Well, if The Who can rock the house at The Concert for New York, maybe Zep can pull a rabbit out of their hats. I'm sure I'll watch it despite the pooh-poohing in advance.

I wish they had Simon Phillips or Zack Starky or Dave Lombardo on drums.