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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Led Zeppelin In Japan


Anyone else watching Vinyl on HBO? It's a challenge--even for me--to name the artists and songs playing all over each episode. I watch an episode and it makes me want to snort a bag of coke, and go screw something in fishnets while listening to Sly and the Family Stone or Led Zeppelin... but not Slade... the show made it seem dirty. Bwa-ha-ha-ha! (Screw you, "LOL"!)

Above is a 1971 poster for the Led Zeppelin tour of Japan – its first of two, starting on September 23, and ending on September 29, 1971 – it was one of the first tours of Japan by a western band.

Led Zeppelin in Japanese sounds like Red-oh Ze-pa-rin... at least that is a zeppelin on the poster above, and not a dirigible or a blimp.

If you are young enough and unlucky enough to have never heard Led Zeppelin’s music before, I pity you, but am glad to say you should… below… I have presented a song title from each album… one of my favorites for you to Google to watch a video. Sometimes, the Live versions sound completely unlike the original studio version.

Led Zeppelin, formed in 1968 and from London, England, are: the classic rock and roll singer Robert Plant, one of the best guitarists ever Jimmy Page, bass John Paul Jones who must have been fantastic to keep the beat for Page and Plant, and drummer John Bonham… one of the top drummers ever.

Bonham’s death occurred in 1980 – after essentially drinking himself to death with some 40 vodka shots (around 1.4 liters) over a 24-hour period, fell asleep, vomited and coked to death. No drugs.

In the movie This Is Spinal Tap – a mockumentary about hard rock music, there’s a joke about the group’s drummers – perhaps 12 of them – all dying under bizarre circumstances, including Eric Childs in 1974, choking to death on someone else’s vomit. We prefer to call it an homage to Bonham.

Led Zeppelin’s first tour of Japan was:

September 23, 24: Budokan Hall (日本武道館 Nippon Budōkan) in Tokyo (see poster above)

September 27: Municipal Gymnasium, Hiroshima

September 28, 29: Festival Hall (フェスティバルホール), Osaka

I’ve been a fan of the rock and roll group Led Zeppelin since… well… since before the band broke up at the death of drummer John Bonham back in 1980.

Below, is a list of the albums, some pithy comment by yours truly, and the title of my favorite song from the album... because I like to effin' share, that's why.

I still own original pressings of their albums: 
  • Led Zeppelin (1969 – I love How Many More Times, and the album lead-off Good Times Bad Times – wow… but Communication Breakdown is the king);   
  • Led Zeppelin II (1969 – Living Loving Maid has the raunchiest riff ever!); 
  • Led Zeppelin III (1970 – my favorite. The Immigrant Song has if the not the best scream ever in a rock song – and that guitar riff – oy! then the song Cochise by Audio Slave is right up there for most powerful scream at the 3:00 mark+.); 
  • Led Zeppelin IV (1971 – yeah, everything is effing good, and played to death, but I still stand erect for Black Dog); 
  • Houses Of The Holy (1973, when the band decided to get creative… at least with the album names - ha-ha – again, everything on here is great! Over The Hills and Far Away… ahhhh);   
  • Physical Graffiti (1975 – the song Houses Of The Holy… with the first measure, I’m already nodding my head like after a hit of heroin – there’s a story about that and Japan I’ll tell later); 
  • Presence (1976 – not my favorite album by a long shot, but I suppose Candy Store Rock); 
  • In Through The Out Door (1979 – a very good album, Fool In The Rain); 
  • Coda (1982, desperate for Zep after their break-up, this collection of outtakes was good, especially the drum solo Bonzo’s Montreaux).
Back in high school, along with a partner, we performed a book report on Dante’s Inferno… turned off the lights, played Dazed and Confused by Led Zep as we held flashlights under our faces to create ambiance. We got 10 out 10, because even then I knew my Dante, and I knew my Zeppelin.
Above, is the 1972 poster for the Led Zeppelin’s tour of Japan, which ran from October 2 to 10, 1972.

October 2,3: Budokan Hall, Tokyo (see poster above)

October 4: Festival Hall, Osaka

October 5: Kokaido, Nagoya

October 9: Festival Hall, Osaka

October 10: Kyoto Kaikan, Kyoto

Tellin' tall tales of how it used to be,
Andrew (Also likes French Maid outfits on women) Joseph
PS: One has to add “on women” or else some joker will tell get the wrong idea.

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