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Monday, September 28, 2015

1977.06.23 Led Zeppelin For Badge Holders Only

Led Zeppelin
For Badge Holders Only

Here is the link
Keith Moon joining the group onstage during Moby Dick and the encores.

An excellent show ... a famous Badge Holders show due to Plant's several dedications to the badge holder people ... with the whole band firing on all cylinders! It is the only known show from 1977 tour when the band stopped after the first song. The peculiar stop is brief and Robert doesn't offer any hints. Perhaps a guitar change was neccessary. Jimmy's soloing during Since I've Been Loving You, Achilles Last Stand, and Ten Years Gone in particular, is amazing. Keith Moon joins in to make this already classic show legendary in stature. Just listen for a very crazed sounding yelling over the beginning of Bonham's drum solo: "The best rock and roll drummer in the world ... living today! Mr John Bonham! With Buddy Rich's arms!" He says more after that, but I can never quite make out just what it is because he seems to trail off into a noise of swearing and yelling, which conjures up cartoon images of the Tazmanian Devil or even (perhaps more appropriately) Animal from the Muppets. But that's Keith Moon for uou! He also appeared before the encores. "LA. It's been very funny. Good night!" and the show was over.

The legendary For Badge Holders Only show begins with a brief soundcheck before the band launches into The Song Remains the Same. Page seems to be having trouble with his equipment, causing him to fumble through the guitar solos. The band stops playing as the song ends, leaving Plant to welcome the crowd to "three hours of lunacy" before dedicating Sick Again to John Reid. Nobody's Fault But Mine features an excellent guitar solo. Plant dedicates Over the Hills and Far Away to "perhaps the biggest dreamer in the world... a star quality Badge Holder too, Mr. John Bindon." Since I've Been Loving You is dramatic and powerful.

No Quarter is introduced as "a song about one of those journeys that sometimes can bring surprises that you don't expect to encounter." The instrumental section is introduced by an extended electric piano interlude followed by a series of ghostly theramin howls. Jones's fingers dance across the keys during a fantastic piano solo, which develops into an outstanding blues improvisation as Page and Bonzo join in. The band moves as one as they embark on an epic journey, led by the urgent cadences of Page's blistering guitar solo. The frenzy reaches its peak during the violently explosive finale. A phenomenal performance, the best ever. The band is in high spirits, joking around with each other as Plant attempts to introduce an excellent Ten Years Gone, called "Ten Years Bonham" tonight. Page blazes through the guitar solos. Plant announces "tonight's word in the concert is 'badge'," adding "if you are a Badge Holder of a rock star, you are somebody to be reckoned with" before The Battle of Evermore. Going to California is introduced as "a song that refers to the constant search for the Badge Holder." Plant hints at D'yer Mak'er before Black Country Woman.

The band gets completely lost after Jones misses a change during Kashmir, taking an eternity to get back on track. Plant is the only one who seems to know what he's doing. The band hammers through an impromptu Trampled Underfoot following a shouted request from Bonzo. Page disappears momentarily during the initial verses. The biggest surprise of the night is the unannounced appearance of Keith Moon, running onstage during Over the Top, shouting "the best rock and roll drummer in the world living today, Mr. John Bonham!" and "hey John, whip Buddy Rich's ass!... show those jazz motherfuckers!" He later attacks Bonzo's drum kit during the tympani section, violently thrashing at anything within reach. As the song ends, Plant introduces the two drummers as "the dynamic loonies!" Moon announces "I'm looking forward to coming back here with my backing group later on in the year" before leaving the stage.

Page plays a bit of God Save the Queen before The Star-Spangled Banner during the experimental guitar solo. Achilles Last Stand is a frantic explosion of energy. Page shreds through the guitar solos as Bonzo pummels the crowd with his thunderous pounding. As the song ends, Plant announces "thank you very much, I hope we're not keepin' you up." Stairway to Heaven features a fantastically epic guitar solo. Keith Moon returns to the stage, ranting and raving about rock and roll before Whole Lotta Love. The band plus Moon close the show with a quick and dirty Rock and Roll. Plant announces "LA, it's been very funny, goodnight" as they leave the stage. A fitting end to this wild party.

The tape is a combination of at least two sources. The first, used through Over the Hills and Far Away, is very clear and well-balanced. The second, used for the remainder of the show, is another excellent Mike Millard recording.

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