Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Interview portends discouraging view on future live releases from Led Zeppelin era

By Steve Sauer

Unconfirmed rumors have it that a new legitimate, official release from Led Zeppelin is in the works. It would be the long-awaited video of Led Zeppelin's reunion concert, staged on Dec. 10, 2007, at the O2 arena in London.

At that concert, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jason Bonham performed a two-hour stage show of Led Zeppelin material. There has been no official announcement of a DVD release, but rumors suggest such a release is forthcoming, with a possible shelf date much later this year.

Meanwhile, a new interview with producer Kevin Shirley about his past work on Led Zeppelin projects contains an overall discouraging view on the prospect of any future live releases of performances from the original Led Zeppelin era. contributor Wyatt Brake picks up the story with his own observations, originally posted to the discussion groups Royal Orleans and For Badgeholders Only:
There are several discouraging aspects to this interview.
  1. The Zeppelin camp (at least as of 2002-2003) thought they had tons of live recordings to sift through in preparation for public release, and they (mistakenly) believed that these recordings were being adequately stored over the past 20+ years.
  2. Kevin Shirley, who is now the Zepsters' go-to guy when it comes to this stuff ('03 DVD/HTWWW/Unledded/TSRTS) has declared to the members that 'there really isn't that much there' because the performances are unworthy of release. That's obviously a judgment call from a guy they now trust, and the judgment seems unlikely to be reversed because there's little desire - apparently even on Page's part - to delve in and determine if they agree with that determination. A convincing argument could be made that even without that declaration on Caveman's part that Page (the meticulous guy who gave us the original splice-a-thon of 1976 on TSRTS) would have come to the same conclusion, but now we might never know.
  3. The confirmation of something we've long suspected - that Page's role as a producer and even as an "in the cutting room" overseer is over and done. From another KS interview that came out in 2007/2008 in the wake of the remastered TSRTS, we know that Plant was actually the one to 'take the lead on that release and that he was the guy sitting next to Caveman taking an interest in what was being done.
  4. Hopes for an Earl's Court retrospective combining elements of all five (or at least the last three) nights, or a How The (Far) East Was Won, or a more complete Knebworth... all those things seem much less likely to come out in light of what Shirley had to say in this interview. Maybe we'll get an upgraded version of the 2003 LZDVD on Blu-ray, but aside from that, it doesn't leave me optimistic about more archive releases - especially about a release of Japan '71 or Bath '70.

1 comment:

  1. Nice article. Any thoughts on the new track on the BCC album release 'Save Me' which was, according to the BCC website and Jason Bonham, co-written by JPJ and Page, but then given to Bonham and Hughes to finish ? I keep hoping some creative, collaborative project with Page and JPJ will surface in a tangential way if the song does well.


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