Led Zeppelin / San Diego 1977 Mike Millard Master Tapes / 3CD

Led Zeppelin / San Diego 1977 Mike Millard Master Tapes / 3CD / Non Label
San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA, USA 19th June 1977

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A drummer is essential for the band. What will happen if such a drummer is performing live while he is in a bad condition? Led Zeppelin’s 1977 San Diego has been handed down to enthusiasts as a document for a day in such a state. A legendary day when Bonzo wasn’t feeling well, but the live was carried out, and he managed to complete it. In addition, there was an audience recording with good sound quality … That should be it, it was Mike Millard who recorded this day. No wonder the sound is good.
Actually San Diego, this day was a one-off performance that took place between the consecutive performances of Madison Square Garden and the LA Forum. It was also the first West Coast ZEP show on the 1977 tour. It’s easy to imagine that Millard would have headed to San Diego as a “rehearsal” in front of the LA Forum. ZEP, which he loves, comes to the forum. Before that, let’s record San Diego … I should have felt that much. However, what appeared in front of me was an irregular ZEP in which Bonzo was in a bad condition.
The 1977 ZEP live sound has a strong feeling that Bonzo’s drums dominate the whole beyond the band’s foundation, and the best example is the next performance June 21st. Therefore, if he complains about something wrong, it is essential to have an unusual sound that cannot be seen in other performances. Rather, Millard recorded a unique day in 1977 with great sound quality … what is it?

There were various theories about this Bonzo upset, but it was decided because there was confirmation that Bonzo was likely to be able to do the live for the time being, unlike the case where the live was cut off due to Jimmy’s abdominal pain as in Chicago. Probably. However, he was already suspicious of going to the clouds from “The Song Remains The Same”, and he rushed into a full-scale upset from the intro of “The Rover”. The tempo is unprecedentedly slow, and in the intro of the song, you can clearly see Jimmy playing the riff slowly to the slow tempo of Bonzo, who is in trouble. After all, it is mirrored quality, so it is vividly transmitted that the other three people are trying to proceed with the show while caring for Bonzo who went up to the stage in a bad condition.
Ironically, it was a show that was carried out in an emergency situation of Bonzo’s illness, so it is also interesting to see Jimmy concentrating on playing and playing firmly, which is rare in 1977. In the usual pattern of 1977, Jimmy was supported by Bonzo and excited the audience with euphoria and stage action, and instead the phrases were usually messy.
However, in San Diego, you can’t always lean on Bonzo, which you can rely on. So Jimmy plays it so carefully that it’s unusual for 1977. In a sense, it can be called a “giving back play” to Bonzo (laughs). For example, the part where Jimmy plays in the latter half of “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, ironically, the tempo is slower than usual, so it feels good, and if you listen only to this part, you can call it a “masterpiece”. .. The live performance itself is useless due to Bonzo’s notable upset from the beginning … San Diego tends to have a crest-type image, but in reality, the efforts of the other three people were tearful, and that was also what I heard. That is.

It is strange that the mirrored recording of this day is close to Bonzo’s drumming sound image, and thanks to that, the top and bottom of his condition are clearly transmitted, and suddenly the usual glue is revived. For example, around 5 minutes of “In My Time Of Dying”, explosive drumming, which can be said to be typical of 1977, pops out. When it reaches the middle of “No Quarter”, it finally demodulates. If you listen only here, it will only be reflected in the usual favorable development of the 1977 model. Perhaps the members also wanted to postpone the performance, Jimmy and Bonzo set up for each, but there was a calm Johnsy. He burst into laughter at the scene where he simply returned to the song, saying, “Don’t overdo it today.” Sure enough, Bonzo’s condition returned with “Ten Years Gone”, and Johnsy’s judgment was correct.
Speaking of John Gee, the plant has been told by the MC that “I’m not feeling well on my back”, but on the other hand, there is a feeling that John Gee is being replaced by the fact that he never touches on Bonzo’s physical condition. .. And it was a very rare scene in 1977 that he played the organ instead of the usual electric piano in “Since I’ve Been Loving You”.

In this way, it was a series of stray scenes that made me feel uncomfortable even in the first half, but the secret to completing the live was that the composition of the live was successful and there were many scenes where Bonzo could take a break. It’s clear that he’s demodulated, albeit temporarily, because there was a clear break in the song, such as “No Quarter,” and it was “White Summer” in the acoustic corner that saved him. The performance that Bonzo’s turn was few such as continued.
Under such circumstances, rare scenes such as “Dancing Days”, which was the first acoustic performance on Presley’s “Mystery Train”, appeared one after another. The fact that all the items originally recorded on this day were incomplete versions that mainly recorded the acoustic part was the result of cutting the part where Bonzo’s malfunction was conspicuous. When “Kashmir” started, Bonzo was fluttering again, and as expected, the drum solo “Over The Top” was omitted. Ironically, this also made it very easy to hear the whole thing as a ZEP 77 live sound source.

And, of course, the mirrored master cassette was excavated this time. Ten years ago, a copy of the state “Mike Millard unmarked 1st gen cassettes” became widespread, and the title “SEQUENCE OF EVENTS”, which was considered the best of San Diego at that time and was coupled with a similar copy on June 21, was released. It was done, but the difference with this master cassette is clear. The overwhelmingly clear and natural sound quality lightly dismisses the version 10 years ago. When you actually listen and compare, the previous version seems to have a very fluffy sound quality. However, in this version, there are unrecorded parts of about 10 seconds each in two places other than the performance, so we are trying to complete them by supplementing the previous sound source.
Also, when the ZEP Mirrored Master is released from last year, two versions, flat and remastered, have been released, but of course the base for making a CD is flat. The remaster has a stronger bass because of American taste, but this is honestly not good. Therefore, with a polite CD from Flat Transfer, the best version of the 1977 tour legend of the day, in which the other three bravely confront Bonzo’s illness, will finally appear. When I listen to this master sound again, San Diego is really interesting!

(Remaster memo)
★ JEMS “MASTERED EDITION” (remastered version) is not adopted because it raises the bass significantly.
★ The existing “1ST GEN” has poor high-pitched sound (probably with noise reduction). The sound quality of this “MASTER TAPE” is much better.
★ The left and right and phase of the existing “1ST GEN” are reversed based on this edition.


このボンゾ不調についてはいろいろな説がありましたが、シカゴの時のようにジミーの腹痛でライブが打ち切られた場合と違い、とりあえずボンゾがライブをこなせそうであるという確証があったからこそ決行されたのでしょう。とはいえ「The Song Remains The Same」から既に雲行きの怪しかった彼は「The Rover」のイントロから本格的な不調状態へと突入。いつになくテンポが遅く、同曲のイントロではジミーが不調のボンゾの遅いテンポに合わせてリフをゆっくり弾いてあげている様子がはっきり解ります。何しろミラード・クオリティですので、他の三人が不調なままステージに上がったボンゾを気遣いつつ、何とかショーを進行させようという様子も生々しいほどに伝わってくる。
ところがサンディエゴではいつも頼りになるボンゾに寄りかかれない。そこでジミーが77年にしては珍しいほど慎重に弾いている。ある意味ボンゾへの「恩返しプレイ」とも呼べるのではないかと(笑)。例えば「Nobody’s Fault But Mine」の後半でジミーが弾きまくるパートなど、これまた皮肉なことにいつもよりテンポが遅い分いい感じに弾けていて、このパートだけ聞くと「名演」と呼んで差し障りないほど。序盤から顕著なボンゾの不調ぶりのせいでライブ自体がダメ…的な紋切り型イメージを持たれがちなサンディエゴですが、実は他の三人の頑張りは涙ぐましいほどで、そこが聞きものでもあったという。

よりによってこの日のミラード録音はボンゾのドラミングの音像が近く、おかげで彼のコンディションの上下もはっきり伝わってしまい、突如としていつものノリが復活する場面が散見されるのが不思議。例えば「In My Time Of Dying」5分辺りでは77年の典型ともいえる炸裂ドラミングが飛び出します。それが「No Quarter」の中盤を迎えるといよいよ復調。ここだけ聞いたらいつもの77年型の好調な展開にしか映りません。そこでメンバーも演奏を引き延ばしたくなったのか、ジミーとボンゾがそれぞれに仕掛けてくるのですが、そこは冷静なジョンジー。「今日は無理しないでおこう」とばかり素っ気なく曲に戻ってしまう場面に爆笑。案の定「Ten Years Gone」でボンゾの状態は逆戻り、やはりジョンジーの判断は正しかった。
ジョンジーと言えばやたらとプラントに「背中の調子が悪い」とMCのネタにされているのですが、その反面ボンゾの体調に関して一切触れようとしないところがまたジョンジーを代わりにしている感がありありと。そして「Since I’ve Been Loving You」で彼がいつものエレクトリック・ピアノでなくオルガンを弾いているのは77年において非常に珍しい場面でもありました。

こうして前半だけでもハラハラする場面続出の迷演だった訳ですが、それでもライブが完遂できた秘訣、それはライブの構成が功を奏し、ボンゾの休憩できる場面が随所にあったことに尽きます。先の「No Quarter」などは曲の中ではっきり休憩できるパートがあったことで一時的にせよ彼が復調したのは明らかですし、さらに彼を救ったのはアコースティック・コーナーに「White Summer」といったボンゾの出番が少ない演奏が続いたこと。
そうした中でプレスリーの「Mystery Train」にアコースティック演奏は初めてとなった「Dancing Days」といったレアな場面が続出。この日を当初収録したアイテムがどれもアコースティック・パートをメインに収録した不完全版ばかりだったのはボンゾの不調が目立つパートをカットした結果だったのですね。「Kashmir」が始まると再びボンゾがのたうち回っており、案の定ドラムソロ「Over The Top」は割愛。これがまた皮肉なことにZEP77年ライブ音源としては全体を聞き通す上で非常にとっつきやすくなる結果にもなりました。

そして今回発掘されたのはもちろんミラードのマスターカセット。今から10年前に「Mike Millard unmarked 1st gen cassettes」という状態のコピーが広まり、当時サンディエゴのベストとされて6月21日の同様のコピーと共にカップリングされた「SEQUENCE OF EVENTS」というタイトルがリリースされていたものですが、今回のマスターカセットとの差は歴然。圧倒的にクリアーかつナチュラルな音質は10年前のバージョンを軽く一蹴。実際に聞き比べてみると以前のバージョンは随分モコモコした音質に映ってしまう。ただし今回のバージョンでは演奏以外の部分で二か所にそれぞれ10秒ほどの未収録部分がありましので、それらに関しては先の音源を補填して完全を期しています。

★JEMS「MASTERED EDITION」(リマスター版)は低音を大きく上げているので不採用。
★既発「1ST GEN」は高音の抜けが悪い(多分ノイズリダクションが掛かっている)。音質は今回の「MASTER TAPE」は遥かに良い・
★既発「1ST GEN」は今回盤を基準として左右及び位相が逆転している。


Disc 1 (66:22)
1. Intro ★0:00 – 0:02 「1st Gen」より補填
2. The Song Remains The Same
3. Sick Again
4. Nobody’s Fault But Mine
5. In My Time Of Dying
6. Since I’ve Been Loving You ★9:17 – 9:21 「1st Gen」より補填。「JIMMY PAGE, GUITAR!」の部分。JEMS新版では、テープチェンジの頭のフェイドインが深すぎて「ギター」の「ター」から始まってる。
7. No Quarter

Disc 2 (51:52)
1. Ten Years Gone
2. The Battle Of Evermore
3. Going To California
4. Mystery Train
5. Black Country Woman
6. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
7. White Summer/Black Mountain Side
8. Kashmir

Disc 3 (43:25)
1. Guitar Solo ★12:33 – 12:44 「1st Gen」より補填。JEMS新版ではギターソロの途中が10秒欠落してるのを補填
2. Achilles Last Stand
3. Stairway To Heaven
4. Whole Lotta Love
5. Rock And Rol

★今回JEMS新版で、既作に対して短かった部分は、全て「Mike Millard unmarked 1st gen cassettes」で補填。(既作は左右反転及び位相逆転、高音ヒスを上げて補填しました。 )

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