A Gram Is A Gram Is A Gram (Image Quality IQ-080/081/082)
The Forum, Los Angeles, CA – March 24th, 1975
Disc 1 (55:02): Rock and Roll, Sick Again, Over the Hills and Far Away, In My Time of Dying, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Kashmir
Disc 2 (56:13): No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick
Disc 3 (72:38): Dazed and Confused (incl. Woodstock), Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (incl. The Crunge), Black Dog, Heartbreaker
Most titles with Led Zeppelin’s first Los Angeles Forum show in 1975 use the excellent quality Mike Millard tape. Only one release, Deep Throat, utilizes the second tape source to fill in the cuts on the better sounding source. But A Gram Is A Gram Is A Gram is the only release to go with the alternate tape source. It is clear but distant and would be acceptable if it were the only tape available for this show. It does exist in the shadow one of the best sounding Led Zeppelin tapes and is good for completists.
Image Quality don’t use the entire second source for this release, however. IQ use the Millard recording for the encores on disc three.
The show begins with J.J. Jackson making the introduction before “Rock And Roll” and after “Sick Again,” Plant tells the audience that “we’ve been in California a little while, but let me tell you, this is the place….these are the last three gigs on our American tour and so we intend them to be somewhat of a very high point for us and that can’t be really achieved, obviously we really don’t achieve that without a little bit of vibe, which I can already feel, and a few smiles.”
Plant continues to little the show with his humorous comments like before “In My Time Of Dying” telling the audience that there are “a few developments in the camp and a few camps in the development. Bonzo decided not to have the sex change after-all, and ah, we got a new album out.” The first real high point occurs during the “No Quarter” marathon, the first one in the set. The grand piano and electric guitar improvisation had reached a height by this time and these versions are among the best executed and recorded.
“Dazed And Confused” is “probably about the first thing that we had a go at, apart from the secretary.” It’s obvious Page is trying hard to expand the improvisation as the piece stretches past a half hour, but there are several rough spots and it comes off as rather sloppy, the worst of the three Forum shows.
“Stairway To Heaven,” which is “for all our English friends who’ve arrived at the continental Riot House…. and this is for you people here who’ve made this a good gig.” The encores are the longest of the three with a full version of “The Crunge” before they play “Black Dog,” and this is the only one to have the rare second encore “Heartbreaker.” A Gram Is A Gram Is A Gram is a good title, but not a replacement for a good copy of the Millard recording.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)