Texas, Two Steps (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ Vol. 035)
Disc 1 (64:21) Dallas Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX – March 28th, 1970: We’re Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer / Black Mountain Side, Since I’ve Been Loving You, organ solo/Thank You
Disc 2 (58:25): What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick. Hofheinz Pavillion, University of Houston, Houston, TX – March 29th, 1970: White Summer / Black Mountain Side, How Many More Times
Texas, Two Steps gathers two fragment from Led Zeppelin’s spring tour of 1970. This is the only silver pressing for both of these tapes and will probably remain so since neither of them are really good. The Dallas tape in particular is distant, hissy and distorted but is listenable once the ears adjust to the fidelity. There is a cut at the end of “White Summer” and the tape ends after “Moby Dick” eliminating “How Many More Times,” “Whole Lotta Love” and whatever else they chose to play for an encore.
Dallas is the show immediately following their legendary debut at the Forum in Los Angeles. After a brief tune up and Robert Plant telling the soundman for “more treble” they rip into a chaotic version of “We’re Gonna Groove.” Without any breaks they head into “Dazed And Confused.” Jimmy Page loses his place and tries to lead the band into the first fast section after the first verse. But otherwise the song hangs together.
Plant greets the audience afterwards with the standard “everbody feel alright?” and he thanks “everybody who contributed” to the next song “Heartbreaker.” It has the theremin introduction and a long guitar solo in the middle including Bach’s Bouree.
“Since I’ve Been Loving You” sounds very ornamented and pretty tonight with Plant actually crooning some of the lyrics instead of belting them out. John Paul Jones follows with a two minute ecclesiastical organ solo with hints of “A White Shade Of Pale.” The distortion increases during the track and there is much talking by the taper’s microphone, but Page’s thunderous guitar solo can be heard in the general mush. Dallas ends with a twenty minute “Moby Dick,” one of the longest from this tour.
Dallas is good show, but nothing like Houston the following night. Only two songs totalling a bit more than a half hour survive and it’s almost certain this is all that survives. It is a bit clearer than Dallas but still merely fair sound quality. The performances contained on the fragment are among the strangest committed to tape.
“White Summer / Black Mountain Side” is thirteen minutes long and it includes a strange, discordant but utterly fascinating “Bron-Y-Aur” interlude in the middle. Page had been including, but none so much at odds with the tenor of the rest of the piece.
The second track is the final song of the set “How Many More Times.” Page doesn’t feel like playing the heavy riff and plays “For What It’s Worth” instead and they continue through the band introduction. Not until the first verse do they play the familiar melody. Plant celebrates Neil Young with snatches of “Down By The River,” his big song of the day and the showpiece of his tour with Crazy Horse that year. But Page keeps going back to the Buffalo Springfield tune until they finally play it by the end. It’s an interesting performance all around but it’s a shame the entire show isn’t available.
This is one of the more adventurous releases by TDOLZ, released at a time when their agenda was to release every piece of Led Zeppelin tape in circulation. And although these two tapes are listenable, it will appeal only to the committed Zeppelin collector. The two discs are house in a single cardboard sleeve with two photos from the first Fillmore East show in 1969.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)