Live 95 (KTS of Australia)
(77:52): The Rockline Interview, John Paul Jones interview, Induction Speech, Bring It On Home, No Matter How You Treat Me / Baby Please Don’t Go, When The Levee Breaks / For What It’s Worth
Led Zeppelin reunion rumors seemed to circulate since the day after John Bonham died in September 1980. Except for the Live Aid set in 1985 and the 40th Anniversary Atlantic Records event in 1988, they were content with their solo careers and never attempted anything.
The Page / Plant “Unledded” reunion in late 1994, both the MTV telecast and the compact disc, remains one of the most surprising and satisfying reunions for not only producing a one-off set, but for its relative longevity and creativity. Not only were Led Zeppelin classics rearranged, but new tunes were composed.
Between the release of Unledded and the beginning of their first tour, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Live 95 documents this events in almost perfect sound quality. Several other silver titles were released to commemorate this event including The Hall Of Fame Reunion ’95 (Tuff Bites TDTF 004) with the Texas August 31st 1969 show as a bonus. Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (KTS 404) and its clone Live 1995 Reunion (LZ9495) also have the Hall Of Fame set along with some “Unledded” rehearsals and a Robert Plant broadcast from 1993.
Live 95 is unique for offering other bonus tracks. It starts off with the hour long Rockline interview with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Broadcast live at the K-ROCK studio in New York City on January 11th, it is one of the most important interviews from this era. They are briefly interviewed at the beginning. The bulk of the broadcast is occupied with answering listeners phoned-in questions.
During the interview both confess to collecting bootlegs. Page says he brought home over 200 from his recent trip to Japan. Other topics include talking about the set list, the inspiration for the new songs, and a woman from Mesa Arizona asking if Plant listened to a bunch of CDs she gave him two years before.
But the most uncomfortable part is when someone asks about John Paul Jones’ non-involvement. Page takes the answer and delicately explains that he and Plant started working together and didn’t want to disrupt the momentum. It’s obvious they are walking on eggshells and are happy to take the next call. The two hour broadcast has all of the commercials and music edited out.
The Rockline interview is followed by a very short interview of John Paul Jones by Kurt Loder for MTV.
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction took place on January 12th at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. The broadcast includes the induction speech by Steve Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith and the acceptance speeches by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason and Zoe Bonham.
The music jam began with “Train Kept A-Rolling” and “For Your Love,” but isn’t included on this release. In fact, the opening two numbers weren’t broadcast and don’t appear on any silver title.
The music picks up with “Bring It On Home” from Led Zeppelin II, the fast middle portion. Both Plant and Steven Tyler sing the verses over Page and Perry’s jamming. The next piece is titled “No Matter How You Treat Me” on this release. It is a slow blues medley with references to “Honey Bee,” “Long Distance Call Blues” and “Sittin’ And Thinkin’.” It picks up tempo with “Baby Please Don’t Go” which also has a reference to John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Chillun’.”
The night end with a long jam on “When The Levee Breaks.” Neil Young joins the musicians onstage and adds a “Like A Hurricane” style fuzz laden guitar solo in the middle. Plant sings a few lines from “For What It’s Worth” from Young’s early band Buffalo Springfield which was also part of many Zeppelin medlys in the early seventies.
The importance and interest in this event is confirmed by the number of titles released soon afterwards. This one stands out because it has the great interviews at the start and isn’t intermingled with material from other eras like the others. It would be great to have an upgrade with the complete musical portion of the show come out.