Led Zeppelin History – May 2

Today and tomorrow in 1969, Zeppelin played two sold-out shows at the Rose Palace in Pasadena, CA.

Setlist: The exact list unknown, but songs performed during this tour included: Train Kept a Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, As Long As I Have You, Killing Floor, White Summer / Black Mountain Side, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown, and Pat’s Delight.
PasadenaThey stayed at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood and were supposed to have a week off after the two Rose Palace shows. But after having then been touring for about six months straight, they had some momentum going and decided to take advantage of two nearby L.A. studios: Sunset Sound and Mirror Sound Studios, which were just two miles east down Sunset Blvd. They believed that their second album would definitely capture the sound of a live Led Zeppelin show, so they opted to book some studio time to record parts of Led Zeppelin II (which was recorded entirely while on the road).

Parts of “Whole Lotta Love” were initially recorded at Sunset Sound, from a guitar riff Jimmy Page had developed in rehearsals and onstage. “I had it worked out already before entering the studio”, he said years later. “I had rehearsed it”.  Within the next few months, Page was able to add special effects to the song at further studio sessions. “I built it up in the studio and put effects and treatments on it”, he later explained. In its completed form, “Whole Lotta Love” featured backwards echo, a Theremin solo and a crossfading mix with audio samples of sirens, screams and demolition sounds.

One thing he was never able to incorporate into live versions of “Whole Lotta Love” though was the dive-bomber sound heard after each time Plant sings the words, “Whole lotta love”.  “The descending riff was done with a metal slide and backwards echo”, he said. Speaking about backwards echo, Page continued, “I think I came up with that first before anybody. I know it’s been used a lot now but not at the time we did the second album. Some of the things that might sound a bit odd have, in fact, backwards echo involved in them as well”.

At the Mirror Sound sessions, John Bonham laid down about 20 minutes of a drum solo – but not all at once. He said, “I didn’t actually sit there and play a drum solo especially for the record; they just pieced it together”. In the following months, Page pieced together parts of Bonham’s jams and appended the “solo” to an intro and ending. Then, it took the shape of the 4:21 track “Moby Dick”. At concerts though, for the time being, Zeppelin was still using another instrumental as the vehicle for a drum solo, “Pat’s Delight” (so named after Bonham’s wife), which would eventually be replaced by “Moby Dick”.

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