Reading A Book About Touring While On A Tour

L-Z 75 (Led Zeppelin On Tour 1975)

This is a funny situation, I’m travelling on a 7 day back to back tour of Germany and to keep me from being bored l have Stephen Davis excellent Diary of L-Z 75 tour, it is a talisman of sorts for this dear author who is struggling with tour fatigue due to long drives in the back of the van while in the days of yore Jimmy, Robert and the 2 Johns live like lords whilst on a tour of the great american cities that we mere mortals can only dream of.

Still they have death threats and have to have secruity around them meanwhile back in the van we only have the threat of traffic jams that stop us getting to places on time, no big deal. Comparisons to my little tour and the tour that I’m reading are necessary as l find myself drifting into this book as l view the wonderful German countryside, all the the lush fields rush by me. But compare the way l travel to the next gig in the van as l read how Zeppelin get moving to their shows, Limos and camper vans take this entourage to the airport to fly on The Starship their own private plane to take them to the concert where they perform up to 3 hours. I’m a bit jealous as l wish it would only take 3 hours to get to my next show, it’s 5 hours most days even more sometimes. In the time it takes me to travel to a show Led Zeppelin would have left the hotel, flown to the gig, have played for 3 hours and would be partying on the jet homewards whilst l would be grateful just to make it in time for soundcheck.

“Here Pumpy” (drummer), who’s in the front seat of the van “do you know that Led Zeps drummer uses 2 floor toms on his drums?” of course Pumpy knows his set-up, John Bonham is a legend to drummers all around the music community, still it’s nice to read about his set up in this book as the author takes us around the stage area.
This book describes everything in great detail from the stage to the rooms in the hotel and the great description of the plane is a nice insider to how life was like back in 1975. Meanwhile Bonham obviously bored out of his mind rampages like a Mild Barbarian through Los Angeles in a drunken stupor and takes delight in playing drums along to jazz records in his hotel suite at 3 am,.
I’m lucky l only have to put up with us all snoring in our shared suite i.e. the hostel that we stay at, I can’t imagine the chaos if we set the drumkit amongst our debris of clothes suitcases and guitars .

I guess l don’t suggest you take this book on tour however it is a good read into the Led Zeppelin tour of 1975 and it’s worth it for that.

Chris McDougall

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