A Garden Tapes special feature
by Eddie Edwards
The Garden Tapes » Led Zeppelin DVD » Menus and extras
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Led Zeppelin DVD is a bit like Walt Disney World. Even when you're not in one of the main theme parks, there's still plenty to keep you thoroughly entertained.
DVD Two opens with a breathtaking montage of footage from the Sydney Showground in Australia, 27th February 1972, set to the soundtrack of Immigrant Song. This is the same version as used on How The West Was Won except that it has a longer drone intro and a closing drone as well.
Led Zeppelin's one and only visit to Iceland is intriguingly documented in the visuals of the Main Menus. The audio accompaniment on DVD One is the Albert Hall Moby Dick but on DVD Two we actually see and hear part of the Dazed and Confused bow solo from the Laugardalsholl in Reykjavik, 22nd June 1970.
The Audio Options Menu on DVD One shows more Iceland footage but the music is Stairway To Heaven from 25th May 1975 as featured in Earls Court on DVD Two.
Other DVD One menus feature Heartbreaker and Thank You from 9th January 1970 as previously mentioned in the Royal Albert Hall analysis.
Playing on the Madison Square Garden Menu on DVD Two is Since I've Been Loving You from the feature itself. This particular segment of the song is from 27th July 1973.
The Earls Court Menu has Earls Court audio from Bron-Y-Aur Stomp but, very deviously, this is from 24th May 1975 unlike the version in the feature itself which is from the 25th. The footage here is from the streets of Belfast on or around 5th March 1971.
After the Earls Court Stairway To Heaven there's a hidden extra that plays only if the Earls Court feature has been selected through the menus. The background audio to this footage is the looped beginning of Kashmir from 4th August 1979 - the version used in the Knebworth feature. There's a similar hidden extra after The Ocean from Madison Square Garden but there's no audio to identify on that one.
The Knebworth "Intro" featurette is a short film of the camp site and the crowd. The song playing here is Over The Hills and Far Away from New York, 28th July 1973 but in true Garden Tapes fashion it's had a bit of work done on it! An accidentally muted note on the open G string in the guitar introduction at 0:00:25 has been replaced by one that rings with perfect sustain. This is a very much abridged version - as the heavy section crashes in, the first three verses and the central guitar solo have been removed and we jump straight to verses four and five. In these verses, the words "who knows what he's been missing" and "that only leaves you guessing" have been replaced using the vocal track from the 29th. There were no cracks in those vocal parts on the 28th but Robert sang them higher and more powerfully on the 29th, hence the substitutions. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that the aforementioned guitar note came from the corresponding moment in the 29th as well! It seems unlikely that Pagey would have bothered tarting up this extract purely for use as a backdrop to scenes of the great unwashed at Knebworth. It's reasonable to surmise that he created a mix of the whole song but, for one reason or another, it never made it into the Madison Square Garden feature.
The Interviews and Promos Menu is accompanied by a short audio clip from the beginning of Thank You. This song was played at Madison Square Garden on 29th July 1973 and at the LA Forum on 25th June 1972 but this extract is certainly not from either of those versions. In any case, it's clear from just this snippet (which is actually even shorter than it seems as part of it is duplicated) that this is a much earlier version. I'm unable to prove it but can state without hesitation that this is another Albert Hall outtake.
Way down inside the "Down Under 1972" featurette is the Sydney Showground performance of Rock and Roll. The well known television footage from which this was taken also includes a part of Whole Lotta Love plus Let's Have A Party from the medley but these clips haven't made it onto DVD.
Moving down through the options to the Promos Submenu brings us to an interesting place. The audio here is The Song Remains The Same from the 21st June 1977 show at the LA Forum but it's not an unearthed multitrack treasure from the storage vaults - it's from the very famous audience recording that has been released unofficially innumerable times. This little bootleg corner of DVD is supplemented with amateur visuals from the 1977 tour.
Last of all is the DVD Two Audio Options Menu. More amateur footage here - this time from the Seattle Coliseum, 21st March 1975 - accompanied by an audio extract from the middle section of Whole Lotta Love from the last of the Earls Court concerts, 25th May 1975. We hear the dying throes of the Theremin workout followed by a series of riff variations and Crunge lyrics that, in the encore arrangement of the era, preceded the switch to Black Dog.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the names Kevin Shirley and Dick Carruthers. I don't know the exact nature and extent of their input to DVD in relation to the editing described in The Garden Tapes but it goes without saying that they contributed hugely to the DVD project as a whole.
Finally, to Jimmy Page, a simple thank you. With DVD, I'd say you've made almost as many dreams come true as Walt Disney.
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