"Rockin' the Forum Ghosts"

Page/Plant: Le Forum de Montréal, October 18, 1995

While we wait for the flood of Robert Plant and Strange Sensation trees, here's a little something. I don't believe I've ever seen this on anyone's trade list, and when I posted a feeler about it a couple of weeks back on FBO, I got some good responses, so . . .

This is a *branch only* announcement for an *SHN* tree consisting of a very good uncirculated recording of the Page/Plant show at the Montreal Forum on October 18, 1995. The recording is complete except for the first few notes of "TSRtS," which are cut off.

I am inviting prospective branches who are equipped to copy .shn files to sign up immediately (see details below). If you want to be a leaf, please do not sign up at this time. The leaf announcement will follow in due course.

Part I--Show Details and Comments

By the time the second leg of the North American Jimmy Page and Robert Plant tour hit the Montreal Forum in mid-October of 1995, the quality of the duo’s performances had reached a very high level indeed--witness the Salt Lake City and Chicago shows from the previous week, or the Irvine Meadows gig from the beginning of the month. In my opinion that level of quality was surpassed only at the Japanese shows in February 1996.

This recording is a direct transfer to CD (using a standalone burner) of a first-generation analog tape of the master recording. The person who supplied it to me enthusiastically agreed that it be treed, but wishes to remain anonymous. This person attended the Montreal show (as did I) and upon returning home immediately began casting about for a recording of it.

One soon found its way to our seed. The only details we have are that it was taped from stage center, somewhere in the first few rows (I don't think there was a taper section on that second leg of the tour). Two good reviews of the show can be found at Tight but Loose: http://www.ledzep.freeserve.co.uk/tourusa2.html (do the scroll)

Both Jimmy and Robert could do no wrong that night, hitting any note they went for on their respective instruments. Percy’s vocals in SIBLY are particularly impressive. I distinctly recall my amazement at hearing him hit those high notes of old at least three times during the song. The TBL reviewers who wrote of a five-minute standing ovation after SIBLY were not exaggerating (it would seem the taper chose that moment to switch tapes, however, so this document does not feature the full five minutes of cheering).

This was the first time I had ever seen Jimmy Page in the flesh--and the first time he had played Montreal since February 1975 (fuggedabout dem "Royal Darkness" Firm boots that purport to be from Montreal--they never played here). I hadn't been overly impressed by his work on the Unledded TV special, and my friends and I (as well as most of the 16,000 in attendance that night, probably) were wondering whether the man "still had it." Well, his solos on "Thank You," early on in the set, proved to us that he did.

Despite the fact that this is from a first-gen analog tape, the sound is very, very good. Tape hiss is apparent in only one or two quieter sections. The quality does drop noticeably during "No Quarter," and again around the 2 in 30 sec mark of "That's the Way," sounding slightly muffled and shifted mostly to the right channel, but returns to normal about 45 sec into the next track, Nigel's hurdy-gurdy solo.

The only other drawbacks are what some may find to be excessive crowd noise (particularly one young lady who screams quite exuberantly at times), and the fact that the mix often favors the rhythm section, especially Charlie Jones' bass.


Part II--Tech Stuff

Leaves will have the option of receiving the show in SHN format or asking their branch to burn audio for them. The SHN files require two discs. The MD5 checksum signatures will be included with the tree structure posting.

The audio track listing will be as follows:

Disc One: Immigrant Song/Wanton Song, Bring it on Home, Ramble On, Thank You, No Quarter, That's the Way, Hurdy Gurdy Solo, Gallow's Pole, Since I've Been Loving You, The Song Remains the Same, Going to California, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You

Total time: 69:39

Disc Two: Four Sticks, Whole Lotta Love (incl. Down by the Seaside, Break on Through, Dazed and Confused), In the Evening, Black Dog, Kashmir

Total time: 64:42


Part III--Signing Up

To sign up as a branch, send an e-mail to: tangerineman@sympatico.ca

In the subject line, type (or just copy and paste): Montreal Branch.

In the body of the message, please provide the following details:

your name;

your e-mail address;

your mailing address;

the number of leaves you are willing to take on;

whether you are willing to take on international leaves; and your brand of burner and software.

(Mailing addresses will be kept strictly confidential.)

I had a fantastic response to the branch announcement for that ill-fated Montreux tree a few weeks back--it'd be great to have some of the same folks step up to the plate this time.

Branch signups will close ten days from now. The leaf announcement will follow.


Part IV--Miscellaneous

If you don't know what a tree is, erm, you probably shouldn't be signing up as a branch. Wait for the leaf announcement and, in the meantime, go here: http://www.barbero.net/LedZeppelin/trees/html/new-faq.htm

If you don't know what the deal is with SHN, or need a refresher course, go here: http://members.tripod.com/~rimeswel/shnguide.html#whatis_quick

A big Thank You to the source (whoever you are), to the anonymous seed donor, and to Vinnie for suggesting the title of the boot, "Rockin' the Forum Ghosts." I had thought of something similar, but Vinnie refined it.

At the show, Robert said something about "revisiting some ghosts of the past" that night. There is also some hockey lore that has it that the Forum (Bonzo rest its soul) was haunted. The connection was too good to pass up.