Led Zeppelin – Live Aid 1985 – 4K Upscaled

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It’s time for another video. If you don’t like reading stuff, just scroll to the bottom for the full 4K video.

Here’s a short story about my previous video, and what happened to it:

Reason why there haven’t been many videos lately is the reason that I got a bit depressed after my Jimi Hendrix video got a copyright strike. I made an AI upscaled 4K video of Jimi Hendrix playing in Sweden (1969) It’s not the greatest Jimi Hendrix concert, and it won’t ever get an official release. Upscaling and editing took me about a week. I thought the concert was safe and I won’t get a copyright strike, because the same concert has been on YouTube for years! Video itself turned out great. One fan even got so impressed by the results, that he offered his whole Hendrix collection for upscaling purposes. It felt good. BUT…

After uploading the video, I got the copyright claim, saying I can’t monetize it. Fair deal. That is something I want to see after every video upload. Copyright owners should get their money. If there is no copyright claim, the money goes to Google.

Experience Hendrix/Sony clearly liked the video, because after a month it was blocked (and I got my first copyright strike). The ones that have potato quality are still on YouTube. My channel only exists, because I want to see high quality videos on Youtube, and I want the copyright owner to get their money. Lesson learned. No Jimi Hendrix videos…Well, what I have also learned is that CCR/John Fogerty, Neil Young, Eagles, Bob Dylan…are a no go. Sorry folks!

Maybe there is an alternative universe where they are making money on videos that people can’t watch. Must be a great business plan. I wonder why the music business is losing their revenue and scratching them balls thinking what went wrong.

FYI: 1 million YouTube views gives about $2000-3000 to the copyright owner(s). So what the Eagles have done is that they have hired a team of 60 people removing their videos from Youtube. Five days a week! That info is straight from Don Henley (The Eagles). So they are actually paying money to people to remove their videos from YouTube. So people can’t watch and hear their music. Instead of just enjoying the constant stream of money…they hired people to remove all the stuff. Fans were doing a favor by adding old concert material to YouTube for free. If they don’t enjoy the money, maybe they should donate the money to charity or something?

If there is an official pristine release out there on DVD/Blu-ray format (that is not out of print). Then I do understand the reason to remove all the official videos….

Anyways. You are most likely here for Led Zeppelin!

Led Zeppelin – Live Aid 1985 – What Went Wrong?

There are multiple stories about what went wrong with the Led Zeppelin gig at the Live Aid 1985. Strangely they all make sense. Because so many things went wrong. Was the gig bad as people say? Yes, and no.
You rarely see a comment about how bad the gig was from the people who were there at the stadium. Why? Short answer: Because the TV broadcast was mixed horribly.

Everything went wrong from the first minute. Zeppelin rushed the unfinished stage. Stage monitors weren’t ready. Drummer just counted the band, and the plane goes to a crashing course…Everything starts shaky. Jimmy Page was the first victim. On 1:57-2:02 his guitar sounds fine (not talking about tuning), after that it goes muddy, and low. And when the volume returns the flanger effect is there. It’s like the guitar was recorded under water.

02:12 you can hear that something is clearly wrong with Robert Plant’s voice. Yeah. He wasn’t having a good day, although there gotta be some sort of effect on (or bleeding) on the vocals channel, like he is gargling water (after 3:04 the voice turns much better). FM broadcast had much nicer vocals and sound overall. Even the mic stand was against Page’s sound and guitar tuning (see 02:17). It’s a kinda funny moment though. Spinal Tap stuff… Mic stand fight happens after the line “It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled”…Yeah. We can see it. Later we learned that the guitar wasn’t tuned before the show. It was taken out straight from the case.

(2:22) You can see from Robert Plant’s face that something doesn’t go right. Still John Paul Jones and Plant both were on stage with great spirit. Tony Thompson, on the opposite side, was furious within the gig, because he thought Phil Collins was there to steal his thunder. You can see the murderous look towards Collins in various places. No wonder. Tony Thompson was there to prove his skills to Zeppelin members, and the Zeppelin reunion was close to happen with Tony Thompson, but this gig pretty much killed it. It’s not Thompson’s fault. It was the fact that this gig went wrong from the original members that they’ve lost their confidence. Two months later they rehearsed with Thompson a few times, and that was it. I’m pretty sure the shrunken egos played a big part and the bad press this gig gained.

Some people blame Phil Collins for how things went wrong in Live Aid. Yeah, he did miss some beats, and to his credit, he was professional enough to stay out of the way. We can save poor ol’ Phil by the simple fact that two drummers pretty much always sound weaker than one drummer. In the 80s there was a battle of who can bring the biggest drum sound, and two drummers wasn’t the answer.
No. You don’t need two drummers to replace John Bonham. More instruments you’ll add, you’ll always end up reducing the others. You can tell this by listening to the Stairway to Heaven (start of it). Phil Collins stopped playing on that track, and BOOM! The drum track sounds cleaner and bigger. I’m also pretty sure that whoever did the live mixing had little experience of mixing two drummers also. They are both panned to hard left, and hard right and whatever is left in the middle is a big mess. Also thanks to a tiny amount of delay. Their drum sound went weak when Phil Collins joined in again (thanks to Robert Plant encouraging his friend to play 17:42). Phil pretty much just played basic parts as the gig went along. Giving room to Tony Thompson. Phil Collins went to talk with Tony Thompson before the Stairway to Heaven, and gave him a hug. You can tell by the body language after that Thompson was still furious. He tried to reach Phil after that to say something.

Two great drummers don’t always make a great pair, to sound great together it takes plenty of practice, and there was no rehearsal. Phil Collins flew from London to Philadelphia the same day to play on the other Live Aid show too. There were also two drummers on Eric Clapton’s gig in London, and that doesn’t sound any good either (and yes, the other drummer was Phil Collins). Why was Phil Collins playing there in the first place with Led Zeppelin?

There is a silent conversation going on at 12:40 and it goes like this:

Robert Plant: What substances did you take before entering the stage Jimmy?
Jimmy Page: Yes

As what comes to mixing the Live Aid. I don’t know what happened. Was it the eighties, but if you listen to George Thorogood’s performance from Live Aid 1985. He only has one drummer, but the sound isn’t too good either. Hi hats are dominating the right channel, and with headphones it doesn’t sound good at all. I’d rather listen to a great drum track serving the band, rather than taking the focus.

After all these things. Everyone on stage knew it was a trainwreck, and even the tambourine partly died on stage at 18:38.

Lessons we learned from the Led Zeppelin show

  1. Always rehearse. Even if the gig is just 20 minutes long.
  2. Take your time with stage equipment. Never rush.
  3. Mixing matters
  4. Always tune your instruments
  5. Two great drummers doesn’t always make a great team (requires practice and chemistry)
  6. Don’t try a new guitar sound in front of millions of people watching
  7. Don’t do drugs or drink alcohol.
  8. Don’t add a new drummer the last minute.


Full Video in 4K

Anyway, Please enjoy my 4K AI video of this show. I did try to balance the sound a little, and make it more tighter. I don’t think the performance is that bad, it’s just the mixing playing a huge part, and the sound was tinny. Plant was also too high in the mix. As for video quality. Sometimes the AI works like magic, but the concert had pretty bad footage shot from a distance and doesn’t have much details left. Also the picture looks like a painting in various places. But overall, I think it’s the best we have seen.


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