PLAYING THE “A DAY ON THE GREEN” SHOW IN ITS ENTIRIETY JULY 20, 2013!!!
THE VIPER ROOM & METAL 4 BREAKFAST PRESENT: THE MOBY DICKS- PERFORMING LED ZEPPELIN’S 1977 OAKLAND SHOW – “DAY ON THE GREEN” SHOW PREVIEW
This marks the second time the Moby Dicks will be playing an epic Led Zeppelin concerts in its entirety for Metal 4 Breakfast at the Viper Room. To top their last performance here, this upcoming Moby Dicks show may be the most historically significant show they’ve put on to date.
Brian Tichy took some time on the phone to discuss his upcoming 3 hour Led Zeppelin show with The Moby Dicks at the Viper Room to pay tribute to arguably the greatest band ever with the exact set list of one of their most historic US concerts. In addition to being quite informative and incredibly knowledgeable about Led Zeppelin, he has an incredible sense of humor.
The Beginnings of the Band/ the Road To The Bonzo Bash
The Moby Dicks resulted from an idea Tichy had several years ago when he felt he needed to have a show with his friends to pay tribute to rock drumming icon John “Bonzo” Bonham on September 28, 2010 (the 30th anniversary of Bonzo’s passing) by having a Bonzo replica kit set up , for which various drummers take turns playing their favorite Zeppelin songs along to a house band of a guitarists, singer bassist and keyboardist. When it came time to book the show, he had no difficulty in recruiting an incredible line-up of drummers. That groundbreaking show lead to future shows and Michael Devin (original bass player, who is currently in Whitesnake) simply named them “The Moby Dicks” and they ended up building a band around the concept to play clubs and have some fun playing Zeppelin’s Music. The last few years have seen the show morph into a “Bonzo Bash” with many high profile appearances in California and Las Vegas on the West Coast and New Jersey and New York on the East Coast.
Brian quickly reviewed the history of the band before fast-forwarding to earlier this year when Brian’s close friend and Moby Dick’s guitarist Brent Woods got together with Toddie B from Metal4Breakfast to conceive a show that had the identical set list of a historic Zeppelin show at the Viper Room last May. In addition to them recreating the record-breaking 1973 Tampa show (which, to date had been the most attended single band concert to date), they had Frankie Banali, an actual attendee of that very concert in ‘73, sit in as the drummers for a few songs during the show. It ended up being a remarkable evening with a nice, long Zeppelin set played by an incredible band that was well up for the task.In an effort to top their last performance here, this upcoming Moby Dicks show may be the most historically significant show they’ve put on to date.
As per the last Viper Room/ M4B “set list” show, and following their recent popular East Coast Bonzo Bash events, Brian Tichy will once again get behind the Bonzo replica kit (and perhaps do a little guitar again as well), Chas West will be on vocals, with Stephen LeBlanc on keyboards, Brent Woods on lead guitar and the band’s newest member, James LoMenzo on the bass at the Viper Room on July 20,2013. It seems like this theme/concept will continue for future Moby Dicks shows at the Viper Room to continue their authentic tribute to great Zeppelin shows past.
This interview took place prior to the first show at the Viper Room residency. Brian is absolutely hilarious behind a microphone, but completely ferocious behind a drum kit.
After reviewing the length of the set list, Brian confirmed that this is going to be around a 3 hour show, which should start around 10PM and will hopefully wrap up around 1:00AM. Brian said he would like if there was some time left over after the show and before the venue closes to “Have a hang with friends and fans. Chill out with people. Have a drink and crank some more Zeppelin on the sound system……in case you didn’t get enough Led Zeppelin”.
TOP CONCERTS OF LED ZEPPELIN:
Since this set list theme seems like it will be an ongoing effort/ residency, Brian was asked to name what he considered his top Led Zeppelin concerts of all time.
He started by saying he usually watches a compilation of live Led Zep performances that keeps him entertained. “The tunes are awesome, the players are awesome, they stretch out differently all the time……… it’s borderline metal, hippy dippy trippy, and everything else imaginable from blues to metal. He went on to mention ”nobody did that” at the time and it was much so more than other typically “experimental” bands back in the day, where everybody would just “do their thing”.
After some thought, notable shows that came to mind for him were Knebworth, Royal Albert Hall, Live at BBC, “Day On The Green” (the last live Zeppelin show in the US, which is what this upcoming concert is all about) and of course, Tampa (their previous Moby Dicks Viper Room show.) He also added that “ The Whisky set is cool, too.” There may be some hints there for future shows.
Recreating a 3 Hour Live Show
The conversation then switched over to discussing the effort that went into these shows to recreate a 3 hour concert. For this particular show, he said there are some new songs in this set that he doesn’t play often and others he hasn’t played since high school, such as “Ten Years Gone”, but he said he could definitely sit down and play that one. He also said it takes more effort to recreate the guitar and bass parts with planning and the proper equipment and sounds and credited the other members in the band for having to get prepare for this monumental effort. He also went on to say “We know them, we just have to LEARN them”. For a show like this, they’ll typically do a full rehearsal and figure out what needs to be worked on from there. Those songs and song parts become the main focus of the remaining rehearsals. Then they sound check it and let it rock. He added, “It’s harder to learn songs you’ve never listened to.” “Chas, Stephen (and previously Michael Devin) all played and toured with Bonham, so they already put in their time and know so many of these songs.”
The conversation then turned to individual band members. Brian brought about some great points about Chas’ remarkable ability to perform these songs at a very high level for hours on end. For the marathon shows, Chas rehearses for days on end, including some grueling 14 hour days. Tichy attributes Chas’ ability to sing Zeppelin all night to the fact that he is focused and “He’s a total Zep head”. Brian explained that Chas can be up there with over 20 drummers, saying that for every drummer “you have to give them the same as last guy. There’s “Drummer #25” up 4 hours later…. Mike Portnoy is up there. This is his ONE song. It’s an interesting mentality.” He’s proud of Chas’ for his ability to handle the demanding vocals duties like a true pro.
With the “extensive bunch of bad ass guitar players” he’s played with, he credits Brent Woods as the one with whom he thinks may have the best pure tone of all of them. As far as he’s concerned with his playing, “It’s all there.”
Tichy also spoke of his long-standing relationship with bass player James LoMenzo, who has recorded albums and shared the stage with Brian in bands such as Pride and Glory, Slash’s Snakepit, and Lynch Mob before joining forced in the Moby Dicks. Being in bands together over so many years make them a very formidable rhythm section.
He said he met Stephen when Michael Devin hand-picked him for the Bonzo Bash gigs. Since they played together in Bonham, Brian just took his word for it an that was that. As expected, Stephen had the sound and parts down and has really added a great element to the performances. Even though there’s hardly time to get to know someone other than on a musical level during something as intense as a Bonzo Bash rehearsal, he’s gotten to know him on a more personal level over the last few years. He describes Stephen as “quiet, reserved and totally cool. He nails all the tones and he’s a fun improviser.
No Quarter is a big part of their live jam and, according to Brian, it just “goes where it goes, but we’re out own players in the band. We take chances”, which is something he really enjoys about being in this band.
Outside of their planned residency, he explained that the Moby Dicks have no current plans of an “actual tour”, but there will be several “one-off” shows that will most likely pop up in the LA and Las Vegas area. He even hinted at having a “viewers choice” set list one evening where the fans get to pick the songs.
After having a discussion about Brian getting more Zeppelin tattoos (he only has Page “ZOSO” right now) and was told of the waitress at the Rainbow with the perfectly tattooed Runes on her arm. Just by hearing this, and without knowing her or evening seeing a picture (which was taken by permission a while back), Brian immediately offered her free admittance to this show her awesome tattoos. He Got very excited and said “she needs to be on the guest list”.
To conclude our chat, Brian was read the set list for the show and asked to give his quick, initial thoughts on each song:
SONG REMAINS THE SAME- “Unique song and groove…… nobody sounds like that!”
THE ROVER – “Great riff, great chorus”
SICK AGAIN – “Some people love it, but it was never in my top list of Zeppelin songs”
NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE “Epic……. and hard arrangement”
OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY “Awesome guitar tune…. a song whose true melody can’t be messed with…. (referring to Robert Plant lowering the pitch later on)”
SINCE I’VE BEEN LOVING YOU The best blues song in the entire history of the world!
NO QUARTER – “Best half-time and one of Led Zeppelin’s Top 5…….. one of the most badass songs ever. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There are the chords you didn’t see coming. No band ever did anything like that before. They set the standard”
TEN YEARS GONE– “Page peaking!”
BATTLE OF EVERMORE– (moment of silence) “What do you say? I don’t know what to say about that one. Where’d THAT come from?”
GOING TO CALIFORNIA “Cool, mellow Zeppelin.”
MYSTERY TRAIN (it’s a cover song by Junior Parker) – “Gotta listen to it” (but he’s sure he can pull it off.)
BLACK COUNTRY WOMAN – “A classic!)
BRON-Y-AUR STOMP “Quirky Zeppelin” (he talked about how he enjoys this with his other band S.U.N.)
TRMPLED UNDER FOOT ; “Great, funky Led Zeppelin”
WHITE SUMMER/ BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE – “Page doing his thing”
KASHMIR – “EPIC ! The epic of epics!”
ACHILLES’ LAST STAND – “One of their mightiest – really showing their might….even on Presence)
STAIRWAY- “Never Heard It”
WHOLE LOTTA LOVE- – “Never Heard It”
ROCK N ROLL – “Never Heard It”
That was a great way to conclude the conversation.
Here is the set list that The Moby Dicks will be bringing back from 36 years ago this:
Metal 4 Breakfast Presents: The Moby Dicks (Led Zeppelin Tribute)
Featuring Chas West on Vocals, Brent Woods on Guitar, Brian Tichy on Drums, Stephen Leblanc on Keyboards, James LoMenzo on Bass