In fact, a question about it(*) brings the interview to a crashing halt.
People still watch The Song Remains the Same, or at least they watch parts of it whenever they’re scrolling through the late-night TV menu and suddenly hear a theremin. It is, for reasons both good and bad, the quintessential concert film, created by the kind of super-popular rock band that no longer exists. Led Zeppelin recorded the live footage for The Song Remains the Same at Madison Square Garden in 1973, but the cameras periodically ran out of film and missed certain sections of certain songs. To compensate, the individual band members created interstitial fantasy sequences that were intended to reflect their respective personalities, all of which were varying levels of opaque.
The problem was, as the group and their manager Peter Grant found out only after they’d fired Massot from the project, is that he’d gotten inadequate—practically unusable—coverage that wouldn’t sync properly or cut. Some great shots but nothing that could be used to create an edited sequence.
Grant brought in Aussie director Peter Clifton, the guy they probably should have hired in the first place, to see what could made from this mess, but the initial prognosis looked pretty grim until Clifton suggested reshooting the entire running order of the Madison Square Garden show on Madison Square Garden’s stage… recreated at Shepperton Studios in England!
Everyone assumes they’re watching the group at MSG, but in reality what we are watching (for the most part) is Led Zeppelin rocking out on a soundstage in Surrey, southeast of London. Without an audience.
Don’t miss the comments: