The Verdict is In: Zep Still Rocks!
Though Led Zeppelin was one of my favorite bands of the Second British Invasion when I was in high school in the seventies - eclipsed only by The Who - I never got to see them live at the time. However, when they reunited for the big fortieth anniversary shindig for Atlantic Records in 1988, that was more than made up for.
At that time I was in a rock band called B-Rock, and we were rehearsing at Montana Studios in Manhattan. One evening, one of the employees asked as we were leaving for the night if we'd be in the next day, to which we replied in the affirmative. He kind of mumbled, "OK" and looked at the floor, but I didn't think it was any more than just a tad strange.
Anyway, when I got to the place the next afternoon, there were some odd looking folks milling about outside, but nobody stopped me when I walked in with my guitar in its gig bag on my shoulder. When I got off the elevator and walked into the lobby, there were a few other unfamiliar souls, and they were looking into the elevator with a strange anticipatory look, but I just walked into Studio B, where we were set up.
I dumped the guitar and decided to go get some lunch. Then, I waited for the elevator for what seemed like an eternity. When the door finally opened, Jimmy Page walked out! Talk about a WTF moment: I'm sure my eyes were as large as dinner plates. When I got back from acquiring my required falafel and Coke, the entrance was mobbed, and back up in the lobby it was a zoo. Robert Plant and Jason Bonham had arrived by that time, and I was in some sort of shock or other.
The rest of my band had arrived as well, and that's when I learned Zep was rehearsing for the show in Studio A next door. Needless to say, we didn't rehearse any ourselves that day, we just listened to Led Zeppelin rehearse! It was a pretty amazing experience, and far less than a hundred people on the planet were there for that. It's a memory I treasure, for sure.
Led Zeppelin then:
Led Zeppelin now:
Jimmy Page: Born 01/09/1944, age 63.
Robert Plant: Born 08/20/1948, age 59.
John Paul Jones: Born 01/03/1946, age 61.
John Bonham: Born 04/31/1948, would be 59 also today, had he not died in 1980.
See why this makes me feel a little better? LOL!
I found several articles about the show honoring Ahmet Ertegun (Who I also was in the same room with a couple of times, though I was far too awed and shy to introduce myself).
CNN says Led Zeppelin Can Still Rock
"The reunited rock 'n' roll legends were superb Monday in their first full concert in nearly three decades, mixing in classics like "Stairway to Heaven" and "Black Dog" with the thumping "Kashmir" and the hard-rocking "Dazed and Confused.""
The Sun, in their inimitable style, manages to say the same thing with greater panache: LEDgendary: Zep Can Still Rock
"LED ZEPPELIN returned to the stage last night with their first full set in 19 years — and younger members of the crowd had heard nothing like it.
Manufactured pop is ruling the charts and young music fans are an impatient sort.
Maybe that’s why the bars at the O2 Arena in Greenwich filled during some of the band’s winding rock epics.
But their classics proved music doesn’t rock like it used to."
You have to check out The Sun's slide show. The pix of Mick and Sir Paul made me feel especially young, virile, and vibrant. LOL!
The Hollywood Reporter said, Bottom Line: It's Been a Long Time, but the Band Shows it can Still Rock the House.
"For two hours and 10 minutes Monday night, legendary British rock band Led Zeppelin had the privileged fans accommodated by London's O2 Arena ecstatic listening to 16 of its greatest hits. It was something not seen for almost 20 years."
My personal favorite article is at The Set List: Led Zeppelin, London, 2007
"At Led Zeppelin's first reunion gig in 27 years, Robert Plant dedicated "Whole Lotta Love" to Ahmet Ertegun, noted that "Trampled Under Foot" was his Jimmy Page's attempt to sound like Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues" and provided no clues as to whether Led Zep will take the stage again, like on a tour of the States."
It's not that the article is anything special, but the comments are fracking hysterical. The world's most famous groupie, Pamela Des Barres posted this gem:
"I had sex with all of them in their heyday, and Peter Grant was definitely the champion when it came to a roll in the hay!"
Pamela has a MySpace Page, so perhaps I should send her a Friend Request. She is an ordained Minister now. *mega-eye-roll*
After Pamela's comment, a hip-hop troll absconds with the thread, and more hilarity ensues as it descends into the depths of a "rap is crap" scrap. As Vader would say, "All too easy."
Robert Plant isn't looking too bad, but the goatee I'm not so sure about. Makes him look like Sammy Hagar after a night of too much Cabo Wabo.
Someone needs to tell Jimmy Page that the jazz box and sensible shoes make him look impossibly Old Fartish. Note Jones' boots: That's what I'm talking about. Very cool. John Paul looks fantastic for sixty-one, doesn't he?
That's more like it: I have never been, nor will I ever be quite that awesomely cool.
I hope they tour. I'd go far out of my way to catch one of their shows.
One of my lady-friend readers from Australia - who is a "blonde" - has protested my recent redhead fixation, so I thought I'd remind everyone that I am an equal-opportunity lecherous old fool.