In this issue of Guitar World Holiday 2014, (above), Guitarist and producer Jimmy Page revisits two of Led Zeppelin’s most god-like albums, IV and Houses of the Holy. We also talk about the history of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” which remains one of the most durable songs in rock history. - Guitar World
Stone’s Metal thoughts about Led Zeppelin:
Jimmy Page. Robert Plant. John Paul Jones. John Bonham. These are the names that forever will be Led Zeppelin. Accept no substitutes or cover acts that do their very best to pretend. The real deal Led Zeppelin lineup were those four mentioned musicians, up until the tragic passing of John Bonham, on September 25th of 1980. In the case of Led Zeppelin, nothing beats an original is an understatement.
During the rare live reunions of Led Zeppelin, neither Phil Collins (1985 Live Aid) or Jason Bonham (2007 Celebration Day Concert), could truly fill the shoes of John Bonham. With all due respect to those who’ve tried, it’s like trying to fill the shoes of George Harrison, John Lennon, Dimebag Darrell or Ace Frehley, it just isn’t gonna be remotely the same. I don’t claim Phil Collins or Jason Bonham were ever trying to fill these legendary shoes of John Bonham, for they are world-class drummers in their own right.
It’s called band chemistry for a reason and without it, that special something is gone. Fans can hear it, see it, taste it and feel it. Certainly, a Led Zeppelin reunion right now, be it a tour and/or studio album would be fun for the fans, only each surviving band member of Led Zeppelin has to want and feel the magic too; only they know if they can still capture the chemistry of yesteryear. In recent CBS This Morning interviews, both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have denied knowing of an 800 million dollar contract being ripped up or even offered. So much for the rumor mill, it will bite you every time.
Above: Houses Of The Holy (Deluxe CD Edition)
I’ve seen the legendary Jimmy Page on the television show circuit, recently. With his recent appearances on CBS This Morning and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, I cannot question the sincerity, humor and candor of Jimmy Page, the man comes across as the legend he’s perceived as. Jimmy Page makes it no secret that he would embrace a Led Zeppelin reunion, on these telecasts. However, a recent appearance of Robert Plant on CBS This Morning had him conveying an entirely different opinion, regarding a Led Zeppelin reunion. Robert Plant had made it clear, that Led Zeppelin was a four member band when John Bonham was alive and he pointed out the importance that the late drummer had on his life and the band. In other words, Robert Plant has no ambition to facilitate a Led Zeppelin reunion, based on his interview on CBS This Morning. I tend to believe that money is no longer a motivator for the members of Led Zeppelin; if it were the case, this band would have been touring decades ago.
Robert Plant has his successful solo career still running on all cylinders, with his tenth solo album, Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, just being released on September 9th, 2014, via Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records. Robert Plant has earned his success as a solo artist through decades of dedication; while even winning his first ever Grammy Award in 2009 for Album Of The Year with Alison Krauss for their 2007 album: Raising Sand. Strangely, Led Zeppelin never won a Grammy Award; a reminder to all of how clueless the Grammy voting committee can truly be, historically.
John Paul Jones has recently kept very busy touring with The Dave Rawlings Machine. This legendary bassist of Led Zeppelin was even a member of Them Crooked Vultures, a Hard Rock supergroup/power trio which included Dave Grohl and Josh Homme. Them Crooked Vultures debut album even peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, in 2009. It’s as if everything that a surviving member of Led Zeppelin touches turns to gold and that is mystical in itself.
Jimmy Page has in recent years stirred the legacy of Led Zeppelin into the social consciousness of Rock fans both young and old, via reissues and the unparalleled greatest hits: 2007′s Mothership. Yes, Jimmy Page has also enjoyed an acclaimed solo career, only now it’s the focus of Led Zeppelin’s legacy of songs that seems to drive him. And why not so? With the classic catalog of Led Zeppelin albums being reissued and given deluxe CD package treatments, the aura of this band continues to burn bright. These legendary Led Zeppelin albums are once again returning to the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, due largely on the fact that these reissues also contain previously unreleased material. Jimmy Page as an album producer will forever be revered, his passion and intellect of song and sound has few equals, in my Metal opinion.
Above: The legendary Jimmy Page and his newly released book – Jimmy Page By Jimmy Page
These legendary members of Led Zeppelin have remained musically focused, talent-fueled and continuously relevant with each passing decade; they’ve been the constant and never-ending improvement model, at its finest, for all to follow in the world of Rock And Roll. Led Zeppelin doesn’t need their band logo put on toilet paper or pillow cases to earn a quick buck; nor does this band need to be force-fed onto the masses with smart aleck marketing schemes to stay relevant. I personally (since I’ve been alive) cannot recall an era of Rock when Led Zeppelin lost their relevancy; this iconic band has stood the test of time.
Even the mighty KISS has suffered an identity crisis musically, on more than one occasion, during their reign; whereas Led Zeppelin takes critical heat for only CODA, a 1982 studio album released after the fact, if you will. It’s all about the music and the timeless sound of Led Zeppelin that keeps their Rock And Roll flame burning. I was just a tad too young to have been able to see Led Zeppelin in concert, back in the ’70′s; still its their catalog of music and live videos that I can forever embrace. Those are my Metal thoughts and opinions, anyways. May the magic of Led Zeppelin live on forever. Metal be thy name. – Stone.
* For more info on LED ZEPPELIN:
LONG LIVE THE LEGACY OF LED ZEPPELIN.
LONG LIVE METAL.