One more in this series where a short article are followed by a detailed equipment list for the band. Hope the cover band artists enjoy this one too.
By Martin Hayman
Led Zeppelin could surely never have foreseen the welter of superlatives that has overwhelmed them since they rose from the ashes of the Yardbirds in 1968. At the time they made their first foray to the U.S. on Boxing Day 1968 to name their debut precisely, the band was a collection of new faces and one of Jimmy Page`s old session playing mates.
In the Yardbirds Page had been somewhat overshadowed by Jeff Beck, whose fame had rapidly advanced in the U.S. with his collaboration with Rod “the Mod” Stewart. Page had taken bass until Beck`s departure and it seemed a bit too good to be true that the struggling Yardbirds could nurture yet another guitarist of comparable brilliance. But as it turned out, it was Page who took the larger slice of dollars and fame, for Page was a guitarist in a band rather than a guitarist with a few sidemen.
Page formed the nucleus of the new band with session drummer John Paul Jones, and eventually took on, independently, two of the former members of Birmingham`s Band of Joy, bassist John Bonham and vocalist Robert Plant. The latter has been one of their strongest assets. Not only could he sing, and sing with phenomenal power and projection, but he seemed to have an instinctive understanding of Page`s guitar pyrotechnics; such a close affinity was there between voice and guitar that at times one wondered whether it could be telepathic. He also had the right face and image, blond, tall, dramatic, obviously English.
The combination of a heavy name on guitar and the teen-pulling power of Robert Plant proved a sure-fire combination for the concert-halls of the States. For rather less obvious reasons, Zeppelin never really got off the ground in Britain before they disappeared over the Atlantic.
Perhaps English audiences were still too fixated with the death of Cream and pre-occupied with finding another band who stuck more closely to the blues format. Although Zeppelin very honestly credited blues material to the composers, they only used it as a taking-off point for their own brand of what has appropriately been called thunder rock; nobody can accuse them, however, of not being in complete command of the blues format, as they demonstrate in their compelling rendition of the Howlin` Wolf Classic “How Many More Years?”
Their rise to such dizzy heights has not been without a certain amount of strain from within and backbiting from without, of course. Staunch allies have turned out to be a trifle lukewarm when it became clear that this was a group for everybody to enjoy, and yesterday`s superstars have cooled off on the whole set-up to a marked degree. Plant now feels that he has to hold back a bit to keep from burning himself out: “If you take up the reins that are given you, you end up destroying yourself.”
It was for that reason that the band put together their last album in the country with a mobile recording truck, and produced some pleasantly contrasting acoustic material.
A new album was recorded in February, and delays in mixing should be resolved in the near future.
4 4×12 Marshall speaker cabinets, each have 3 35 watt speakers in each cabinet
2 Hiwatt 100 watt amplifiers, treble booster
2 Vox echoe chambers
1 Echoplex echo chambers
1 Sonie Wave (Therome)
2 Les Paul guitars
1 Rickenbacker 12-string guitar
1 Fender Telecaster
Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings
Vox Wah Wah pedal
JOHN PAUL JONES
Fender jazz bass guitar
Fender Telecaster bass guitar
3 acoustic cabinets
2 acoustic amp tops (pre-amp)
2 Marshall 4×12 horn cabinets = 3 SW speakers
2 Marshall 100 watt amplifiers
1 Farfisa Duo Pro organ
1 Farfisa single manual organ
1 145 Leslie speaker cabinet
Drums all by Ludwig
1 14 in. x 10 in. side Tom Tom
1 16 in. x 16 in. side Tom Tom
1 18 in. x 16 in. side Tom Tom
2 26 in. x 15 in. bass drums
2 14 in. x 6 1/2 in. snare drums
1 24 in. Ride cymbal
2 20 in. crash cymbals
2 14 in. Hi Hat cymbals
3000 watt JBL PA system
8 6 ft. x 4 ft. Wuffer speaker cabinets
4 long range horns
4 medium range horns
4 close range horns all with electronic cross-overs
1 Binson echo chamber
All instruments and drums are miked up with Shure Unidine microphones
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Alun Davies, Roger McGuinn, Rev. Gary Davis, Judy Collins, Ottilie Patterson, Gentle Giant, Black Sabbath, Moby Grape, Henry McCullough, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Yes, Family, ELP, Jethro Tull, Grease Band, Osibisa, Strawbs, Pink Floyd, Mimi Farina.
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