Led Zeppelin

ARTICLE ABOUT Led Zeppelin FROM SOUNDS, February 1, 1975

To be “under the weather” out on tour must have been hell. When thousands await you on stage you don`t just lay flat on your back and cancel the show for any small reason. But I guess they had certain “remedies” in the seventies to help you survive the two hours you were obligated to deliver. Still – must have been tough if you were the frontman.
Read on!


Limp Zep still reach heaven

Bad sound, flu and a broken finger can`t stop Zeppelin, Don Heyland reporting.

Led Zeppelin was alive, but not well in Chicago.
Robert Plant`s flu-ridden voice hurt the band in its first of three concerts in the Chicago stadium, the second stop on its tour. Jimmy Page was nursing a broken finger, too, although that didn`t make itself evident in any way, except perhaps choice of material.
What was worst of all was the old bugaboo of rock and roll, a goblin that seems to attack everyone from the most insignificant local band to the mighty supergroups: defective sound equipment.
In Led Zeppelin`s case, it`s understandable that the group wouldn`t want to be burdened with maintaining its own sound system if it only tours every year and a half. But they`re the ones who rented the system being used on the tour, so they must be held responsible.
Perhaps the audience sitting to the right side of the stage was luckier, but from a position fairly close up and directly in front of the PA speakers on the left side of the main floor, what was audible was mostly bass and drums, with a bit of guitar squeaking through.
One thing was sure: Neither John Paul Jones nor John Bonzo Bonham was under the weather. Jones`s bass lines sounded quite tasty all by themselves, and Bonham roared mightily at the drums.
On `The Song Remains The Same,` Jones actually duetted with Page, and very nicely.
As for Plant, he must have felt the irony of singing one of the five new songs, `Sick Again`, which song suffered too much from mixing problems to be absorbed.


Plant did manage to marshal his strength for `Trampled Underfoot`, a grinding new rocker in the best Zeppelin tradition.
The best of the new songs, `Kashmir`, did not tax his voice too much, and even Page`s guitar came through enough on it to show that it will be a classic.
`In My Time Of Dying`, the old folk standard, also receives the Zeppelin treatment, and takes to it very well, even though the words sometimes don`t match the ripping attack by Page on slide and the booming rhythm.
`St. Peter at the gates of Heaven, won`t you let me in`, pleads Plant, knowing very well that the song is knocking down at those other gates.
The last new number, `Wanton Song`, is another rocker. It didn`t make much of an impression, but that could be because Page broke a guitar string at the start of it.
Other highlights of the concert were `Over The Hills And Far Away`, with Page`s fine fragile guitar work at the beginning and end contrasting with fiery playing in the middle: `When The Levee Breaks`, with Jimmy doing some marvellous slide work that I wish I could have heard better.
But of course, the finale of `Stairway To Heaven` was the highlight of the concert. It`s funny that this majestic, lyric number is, in the end, the song that stands for Led Zeppelin, a band associated with raunchy, high-decibel riffs and screaming vocals, but it definitely represents the group at its height.


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: Average White Band, Chick Corea, Gilbert O`Sullivan, Guess Who, Golden Earring, Trapeze, John Martyn, John McLaughlin, Gary Moore, Billy Connolly, J. Geils Band, John Holt, Hall & Oates, Donovan, Country Joe McDonald.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Led Zeppelin FROM SOUNDS, November 20, 1971

A quick one that I just needed to share with you. The review of Led Zeppelin`s legendary “4” album or the “Four Symbols” album as it is also called. Did the reviewer like it? Read and find out.


Led Zeppelin`s best of both worlds

Led Zeppelin (Atlantic 240 1012).

By Billy Walker

Side one of this, Zeppelin`s fourth album, contains perhaps the band`s best recorded material to date. For me it smashes everything Zeppelin have done before into the ground, it`s more innovative and driving than “Black Mountain Side”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Heart Breaker” or “Gallows Pole”. The last album was a very positive move away from what we`d come to expect from the band, but this one gives you the best of both worlds – the excitement of the rock and rolling Zeppelin, and the beauty of the acoustical side which they are more and more into.
“Old Style Zep” is represented by the opening track “Black Dog”, Bonham crashing and exploding around his drum kit, while Page and Paul Jones lay down the added drive which prods and pushes Plant into those lung-splitting screeches. To cap it all they`ve included some thrusting breaks between his vocals which typified a lot of their earlier work. “Rock And Roll” continues the pace but “The Battle Of Evermore” completely breaks the spell. Sandy Denny joins Robert in a really fine song, the band play around it delicately. Plant comes out of it very well, using much more control and poise than most people would give him credit for.
But just when you begin to feel that the best must have gone, they move into “Stairway To Heaven”, the best track on the album, which opens slowly – building in speed verse by verse. The lyrics and musicianship are really beautiful and it`s Bonham that really starts to move it into an up-tempo tune, kicking it along until the final verse, when Jimmy Page takes an electric guitar solo, showing the verve and flair we know he possesses but it`s Plant`s powering, bludgeoning vocals that finally see the track out.
Side two, whilst not up to the same standard, contains “Going To California” (a slowish acoustic tune with Plant doing country vocals) and “When The Levee Breaks” and two other tracks, but despite “Levee`s” punch and commanding strength there`s a strong urge to quickly get back to the first side again.

Led zep

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: Ray Charles, Marc Bolan, Bell & Arc, Ornette Coleman, Rory Gallagher, The Who, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Mr. Fox, Mountain.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Led Zeppelin FROM SOUNDS, August 14, 1971

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.


From ashes

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

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.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) FROM SOUNDS, JUNE 26, 1971

Just as you thought that this blog would follow a predictable formula as you were waiting for the next article from 1976, we suddenly shake things up a little by moving backwards in time. And what better band to represent a shake up than this? Never afraid to experiment, Led Zeppelin were the masters of surprise, and Robert Plant took this element of surprise into his solo career many years later.
Enjoy this great article from 46 years ago and marvel in the fact that Robert Plant released his new album “Carry Fire” just two days ago. He is still doing it – still hungry to create! A true musician and a living legend.


Robert Plant in the talk-in

“Sometimes I wish I`d been Elvis… or Superman”

By Steve Peacock

You`ve just come from the studios. Were you recording for the fourth album?
Yes, it`s that long dragging-out thing of mixing a lot of the tracks. The intention originally was for a double album, and then we thought `well, not this time` – but then we`ve been saying `not this time` since the second album. Jimmy (Page) took all the material over to Sunset Sound in Los Angeles with a very famous producer who said it was THE studio, and did the mixes. We finished recording in February and the idea was to mix it there and get it out in March. But he brought the tapes back and they sounded terrible, so we had to start mixing all over again. It`s a drag having to do it twice, but we`re coming to the tailend of it now.

So it`s basically Jimmy who`s producing the album?
Well, we all discuss the thing, but when it comes to putting it right down he`s usually the one to do it. I`ll be there as often as I can because I know exactly what I want, but I know that if I`m not there then we know each other well enough to know exactly what we both want. But for me it`s really a case of getting to know things at the moment. I can go along there and sit for twelve hours and suggest things, but I like to be of some practical use. Still it`s only three years now that I`ve been in a position to get accustomed to recording studios. It`s growing pains that I`ve got now.


The first two albums were very hard musically, but on the third there was a lot more acoustic stuff. Is the new one following on in that sort of direction?
I don`t think there`s any set thing. We don`t get into any mould and stay there. People might want us to, and other people might not want us to, but bollocks anyway. Most of the mood for this new album was brought about in settings that we hadn`t come across before – we were living in this old falling apart mansion somewhere out in the country, I can`t quite remember where, and we had the Stones mobile truck, so the mood was… bang! like that, and we could hear the results immediately. There was no big scene about going back into the studio and doing it again because we had time to experiment, especially with drum sounds.
We did this thing called “When the Levee Breaks” which is an old Memphis Minnie number, a Kansas Joe McCoy thing, and the drums on it sounded incredible. There was a secret to it which we just stumbled across really, which was just one microphone, just one – and the revelation of finding out that one microphone did more than about 35 in a studio set the mood really; it was enthusiasm. Out of the lot I should think there are about three or four mellow things… they`re really improved a lot – there`s a thing called “Stairway To Heaven” and a thing called “Going To California”, but also there`s some nice strong stuff, some really… we don`t say `heavy` do we?


You can say heavy if you like.
Well, I don`t know whether we do. But it`s strong stuff, and its exciting, and the flame is really burning higher and higher and higher. But its probably best that we keep out of the way and quiet, and then when the album comes out we`ll wait for the torrent and the retort.

Do you think that sort of music succeeds on an album? I mean obviously it gets people going on stage and you get that feeling, but when it`s just coming out cold off an album do you think…
Yeah, but it isn`t as simple as one, two three, four and away we go – I don`t think it ever has been like that, because “Communication Breakdown” at the beginning wasn`t a one, two, three, four, and we`ll see you at the end. There`s groups who do that who are supposed to be copyists of us and things like that, but you listen to groups who are `copyists` of yourself and there`s nothing going on. I mean, to have people coming along and saying Grand Funk are the Led Zeppelin of America and they`re really knocking Zeppelin off their position – you`re going well `please stop, I think you`ve got it wrong`.


Do you really enjoy doing those acoustic things?
I do, because I manage to plonk guitar on about three numbers on this album and it means so much to me to be involved more than just vocally, to know that I`ve been able to contribute something a little more. But they can be so good because they can start off in one vein, and when you come to do them on stage they`re nearly always like a stomp type of thing, and it gets really close to the people. That`s all it is really with us, I think – just saying well, “Good evening, and if you don`t laugh and if you cry, and if you don`t shout, and if you don`t moan, and if you don`t argue, then you haven`t had your money`s worth”. There`s no story.
Everybody`s getting hung up on critics and things, but if they just let people get on with it, and let audiences pay their five bobs or seven-and-sixes or whatever we try to keep it to and just came out saying something and laughing, then whatever it might be, so long as people get something positive out of it then we`ve done our job.

Have you ever thought of doing a solo album of stuff that maybe doesn`t come out through Led Zeppelin, or are you satisfied with Led Zeppelin as a vehicle for everything you want to do?
It can be the vehicle for anything that any of us want to do. John Paul`s delving very deeply into electronic stuff now, which to begin with I thought was a bit harsh. But listening to him a bit more and watching him a bit more and knowing him a lot more… it all fits in. We don`t get on each other`s nerves, because each time we feel as if we`re going to do that we just say “See you in a week”, so every time a new idea comes up it`s chewed and chewed. That`s why people can`t expect us to keep to “Whole Lotta Love” and things like that, because somebody might arrive at a rehearsal or a session and say “How about this?”
The idea of a solo album occurs obviously, to everyone, but the thing is who else could play on it apart from me? There`d only be three other people, and that`s Bonzo and Jonesy and Jimmy, because they`re the most accustomed to what I do – vocally and everything else. I`ve sung with other people, people who I`ve admired and things like that, but there`s a thing that spurs up in me when we (Led Zeppelin) are doing something good and it gets into a good thing. I don`t mean repeating “Whole Lotta Love” every night, but there may be a section in the middle that which has never arisen before, and at that point everybody just looks around at each other and goes “Right”, and we go from there.

You do tend to do things like “Whole Lotta Love” a lot though. Is this because you really like it or because you feel it is expected of you?
Well it is expected isn`t it? But it isn`t just “Whole Lotta Love” because that lasts on stage maybe four minutes, and for the rest, the construction that comes at different parts in that four minutes, spreads it to a ten minute thing. But within that ten minute thing, there are parts where the audience are up and applauding, there are parts when they`ll maybe be quiet, and there are parts where they`re shouting their heads off. That`s how all that started really, with things like “Dazed And Confused” and “How Many More Times” – when we recorded “How Many More Times” we just didn`t know what we were going to do; we knew the basic riff, but we didn`t know “The Hunter” was going to come into it, or “Rosie” – they come on the night, or they come at the session.
I think that`s why we`re still together and we`re not bitching at each other or anything like that, because we know that wherever it is – even if it`s in Iceland – if we suddenly hit on something… you can feel it coming from behind – the bass and drums suddenly knit together and its like a big handshake between the two and they go off, and Jimmy and I`ll stay doing something else. It`s like a good jigsaw puzzle. That`s why a solo album would be useless because you wouldn`t get half of it together. You could bring in all the incredible musicians you liked – the Memphis Horns, anybody – but you wouldn`t get such a strong buzz. I wouldn`t anyway.

Do you never feel held back by what your audience expects, or do you feel that what they want is what you have to play?
Well, I don`t think that what they want is what we have to play, because we didn`t have to play “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” or “Friends” and things like that because it wasn`t expected of us was it, and we did get a bit of a knocking for it, although personally I think that album (III) is the best thing that we`ve done. But you see you can get upset momentarily by the remarks, and probably all the way through this interview you`ll get this one coming from me, but for all the people who griped and took the trouble to write gibberish to the music papers there were a lot of people who were surprised that we`d taken that much trouble to go that much farther.


Well certainly when I heard you were doing things like that I thought good, now they`ve made their name they`re going to start thinking about a wider scope of music.
It`s been there with James from the word off really, because really it was his conception and compared to mine his alternatives were numerous. I think he probably could have started doing something like that, but that probably it wouldn`t have been as largely accepted. It`s nice to have an audience and to say `Right, we want to please people` and to get the ultimate kick out of it ourselves, because really there`s very little else to get kicks out of apart from music, and the arts generally. You can`t really turn up one day and decide to do a completely acoustic album and write twelve acoustic numbers three minutes long. But it isn`t as if it has to be acoustic… on this new album the electric numbers are, in my eyes, a lot better than the ones before. They may not be as instantly commercial, but if you listen to them long enough I think there`s a lot more thought and a lot more maturity in them.


How much is Led Zeppelin as a whole aimed at a commercial market? I mean, how much does that enter your thinking when you`re writing a song or making an album or doing a stage appearance?
Well they are three vastly different things. Writing a song, all it is is that you`re in a certain mood and something starts to come out. It might never reach an audience and there are things that haven`t reached audiences. If at the end of a song it`s a gas then it`s on the LP, and if it`s a gas that we want to think about a bit longer then it`s not, or maybe there isn`t room for it on the album. Writing a song is the last place you`re going to start thinking about 2 x 20,000 people in Madison Square Garden. What was the second one?

Making an album.
Making an album is a case of making your own personal idea of what is perfection at that point. I mean with the third album, I shed a couple of tears because I was so happy with it, but a lot of people weren`t, so there`s one proof of its pudding.


You don`t conciously think `we can`t use that because…`
Oh Christ! It would be pointless me having a word with you if that was the case wouldn`t it? If that was the case I`d want to be on the front of the ——– every week (Robert did mention the name of a music paper but, ever true to the journalistic ethic that `dog doesn`t bite dog` we omitted it). I`ve seen people, mind you, who worry about the position of their guitars before they go on stage at “Top Of The Pops” – and there`s another farce. Bonzo and I went there the other night, and we went into the bar, and there were record pluggers everywhere. There was nil conversation – the whole thing stank. I`m afraid we became objectionable, because the more it went on the more I was thinking `why?`, and `When`s the train to Worcestershire?`, and `How did I get in here anyway?`, and I got in because I said I was Mickey Most anyway, and they didn`t know I wasn`t. I`m going to get shot next week now. But the whole thing typified exactly what you were saying do we think about – and we don`t. You can`t because if we did I`d have done something really silly to myself by now. That is The Business.


How about when you`re on stage, and there are all these people who`ve come to see the Led Zeppelin that they know; don`t you ever feel tempted to shock them and do something that is completely unexpected from you? Or is it very important to you to play to your audience, to play to what they want?
I don`t think you can decide when you go on stage. I mean, you can`t deny that when you`re in a position to impress then you give them all you`ve got – everything, everything that you`ve got. But the mood changes so often through three hours – you get knackered in one place or maybe your head`s spinning round and round – but there`s a part, five minutes on as it`s building to it that you suddenly get caught up, and you go right up with it and you take off somewhere.
It`s just a case of light and shade really, and the audience are there as a blackcloth to your light and shade so they can either get off on it or please themselves. There`s no premeditation – there is in the fact that “Whole Lotta Love” will come somewhere towards the end of the night – but not really otherwise.

Yes, but would you leave out “Whole Lotta Love” for instance?
No. Because a lot of people have come because they enjoy that, and they haven`t really had the time to get into “Friends” and “Celebration Day”… but “Whole Lotta Love” has to be there to get everybody in. Ah, that`s a rash statement. To get the people in who wouldn`t have come just to hear the other things.



You think that by doing “Whole Lotta Love” you can lead people to things that maybe they wouldn`t have thought of?
To give them the chance of hearing things that we reckon are worth hearing, as opposed to just the cliched… what has become our National Anthem. But don`t forget that in the past year in the eyes of the Press I`ve gone from a pre-Raphaelite f—ing entity to a Viking warrior or something – so really it would be nice for them to stop thinking about all that and just have a listen to things they might not have given a second thought to before. I`m so much more adamant now when I`m singing things like “That`s The Way” than I ever was when I recorded it, and I`ve seen people get off on the fact that I emphasise the parts that I feel need emphasising, and I feel it come back.
But then I feel it come back from “Whole Lotta Love” because it`s A climax – its not the best climax that the group will ever have, but its nice to see people climaxing in every possible way around you. Really, when people pay money – and you can`t really say that they can get away without paying money – they should be able to have every aspect, every mood every angle, for three hours YOU. Not `how does it look?`

There are times when your stage act, the way you move around, does look a bit contrived – all that stuff with mike stands. I admit its not so much now, but in the early days, like that first tour with the Liverpool Scene and Bloodwyn Pig…
Yeah, well that was the first one we ever did. At that stage I was a vocalist, full stop. What could I do when I had three people around me who were really getting it on? I got excited, and when you get excited you can round and round in circles – I mean I`ve run behind the amps and leant up against the amps and blown one because it`s been so good – but you can`t go around and have a little guide book to original poses when you`re getting excited. If I didn`t get excited I`d leave the group tomorrow. So really these pre-meditated things are just… well, I know damn well they`re not (pre-meditated) and I don`t think they look that way either. It`s just another extension of this vocal- thought – motion – audience thing – it`s the supreme contact. We`ve lost a lot over the ages of contacting one another, reaching each other through means apart from speech, and it`s not a page out of some book on erotica when I`m dancing around, it`s just `Well great!`


How do you feel now about singing a lyric like “Squeeze my lemon `till the juice runs down my leg”?
I think that was poetry at one time. In it`s original context, that Robert Johnson album, “Travellin` Riverside Blues” – I was playing the album the other night and I felt so proud of owning it, and that line “squeeze my lemon `till the juice runs down my leg” was just so indicative of that person Robert Johnson. When we recorded that it was in LA and it was a time when there was a lot of looning – and there was a lot of looning going on – and it was one of those states of mind you get into when everything`s rosy and shining, and so a lyric like that comes zooming in. It`s borrowed, admittedly, but why not? I really would like to think that someone who heard that and then saw some clever critic writing about Plant living off the far superior Robert Johnson, or whatever they have to say to keep their jobs, would go and listen to Robert Johnson as a result. But I wish I`d written that, I really do. Sometimes I wish I`d been Elvis… or Superman, or that fella in the San Franciscan cartoons who always ends up an alley with some chick with her legs up in the air.
But Robert Johnson… just him, the sympathy between guitar and vocal, the whole atmosphere of a record that was done in some back room – you can do that with John Lee Hooker and it`s 40 minutes of boredom half the time, sometimes. But this Robert Johnson thing was a complete and utter statement. He was almost the innovator of the walking bass and all that sort of thing that Tommy McClennan and Muddy Waters grew from. Tommy McClennan especially came along afterwards and said well, that`s it, that the ultimate personal blues. But “squeeze my lemon” – I wish I could think of something like that myself. But it`s not cool to do that these days, you realise that don`t you? If I`d been Elvis Presley I could have done something like that, but he cottoned on to Arthur Crudup instead. I could have just been a Robert Johnson bloke.


What do you think Led Zeppelin has achieved after three years of phenomenal success in terms of stardom, or whatever you like to call it – audience reaction?
Well I hope we`ve made the impression by now that nothing is the norm, that nothing need be the same next time. We haven`t categorised ourselves. And I don`t think we`ve thrown ourselves at the public as much as a lot of other people who say they haven`t – we don`t put ourselves in the way of glory. But three years is such a short time to start making any grand assessment. We`ve had the opportunity to be super-duper incredible stars, and we could have lived on that much more than we have done, but I think its just a case of holding back all the time because if you take the reins that are given to you, you end up destroying yourself – overdoing it, over playing it, over living it, and suddenly finding out that the things from your past don`t fit in at all with what you`re doing now. Therefore it`s much better for me to go home and be as I have been for years and years and years, then make some new being out of myself…
I haven`t set myself any sort of position, and I don`t look up to myself as being this that or the other. It`s easy to say you don`t, and do, but I think if I just carry on like this then our success will carry on for a long time, at least I hope it will. But anyway, our ability will increase and that`s the main thing. I`m not going to lose sight of dry land, I don`t think, though I`ve seen a lot of people do that.


Is it true that Led Zeppelin was originally formed by Jimmy, to kind of cash in on the market left open in America when the Yardbirds split up?
No, not really. What happened was that Jimmy didn`t want to pack up altogether, but Relfy and all that lot did, and the stuff that the Yardbirds were doing was exciting – the fact that it had been overlooked in England and that the Yardbirds had overlooked England also was by the by. The Yardbirds weren`t the biggest thing in America but they were the innovators almost of something that smelt refreshing to the American public. The ideas that Jimmy had were his own ideas, some of which he got out in the Yardbirds, some of which he didn`t. His ideas were fresh, and they excited me, and the ideas that I`d got, lyrically, didn`t have to coincide with what he was doing – they could have been totally different, and if they had been then I imagine that the group would have been different altogether.
But we came together and we had the same likes and dislikes anyway, and blah, blah, you know it all anyway because you`ve read it a million times. But the point was, had that fusion not been the way it was we might have been like anybody – Edmundo Ross if you like. It didn`t have to be the way it turned out, because you can`t tell someone how to write a song. Had I been a different kind of person or had anybody else in the group been just fractionally different, it would have been a different kettle of fish.


Yes, but would you have been asked to join the group in that case? Or did Jimmy want those sort of people to make a band that would play that sort of music?
Well you don`t think Jimmy asked me to join the group before he`d seen me work, do you? I mean he didn`t say `I`ll have you, now what can you do?`

Obviously not, but the point I`m trying to make is that it is an accepted story that the group was formed for that reason, to fill the gap left by the Yardbirds, whatever it may have developed into now.
People have said that, and it has been said by the people who say things for us, but this is where you lose the artist or the person who is directly involved. That was the case in as much as Jimmy wanted to continue as the Yardbirds were with a powerful thing. His alternatives were great and I know that at one point he probably wanted to do something at the other end of the scale, which he`d probably have done equally as well. But it wasn`t a case of filling in any gap – it was the fact that I went to Jimmy`s and because of what he had written and what he was playing the group turned out the way it did.
Had it been simply a gap to be filled it would have been easy to take every cliche, everything from the Yardbirds, everything from everybody else who was fading or messing around, and built something on it. I`ve seen a lot of groups do that – a lot of groups who are supposed to be Led Zeppelin copies – and you can take so much, but that doesn`t make you original. And I think we were (original), despite the orientations that were there, and will always be there because I have to listen to sounds and I can`t avoid it.
But we weren`t created to fill that gap primarily. Although it was my first chance of doing anything constructive with established people, apart from Alexis (Korner) and people like that, I just couldn`t have changed after all those years of battling and saying I believed in what I was doing. I had the Band of Joy, and we couldn`t get many gigs in the Midlands, and we finally made Middle Earth and things like that, so I`d been adamant that long that it would have been pointless for me just to do anything, to accept being told to do anything, just to fill that gap.
It`s a fine point and it would take me a long time, and I`d have to know you a long time, before I could get into explaining it in the finest detail, but it is something that mustn`t be just stated as a fact. Its not as simple as that.


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: Al Kooper, Leo Lyons (Ten Years After), Elton Dean, Edgar Broughton, Fat Harry, Stan Tracey, Keef Hartley, Stephen Stills, Jack Lancaster, Juicy Lucy, Heaven, The Moody Blues, Ian McDonald, J.J. Band, Natural Acoustic Band.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Led Zeppelin FROM New Musical Express, April 10, 1976

This is a masterclass in how you slag off an album. Even if you like this album, you must admit that the trashing done by Mr. Murray is utterly great. If I made an album of music that someone didn`t like – this is how I would like to be told. Almost a piece of art this one. Have a nice read!


How a stampede of rogue elephants missed me by inches

By Charles Shaar Murray

Led Zeppelin: Presence (Swan Song)

Zep albums are like Sherman tanks or platoons of charging elephants: stand in front of one of those, baby, and you best believe you`ll know that something`s just run you over.
“Trampled Underfoot” wasn`t just one of the Zep`s most psychotically irresistible wrecking-ball riffs; the title was the keynote to the entire Led Zeppelin experience.
With “Presence”, the hand-brake`s off the steamroller again and someone`s just chewed through the rope that keeps the rogue males corralled; only this time instead of being right behind the eight ball waiting for the apocalypse to come and swallow you whole, you`re sitting pretty up on a nearby hill with a Thermos flask and a bunch of sandwiches wrapped up in wax paper watching the carnage below in relative comfort and worrying about the ants in your socks.
In other words, I thought my razor was dull until I heard this album, and that reminds me of a comparison that`s so specious I`m ashamed to even think of it myself. Lemme explain.
If – strictly for the purposes of argument – we accept the analogy of hard rock as musical incarnation of feisty rough`n tumble streetfighter, then Led Zeppelin are beginning to bear an increasing resemblance to some hard-as-nails ex-Commando unarmed combat instructor who could undoubtedly take out our imaginary street-fighting yobbo in four seconds flat and be calmly picking his teeth by the time his adversary stopped twitching.

In terms of all matters relating to expertise, and even “feel” in its primary sense – for reference, check out all those funk bands who`ve mastered every single known “funk” device but are so well-oiled and precise that they`ve long ago ceased to be funky in the real as opposed to formalised sense – Led Zep can, quite effortlessly, piss from a great height over any competitors within a Marshall stack`s range of them – not that there are that many to begin with.
I mean, nobody has the orgasmic macho bit down anywhere near as well as Mr. Plant. There ain`t a drummer alive with John Bonham`s pace, time or shoulders. I can`t think of a single bass player who could hold down John Paul Jones` gig without fumbling the ball by either trying to get flash or failing to carry the weight.
As for Mr Page… sheeeeeiiiiit! He`s as near to absolute storm centre as you can get without being either a genius (vide Hendrix), a dangerous loony (Beck) or a musical kamikaze pilot (James Williamson of the Stooges, Wayne Kramer and Sonic Smith of the MC5).
The capacity for organisation which is one of Led Zep`s greatest collective strengths – i.e. when it allows them to marshal their admittedly awesome resources to the utmost – carries with it the seeds of their greatest failings:
the radiation of an unmistakable aura of calculatedness which mars totally the spontaneity – or, to be more precise, the illusion of spontaneity – which is essential if a piece of rock and roll is to be anything more than mere weightlifting, if it`s going to transcend calisthenics, or even gymnastics, and achieve the dimension of dance or sex or violence – anything as long as it provides an analogue of something real.

First the good news.
“Presence” is solid, non-stop, copper-bottomed, guitar-bass-and-drums Led Zep rock and roll.
No mellotrons, no acoustic guitars, no boogies-with-Stu, no-hats-off-to-Harper, no funk or reggae piss-takes: just mercilessly methodical two-fisted pounding Led Zep for the entire duration.
Now the bad news.
There ain`t one single candidate for the Led Zep All-Time Killer Hall Of Fame in the whole caboodle.
Right from the beginning the Zeps have been hauling irresistible cranial lightning bolts from out their grab-bag.
From hats of seemingly infinite capacity they`ve conjured sixty-ton rabbits like “How Many More Years”, Communication Breakdown”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Dazed And Confused”, “Moby Dick”, “Thank You”, Immigrant Song”, “Black Dog”, “Rock And Roll”, “Stairway To Heaven”, “Trampled Underfoot”, “Kashmir”, etc., etc.
There`s nothing on this album that leaves any residue after the first play.
The album`s best stroke is “Nobody`s Fault But Mine”, with a waving forest of overdubbed phased guitars, muscular jostling bass and drums and Plant alternately howling over the band and moaning in the pauses – a la “Black Dog”, he added as an afterthought.
It`s credited to Page and Plant, which would come as a considerable surprise to Blind Willie Johnson, who was under the impression that he wrote the song in 1928.
Nick Kent told me one time that when he did his first-ever Jimmy Page interview he raised the point that many alleged Page-Plant songs – notably “Whole Lotta Love”, “Bring It On Home”, “The Lemon Song”, “Black Mountain Side” and “In My Time Of Dying” – are either traditional or else straight lifts from the likes of Willie Dixon; Page got extremely defensive.


As well he might – if Blind Willie were still alive and had a good lawyer, he`d be along to collect his dues.
The royalties that Skip James got from Cream`s “I`m So Glad” – Clapton not only gave him his full composer credit but personally made sure that he got the bread – enabled Skip to die in relative peace and comfort, a fact attested by his widow.
Any rock and roller who steals from a bluesman is an asshole.
I hope Elvis Presley had a few sleepless nights after Arthur Crudup died in poverty without ever seeing one penny in royalties from “That`s All Right Mama”, and I would think that by now Jimmy and Percy could afford to pay Willie Dixon his dues for “Whole Lotta Love” and “Bring It On Home”.
(Anyone desirous of checking out these assertions need look no further than Sonny Boy Williamson`s “Bring It On Home” and a Muddy Waters track called “You Need Love”, which is “Whole Lotta Love” with a slightly different beat, but the same lyric and melody and almost the same riff.)
“Achilles` Last Stand” (presumably a reference to Plant`s temporary cripplehood at the time of writing and recording) gets its head down and charges remorselessly ahead, “For Your Life” is a grunt`n-stutter job in both the vocal and riff depts, “Royal Orleans” is short and sharp, “Nobody`s Fault But Mine” has already done bin dealt with, “Candy Store Rock” hustles and stabs, “Hots On For Nowhere” is vaguely swing-ish (i.e. what Glenn Miller would`ve sounded like if he`d been a murderously heavy four-piece rock band), and “Tea For One” has the pace, feel and licks of a slow blues but isn`t.
Sha da da da da yip yip yip yip mum mum mum mum sha da da da da…

“Presence” falls into the back row of the Zep canon (“Led Zeppelin”, “Led Zeppelin II”, “Led Zeppelin IV” (the runes album) and “Physical Graffiti” being the front-runners and “Led Zeppelin III” and “Houses Of The Holy” being the runners-up).
It represents yet another demonstration of the band`s mastery of form and an all-time low in the content department. Someone (I can`t remember who, but my mother used to keep quoting it to me) once said that genius is ten per cent inspiration and ninety per cent perspiration.
“Presence” is the proverbial ninety-nine and forty-four hundredths perspiration.
Mitigating circumstances: I don`t think anybody else could do anywhere near as well with this material, and I`m sure that Zep can slaughter any rock audience that you or Peter Grant or any promoter currently functioning can assemble with this stuff.
But the sad fact remains that despite the excellence of the playing, singing and production, “Presence” never gets any higher than simply being a demonstration of capabilities and an exercise in style.
However, let`s look on the bright side.
Zeppelin are rock and roll`s greatest ground-to-ground tactical nuclear missile, so let`s not listen to any more cry-baby whining about Britain being a second-class military power.
After all, if the Russkies start any hoohah, we`ll just beam this mutha at Moscow and we`ll have `em begging for mercy before the end of the first side.


A double-page spread for the ad of the album severly shot down by Mr. Murray

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 New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Woody Herman, Howard Schuman and Andy Mackay, Man, Roy Wood, 50`s Rock and Roll, Boxer, Al Jarreau, Bill Wyman, The Bothy Band, Mike Dorane, Billy Connolly, Fats Domino.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.