Led Zeppelin

ARTICLE ABOUT Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) FROM SOUNDS, March 13, 1976

Checking the All-Time stats for my blog I find to my surprise that articles about Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin is not as far up in the total number of views that one would expect. It may be that the Zeppelin fans are so fanatic that they have read it all before, but I expected these articles to be better ranked. I will try again with this article.
Most people visit my blog straight onto my main page, but there are some people clicking directly onto the article, probably because it has been shared by someone. I like that. I like as many readers as possible as I`m doing this for all you music-lovers out there.
So… to give you all more motivation to share my articles I will promise you this: The five bands or artists with the most views on my blog at any given time will be given special attention. Sometimes I skip certain articles, meaning that I don`transcribe them. The five in the lead at any given time will from here on out NOT be skipped, but transcribed for your pleasure EVERY TIME I see them in an issue.
Right now those five are the following bands/artists: Rainbow, Deep Purple, Lemmy, Steve Howe (Yes) and Beck, Bogert & Appice.
Let the sharing games begin! ūüėČ


Technological gypsy

An interview with Jimmy Page

By Jonh Ingham

Here I am, trying to think of a snappy opening and all I think about is Paul McCartney: What`s that man movin` cross the stage? It looks a lot like the one used by Jimmy Page` (mental association of Page at Abbey Road, plugged into a tiny, antiquated looking Vox, except that across the top at the back were a row of knobs jutting from a decidedly new-fangled looking box), and what kind of snappy opening is that?
So, maestro, if you will keep the fanfare low key, we`ll dissolve the visual into the comfortable-rather-than-plush offices of Swan Song Records.
Jimmy Page has been up all night, first meeting with Peter Grant and then viewing videos of Led Zep`s Earls Court performances. (Ah, to have a VCR and friends in high places.) He shrugs off condolences. “Two nights is the norm.”
If some of his dialogue sounds fractured and impressionistic, there are the reasons. Dressed in black pinstripe suit, black shirt buttoned at collar, black boots, he looks incredibly fragile and painfully shy. Shades shield his eyes.
But he is energetic and at the least, loqacious. When he gets fired on a subject, there`s no stopping, talking so precisely and at length that half one`s questions never get asked.
He speaks very quietly in a hypnotic monotone, the words pouring out quickly, fleshing out his dialogue with his hands, or playing with a ring made of a snake wrapped around a thin slice of rich brown agate. On his right hand is a complex gold signet ring with a tiny ruby at the top. Occasionally, his fingers shake.

He doesn`t waste much conversational space, though this isn`t apparent until you check the tape and find a lot said in very little time. The lack of volume causes such concentration that the speed with which he thinks isn`t apparent until played back. It`s very fast.
The reason we are meeting is, of course, the continuing career of Led Zeppelin, rock band. Having decided to work they have maintained a schedule with a vengeance. When Robert Plant`s accident prevented them from performing a world tour the band concentrated on finishing the now legendary film and recording an album.
As Plant continues to recuperate – he`s beginning to run, sports fans – and the band begin to plan a touring schedule they no longer have to worry about those items known in the Biz as `product`, which Mr. Page calls “a pretty strong footing”.
Having written and rehearsed in Malibu, the group recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, the first time they have recorded in a studio since the fourth album, completing an album in three weeks.
“The novelty of that knocks me out. Although we rehearsed there were still two tracks written in the studio. But the overdubs, Robert`s lyrics, the spontenaiety… There`s still the excitement of the basic tracks. It was all finished before Christmas, and then the artwork…”
Ah yes, the artwork. Zeppelin have had a penchant for complicated covers ever since the kaleidoscope adorning the third album. The fourth album went through some five or six different covers. `Houses Of The Holy` was held up for months while the colour was got just right.

And now `Presence`, as the new platter has been entitled, has been held up by what was intended to be a simple cover so nothing could hold it up.
“It always takes so long. It`s amazing, they`ll have the artwork as a yardstick and send back two alternatives, neither of which are like the original. You know that once it becomes a matrix number, God help you. All you can hope for is to hold onto the quality through the initial pressing, because you know that in two or three years someone will give you a copy to sign and all the colours will be off, the centrepieces will be too short…”
As to what the album sounds like, reports vary. Some say it has a heads down dedication to rock and roll, while others reckon that the diversity shown on `Physical Graffiti` is explored even further. Jimmy poetically confuses the matter even more.
“It was recorded while the group was on the move, technological gypsies. No base, no home. All you could relate to was a new horizon and a suitcase. So there`s a lot of movement and aggression. A lot of bad feeling towards being put in that situation.
Also, we`re playing more as a band than any LP before. Everybody`s playing in such a way as to bring out everybody else. I`m really happy with it, and I`m not usually that optimistic about them because I`ve lived every mistake over and over.
“There`s so many things that have come out from those conditions of having to finish it in a certain time. I was amazed at the inventiveness, the fact that no overdubs were wasted. …Just totally taking chances, experimentation, and they seemed to work. Everything seemed to be on our side, to flow out.

“There`s a blues that`s so held back. Seven minutes long and at no point does anyone blow out. That`s one of the solos I thought I`d never get out. Everyone`s been doing blues since 1964. `It`s going to fall into clich√®s or it`s going to be too jazzy,` but everything worked okay. So things like that really encourage me.”
The group originally moved their recording environment to country houses in an attempt to extend the environment that had surrounded them writing at Bron-Y-Aur cottage in Wales, so that you could record sitting around the fire, and if the logs crackle, what does it matter? “No-one`s going to hear – probably think it`s the needle or something.”
Also, on early records you could hear the acoustic qualities of the rooms it had been recorded in, but starting in the mid Sixties there began to be an illusion of the room`s acoustics, the sound being very dry with lots of overdubs, echo added afterwards to give perspective.
“I wanted to get away from all that and try and create the sound of the room, and space. The only clear example I can give is `When The Levee Breaks`, where it sounds on the surface as though it`s very simple until you start to listen to what`s happening.”
But the crucial factor, regardless of the environment, is to get a good `live` drum sound, with harmonics aplenty.
“There can`t be anything worse for a drummer than going into the control room knowing he`s got a great sound in the studio and hearing cardboard boxes. Keeping the front of the bass drums on, that sort of thing – not many people do that, it`s the mike inside and lots of blankets.

“It`s a pretty unorthodox way of recording, actually. Sticking the mike up three flights of stairs to get the drums… The depth.” he laughs. “That`s one of the secrets.”
Most of the group`s songwriting is handled by Plant and Page, though there is no set method.
“Of late the music`s been coming first – little bits that I`ve orchestrated, an instrumental that gets a vocal. Or we sit down together, tinkling around. And then there`s 1-2-3-4 and we`ve gotten through two verses before we realise it. That`s the rock and roll. Counting it in and suddenly… whew.
“So there are those with a lot of personal thought and those that just jump out, so there`s a lot of different aspects. I`ve heard that Elton just writes music to lyrics he`s been given.”
He shakes his head. The phone on the coffee table rings. He looks at it, irritated.
“When things develop as a group they start off instrumental, Robert`s there, singing anything that`s coming to mind, the same way you`re playing anything that`s coming to mind. I guess at that point he`s another instrument, and then he moulds the feeling that he finds is relating, and crystalises it. He kicks them over as well. He`s very conscientious about that.”
The phone rings again before he can get a word in edgewise. In one quick movement he grabs the receiver and flings it against the wall, clattering to the floor. The other telephone next to it rings a second time. Jimmy laughs, beaten by technology.

“I contributed lyrics on the first three LPs. After `Stairway` I realised he`d come such a long way on his level, and everyone else was improving on their level, I thought I`d just concentrate on what I was doing. I`ve had lyric books and lost them, so it`s like the writing on the wall. And why not? Robert writes damn good lyrics.”
Page started producing via his fascination with technology. Sound interested him, the changing of an instrument from what it should sound like via effects like echo and phasing, at a time long before it was the norm.
“It`s the challenge of it, being able to come up with all these sounds.”
I mentioned that Led Zep and technology seem synonymous with 50,000 watts and a cord plugged into the wall.
“Well that surprises me.”
Yeah? I was surprised he was surprised. `Kashmir`, which is not Led Zep in the way that `Trampled Underfoot` is sonic attack Led Zep, still comes over as an awesome explosion propelled at majestic earblast volume. Only I didn`t get that far, because I used that classic definitive phrase `heavy metal`.
Jimmy interjected immediately.
“Well what do you class as heavy metal then?”
I reeled off a few titles that owed their livelihood to Alexander Graham Bell.
“Yeah, it depends what your classification is. We`re using dynamics – we can be really loud at one point and drop to a whisper at another. I can`t relate that to other groups I`ve heard who get to a solo and just ride, the same thing right through. Perhaps it`s our dramatics which is coming out.

“We`ve got volume for effect, plus when we play in America in really giant places and you just have to have that power to reach those people in the back, because they`ve taken the trouble to – well, the stories you hear about just getting tickets, let alone anything else. They`ve taken the trouble to go and they may be at the very back but they`ve made the same effort as the people down front, so you have to present them with as much as you can, which means being able to hear it.”
It didn`t occur to me at the time to ask, since he obviously didn`t consider Zeppelin heavy metal, how he felt being classified as the progenitor of the genre.
“We hadn`t toured America in over a year, and those stadium dates were the first two: Atlanta (52,000) and Tampa (59,000). They all came down – “You`ve broken this record and that record` – we`d virtually stepped off a plane. My God, what`s happening? Especially Tampa, Florida. I get really nervy before I go on anyway. A bag of nerves until
I`m into about two numbers.”
Zep seems one of the few super bands that seem to enjoy working live as well as recording, though Jimmy sees them as completely separate aspects.
“We try and change – no, that`s not right. It changes every night. A lot of it is done on signals; if we`re building up to a crescendo and stop and it`s just one instrument, slow cascading passage, a lot of that is just on signals, and spontenaiety. You might hit some really magic bits and everyone is really working together, and it`s not on record. You`re not frozen in time. Captured.

“Whereas when you`re recording it doesn`t have the vibrancy, because you haven`t built up this magnetic feedback between you and the audience. But you`ve still got the spontenaiety, if you manage to hit it, and sometimes it`s hard work, but when you`re out there and really enjoying yourself, then it`s really rewarding. Both aspects are as exciting and unpredictable.”
What maintains Page`s interest as a musician now is the mathematics of music, studying harmonies and melodies and within them chord structures and patterns and how they`re built and interlock and can be linked.
“I got into it knowing there was this gigantic devotion to the study of ragas, because it`s seven years before you even play one. Just doing scales and so on, practising 12 hours a day every day. Knowing that, I wanted to get into what they were actually having to commit to memory, what the problems were to overcome. There were things like splitting half-notes, not into quarter notes but into so many degrees. All this started to really fascinate me, knowing that in these ragas they use one scale ascending and another descending, and that instilled in your memory, you don`t even have to think about it. And time signatures…
“I started to pay attention to tablature and really get involved with the technical aspect of everything. It`s interesting… I wish I`d thought that when I started!”


What was it then, trying to string a couple of licks together? But the vision of 11 year old Jimmy Page playing a cardboard guitar in front of the mirror was not to be corroborated.
“Yeah, well, you know… Until suddenly you realise the scope of the thing and what you`ve got to do to pull it off.”
He also professes to be “dabbling” with synthesisers, having completed a soundtrack for Kenneth Anger`s film `Lucifer Rising`.
Anger, a noted American experimental film maker who gained noteriety 12 years ago with a bike film called `Scorpio Rising`, and more recently with `Invocation Of My Demon Brother`, a short, intense, ritualistic film with a jagged, rough, almost naive synthesiser soundtrack by Mick Jagger that had a quite disturbing effect, began `Lucifer Rising` ten years ago. But friend and confidant Bobby Beauseloil (later a friend of Charlie Manson) stole large portions of the footage. (What was left eventually became `Invocation`.) Now he is shooting it again, a feature length film. With the first 20 minutes finished, he asked Page for his services.
“With a synthesiser every instrument is different from what it`s meant to sound like, which is especially interesting when you get a collage of instruments together not sounding the way they should and you think, (excited) `What`s that?` That`s the effect I wanted to get, so you didn`t immediately realise it was five instruments playing together. Because Anger`s visuals have a timeless aspect.

“The important thing with `Invocation` was that the visuals and music were like that-“. He interlocks his hands tightly. “And the music couldn`t really exist on its own. That`s how I wanted this music to be, but I wanted to hold up and keep the attention without people actually listening to it.
“The film`s pacing is absolutely superb. It starts so slow, and after say four minutes it gets a little faster and the whole thing starts to suck you in. The thing was, I only saw clips, and 20 minutes is a long time, and he put the music onto the visual – I know he didn`t do any edits because I saw the piece with different music – and things just worked out in synch. Like certain bits match certain actions. It`s so well crafted, and this undercurrent of everything working independently.
“It`s just so arresting. I had a copy and while I was in the States I hooked it up to a big stereo and frightened the daylights out of everyone.” He laughs softly.
“I was on the sixth floor and there were complaints from the twelfth. There`s a real atmosphere and intensity. It`s disturbing because you know something`s coming. I can`t wait for it to come out.”
Which conveniently brings us to the long overdue Zeppelin film, based around a 1974 Madison Square Garden concert, fantasy and documentary sequences lifting it out of the arena. It is now in the credits stage, and will be released sometime this summer. Although it may be considered a documentary it is more a musical.

“It`s so time consuming. It`s a horrible medium to work in. It`s so boring! So slow! Just shooting the fantasy sequence. `Can you do it again so we can get a different angle? Can you do it again?` I`m not used to that. It`s a silly attitude, okay, but nevertheless… The Anger things is completely different. Working with him is a unique experience.”
We`re interrupted by a phone call for Jimmy. When he returns we start talking about his love for travel.
“The complete shock of change of environment. The whole… what`s the word? I refuse to say vibe… The total experience and the impression it has upon you. The smell of a place, the linguistics, the general atmosphere. The difference of the music there – but I`ve put a lot of work into those sort of things anyway before getting there. It`s like an excuse to see how things apply, musically anyway.
“The attitude of people, too. When you get to a place where there haven`t been too many white people… Suspicion, overcoming that, and the hospitality. Arabs will open up their house to you; lay on these huge meals and you`re just blown away by the spectacle of it. Robert finds it especially stimulating for lyrics. And musically for me it`s ideal.
“If I had only got to a certain stage in playing and not gotten into that situation where you keep progressing with things I`d have definitely gone into field recordings.

“I`m obsessed – not just interested, obsessed – with folk music, street music, the parallels between a country`s street music and its so-called classical and intellectual music, the way certain scales have travelled right across the globe. All this ethnological and musical interraction fascinates me. Have you heard any trance music? That`s the thing.”
As it happens, someone wanting to record the Pan Festival at Joujouka in Morocco had played me a tape, a wildly hypnotic, timeless music accompanied by bright images of dancing and village life. Brian Jones recorded there, though it was merely a recreated festival.
“I don`t know how much they put into it. He got what he wanted. But I don`t know if he saw certain spectacles. Like they`ll be dancing in total trance state, one will smash a bottle over his head, and you know, skull, blood everywhere,and the next day, not a trace.”
Have you seen these things yourself?
“Well, I`ve witnessed one particular night that was very odd. But it`s not distressing, it`s refreshing, because it makes you re-evaluate everything. You know that you`re seeing a facade. What`s underneath it? What`s really going on? I`ve heard just so many stories of what people have seen. They`re not lying.
“For instance, there`s a man towards the south (of Morocco), in fact a holy man, but he`ll invite you to mint tea, and while he`s standing there mint grows up around his toes and feet and he picks it, makes tea and a small animal eats the stalks and it`s gone.”

As he tells you this his face lights up like a small boy with a big secret.
“I haven`t seen that, no, but the person who had and told me had no reason to lie. I`ve witnessed other things which I don`t care to discuss. I think if a person`s into it they`re the kind of things he`ll experience himself rather than having it related to him.”
When did you first get into altered states of consciousness and so forth?
“What, in relation to music? When I heard `Jerusalem` when I was about five years old and I wondered what the feeling was that was going on.”
Suddenly, he makes a connection.
“Yeah, yes, that`s what it`s all about! That`s just a mundane sort of thing you relate to and you start taking that on and on and on, you start relating that to particular themes, vibrations in music, things like mantras, and keep going, further and further… There`s a lot to learn.
“I don`t want to get too dippy about all this. If you take the view of the scientist and everything is in a state of vibration, then every note is a vibration, which has a certain frequency, and you know that if you put 40 beats into a frequency it`s going to be the same note every time.
“You take that into infrasound and people can be made to be sick, actually killed; taking it the other way, not to be too depressing, what about euphoria, etc., and what about consciousness being totally… No, I won`t go into that one. Time warps.”

We discuss various ethnic musics.
“What I`ve heard recently is festival music from the Himalayas.”
Have you been there?
Longingly: “No… It must be frustrating to look into Tibet. See the prayer flags and not be able to step over.” He laughs.
He mentions that during their aborted world tour they had planned to record in places like India, Bangkok, to try and infiltrate the hustle and bustle, the general noise… Playing also with local musicians.
“Obviously, you get interesting results, from anything, and anything new always gives me a charge.”
As he says, only George Harrison has tried the idea, with `Wonderwall`; he also mentions his trip with Robert to Bombay, recording some of their numbers with a local orchestra, and how it threw such a new perspective on their work.
We return to the subject of control through sound. The United States is developing an anti-riot weapon that hits you with a strong jolt of exactly 60 cycles, a frequency (as Eno discovered empirically) that makes mincemeat out of your bowel muscles.
“The euphoric state is taking it the other way – there has to be all these aspects. Not only things that create misery but things that create – Ah! That is the powerful weapon to use, not a weapon that makes you shit yourself but something that creates euphoria, and when they get that you`re fucked. They give you a dose of that and you won`t even know you`ve got it. I`ve obviously been listening to some Dick Barton films.”

He became interested in parapsychology and altered states at about 11.
“Reading about different things that people were supposed to have experienced, and seeing whether you could do it yourself. And sometimes, yeah, but I didn`t understand a lot until I grew up.”
It was at this time, too, that he discovered Aleister Crowley.
“But I couldn`t understand what he was getting at until years afterwards. It kept nagging me, I couldn`t fully grasp what he was getting at.
“I feel he`s a misunderstood genius of the twentieth century. Because his whole thing was liberation of the person, of the entity, and that restriction would foul you up, lead to frustration which leads to violence, crime, mental breakdown, depending on what sort of makeup you have underneath. The further this age we`re in now gets into technology and alienation, a lot of the points he made seem to manifest themselves all down the line.
“His thing was total liberation and really getting down to what part you played. What you want to do, do it. Anyway, that`s a minor part, just one of the things they couldn`t come to terms with. Saying there would be equality of the sexes. In an Edwardian age that`s just not on. He wasn`t necessarily waving a banner, but he knew it was going to happen. He was a visionary and he didn`t break them in gently.

“I`m not saying it`s a system for anybody to follow. I don`t agree with everything, but I find a lot of it relevant and it`s those things that people attacked him on, so he was misunderstood.”
Finally, there is the question of why a three hour live saga instead of a cataclysmic 90 minutes?
“The intention was to cut back in the January-February tour of America. `What are we doing? We`re mad, three hours.` So we attempted to cut it back to two hours, and I don`t know, it just went to three hours again.” He chuckles.
“Not having a set pattern is what does it. That way it`s such an invigorating catalyst at times, because everybody feels that way and somebody starts doing something and everybody smiles and away it goes off into another thing altogether. And you`ve got to keep thinking fast – when it`s working well it`s really great, four people building something, changing gear without crunching them.”
Oh by the way, have you found your angel with a broken wing?
He stumbles on the reply, reckons the question was below the belt, and settles on the simplest reply.


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 ‚Äď 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: Evelyn Thomas & Ian Levine, Shaun Cassidy, Alan White, Cate Brothers, Julie Tippetts, Adam Faith, Pat Travers, Deep Purple, Jesse Winchester, Phil Collins.

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.

ARTICLE ABOUT Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, February 14, 1976

I`ve said it before and I`ll say it again: I really like the way this journalist let the interview objects speak to us readers without a lot of interruptions. Even if there is a lot of talk about corners at the end of this.
Have a good read!


Sensitive Plant pines for British soil

And occasionally New Jersey Shoulder to cry on by St. Laurent of Paris

Reporter: Lisa Robinson

Robert Plant was acting like he didn`t care.
But when I started to tell him what Mick Jagger had said about him, I detected a strong glimmer of interest in his eyes.
“Mick`s been so nice,” Robert said.
He brings you up all the time, I insisted, in a pleasant chiding way of course, things like “should I get a tambourine like Robert Plant.” And more in that vein.
“Actually,” says Plant, “I remember talking to Mick at the Plaza one night, about the sort of separatism, or lack of communication between one rock band and another.
“You know in the old days there was a constant sort of jousting for position, a definite ego number that was apparent all the way up to a certain point. I guess I realized talking to him that there isn`t all this clanship and unity between bands in this rock and roll scene.
“Then, when this accident happened, there was a giant rally round from a lot of people who I never think of that often, you know?
“Wishes and regards sent to Maureen, to us both. From people on all levels of the business, you know.
“It was a really great gesture, it brought a new validity to it somehow, just a great surge of energy. Just at the time that we were both pulling out of the worst of the accident. It was an enlightening thing.
“Maybe in times of need you do get this sort of camaraderie…”

It is obvious that the near fatal car accident suffered by Robert Plant and his family last summer in Greece has affected his life profoundly.
Whether he talks of Led Zeppelin, their new album “Presence”, possible plans for touring, or his wife and children, an awareness of what life means to him since that experience is always at the very front of his mind.
Discussing his “tax exile” status Plant was bitter. Then again, he related it to his situation.
“I really cannot believe the criticism that I`ve had hurled against me, the remarks made by people about leaving my wife when she was in hospital… all that. It`s a very sad situation, you know, to have to leave one`s own country for the sake of money.
“It makes good sense, obviously. That is the motivation for 99 1/2 per cent of the people who have done it. With me well, not only did I want to preserve some of the reward for what I`ve worked like hell for – what I sit racking my brains to try and create – but it was almost the principle of the thing.
“The government in England is almost saying, `Well, never mind, they`ll come back you know… they`re English and they`ll come home`.
“And the loneliest times… just to know that you`re a prisoner… it`s really more sad than any accident to be thrust out of your own country. If the government tried to work out a reasonable deal… but they`re adamant, and sure that `they`ll come back`. And they`re damn right… the number of times we have come so close to getting on a plane and going home. The spirit of Albion is really imbedded in everybody`s soul.”

Robert talked longingly of his farm: “That little farm is a lot of my life, and so are the two little seeds that run around it. So those are the saddening moments… but it really is the principle. If the government could lead a renovation, under reasonable terms I`d have no qualms about going back and saying okay, let`s make a deal. And I know everybody else feels the same. But it`s just this attitude of gotta get it all, gotta fill me pockets. Which is not where I`ve ever been at despite a few rather uneducated people commenting that that is all. So…I suppose when I do go home it`ll be Hallelujah and I shall kiss the soil again.”
The last time Led Zeppelin “performed” anywhere was in Jersey, at an impromptu gig egged on by Bonzo, and Plant says it was great.
“You see the possibility of playing and who can avoid it, you know? It was like rock and roll night at this dance hall that was like some place ten years gone by, in the best old English tradition.
“Guys with dickey bows and evening jackets ready to bang your head against a wall if you stepped out of line, and chairs and tables lined up in escalation. Chicks wearing suspenders and stockings and a lot of rock and roll.
“Bonzo said `C`mon man, let`s plan on going`. And I said, `look man, I can`t even walk for God`s sake, don`t embarass me. I can`t hobble across the dance floor and onto the stage.” He said we`d go through the side door and then up the back steps. And with amazing grace, that`s what I did and I found myself plunked on a stool. But I really was shy.

“Every time I went to hit a note, I stood up. Not putting any weight on my foot, but just sort of standing. Oh, there were some great photos.
“You know these guys in holiday areas with the cameras who come and take your photo and then you have to call midday the next day and show up at the pier where he will present you with whatever snaps he took the night before, and you find out how silly you looked or how drunk you in fact were for an extortionate price?
“I gave the guy a free hand to shoot like crazy, you know… shoot all these shots of Led Zeppelin in this antiquated ballroom, you know, backing this pianist. And we never even announced it. It was such an exciting experience, nobody even sat down. It was just rock and roll, but in the most basic sense of the word, it was great.
“Of course,” he continued, “I made sure that I sat almost behind Bonzo, wedged between the drums and the piano… but then I found myself edging forward just a little bit. Then, after the third number, I was wiggling the stool, past the drums and further out, you know. And it was like another flash of white light. It was great, really good. Except for we wouldn`t stop playing. They kept flashing the lights inside the place and really like, `Get them off the stage now, they`ve done enough`.
“I just talked to old Ralphsie – Mick from Bad Company – and they played the same gig.
“So this tiny weeny little dance hall is getting the pride of English musicianship for nothing. Just for the hell of playing, you know.”


Talking about how Zep came to do their new album in a mere (count `em) 18 days, Robert recalled: “I moved to Sunset Strip because the trek to rehearsals from Malibu was a bit long. And I got bored with the Hyatt (Hotel) in a shorter amount of time than it normally takes, so I knew I must be getting better.
“Then I hopped on a plane and went to Germany. After getting used to it, the studio turned out to be okay, and as soon as we came to an understanding with the machinery and the equipment, we were off.
“I think we only went out twice; we were really too tired to do anything but put our heads down. It was like 14 hours a night, 18 days.
“Jimmy worked like a Trojan, no two ways about it. It`s his energy that got this album together so quick. I mean I was not really in any physical condition to hop around with gusto inspiring the situation greatly… although I was surprised the vocals were so good. The lyrics were coming thick and fast, presenting no problems at all.
“I had no second thoughts about the lyrics, they were all reflections on the time near and before the accident and that time afterwards, that contemplative thing, so I was very determined lyrically and vocally, but Jimmy put his energy into it. He worked so hard, and the guitar playing on this album surpasses anything I`ve heard for ages and ages. Brilliant, so much life in it. It`s like hallelujah and we`re back.
“There`s one song called “Achilles Last Stand” – you know, immortal but for the heel, or for being a heel, I don`t know which. No, I mustn`t joke about it, because I am very proud of it.

“There`s one song I wrote when I was very sad and missing Maureen in Malibu, and it`s very personal. You know times go very slowly when you get up every day and you can`t even kick a ball… run and kick a roadie… even kick your drummer. So time has been the teacher and I`ve been the pupil.
“Whew, that was heavy, did I really say that?”
`Fraid so, Robert.
“It`s hard to find the words to say it, but the whole experience of doing that album was very inspiring. It`s come from a different corner altogether of us, I think it`s come from that corner called survival.
“The only time that I wondered that it might not be there anymore was because of the physical. Only because there was a time when my soul was so covered by that cloud that I really didn`t know… what`s the point… but that only lasted a few seconds every day until it finally wore off. I mean I believe that we could start another album right now. Three weeks is amazing to record and mix and walk away.”
We change the subject – the Zeppelin movie. Does Plant have aspirations to the silver screen? The next Roger Daltrey?
“To be quite honest, I don`t think that I could… I mean for us, with that movie, it was basically the gig that was filmed…”
But what about the other stuff? You riding around on a horse and all?
“How dare you… me riding around on a horse… what do you think I`m doing, advertising men`s hairdressing or something like that?”

“Well… if I act onstage, I mean it`s not a sort of dance macabre, it`s not something premeditated. It`s just an extension of me, you know. But the whole process of being involved in any sort of serious filming bores me to tears. I mean just seeing those clips, adverts for films here makes me think. When we deliver something, we do it with as much as we`ve got. If we sink to the floor after that next note, or get dizzy reaching such a high pitch, or all the dogs start barking in Brooklyn… you know, only they can hear it folks… But you know what I mean, just to sort of waddle around with a script in front of a camera, I couldn`t possibly do. The interjections between the music on the film are just enough to give it the relish it requires.”
As for future plans, Plant said that he didn`t think Zeppelin would be doing anything on our shores for at least twelve months once he was able to go back home.
“Well, as much as I can be on the road ad infinitum, I really can`t be without Maureen and the kids and the farm and that whole thing back there which I love. I`ve really got to go back. I`m not at the sort of desperation point, but it`s only fair to tour when you`ve had a lot of that which inspires you to lift yourself above… You`ve got to go home to get a little bit of fire in you to go back again. It`s like going back to your corner.”
How long?
“Well, who knows, you know. I mean I`d been away a year when I went home. I was so pleasantly thrilled and intoxicated by the atmosphere and everything. It must be the same for everybody, it must be the same for Mick, for Elton. You can only come out of your corner giving something wholesome and brilliant or good or whatever if you`ve been back in your corner to sort of shuffle around and sort of fire yourself up again.”
Twelve months?
“Well, you can look at it two ways. You can say that, but then you can say is twelve months long enough to be at home after everything I`ve been through? I could do with just sitting down with my family and just thanking the gods that I`ve got one, that I`m part of one. That doesn`t mean that I`ve lost the grease at the bottom of my shoes, it means that I`ve got to go back to my corner for a little while.”


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits ‚Äď 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: Queen, Tony Iommi, The Fania All-Stars, David Bowie, Sailor, Gay and Terry Woods.

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.


It is nice to re-print some album reviews featuring what is now considered classic albums. Here is one more…enjoy!

IMG_0965 (1)

Kiss your skull goodbye…

Led Zeppelin: “Physical Graffiti” (Swan Song)

Review by Steve Clarke

If you take Led Zeppelin`s fourth album to be the definitive Zep album in the same way that “Sticky Fingers” is the definitive¬†Stones` album – and I know that`s a contentious point – then “Physical Graffiti”, in the same way can be seen as Zeppelin`s¬†“Exile On Main Street”, (and I don`t just mean that they`re both double albums).
Both the fourth Zeppelin album and “Sticky Fingers” saw each band hitting highs it seems unlikely they`ll ever be able to¬†transcend.
Isn`t “Wild Horses” the ultimate Stones` ballad, doesn`t “Stairway To Heaven” represent Zeppelin at their most creative in terms¬†of composition and musicianship? And can you see them topping the outrageous riffola of “Black Dog”, or the Stones writing a¬†rocker that out-does “Brown Sugar”?
But “Exile On Main Street” over-flowed with peerless rock `n` roll, while just missing out on the polish that “Sticky Fingers”¬†had. Likewise, with “Physical Graffiti” and “Led Zeppelin 4”; the former does not quite attain the perfection which the best¬†of the earlier album does.

Coming some two years after the fifth (best forgotten) Zeppelin album, “Houses Of The Holy”, “Physical Graffiti” is confirmation¬†that the group have lost none of their inspiration and ability, even if it did take them a long time to deliver.
The first of the two albums never lets up in its brute force right from Jimmy Page`s opening power-chorded riff of “Custard¬†Pie”, the riff itself reminiscent of Page`s work on The Kinks early records, to Side two`s closing “Kashmir”, where the group¬†assume the posture of a giant earnestly stepping on everything in his wake, John Bonham`s drums being truly gargantuan.
It`s not the kind of music you play before breakfast unless you wake up in a particularly aggressive mood.
“Custard Pie” has all the manic Zeppelin energy you`d expect. Page`s riff never lets up throughout the track`s four minutes¬†twenty seconds, a clavinet complementing the riff. On top is added wah-wah, Robert Plant`s mouth-harp, and a guitar solo that¬†unfolds itself from one speaker before enveloping the whole show.
The side`s closing 11-minute plus “In My Time Of Dying” is a dazzling display of the Led Zeppelin rock machine in full flight.

Page`s arrangement of the blues song is spacier than those of the two preceeding cuts, and his playing almost confuses the listener as to whether he`s laying down power chords, or lightning fast slide phrases.
Going through a lot of rhythm changes, the cut showcases Bonham`s bombastic drumming, and Plant`s multi-tracked vocal has been treated so that it`s as if he was singing across a canyon.
Side two continues the skull-crushing with “Houses Of The Holy”, which features a lethal bass sound, and “Trampled Underfoot”¬†where the nagging riff gets too much to handle.
The nine minutes plus “Kashmir” brings the side to a close. The number is built around a phrase played on what is presumably¬†a mellotron that seems to set out to mesmerise the listener.
If the first album hammers your brain into your skull, then the second record`ll let you think again. It`s by far the most¬†imaginative of the two albums, and with numbers like “Down By The Seaside” and “Night Flight” features new facets of Zeppelin.

“Down By The Seaside”, despite its trite lyricism is a fascinating song in an uncharacteristically relaxed mood, even Bonham`s¬†approach being lighter than usual.
Page plays a lot of Leslie-guitar fills, and just when you think the band are going to head off into one of their hell for leather breaks they slip back into the original rhythm with remarkable ease.
The preceding “Bron Yr Aur” is Page`s acoustic, finger-picking number and is likeable enough with a production that allows the¬†guitars to fan from one speaker to the other.
Side three`s opener, “In The Light” is a Zeppelin tour de force however.
Starting out with a sustained moog phrase that sounds like a bag-pipe drone, another lighter and more melodic series of phrases are played on top, again by a moog, Plant`s vocals zoom in before a cast-iron riff appears, introduced by Page Power chords, and then the whole thing develops into prettiness with another keyboard phrase completed by one of Page`s more melodic runs.

And so onto the closing side which opens with an uncompromising rocker “Meet Me In The Morning” expertly sung by Plant with¬†just the right amount of energy, continues with Zeppelin as the archetypal rock riff kings for “The Wanton Song”, before going¬†into what could have been a throwaway jam, “Boogie With Stu” (Ian Stewart`s on piano), but which ends up as enormous fun, the¬†group exposing their blues roots for “Black Country Woman”, a work-out for acoustic guitars, vocals and Bonham`s ludicrous¬†drums where he gets away with some time-defying tricks, before closing with “Sick Again” which again sees the band as a giant¬†rock machine putting down an incessant riff like only they know how.
There you have it, the new album by the band which you, the readers, voted the best in the world. And if that`s what you think, there`s nothing on this album that`s about to change your mind.
Hard rock lives, and how.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own¬†webpages ‚Äď please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Elton John, NME`s Soul Spectacular, Adrian Gurvitz, Budgie, Leo Sayer, Queen.

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 around or upwards of 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.


This is my sixth article with this band, but they were really big in the seventies so I guess there will be even more. What more is there to say? Enjoy!


A skirmish not for squeamish on Starship One…

In which the in-flight entertainment stars Led Zeppelin versus the man from the press

By Lisa Robinson

The limousines are lined up for action outside the Plaza Hotel. So, too, are the girls, notebooks and felt-tips clutched in teenage hands, breaking out into a crescendo of squeals and giggles as Mssrs Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones attempt their getaway.
Zepmania at the Plaza! I love it.
And, of course, there`s the odd policeman or construction worker who slips a grubby little piece of paper through the half -opened¬†limo window…
“For my daughter…she`d kill me if I didn`t get this.” Can you believe that they still use that line?

We`re driving out to Newark where the Starship is parked. John Paul Jones is attempting to reassure me about my flying fears. Jones,¬†by the way, no longer seems so introverted and “reticent”; in addition to beating anyone he can get to play backgammon and/or¬†chess with him on the plane, he`s been mumbling with anticipation about an excursion down to Christopher Street to an establishment¬†called “The Pleasure Chest” which is, for those of you not familiar with New York City landmarks, a lovely little store with¬†a good supply of leather and bondage items. Hmmmm.
He`s promised that we can take photos of said excursion as well. (Come to think of it, one of those little girls outside of the¬†Plaza had a “David Bowie” patch embroidered onto the back of her jeans. I mentioned this; Jones replied; “She`d better not turn¬†around, or she`ll get kicked.” What is this?)
We chat a bit about rock`n`roll touring. “It seems as though the whole business is getting older,” he observes. “It used to be¬†that everyone was sort of around 20…now everyone seems to be veering around 30. Wonder what the energy level will be like¬†in 20 years from now…It`s amazing really, because when I think about it, I`m doing exactly what my father used to do.
“He was a musician, played in a lot of big bands, travelled on the road…strange hotel rooms all the time.”

Bonzo is freezing in the back of the limo. “And I`m wearing a coat made for the Antartic,” he mutters. “Turn up the heat,” Plant¬†complies, and the car quickly becomes a sauna.
Bonzo is still freezing, Robert falls asleep, wakes up and tries to sneak the heat off. “Turn the heat on,” shouts Bonzo, “turn¬†the radio on!” James & Bobby Purify`s “I Wanna Testify” blasts forth. “What`s this?” asks Plant.
We`re stuck in traffic in the Lincoln (or is it the Holland) Tunnel (on the way to Detroit) and no one is smiling.
The starship is the same as last tour; big, maroon/gold mirrors, fur covered bedspreads, TV and videotape machines. It makes the flying easier, but it still gets boring. Jimmy Page and Peter Grant sit in the small sitting room for much of the flight. Jonesy has not been playing the piano bar, he`s been busy with games, and Bonzo usually sits in the front, trying to rest.
The trip to Detroit was particular interesting because on board was a writer from a British national daily. He`s trying to interview Jimmy on the plane and all of a sudden I hear what sounds like dissent.

The conversation goes something like this. Page: “You don`t want to know about my music, or my concerts. You`ll go back and¬†write about how much money we gross and the interior of the plane and that`s it….”
“You`re not supposed to make intelligent remarks,” says the Man From The Press.
“You know,” says Jimmy, patiently, “I don`t just jump up and down onstage…I worked in studio sessions for years…I compose¬†music…”
It`s no use. The antagonism has been established, and will be continued.
As the cars pull into the Detroit Olympia Stadium, thousands of kids are lined up by the stage door.
In the dressing room Jimmy is still fuming: “Can you imagine, that man referred to my guitar playing as a trade?” he asks¬†incredulously. “I didn`t go to vocational school.”
The worst is yet to come.
During Bonzo`s drum solo, when the band retire for a moment`s rest into the dressing room, the Man From The Press attempts to follow.

Richard Cole refuses him entry. “Who are you?”, demands The Man From The Press. “I`m the tour manager,” Cole answers, with the¬†kind of expression his face that If You Knew Richard Like I Know Richard you would know to get going, fast.
“Hotel manager?” Uh-oh.
“No, I`m the bloody tour manager, and the band is having a meeting…I`m sorry, you cannot go inside.”
“I write for ten million people and I won`t have you belittle me in front of a member of my staff….” and so on and so forth.
At this point, I`m not sure who said “you`ll never walk again”, but Cole was decidedly not amused.
Back on the plane, people are mumbling and discussing the situation in small groups of twos and threes. The arrogance of this Pressman is astounding, his femme companion looks nervous, his photographer looks downright terrified.
All of a sudden Jimmy, who`s been resting under a red blanket, comes to life and tries to have a discussion with the reporter. And¬†it becomes apparent that they are discussing…oh no…politics.
“He`s a communist,” Jimmy turns and says with confusion. What?
Robert`s mumbling: “Ten million people read the paper…I don`t think he`s such a bad bloke….Me mum and dad read that paper…it`s a good paper, really….”


Richard Cole is still fuming. Bonzo is shouting, “Will you all shut up, I want some rest!” The remainder of this episode is¬†confusing. A drink is spilled, Robert is trying to be charming, and Jimmy is discussing the way he voted in the last election.
Robert sez to me: “Why don`t you just say `Jimmy Page wrestled with a cub (make sure you say cub) reporter on the subject of¬†British imperialism in India in the 19th Century?”
This went on all the way back to the hotel in the limo, until Jimmy and The Man From The Press eventually shook hands and said no hard feelings.
Anyway, it made for an interesting plane ride.
In between such minor skirmishes (for this one, although it could have become hairy, never really materialized into fisticuffs),¬†time was spent watching videotapes of “Flash Gordon” and “Don`t Knock The Rock”.
In Detroit Plant is really strutting and camping it up onstage. “He`s going to be ready for Las Vegas soon,” comments Peter¬†Grant. “I keep telling him, `Percy, I`ve got Las Vegas lined up for you!`”
An amazing girl with rather large breasts is in the front row; wearing a sequinned one-shoulder top. She keeps shaking her tits¬†at Jimmy…he starts shaking his back at her. A crazed boy is shaking a pint of gin at the stage; the security guards watch¬†closely. Jimmy takes huge slugs out of a Jack Daniels bottle, thus endearing himself to writer Lester Bangs forever.

New York, Madison Square Garden, Maybe it`s `cos it`s my town, but it always seems somehow that this is really the Big One.
The security at the Garden is amazing, and the stage is set up very tight. No room for any hangers on. Robert is looking for¬†the honey for his tea in the dressing room. He`s still having a hard time of it from his cough. Jimmy and I talk about “Lucifer¬†Rising” – the Kenneth Anger film he`s scored. He`s got a print of it in his room and has been blasting it at unbelievable¬†volume.
“I`m sure I`m going to get tossed out of the hotel,” he smiled. It`s a hypnotic, slightly ominous little bit of cinema. I loved¬†it, and Page seems pleased with the way it`s turned out as well.
We hear that the Atlantic Records execs are in the audience; they`re hosting a party later in the Garden`s Penn Plaza Club. People¬†Magazine had that day come out with an article that claimed Led Zeppelin were “bigger than the Beatles”. (I was told that week¬†that John Lennon had heard “Stairway To Heaven” and loved it. “He`s only just heard it?” was Plant`s typical comment.)
“Dazed And Confused” was added to the show for the first time on the tour. Obviously Jimmy`s finger was up to it, after paining¬†him severely on earlier gigs. The lighting during the guitar, violin bow solo was spectacular; all smokey greens and purples,¬†surrounding Page in a very demonic triangle. The green lasers worked well…beaming way out over the heads of the audience.

“This was the best show so far,” says Robert in the dressing room.
And, of course, no Zeppelin show would be complete without the old Cole speedy getaway bit in the limos. Richard`s got them¬†all lined up by the backstage ramp, ready to race out after the second encore (“Communication Breakdown”) back to the hotel¬†for a bit of the old “tarting up” before the party.
Keith Moon`s in Jimmy`s suite, splendid in a striped vested suit, tie and hat.
At the Penn Plaza Club, Andy Warhol sits in a corner with his entourage. Steve Paul is at a round table with his entourage, and we hear that Diane Keaton and William Burroughs had been there earlier.
Jimmy Page was quickly joined by an enthusiastic Amanda Lear (“I`m in love,” she trilled to me the very next day).

After the Montreal gig, Zeppelin were due to have attended a party back in New York for the Jackson Five; but we returned too¬†late…way past the J-5`s bedtime.
It wasn`t past David Bowie`s bedtime though, for he sat with Ava Cherry in Robert Plant`s hotel suite listening to an Alphonse Mouzon elpee. David looked thinner than ever but ravissant (actually, he looks like Lillian Gish) in a green fur midi coat, orange hair, translucent skin, and a felt hat, and he chatted a bit with John Paul Jones, who laughed and said he`s known him forever.
Peter Grant said there were more people in Zep`s entourage than the business J. Tull was doing in L.A. (this, in response to challenges by the Tull people as to their boys doing more business).
As I left, I asked Bonzo if he did anything special with his drums during his solo; putting them through a phaser or such…”It`s¬†all magic,” he replied, “don`t you see me playing with little black wands?”

Did not find their single on YouTube. Love their album title!

Did not find their single on YouTube. Love their album title!

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own¬†webpages ‚Äď please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Paul Kossoff (Free), Pete Kleinow, Caravan,¬†Montrose, Peter Hammill, Blue √Ėyster Cult, Alice Cooper, Lenny Bruce, Eric Clapton, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Millie Jackson,¬†Richard Digance, Bev Bevan (ELO), Gene Vincent, Charley Pride.

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 around or upwards of 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.


This article was published just weeks before the release of “Physical Graffiti”, their sixth studio album and the one with “Kashmir” on it. And you better not tell me that you haven`t heard that song… This album is among a lot of music critics regarded¬†as one of the very best in the history of rock. Here is a report from the¬†start of their tour in the USA, where they later sold eight million copies of the aforementioned double-album, awarding it¬†16x platinum in 2006.
Enjoy this report from the frontlines.


“Karen Carpenter couldn`t last ten minutes with a Zeppelin number.”

Does this statement look interesting to you? It DOES? Then you must be a LED ZEPPELIN fan. Hi there! And welcome to our centre spread. Your tour-guide this week is LISA ROBINSON and sandwiches will be provided at half-price.

Last time I was in Chicago was in 1969 when I stayed with The Stooges at the Skid Row Holiday Inn.
Chicago. They say they do things they don`t do on Broadway, but I doubt it.
Led Zeppelin are holed up in the fadingly elegant Ambassador East Hotel (“fadingly elegant” means that the telephones don`t¬†work) where the main attractions are the chi-chi Pump Room and the Buttery Disco.
The hotel brochure describes the Buttery as “The (new) Buttery, dramatic NOW (sic) discotheque, for the smart young set, is¬†an after dark magnet. Compelling music for dancing and listening seven nights a week lures the chic and the celebrated. That¬†blazing aggregation, “The J. B. Polks” headlines the show Tuesday through Sat. from 9 until ?”.
John Bonham put on a suit to go and check the place out one night and returned five minutes later. “So much for that,” he said.

The hotel is boring and pretty calm, but Zep`s presence is felt. Although the celebrated Mr. Onoko (the man who hid in the jungle for 30 years) is staying here, the guards discreetly lurking here and there are for the band. Just in case.
It`s pretty early in the day, but Robert struts and preens around his expansive suite, happy and ever-willing to pose for photos.
“Don`t count them all as my taste,” he warns, as I rifle through the LPs scattered on his coffee table. Margie Joseph, Aretha¬†Franklin, Danny O`Keefe, Otis Redding, The Guess Who.
“Except for Danny O`Keefe and The Guess Who. The Guess Who are great.” He twinkles. “Really. They`re my favourite group right¬†now. I mean, that guy who used to be the singer – we-e-ell, I just thought he was doing Robert Plant imitations. But the one¬†now is terrific.
“What happened to the other guy? Randy who? BTO? Oh yeah? Are they a big group here?
“Excuse me,” he grins, fondling his crotch just a bit.
Ohmigod! Ahem. The tour, Robert.

“I`ll tell you. At that Chislehurst Caves function I realised I really missed the unity of the four of us. I realised that above¬†everything else, above record companies, above films, we were Led Zeppelin – above everything.
“From that moment on we started rehearsing, and getting into full gear. Some of the new tracks already sound better than they¬†do on the album. They`re really building.
“So once again we recorded at just the right time – because everybody felt the same way. We worked really hard, we worked ourselves¬†almost into the ground. I mean, despite the fact that we don`t see each other every day and that Bonzo lives right down the¬†road and half the time he`s at Hereford Market selling bulls, it still seems that at the right time we got together and we write¬†something that keeps us all satisfied – musically.
“I love the album. There are some real humdinger, roaring tracks on it – and then there are some others that are going to take¬†a while…and then people will see.”

Last time we spoke you mentioned something about this disc being a bit more, um, groinal.
“Well,” he smiles, “some of the lyrics are a bit more `groinal`, if we can start using that phrase.”
I like it.
“It is nice, isn`t it? Wonder what it means?
“I know what Nick Kent said about the stuff we can `do in our sleep.` And I can transpose that from his rather campish pen –¬†obviously half the time he uses invisible ink – but that track “Wanton Song”…he`s right. This is what Zeppelin has been all¬†about, which is so groinal…
“We`re really playing well now, we`re quite mature, you know. We can play stuff like `Black Dog` – which is the Zeppelin that¬†comes out of our ears – but we can also alter the mood with things like `Kashmir` or `The Song Remains The Same` or `No Quarter`¬†where the mood changes so beautifully.
“In a big auditorium that`s so fabulous – to take the mood and change the whole thing.”

“I was really nervous before the first gig,” Plant confesses, suddenly. “We`re always so nervous. I dunno why – I think it`s¬†because we`re so self-critical.
“As we walked up to the stage that night Jimmy turned to me and said `This is really deja vu, you know?`, we have been here¬†before…as the heart went into the mouth.
“And of course, if Jimmy gets sick or anything goes wrong with him it affects me too.”
What are you looking forward to most on this tour?
“Oh dear. Well. I`ve already had the biggest turn-on I could imagine, and that was going to watch Buddy Guy and Hound Dog Taylor¬†last night. I mean, really – the blues isn`t dead. Al Green is great, but underneath all the shim-shim, there`s a town called¬†Chicago…and Buddy Guy is still fantastic.
“You know you`re getting to where the music is when the FBI guy in the front seat locks his car door…You can just sit there¬†and literally shiver listening to that man, and he`s playing a cafe and his amplifier is on top of a pinball machine.”
And the old road fever?
“You`re talking to The New Robert Plant. My perspective has changed on a lot of things. I`ve been through so many tours that¬†now I see that there are ways and means of making it more enjoyable without having to rush into anything or burning yourself¬†out. If there`s any raping or looting about…well, it`s done with good taste, I suppose…
“We still manage to entertain ourselves like a right young bunch of executives.”

“I`d like to have it publicised that I came in after Karen Carpenter in the Playboy drummer poll,” roars John Bonham as I enter¬†the dressing room before the first show.
“She couldn`t last ten minutes with a Zeppelin number,” he sneers.
Bonzo`s leaning back against the couch wearing a splendid suede patchworked winter coat Рbought new in Chicago out of necessity. Only John Paul Jones came prepared for the weather, bringing along a maroon fur the same colour as was his wife`s hair last tour.
Jones is still fairly reticent Рbut he smiles more now, so I go up to him in the bathroom where he`s combing his carefully tailored hair (long, spikey sideburns and ducktailed in the back) and ask him why he doesn`t do interviews.
“Awh…they want to interview the stars, not the rhythm section.”
Can I quote that?
“No! My first quote in six years? It isn`t going to be that.”
“Did it sound snide?”
No, it`s funny.
“Oh,” he says, disappointed. “It was supposed to sound snide.”
Of course, personal manager Richard Cole is there. Backstage, as everywhere, he sees everything.

Although he speaks with a bit of longing about getting on to New York and the Oyster Bar (“Oh, they`ll see me coming. Here`s¬†old golden pen again…”), right now he`s keeping careful watch on the backstage area of the Chicago Stadium.¬†Someone dreadful approaches. “Do you remember me from 1973?” the boy asks. “I was very close with John Paul…”
Richard`s eyes roll towards the heavens. He doesn`t want to know.
Rapidly, he hands the kid two tickets – the most polite way of telling anyone to piss off I`ve ever witnessed.
Three girls race in, chilled by the freezing cold.
“RICHARD, RICHARD!!” they squeal. “Thank GOD you`re here!”
And – with remarkable finesse, Cole smiles, hands them three tickets, and sends them on their way – all in the time it`s taken¬†him to mutter “Oh, Christ” under his breath.
Zeppelin just couldn`t do a tour without him. It`s that simple.

The group goes onstage to the roar of 20,000 kids. “Rock And Roll” bursts forth, followed by the new “Sick Again”.
By the time the band have got into “Over The Hills And Far away,” it seems that something`s wrong.
“We`ve got a couple of predicaments,” Plant apologises. “First, my inability to come to terms with the climate – and second,¬†our guitarist broke his finger.” (More on that later.)
“When The Levee Breaks”, “The Song Remains The Same,” and “Rain Song” take us to the new and obviously powerful “Kashmir”. By¬†the time they`ve done “In My Time Of Dying” and “Stairway”, the kids are responding hysterically enough to demand two encores:¬†“Black Dog” and “Communication Breakdown”.
Here, the tour de force of the elaborate and impressive lighting system comes in to play. The band`s return is to the accompaniment¬†of the legend “LED ZEPPELIN” lit up in four foot high letters at the rear of the stage.
As they come offstage, they`re wrapped in red terry-cloth robes for the limo ride back to the hotel.
“Now they`re called Red Zeppelin,” cracks Danny Goldberg, but the mood is pretty low.


The second night is something else altogether. As the lights dim, the crowd start to cheer and backstage Robert smiles and says:¬†“They`re playing my song.”
Fifteen seconds onstage and everyone knows it`s going to be hot. Perhaps the first night letdown`s done some good in that they`ve had to really try harder Рit`s amazing how much they care. After all, they`re making the same amount of money. They`ve sold out everywhere.
But they`ve been truly depressed and confused all day about the first Chicago show.
No matter; tonight they`re playing with that old black Zeppelin magic again, and the audience go wild. “Trampled Underfoot” is¬†magnificent. With a “Come Together”-like rhythm and real rocking guitar, it sounds as if the Beatles battled the Stones in a¬†parking lot – and Led Zeppelin won.
A roll of toilet paper is thrown onstage and Peter Grant mumbles “Uh-oh. That doesn`t mean Bonzo shit himself, does it?”¬†Bonzo, meanwhile, is dressed in a white boilersuit and black bowler hat. His roadie, Mick Hinton, is dressed identically (“It`s¬†a double act,” says Cole); in addition, however, Hinton has one very carefully painted Clockwork Orange eye…
“We`d like to dedicate this next song to all the people who came to see us without our having a record out,” Plant announces¬†as the strains of “Stairway” begin.
Cheers, roars, hoo-ha. There`s no doubt that this is the American Zeppelin favourite.
“Of course,” he adds, “it`s not that we haven`t been busy. We`ve just been starting a record company, and making a film, and¬†jerking ourselves off…”

At noon the following day Jimmy Page comes to my room for breakfast. (Eek! – Ed.).
He`s in a really good mood because he got five hours sleep (a lot, for him) and he knows last night`s show was great.
He describes his broken finger.
“I`m having to develop a three-finger style,” he laughs. “But it`s a drag. It happened when I was on a train in England – on¬†my way to rehearsal. I was at the front of the train planning to rush off and grab a taxi, when the train stopped abruptly. I¬†must have grabbed at something, and the finger got caught in the hinge of the door.
“I was just totally numb – numb with shock. I just looked at it and said…`Oh, no`…I mean it`s the most important finger for¬†a guitarist: third finger, left hand. The wedding ring finger…
“It`s the one that does all the leverage, and most of the work, and it really came as a blow because I just couldn`t play with¬†it, I`m still not really playing with it. Last night I used it on a couple of chord changes, but it still hurts.
“I`m starting to master a three-fingered technique, though. I may start to work at this at home – work out three and two -finger¬†techniques so that whenever there`s another accident – which I`m bound to have, at the beginning of an important tour! – I`ll¬†be ready for it.”

He orders scrambled eggs with ketchup, English muffins, and tea – which, although he`s been mixing a lot of vitamin enriched¬†banana daiquaris in his room, is the most he eats in a day on the road. “I`m off eating, I`m trying to photosynthesize – like¬†a plant,” he laughs.
Page, perhaps more than the others, suffers from the rigours of the road.
“But this time I`m going to get some Afghani hangings and my rooms are going to look like – well, like mosques. You get loads¬†of carpets and lay them on top of each other and have everything candlelit.
“My home`s like that, you see, and I`d like to bring my home on tour. But I can`t – so I have to try this.
“The situation with the house now is that when people come to the door, if they`ve got anything worthwhile saying, they`re¬†allowed in.
“If they`re idiots, or cranks or fanatics, they`re welcome to walk around the grounds.
“You`d be surprised though. Some people really have a lot to say.
“The reason I got the bookshop together was because there was not one bookshop in London with a good collection of occult books¬†and I was so pissed off at not being able to get the books I wanted.
“And, whereas I can`t ever see that shop making money, there`ll be a bit of publishing there – astrology books and things like¬†that.”

Discussing the Zeppelin film, Page describes his solo sequence.
“Mine`s a fantasy sequence of The Hermit – The Hermit tarot card that`s on the fourth LP. Lots of laboratory work – ageing faces¬†and things like that.
“I was exhausted at the end of it because I had to stand up all the time…absolutely rigid, my eyes unblinking, totally constant. I¬†really had to bring out all my yoga training for that.
“The hardest bit was when I had to hold the lantern out.
“Anyway, it`s an interpretation of The Hermit card and, when people see it, they`ll understand what it`s all about. It all ties¬†in with the violin part of `Dazed And Confused`.
“The movie`s a musical. It starts in England, shows the total tranquility of England with just natural sounds, and then goes¬†to the last U.S. tour. The way that it changes is really amazing, the whole pace of the tour really comes in.
“I imagine it`ll come out by the summer. We haven`t got much to finish – just mixing the soundtrack.
“I feel that there`s so much to do in such a short time, you know. I`ve had that feeling closing in on me for the last few years.
“I realize that I`ve been playing for ten years – I don`t know if people realize that. I think some of them think I`m just¬†starting!
“I`ve enjoyed it, though. I`d like to play for another twenty years. But I don`t know, I just can`t see it happening. I don`t¬†know why. I can`t explain it in words.
“It`s just a funny feeling…A foreboding…Vultures.”

Peter Grant sits on a brocaded couch in the living room of his ornate suite. (“It`s the only suite that Zsa Zsa Gabor will stay¬†in when she comes to Chicago.”)
Peter`s willing to talk to me about a possible British date for Zeppelin, but he`s conservative about it.
“There is something planned, but it`s not finalized. It`s not an outdoor festival. I can tell you that. It is a big place, in¬†London – and will be over several nights.
“If everything goes fine it will be in May. I`m not being secretive, it`s just that it`s not finalized yet.”
“We really don`t get much flak about Zeppelin neglecting Britain in favour of the States,” Grant continues thoughtfully. “Because¬†we haven`t been here so long. In the beginning there was some of that – but you have to realize that when the band started (and¬†I know it was the same for the Beck band and Ten Years After as well) the British promoters weren`t really interested. They`d¬†rather put on a reggae disco.
“So you had to come over here to get to people. When Zeppelin came to the States and started doing really well, it suddenly¬†dawned on them that something good was happening.

“But we will do three or four days in London. An indoor site.
“We`ve wanted to play a really good gig in England for some years,” Page interjects. “The problem has always been the site. Like¬†with that Knebworth Park thing – it was never finalized, and they put us in a situation where they tried to force us to do it,¬†and that was unforgivable.
“So the kids felt that we`d let them down, and I suppose in a way we did let them down – but we didn`t mean to.
“I`m on in Wolverhampton every Saturday afternoon,” Plant laughs.
Sorry, what?
“I go to see Wolverhampton Wanderers every Saturday afternoon. The public is always aware of my presence and my voice is always¬†exercised to its fullest as I cheer on one of the finest football teams the country has ever known.”
It`s not the same as doing a concert though.
“What?” he shrieks. “They brought international football to England in the 1950`s – they are a superb team. You should hear¬†some of the notes I reach…”

After the third show, everyone feels like going out.
Assembling in the truly dreary Buttery (a bar-mitzvah band is playing “Can`t Get Enough”), everyone makes for the Bistro, Strobe¬†lights, B.T. Express, Labelle`s “Lady Marmalade”, “one monkey don`t stop no show” and all.
Robert dances, Jimmy (who seems to be wearing some kind of charcoal eye makeup) is sitting in a booth with Gee, Cole. Clive Coulson (who`s come over for Bad Company tour negotiations). Lots of Dom Perignon, and some girl tries to show Clive how to do The Bump.
“See, don`t I take you to the best places?” laughs Richard Cole.
Bonzo`s sitting in a booth at the Bistro, not feeling too well. He`s been having stomach problems and thinks it`s nerves.¬†Sitting there, quietly talking about his wife (“We met when I was 16, got married when I was 17…I was a carpenter and got up¬†at 7 a.m. and then had to change for a gig that night in the van…I think that has a lot to do with why I`m the way I am”),¬†he does seem amazingly – as he put it – “softhearted”.
“I don`t know,” he mumbled later, getting into the elevator at a sleepy 3 a.m. “I just don`t feel much like raving about these¬†days…”
Zeppelin mellowing? Well, Robert was surveying the Bistro`s local talent without much enthusiasm.
(To be sure, most of the local talent was maintaining a slim hold on masculinity, but still…)

What can you say about a six-year-old band that has America in the palm of its hand?
It`s just begun, really – and yet Zeppelin has already managed to make every other rock news/concert/whatever pale by comparison.
And meanwhile the plane Рthe super Starship, all red, white and blue with white stars and the words LED ZEPPELIN painted on the side Рwaits patiently at Chicago`s O`Hare Airport to bring the lads to New York City and the rest of the country.
The tour is underway.

For some reason, NME used to print pix of naked ladies along with the Gig Guide.

For some reason, NME used to print pix of naked ladies along with the Gig Guide.

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own¬†webpages ‚Äď please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Lowell George (Little Feat), Alan Hull (Lindisfarne), Kiss, Doobie Brothers, Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Bruce Springsteen, Marc Bolan, John McLaughlin, The Soft Machine, Bob Pegg, Little Milton, Ian Bairnson (Pilot).

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

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