Led Zeppelin (formed 1968) Led Zeppelin is an English rock band that rose to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with their heavy blues rock sound. They are considered by many to be one of the first ever heavy metal bands.
Formation: Led Zeppelin's genesis goes back The Yardbirds. Jimmy Page joined The Yardbirds on bass guitar in 1966 but soon switched to play lead guitar alongside Jeff Beck.
As the dregs of a largely disbanded Yardbirds fulfilled gig obligations in Scandinavia, singer Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham were drafted in to fill the gaps. John Paul Jones enquired about the vacant bass player role and completed the picture. They toured Scandinavia as The New Yardbirds, eventually changing it to Led Zeppelin.
Led Zeppelin's debut gig was at the University of Surrey, in Guilford, in October 1968. Their debut album, Led Zeppelin was released in January 1969, whilst the band was touring the States.
Key Albums & Notable Moments: Led Zeppelin, the band's debut album, was released in 1969. It is reported that the album cost £1,750 to make and by 1975, had grossed $7,000,000.
The album's follow-up, Led Zeppelin II (1969) was recorded largely on the road, whilst the band toured the first album. The album reached number one in both the US and the UK.
Led Zeppelin III (1970) was recorded in Wales, in a cottage named Bron-Yr-Aur. A misspelled version of the name gave title to one of the tracks on the album, 'Bron-Y-Aur Stomp'. The band resisted the release of singles from the album. However, many tracks, such as 'Immigrant Song', were released against the band's wishes.
Throughout the 1970s, Led Zeppelin's offstage antics became as legendary as their music. In one incident, drummer John Bonham rode a motorcycle through the Continental Hyatt House hotel in Los Angeles.
Led Zeppelin's fourth album was not attributed with any obvious title, nor did it show the band's name on the cover. Instead, the cover depicted four symbols, representing each member of the band. It is most commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV.
In 1973, the band released Houses of the Holy. The song of the same name did not appear on the album but turned up on 1975's Physical Graffiti. The record was banned in some religious areas of the USA and in Spain, for the cover's depiction of naked children running up the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Led Zeppelin took a break from touring in 1974 and launched their own record label, Swan Song. Through the label, they released music by the likes of Bad Company, Sad Café and Pretty Things.
Physical Graffiti (1975) was the band's first double album and was released on the Swan Song label. The success of the album was so great, that after its release, all of the band's previous albums re-entered the Top 200 album chart simultaneously.
In August 1975, Robert Plant and his wife Maureen were involved in a car crash whilst holidaying in Rhodes. Maureen was badly injured and the band was forced to take a hiatus from touring. They spent their time in California, writing material for the next album, Presence (1976). Presence became a platinum-selling album, though its critical response was lukewarm.
The Song Remains the Same became the band's first official live recording and was released both as a film and accompanying soundtrack.
In Through the Out Door was recorded in the final months of 1978 and released the next year and reached number one in the UK and the US.
On 25th September 1980, John Bonham was found dead by John Paul Jones and the band's tour manager, Benji LeFevre. 'Asphyxiation from vomit' was given as the cause of his death. No drug other than alcohol was found in his body. In December 1980, the band announced that they would not be continuing without Bonham. Until then, various replacements had been rumoured, including Cozy Powell and Bev Bevan of ELO.
In 1982, the three surviving members of the band released Coda, a collection of outtakes from a number of different recording sessions
Reunions: Page, Plant and Jones were reunited in July 1985, for the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia. They were joined by Phil Collins and Tony Thompson on drums, and Paul Martinez on bass.
The three Led Zeppelin members were again reunited, with John Bonham's son, Jason Bonham, on drums, for the Atlantic Records 40th Birthday party.
In 1995, Led Zeppelin was inducted into the rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by Aerosmith's Steve Tyler and Joe Perry. Bonham was represented by his son Jason and daughter Zoe.
Led Zeppelin was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, presented to the band by the King of Sweden.
In December 2007, Led Zeppelin was once again reunited for a huge one-off concert in London in memory of Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records. Jason Bonham filled in on drums. The promoter Harvey Goldsmith arranged the concert to raise money for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund.
The legendary band have just released a reissue of their 1982 album ‘Coda’.
Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has admitted he can’t see the band holding any future reunion shows. The last time the legendary band took to the stage together was in 2007 for a one-off gig at London’s O2 Arena, where Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined by Jason Bonham, who filled in for his late father John Bonham on drums.
Jimmy Page doesn't think Led Zeppelin will reunite again.
“Led Zeppelin was a creative force that you can’t just snap your fingers and create,” Jimmy Page told The Daily Beast when asked about why they didn't continue following the death of John Bonham in 1980. “It was a blend of these four master musicians, and each of us were important to the sum total of what the band was. I like to think that if it had been me that wasn't there, the others would have made the same decision not to carry on.”
Led Zeppelin have lost a request to throw out the 'Stairway to Heaven' lawsuit, but they'll come back fighting.
Maybe this lawsuit won't be as easy to win as Led Zeppelin probably assumed. Back in May, we reported how relations of the Spirit frontman Randy Craig Wolfe filed a suit against Zeppelin seeking monetary damages and a writing credit for the band's monster hit 'Stairway to Heaven'.
Jimmy Page is accused of stealing his famous chords for 'Stairway to Heaven' from the U.S rock band 'Spirit'
Wolfe's family claimed Zep guitarist Jimmy Page ripped his famous chords for the song from Sprit's 1968 tune 'Taurus'. Interestingly, the two bands once toured together and became familiar with each other's tunes.
Continue reading: Led Zeppelin Sort of Lose First Round in 'Stairway to Heaven' Lawsuit
Led Zeppelin's classic song has the greatest rock riff of a time.
Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' has been named the Greatest Guitar Riff of all time in a BBC Radio 2 poll. The blues riff played by Jimmy Page beat the likes of The White Stripes, Nirvana and Metallica. The riff is also recognised by many as the soundtrack of Top of the Pops throughout the 1970s.
Led Zeppelin in 1973 [Getty/Hulton Archive]
Page said of the honor: "I'm knocked out by this, because I didn't expect that to happen. I wanted a riff that really moved, that people would really get, and would bring a smile to their faces. But when I played it with the band, it really went into overdrive. There was this intent to have this riff and the movement of it, so it was menacing as well as quite sort of caressing."
Continue reading: Is Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' Really The Best Guitar Riff Ever?
Led Zeppelin ripped off 'Stairway to Heaven' - really?
A legal dispute has erupted over the provenance of that riff on Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, widely regarded as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The copyright infringement is being taken on behalf of the late guitarist Randy California, who, perhaps crucially, played on the same bill as Led Zeppelin in the 1960s.
Robert Plant Has No Plans to Reunite with Led Zeppelin
California’s lawyers argue he should be given a writing credit on the 1971 track, perhaps the most lucrative in Zeppelin’s back catalogue. Bloomberg estimate that the eight-minute track had earned £334 million as of 2008. That figure is largely down to the fact that the band did not release it as a single, leaving fans with no option but to buy the entire album, Led Zeppelin IV, at the time.
Continue reading: Wait, Did Led Zeppelin Really Steal the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Riff?
Led Zeppelin may be facing court as legal papers are in the process of being filed by a US lawyer who claims the opening was directly influenced by the band Spirit’s track ‘Taurus’.
Led Zeppelin may be facing court as legal papers are in the process of being filed by a US lawyer who claims the opening was directly influenced by the band Spirit’s track ‘Taurus’.
Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant.
Led Zeppelin are in legal hot water as a US lawyer is preparing paperwork which claims they ripped off the opening of their 1971 classic ballad ‘Stairway to Heaven’. The lawyer is filing an injunction against the reissue of their album Led Zeppelin IV on behalf of the later guitarist Randy California, who was a member of the band Spirit. If the injunction is filed, Led Zeppelin may end up in court having to defend their creative rights and ownership of the song.
Jimmy Page, the guitarist best known for leading the band Led Zeppelin, received an honorary doctorate at a Boston area college on Saturday (10th May). The 70-year-old gave a short speech in which he expressed his gratitude and congratulated the graduating students.
Led Zepplin guitarist, Jimmy Page, was honoured at a commencement ceremony at the Berklee College of Music on Saturday morning (10th May). Page received an honorary doctorate from the Boston college, the ceremony for which was held at the Agganis Arena.
The 70-year-old musician prepared a short five minute speech in which he thanked the college and congratulated the graduating musicians, as the Boston Globe reports. Page discussed the concert he had attended the previous evening in which the students had honoured his 60 year career. Amongst the songs the students performed were Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock and Roll’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven’.
Of the students’ performance, Page said “The quality of musicianship that was shown last night was really moving.” He continued by thanking the college for his honorary doctorate, stating “This is absolutely so amazing, and it’s such a privilege to be a part of this and feel all the energy coming from you graduates, congratulations.”
Continue reading: Jimmy Page Receives Honorary Doctorate At Berklee Music College
Led Zeppelin are not getting back together. Got that?
Led Zeppelin have unveiled two previously unheard recordings, including an early version of their most famous song, Whole Lotta Love. The tracks come ahead of the reissue of the band's first three albums in June. The companion discs will feature alternative versions of songs, works in progress and live performances - all recorded at the time of the original albums.
Robert Plant Has No Interest In Reuniting Led Zeppelin
The latest tracks have been locked away in the band's archive for decades.
Continue reading: Led Zeppelin Release Unheard Music, Say Reunion Chances are "Zero"
Justin Bieber gets all the guests to his house to sign a $5 million waiver.
Justin Bieber is happy to have you round to his house in Calabasas for a party, but you'll have to sign a $5 million waiver. Yep, that's right, TMZ.com have obtained a copy of a document that EVERYONE must sign before entering Bieber's residence, that warns that anyone who blabs about ANYTHING that happens inside the mansion will get sued big time. That includes "the physical health, or the philosophical, spiritual or other views or characteristics" of Bieber or the guests.
The document makes it very clear that anyone who violates the terms will automatically be sued for $5 million in damages. Oh, and if you tweet about the party? It's $5 million. If you Instagram anything from the party, it's $5 million. The form warns there might be activities which are "potentially hazardous and you should not participate unless you are medically able and properly trained," while risks include "minor injuries to catastrophic injuries, including death."
The pretty hilarious document confirms that Bieber's parties are easily as unruly as those thrown by the likes of The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin back in the day. So if you manage to get into one of the bashes and happen to see Bieber roaring through the hallway on a motorbike, don't you dare upload a Twitpic of that. Don't you dare.
Continue reading: Want To Blab About Justin Bieber's Parties? It'll Cost You $5 Million
Thankfully the Rolling Stones were on hand instead
Neither charity nor former President Bill Clinton could persuade Led Zeppelin to reform for last year’s Hurricane Sandy benefit concert, it’s been revealed by the Robin Hood Foundation’s executive director David Saltzman.
As you’ll all probably recall, Saltzman – with the help of entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein – put together a high profile benefit concert in New York on the December 12, 2012 in aid of those who’d had their homes and lives devastated by the natural disaster. Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen were among the legends to play while all manner of celebs manned the telephone lines during the course of the telethon. However, as Saltzman told CBS, one band refused to get involved.
“There were two bands we were trying to recruit, one was The Rolling Stones and the other was Led Zeppelin,” Saltzman explained to CBS. “Harvey Weinstein had this great idea that he could enlist Bill Clinton to convince Led Zepplin to reunite to perform at the 12/12/12 concert. Harvey and I got on a plane to fly down to Washington to meet Bill Clinton who was going to meet Led Zeppelin, who were being honored at the Kennedy Center.” Continuing he added “Bill Clinton himself asked Led Zeppelin to reunite and they wouldn’t do it.” Thankfully there was one band who would – eventually. “At the airport I literally bumped into Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and he said ‘you tell Harvey Weinstein to f**k off!’” Saltzman said, before adding “And his publicist came up behind him and said ‘they’re going to do it. He’s just joking.’”
Continue reading: Bill Clinton Snubbed By Led Zeppelin For Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert
Robert Plant Says He Has "Nothing To Do In 2014," Hinting At A Led Zeppelin Reunion
Coy as ever, Robert Plant has dropped the latest hint that legendary rock band Led Zeppelin could reunite for a tour in 2014. The frontman said the decision would ultimately be up to guitarist Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, though crucially told Australia’s 60 Minutes TV programme, “I’ve got nothing to do in 2014.”
It’s the first time the often-spikey Plant has spoken so openly about the possibility of another reunion. Referring to Led Zeppelin’s one-off gig at London’s O2 Arena in 2007, he added, “We just wanted to play and see what it was like and be good once…It was time to be good – and we were.” Despite the euphoric highs of that concert, the band have not played together since December 10, 2007, with Plant essentially absolving himself of any blame and passing things firmly in the direction of Plant and Jones. “Well you are for all those Led Zeppelin fans who'd love you to say, 'Yes, we're re-forming….Well, then you need to speak to [Page and Jones] the Capricorns. Cos I've got nothing to do in 2014.” It’s a sensational change from Plant’s position in 2008, when he trampled on any hopes of Led Zeppelin tour saying he was busy making music with Alison Krauss and, later, the group Band of Joy. Drummer Jason Bonham subsequently revealed the group were “real close” to touring without their iconic frontman. Plant scolded a couple of journalists who dared ask about a reunion at a recent press conference for the band’s DVD Celebration Day.
Continue reading: Celebration Day! Robert Plant Hints At Led Zeppelin Reunion for 2014
Courtney Love doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to cover versions. With her band Hole, she would often play a version of Guns N Roses’ ‘Paradise City’ that she would abandon half way through. Same goes for Depeche Mode’s ‘Hungry Like A Wolf,’ though the band did release a brilliant cover of Velvet Underground’s ‘Pale Blue Eyes,’ it has to be said.
When we heard that Courtney Love covered Jay Z’s ’99 Problems,’ though, we feared for the worst. And, sadly, our fears were confirmed. “This either sucks or it’s genius, I don’t know,” she said as she introduced the song at her impromptu Sundance Film Festival set.
A Royal Family: Regal congratulations are in order this week with news that the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is pregnant with her and Prince William's first child. With new succession laws set to be passed, the baby will grow up to become the King or Queen, but can you guess the name?
That's His Style: Love is most certainly in the air this Christmas, with One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles appearing to fall for country sensation Taylor Swift. Forget the groupies; the singer was seen holding hands with the 'Red' singer during a romantic stroll in Central Park.
Jimmy Page arrives for The Letterman Show
Still no more live shows announced but then perhaps it's enough just to see that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones are happy to be in each other's company as friends these days as Led Zeppelin continued their promotional tour of the USA by appearing on Letterman. The veteran British rock group were given one of American's most prestigious honors when they picked up an award at the Kennedy Center Honors, and were paid tribute to by President Barack Obama.
Continue reading: Led Zeppelin Fly In To Speak To David Letterman
As entertainers from stage and screen were recognized for their contributions to the arts and American culture at the Kennedy Center Honors, it seemed as though a competition was forming: who could grab the most laughs with a witty address. Reuters had the scoop.
"I worked with the speechwriters - there is no smooth transition from ballet to Led Zeppelin," joked President Barack Obama in deadpan while introducing the honorees at a ceremony in the White House East Room. And while Obama is one charismatic cat, we're pretty sure Robert De Niro can outgun him. "Dustin Hoffman is a pain the ass," said the former honoree, introducing the film star. "And he inspired me to be a bit of a pain in the ass too," De Niro continued with a big smile. "It's most incredible because it looks like I lived two lives," Natalia Makarova told reporters before the event. "I've come a long way, baby, no? That's the way someone said it for me." We're not sure we get that one.
Here's comedian Tina Fey, who was honoured with the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2010, on Letterman: "David Letterman is a professor emeritus at the 'Here's Some More Rope Institute,'" while the man himself decided to save the quips for his show. "I was full of trepidation, but now I am full of nothing but gratitude," he said. "I don't believe this, but it's been nice for my family." So who wins? We're going to plump for The President of The United States.
2nd September, 1968
2nd September, 1980