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Tony Harden

Zep's presence in the 1980'd

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Note: I spelled presence with a lower case "p" because I am referring to the presence of the band's music and likeness and not the recording, or album/CD, Presence.

We all know that Led Zeppelin disbanded in 1980.  Technically speaking, Led Zeppelin is a band that was probably a little before my time.  I was 9 when they did their last show in my city of Atlanta at the old Omni on Apr.23, 1977,  This didn't stop Led Zeppelin from being my favorite rock band in the 1980's and even on up to today. 

Judging by the Led Zeppelin T-shirts being worn on the high school campuses of the 1980's, and the Led Zeppelin music from cassettes spilling from cars, you would never know that Led Zeppelin wasn't a current band in the mid to late 1980's.  I would have told you with a quickness back in '84 and '85, and I will still tell you the same thing with the same quickness in 2016, that Led Zeppelin is my favorite rock band of all time.

Has anyone else thought about how big of a part of the 1980's that Led Zeppelin's music and likeness was?  I have never seen this subject brought up here.

Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

 

 

 

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Yeah, everything said right on the money. Zep ended tragically but also legends in their own time. When Zep partially

reunited at the crappy 85' Live Aid performance, even the cynical Robert Plant could not shake the tsunami of

love coming from the audience and how dearly the fans missed them. And as a gtr teacher, believe me Zep among

teens is still gold standard. I remember many hair metal bands in the 80's tried to adapt some of Zep's fashion

and musical ideas, but usually those bands looked and sounded cartoonish. I think a key reason Zep was so highly

regarded live was no song from one show to the next was exactly the same. Whereas even "good" metal and thrash

metal bands nothing changes except maybe the gtr solos. For example James Hetfield of Metallica is a exc rhythm

guitarist, BUT he is never jamming. So now, 36 yrs since Zep, where are the hard rock or metal bands that used

Zep's approach ??

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A big part of the reason bands don't use Zeps approach is they aren't talented enough to pull it off.

Zep had 4 musical virtuosos.  That fact can't be understated. 

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Massive in the 80s. I agree. It felt as though there were still new releases at that time. The same to a point in the 90s. Ever since its probably been children from avid fans that have taken a interest. I always say, Led Zepp and Nirvana were massive when i was young. Now kids wear the tops like we did. Just Legendary artists.

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Well I saw Nirvana twice in 93' with Pat Smear on rhythm gtr and some girl cello player for a song or three. The heavier

songs were blistering( remember Dave Grohl, Bonham disciple) and Kurt as an emotional loose cannon had no shortage

of bonafide rage on tap. Unlike some other grunge or metal bands with canned emotion or rebellion. Nirvana weren't

virtuosos but Kurt was rather underrated as a guitarist and sometimes he would be singing very creative melodies

over simple chords. Back to Zep, I think it is mildly insulting to calling them classic-rock: there is classic rock, and then there is Led Zeppelin. Zep was totally exotic, having no set parameters or conventional bounds, infinite.

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I remember when Whitesnake released Still of the Night and a pretty fair number of my friends thought that it was some unreleased Zeppelin song.

I remember in the early 80's all of our middle school dances ended with Stairway to Heaven. In fact, the song was often played at least twice at each dance.

I remember the Live Aid reunion being one of the biggest media events of our lives.

I remember all the record stores being stocked with at least as many Zeppelin shirts, posters, pins, patches and stuff as they had for any current band.

I remember Zeppelin being so heavily played on the FM rock stations that some people got sick of hearing them.

And of course, I remember an entire genre of hair metal bands trying desperately to be the next Zeppelin, and failing laughably at doing so.

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Yeah, it was the early 80's when I got into them and there was no shortage of albums, boots, tapes, t-shirts, posters. I had to give my head a shake to remind myself that technically they were no more.

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On 25/12/2016 at 3:49 AM, Mithril46 said:

 Back to Zep, I think it is mildly insulting to calling them classic-rock: there is classic rock, and then there is Led Zeppelin. Zep was totally exotic, having no set parameters or conventional bounds, infinite.

I hate the term "classic rock". By using that term, it puts rock and roll in a box and says it's safe. Sort of "Don't worry people, they were dangerous back in the day but it's safe to listen now". Safe & neutered is the last things rock and roll ought to be.

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I got into Zep heavily in the 8th grade in 1984.  I remember in either my sophomore or junior year of high school creating a bracket of 16 bands and polling classmates to rank there favorite and Zeppelin beat out Van Halen as the best.

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My perspective comes from another corner of the world, Finland, where merchandise and bootlegs were quite hard to come by at the time. I remember back then the (wannabe) tough guys in school listened to Twisted Sister, Wasp, Ratt etc. Everything else was for nerds or girls. In this situation some people knew about Zep and there seemed to be a kind of respect for it. But it was the (TV) video age and Zep wasn't on MTV at all, although towards the end of the decade there were occasional videos featuring Zep on Sky Channel's program Monsters of Rock. Alongside the metal bands of the time they looked and sounded antiquated. Basically I got the feeling that Led Zeppelin was something firmly in the past, but considered important and fundamental.  The Zep presence was much bigger in the 90's and onwards IMO. But I'll stress that this is simply my personal view and memory as a teenager at the time.

 

Edited by Sandey
additional statement

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Hi all, my first post here.  Did not know about this place or I would have come long ago.  I am from Texas.  I was born in 83 in Houston, but spent most of my life living in the Dallas area.  Zep was very popular there still yet in the 80's and 90's.  My first memory of music was listening to Zeppelin records, tapes, and watching the song remains the same on VHS religiously.  My mom and Dad were huge Zep fanatics, but I even managed to drive them nuts with it somehow.  Every now and again I popped in a hendrix, deep purple, or van haggar(blame my dad there), but mostly I did the Zepathon as Jack black would say.  To this day I've never heard anything like them.  Just amazing all 4 of them.  the best band ever.    

 

Back to topic yes as a kid listening to rock music on the stereo in late 80s/90s they were very popular on american radio.    Even robert plant as a solo act got a lot of playing time.  In 1988 I saw robert at reunion arena in Dallas only 5 years old.  jimmy rotating with coverdale/black crows/plant was also popular.  He also did kashmier with Puff Daddy HA!  To this day USA rock stations do mandatory metallica and get the Led out every night(nation wide).  Where they play 3-4 tracks and discuss the band in more detail. 

 

  On the American Memorial Day weekend(same time frame as the UK rememberence) our rock stations would do an all time rock count down.  stairway and whole lotta love were always in the top 5-6 with layla/hotel cali/free bird/money.  I remember MTV news in 89 still covered zeppelin topics in regards to zeppelin releasing material for them to air...I remember always hoping that they would so I could expand upon watching the song remains the same.  I don't think it was until the mid 90s when plant/page united for an MTV special that was successful Of corse today we have access to so much which is great!  And the reunion concert at the 02 was awesome.  I watched all the bootleg videos waiting for access but was there at the theatre to watch the premier release and have the DVD/album as i still rotate it often.  

 

 

Edited by DallasTexan

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I think that The Beatles. Zepp. Duran Duran, Wham, Michael Jackson. Then Take That have been the biggest bands/artists. From my experience and what i have heard.

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In the 80's, being in my teens, I was raised on "Classic Rock" kinda FM radio. Pure mainstream hits of the day and of recent past. It was basically Soft Rock occasionally sprinkled with ACDC or something a bit meatier. And I didn't mind it at all. All good music. Stuff you could get into, sing along with, appreciate the solo's and bridges.

Very Late 80's is when I was introduced to Zep. My God. Life changing event that was! New to smoking pot, then "Hey listen to this man!" and played WLL, No Quarter, D&C and Stairway from TSRTS. Like getting smacked in the face by a deep sea racing mullet!!!! :thanku:

Radio wise, was in the 80's and still is a bitterly dissapointing very occasional outing for TripleM (the rock station here) to play one of only a few track. Black Dog, Rock and Roll, Stairway, Fool in the Rain (Very rare) and that's about it. Shits me to tears.

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On ‎12‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 2:28 PM, Balthazor said:

I remember when Whitesnake released Still of the Night and a pretty fair number of my friends thought that it was some unreleased Zeppelin song.

I remember in the early 80's all of our middle school dances ended with Stairway to Heaven. In fact, the song was often played at least twice at each dance.

I remember the Live Aid reunion being one of the biggest media events of our lives.

I remember all the record stores being stocked with at least as many Zeppelin shirts, posters, pins, patches and stuff as they had for any current band.

I remember Zeppelin being so heavily played on the FM rock stations that some people got sick of hearing them.

And of course, I remember an entire genre of hair metal bands trying desperately to be the next Zeppelin, and failing laughably at doing so.

 

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Just now, Tony Harden said:

"I remember all the record stores being stocked with at least as many Zeppelin shirts, posters, pins, patches and stuff as they had for any current band." 

That was because Led Zeppelin was one of the biggest sellers of the 1980's.  There were only like five or six other artists, past and present combined, that the record stores stocked as heavily as they did Led Zeppelin.  As I have already said, Led Zeppelin was still a top seller on up until the early or maybe even mid 1990's. 

 

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The only reason I sort of disparaged the term "classic rock" was not so much the bands who were considered that, but that at the time of those bands tenure, most of those bands were actually creating something new. So the term makes

it seem as if the bands were already aping something else, whereas actually many bands nowadays are in fact stealing

or utilizing "classic rock" ideas. I separate Zep from "classic rock" because some bands were able to assimilate ideas

from "classic rock", but Zep was so hard to copy or emulate that after those many metal/hair metal bands tried copying,

basically bands would borrow a idea or a small snippet of Zep and that's it.

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Whilst i was out in Leigh centre earlier on, A drunk homeless man came up to me. Spotted my Zep top and said they were the biggest band in the 70s and 80s. That does it for me. Hes been homeless for so many years. But knows Zep, Big time.

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Yeah. What I would love to convey to all those who were too young or just didn't get into Zep until later, is how 

awesome and powerful Zep's sphere of influence was. They were considered a underground band pretty much until

ITTOD, preposterous as that sounds. But as a kid, Zep was real magic, Crowley blah blah not even necessary.

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Led Zepplin was NEVER considered an 'Underground' band.  who told you THAT????  they were flying high ABOVE ground long before 1980's - EVERYBODY  in the 70's were diggin on them big time - where were you???  Under ground??!!

 

Edited by waywardwind

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The thing about Zep being underground, yes of course they had tens of millions of fans. What some still don't realize is

how little media coverage they got and not giving many interviews in the 70's. They hardly appeared(if ever) live on

US tv beyond even 5 second clips. No Don Kirshner, no Midnight Special, very few filmed ( and very brief) interviews.

Now video was not quite there yet, no MTV, but most other huge bands back in the 70's still did much much more

interaction with the media and the Public. Think the members of Zep did a massive promotional interview tour

for  PG ?? Yes Atlantic pulled their weight, but no ,little from the band itself. In the 80's and 90's, perhaps a little

later as well, yes most bands were fully expected to plug their own material. Even Jimmy and Robert were expected to

do this in the 80's with their solo projects.

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