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irondirigible

Had LZ's members never met, would we have heard of them all today?

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My answer is probably yes.  More so, Plant and Page as Plant has an incredible voice and Page is so gifted.

John Paul Jones and John Bonham... could be Left to chance if they hooked up with other great musicians.  

But even with Plant and Page, its hard to say.  The magic of LZ was what they did together, how it all worked as one.  Plant and Page have had decent solo careers, but I am bold enough to say that these solo careers would not have taken off without LZ.  If they did, they would not have garnered much fame as a result. 

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18 hours ago, irondirigible said:

My answer is probably yes.  More so, Plant and Page as Plant has an incredible voice and Page is so gifted.

John Paul Jones and John Bonham... could be Left to chance if they hooked up with other great musicians.  

But even with Plant and Page, its hard to say.  The magic of LZ was what they did together, how it all worked as one.  Plant and Page have had decent solo careers, but I am bold enough to say that these solo careers would not have taken off without LZ.  If they did, they would not have garnered much fame as a result. 

We would have heard of Jimmy due to the Yardbirds and maybe JPJ due to his prolific session and arranging work. Bonzo was already getting work with Tim Rose, but wether that would’ve led to being a household name rather than a respected drummer I couldn’t say. As for Robert, he was certainly hungry for the limelight but he hadn’t really gone anywhere until he hooked up with Jimmy.

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Page for sure would have gone places, and I believe JPJ would have been a part of that. Mo Jones encouraged him to get in touch with Jimmy when Jimmy was forming a new group after the Yardbirds. If it hadn't been Zep, it would have been something else. 

Unsure about Plant. Jimmy's first choice for lead singer was Terry Reid, who declined because of other offers / commitments. Despite having a fantastic voice, he didn't exactly become a household name. It could be easy to imagine the same fate befalling Plant. 

As for Bonzo, who knows? Such a great talent, and yet, could easy slip through the cracks. So much of success in the entertainment / music industry is down to timing and personal connections. 

 

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2 hours ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

Page for sure would have gone places, and I believe JPJ would have been a part of that. Mo Jones encouraged him to get in touch with Jimmy when Jimmy was forming a new group after the Yardbirds. If it hadn't been Zep, it would have been something else. 

Unsure about Plant. Jimmy's first choice for lead singer was Terry Reid, who declined because of other offers / commitments. Despite having a fantastic voice, he didn't exactly become a household name. It could be easy to imagine the same fate befalling Plant. 

As for Bonzo, who knows? Such a great talent, and yet, could easy slip through the cracks. So much of success in the entertainment / music industry is down to timing and personal connections. 

 

Great post!  Could not have said it better myself!

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Page was already known and would have made it to some level of fame regardless of Led Zeppelin. He was a premier songwriter and producer.

JPJ was already having  and would have continued to have a great career as a session musician and string arranger.

John Bonham most likely would have made it but most likely as a replacement drummer in a band that had already made it to some extent. As the drummer, making it is almost entirely tied to what band and songwriter(s) you join up with.

Robert probably had the least chance of making it outside of Led Zeppelin. He was the most unknown and not much of a songwriter in the early years.

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My view is that we would have heard of Plant and Page, but not necessarily to the degree that we do now.  To be honest, they could have been in forgettable but good bands, bands who had hits, but whose names are not known and are unimportant to us now.  We could rattle off any number of bands that the average person could not name a member of.

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21 hours ago, Stryder1978 said:

Great post!  Could not have said it better myself!

Thanks! 🙂

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19 hours ago, irondirigible said:

My view is that we would have heard of Plant and Page, but not necessarily to the degree that we do now.  To be honest, they could have been in forgettable but good bands, bands who had hits, but whose names are not known and are unimportant to us now.  We could rattle off any number of bands that the average person could not name a member of.

That is a great point! 

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Page was known before Zeppelin, so yeah, only Jimmy.

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Posted (edited)

Jimmy goes without saying, especially as he was already well known. I think John Paul Jones would have been successful as a musician, even if it was more of a niche fan base. Way too much talent not to be. Robert's voice was too amazing that had Jimmy not gotten him, someone would have and I think he'd have been well known. Bonzo it would have depended on where he ended up - not a reflection of his talent but just being much less known at the time. Though I would imagine Robert would have wanted to bring him on board where he would have been, like he did with Zep.

Edited by tenyearsgone21
added something

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Indeed Page was already known.  But I am not sure if he would be a household name on the strength of is pre-Zeppelin work

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3 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

What's the point?

I guess it shows how people are already bored with the HTWWW redux and the RSD single release. And since we are still months away from the official 50th anniversary and the promised releases tied to that celebration, this is what we are left with.

I'll answer with my first-hand observations.

Jimmy Page was already in my (well, my dad's) record collection...The Yardbirds, Donovan and Joe Cocker...before Led Zeppelin came along. After the dissolution of the Yardbirds he wanted to put together a band and he needed to fulfill the remaining Yardbirds tour dates. So, even if the band he assembled did not include Robert, John, and John Paul, a musician of Jimmy's talent and connections (thanks to his session years) would have been able to find someone suitable for his needs. Would the band have been the same as Led Zeppelin in sound and impact? That is impossible to know. But it is reasonable to assume the band would have achieved some level of fame...on a par with the Jeff Beck Band or the Faces, at least.

But let's say Jimmy Page never was able to get a band together or that the band failed out of the gate. It is possible that that would have led to his becoming a member of the Rolling Stones after all...either after Brian Jones' death or after Mick Taylor's departure...as he would have been available the way he wasn't when Led Zeppelin was born. That would have ensured his name would still be remembered.

John Paul Jones was also known to me before Led Zeppelin arrived. That's his name in the credits for the Rolling Stones "Their Satanic Majesty's Request". I have no doubt with John Paul's musical and arranging acumen that he would have had an enduring music career, with or without Led Zeppelin. Either in a band or as a producer/arranger behind the scenes, John Paul Jones would have found a way to make a name for himself.

That leaves Robert Plant and John Bonham. I can't really say with certainty what the odds would be of each being recognized today if Led Zeppelin had not come along. I think both were so against the norm (Robert's vocal gymnastics and Bonham's loudness and force) that it required a unique set of circumstances and people willing to take a chance on them to give them a space to flourish. If Jimmy hadn't come along with the Led Zeppelin offer, only Bonham had another gig set up with Tim Rose. And who remembers Tim Rose these days?

It is entirely plausible that Robert and Bonzo would never have become known beyond their Midlands borders.

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I think as others have mentioned Mr Page and Mr Jones would have been successful anyway. Plant and Bonham would have had to over come more hurdles but it would have hinged on the following. Good management; In Roberts case getting to grips with song writing, and making the most of the emerging new pub circuit that would greatly help developing the UK live scene. Globally I have no idea, here in the Uk something could have happened.

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34 minutes ago, Strider said:

But let's say Jimmy Page never was able to get a band together or that the band failed out of the gate. It is possible that that would have led to his becoming a member of the Rolling Stones after all...either after Brian Jones' death or after Mick Taylor's departure...as he would have been available the way he wasn't when Led Zeppelin was born.

Equally pointless to ponder, yet somehow I find exploring this possibility mildly interesting. Certainly The Rolling Stones were aware of Jimmy, but I think such that they would have decided incorporating him into their lineup would be musically dissatisfying for all involved. Mick Taylor fit so well because he tended to follow the singer's lead and use his guitar to present the tune. Jimmy Page of course was a strong lead guitarist who used his guitar to present a kaleidoscope of tones. I can see where his approach may have begun to overshadow the music just as it did when he was in The Yardbirds. 

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...I would think that Jimmy's career would have paralleled something akin to his Yardbird brother, Jeff Beck.  Eric Clapton could play AND sing, so he was destined to fame. 

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Posted (edited)

From what I already know about the members of Led Zeppelin through magazine articles, visiting their websites, browsing their non-Zep discogs and from what I'm reading on this thread it would be safe to say that all of them had a good potential to make it. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones would've continued to stay busy through the 70s and all that Zeppelin guitar work would've been used in another band and played differently. Robert Plant could've made it on his voice alone but it would've been the same story with a different bunch of musicians. John Bonham had the least of a chance to make it and judging from his hard style would've probably landed a gig in a metal band with a far less chance of the chart success Zeppelin had. They all would've gotten professional mainstream success to some degree but how much you can't say.

Edited by Zepfan2001

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20 hours ago, Zepfan2001 said:

John Bonham had the least of a chance to make it and judging from his hard style would've probably landed a gig in a metal band with a far less chance of the chart success Zeppelin had

yeah, and think of the utter waste it would have been to have Bonzo in a band that really lacked the creativeness and expanse of what he had with Zep. Jimmy, Jonesy, Plant, all would probably have thrived, Bonzo may have turned a good band into a great band if lucky enough (right place, right time).

Thank fuck for Zep eh? :drumz:

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11 hours ago, rm2551 said:

yeah, and think of the utter waste it would have been to have Bonzo in a band that really lacked the creativeness and expanse of what he had with Zep. Jimmy, Jonesy, Plant, all would probably have thrived, Bonzo may have turned a good band into a great band if lucky enough (right place, right time).

Thank fuck for Zep eh? :drumz:

I think in some ways John Bonham's drumming inspired the other members of Led Zeppelin because not only was he a loud drummer his arrangements were creative and unique. If John Bonham would've joined a different band that was plain and two dimensional he would've been a catalyst for creativity.

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28 minutes ago, Zepfan2001 said:

I think in some ways John Bonham's drumming inspired the other members of Led Zeppelin because not only was he a loud drummer his arrangements were creative and unique. If John Bonham would've joined a different band that was plain and two dimensional he would've been a catalyst for creativity.

Exactly. He truly was 1/4 of Zep on every level. Each one contributed incredibly to create that "5th element". The Rover, The Ocean, Fool in the Rain, Achilles, TSRTS, HMMT, the list is endless when you think of how magnificent a contribution to the track the drumming was. Light and Shade equally from Bonzo. It can never be repeated. There may be similar partnerships emerge in the future, but nothing like those four blokes, in that time, in that place, with Peter Grant to keep them creatively free.

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52 minutes ago, Zepfan2001 said:

I think in some ways John Bonham's drumming inspired the other members of Led Zeppelin because not only was he a loud drummer his arrangements were creative and unique. If John Bonham would've joined a different band that was plain and two dimensional he would've been a catalyst for creativity.

+1

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On 5/2/2018 at 2:44 PM, tyler19 said:

Page was already known and would have made it to some level of fame regardless of Led Zeppelin. He was a premier songwriter and producer.

JPJ was already having  and would have continued to have a great career as a session musician and string arranger.

John Bonham most likely would have made it but most likely as a replacement drummer in a band that had already made it to some extent. As the drummer, making it is almost entirely tied to what band and songwriter(s) you join up with.

Robert probably had the least chance of making it outside of Led Zeppelin. He was the most unknown and not much of a songwriter in the early years.

Exactly! In fact, wasn't plant thinking about throwing in the towel before Jimmy contacted him? That is why when others say that plant owes us nothing (regarding a reunion) I say perhaps not us , but he CERTAINLY owes Jimmy a thing or two. In my mind (its sometimes a strange place😎) plant would have been nothing without Jimmy.

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16 hours ago, dandak said:

Exactly! In fact, wasn't plant thinking about throwing in the towel before Jimmy contacted him? That is why when others say that plant owes us nothing (regarding a reunion) I say perhaps not us , but he CERTAINLY owes Jimmy a thing or two. In my mind (its sometimes a strange place😎) plant would have been nothing without Jimmy.

Why does he owe Jimmy anything? He was just as valuable a member of making Zep a success as ALL OF THEM. His talent would not have gone unnoticed if Jimmy hadn't gone to see him. 

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I think we would have heard from them all, but on much lower levels than a hit rock band. maybe more record credits for jpj and some great playing by bonham, but maybe not being recognized for ten years or something. I think page would have formed a band that would have ultimately failed by 1973 same with plant maybe 1970 for him....and with any luck they all might have had lingering sad music careers after that...bar bands, full time jobs etc.

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