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The Baroness Von Zeppelin

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About The Baroness Von Zeppelin

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    Zep Head

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  1. I'd say you were right, but look at Jeff Beck - same age as Jimmy, yet seems to be getting better as he gets older. And JPJ - still very much active and holding his own with a band of musicians almost half his age. These two are perhaps the most persuasive reasons not to get into the hard stuff. Hard stuff >>> lack of practice/activity >>>> loss of confidence and ultimately, chops.
  2. I think I know which one you mean. Was she quite young at the time? From what I remember, she went off Led Zeppelin and disappeared from the (old) boards about a year after that.
  3. I guess I have a different perspective on HOTG because I wasn't a huge Zeppelin fan when I first read it in the late 1980s (had nothing against them, I was just into different bands then). It was just one of those biographies that you read because you heard about the dirt. So because I had no real sense of attachment to the band, I was able to read HOTG from a critical distance. If my first exposure to HOTG had happened ten years later, with the added benefit of hindsight, knowledge and maturity, I would probably be just as appalled by it as most of you. I was 15, and a bit immature; bearing in mind that it was the 1980s, and the charts were full of mulletted muppets who claimed that they touched nothing stronger than Evian water. Then next thing I know, I'm reading about this band that seemed shrouded in mystery, who had kinky sex and did truckloads of drugs and MAY have practiced black magic to get where they were. It all sounded so decadent and exotic and potent to a 15 year old, and a far cry from what the music industry seemed to have become. I'd listened to some of the music by then (my mother had the albums) but I wasn't yet at the stage where I could begin to truly appeciate the band's accomplishments. Like I said, I was in a slightly different place musically at the time. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that although I can understand nowadays why many fans consider the book to be contentious and hurtful, I have an odd sort of sentiment for the feeling of exhilaration it instilled in me when I read it for the very first time. If that makes sense!
  4. I'll never slag off Hammer of the Gods, purely and simply because it's entertaining. It's a good old-fashioned rock n'roll morality tale at its core, and it would have made a great cheesy novel if Davis had simply altered the names and thrown in some dialogue for good measure. As for whether it was true or not, it didn't really matter; it was more or less responsible for making Led Zeppelin interesting to a whole new audience, at a time when they were in danger of being forgotten. The Eighties/early Nineties was a great era for the sensationalist rock biography. The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman was another interesting and highly controversial book. The Stanley Booth book about the Rolling Stones and Altamont, and the other one by Tony Sanchez. Good times!
  5. Led Zeppelin got around a bit, but there are many countries they surprisingly didn't play. I'm not really referring to places where it was impossible because of politics et al (though I know they almost went to the Soviet Union), but places where there were no such obstacles and the band was likely to have something of a fanbase. Here's a list - I was wondering if you could think of any more. Spain Portugal Greece Hong Kong South Korea Brazil Argentina Mexico I'm also surprised they only played Italy once, although the violence at the Milan gig probably put them off. It's possible they planned to cover some or all these places during the 75-through-76 tour, but the accident in Rhodes obviously put the kybosh on that. Still, I'm curious why they didn't play these places earlier.
  6. ^THIS. Goodnight Les, and thank you for everything.
  7. Oh no! This is terrible news. I thought he'd go on forever. RIP Les, and thank you.
  8. Sadly, it doesn't always work like that, as there are plenty of talented artists who never get within a sniff of a decent break. For those who do, luck as well as talent plays a huge part. Robert was a talented guy who was fortunate enough to fall within Jimmy Page's radar. If he hadn't, he might never have had as good a chance again. Or he might have made a breakthrough on his own or with another group. We'll never know. But I agree with you on the chemistry part, because it goes both ways. Zeppelin without Robert wouldn't have been the same band. They might not have been as successful, or they might have been just as successful but unrecognisable as the band we know and love. Bearing in mind that if Jimmy hadn't discovered Robert, he would never have encountered Bonzo either. That's two massive changes to the configuration and chemistry right there. I agree with this too. Nicely put.
  9. In any case, Terry Reid was probably just one of several singers Jimmy had in mind, so that would make quite a few people kicking themselves. If Jimmy had held auditions then there's no guarantee Reid would have got the job anyway. Wasn't Steve Marriott also approached?
  10. And the people who actually competed and won medals were ...?
  11. This is a really interesting dilemma you've pointed out. There are certain advantages to rock bios written by non-insiders - the late Keith Shadwick's book springs to mind. He wasn't, as far as I know, connected to any member of Led Zeppelin and his book was written from the perspective of a musicologist and admirer of the band's musical prowess, rather than a 'fan' per se. Consequently, the book wasn't coloured by positive or negative bias, as is so often the case when fans or disgruntled insiders write these things. On the other hand readers who were looking for great STORIES, or a window on the personalities involved, might have found Shadwick's book a little too dry. Lazy writing can be another drawback to books written by non-insiders. They have no personal anecdotes to draw upon, so they often end up simply cutting and pasting from earlier books, filling the gaps with conjecture or worst of all, attempting to write themselves into the story somehow. Keith Shadwick wisely avoided all three by sticking to his particular area of expertise - the music. But there was another book that came out around the same time as Keith's, that claimed to be a Zeppelin biography but was actually a not-so-thinly disguised bio of the authors themselves. Now maybe I'm just cynical, but to me it seemed like the authors were deliberately hitching themselves to the Zep wagon in order to shift more copies. There was a ready-made fanbase out there who'd take the misleading sub-title ("Our Flight With Led Zeppelin") at its word, believing that they were getting fresh insider revelations when in actuality they were getting nothing of the sort. One of the best music books I ever read was 'Please Kill Me', about the New York punk and New Wave scenes of the 70s, told in a series of accounts by the participants themselves. This format could work for a Zeppelin book provided the surviving members were willing to contribute, along with members of the entourage and other former and current insiders. That way everyone gets a chance to tell their side of things, building a more complete picture of the band's history and leaving it up to the reader to decide who they think is right. Sadly, I sometimes get the impression that the best Zep book won't be written until all three surviving members have passed on.
  12. Have to agree with most of what you said. Let's just say Beijing wasn't exactly Jimmy's crowning moment. I like Dave Grohl and he is a fan so no objections here to the Page/JPJ/Foos jam. I think the problem is that Jimmy, unlike Robert, never really got a second wind after Led Zeppelin, and there's nothing in his post-Zep repertoire that matches the critical and commercial success of Raising Sand. I'm sure most people have no problem with him hearkening back to Zep as the band's output and continuing popularity certainly justifies it; that said, I think his lack of consistent post-Zep success has left him a bit confused with regards to what he should do next, leading to questionable choices such as the Olympics appearance.
  13. To be honest, WGWTE isn't half as sensationalist as I thought it would be. It's certainly nothing like the book described by Wall in a blog post from last year, so I'm wondering whether concessions were made before it went to print. It's basically a cut-and-paste of other books, interspersed with quotes from a guy who sells or used to sell occult paraphernalia to Jimmy, and odd second-person conjectural ramblings, as if Wall is addressing the band directly. I was aware Mick Wall knew Jimmy Page, but I had no idea they were actually friends, just that their paths had crossed a few times under controlled interview conditions. I personally have no problem with Wall writing a book about a favourite band of his, one whose members he happened to know at close quarters - Richie Yorke did the same back in the Seventies with no apparent fallout (though there are no reports of Yorke hanging out with the band after his book came out, funnily enough). Nor do I object to Wall's occasionally critical approach - that's what journalists do, and if your friends can't be honest with you, who can? No, what makes me uneasy is his statement about needing to 'keep doors open' in his 20s, 30s and 40s, but now he's 50 he doesn't need to talk to Jimmy again. Maybe he was misquoted, but if not it seems he deliberately set out to win Page's confidence and get him to open up so he'd have material or dirt for a future book - almost a covert intelligence-gathering mission disguised as friendship. If true, it's an incredibly callous thing to do to someone who almost certainly has a hard time trusting the motives of others anyway - we've all heard about the 'babysitter' incident, for one. That said, just because someone wants to write about a you, even critically, doesn't mean they're doing it out of malice. Maybe Wall felt the book would help Jimmy in some way by persuading him to 'wake up', as Wall sees it. There's probably a lot more to this than we know.
  14. This is just terrible, terrible news. 39 is way too young. Rest in peace Michael.
  15. I concur too. This might have been a good idea twenty or so years ago, when it still meant something to get a star, but they hand them out like candy these days and because of this the whole enterprise strikes me as rather tacky and very un-Zep. Receiving a Hollywood star has little significance today - even for people in the movie industry, let alone musicians. Jimmy - the band leader, probable owner of the name and therefore final authority on the matter - has made it clear where he stands, yet Rocky still insists on pursuing it. If he is not willing to let it go then he can't blame people for assuming that it's mostly about his moment in Zeppelin's spotlight, and little to do with the band themselves. Rocky - if you REALLY want to do something for the band then you'd be better off donating to the charities they endorse.
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