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The Baroness Von Zeppelin

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Everything posted by The Baroness Von Zeppelin

  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.
  16. This is sad news. Hard to believe his book came out just a couple of years ago. His assessment of Zeppelin and their music was far and away the fairest to date. Rest in peace Keith, and my condolences go out to your loved ones.
  17. I sort of see Nathan's point. People weren't reacting angrily a few years ago when it seemed there would never be a reunion of any kind, but that's the point - there was nothing to get excited about in the first place, no hopes to dash. You don't miss what isn't there to begin with. But in the space of a year we've witnessed the fanfare of the O2 gig and the creation of the official site, and that's just for starters. So it's far from unreasonable to assume that some fans - Nathan among them - might have interpreted these developments as a serious hint that Led Zeppelin was on its way back. You can say that the fans shouldn't get carried away, but you can't blame them for interpreting the 'evidence' as indicative of an imminent reunion, given the nature of the evidence in comparison with what we had before.
  18. That's possible. Could be that Robert cares more about the 'legacy' than some are willing to give him credit for. This might explain why he doesn't want to carry on - the risk of a full reunion blowing up in everyone's faces and wrecking the Zeppelin reputation and mystique isn't huge, but it's still a risk. Whether his way of showing it - assuming the above is true - is the best way is something the fans are capable of deciding for themselves.
  19. I sort of feel the same way as you - disappointed, but a bit relieved at the same time. I was lucky enough to go to the O2 but those weeks / months preceding the gig, when the ticket situation was up in the air, were incredibly stressful for a lot of people. I don't know if I'd have the patience to go through all that again. Having seen them once doesn't miraculously instill a philosophical "oh well, I've seen them before so it doesn't matter if I don't get a ticket this time" mindset. Quite the opposite in fact - once you get the bug you want it again. Plenty of people who saw Zeppelin with Bonzo back in the day - not just once, but several times in some cases - were just as desperate to get their hands on those O2 tickets as the first-timers. There's another great post on here - can't remember the author's name, apologies - which mentions the prospect of a tour with the O2 lineup turning into some grotesque media circus, regardless of the band's wishes. This is indeed a risk, because things just aren't 'done' the same way as they were in the Seventies. Such a tour could in fact end up alienating more fans than winning them over. I wouldn't go so far to say that a Page/Jones/Bonham Jr tour won't end up being this type of event, and there will almost certainly be a scramble for tickets regardless, but the risk of this happening is probably a little bit smaller with two surviving members plus Jason instead of three.
  20. Guess I kind of saw it coming, in my heart of hearts. Oh well. It's been fairly obvious Zep hasn't been Robert's cup of tea for quite some time, and that's perfectly okay. A lot of people will understandably be disappointed, and their disappointment will spill over on to this board here and there - it's unavoidable. I hope others understand this and exercise some patience. But I can also see where Robert might be coming from. I say 'might' because I have no idea what his motives are, or even whether he has any. To the older musicians on the board - I'm sure some of you played in bands when you were in your late teens or twenties that sounded a certain way. No doubt your enthusiasm for the band and that sound was boundless - at the time. But if some of you were to form/join a new band today, it would probably sound quite different to your first band. People's tastes change over time. I suspect that might be what happened to Robert, and it's normal. I wish the very best of luck to all the guys in their future endeavours.
  21. The 70s had its share of fashion clunkers, but it was mostly dead-on in terms of overall elegance - Ossie Clark's designs and the stuff from Biba are still gorgeous today and piss all over the better 80s stuff. Have to admit I was a bit mortified by the return of 80s style. Ugly, clunky and unflattering - it's just unfortunate that it took hindsight to see it initially. Revive the better aspects of the music for sure (and there WAS a lot of good stuff in the 80s, if you were willing to look beyond the obvious) but consign the rara skirts, legwarmers, plastic beads and off-the-shoulder sweaters to the great Chelsea Girl store in the sky where they belong. I'm sure many of us who wore the stuff first time around were secretly relieved once the 90s were afoot and the 'look' began to change. I know I was! One thing I miss about 80s style, however, is the tribal element - the punks, the goths, the New Romantics, the metallers, the 80s glam and sleaze rockers, the indie kids and so on. You could tell what a person listened to and who they hung out with by what he or she wore. The distinctions just aren't that clear today and have arguably disappeared altogether - instead, mainstream style seems to be a fusion of everything. Still, to those who hate the current love affair with the 80s, be patient - a 90s revival should happen within the next few years, and the style of that decade was heavily influenced by the 60s and 70s.
  22. I recall seeing stuff in the newspapers. I was seven and knew Led Zeppelin was a rock band, but obviously couldn't name or recognise a member or song or anything like that as I was musically about as far away from Zep as it was possible to be at that time (just like the majority of seven year olds!) Ironically enough, it was seeing these articles that made John Bonham the first member of Led Zeppelin I could actually name. I didn't get into them myself until years later, though. I vividly remember my mother breaking down crying when John Lennon's death was announced, but I was a bit too young to really understand the magnitude of how crappy 1980 was for music fans.
  23. They came very, very, very close in 1990, only for it all to fall apart at the 11th hour. I don't think a reunion / tour had been officially confirmed at that stage, though (at least I don't remember there being any official confirmation, just that speculation had escalated to fever pitch so there must have been something prompting it). Looks like things might be at the same stage and could go anywhere from here.
  24. Chalk me up as another who started listening to the blues through Zep. Even though the blues influence was apparent in some of the acts I listened to before becoming a fully-fledged Zep fan, it was Zep who drove me to actively seek out the 'sources', as it were. Great post, MSG!
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