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The Dread Zeppelin Thread


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Of all the Led Zeppelin tribute acts which have come, gone and continue rocking to this very day, few have achieved the success and longevity of Dread Zeppelin. The intent of this thread is to present all things Dread Zeppelin!

For more be sure to check out their official site: http://www.dreadzeppelin.com/index2.html

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Tortelvis and Butt Boy spread the Dread gospel via CNN...

"Is anyone hungry for Dread Zeppelin?" Live in the Much Music parking lot in Toronto Canada. The boys play "Song Remains The Same" while Tortelvis enjoys hot dogs cooked up by VJ Dan. Good music...

Tortelvis and Butt Boy stop by to have a chat on The Joan Rivers Show. Joan seems most impressed with Butt Boy...

Edited by SteveAJones
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When I was working in a reggae/funk band in Phoenix, we'd sometimes play in Vegas at a (now gone) place called Fremont Street Reggae and Blues Club. It had two stages in separate rooms connected by a little hallway, and two bands would alternate sets. We split shows with Dread Zep at least once. They'd come over to check us out, and we'd throw Zeppelin riffs at them in the middle of a tune, and they'd laugh. I remember once we had a moment in one tune where the band would stop and the horn section would play something alone for a few bars. It was different every time, and that night I called 'Heartbreaker', a riff you don't often hear played by a horn section. But we playd it and they liked that one.

They put the bands up in a real dive called the Rainbow Hotel. It was across the street from the jail. If you watch that horrible movie Showgirls, when they're coming out of the jail you can see glimpses of the Rainbow. Apparently the chick in the movie was supposed to live near there, so you know she lived in a hell-hole.

Before the gig, we rode the elevator up to the rooms once with an ordinary-looking heavy guy, and then got ready for the gig. When we got back on the elevator, Tortelvis was standing there waiting to go down also. It was the same guy, but we didn't recognize him on the way up without his wig and electrical tape sideburns.

[Edit] I forgot to mention, the hotel was a couple of blocks from the gig, and so he must have had to walk the whole way in that outfit. I guess Vegas is the one place he could get away with it and not be looked at strangely.

[Edit again] Somewhere I've got a postcard from the club listing the show, which would have been around 94-95.

Edited by PhxHorn
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When I was working in a reggae/funk band in Phoenix, we'd sometimes played in Vegas...

Hot damn tamale! That is an awesome tour anecdote. I've actually been working on a comprehensive Dread Zeppelin concert chronology to honor their 20 years of paying unique tribute to Elvis Presley and Led Zeppelin. I submitted all

my findings to their website and mentioned this thread. I have since heard from Tortelvis who said he would try to drop in at some point and say hello to everyone here.

Dread Zeppelin at Freemont Street Reggae & Blues Club in Las Vegas - 1995: 3/24 & 25, 5/12-13, 10/27-28

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I managed to google up this image on someone's flicker account.


Great find!

Fans, employees bid farewell to blues club

Nichole Davis

Las Vegas Sun

Monday, Oct. 28, 1996

Crowds on the reggae side of the Fremont Street Reggae & Blues Club were sparse Saturday as regulars and staff began saying their goodbyes to the 3-year-old night spot.

The club, widely credited for ushering ethnically flavored music into the valley, has been sold to make way for a drugstore, owner Terry O'Halloran said.

Although it brought in music that touched your soul, "the club wasn't profitable," O'Halloran said. "It's dramatically more valuable as real estate than as a club."

He had brought in profits from three clubs he owns in Omaha, Neb., just to keep the operation at 400 Fremont St. afloat over the years, he said. O'Halloran even changed formats in January, turning the reggae lounge into a sports bar for several months, but that didn't work either.

The bottom line is that the club just didn't have the support it needed, and that's why he won't attempt to open another one in Las Vegas, O'Halloran said.

Patrons and employees of the club reminisced Saturday, one day before its scheduled closure.

Las Vegas has "lost reggae music and a club," said 31-year-old Eric Garnett, a former event promoter who described the night spot as friendly.

"I know everybody here," Garnett said. "You come here and feel safe.

"It's (also) a big loss for black people. It's where black people and white people mix up. It's a place to communicate."

Nevada Career Institute medical assistant student Yolanda Datcher just started coming to the club last month, but she will miss "that I can't come here, that I have to go someplace where I don't know everybody. It's a relaxing club."

Bartender Hashim Najja said losing the club will "be like losing a family member, 'cause this is like my house."

Najja moved to the city a little more than a year ago specifically to work at the club and play with his band, Najja Dredd Posse.

He believes that pressure from city officials to create a more family-friendly environment downtown contributed to O'Halloran's decision to vacate the location, but "Terry will never admit it."

No one is sure what will happen to the future of reggae music locally now that the club is closing its doors. Musicians who played Saturday said the Beach had tried to host Caribbean music one night a week, but lost money.

But "we're going to look for a venue 'cause we like coming here," said Zebbie, the drummer for Detour Posse.

The Huntridge Theatre, slated to reopen Halloween night, is expected to again host alternative bands, which occasionally played in the blues lounge. But no other venue now hosts reggae on a regular basis.

"When I used to visit here as a tourist and ask the cab driver to take me to a club, they would say there was none," O'Halloran said. "Once again, there won't be one."

But club regular Mike Hiscocks predicts another night spot will eventually take its place.

"I know sooner or later they'll be another reggae club because too many people come down here and have a good time," the heavy equipment mechanic said.

Ironically, a drugstore used to occupy the land where the club now sits. Its closure, along with that of several downtown businesses, helped pave the way for the Fremont Street Experience redevelopment project.


Edited by SteveAJones
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Hot damn tamale! That is an awesome tour anecdote. I've actually been working on a comprehensive Dread Zeppelin concert chronology to honor their 20 years of paying unique tribute to Elvis Presley and Led Zeppelin. I submitted all

my findings to their website and mentioned this thread. I have since heard from Tortelvis who said he would try to drop in at some point and say hello to everyone here.

Be still my heart! I love that guy. :D

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Twenty Most Underrated Rock Albums

by David Schultz


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

In sitting down to compile this list, I had to first figure out what exactly constitutes an underrated album. It doesn't seem like it would simply be a great record that didn't sell well. In that case, the Velvet Underground's entire catalogue would be considered underrated but given the near unanimous critical approval those albums receive, they can't truly be considered underrated. Conversely, it also doesn't seem that it would be a poorly reviewed record that sold millions. I don't think under any set of criteria the Titanic soundtrack or any Spice Girls album could or should be called underrated. After much thought, the definition became simple: an underrated album is a record that discerning musical fans should have in their collection but for some reason the majority of them don't.

So, in no particular order, here are the 20 most underrated albums:


Dread Zeppelin: Un - Led - Ed (1990)

As the name would imply, Dread Zeppelin was a band that played nothing but reggae versions of Led Zeppelin songs. Interesting concept, eh? Oh yes, their lead singer was an Elvis impersonator named Tortelvis. Long before studio technicians were mashing up songs, Dread Zeppelin was mashing up genres in an acid fueled blender with tongue firmly in musical cheek. However, the joke carries through the entire album – and carries well. In the past decade there have been reggae homages to Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, but none show the same reverence for their subject as Dread Zeppelin. From the introductory Black Dog, which includes a nice segue into Hound Dog, through a version of Your Time Is Gonna Come that stands comparison to the original to the closing drum beat of Moby Dick, the album stands on its own as a "reggae" classic and not as a one-off joke. Given the bizarre concept, Un-Led-Ed is an easy album to overlook and underrate.

Edited by SteveAJones
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Gary James' Interview With Jah Paul Jo Of

Dread Zeppelin



Just when you think you've seen and heard it ail, along comes a group like Dread Zeppelin. Here's a group that's famous for covering Led Zeppelin songs, sung in the style of Elvis Presley (by their lead singer Tort Elvis), with a reggae feel. Dread Zeppelin records for I.R.S. Records and their newest release is "5,000,000".

We spoke with Dread Zeppelin guitarist Jah Paul Jo, or Jo for short.

Q - Jo, you played in Syracuse last fall, at a place called the Pump House.

A - I remember the Pump House. That was a lot of fun.

Q - This group does a lot of road work. What kind of venues are you playing?

A - Well, we're playing everything from like 2,500 seat places to 500 seat places in the areas of Canada, where we've never been to. Last night we played in a place that could hold only 500 people, but we did two shows. We were just in Vancouver and we played in a hall that held 1,500 people. That was really a nice concert hall. So, it really varies. Most of the time we're the headliners, so they're all our own shows.

Q - Have you been overseas yet?

A - We've been to Japan. We've been all through Europe and England, two times as a matter of fact.

Q - And what's the reception been to the band?

A - You know, it's been fantastic. I'm really thrilled that it's that way. I'm always waiting for the first place where they won't quite get it. Most of the places it seems to be really good.

Q - Jo, who came up with this whole idea of putting a group together called "Dread Zeppelin?"

A - Well you know, strangely enough, and this is according to Tort Elvis, Elvis Presley came to him in some sort of vision, as he described it to us. I don't think he came personally, but maybe through a vision, and said, "Do Zeppelin music, reggae style the way it's supposed to be done." We met Tort Elvis when we were in a band called The Reggae Blades, everybody in the band except Ed Zeppelin. We were driving along in Temple City, California, which is where most of us live and we were rear-ended by a milk truck. Now this was driven by Tort Elvis. I don't know why he lost control of his vehicle like that, it was very unlike him, but he got out and said, "This is just like a vision I had, that I would meet some reggae musicians." He hit us with the idea and we said "sure we'll do it," 'cause we weren't doing much else. And, since then, everything has gone completely the way he says, so we don't question it. I mean, if he says he had a vision by Elvis to do something else, we'd do that. But, so far it's worked out pretty good.

Q - This is the story you give people?

A - This is the story. This is it.

Q - Is everyone in the group a fan of both Elvis and Zeppelin?

A - Yeah, very much so. In fact, fans of reggae music as well. You know, a lot of people ask me, "Are you making fun of Elvis? Are you making fun of Led Zeppelin?" And we say, "No, because we are big fans." In fact, Robert Plant himself really likes the stuff, which is very flattering to us. He hears it for what it is, which is fun and a tribute, but it's meant to be funny and entertaining as well.

Q - Has Robert Plant ever seen the group?

A - He has seen the group a couple of times, but we didn't meet him at those shows. He kind of comes incognito, I think and then we hear he was there. He always takes off quick. We've seen him on magazine covers wearing our t-shirts and talking about us on TV. Tort Elvis has spoken to him on the phone, on the radio, Nightline, it's syndicated across the US. We know he really likes the group and it's very flattering.

Q - Do people ever get upset with Tort Elvis' portrayal of Elvis on stage?

A - Well you know, they don't really when they see him. There's a funny story to that. I have a friend whose girlfriend was just in love with Elvis and was like one of his biggest fans. She didn't want to come see us play and then he finally talked her into going. She didn't really want to go, cause she figured she would hate it. And after she saw it, she said to me, 'You guys don't really make fun of Elvis. You make fun of people who make fun of Elvis." I thought that's perfect.

Q - Why are you known as "The Prince of Peace and Love"?

A - That's kind of like my own little self title I made up. I think as long as I'm gonna travel around the world, I'm spreading the gospel of peace and love.

Q - Who decides what songs the band will record?

A - That's almost like we do it by committee. A lot of the stuff we have done 'live' for awhile. On this new album we wanted to do "The Song Remains The Same" because it kind of fit in with our whole thing of "I Had A Dream". That's why we did that one.


Edited by SteveAJones
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Getting back to the Fremont Club, I think one of the issues it had was during the construction of the 'Fremont Street Experience', the whole street was torn up for at least a year while they were putting up the canopy, and that really hurt business. Plus, when it was finally done, it was a big let-down.

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