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Zeppelin alternate history


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Alternate history can be fun to read, sometimes it makes you think about how a key event or events in the world changed life as we know it. What if those events never happend though? What if JFK had never been killd, or what if the Southern Confederacy had won the American Civil War for example.

Or..........I've never read alt. history relating to music but.......what if Bonham didn't die?

http://consequenceofsound.net/2010/03/14/alternative-history-x-if-john-bonham-hadnt-died/

I accidentally stumbled onto this blog while searching for something entirely different. Zeppelin going down a totally different historical path, with its' member doing the same.

Regards;

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Alternate history can be fun to read, sometimes it makes you think about how a key event or events in the world changed life as we know it. What if those events never happend though? What if JFK had never been killd, or what if the Southern Confederacy had won the American Civil War for example.

Or..........I've never read alt. history relating to music but.......what if Bonham didn't die?

http://consequenceofsound.net/2010/03/14/alternative-history-x-if-john-bonham-hadnt-died/

I accidentally stumbled onto this blog while searching for something entirely different. Zeppelin going down a totally different historical path, with its' member doing the same.

Regards;

It's really odd that you posted this. I was on YouTube watching a 1983 video of Robert Plant... which I just had to post in the YouTube section here... and as I was watching it I kept thinking... could Led Zeppelin have survived the 1980's?

Now before anyone gets all up in arms you have to realize the drastic change the early 80's were... Duran Duran - Flock Of Seagulls - Culture Club - Adam Ant... these were the bands that were big in the early 80's. Where would Zeppelin have fit in?

I know, I know... other bands made it through that period... {Stones/Who etc.} but it would have been a very different Zeppelin. I know from Live Aid and Atlantic's 40th that the following for Zeppelin was still massive... but it makes me wonder what the music would have been like?

As far as the link you provided I am glad that Jimmy is still with us. Reading a What If Bonham Had Lived thing was kind of a downer to find out they killed off Jimmy so soon. I found it a bit laughable that the article had Robert and Jonesy thinking of kicking Jimmy out.

Ah well... things happened for a reason. All we can do is enjoy the great music they shared with us while they were around.

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A number of problems with that alternate history article and here are some major ones:

"This led vocalist Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones, and tour manager Benji LeFevre to convene in late 1980 at Plant’s home in England to discuss the band’s future."

It would never have happened. There would have been no band meeting to discuss the future without Page and Grant present. In 1980, the tour manager was Phil Carlo, not Benji LeFevre.

"Page was becoming most despondent and more absent, often disappearing for days before showing up to rehearsals looking, as Plant later put it, “ragged and three-times warmed over.” Plant said, “


would be next to worthless at rehearsals. Missing notes, forgetting rhythms, sometimes forgetting whole songs. We had to remind him what key and John [Paul Jones] would have to play the start to remind Jimmy how it went.”

Led Zeppelin rehearsed at Clearwater Castle, Forest of Dean, Wales in May 1978 for the ITTOD sessions. Plant never made such comments.

"After much deliberation between Plant and Jones, and through the advice of LeFevre and encouragement of Bonham, Plant and Jones decided to keep Page on as guitarist, but insisted that he get some help."

LeFevre but not Peter Grant? Highly unlikely.

"After spending a good part of the fall of 1980 in rehab, both Bonham and Page returned to rehearsals just after Christmas."

A North American tour was scheduled to kick off in October 1980, and Page and Bonham, weren't in rehab during the fall, so that scenario would not have happened.

"Page came away feeling slighted and pushed out of the songwriting during recording. He told friend Eric Clapton that Jones and Plant had “let it all go to their heads,” and that they were going to “drive [Led Zeppelin] into the ground if they [didn't] get a clue soon.”

That is something Page would not have told Eric.

"Awake and Levitate was released in July 1981."

With their North American tour schedule, this July 1981 release date is highly improbable, given they hadn't been recording anything new since the ITTOD sessions prior to leaving for the tour.

"its first single, “Ramblin’”, stayed at number one on the Billboard 200 for four weeks."

With Grant still at the helm, it's doubtful that even in 1981, Led Zeppelin would have released an *official* single in the US. Btw the singles chart in 1981 was called the Hot 100. Billboard 200 is an *albums* chart, which was named much later - a big error there.

"Led Zeppelin was also seeing its success start to take a hit from the rising punk rock movement in Britain. The music press was starting to lean away from big arena rock like Zeppelin, and more to the DIY music of The Clash and The Ramones"

Punk music by 1981 was already on the way out. 1981 was when synth-pop bands (eg. Yazoo, Human League) and the New Romantics (eg. Duran Duran) started briefly dominating the pop charts. The Clash and The Ramones already had press coverage by 1978, so it was nothing new by 1981. PS. The Clash and The Ramones were already signed to major labels by 1981, they were no longer DIY. There was still a niche for arena bands, just ask Foreigner who scored major hits and sell-out crowds during this period.

"so Benji and I busted in and started banging pots and pans to wake Jimmy up. That’s when Benji found him in his bed.”"

Page's partner Charlotte Martin, his daughter Scarlet, or his driver Rick Hobbs hadn't found him first??

"Rumors had circulated that Page’s friend Eric Clapton or The Who guitarist Pete Townshend would join Led Zeppelin on the next tour"

Of all the guitarists, these two guitarists definitely wouldn't join Led Zeppelin, ever. Clapton and Townshend were not fans of Led Zeppelin.

"Bonham had brief success touring with The Who on its reunion tour and subsequent reunion album, Back Again."

By 1981, Townshend was growing tired of touring with the Who and was already making moves into a solo career. It's doubtful they would have stuck around with Bonham, instead of Kenny Jones behind the kit. If anything Bonham would have stayed with his mate Robert Plant in any new project.

"At their Hall of Fame induction in 1995, the remaining members assembled together on one stage again. Joined by Eric Clapton on guitar"

Clapton avoided appearing at the Hall of Fame induction for the Yardbirds, what makes you think he will appear for Led Zeppelin in 1995? In real life, Aerosmith appeared at the ceremony not Clapton.

"Finally in 2004, Plant, Jones, and Bonham all reunited for a set at the Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. Joined by Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, and Jack White of The White Stripes, the band played its first full set in over 20 years."

Clapton and Townshend would have dropped out beforehand knowing the spotlight would have been on the remaining members, not the festival.

"Page and Plant, together one last time. This photo was taken a week before the guitarist's ill-fated death."

There are photos of Jimmy from 1982, and this one from the much later Page and Plant era was the best you could come up with? Not even trying.

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Lol, sounded like a soap opera, but still somewhat entertaining.

“[bonham] just got real quiet, walked out into the hall, and punched a hole in the wall before falling to the floor crying. I’d never seen Bonzo [bonham’s nickname] so torn up. He really thought he could save Jimmy.”

All they need was for him to kneel down in the rain and scream "NOOOOOO!" and I'd be in stitches.

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A pretty creepy read. And although a lot of the details don't ring true, a lot of us feared that Jimmy wouldn't make it through the 80's. The fact that he's still here and vibrant in 2010 is a great thing!

I also thought it was interesting that the writer kind of ignored Peter Grant, didn't he?

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Ummmm, Meg? That's why they call it "alternate history".....it's fiction. That reality is quite different from what actually happened as we know it, so punk could have happened later than it did, Peter Grant could have divested himself from Zeppelin, the tour managers could have been different, Plant could have had a nothing solo career.....

The key work her is "alternative". Yes?

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The article is essentially a personal attack on Jimmy Page under the pretext of 'alternate history'. The author is not a fan of the band, his musical tastes are listed elsewhere on the website, and his lack of knowledge shows. Maybe dazedcat would like an alternate history article written about him being found dead, no?

Edited by Meg Ireland
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I always find articles/blogs/posts like this creepy & morbid. They're not overtly offensive & they tend to come from a well intentioned place but anything revolving around someone who did die not dying or even worse someone who is very much alive with their "death" imagined just really smacks of bad taste along with the creepy & morbid aspects already present. It's one thing to imagine what Zeppelin's music may have sounded like if John Bonham hadn't died based on their last albums, tours, & the surviving members post Zeppelin work as an indication of what the future could have held, it's another to "fantasize" about the members very real lives & using an imagined death of one it's members as a part of the fantasy. These are real people, not fictional characters in comic books, movies, or TV shows where alternate realities & "what if" scenarios are strictly left in the realm of fiction & fantasy. Reality is the basis of this piece of fiction & there are no "what if's" in reality. I'd be pretty pissed if someone wrote a fictionalized account of my departed mother not dying & my living father having died years ago instead of her. Some people have boundries pertaining to what's in good taste while others do not I guess.

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That alternate history sucks.

How about an alternate history where LZ become even bigger and greater than they were. Jimmy invents new technique and a new guitar and gets a world peace award, Robert learns to play every instrument and marries a beautiful and talented bluegrass musician. Bonzo breaks the world speed record for drumbeats per second while driving over 100 mph, and Jonesey(the quiet one) plays not only in Led Zeppelin but also a spinoff called Them crooked Vultures. He plays with both at the same time - a feat only Jonesey can pull off. Peter Grant gets a fine for slapping Bill Gates in the head for allowing scalpers to scam all of the front row tickets away from the true fans.

Rock and Roll is the new national anthem for the US.

Someone finally figured out that if you play stairway to heaven backwards while you die, then you automatically go to heaven, you do not pass go, and you do not collect $200.

Fans from all over the world get chance to see the greatest of them all...Led Zeppelin.

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Things are posted here about Led Zeppelin that people find on the internet. Some good, some bad, and opinions are presented of each poster. Obviously the majority of posts here find the article offensive due to the fact that the writer has had Jimmy die in this alternate universe. Sad, but he has exercised his expression in that way. Any one of us would have written that article in a different light so any number of parallel universes could exist based on different writings. I probably would have wrote a story that John did not die, the band stayed together for a number of years making a larger catalog of awsome music and everyone lives happily ever after. Fantasy fiction at its best.

Can't hold the original poster responsible for the bad taste of others.

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I agree. I know dazedcat posted the article with the best intentions & like any Zep fan you want to share something Zep related that you come across. That still doesn't make the writer of the article/blog any less morbidly creepy. Killing off real living people to fit into a story... that's a person I don't want anywhere near me. That's the beginning of many later text book psycho's, imagined deaths of the living. I'm not saying the author is an actual psycho but I don't want to support that shared creepiness he/she has with various psycho's.

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I agree. I know dazedcat posted the article with the best intentions & like any Zep fan you want to share something Zep related that you come across. That still doesn't make the writer of the article/blog any less morbidly creepy. Killing off real living people to fit into a story... that's a person I don't want anywhere near me. That's the beginning of many later text book psycho's, imagined deaths of the living. I'm not saying the author is an actual psycho but I don't want to support that shared creepiness he/she has with various psycho's.

I agree, dazedcat was just sharing info. :wave:

My comments were directed at the freak writer :angry:

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I thought it was pretty well written. Sure you could disagree with this or that, but hey - it's his perogative.

I honestly think the band could likely have fragmented at some point in the 80s. If Jimmy had gotten it together - the albums would've IMO sounded like what the Firm produced in their second release, or even Coverdale-Page. Bad Company carried on without Paul Rodgers but got a new singer later on. The Stones struggled later in the 80s and eventually Keith Richards and Mick Jagger had to take a break from each other and pursue their own solo careers...it's highly possible that Plant would've gotten tired of Zep enough to try something else, given his nature.

If Jimmy had still been doing drugs at a high level - he did look pretty bad at Knebworth, an overdose would not have been inconceivable. I'm pretty sure the band's output would've just been an album every few years, since they were comfortable financially.

To their credit, In Through the Out Door wasn't so much of a statement as an anti-statement. So was Presence - the band just wasn't doing anything to please anyone at that point. At the same time, stagnation could've been a real issue.

No-one wants to admit it but the band HAD changed...and the death of John Bonham probably woke everyone up as well.

Edited by georgio
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Maybe a little bit more believable alternate would be that Robert Plant didn't survive the car wreck he was in back in the day and the band couldn't figure out on weather or not to go on with out him!

Sorry people, I'm glad he's still with us and miss Bonzo.

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Page probably would have died of a heroin addiction within a year or two if Bonzo didn't die. A lot of the stuff in that article just isn't correct factually.

Edited by NickZepp
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I thought it was pretty well written. Sure you could disagree with this or that, but hey - it's his perogative.

I honestly think the band could likely have fragmented at some point in the 80s. If Jimmy had gotten it together - the albums would've IMO sounded like what the Firm produced in their second release, or even Coverdale-Page. Bad Company carried on without Paul Rodgers but got a new singer later on. The Stones struggled later in the 80s and eventually Keith Richards and Mick Jagger had to take a break from each other and pursue their own solo careers...it's highly possible that Plant would've gotten tired of Zep enough to try something else, given his nature.

If Jimmy had still been doing drugs at a high level - he did look pretty bad at Knebworth, an overdose would not have been inconceivable. I'm pretty sure the band's output would've just been an album every few years, since they were comfortable financially.

To their credit, In Through the Out Door wasn't so much of a statement as an anti-statement. So was Presence - the band just wasn't doing anything to please anyone at that point. At the same time, stagnation could've been a real issue.

No-one wants to admit it but the band HAD changed...and the death of John Bonham probably woke everyone up as well.

I don't know about Presence. That had some intense stuff on it. I think it may have had some of Page's best guitar work with Achilles and Tea For One and Bonzo and Robert were amazing too. The album did basically leave out Jonesy.

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