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Led Zeppelin: CELEBRATION DAY (Global Press/Media Coverage)


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Led Zeppelin 'Celebration Day' on the big screen

Published: Friday, October 12, 2012

By John Petkovic, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)The Plain Dealer


Associated PressLed Zeppelin is back - at least on the screen. "Celebration Day" - a film

that documents its 2007 reunion concert - will hit the Cedar-Lee Theatre for a one-time

screening on Wednesday.

Robert Plant got testy when asked about Led Zeppelin reuniting. Jimmy Page seemed weary, saying "Who wants to be on a two-year tour? That would tire you out just thinking about it."

Good for them. Rather than slogging out there, Led Zeppelin has admitted what so few others have: Sometimes it's better to remain broken up.

That's not to say you can't see the band.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Cedar-Lee Theatre -- 2163 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights -- will screen "Celebration Day." The film documents the last time Led Zeppelin performed, in 2007, with Jason Bonham taking the place of his father, John, on the drums. $10. Call 440-349-3306.


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Led Zeppelin fans find cause for celebration: Projections

The Star (Toronto)

Published on Friday October 12, 2012



Soren Solkaer Starbird/Warner Music Group From left, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant

and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, whose Celebration Day reunion film gets a limited run.


Special to the Star

LED ZEPPELIN’S CELEBRATION DAY: Five years after Led Zeppelin’s reunion concert at London’s O2 arena, fans are still pining for a full-fledged tour by the mightiest of ’70s rock gods. And who can blame them? Those original tour T-shirts are looking pretty ratty. Alas, the three surviving members batted away questions about further concerts at a recent press conference to promote a multi-format release dedicated to the 2007 show, Led Zeppelin’s first (and still only) since the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980. This onslaught begins with a big-screen presentation of Celebration Day, a concert film that captures the band’s thunderous two-hour, 16-song set. The limited theatrical engagement begins Oct. 17 at 14 area Cineplex theatres. Celebration Day’s release on DVD, Blu-Ray, CD, digital download and, yes, vinyl follows Nov. 9. Let the air guitar solos begin.


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Hardly rock 'n roll is it? Legendary rockers skipped 2007 reunion gig after-party and went home to BED

And singer Robert Plant even stopped off for a KEBAB on his way home

By Simon Boyle

Daily Mirror (UK)

September 22, 2012

In their heyday Led Zeppelin set the standard for rock’n’roll excess, with tales of drugs, groupies and motorcycles ridden down hotel corridors.

But the legendary rockers yesterday revealed that after their epic reunion gig in 2007 they skipped the after-party and headed home to bed.

The group’s three surviving members were launching a DVD of that concert at London’s O2 Arena, which saw 20 million fans apply for just 18,000 tickets.

Guitarist Jimmy Page, 68, said that, after coming off stage, “we just hugged each other. There was a massive party afterwards, lots of celebrities and stuff, but we just disappeared off.” Singer Robert Plant, 64, joked that he celebrated by calling in for a kebab in Camden on his way home.

The gig drew rave reviews but Page appeared to end fans' hopes of more yesterday saying: “Did you enjoy it? Then we’ve done our job.”

Plant also revealed he hadn’t been comfortable singing iconic song Stairway To Heaven: “I didn’t quite feel the same about the lyrics later on in life.”

The movie Celebration Day, including hits Black Dog, Kashmir and Whole Lotta Love, will screen in cinemas from October 17, before the DVD on November 19.


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Well I guess they were tired after the gig. I'm sure, emotionally and physically spent. After this performance, I would think it would be quite difficult to stay up. No matter your age. Just amazing the performance they gave on this night! Wow! Enough said!

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DVD Review: Led Zeppelin, 'Celebration Day'

Concert film of one-time-only London concert from 2007 shows that the rock lions can still roar


Monday, October 15, 2012


  • Title: Led Zeppelin, 'Celebration Day'
  • Film Info: Swan Song/Atlantic DVD.


Led Zeppelin’s “Celebration Day”

The stakes couldn’t have been higher.

When the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin took the stage at London’s O2 Arena in December of 2007 — 27 years after playing their last show under their sainted name — they had to live up to a legacy of muscle and finesse barely matched in the last half century of music.

Eyewitnesses — which, tragically, did not include yours truly — swore up and down that the trio, with drummer Jason Bonham subbing for his late dad, did their storied past proud. But the grainy snips available on YouTube provided no proof. Which tested the faith of the 20 million fans who applied for tix, only to have all but 18,000 of them turned down flat.

Starting tomorrow, no one will have to leave the show’s reputation to hearsay. “Celebration Day,” which captures the two-hour concert, plays for one night only, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at multiple area theaters, before coming out on DVD and CD Nov. 19. The richly photographed, shrewdly focused flick proves that, if anything, those who mooned over the original show understated it.

This concert kills.

Director Dick Carruthers kept his camera right where he should: onstage. Few crowd shots turn up, and not a single glimpse outside the hall or interview with the band interrupts the music’s flow. Often Carruthers places his camera right between the musicians, the better to catch every ricochet and volley of their dynamics.

From the start of the 16-song set we see the players primed to exploit the limits of their connection. This isn’t just a bunch of pros faithfully delivering the material. It’s a reanimated, organic band, rediscovering the energy and flair of their old songs in real time.

Bonham, who shares his father’s meaty paws and double-bass-drum-style, looks like he’s about to eat the kit. He plays ravenously. The oft-overlooked John Paul Jones shows the full jazz of his bass work, navigating the abstractions of “Dazed and Confused” with as much invention as star player Page. In “Trampled Under Foot,” his keyboards give the song its boiling funk.

While Plant has often held his voice in check in his post-Zep projects, he scales a vintage Golden God yelp in “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” He shows his intuitive play with Page with each charge to “push, push.”

If anything Page’s riff-work in “The Song Remains the Same” outpaces his original lightning-fast runs. All his stop-start riffs carry thunder and sex.

Back in 1976, Zep released the meandering concert film “The Song Remains the Same.” Decades down the line, the sinew and elaboration of the new movie puts that old one to shame. With no plans for a Zep tour, “Celebration Day” stands as a one-night-only ticket to see rock’s great lions roar.

Ticket info: ledzeppelin.com

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Jimmy Page: 'It took two years for us to watch reunion gig footage' – watch

Led Zep guitarist says Celebration Day was never supposed to be released

Jimmy Page says it took two years before he and the rest of Led Zeppelin sat down to watch the footage of their 2007 reunion show, and another three years before it was ready for release.

Speaking to NME at the London premiere of Celebration Day, Page said: "It was important that if we were going to do [a reunion] at all, that we went out there and did it properly. We put a lot of time and effort into it so that it would be what you're going to see now, which is just one show – that's all we did, no warm-up gigs, no follow-up. It wasn't designed to be a film at all. That's why it's taken a little while to come out, because we didn't even look at it for two years after we'd done it, so we could be a bit more objective about it."


The guitarist also revealed that there were sound problems onstage at the O2 Arena, but that the band were well-rehearsed enough to overcome them. "The first two numbers we couldn't hear the monitors onstage, so that's how well attuned we were for it… it just grew all the way through," he said.

Also on the red carpet were Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, who revealed that 'For Your Life' was his favourite song of the show, because "we'd never played it together before," and Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno, who described Led Zeppelin as "Just an incredible rock'n'roll band."

The three members of Led Zeppelin evaded questions about when the next reunion might happen. Last week, Robert Plant called a journalist in New York a "schmuck" for asking the same.

Celebration Day, a concert film of the band's 2007 appearance at London's 02 Arena, will screen in cinemas from October 17. It will then get a general DVD release on November 19. A deluxe edition will also include footage of the Shepperton rehearsals, as well as BBC news footage.


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I'm surprised and disappointed by the lack of media coverage in Australia. Nothing in the movies / music sections of the Sunday papers and no TV ads. Surely the label and the cinema operators want people to go. I wonder if I hadn't been watching the forum if I'd even know myself. The session at the cinema I (and the group of friends i'm dragging in) is about 1/3 booked.

Still, less than 24 hours for me until I'm watching Celebration Day :hurrah:

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I'm surprised and disappointed by the lack of media coverage in Australia. Nothing in the movies / music sections of the Sunday papers and no TV ads. Surely the label and the cinema operators want people to go. I wonder if I hadn't been watching the forum if I'd even know myself. The session at the cinema I (and the group of friends i'm dragging in) is about 1/3 booked.

Still, less than 24 hours for me until I'm watching Celebration Day :hurrah:

I'm with you there! Where abouts are you watching? I'm heading to the Dendy in Newtown. I hope they have a great setup, it was just renovated. Blu-ray preordered anyway!

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I'm surprised and disappointed by the lack of media coverage in Australia. Nothing in the movies / music sections of the Sunday papers and no TV ads. Surely the label and the cinema operators want people to go. I wonder if I hadn't been watching the forum if I'd even know myself. The session at the cinema I (and the group of friends i'm dragging in) is about 1/3 booked.

Still, less than 24 hours for me until I'm watching Celebration Day :hurrah:

MMMFM have been advertising it all week.

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MOVIE REVIEW: 'LED ZEPPELIN: CELEBRATION DAY''Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day' could be one for the ages

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 1:00 pm | Updated: 1:55 pm, Tue Oct 16, 2012.

By ED CONDRAN Correspondent

After experiencing the first 15 minutes of the epic Led Zeppelin concert film "Celebration Day," the question fans can’t help but ask is why won’t the band reunite for a tour?

The three surviving members of the legendary act — vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones — and Jason Bonham, son of the late John Bonham, the group's drummer, were that extraordinary when the band played under the Led Zeppelin moniker for the first time in 27 years for a one-off show at London’s O2 Arena in December 2007.

The reviews were primarily raves and after checking out the film, it’s evident why critics are over the moon for "Celebration Day."

It took six weeks of rehearsals to prepare for the benefit concert, which celebrated the life of iconic Atlantic Records CEO Ahmet Ertegun, who passed away in 2006.

Director Dick Carruthers took a nod from Jonathan Demme’s chronicling of the Talking Heads in 1984's "Stop Making Sense": Ignore the audience, avoid interviews and other distractions. Point the camera at the band and let the magic happen.

Page remains an ax wizard, bringing much of the thunder during the 16-song set. Plant picks and chooses when to reach back for that familiar clarion call, which he does so effectively during "Kashmir." The underheralded Jones adds jazzy touches and drives "Trampled Under Foot" with his soulful keyboard play. And then there is Jason Bonham, who proves nepotism isn’t the reason he was selected. Bonzo Jr. provides the hammer, just like his dad.

Unlike many reunions, it was evident Page, Plant and Jones were having a blast. Their easy smiles, laughter and warm glances while they reconnected were a welcome alternative to the palpable chill between members of The Police during their reunion show and the near-contemptuous stares between Simon and Garfunkel during their concerts last decade.

"Celebration Day" certainly beats the 1976 concert film "The Song Remains The Same," which drifts aimlessly at times.

But there is only one chance to catch "Celebration Day" on-screen before it hits the DVD racks Nov. 19.

The film reaches theaters Wednesday — and that’s it.

Talk about a limited run. It may very well be the last time the group shares a stage. The members of the band gave that impression during a press conference in New York last week.

It’s shocking anyone not named Dave Chappelle would leave so much money on the table in this avaricious age. Do you think there would be demand for Led Zeppelin tickets? Twenty million fans applied for ducats for the London show. Only 18,000 landed tickets.

Fans who wonder if the band will ever perform again should play the classic Zeppelin track "What Is and What Should Never Be."


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Led Zeppelin Concert Film Director: 'This Is How the Band Will Be Remembered'

Footage of 2007 reunion hits theaters tomorrow

Director Dick Carruthers speaks before the screening of the UK Premiere of 'Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day' at Hammersmith Apollo in London.

By James Sullivan

October 16, 2012

Led Zeppelin is often discussed in terms of their enormity. They were the world's biggest rock band; they sang about mountains and epics and laid down the hammer of the gods. However, according to Dick Carruthers, who directed the band's state-of-the-art new concert film, Celebration Day, the real key to their enduring success lies in the little things, especially the intimacy between Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones.

"Before we'd even shot a frame, I had an innate knowledge of what they do," Carruthers tells Rolling Stone, calling in while he stops for a pint at the historic Old Bull and Bush pub near his London home. "The way Robert stands, the way Jimmy and Robert get together on those certain bluesy bits, the way they cluster around the drum kit... How they communicate onstage is brilliant – the winks and nods, [like] 'Fuckin' hell, just about got through that one, didn't we?' There were a couple of those."

Carruthers is one of the most trusted concert filmmakers in the business, having shot feature-length films for Oasis, the White Stripes, the Killers and many more. He filmed Celebration Day, which screens in theaters across America tomorrow and is released commercially next month, during the band's one-off reunion in 2007 at London's O2 Arena. He was introduced to Jimmy Page a decade ago, after directing The Who Live at the Royal Albert Hall; Page wanted to sort through unseen footage of his old band in its prime, and Carruthers jumped at the chance. "I said, 'Let's go tomorrow,'" he recalls. "'I know where you live – I'll pick you up.'"

They spent a year and a half together making the double-disc Led Zeppelin DVD with vintage footage from London, Paris, New York and elsewhere. Working with film from two or three cameras, as concerts were shot in those days, Carruthers couldn't help but think of what might have been. "If only I'd been there with 15 cameras and my crack ninja team," he says.

When the band agreed to the O2 reunion, a benefit for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, Carruthers got his chance. Though the cameras were there to provide footage for the live video screen, future production was not ruled out. "It was just absurd not to record everything," Carruthers notes. "And if you're going to do it, let's do it right. It's Led Zeppelin – there wasn't a lot of corner-cutting."

Celebration Day keeps it simple, training its gaze on the three surviving band members and drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late member John Bonham. In editing the footage, the director wanted the crowd to be incidental, no more than an occasional reminder of just how eagerly the reunion was anticipated.

"It should be like a theater play – it takes five minutes to get in, and the fourth wall disappears and you are just there. You're absorbed by them, the performance, the music and that's it," Carruthers says.

The set opens with "Good Times Bad Times," the tumultuous opening statement from the band's debut album in 1969. "That's a very complex piece of music," says Carruthers, "and they go straight in. There's a beautiful paradox there – first song, first album, but right at the deep end musically." Over two hours, the band incorporated some of its best-known material with deeper album tracks, such as "For Your Life" (from 1976's Presence), which they'd never played live before. "What an amazing, staccato, spiky song!" gushes Carruthers. He did, however, have to urge the band to placate their fans. "I do remember a funny discussion about 'Stairway to Heaven,'" he adds, "with me saying, 'Look, guys, you've got to play it!'"

Though Page and Plant have routinely dismissed calls for further reunion shows, they still share a tight, affectionate bond, Carruthers says. "They're terrific company. They have great camaraderie, like your school buddies – you can always be yourself, and there's a lot of laughter and bawdy chat. That's absolutely what it's like."

Onstage, the band reminded him of "a masterful downhill skier," he says. "You can't know how it's going to turn out when you jump out of the blocks at the top of the mountain, but when you come up to each corner, you remember it, and you nail it."

In lieu of another reunion show, Carruthers says, "This is how the band will be seen and remembered. I wonder if I shouldn't say that, but it's probably true."

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I'm surprised and disappointed by the lack of media coverage in Australia. Nothing in the movies / music sections of the Sunday papers and no TV ads. Surely the label and the cinema operators want people to go. I wonder if I hadn't been watching the forum if I'd even know myself. The session at the cinema I (and the group of friends i'm dragging in) is about 1/3 booked.

Finally, a little piece in the 'what's on' in our local rag today.

It's 17/10/2012 11:42a.m our time now. Nearly there :D

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Must-see: Led Zeppelin’s ‘Celebration Day’

October 17th, 2012, 3:00 am posted by BEN WENER, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER



Led Zeppelin last month in London at the press conference announcing the release of ‘Celebration Day.’ From left: John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Photo: Danny Martindale, Getty Images

Many of us Zep fanatics – the million-plus who tried for tickets times at least 10 – have taken it on good faith for five years that one of the most momentous performances in rock history was every bit as jaw-dropping incredible as everyone said it was at the time.

Now there’s proof: Celebration Day, the riveting, invigorating film documenting Led Zeppelin’s sole full-length reunion performance since last briefly touring at the dawn of the ’80s. It fully delivers on the mythologizing hype that immediately burst forth after that show, finally placing a properly gleaming capstone on their seismic career after a series of self-described shambolic attempts in the past, and giving idolizing devotees who were too young to see the real thing a golden glimpse at the thunder of these gods in action.

Having premiered last week in London, with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones on hand for the screening, the two-hour chronicle of their once-unthinkable stunner at London’s O2 Arena in December 2007 next plays in theaters countywide for one night only – tonight, Oct. 17 – then arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on Nov. 20. CD and vinyl versions of the soundtrack also become available that day, not long before the group is saluted at the annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.

Celebration Day is a monumental testament, nothing less than the epic you’d expect from a group that so enigmatically and painstakingly oversees its legacy. Once you’re engulfed in director Dick Carruthers’ masterful encapsulation of Zeppelin’s tremendous achievement, inspired by the memory of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, it’s easy to understand at least one reason why they might never want to do it again.

After twice sputtering back to life at other occasions (a sloppy four songs at Live Aid in ’85, another mess at Atlantic’s 40th anniversary in ’88) that left both themselves and their fans disappointed, this time they really got it right. No matter how much we may crave seeing this in the flesh, why cheapen the moment with a cash-grab tour when they so convincingly nailed it the one time they really went all out to honor their past?

You’ll certainly never get as close to their center of gravity, anyway, for then as now this elder Led Zeppelin (with Jason Bonham mightily filling the shoes of his incomparable father) is a grippingly tight unit.

I don’t mean their playing is suffocatingly perfect, though their instincts for the funkiest of grooves are unerring to the point of unearthly – especially during a devilish “Black Dog,” an explosive blast through “Trampled Under Foot” (Zep’s interpretation of Robert Johnson’s 1936 “Terraplane Blues,” according to Plant), and the slippery shifts in climactic epics like “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” and a supernal “In My Time of Dying.”

But blues enthusiasts to the end, they embellish throughout every piece, from the stomping “Good Times Bad Times” kickoff and the rousing “Rock and Roll” finale to all points in between, including the first-ever live version of “For Your Life,” a suitably demonic “Dazed and Confused” (replete with violin-bow guitar solo), a majestic rendition of “No Quarter” and, yes, “Stairway to Heaven,” still awesome after all these years.

With heaps of grit to match his astonishingly fluid fretwork, Page enlivens all those staple riffs that have spawned scores of garage-bound, would-be virtuosos, executing them with warm familiarity yet suffusing each song with wizardly magic, his fingers startlingly nimble like a young man’s. He’s reborn in the moment, baptized by sweat – whereas Plant has been subconsciously working his way up to this pinnacle for a decade.

On his solo tours backed by the aptly named Strange Sensation, the one-of-a-kind singer has explored the deepening fissures of his voice and found expressive new ways to put across old melodies; he retains their spirit while toying with their cadence, smartly mapping ways around soaring high notes that are now out of reach without diminishing soulfulness or thematic scope. (And then there are those times when you can tell he’s been holding off on smaller-scale range-scraping – say, the cries amid “Misty Mountain Hop” – so that he’s got enough in the tank for the wailing bits that really matter, like the end of “Whole Lotta Love.”)


Bonham, as I mentioned, is a monster behind a clear, yellow-tint kit with the Hindenburg image from the first Led Zeppelin cover on his bass head. More on-the-money than in-the-pocket (like Bonzo was), he’s the glue that binds these three titanic talents together, appropriately weighty when required but often deftly powering the proceedings to higher heights while your focus is elsewhere; take note of how his playing builds from straight-ahead plod to cyclonic propulsion during “Kashmir,” and how he eventually takes the reins of that dangerously monotonous monolith.

But for me, the revelation is the least flashy person on stage: John Paul Jones. The rich theater mix (presumably translated to home surround-sound systems) allows you to hear the details of his complex underpinnings even when you can’t watch his calloused hands stretch out on bass. When the camera does zoom in on him, though, especially while at his keyboard array, his skill is mesmerizing. I used to think Ray Manzarek was a marvel at balancing bottom heft with top-end filigree. Now that I’ve seen JPJ do that and more with his hands while tapping out bass parts with his feet, Manzarek seems practically one-dimensional.

All of that plus the evolving mood on stage – the culmination of “thousands and thousands of emotions we’ve been going through these past six weeks to get to this point,” Plant explains – is on eavesdropping display throughout Celebration Day, the gaggle of cameras catching egged-on glances, elated/relieved smiles and all manner of body language you could read any which way and probably still wind up wrong. (By the way, I wasn’t wild at first about the occasional inserts of grainy Super 8-style footage, often at curiously dynamic moments. Eventually, however, the editing rhythm falls into place, achieving a galloping strength all its own.)

What I noticed above all, though, was how insular Zeppelin still is, often huddled closely in front of Bonham to cull as much force as possible. They rarely sprawl out or strike poses, gaining intensity while maintaining permanent cool by focusing their flow of energy in a tightly drawn arc. You’d never be able to crack into that inner layer from a triple-digit seat a football field away from the stage were they to ever really tour.

Yet it’s a transcendent thing to watch, rare among concert films – rarer still among Led Zeppelin’s cinematic canon. All due respect to a generation or two’s stoned love of The Song Remains the Same (1976) and the many gems tucked within the self-titled DVD box set of 2003, but Celebration Day is to Zep on film what the superb How the West Was Won package (also ’03) was to Zep on record: the great concert we’ve long wanted.

This, it’s safe to assume, is as near as we’ll ever get to having Led Zeppelin back at full capacity, as I’m firmly in the camp that believes this will never, ever happen again. I’m grateful that I’ll have versions I can play at home when I need a reminder of how immense they could sound live. But nothing will match seeing it on a big screen with a killer sound system pumping at maximum volume. If I weren’t taking in Neil Young & Crazy Horse at the Bowl, I’d undoubtedly be seeing this all over again. Wish someone was showing it at midnight in Hollywood.

Among the theaters showing Celebration Day are Cinema City Theatres in Anaheim Hills, Century Stadium 25 in Orange, AMC Orange 30 at the Block, Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 and Century Huntington Beach.


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5 reasons not to miss Led Zeppelin's concert movie 'Celebration Day'

By Tony Sclafani, NBC News contributor

The news that emerged from Led Zeppelin’s New York news conference last week was so focused on whether the legendary rock band would or wouldn’t reunite that few writers focused on the reason for the conference to begin with. And that’s the theatrical release of the group’s concert film "Celebration Day" today.

The film captures the band at a 2007 reunion concert at London’s O2 Arena and will be shown on 1,500 screens in select cities (the band’s web site lets you search for one near you). Here are five reasons to go see the film.

1. It has a hella good set list

Rather than use their reunion as an excuse to hawk new material that could possibly taint their legacy, Led Zep broke out a set list of classics most fans will want to hear -- and see. Songs run the gamut from early favorites like "Good Times Bad Times" and "Dazed and Confused" to rock staples like "No Quarter," "Black Dog," and "Rock and Roll."

2. They played 'Stairway'

Yes, "Stairway to Heaven" is a tried-and-true warhorse that everyone’s tired of. Even the film "Wayne’s World" joked about how tired people were of it and that was back in 1992. But what band in its right mind would create such a classic, then ignore it in front of thousands of fans at a reunion gig? When it was played on Dec. 10, 2007, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham (filling in for his deceased father John) gave fans the experience of a lifetime hearing the song in the flesh.

3. It was for a good cause

A lot of reunions are cash-ins, but Zep played to benefit the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund. Ertegun was the founder and president of Atlantic Records, a pioneering American label that helped bring rhythm and blues artists like Ray Charles and Ruth Brown to the masses before Zeppelin came aboard in 1968. Accordingly, Ertegun’s charity is dedicated to helping gifted children to "reach their highest creative potential."

4. It won’t be 'round for long

According to news releases, "Celebration Day" will hit theaters for a "strictly limited engagement." In most places, that will mean two days: today and Thursday. A spokesperson from the Gorgeous Media Group, which is promoting the film in the Washington, D.C., region, says some theaters will be adding extra days, but also notes that "the band wanted the screening of the film to be a one-time event." So if you don’t catch it this week, you’ll have to wait for the Nov. 19 DVD release.

5. It’ll send you back ...

... even if you weren’t around to begin with when Zep ruled the world. Led Zeppelin’s back catalog is one of rock’s best and it’s worth exploring again from the original eight studio albums to the band’s 1974 concert film, "The Song Remains the Same" to the two-disc set "Led Zeppelin DVD," a 2003 release of live performances spanning 1969 to 1979. They call this stuff classic rock for a reason, after all.


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Thanks Deb for posting the Orange County Register review; I usually like reading Ben Wener's stuff and he delivers the goods on this one.

But somebody in the Led Zeppelin publicity department needs to get it together. I can't believe how many articles and reviews are stating that "Celebration Day" is only screening for one day, Oct. 17, when that is clearly not the case, as there are screenings on at many theatres on Oct. 18 and other dates.

If people reading these articles think it's only showing today, and don't know about tomorrow's screenings, that is going to affect the box office for the other showings.

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Celebration Day review: Led Zep on a roll

Wednesday October 17, 2012


Soren Solkaer Starbird/Warner Music Group Led Zeppelin, from left, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, prove they've still got it in Celebration Day.

By Peter Howell Movie Critic

Celebration Day

sb_star10.gifsb_star10.gifsb_star10.gifsb_halfstar.gif (out of 4)

Documentary on the Dec. 10, 2007 reunion of Led Zeppelin. Directed by Dick Carruthers. 124 minutes. Playing at GTA theatres Oct. 17, 19 and 25. (Selected theatres only Oct. 19.)

Celebration Day’s belated arrival, five long years after the Led Zeppelin reunion concert it faithfully documents, answers two burning questions about this immortal British rock band.

Was the Dec. 10, 2007 show at London’s 02 Arena as good as claimed by the lucky 18,000 fans who scored tickets, out of 20 million supplicants?

And is there any reason to hope it was more than just a one-off?

The emphatic answer to the first question is “yes.” Every moment of this unvarnished chronicle by Dick Carruthers attests to the remarkable staying power and musicianship of founding members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, who performed with Jason Bonham, son of late drummer John Bonham.

From the slow-burning show opener of “Good Times, Bad Times,” to the rousing second-encore crowd-pleaser “Rock and Roll,” the band rolls back the 27 years since their last headlining gig. Their career had been cut short by the 1980 alcohol poisoning death of John Bonham.

The 02 Arena concert was in tribute to the recent passing of Atlantic Record founder Ahmet Ertegun, who had signed the band to his label. Ertegun died in 2006 after a backstage fall during the filming of Shine a Light, a Rolling Stones concert doc that is very different from this one.

Celebration Day eschews the usual pre-show planning and off-stage palaver. Multiple cameras are employed, including a Super 8 one in the crowd, but there are no split-screen tricks or artful edits.

And with the exception of an opening montage of 1973 American TV news clips, which seem a bit out of place but do establish Led Zep’s stadium-shaking credentials, there’s no archival footage. The show is all meat and no filler.

With 16 carefully chosen songs canvassing the band’s 10-album history (including “For Your Life,” never before played live), the group recalls both its booming and bluesy sides, with Jason Bonham adding much more than just sonic recreation of his dad’s mighty pounding of the skins.

The thunder is there in the likes of “Whole Lotta Love,” “Black Dog” and “Dazed and Confused,” but it’s where guitarist Page, singer Plant and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones choose to roll rather than rock out that perhaps impresses the most.

“In My Time of Dying” and “Since I’ve Been Loving You” really showcase the band’s tight interplay, especially Page’s incredible guitar solos and Plant’s still-impressive vocals, which have lost the high-end wail of his youth but have gained extra soulfulness.

Only a slight warble during “Stairway to Heaven” attests to the effect the passing years have had on Plant’s pipes.

And now comes the answer to the second question above, hinted at by the grins of joy, but also evident relief, that you see on the band members’ faces.

Will they do this again? The answer would seem to be “likely not.” There were hopes for a tour and even a new album after the 02 Arena success, but the delayed release of this concert film suggests a change of heart.

They have nothing left to prove. A grinding tour would tax Plant’s voice, although you have to wonder why the band resists using backup vocalists (apart from Bonham’s brief contributions), as the Stones and Beach Boys do.

Celebration Day, available soon on DVD following this brief theatrical run, provides the farewell that fans had been hoping for since Led Zep loyally disbanded following Bonham’s death.

“Ahmet, we did it!” Plant says at one point, looking up to the heavens.

That they did, in spades.

- Toronto Star


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Led Zeppelin: 'There was a swagger – we knew we were good'

The film Celebration Day captures Led Zeppelin onstage in all their glory in 2007. The band discuss their musical legacy, reputation for excess – and why they will never reunite again

• Michael Hann

• The Guardian, Thursday 11 October 2012

The first thing you notice is how close together they are. Led Zeppelin are not scattered around the huge stage of the O2 arena in London like 100m relay runners awaiting the baton, like most bands at this venue. They are huddled within a few feet of each other in the centre of the stage, and they stay that way for most of the two hours or so of Celebration Day, the new movie that captures their one-off return to playing live in December 2007. Jimmy Page might wander off a few feet to hit a guitar pedal, John Paul Jones occasionally sets his bass down to sit at a keyboard, but Robert Plant sings from the heart of the group, just in front of the drum kit – occupied by Jason Bonham, son of Zeppelin's drummer John, who died in 1980. For most of the film, all four of them are in frame simultaneously.

"It was like a shield wall – it was a Romano-British shield wall, and what was coming at us was the idea of failure and ridiculousness – for me," says Plant, speaking on a sunny autumn morning in his local in north London. "It would be precocious of me to walk to the front of the stage and take on a kind of rock singer pose, at that time in my being – and that's five years ago. I could only send it up, and I don't want to do that."

"It was always like that," counters Jones, talking later that day amid the old-money graciousness of the Connaught hotel in Mayfair, where he and Page are both ensconced. "You need to be that close. There's a lot going on, a lot to concentrate on and focus on. Plus, I like to feel the wind from the bass drum."

"This was going to be a critical show," Page says. "We only had one shot at it, so we needed to go out there and do it really well. There was a lot of listening to be done, there was a lot of communication – nods and winks, and you can see this generate through the course of the evening to the point where we're really communicating through the music."

Celebration Day will likely mark the world's last chance to see Led Zeppelin communicating through the music. At a press conference the following day, they will avoid questions about whether they will ever again reunite, but Plant's ambivalence about Zeppelin's role in his current life is evident during our conversation. He talks about how being the singer in the band is "just kind of narrating some bits and pieces which hold together some great instrumentation". He says fronting Led Zeppelin means being specifically a rock'n'roll singer – and how that's not what he is any more; he's a singer. He talks about how the lyrics of those old, old songs are the words of a young man – "There was nothing cerebral about what I was doing at all" – even if he knows his writing got better as the band matured.

And he talks about how the last years of the group were something different anyway, after first he and his wife were seriously injured in a car crash in 1975, and then his five-year-old son Karac died of a respiratory infection in 1977. "My boyhood was over," he says. "I was 27 [in 1975] and flattened. A little premature, but that was it. It was over. Whatever happened after that was going to be different, and so it was."

What you experience on Celebration Day, then – those extraordinary songs, somehow combining intricacy and technical excellence with the wham! and the bam! of the earliest rock'n'roll – is just a reminder of how things must have been before it had to be different. For almost the whole point of Led Zeppelin is that it was music made by young men supremely confident in their ability to bend anything to their will – hard rock, folk, blues, funk, Arab-influenced epics, balladry. There is no doubt in their music: Dazed and Confused is as inaptly titled a signature song as could be. "There was a Zeppelin swagger, definitely," Jones says drily. "We knew we were good. At our best, we thought we could be a match for any band on the planet. And at our worst, we were better than most of them."

In one way, though, Celebration Day captures Led Zeppelin rather more perfectly than any previous live document: it's tight and punchy and unrelenting. Might it even be a better representation of Zeppelin's strengths than live shows in their heyday, when they might surrender half the set to lengthy solo instrumental excursions? "I think you should ask Jimmy that," Plant says, with a slight laugh. "Time is a funny thing when you're onstage. It did leave me occasionally a little bit adrift. But I'm a Jimmy Page fan, so I like to hear where he goes."

I do put the question to Page, who punches his hand quickly and repeatedly. "Like that!" he says, illustrating the ferocity of their presentation. "That's exactly what we were. That was the intention. We're doing that to bring in the element of surprise."

Then he notices the implicit criticism of lengthy solo instrumental excursions. "Can I just say, the thing with Led Zeppelin in the day – sure, the sets got longer, but it wasn't necessarily because of extended solos. Although that certainly would have helped." The problem, he says, was the desire never to lose anything from the set, even when new songs were added after each album. "We'd start out with a stripped-down show and by the end of the tour we were playing twice as long," Jones says. "And then, the next tour, we'd strip it all down again and start again."Page formed Led Zeppelin in 1968, after the Yardbirds broke up around him. His first recruit was Jones, whom he had known from the sessions they had worked on in the mid-60s. "I just wanted to stop going crazy and do something creative," Jones says. "And so I thought: 'I don't care what it is, as long as it's good.'" He was followed by Plant and Bonham, a young singer and drummer whom Page travelled up to Birmingham to scout.

Jones remembers their first rehearsal, in a basement in Chinatown, London in August 1968. "You think: 'I hope this drummer's all right, I really do,' because if the drummer's not listening or not on the ball, it's really hard work for a bass player. The first number we played – 'Ah, thank God for that; he's not only good, he's great; this is gonna be a joy.'"

Page already had a design for the group, having seen the way a new rock scene was developing in the US when he toured with the Yardbirds. "The FM stations were playing full sides of albums. Plus I'd been playing what were called the underground clubs – the Fillmores and places like that – with the Yardbirds. I could see the way it could go. One of the things we didn't adhere to was the singles market. We didn't have to do that because we had the mindset of these stations. It made a difference to how you would sequence the numbers and how one thing would roll into another – the cascading hills and valleys within the music."

The first Zeppelin album came out less than six months after the group had formed, and so began the relentless process of becoming the biggest band in the world. "It was hard touring," Jones recalls. "We toured by car for the first tour. There was another bloke in a little van driving the equipment. We finally got it right and got the private jet. We finally figured it out." It's surprising to see, given Zeppelin's live reputation, that only 295 shows are listed on their website, across the entire course of their career – less surprising that 133 of them were in the US.

The bigger the band got, the more of the world they got to see, and the more their music opened out, assimilating influences way beyond the scope of their hard rock peers. There were visits to India, to Morocco, to other places where 12-bar blues wasn't the muscial lingua franca. "In Morocco, we had some Nakamichi recording gear, which was quite the thing in those days, that Jimmy had got hold of," Plant says. "Every year there was a folklore festival in Marrakech and I got a press pass. I said I was working for the NME. And I could get right to the front with my recorder, and there were a lot of Berber rhythms that were spectacular."

And sometimes, Plant says, they left impressions of their own: "Jimmy and I played in a club in Bombay in 1972. I played drums and he played guitar and it was the only club in Bombay that had a drum kit. Somehow or other we ended up in there with loads and loads of illicit substances. Some guy is writing a book about rock in India – and apparently it was born in this club with Page and me wired out of our faces. I'm not a very good drummer, to say the least, but for some reason or another it left a mark."

When they returned from their travels and the four of them became Led Zeppelin again, the process of integrating the ideas into song began, be it some fragile acoustic snippet, or one of those towering electric edifices – Kashmir, Achilles' Last Stand, In My Time of Dying, Stairway to Heaven – that still startle with their grandeur. It was all done before they reached the studio, hence the fact that even their final album – with Bonham and Page reportedly deep in their narcotic and alcoholic addictions – took only three weeks to record.

"Page and I were studio musicians originally," Jones says, "and you don't waste time in a studio by trying to figure out the chord sequences. Studios cost money. If you want to work out everything you hire some old house or wherever and just go and sit there for however long it takes. Then you go and record it."The preferred old house was Headley Grange, a former workhouse in Hampshire, where Zeppelin would write and rehearse and then, when ready, summon the Rolling Stones's mobile studio to record the results, with Page overseeing sessions with minute attention to detail.

"I was curious to know how things had been recorded on some of the records that I was really keen on," he says. "From Robert Johnson, where you can hear how he's moving in and out on the mic, to those recordings that were done by Sam Phillips, and the Little Richard records. Where were the mics placed? How many mics were there? I learned various things that I now put into practice. And when I was a studio musician, then I could really see how recording worked, and also how it didn't work – like a drummer who was stuck in a little isolated booth, which was padded out so you couldn't hear any of the natural ambience of his kit. And so I knew instinctively that the drums had to breathe, but the fact was you had John Bonham, who really knew how to tune his drums, he really knew how to make them project."

And so Led Zeppelin developed that huge, spacious signature sound. Plant sounded as if he had hatched from some alien egg, all disembodied yowls and indecipherable screams, compared to the other blues-rock shouters of the day; Jones could arrange songs into new shapes or offer basslines beyond the imagination of other players. And then there was Page's guitar. For all the epic soloing, the Zeppelin records show off a player with a startling lack of vanity: he's always serving the song, and often he's low in the mix, letting Bonham and Jones rumble on before the necessary colour is added. His most effective interjections could be the simplest: the strange, off-key, rhythmic stabs that give the end of Immigrant Song its dramatic tension, for example.

For all that Zeppelin soon became a huge band, they were spurned and mocked by critics. "All you knew was that the Stones got all the press, and we sold a shitload of records," Plant says. Jones remembers being shocked by Rolling Stone's damning review of their first album, and still sounds irritated by the resentment of the group's success. "I thought we were about the most honest band out there," he says. "We were playing music that we loved for the reason that we loved it. I remember reading somewhere a musician saying that at a festival: 'I saw piles of Fender basses.' I thought: you bastard. I had one bass for like eight years in Zeppelin. One Jazz bass, my 1962 Jazz bass – and I know it was 1962 because that was the year I bought it, new."

As with any band, it always comes back to the songs. And when you get as successful as Led Zeppelin did – the record concert attendances, the private planes, the platinum records – your songs cease to be your own: they become owned by the audience, and it is the crowd that grants them their meaning. As Plant says at the following day's press conference about Stairway to Heaven: "Maybe I'm still trying to work out what I was talking about. Every other fucker is."

"Part of the investment for all music lovers is selfish, because it takes us to places we want to be and we want to remember," he says in the pub, more thoughtfully. "It takes us to a different person than the one who's now listening to it."

Page is sanguine about it. He knew what people wanted at the O2, and he was happy to deliver. "There's no way that we could get together, and omit something like Stairway, that would've been insulting to the public. We'd have to do certain things: Whole Lotta Love's obviously gonna be in there, Kashmir just has to be in there, and Stairway."

But, Plant points out, the music still holds its power because it has not been overused: it doesn't represent anything but itself. "Because we haven't gone out and flogged it, there's an anticipation and a memory of it being clean and pure and not part of some sort of threshing middle-aged circus, which I think is very much to our credit. If we'd been part of the merry-go-round year after year, or every two years, I think it might have damaged everything."

A degree-course's worth of books has been written about Zeppelin over the years, all containing their share of astonishing and horrifying stories. If only a fraction held any truth – and there are simply too many tales of violence, paranoia, underage groupies and the like for some of them not to be true – you can still be fairly certain that being in Led Zeppelin in the 1970s made possible decadence beyond imagining, and misbehaviour beyond mere condemnation. The tales provide ample fodder for those who see the band as vile representatives of a predatory, aggressive, arrogant male sexuality, even if for others they feed into the image of Zeppelin as the fullest representation of rock at its most swaggering. Ask them about what is often referred to as their "aura", though, and you meet a brick wall.

"It's the music," Page says. "My life has been about that, not just trying to create a stir over something else that's irrelevant to the music. I'll tell you something: in all those books you won't get any more understanding about the music than you will by actually listening to it. It's not about some bit of insanity over here, it's about that music that's recorded across those albums."

"Any peripheral bullshit left me cold and still does," Plant says. "The band was always four guys that got together and played and when they get together it becomes a different chemical combination. And in the middle of all that, there was probably a tiny fraction, a minuscule amount of what might be there now, of people being 'busy', people who were angling, people who wanted to encourage and advance their interests. It was a good thing to be near, because it was so powerful when it worked. It was an amulet for a lot of people."

Perhaps they are ashamed of what went on. Perhaps they feel not acknowledging the legend contributes to their lasting impact. Because, in a way, Zeppelin knew it wasn't really only about the music. Hence the attention lavished on their album sleeves. Led Zeppelin III – the one with the spinning card; Led Zeppelin IV – the one with no writing on it and the four symbols inside; Houses of the Holy – the one with the creepy cover of naked kids on the Giant's Causeway; Physical Graffiti – the one with the die-cut sleeve so the inner bag became part of the design; Presence – the one with the strange black obelisk and the embossed band name; In Through the Out Door – the one in the brown paper bag. Their albums were events.

"It was a major part," Page says of the designs. "It was quite interesting with the fourth album. We were getting flak from the press because they really couldn't understand what we were about. OK, we'll show you what it is, we'll put out an album with nothing on it, because it's what's inside that's going to be the important thing."

Of the three remaining men who once conquered the arenas of the world, you would bet on it being Page who most wishes they could do it again, though guessing what he's thinking is almost certainly a mug's game. After the band broke up, Plant was able to forge a successful solo career; after a period in which he "couldn't get arrested", Jones became an in-demand producer. Only Page never quite seemed to find a new musical home. Curiously, with his long white hair, he's the one who still looks most like a rock star from the days when bands were still big. And to hear him talk, you wish you could have been there during those days, too. "Sometimes we'd really be going at such a speed, to see whether we could really do it," he says of the band's shows back then. "If you go out with that sort of attitude, you're not going out there to fool around. There might be an area where it might dip – but it certainly comes back with a fury."

"All these cliches and terms that are used for whatever we were are fine," Plant says. "We were just a bunch of guys who could play in many different ways. And for young guys who were loaded with expectations of life and its promises, sometimes a tough backbeat doesn't hurt."


.....Thank you!! :notworthy:

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