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First Known Performances.


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After reading about Y Storm supporting Robert and the Sensational Shape Shifters at such a young age I was wondering if there is a consensus amongst the fan base here as to the ages and circumstances the four band members first appeared on stage as I gather they were all incredibly young. I've read many LZ book but to be honest I never know which facts are true and which are fiction.

Checked the search feature and nothing came up so hope your collective knowledge can help.

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Robert & Bonzo were both 20 years old on September 7th, 1968 (the first LZ gig) Page was 24 and Jones 22.

However if you are talking about the first time each individual member appeared on stage the first time that is a bit more tricky. Page appeared on TV back in 1957 when he was 13 playing in a skiffle band and then played professionally since 1959 or 1960. Jones came from a family of musicians and played in his fathers band(s) since the late 1950's and went on his own professionally around 1962 I believe. Robert performed on stage for the first time in 1965 (I think, not 100% sure), and Bonham in 1964 (also, I think).

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IpMan that is what I meant by individual performances. I know Page appeared on UK TV playing guitar as a young teen, and I read somewhere that Plant had been on a bill for a famous rocker (cannot recall who) for a one off performance as a 13/ 14 year old. I know Jones was a child prodigy so his public performances could be as a child and have no idea about John Bonham's early years but there must have been shows even before Band of Joy.

Would be interested if anyone had details.

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(John Paul) Jones joined his first band, The Deltas, at 15. He then played bass for jazz-rock London group, Jett Blacks, a collective that included guitarist John McLaughlin.[17]Jones' big break came in 1962 when he was hired by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan of the successful British group The Shadows for a two-year stint.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Paul_Jones_(musician)#Session_work

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Robert said his first gig was in 1962 at a skating rink in Swadlincote when he filled in on vocals for a friend from school who was too ill to perform.

Bonham's father bought him his first kit in 1963, and he began performing with Terry Webb & The Spiders in 1964...Old Hill Plaza (in Old Hill) is one of their confirmed gigs.

JPJ joined his first band, The Deltas in 1961/62, but prior to that he served as a choirmaster and organist at his local church. His Father was a pianist and arranger for numerous big bands in th 40s & 50s, but I haven't seen anything to suggest JPJ ever performed onstage with those bands.

Jimmy sung in the church choir at St. Barnabus in Epsom as a teen...the BBC tv performance was recorded April 4, 1958...undoubtedly he had been performing around Epsom at the time.

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Right I found an old post by you I believe Mr Jones about Robert playing on a bill with Gene Vincent at 14 so thank you for the information.

It looks like Robert's first gig was at 13 years old.

Bonzo was 14/15 years old

JPJ was around 15 years old.

Mr Page around 14 years old.

Also read the clipping where Robert wrote to a local paper about the poor payment rates bands were getting in Birmingham in around 1966. That seems rather low for live bands in the UK even just starting out. Was there a reason for this.

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Right I found an old post by you I believe Mr Jones about Robert playing on a bill with Gene Vincent at 14 so thank you for the information.

It looks like Robert's first gig was at 13 years old.

Bonzo was 14/15 years old

JPJ was around 15 years old.

Mr Page around 14 years old.

Also read the clipping where Robert wrote to a local paper about the poor payment rates bands were getting in Birmingham in around 1966. That seems rather low for live bands in the UK even just starting out. Was there a reason for this.

Just a guess but maybe it was because there were so many amazing local bands back then just starting out who would later become famous. In other words the market was saturated with talent which drove down the compensation. They were all looking for exposure to move on to the next level, no gigs, no exposure, no record deal.

In the early-mid 60's you would not swing a dead cat without hitting a dozen or more bands and individuals who would later change the face of music.

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IpMan that is what I meant by individual performances. I know Page appeared on UK TV playing guitar as a young teen, and I read somewhere that Plant had been on a bill for a famous rocker (cannot recall who) for a one off performance as a 13/ 14 year old. I know Jones was a child prodigy so his public performances could be as a child and have no idea about John Bonham's early years but there must have been shows even before Band of Joy.

Would be interested if anyone had details.

By public performances are you referring to each band member's first paying gig?

Edited by Disco Duck
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