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Were Other English Bands Jealous of Led Zeppelin


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Came across something interesting. Supposedly George Harrison had once wanted to go to a Zeppelin concert because in his own words: " I wanted to see what the fuss was about"  . I've heard rumors 2nd, 3rd, that he , Mick Jagger , Richards and some others were jealous of Zep's incredible success in the 70s. I'd be interested if anyone else heard anything about that. Personally, I don't doubt it. Harrison's solo career ( after All Things Must Pass) pretty much went nowhere during the 70s while  Zeppelin pretty much were a phenomena and  dominated the 70s as the Beatles had in the 60s. Anyone else hear anything like that? 

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Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Pete Townshend, and Keith Richards were pretty dismissive of Zeppelin. Ironic as their band members seemed either fine with Zep or were good friends with Zep. Clapton was of course friends with Page, all of The Who except for Townshend were friends with Zep, and the other Stones were also friendly with Zep.

Regarding the Beatles, McCartney, Harrison, and Ringo were all friends of Zep and Harrison & Ringo in particular hung out with the Zep boys frequently. Never heard anything from Lennon regarding Zep one way or the other.

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54 minutes ago, BobDobbs said:

Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Pete Townshend, and Keith Richards were pretty dismissive of Zeppelin. Ironic as their band members seemed either fine with Zep or were good friends with Zep. Clapton was of course friends with Page, all of The Who except for Townshend were friends with Zep, and the other Stones were also friendly with Zep.

Regarding the Beatles, McCartney, Harrison, and Ringo were all friends of Zep and Harrison & Ringo in particular hung out with the Zep boys frequently. Never heard anything from Lennon regarding Zep one way or the other.

John Lennon on Zeppelin:

 

https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/what-john-lennon-thought-was-great-about-led-zeppelin.html/

 

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Not to sound like a broken record, but to reiterate what I said on a previous thread on this same topic, the Beatles were always the more magnanimous ones when it came to Led Zeppelin.

But then, they had the confidence and security to do so. They had spent the 1960s dominating like no other, and were broken up and not in direct competition with other bands any more. Their status in rock Valhalla was secure.

All of the other first wave of British Invasion bands were still in competition and many thought that the brass ring of world domination would naturally fall to one of them…and not some young whippersnappers like Led Zeppelin, who were young, loud, brash and disrespectful to old blues traditions.

But let's look at where some of these bands stood as 1970 dawned.

The Rolling Stones were being grifted out of their Decca catalogue by Allen Klein and the fallout over Altamont cast a pall.

The Who had a few hit singles but their only album of the 1960s that really sold well was "Tommy". They had to tour to make money but because the costs of destroying their instruments and stage equipment mounted up, they did not really profit much from touring either. Their English 'Mod' sound was also seen as a regional thing and not really to everyone's tastes. And they suffered from not having a manager with their best interests at heart.

The Kinks. See above. Pretty much like The Who. Too English to some people and indifferent management.

None of these bands were exactly entering 1970 from a position of strength.

Led Zeppelin, meanwhile, had BALLS, big brassy balls…and they had Peter FUCKING Grant, who didn't take no shit and looked after his band first and foremost. Other bands could tour and sell millions of records and still not see a penny. Not Led Zeppelin. Peter Grant made sure of that.

Edited by Strider
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2 hours ago, Strider said:

Not to sound like a broken record, but to reiterate what I said on a previous thread on this same topic, the Beatles were always the more magnanimous ones when it came to Led Zeppelin.

But then, they had the confidence and security to do so. They had spent the 1960s dominating like no other, and were broken up and not in direct competition with other bands any more. Their status in rock Valhalla was secure.

All of the other first wave of British Invasion bands were still in competition and many thought that the brass ring of world domination would naturally fall to one of them…and not some young whippersnappers like Led Zeppelin, who were young, loud, brash and disrespectful to old blues traditions.

But let's look at where some of these bands stood as 1970 dawned.

The Rolling Stones were being grifted out of their Decca catalogue by Allen Klein and the fallout over Altamont cast a pall.

The Who had a few hit singles but their only album of the 1960s that really sold well was "Tommy". They had to tour to make money but because the costs of destroying their instruments and stage equipment mounted up, they did not really profit much from touring either. Their English 'Mod' sound was also seen as a regional thing and not really to everyone's tastes. And they suffered from not having a manager with their best interests at heart.

The Kinks. See above. Pretty much like The Who. Too English to some people and indifferent management.

None of these bands were exactly entering 1970 from a position of strength.

Led Zeppelin, meanwhile, had BALLS, big brassy balls…and they had Peter FUCKING Grant, who didn't take no shit and looked after his band first and foremost. Other bands could tour and sell millions of records and still not see a penny. Not Led Zeppelin. Peter Grant made sure of that.

Love it. Well said. Again. ✌🏼❤️🤘🏼

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Well, there's no question that bands like The Who, The Yardbirds, Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Deep Purple and the Jeff Beck Group had laid down the groundwork which Zeppelin were then able to exploit to the max, possibly to the detriment of some of the above. Bearing in mind Page's history though - both as a session man and with The Yardbirds - it does seem ridiculous to view Zeppelin as 'johnny-come-latelys'. Of course they had their influences, both old and recent, but then so did all of the aforementioned! The comparative ease with which they rose to the top came down to Grant and Page's experience and picking the right personnel far more than any kind of perceived 'luck' or ripping any of the above off. Covering 'You Shook Me' in the wake of Beck's version was quite ruthless, having said that!

Regarding The Who, I suspect Pete Townshend's antipathy towards Zep dates back to when Shel Talmy insisted on Page's presence at early Who sessions, just in case Pete didn't prove a capable enough guitarist for the job! Having said that, Page was allowed to perform the fuzz guitar part on 'Bald Headed Woman', so Pete can't have been all that offended. Then there's the dalliance Moon and Entwistle had with Beck and Page, which could - in theory - have seen the founding of a band called 'Led Zeppelin' two years early.

However, I think the real trouble probably began after The Who's triumphant Woodstock appearance in '69. I'm sure Pete considered the 70's to be there 'for the taking' by The Who at that point, then got miffed when Zeppelin muscled in. He then started nitpicking the band; Plant's visual similarity to Daltrey, the blockbuster rhythm section, covering old rock n' roll and r n' b numbers in their act, playing venues The Who had previously triumphed in (e.g the Albert Hall), etc, etc. There is a fundamental similarity between the two bands, but the differences are myriad as well, so I've tended to assume there was some personal issue involved beyond professional jealousy. After all, Pete never seems to get tired of kissing Jagger's arse and eulogising Ray Davies, does he? Anyway, The Who were still MASSIVE through the 70's and beyond and really started raking the money in after Kit Lambert was fired. I heard they even took their vast fortune to Rothchild's in London with a view to investing large, but walked out when they were kept waiting for more than half an hour!

Going back to the perceived Daltrey / Plant similarity, it is interesting that Plant has spent years slagging off Coverdale, but Daltrey has rarely said very much about Robert. Anyone got any 'Daltrey on Zep' quotes?

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1 hour ago, sydfloyd said:

Well, there's no question that bands like The Who, The Yardbirds, Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Deep Purple and the Jeff Beck Group had laid down the groundwork which Zeppelin were then able to exploit to the max, possibly to the detriment of some of the above. Bearing in mind Page's history though - both as a session man and with The Yardbirds - it does seem ridiculous to view Zeppelin as 'johnny-come-latelys'. Of course they had their influences, both old and recent, but then so did all of the aforementioned! The comparative ease with which they rose to the top came down to Grant and Page's experience and picking the right personnel far more than any kind of perceived 'luck' or ripping any of the above off. Covering 'You Shook Me' in the wake of Beck's version was quite ruthless, having said that!

Regarding The Who, I suspect Pete Townshend's antipathy towards Zep dates back to when Shel Talmy insisted on Page's presence at early Who sessions, just in case Pete didn't prove a capable enough guitarist for the job! Having said that, Page was allowed to perform the fuzz guitar part on 'Bald Headed Woman', so Pete can't have been all that offended. Then there's the dalliance Moon and Entwistle had with Beck and Page, which could - in theory - have seen the founding of a band called 'Led Zeppelin' two years early.

However, I think the real trouble probably began after The Who's triumphant Woodstock appearance in '69. I'm sure Pete considered the 70's to be there 'for the taking' by The Who at that point, then got miffed when Zeppelin muscled in. He then started nitpicking the band; Plant's visual similarity to Daltrey, the blockbuster rhythm section, covering old rock n' roll and r n' b numbers in their act, playing venues The Who had previously triumphed in (e.g the Albert Hall), etc, etc. There is a fundamental similarity between the two bands, but the differences are myriad as well, so I've tended to assume there was some personal issue involved beyond professional jealousy. After all, Pete never seems to get tired of kissing Jagger's arse and eulogising Ray Davies, does he? Anyway, The Who were still MASSIVE through the 70's and beyond and really started raking the money in after Kit Lambert was fired. I heard they even took their vast fortune to Rothchild's in London with a view to investing large, but walked out when they were kept waiting for more than half an hour!

Going back to the perceived Daltrey / Plant similarity, it is interesting that Plant has spent years slagging off Coverdale, but Daltrey has rarely said very much about Robert. Anyone got any 'Daltrey on Zep' quotes?

I never heard Plant slag Coverdale until the mid-80's which I think may be because up until the early 80's, Whitesnake did not try to sound like a Zeppelin clone, they were pretty good up until Slide it In where they started to take on a very Zeppelin-esque vibe. When the title track came out along with Slow & Easy most people I knew thought these were tunes off a Robert Plant solo album or a re-formed Zeppelin. Though Whitesnake did start sounding like Zeppelin I don't know why Plant would be upset or insulting toward Coverdale as IMO it is a compliment, plus David seems a genuinely nice fellow.

Daltrey & Plant have been friends for decades and there are countless pictures of the two together.

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1 hour ago, BobDobbs said:

Though Whitesnake did start sounding like Zeppelin I don't know why Plant would be upset or insulting toward Coverdale as IMO it is a compliment, plus David seems a genuinely nice fellow.

Robert was in the midst of his mid-life crisis. Had he felt more secure in his circumstances at the time it's quite likely Coverdale's success would not have annoyed him as much as it did.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/6/2021 at 4:35 PM, Strider said:

Not to sound like a broken record, but to reiterate what I said on a previous thread on this same topic, the Beatles were always the more magnanimous ones when it came to Led Zeppelin.

But then, they had the confidence and security to do so. They had spent the 1960s dominating like no other, and were broken up and not in direct competition with other bands any more. Their status in rock Valhalla was secure.

All of the other first wave of British Invasion bands were still in competition and many thought that the brass ring of world domination would naturally fall to one of them…and not some young whippersnappers like Led Zeppelin, who were young, loud, brash and disrespectful to old blues traditions.

But let's look at where some of these bands stood as 1970 dawned.

The Rolling Stones were being grifted out of their Decca catalogue by Allen Klein and the fallout over Altamont cast a pall.

The Who had a few hit singles but their only album of the 1960s that really sold well was "Tommy". They had to tour to make money but because the costs of destroying their instruments and stage equipment mounted up, they did not really profit much from touring either. Their English 'Mod' sound was also seen as a regional thing and not really to everyone's tastes. And they suffered from not having a manager with their best interests at heart.

The Kinks. See above. Pretty much like The Who. Too English to some people and indifferent management.

None of these bands were exactly entering 1970 from a position of strength.

Led Zeppelin, meanwhile, had BALLS, big brassy balls…and they had Peter FUCKING Grant, who didn't take no shit and looked after his band first and foremost. Other bands could tour and sell millions of records and still not see a penny. Not Led Zeppelin. Peter Grant made sure of that.

Great info and well said. Thanks for replying.

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  • 2 weeks later...

John Lennon may have liked Zeppelin indeed. Led Zeppelin ruled over many heavy rock bands hands down; say Mountain for example, who were quite heavy for that time. I never understood comparison between Led Zeppelin and KISS. Sure KISS was huge in the late 1970s, but Zeppelin were vastly superior music-wise and in global popularity, I think...

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