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LedZep1969

What date did Zeppelin form?

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I know it was in September of 1968 but what date. Isnt it like the 9 or 25?

Monday, August 12, 1968 at 39 Gerrard Street in London is generally cited as the date and location of the Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham lineup's first formal rehearsal.

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Monday, August 12, 1968 at 39 Gerrard Street in London is generally cited as the date and location of the Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham lineup's first formal rehearsal.

but is that the date where they first ALL got together? like the first time they played together?

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Questions like this tug at the fabric of the Led Zep myth.

The myth: Zep rehearsed for two days and did their first tour; allegedly they also wrote and recorded their first album in their first ten days together. That’s pretty damn quick. Who told the music press that?

The reality: Led Zeppelin’s Gerrard Street (the building excavated years ago) rehearsal (Aug 12) was conducted less than two weeks after Page first saw Bonham (July 31) and their first gig less than a month after that (Sept 7). They actually performed two shows in Denmark on the 7th: in Gladaxe and in Brondby. The tour, a total of 11 shows, ended Sept. 23, 1968 after taking the band through Sweden and Norway. They were definitely recording an album by October and indeed played a tour in September after less than a month’s rehearsal. Also pretty damn quick.

Speculation: Maybe they did rehearse only once more after Gerrard Street, but that sounds thoroughly unbelievable. The myth is Jones couldn't play Dazed & Confused correctly at the first rehearsal. Page has the reputation however as a perfectionist and after touring with the lackluster Yardies I doubt he wanted any sloppy playing on behalf of his new band.

Which leads to more mythical confusion. Sources have quoted Peter Grant saying he wasn't at the first rehearsal and never heard Plant until the band played in Denmark. He was also supposed to have been with Page and Chris Dreja when they saw Bonham the first time but sources quote Grant saying: "I know how much Jimmy loved that drummer because he didn't call me collect." Other sources claim Grant was threatening Bonzo at the first rehearsal. That story goes after the first song Page said to Bonham: "You need to keep it a bit more simple back there." Bonham nodded and played the second song with equally great abandon. Grant supposedly stepped in and asked Bonham if he liked his job with the band. Bonham said yes. Grant replied: "Then you'd better do what that man says if you don't want to leave this room in two pieces."

If anybody ever gets to the bottom of that one please let me know. :)

Edited by Dirigible

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but is that the date where they first ALL got together? like the first time they played together?

I can't say for certain because some anecdotal evidence suggests they convened

over the weekend prior (Aug 9-11) at Jimmy's boathouse in Pangbourne. It's uncertain

what, if anything, was rehearsed then. Given JPJ's comments about the room in London just "exploding" on the first number (Train Kept A Rollin') I'm inclined to believe any

rehearsals at Jimmy's were minimal (more of a social gathering) and perhaps restricted to acoustic material. I do recall JPJ was the one who said the address was 39 Gerrard Street. If wrong, he's only human (I think).

Edited by SteveAJones

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Sources have quoted Peter Grant saying he wasn't at the first rehearsal and never heard Plant until the band played in Denmark.

Peter Grant absolutely heard Robert Plant perform in Bromsgrove on 7/20/68. During his visit to Toronto in 1994 he shared his specific recollections of that first meeting, which

included he, Jimmy and Chris initially having mistaken Robert for a roadie when he met

them at the door.

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Peter Grant absolutely heard Robert Plant perform in Bromsgrove on 7/20/68. During his visit to Toronto in 1994 he shared his specific recollections of that first meeting, which

included he, Jimmy and Chris initially having mistaken Robert for a roadie when he met

them at the door.

Like you, SAJ, I prefer dealing with facts. Despite fanciful declarations like "I knew Jimmy liked Bonzo because he didn't call me collect," I'm convinced Peter knew all the band members very well from the get-go; and that the band was well rehearsed before the curtain went up. The multitude of conflicting information out there is like a snake eating its tail though, where it begins and ends becomes less and less apparent. Zep's saying nothing to disavow misinformation is like Keith Richard encouraging people to believe he had blood change operations in Switzerland.

Myths are more fun than the truth ever is. It's fun to read Zep did a tour after two days' rehearsal and had an album in the can in ten or Keef is some kind of vampiric overlord. More fun than: 'the band called it an early night in Seattle and hit the sack alone without a pretty girl, a fishing rod, or a shark in sight.' :P

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Monday, August 12, 1968 at 39 Gerrard Street in London is generally cited as the date and location of the Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham lineup's first formal rehearsal.

I was actually wondering this one day myself, for zodiac reasons.... B)

So, I guess the band is a LEO!! :wub: sweet.

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39 Gerrard Street in 1963 (when it was the original Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club before it moved to Frith Street):

39GerrardStreet-RonnieScotts1963.jpg

39 Gerrard Street is a Japanese Restaurant today (notice the facade of the building is the same as it was in 1963):

39GerrardStreettodayd.jpg

39GerrardStreettodayc.jpg

A 1968 ad for a rehearsal room at 39 Gerrard Street:

68-08-XX39GerrardStreetrehadedited.jpg

Here's a picture taken in 1965 of the inside of 39 Gerrard Street at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. It was a "basement bar" and Ronnie Scott is the guy with his arm leaning on the bar:

scan0002.jpg

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39 Gerrard Street in 1963 (when it was the original Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club before it moved to Frith Street):

Phenomenal post as always, Mike! FWIW, Jimmy himself said he never went to Ronnie

Scott's Jazz Club when it was located at 39 Gerrard Street because he "didn't like jazz".

Note also 39 Gerrard Street is not far from Peter's old office at 154 Oxford Street.

Insofar as fact vs. myth, Jimmy substantiates the first album having been recorded at

Olympic Studios in just 30 hours by citing he was the one who paid the studio bill. :)

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Insofar as fact vs. myth, Jimmy substantiates the first album having been recorded at

Olympic Studios in just 30 hours by citing he was the one who paid the studio bill. :)

30 hours is the amount of time I've always heard. Paid for the recording, cover art and all, for approximately four large. I wonder how many recording and mixing sessions that 30 hours represents? 5 six hour sessions, 6 five hour sessions, 10 three hour ones? 20 hours recording, 10 hours mixing? Glyn Johns gave Page fits engineering that, according to Page himself. He told Glyn he wanted backward echo on one tune and Glyn told Page that was impossible. Page flipped the tape in the recorder so he could record on the back of the tape. When he was done he flipped it back over and Glyn Johns was so surprised to hear backward echo that he used the same effect the next time he recorded the Stones at Olympic. "And he wanted a producer's credit," Page said.

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I wonder how many recording and mixing sessions that 30 hours represents? 5 six hour sessions, 6 five hour sessions, 10 three hour ones? 20 hours recording, 10 hours mixing?

Yeah, it's frustrating. None of the studio logs have been made readily accessible in their

entirety, which is a shame from a historical research point of view. I've seen some of

the work Mark Lewisohn did publishing The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions and I can't help thinking Led Zeppelin's sessions are also worthy of proper documentation.

Edited by SteveAJones

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Some of those Beatles books are phenomenal when it comes to detail. Just saw a new book about The Beatles London which looks at all the places they went to when they were still together.

Simon Pallet has done a great job with his Concert File though.

Yeah, it's frustrating. None of the studio logs have been made readily accessible in their

entirety, which is a shame from a historical research point of view. I've seen some of

the work Mark Lewisohn did publishing The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions and I can't help thinking Led Zeppelin's sessions are also worthy of proper documentation.

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Yeah, it's frustrating. None of the studio logs have been made readily accessible in their

entirety, which is a shame from a historical research point of view. I've seen some of

the work Mark Lewisohn did publishing The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions and I can't help thinking Led Zeppelin's sessions are also worthy of proper documentation.

Lewisohn's is the BEST Beatles book, along with his companion volume Complete Beatles Chronicles. For those unfamiliar with The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions it was compiled by an Abbey Road engineer undergoing chemotherapy who wanted something to occupy his time. He listened to and detailed ALL of the Beatles tapes from Abbey Road; before he passed away he noted each false start, every overdub and partial/complete take in glowing detail. Mark Lewisohn was then commissioned to write the Recording Sessions book from the engineer's notes. One very minor complaint is the documentation is often sprawled out over days of recording sessions so you might have to search a while to determine 'who played what' on each track. The abundance of studio photos of the Beatles at work (often illustrating the accompanying text) elevates the book into the great category.

Ian MacDonald's book Revolution In Your Head encapsulates that same information song by song, rather than day by day. Whereas it's a great supplemental addendum it is NOT the superior work, it's the poor man's version of Lewisohn's book, no pictures, not as detailed and sometimes out and out ripping off the original research. Yet because of the way Revolution In Your Head groups the personnel information of each track in a tidy paragraph, quickly referenced under individual song title, I keep Ian's book on the bookshelf right beside Mark Lewisohn's. (Like augmenting Dave Lewis' Conert Files with Luis Rey's LIVE [3rd edition] for a broader picture. Dave saw LZ numerous times but despite Luis' authoritative reporting [Rey's book has been a Bible to me] he sounds like he never saw Zeppelin in person).

Since the Beatles recorded ALL of their material at Abbey Road (with a very few exceptions, one them Hey Jude) assembling a book like that may not have been easy but at least the information was all in one spot. To do a complete Zeppelin book with all the Olympics, Islands, Polar Studios, Musiclands, Juggy Sounds, Headley Granges, Stargroves, etc. would be a massive undertaking indeed, even if all the paperwork, studio logs, tape box and reel labeling were correct and still in existence.

Anybody willing to write such a book can assure their publisher that I will buy at least 10 copies of it.

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Monday, August 12, 1968 at 39 Gerrard Street in London is generally cited as the date and location of the Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham lineup's first formal rehearsal.

awesome 6 days before my birthday

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Peter Grant absolutely heard Robert Plant perform in Bromsgrove on 7/20/68. During his visit to Toronto in 1994 he shared his specific recollections of that first meeting, which

included he, Jimmy and Chris initially having mistaken Robert for a roadie when he met

them at the door.

Jimmy, Peter Grant and Yardbirds bassist Chris Dreja turned up at the Hobbstweedle gig at a dismal teachers college in Birmingham. They were let in the back door by a "big, rug-headed kern" who they assumed was the bouncer. But when they saw him onstage in his Moorish caftan and beads, doing "Somebody to Love" in a bluesy, sirenlike soprano, they gave one another the look.

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So technically Robert Plant was 19 when Zep formed and 20 when LZ 1 came out and 21 when LZ 2 came out. Thats pretty young.

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