Playing guitar can be ecstasy for some people. Just check the expressions on Prince, Slash, John Mayer, Jimmy Page and other rockers as they get down with their axes! If that’s not the face of pure joy, we don’t know what is.
Like the title of their 2007 greatest hits package, the “Mothership” has indeed landed for Led Zeppelin fans. News spread like a brushfire earlier this month that the band was about to embark on their first major reissue campaign since the 1990s. Over the course of the next year all of the band’s original albums will be reissued in deluxe packages with a full albums worth of alternate takes and mixes, live tracks and other rarities which previously were only available on rare bootlegs. Lead guitarist and band guiding light Jimmy Page shared a selection of the bonus material off the band’s career-making first three albums yesterday in New York City and the tracks were revelatory and once again reaffirmed the band’s greatness.
At 70s years old Jimmy Page is still every bit the rock star, lithe but powerful in stature, impeccably dressed in all-black finery. First up were 2 live tracks recorded in Paris in 1969 as Led Zeppelin were supporting their self-titled debut album, which will be part of that albums reissue. Ferocious takes on “Communication Breakdown” and “You Shook Me” made it obvious why the band took the world by storm on those early tours with their amped up take on traditional rock n’roll and blues forms. “The idea was to do something radical with the blues” said Page later during the question and answer period.
Hear “Good Times Bad Times / Communication Breakdown (Live in Paris, 1969)” taken from the Companion Audio Disc for the Led Zeppelin Deluxe Edition reissue.
Each week on That Metal Show, Eddie, Don and Jim rank their favorite musical moments from the worlds of hard rock and heavy metal in the TMS Top 5 and then argue about what the final ranking should be. This week That Metal Debate centered on which hard rock and heavy metal legends the boys most want to have on a future TMS episode as guests. Is it one of the members of game-changing hard rockers Van Halen? Is it the guitar virtuoso behind one of music’s greatest bands of all-time, Led Zeppelin? Which of the brothers behind Australia’s biggest hard rock exports would Eddie and Jim prefer to chat with? Check out the Top 5 Guests We’d To Like To Have On That Metal Show plus the boys personal picks on the following pages and vote for which you’d most like to see on the final page. And don’t forget to tune-in to VH1 Classic every Saturday night to see what the boys are going to argue about next.
70 years ago today, James Patrick Page was born into this world…and rock has never been the same. His name would be secure in the history books even if he only penned “Stairway To Heaven”, but that’s just the first step on the journey to appreciating Jimmy Page‘s guitar brilliance. Long before selling out stadiums in the seventies with Led Zeppelin, Page had already made a name for himself a decade earlier as one of the most sought after session musicians in Britian. He played on literally hundreds (if not thousands) of records from 1963 to 1966, admitting in later years that “At one point I was playing on three sessions a day, six days a week.” Known for his diversity as well as his virtuosity, these tracks ran the gamut from hard-edged R&B, easy-listening Burt Bacharach standards, and Top 40 pop like “Downtown” by Petula Clark, “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones, and even the James Bond theme “Goldfinger”! Of course, he also played for future legends like the Who, the Kinks, Van Morrison and David Bowie…
Page did so many dates that even he has difficulty recalling exactly what he did and who he did it for. As a result, his session-man days have taken on an almost mythical quality, leading diehard fans to endlessly debate which songs have been graced by Jimmy’s strings. In honor of the man’s 70th birthday, we’ve done our very best to separate fact from fiction and sift through hundreds of tracks to bring you our picks for his most badass session work ever. It’s a mix of incredible yet little-heard deep cuts, and beloved classics you probably never knew he had a hand in creating. Read on and rock on, friends!
Sure, lead singers will always have that rock star allure, drummers are indefinably seductive and bassists know just how to pluck at a girl’s heart strings, but there’s nothing sexier in rock & roll than a guitar god. Whether they’re thrashers or romantics, the 10 guitarists on this list have been wooing us with their musical talent and their their gorgeous faces for years.
When it comes to classic rock songs used in movie soundtracks, few band are as elusive and carry as much weight as Led Zeppelin. The mystical overlords of hard rock and proto-heavy metal are notoriously picky about what films they license songs to and getting permission from them usually involves a personal screening, lots of begging and a very, very large fee. One of the holiday seasons biggest movies, American Hustle, made excellent use of the Zeppelin classic “Good Times, Bad Times” in its advance trailers though it is not featured in the movie itself and director David O. Russell has also used tracks of theirs in his highly acclaimed movies The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. The band can also lay claim to a couple movie soundtracks of their very own for the concert films The Song Remains The Same, filmed during their early ‘70s peak, and Celebration Day, which chronicled their legendary reunion show of 2007. So as we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our souls, let’s take a band we all know, and check out Led Zeppelin’s biggest movie moments of all time.
Underage, incestuous, drug-fueled….All love is good love, but some couples really push it! Rock ‘n’ roll is filled with folks who don’t play the rules, and this can also extend to their romantic life, leading to affairs that shock the world.
These are strange times. It used to be that when a band broke up, you could no longer see them live. These days, however, it seems every rock band that has ever existed, from the biggest names in rock to the most obscure of punk groups, is back on the road. Outside of a few, poorly-executed one-offs, 70s hard rock giants Led Zeppelin are on the short list of bands who have not taken the big paycheck to put on a reunion tour, thus when word spread in 2007 they would take the stage at London’s 02 Arena to headline a tribute concert for legendary Atlantic Records’ founder Ahmet Ertegun, it was greeted as the second coming and set the stage for a full-fledged reunion tour.
The dead have risen from their graves.
The concert itself was received rapturously. Everyone from classic rock royalty to the band’s old nemesis, Rolling Stone, proclaimed its greatness. The masses awaited for tickets to go on sale, credit cards in hand, bedecked in new-vintage Urban Outfitters 1977 tour shirts. And then the greatest rock n’ roll reunion tour of all time didn’t happen. Singer Robert Plant went on tour with Allison Krauss, bassist John Paul Jones formed a new band with Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and guitarist Jimmy Page did a movie with Jack White. Five years later, a suitably mysterious countdown clock on the Led Zeppelin website and Facebook page built up anticipation once again that the band were finally announcing the release of Celebration Day, the concert film of the band’s 2007 performance.
Memo to rock journalists looking to score a big scoop by getting the surviving members of Led Zeppelin —from left to right above, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant— to comment on whether or not the band will reunite for an extended concert tour: A direct line of questioning is most certainly NOT your best bet to get them to address the issue that is on everyone’s mind. No less than three journalists were met with glares of steely silence by Led Zeppelin in a press conference held at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art earlier this afternoon, but an indirect question about the band’s onstage vibe during the December 2007 performance at London’s O2 Arena that is the basis for their upcoming concert film Celebration Day resulted in the closest thing to an answer that the band would give on whether we’ll ever see any more Zeppelin shows.
“That night, back then, we were just hangin’ on for dear life,” Robert Plant told the crowd of 150 journalists or so. “We were just watching each other, we were so happy we were getting it right. There were moments in it where we just took off, pushed off into some place. The responsibility of doing that four nights of week for the rest of time is a different thing. We’re pretty good at what we do, but the tail should never wag the dog. If we’re capable of doing something in our own time, that will be what will happen. So any inane questions from people from syndicated outlets, you should just really think about what it takes to answer a question like that in one second. We know what we’ve got.”