This is a purely subjective opinion -- there's no right answer.
Albums -- _IV_ has sold the most copies, though it never hit #1 (it was behind Carole King's _Tapestry_). Critics and fans usually pick either _IV_ or _Physical Graffiti_ as the best, though the album most often cited by musicians as being influential in their early development is _II_. Plant's favorite is _Physical Graffiti_.
Songs -- "Stairway To Heaven" is one of the most-requested and most-played rock songs of all time. It was never released as a single, so comparisons to "I Will Always Love You" (by Whitney Houston--the biggest-selling single of all time) are not applicable. The band seems to feel that "Kashmir" captures their essence better than any other song, though Page and Jones profess abiding love for "Stairway To Heaven," and Page is particularly proud of "Achilles Last Stand." Plant loathes "Stairway."
There are very few (if any) unreleased _studio_ Zeppelin songs, as most of the extras appeared on _Physical Graffiti_, _Coda_, and the boxed sets. There are quite a few jams and alternate takes floating around, however. _Nirvana_ reported the existence of a few more unreleased tracks, which had found their way to the band through a third-party.
As far as professionally-recorded live audio and video, most of this still resides in Page's vaults, though many of the soundboard bootlegs of the past few years were mastered from tapes stolen from Page's house. The 1977 tour in particular is known to be pretty thoroughly recorded. Page: "We also have live tapes going back to 1970, that go all the way through Knebworth in 1979."
This long-rumored Page-produced live retrospective is unlikely to appear. George Marino of Sterling Sound is quoted about Page's attitude toward releasing live material -- "Even if they were guaranteed to sell a million of a live thing, I don't think he'd put it out if he didn't feel that the playing was good enough."
Page has recently expressed some interest in releasing live material (audio and video), but Plant has killed the idea. Page: "...but Robert has never been keen on doing it. You can't very well do it if someone is vetoing the bloody thing. It's a lot of work to go through all these tapes, and I'm not going to do it if he's going to stop it."
However, the fate of one particular outtake _is_ known. In his essay for the boxed set, Cameron Crowe mentioned the "unreleased 'Swan Song,'" a solo guitar work in the same tuning as "Kashmir" and "White Summer". According to Crowe in a recent Prodigy article, this tune was incorporated into Page's live "White Summer"/"Black Mountain Side"/"Kashmir" medley (bits of it can be heard as early as 1970) and eventually resurfaced as part of a "work-in-progress" with Paul Rodgers on the American leg of the ARMS tour. Later, it was fleshed out to become the core of the song "Midnight Moonlight" on the Firm's first album.
First of all, a few definitions--"bootlegs" are, in this case, defined as live concert recordings, studio outtakes, radio broadcasts, and similar material neither released nor sanctioned by the band or its management. They are not to be confused with counterfeit copies of legitimate releases, which are uniformly denounced and actively prosecuted by the law.
In the past, Peter Grant used to make surprise stops in record stores to destroy any Zeppelin bootlegs he found. He also confiscated or destroyed any microphones and recording equipment he found at concerts. Since then, however, the band has mellowed considerably on the subject.
Jimmy Page: "_Coda_ was released, basically, because there was so much bootleg stuff out. We thought, 'Well, if there's that much interest, then we may as well put the rest of our studio stuff out.'" Yet another reason the much-discussed chronological live album has not been released is, according to Page, because, "there are so many bootlegs around that people who are interested have probably made up their own compilation." He also has said, on the possibility of more studio outtakes being released: "Ah, no. There's some great live stuff. But there's also some great live bootlegs, ha ha. Thank God they're there and thanks to the people who send me these things. I listen to them and go, 'My God, that was good. I wish it had been recorded on the line.'"
Robert Plant has often been known to autograph bootlegs, and all three members have from time to time requested copies of some of the better known productions. And a Page fan reports meeting Page and giving him a copy of a 10-album Zeppelin bootleg set. Page said, "Thanks," and continued walking on, as rock stars usually do when fans hand them something. But when he saw that the gift was a bootleg, Page stopped, went back to the fan, and said, "Thanks! This is great!"
Page's opinion of boots has soured somewhat since the release of _Outrider_, however, as his house was broken into during the early recording stages. Among the items stolen were the demo tapes for what was to be a 2-album release (rather than the 1 that came out as _Outrider_), numerous studio outtakes and live soundboard recordings which have since flooded the market, and the pro-shot Knebworth video from 8-11-79. Page also confiscated an armful of bootlegs in a Japanese store while on tour with Coverdale/Page, so what his current feelings are unknown.
Plant's opinion of live material in general seems to have soured a bit as well, though whether or not he makes a distinction in the case of bootlegs is not known. Interestingly, he was recently spotted in a bootleg store in New York, searching for a copy of the Page/Plant/Bombay Symphony recordings.
This is a touchy subject, as the sale, distribution, and receipt of bootlegs is illegal. To protect the list from the (extremely unlikely) possiblility of litigation, care must be taken to seperate the illegal aspects of bootlegging from the (perfectly legal) academic discussion of them. Lists of traders will not appear in this FAQL, nor should the specifics of trading appear in the list. Bootleg lists, actual trades, bids, and the like should _not_ be posted. Caution should be exercised for the protection of both the list and the traders themselves. Having supplied the necessary disclaimers:
Small (non-chain) record stores that advertise "New-Old-Used" records almost always carry bootleg albums and CDs, as well as some out-of-print stuff. _Goldmine_ and _Record Collector_ magazine can be scanned for sources, though _Goldmine_ no longer allows small collectors to specifically advertise bootlegs. Tape trading, the most popular form of collecting, is usually restricted to individuals rather than organizations or companies. Though beginning collectors often have no choice, many tape traders frown upon the "sale" of bootlegs--preferring "even" trades (sometimes with postage compensation) to buying and selling.
Most often, simply posting to the list and stating your desire to find unreleased Zeppelin material will start the ball rolling. If you have bootlegs that you want to trade, then a post to that effect is acceptable (while a detailed list may not be).
Note that the discussion of bootlegs is in no way illegal, and is an important facet of the list's discussions.
This is a very short list of the most popular collections/shows culled from _A Celebration_ and ZOSO Magazine. A more up-to-date version is in preparation. Apologies if your favorites were left out:
The ZOSO Top Ten CDs:
Tour Over Europe '80 (Zurich), Moonlight/Dinosaur, Dallas '75, Classics Off The Air I, II, & III, Blueberry Hill, Live In San Francisco, Destroyer (Archive version), Stokes '73, Rotterdam '80, Silver Coated Rails/Rock & Roll
Recommendations culled from a special ZOSO feature and _A Celebration_:
LP's -- Bonzo's Birthday Party, Cologne 1980, Copenhagen Warm-Ups--The 2nd Night, Feel All Right, Fillmore West 1969, V 1/2 (Highway or TMQ), For Badgeholders Only, Going To California, How Many More Times, Knebworth (Stork), Live At The Budokan, Pb (a/k/a Mudslide), No Quarter, Tangible Vandalism, Three Days After, 214, 207.19, LA Forum--A Night At The Heartbreak Hotel, Persistence, Live at the Chicago Stadium, Bonzo's Last Ever Gig In Berlin, The Can, In The Light '69-'85, Something Else, Hiawatha Express, The Making Of Friends, Studio Rehearsals May 1970, Inedits, Out Through The Back Door, The Last Rehearsal, Listen To This Eddie, Strange Tales From The road, Alpha Omega, White Summer, Live at the London Lyceum, Bath Festival 1970, My Brain Hurts, Quantient, Bonzo's Birthday Party
CDs -- (in addition to above list)--Something Else, Studio Daze, Last Stand/ Final Touch, Jennings Farm Blues Tapes--2-1-69 Fillmore East, 4-7-70 Raleigh NC, 9-29-71 Festival Hall Osaka, 6-9-71 Charlotte NC, 6-19-72 Seattle, 6-25-72 The Forum LA, 10-4 & 10-9-72 Osaka, 5-5-73 Tampa, 5-13-73 Mobile AL, 5-14-73 New Orleans, 5-19-73 Fort Worth, 7-6-73 Chicago, 7-21-73 Providence, 7-26-73 Buffalo, 2-12-75 MSG NY, 2-28-75 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, 3-5-75 Dallas, 3-10-75 San Diego, 3-24 & 3-25 & 3-27-75 LA Forum, 5-(17,18,23,24,25)-75 Earls Court, 6-7-77 MSG NY, 6-19-77 San Diego, 6-(21,25,27)-77 LA Forum, 7-23-77 Oakland, 8-11-79 Knebworth, 7-2 & 7-3-80 Mannheim
Videos -- Danish TV 1969, 1-9-70 Royal Albert Hall, 1-21-75 Chicago, 2-8-75 Philadelphia, 3-75 Seattle, 3-24-75 LA Forum, 5-18-77 Birmingham, 7-23-77 Oakland, 7-11-79 Knebworth, 7-5-80 Munich
Note that there's duplication and overlap in the above lists. A few notes about formats--the quality of CD releases is only occasionally better than other formats, but the permanence and playback advantages of CDs have convinced many collectors to concentrate on them. The CDs are not always tracked well, though-- track markers are often misplaced or missing altogether. LPs suffer from quality problems with repeated playback and scratching, but have the advantage of better packaging. Tapes are the cheapest option, and suffer the most from each playback/ copy--thus low generation tapes are prized by tape traders. However, tapes have two significant advantages over other formats: many shows have never appeared on CD or LP, and complete concerts are much easier to obtain on this format (CDs and LPs exhibit the so-called "slice and dice" mentality of bootleggers trying to deal with maximum time strictures and still make money).
Many. Few good ones, though. The key resources are:
_Led Zeppelin_ -- Howard Mylett
_Led Zeppelin In The Light_ -- Howard Mylett and Richard Bunton
_Led Zeppelin From The Archives_ -- Howard Mylett
Photos, 56 pages. Contact Howard Mylett, 151 Thornhill Rise, Mile Oak, Portslade, Sussex, BN41 2YJ, England. 10 pounds sterling.
_Led Zeppelin: The Definitive Biography_ -- Richie Yorke
_Led Zeppelin In Their Own Words_ -- Paul Kendall
_Led Zeppelin: A Visual Documentary_ -- Paul Kendall
_Led Zeppelin Portraits_ -- Neal Preston -- This book is a must-have, as Preston was an "official" photographer and knew better than anyone how to capture Zeppelin's mystique.
_Led Zeppelin: The Final Acclaim_ -- Dave Lewis
_Led Zeppelin: The Book_ -- Chris Welch
_Stairway To Heaven_ -- Richard Cole -- Basically a rewrite of _Hammer Of The Gods_, with a few more personal stories and photos thrown in. Less ridiculous speculation than Davis' book, though. Page: "There's a book written by our former road manager, Richard Cole that has made me completely ill. I'm so mad about it that I can't even bring myself to read the whole thing. The two bits that I have read are so ridiculously false, that I'm sure if I read the rest I'd be able to sue Cole and the publishers. But it would be so painful to read that it wouldn't be worth it.
_The Illustrated Collectors Guide To Led Zeppelin, 3rd edition -- Robert Godwin -- Another must-have, covers the legal and bootleg discographies on vinyl and CD, though the pace of new CD releases makes the latter section obsolete. According to Hugh Jones of Proximity, however, Godwin is working on a 4th edition that will cover all new CD releases (up to the printing date, that is), color photos, and the most comprehensive tour date listing yet.
_Led Zeppelin Live (An Illustrated Exploration Of Underground Tapes) (2nd edition)_ -- Luis Rey -- Features concert reviews, photos, and bootleg descriptions, along with the matching of concerts to specific bootlegs. Susan Pickel-Hedrick and Base Hedrick (editors of the Page fanzine _Oh Jimmy_) also edited this book. It is available from Hot Wacks Press, P.O. Box 544, Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, N4K 5R1, for $21.00 (US) postage paid.
_The Led Zeppelin Worldwide Collector's Guide Of Singles And Extended Plays_ -- Samuel Ketenjian -- picture sleeves, pictures of described memorabilia, singles, EPs, and complete country- by-country listings. $5 per book (or $10 for a limited edition signed and numbered copy) + $3.50 postage ($5.00 overseas) to Samuel Ketenjian, 16335 Calahan St., North Hills, CA 91343. (818) 893-2079, fax (818) 893-1547.
_Led Zeppelin A Celebration_ -- Dave Lewis -- The principal resource for this FAQL. Incredible.
_Led Zeppelin Heaven And Hell_ -- Charles Cross and Erik Flannigan, with Neal Preston -- another key resource for this FAQL.
_Jimmy Page: Tangents Within A Framework_ -- Howard Mylett
_Live Dreams_ -- Laurance Ratner -- Possibly the best-produced Led Zeppelin work yet, a 200+ page coffee-table book with only 4000 copies printed. Wonderful color photos (some of the best out there), a specially-commissioned artwork on the cover, superior materials used for the paper and binding, and a forward by Dave Lewis. Expensive, but worth it for the serious collector. Larry is online, so you can contact him if you have questions.
Contact: LRC Limited P.O. Box 10648 Chicago, IL 60610-6048 (USA) email@example.com
_The Complete Guide To The Music Of Led Zeppelin_ -- Dave Lewis Simply an excerpting of the song analysis in _A Celebration_, with some info on new songs, pictures, and downsized to fit in a standard CD rack.
..and, of course:
_Hammer Of The Gods_ -- Stephen Davis -- The band denounces it. It's mostly the whisperings of tour manager/perpetual addict Richard Cole, whose own book is much more valuable for this type of insight. Readers should know that Stephen Davis once claimed (quite seriously), in an interview for a Zeppelin fanzine, that Jimmy Page had put some sort of curse on him. Read at your own risk.
There are _many_ third-party collection (mostly simplified tab collections) of material from the first five albums, and for the most part these are not listed here.
"Stairway To Heaven" -- Warner Brothers (piano, notation + tab, tab, easy piano)
This exists in all 4 formats--the notation + tab format is licensed by Warner Brothers to _Guitar For The Practicing Musician_, and the easy piano edition exists as a Warner Brothers production (though we've seen Dan Coates' version in the past).
_Led Zeppelin Complete_ -- Superhype/Warner Brothers (piano or piano + tab)
Music from the first 5 albums. This also exists in an Intermediate Guitar format.
_Led Zeppelin Complete Vol. 2_ -- Superhype/Flames Of Albion/ Warner Brothers (piano or piano + tab)
Music from the last 4 studio albums. This is not yet widely available, it seems.
_Led Zeppelin Guitar Superstar Series_ -- Warner Brothers (tab)
Intermediate guitar transcriptions, from the first six albums.
_Led Zeppelin_ -- Warner Brothers (notation + tab)
A 2-book companion to the 4CD set, features notation and tablature for all instruments used on the boxed set tracks. The transcription is excellent, though the lyrical interpretations leave something to be desired. Whether or not this process will be repeated for _Boxed Set 2_ is unknown.
Note: this section is provided for information only. No endorsement or guarantee of the services provided is intended.
Proximity -- The Led Zeppelin Collector's Journal
P.O. Box 45541
Seattle, WA 98145-0541
Standard--$12 per year (4 issues)
Premium (mailed in a protective envelope)--$16 per year
Overseas--$24 per year (all US funds)
Single issue or back issue (US)--$4
Checks or money orders payable to Hugh Jones.
Hugh Jones is online, so he is available for questions/comment, at HugLesley@aol.com.
Wearing And Tearing
Flat 3, 13 Lynton Rd
Heaton Moor, Stockport, SK4 4RQ
The Only One
86 Main St. Suite 503
L9H, 2R1 CANADA
Published bimonthly starting 1 April 1994. Rates:
One year--$24 (6 issues)
The first 250 subscribers will receive numbered issues as collectors' items.
46 Briarwood Drive
Westwood, MA 02090 (USA)
P.O. Box 6307
Bellevue, WA 98008 (USA)
Oh Jimmy - The Jimmy Page Fanzine
Via Pedretti 12
41015 Nonantola (MO) Italy
Single issues of _Oh Jimmy_--$4 US, $5 Canada
The Lemon Tree (Plant fanzine)
20 Ludford Crescent
DN2I IXB, ENGLAND
Published quarterly. Rates:
4 issues -- 8 pounds (UK)
10 pounds (Europe)
14 pounds (rest of the world)
Single issues - 1.5 pounds per copy
Tight But Loose
14 Totnes Close
Bedford, MK40 3AX
Four issues of the Tight But Loose magazine (twice annually) PLUS four additional information service newsletters:-
UK------------- 16 all prices inclusive of
Europe--------- 21 all postage costs
Australia/Japan 31 all prices in pounds
Payment: by cheque/postal order/eurocheque/international money order in UK sterling only. Payable to D. Lewis.
The magazine is also available individually to non-subscribers at
the following rates: UK 3.50
Europe 4.50 again, prices in pounds
Founded by Dave Lewis, this was the premiere fanzine during Led Zeppelin's active years. This publication has resurfaced, including:
Still available - Tight But Loose 7 - The Celebration Update Special issue sequel to the Dave Lewis book Led Zeppelin _A Celebration_. 40,000 word chapter by chapter update.
UK 4.00 Europe 5.00 USA/Canada 6.5 Japan/Australia 7.00 prices in pounds.
Also, a word about _ZOSO_ -- due to financial difficulties,the production of _ZOSO_ has apparently ceased--permanently. The status of merchandising, etc. is unknown. _Electric Magic_ has also, sadly, gone by the wayside.
Not that Digital Graffiti is aware of. Sadly, _Nirvana_ has come to an abrupt end in both its fanzine and fan club formats.
Super-collector Rick Barrett can be contacted at:
PO Box 66262
Houston, TX 77266-6262
And, of course, almost any music magazine has advertisements for Zeppelin shirts, posters, keychains, etc. _Goldmine_ magazine is a source for hard-to-find collectibles.
***(Note: Info is not guaranteed, and sources remain incomplete and unverified)***
Bootlegs -- Members of Digital Graffiti are working on a comprehensive bootleg/tour list. Stay tuned. Contact Risto Pohjonen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help.
Tour dates -- Contact Risto Pohjonen at email@example.com for the online list of (past) tour dates.
Trivia -- Steven Wheeler (firstname.lastname@example.org) is working on a list of "obscure Zeppelin trivia." Contact him with submissions/suggestions.
Lyrics -- all "official" lyrical publications range from bad to awful. This includes the boxed set folio, which has incorrect and/or missing lyrics throughout. The _best_ source of lyrics thus far is Digital Graffiti, which has thrashed out "best-guess" versions over the past year or so. These are available by anonymous FTP at the music archive (cs.uwp.edu or ftp.uwp.edu) in the led.zeppelin/lyrics directory, and maintained by email@example.com. ***NOTE: due to inconsistent maintenance, there are _two_ versions of "Hey Hey What Can I Do" on the archive--the "correct" version is hey.hey.what.can.I.do, _not_ the one with underscores.
Tabs -- the boxed set folio has excellent tablature (and standard notation) for vocals, all guitars, bass, drums and percussion, keyboards, and all other instruments. There are also online sources (see below). Also see the above section on music books.
GIFs -- See addresses below.
There is a nice gif of the four symbols at cs.uwp.edu (3444 bytes), courtesy of Steve Rospo. They should be in /pub/music/pictures/l/led.zeppelin, but for now look in /pub/incoming/pictures/led.zeppelin. A jpeg of these symbols is also available at the same site.
Fonts -- The _HOTH_ font, with the "four symbols," is available as a TrueType Font for Win 3.1 at:
nic.switch.ch in software/msdos/win3/fonts/truetype/kashmir.zip
nic.funet.fi in pub/msdos/windows/tt-fonts/kashmir.zip
..and for the Macintosh at:
sumex-aim.stanford.edu in info-mac/font/tt/led-zeppelin-12.hqx
nic.funet.fi in pub/mac/info-mac/font/tt/led-zeppelin-12.hqx
Another _great_ source of info is the Hypercard stack put together by our own Brian Davies:
"The Led Zeppelin Stack (v1.2) is an interactive database of lyrics, artwork, set lists, sound samples, trivia and reviews. The stack will run on any Mac with System 6.0 or greater and HyperCard 2.0 or greater. It is constantly expanding, and as of this writing it contains the most complete collection of lyrics available on the net, about 400K of sounds and art from all the albums and then some. Songs, albums and concerts are cross-referenced for easy traversal of the stack. To subscribe to the stack, mail $10 and either an e-mail address or a formatted disk & SASE to Brian Davies, 1310 Chicago Ave., Apt. 2A, Evanston, IL 60201. Questions or comments are welcome; I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to a general lack of interest, however, Brian may or may not continue to update this. Contact him for more info.
FTP sites with Zeppelin info include:
ftp.nevada.edu pub/guitar (tabs) sumex-aim.stanford.edu info-mac fonts (_HOTH_ font) card (Hypercard stack of Zeppelin info) sound (Zeppelin samples)
Host cs.uwp.edu (or ftp.uwp.edu)
Location: /pub/music/discog FILE -rw-r--r-- 3319 Dec 20 1990 zeppelin Location: /pub/music/lyrics/files DIRECTORY drwxr-xr-x 512 Nov 21 1991 led.zeppelin
Archie -- Anyone who can do an Archie search can find many more sources for info, GIFs, etc. Ask the list for help if you need to.
Gopher -- The music archive at cs.uwp.edu is accessible through Gopher, as are many other archive sites.
WWW -- World Wide Web home pages with Zeppelin info include:
(For more complete information, consult the discography sections.)
Jones recorded the soundtrack for _Scream For Help_, with the assistance of Page and Yes' Jon Anderson. He produced albums by Mission UK, John Renbourn, Stefan Grossman, and his daughter (Jacinda Jones), as well as a group he referred to as "industrial flamenco": La Sura Dels Baus. He did string arrangements for Cinderella's _Heartbreak Station_, Raging Slab's _Dynamite Monster Boogie Concert_, and REM's _Automatic For The People_, guested on a Brian Eno album, and appeared on Peter Gabriel's _Us_ playing surdu, bass, and keyboards. He appeared in Paul McCartney's movie and soundtrack for _Give My Regards To Broadstreet_. He appeared on stage with Plant once (in December 1983), during the _Principle Of Moments_ tour. He composed for and performed with the early music ensemble Red Byrd. He appeared on and assisted with Ben E. King's reunion tour and album. He professes his interests to be in keyboards and dance music, rather than rock. Most recently, he produced and played some bass on the newest Butthole Surfers album, _Independent Worm Saloon_. He reported that he was working on both a solo album (on which guitarist Paul Leary of the Surfers would probably appear) and a symphonic album. He also made a surprise appearance as Lenny Kravitz's bassist at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards. Current projects include production and performance for a live Heart album, production for a new Michael Penn album, and performance and production for his album with Diamanda Galas entitled _The Sporting Life_, for which is currently touring the US. He is married and has three children.
Plant released 6 solo albums -- _Pictures At Eleven_, _The Principle Of Moments_, _Shaken 'N' Stirred_, _Now & Zen_, _Manic Nirvana_, and _Fate of Nations_. He was the vocalist for the Honeydrippers' only album, which also featured Jimmy Page on "Sea Of Love" and "I Get A Thrill." He appeared on the _Porky's_, _White Nights_, and _Wayne's World II_ soundtracks, and also on an album of Elvis covers. He contributed vocals for the song "The Only One" on Page's _Outrider_. He did a Coke commercial structured around the song "Tall Cool One." He had a relationship with Canadian singer Alannah Myles. He appeared on _Adios Amigo_, a tribute album for R&B songwriter Arthur Alexander. At the moment, he is working with Jimmy Page on a host of projects. He is currently divorced, and has 2 children (Carmen and Logan) from a previous marriage, as well as (according to VOX magazine) a child from another relationship. His first son, Karac, is deceased, and his daughter Carmen is married to his current bassist, Charlie Jones.
Page composed and recorded the soundtrack to the film _Death Wish 2_. He jammed extensively, with (among others) Jeff Beck, Yes, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Poison, Eric Clapton, Ian Stewart, Roy Harper, Alexis Korner, Robert Plant, The Beach Boys, Jaco Pastorius, Solid Ground, Mason Ruffner, and even Harry Connick, Jr. He appeared on albums by Willie and The Poor Boys, Stephen Stills, and Box Of Frogs (an ex-Yardbirds reunion). He teamed up with Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Tony Franklin from Roy Harper's band (last seen with Blue Murder) and Chris Slade of Manfred Mann (now with AC/DC) to create The Firm, which released 2 albums--_The Firm_ and _Mean Business_. He participated in the British and American versions of the ARMS tour (to benefit MS) with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Kenny Jones, Simon Phillips, and other British rock stars. He guested on two tracks from Plant's _Now & Zen_ album, "Heaven Knows" and "Tall Cool One." He released a solo album entitled _Outrider_ with Jason Bonham on drums and featuring Plant's vocals on one track--"The Only One." He released an album with David Coverdale (of Deep Purple and Whitesnake) entitled _Coverdale/Page_. He is currently working with Robert Plant on a number of projects. He is married to a woman named Patricia and has two children--James (with his current wife) and Scarlet (with a previous girlfriend).
Bonham, surprisingly enough, made it past the grave as the sampling source for the drum track of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's hit "Relax," and has been extensively sampled for rap beat compilations. He can be heard (in sampled form) on Power Station and early Beastie Boys albums, among others.
Peter Grant was last reported to be working on the much-lamented Malcom McLaren biopic about Robert Plant (starring Jason Donovan), and also working on a film about his own life (according to an interview reprinted in _ZOSO_ magazine). The two projects may be related, and they may also be on indefinite hold.
No. But Jimmy Page and Robert Plant _are_ working together. See part three of the FAQL for more information--this section will merely provide a history of the event.
The current furor started with a report in the Boston _Globe_ (echoed in other markets) that Page and Plant were doing an episode of MTV's _Unplugged_. These rumors were supported when Page and Plant were sighted together in Boston, and again in New York, in late November (before Page left for Japan to fulfill his Coverdale/Page touring obligations).
The next wave of reports was initiated when Page and Plant held rehearsals and writing sessions in a studio at King's Crossing, and again in Morocco. Some of this material has already been recorded, and some will appear in slightly different form in the MTV _Unledded_ special and on the companion album and video releases.
The first tangible evidence appeared when Page, Plant, Charlie Jones, and Michael Lee performed 17 April 1994 at the Alexis Korner Blues Show in Buxton, England. The set list:
Baby Please Don't Go, I Can't Quit You Baby, I've Been Down So Long, That's Why I Love You, Train Kept A Rollin'
All were in fine form, and CD bootlegs of the show already exist.
The pair have since popped in to a few clubs for spontaneous jams, and have a press conference planned for October 11th in New York City.
This is, of course, not the first "reunion."
A brief history:
XYZ -- a project combining elements of Yes and Zeppelin. Chris Squire reports that he has tapes of songs that he, Alan White, Page, and possibly Jones (though no one has mentioned him) were involved in. The project crashed for lack of a vocalist -- namely, Plant -- and because of thinly veiled threats from various management interests. The name, in case someone hasn't figured it out, stands for "eX-Yes-and-Zeppelin".
Live Aid -- On 13 July 1985, the 3 living members of Zeppelin, along with Paul Martinez (from Plant's band) on bass, Tony Thompson (of Chic) on drums, and Phil Collins (who had to fly over after his performance at Wembley) on drums, appeared at the Live Aid festival at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. They performed "Rock And Roll," "Whole Lotta Love," and "Stairway To Heaven." Plant was hoarse from 4 consecutive nights of singing and a morning rehearsal, Page's guitar was out of tune, Collins and Thompson were lost much of the time, and Bill Graham, who was promoting, was pointing at his watch all through "STH" because Zeppelin was taking more than their allotted time. Ten days later, Page joined Plant on his solo tour for a few encores.
Reunion #1 -- In January of 1986, Zeppelin and Tony Thompson met in secret in a village hall near Peter Gabriel's Bath studios. Plant handled bass chores while Jones played keyboards. They worked through "..two or three things that were quite promising, a sort of cross between David Byrne and Husker Du." (Plant) But it was not to be--Plant was not used to having to deal with Page's eccentricities (Page reportedly changed the batteries in his wah-wah pedal after every other song), and Tony Thompson was injured in a car accident. Plant walked out and the reunion crashed.
Hammersmith Odeon -- 17 April 1988, Page joins Plant's tour for a blistering encore featuring "Trampled Underfoot," "Gambler's Blues/I Can't Quit You Baby/Since I've Been Loving You," "Misty Mountain Hop," and "Rock And Roll."
Atlantic 40th -- 14 May 1988 -- A 12-hour tribute concert for Atlantic Records, which came to a climax with Zeppelin's performance (Jason Bonham on drums). Jason played well, but the night is generally considered a disaster. The rehearsal was (reportedly) brilliant. The evening arrived with the band better- rehearsed than they had been at Live Aid; but the concert ran late, upsetting Page's always fragile nerves--which caused him to drink a bit more than he should have. Not to be outdone, Plant had suddenly decided that he didn't want to sing "Stairway." He refused to change his mind until the band was literally standing onstage. The sound feed for the TV broadcast completely lost the keyboards, which made "Kashmir" sound rather thin. Plant was bumped by a fan during the same song, forgot the lyrics to one verse and later on forgot the words to "Stairway." Page's solos were somewhat of a disaster, though he did redeem himself a bit at the end of his "Stairway" solo. The set list was: "Kashmir," "Heartbreaker/Whole Lotta Love" (the Knebworth '79 arrangement), "Misty Mountain Hop," and "Stairway To Heaven."
Carmen Plant's Birthday -- The band played at Carmen Plant's 21st birthday Party, once again with Jason on drums. Set list was "Trampled Underfoot," "Misty Mountain Hop," and "Rock And Roll." November 1989.
Jason's Wedding -- The band also reformed for Jason Bonham's wedding, playing "Bring It On Home, "Rock And Roll," "Sick Again," "Custard Pie," and Jerry Lee Lewis' "It'll Be Me." Both this and the previous performance were said to be outstanding. 28 April 1990.
Knebworth '90 -- Page joined Plant's band (despite rumours and even the official promotion announcing Led Zeppelin's presence, Jones was nowhere to be found) for "Misty Mountain Hop," the first-ever Page-led performance of "Wearing And Tearing," and "Rock And Roll." Page had stood on the sidelines earlier as Plant's band covered "Immigrant Song" and "Going To California."
Reunion #2 -- The following January, the members of Zeppelin met with Peter Grant to discuss a reunion tour. Lighting and sound companies were contacted, and stadiums were quietly reserved. After badgering Plant in public and private about the reunion, Page thought he had finally convinced him to go along with it. Both Page and Jones had expressed varying degrees of enthusiasm for the idea. But Plant, after agreeing to the tour and breaking for lunch, came back one hour later and said no. This angered Page immensely, and given Plant's rather critical attitude towards Zeppelin in the press, he allowed his displeasure to be known:
"...Robert certainly wasn't doing anything...and there was a great feeling in the camp that we would probably be getting back together again in some shape or form -- some capacity -- whether it be a tour or what. But, I mean, as you can tell at this point it just didn't happen...[softly] it just didn't happen, so.... I think it's pretty safe to assume that if it didn't happen then... then...you know, it's...well, it's pretty dim any...any chance of it happening in the future. Everyone...I mean, as far as Jonesy and I were concerned, we were really keen to see it begin...get something going. But, you know, Robert just wasn't...[softly] wasn't interested. Well, at the time...I mean, I'll leave this for everybody's speculation: that he thought it would harm his solo career. That's...that's what he said, which is rather peculiar, but...but that's his reason."
Relations between the two were sometimes amicable, sometimes dicey:
Plant: "...I do find Jimmy's constant sort of complaining about the lack of Led Zeppelin in the major sort of festival auditoriums in the country a bit boring."
Page: "Someone should just tell Robert to keep his mouth shut."
..but with recent developments, it appears that this unpleasantness is behind them.
END OF PART TWO - CONTINUED IN PART THREE