Led Zeppelin History – Aug 19, part 2

Today in 1971 Zeppelin kicked off their 7th North American tour, at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia. They played to a sold out crowd of over 17,000 fans, while another 3,000 ticketless fans outside the venue started a battle with local police and basically just stormed inside. It was at this show that, reportedly, “Stairway to Heaven” was played live for the first time in North America.

Setlist: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Black Dog, Gallows Pole, Celebration Day, Tangerine (electric version with the Les Paul), That’s The Way, Going To California, Friends, Bron Y Aur Stomp, What Is And What Should Never Be, Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love medley, Communication Breakdown, Thank You.

Led Zeppelin History – Aug 19, part 1

This one is more pre-Led Zeppelin history.

Today in 1965 saw two singles released on the Immediate Records label. The first was by Fifth Avenue, containing a version of the Pete Seeger / Byrds song “The Bells of Rhymney”, backed with Jimmy Page’s original composition “Just Like Anyone Would Do”.

The second was Nico’s cover of “I’m Not Sayin” (the Gordon Lightfoot song, produced by Andrew Oldham), with a b-side of “The Last Mile”, produced and written by Jimmy Page. Page: “I routined with Nico in her muse flat that she had during her stay in London. Editorial note: he’s keeping all the details to himself! This was before Nico was to go to New York and become part of the magical Velvet Underground”.

Led Zeppelin History – Notice

Hello Zep-heads. Those of who you are regulars to this blog will know that these posts are not daily; I try to pick Zeppelin-related events that I think will interest both casual and die-hard Zeppelin fans alike, and those did not necessarily happen every day of the band’s career.

That said, the blog has now come full circle (I started it in July 2016). Accordingly, since history doesn’t change, I’m not going to repeat the 2016 posts for the same dates in 2017, rather for 2017 I’m going to expand the research and add posts for only the dates I did not post for in 2016. So, the next post in 2017 will be on Aug 19. For events on dates not listed from this point forward, scroll down to those dates in 2016. Thanks, and enjoy.   -GotLed

Led Zeppelin History – Aug 10

Today in 1994, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page appeared in the Jamaa el Fna marketplace in Marrakesh, as part of the creation of their No Quarter live album.

Jimmy Page:
“This was a fascinating experience to be playing what indeed was a medieval market. Robert and I performed a song entitled “Yallah”, later to be re-titled “The Truth Explodes” (on the 2004 reissue of the album), and it was performed with a percussion loop that had been originally supplied to Robert by Martin Massonier. However, the loop was now slowed down in tempo and had my electric guitar riff and Robert’s vocals ricocheting through the stalls, the walls and the souk. The audience appeared quite shocked at this spectacle and I remember at one point one of the PA speakers disappearing off into the audience, probably to be sold ‘round the corner, and had to be hastily retrieved!”

“This had been such a profound experience being able to play music in a place that I had visited and enjoyed many times in the past and appreciated the musicians, acrobats, readers and writers of letters, astrologers, snake charmers, storytellers, jugglers and chefs of fine food, the fumes of which add to the ambience of this magical place.”

VIDEO: Watch ‘The Truth Explodes’ by Page and Plant

Led Zeppelin History – Aug 8

Some post-Led Zeppelin history:

Today (Aug 8) in 1998 the single “Come with Me,” which Jimmy Page recorded with Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs as part of the soundtrack to the 1998 version of the film Godzilla, was released. The tune and video heavily sampled Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and featured footage of Jimmy Page playing guitar. Page and Combs also performed the song on Saturday Night Live on May 9, 1998.

Jimmy Page: “I recorded my guitar at CTS Studio in Wembley, London via an ISDN line to Sean Combs at the Record Plant in LA and a video link between the two venues. After the guitar recording, a director was on hand to film my part of what was to become the promo video for the song. I was working to a blue screen on this and I thought they did a clever job the way they included the performance in the final cut.”

“I wore a Raf Simons jacket and a snakeskin print shirt that ‘Mr. Daddy’ had made positive remarks about during the link up! This was a fun project to be involved with. When the recordings were completed at CTS, Daddy said he was off to overdub the orchestra on it. He had clearly applied a lot of imagination to this and he’d done a really good job.” 

Fans and music critics disagreed, as the song was quickly panned. In 2007 is was named as one of the worst covers of all time on pop culture website Retrocrush.

An acquaintance of mine, Fred Maher, was the drummer for Lou Reed in his younger days. During those days Fred met legendary recording engineer and producer Glyn Johns, who worked with Led Zeppelin (among many others). Fred has told me that Glyn Johns reportedly freaked out and called Jimmy Page to rip him a new one after this single came out. 

Spin magazine:
Guitarist Jimmy Page reforming Led Zeppelin sans Robert Plant would have been a better decision than collaborating with P. Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy) on this monstrosity of a song. Recorded for the soundtrack to 1998’s similarly awful Godzilla remake, Page’s contribution doesn’t go beyond permitting the song’s sample of Led classic “Kashmir” and adding some shaky “Stairway to Heaven”-aping licks. And Diddy’s lyrics simply flunk: “Break the faith / Fall from grace / Tell me lies / Time flies / Close your eyes.” Ouchhhhhhhh…

Puffy’s track, titled “Come With Me,” mirrored Godzilla in the worst way: Both the single and its film were seen as crass, lumbering, bloated miscalculations that tried to trade on former glories for commercial gain. It all added up to a lot of fast-forgotten noise. As Public Enemy leader Chuck D put it in a 2012 interview: “I like Jimmy Page and P. Diddy, but what they did to ‘Kashmir’ was a debacle. They are giants in their own way – and you can print this – but that was a fucking travesty.”

VH1: The collaboration was ranked #27 on VH1’s top 40 “Least Metal Moments”.

Led Zeppelin History – Aug 6

Today in 1971, Led Zeppelin III began its final week of a 40-week run on the UK album chart. Released October 5, 1970, it was one of the most eagerly awaited albums of 1970, and although it perplexed both fans and critics alike with its eclectic mix of electric and acoustic songs, its advance orders in the US alone were over 700,000. It was first certified Gold by the RIAA only five days after release.


Led Zeppelin History – Aug 5

This is more pre-Led Zeppelin history.

Today in 1966 Jimmy Page played his first show in America, with the Yardbirds. “This was the first date of any American tour for me, and on this day I played with The Yardbirds on bass. In fact, although having had two visits to the States prior to this, this was the first time I ever played a show there. The first date here in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the 5th of August was at Dayton’s Department Store, 8th Floor Auditorium and the surroundings felt quite surreal.” Page was still playing bass at this time; he would not play lead guitar until Jeff Beck left the group later in 1966.

Band Lineup:
Keith Relf: Vocals & Harmonica
Jeff Beck: Lead guitar
Chris Dreja: Rhythm guitar
Jim McCarty: Drums
Jimmy Page: Bass & occasional second guitar