Friday, December 21, 2007

Tenth report from fans in London

Howard Mylett is the author of several books on Led Zeppelin and its members including Led Zeppelin: In the Light, shown at right, which he cowrote. He's been publishing books about the band since 1976, if I'm not mistaken, which has given him plenty of time to make his thoughts known about the band. But when the opportunity came for him to attend the reunion concert on Dec. 10 at London's O2 arena, he couldn't pass up the chance to spit out another several thousand words on the group.

As if it's no surprise, Mylett writes like an author would. There's no off position. In just this brief excerpt of his extensive concert review appearing in full at Enzepplopedia, his descriptions of each band member really provides the reader with a feel for who was showcased onstage.

Scanning right to left onstage, the silver-haired Jimmy Page was resplendent in a 3/4-length black 3-piece mohair suit and black shades, looking just as cool as ever! He played blistering, razor-sharp chops and riffs with a sound that was totally of his own unique making - never afraid to smile with recognition when his fellow members hit the perfect spot he was aiming to fill.

Robert Plant, now bearded but still looking like the ringletted time traveller we all know through some of his remarkable and inventive lyrics, had his black shirt tucked in. His dark trousers were looser-fitted than in the 70s, but he is still gifted with the greatest and most emotive vocal range of any rock singer.

Behind him was the natural heir to the drum throne of Led Zeppelin - the late John Bonham's son Jason. His knowledge of Zeppelin bootlegs carried him through six months of rehearsals and had slotted him into place, they say, from their first rehearsal. He only improved more as the concert beckoned. What an emotional night it must have been for him! All the other group members made regular eye contact with him as if to spur him on to bigger and better sounds. And it worked! His father must have been looking down and smiling. The Bonhams were a very proud family.

To the left of the stage, with keyboards and bass at the ready, stood the enigmatic Zeppelin bass man, John Paul Jones - often the underestimated anchor man of the group. Nearly all sixteen of the tracks performed that evening benefitted from the punchiest bass-laden sound I've ever heard. I'd seen Led Zeppelin live in concert seven times from 1971 to 1980, and the drumming complemented this bass really well. The Zeppelin engine room had stoked up for full steam ahead!

Mylett's full review of the show unearths the entire concert experience in a very palpable and moving way, and it's available exclusively at Enzepplopedia.
Speaking of Enzepplopedia and concert reviews, the site's new third Enzepplozine installment (available to members only, but all you have to do to join and log in is type your e-mail address – big challenge!) features a late San Francisco jazz/blues critic's memories of the Fillmore West concert he attended on the first birthday Jimmy Page celebrated with Led Zeppelin. Philip Elwood recalls the show quite vividly in this never-seen-before interview conducted with Frank Reddon in 1998. It is one of several interviews that will appear in full this September upon publication of Volume 1 - Break & Enter, which will be the first installment of Reddon's 40th anniversary commemorative book series, Sonic Boom: The Impact of Led Zeppelin.

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