Tuesday, July 13, 1999

Recent activity from all three Led Zeppelin members

The following news update originally appeared on a previous Web site of mine, "From Black Dog to Hot Dog."

In the last few months, the former members of Led Zeppelin have been making headlines.

Jimmy Page

Gibson, the manufacturer of many of Jimmy Page's guitars, is opening a new London office with a private party honoring the work of Scotty Moore, the guitarist on many of the early Elvis Presley records that inspired Page to pick up a guitar, namely "Baby Let's Play House" among others.

Page is to attend tonight's party at record producer George Martin's Air Studios in North London, where the new Scotty Moore model Signature Guitar, based on Moore's original guitar choice ES-295, will make its d├ębut.

All this happens on the same day as the re-release of the 1964 Scotty Moore compilation The Guitar That Changed The World on the BMG/Razor & Tie label. Moore will play along with former bandmate D.J. Fontana (Presley's original drummer) and his band at the event.

This Page appearance comes on the heels of some other recent activity, having appeared at a charity event with the Black Crowes on June 27, and also at a Kosovo crisis benefit on June 16.

John Paul Jones

Meanwhile, news of John Paul Jones' touring later this year starts to take shape. His album, Zooma, is scheduled for release on September 13. On October 7, he is slated to appear at the Crossing Borders Festival in Holland (also appearing at the festival will be spoken word poetry music group Voices Without Restraint). Jones will make appearances in the US later in October and elsewhere in Europe throughout November. In 2000, he is expected to embark on a world tour in support of Zooma, the solo album Jones has promised for over half a decade.

This highly anticipated collection of nine songs will be his first solo album since 1985's Scream For Help soundtrack. Of the nine songs on Zooma, four are available on a promotional tape. From the reviews so far, the music on Zooma is great and reflects work Jones has done in the past. The album cover, shown at right, features the symbol that he selected in 1970 to represent himself, and it is expected that his live repertoire will include some Led Zeppelin songs.

Robert Plant

Robert Plant appears on a tribute album to the late Skip Spence, founding member of Moby Grape and Jefferson Airplane. More Oar was released July 6, nearly three months after Spence died of a longterm illness. Plant's cut of "Little Hands," recorded in January with Phil Andrews and Charlie Jones, is the slow but soulful song that opens the album. Other performers such as BeckAlejandro EscovedoMudhoney and Tom Waits grace the album covering songs that appeared on Spence's 1969 solo album, Oar. Plant was a big fan of Moby Grape as part of the booming psychedelic music scene of San Francisco bands in the late '60s. Apparently, Spence heard an advance copy of the album in the hours before his death in April.

This is the third album on which Robert has appeared recently to benefit influential musicians whose lives would shortly end due to illness; the others were Jimmy Rogers (Blues Blues Blues) and Rainer Ptacek (Inner Flame).