Monday, July 7, 2003

Sad news from Russia: my reaction

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

While taking a holiday weekend off from writing the newsletter and checking my e-mail, I was saddened to learn that suicide bombers took the lives of at least 16 people and injured dozens of others at a rock music festival near Moscow. My heart goes out to the people affected by this unfortunate act.

In another twist of sad coincidence, I realized that the event took place on July 5, on the 32nd anniversary of the most tragic incident at a Led Zeppelin concert. In the 1971 incident, 12,000 people attending a music festival at the Vigorelli bicycle stadium in Milan, Italy, were tear gassed by thousands of police on hand at the government-sponsored festival.

After dozens of canisters of tear gas were fired into the audience, Led Zeppelin finished its set with stinging eyes and then ended up deserting the stage for a tunnel filled with tear gas. As John Paul Jones told the story, roadies were trying to retrieve the band's equipment from the stage when the entire audience was forced to move forward through the stage area. The event resulted in arrests and injuries, and the newspapers sided with the police, calling the festival attendees "ruffians."

On a much more positive note, July 6 marked the beginning of the last leg of the 1973 tour. After a well-deserved month of rest since its last concert in America when the band members had pushed themselves to their physical limits, the group catapulted from a Hawaiian vacation onto the stage of the Chicago Stadium. At the time, Led Zeppelin was refreshed and rejuvenated, having spent a full month away from the touring circuit. And so, the group's ninth tour of North America blasted back on the track.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

The Garden Tapes site updated to include new Zep DVD, live album

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

For the last few years, one of the very few Web sites I ever linked to at my home page was "The Garden Tapes," one fan's comprehensive study of cuts and edits made within the Led Zeppelin film and soundtrack, The Song Remains the Same. Now, the site is expanded to include all of the band's officially released live recordings, including 1997's BBC Sessions and the two recent releases, How the West Was Won and DVD.

The DVD pages, added just Monday, reveal which recordings come from which dates and whether any overdubs, mixes or edits were made in compiling the releases. Of course, there were, and author Eddie Edwards noticed them! Visit "The Garden Tapes" at and tell Eddie that Steve "The Lemon" sent you.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Readers overwhelmingly positive on new Led Zeppelin DVD, live album

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Led Zeppelin's live album How the West Was Won and chronological live visual set DVD, now out in most of the world, will be released June 11 in Japan and Friday in Australia and New Zealand.
Man, I can't wait. I'm getting home Friday night with my DVD in my hot little hand, locking the gate, bolting the door, putting the phone in the toilet and sitting in front of the tele for the weekend. "Wayyyyyyy down inside!" I hope the neighbours don't wanna sleep this weekend.
Christchurch, New Zealand
In the meantime, Lemon Squeezings presents comments from some readers who are infatuated with their new toys. Thanks to all who wrote in.
I was the first one in the Virgin Megastore on 45th & Broadway at 9 a.m. on May 27, and I paid the great price of $22.99 for the DVDs and $20.99 for the CDs. OH BABY BABY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
New York, N.Y.
I arrived home at 3:30 p.m. (Don't mention speed limits, will you?) toput the DVD on first; the thing that strikes me immediately is the flood of memories from actually being at the concerts first time around. I remember I was working at the Hardrock Concert Theatre in Manchester when Zeppelin performed two consecutive nights there, Dec. 7-8, 1972. I was lucky enough to meet Robert Plant for the first time then, a thoroughly nice guy. Next, the thing that (literally) hit me is the phenomenal power and intricacy of the drumming of John Bonham; he must be the only drummer who really did have arms like Popeye and sticks like telegraph poles. Unbelievable.
Liverpool, England
I bought the DVD and CD from HMV shop in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. I was there at 10 a.m. when it opened. I rushed back home and spent the next six hours or so in heaven.
Crewe, England
I picked up the CD this morning at a music store in Grand Central Station, the only one I could find open at 7:30 a.m. on my way to work. Even on my Compaq M700 laptop, they sound unreal. I can't wait to listen on a real system tonight, but the laptop will do for now as I will be listening over and over all day.
New York, N.Y.
You should've seen me picking them up at Borders. I met a saleswoman who loves LZ too, and we were practically jumping up and down!
St. Louis, Mo.
I picked up the DVDs and CDs about five hours ago and am about to check out the DVD before I go to sleep. What'll you bet that I'll be up watching until 10:30 a.m.?
Long Beach, Calif.
They should've included a concert poster of the L.A. Forum 1972 in the How the West Was Won CD package. In my opinion, they should've really went all out for it in this release.
Margate City, N.J.
I would have loved a CD booklet, but at least the DVD booklet is good. You know Zeppelin and album covers...
West Palm Beach, Fla.
The entire CD set has given a breath of fresh air to all who can breathe again after this great revival of a great era, great music and a great band.
John "They Call Me The Hunter"
Cincinnati, Ohio
The rendition of "Dazed and Confused" at the beginning of Disc Two on
How the West Was Won is by far the best ever. It is crazy how well they change
the beats in a song and then fall right back into it. It is totally apparent
that they are all very talented musicians and the best band ever to grace our
world's stages.
Memphis, Tenn.
I first heard Led Zeppelin when I was about 13 at a local disco. They blew me away then, and they're still doing it to me. They encapsulate the mystery and magic of my teenage years and are still my favourite band. No one else comes close.

Unfortunately, I never saw them live (if only I'd been born in '55
instead of '65!). The live performances featured on the CD are enough to make me weep at having missed them (as was Dave Lewis's recollections of Earl's Court in the May 24 edition). What will I be like when I watch the DVD?
Dundee, Scotland
I've just returned from the DVD screening in New York and am recovering from the sonic attack my body just witnessed. The DVD kills! Jimmy, Robert and John Paul were all in attendance, and each made a very brief speech, thanking everyone for coming out and for their support. A fan yelled, "You guys rock!" Robert replied, "We don't use that expression back home." Additionally, Plant then went on to dedicate the night's screening to the group's fourth member and my personal favorite (guess which instrument I play!), John Bonham.
New York, N.Y.
The Los Angeles theatrical premiere was f***ing awesome. Forgive the bad language, but it was that good! People were cheering after every song as if it were a real concert. There were a lot of cool people there, and I had a great time. Seeing Bonzo play was sublime; he was an animal! Robert was amazing and amazingly hot. Jimmy was out of this world, and John Paul Jones was fantastic.

I have been a fan for four years. I fell in love with Led Zeppelin without seeing them. The first time I saw them was watching The Song Remains the Same and bootleg stuff on the Internet. But this DVD is Led Zeppelin live, it is them. I am only 17, but I know that you can't make music like that anymore.
Los Angeles, Calif.
I traveled 30 miles north to gather with a couple of buddies just to see the Led Zeppelin DVD on a huge, high-definition screen with a complete surround sound system. Both of my buddies experienced Zeppelin live in their earlier days: One of them attended the Fillmore East in 1969, and the other one saw Zep in Pittsburgh in 1970. The latter one remembers being very impressed with the opening song; it was "We're Gonna Groove," as he finally learned 12 years later when it was released on Coda. The Royal Albert Hall show starts with precisely this song, and, according to him, it is exactly as he remembers it.

Footage of that concert gave me the opportunity to see John Paul Jones
from a different angle; he is actually rocking and dancing to the rhythm of "Dazed and Confused" during the middle section and during "How Many More Times."
San Diego, Calif.
I was amazed when Jimmy played "White Summer," and Bonzo's "Moby Dick" was killer. The "What is and Should Never Be" performance was totally rocking and had to be my favorite of the show.
Memphis, Tenn.
Jimmy really knows his way around a guitar. Watching him play like that during "White Summer" is intimidating.
Washington, D.C.
I especially enjoyed watching a young Bonzo thrash away to "Moby Dick." This is priceless. His talent was surreal.
Jupiter, Fla.
"How Many More Times": just simply unbelievable. I was honestly standing and cheering in my own living room by myself. "White Summer" too -- I do believe that is why Jimmy is the best. Simply unmatched. That was just a few of the many highlights.
Don't you just love that version of "The Ocean" from Madison Square Garden 1973! That bit just KNOCKS ME OUT! So cool!!!
Margate City, N.J.
I was wondering why that version of "The Ocean" didn't make the movie cut of The Song Remains the Same. What an incredible version of that song!
As far as I am concerned, there will never again be any need whatsoever to play The Song Remains the Same or its soundtrack; they are so inferior now compared to these new releases.
Jupiter, Fla.
How cool is the Earl's Court 1975 footage?!!!
Greenwich, Conn.
Knebworth: much maligned, but a favorite of mine. I found the bootleg video a good 10 years ago. Watching the bootleg was like needing corrective lenses for 10 years. Watching the DVD is like suddenly having 20-20 vision. The "Rock and Roll" encore from August 4 comes on like a five-alarm fire. Where's Fireman Joe when you need him? The band is roaring away during "Nobody's Fault but Mine." Even young rovers have to appreciate the musicianship and enthusiasm demonstrated here. You can see John Paul Jones gettin' down. During "Sick Again," Jimmy may be dueling with demons, but he can still do his daffy duckwalk! Plant knows he is still the Tall Cool Abe of rock 'n' roll.

"Achilles Last Stand": Now with fantastic clarity, we can see how
Plant is emotionally embroiled with the song, how his life has changed since those vacation plans were made. "In the Evening" proves that Zeppelin was alive and well in 1979. It's timeless music that influenced the flannel-wearing, 240 Z drivers in Seattle and keeps young groupies interested even today, as the band members are nearing the big 6-0.

As we make the journey to "Kashmir" via Bonzo's famous beats, we feel much like a man I know named Dave, who has seemingly been everywhere and back. Robert looks truly happy at the end of "Whole Lotta Love." It's as if he finally found the girl with "flowers in her hair."

You can truly hear the "ocean" roar at Knebworth. Somewhere at this very moment, Luis Rey must be re-writing a passage in his book, and the "ocean" wants a copy.
Evansville, Wis.
I was so agitated by the people who were allowed to watch them perform for those extra 1969 clips from Denmark and France. They were obviously not enjoying themselves. I can't believe they would get just anyone when there were people that did want to hear Zeppelin play. One boy even had his fingers in his ears, and people were talking to each other on the French clip. The one with all the teens sitting around was sad. I don't think I have ever seen so many teenagers in one place so utterly bored -- except maybe in math class.
Alabama, U.S.A.
I haven't seen or heard anything yet as mine are on order from I'll have to wait till Tuesday -- yeah, right!! As soon as I get paid on Friday, I'm headed to Target! I can't wait the whole weekend!
Tucson, Ariz.
My boyfriend Ray said what he remembers best about seeing them in 1977 -- in addition to Page's incredible performance -- was Bonham's "thunder." And that's precisely what comes into crystal clarity, especially in the DVD.
Greenwich, Conn.
Thank you, Jimmy Page. You did a fantastic job!
Alabama, U.S.A.
I always believed Zeppelin was the greatest band ever, and this DVD totally backs it up. Jimmy totally wails on the guitar, Bonzo drums like a madman, Jonesy's many talents are portrayed, and Robert's empowering voice and sexual image make my whole body quiver. Not to mention the chemistry between the band is just unbelievable. You can see their confidence and can tell that they love what they are doing.
Memphis, Tenn.
If you don't yet have these two new releases, then head without delay
directly to your nearest retailer.
Steve "The Lemon"
Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Led Zeppelin DVD, live album released in U.S.

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

The new Led Zeppelin live album How the West Was Won and chronological live set DVD are now out in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. Australia is next, with a proposed release date of May 30.

Click here for a write-up about their contents.

Hey, how are the new Zep releases? Let me know what you think.

As reported two days later, readers were overwhelmingly positive about the request.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Led Zeppelin releases DVD, live album in U.K., Europe

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Led Zeppelin's chronological live set, DVD, and live album, How the West Was Won, are released today in Europe and the United Kingdom and tomorrow in the United States!

Click here for a write-up about their contents.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Pocket-size 'Celebration' by Dave Lewis appears

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Led Zeppelin: A Celebration. By Dave Lewis. London: Omnibus Press. Originally published in 1991. A new 2003 pressing of the book in CD size is now available. Signed copies available from

This new version of the book can really be described using the words of one of the chapter names: "The Same Picture With A Different Frame." Paging through the book, I don't really see much of anything that's been revised or added. The first exception is a new two-page introduction with the author's opinions on reaction to his book and the legacy of Led Zeppelin to this day. Another exception is a brief update in the two-page biography of manager Peter Grant.

Possibly the only other exception is the six-page "What Happened Next," an addendum to the possibility of a Page-Plant-Jones reunion covering the careers of Page, Plant and Jones since the book's original publication. In this section, Dave Lewis makes use of some of the best quotes from the boys available, describing such emotions as why Plant wanted to include Page for the MTV appearance that led to their reunion, how Jones felt about not being included, and why Plant eventually wanted out.

Here, Dave Lewis mentions specific rumors of a Led Zeppelin reunion and even the name of another drummer other than Jason Bonham. (No, not Dave Grohl either! You'll have to read the book to find out who it was!) It's just about right that in the final paragraph of this section, Lewis says "the 'will they or won't they' saga drags on and on" today just as much as in 1991.

Plant's post-Zep biography also ends with another nod to "the 'will he or won't he' saga." Even though here Lewis was referring to this saga going on in 1991, it's as pertinent then as it is now. (Note to self: You can't go wrong ending any story on Led Zeppelin with an allusion to a possible reunion...)

That being said, the sections detailing the post-Zep careers of Page and Jones feel jarringly incomplete when they leave off at 1991. Dave Lewis's conclusion that Page is "sure to make new music in the future" turned out to be correct; some of his best recorded work was only a few years away on a Coverdale/Page album. The bio of Jones ends with Lewis' recommendation: "Should [Page and Plant] decide to play together at any point in the future, when it comes to the role of keyboards and bass ... [Jones'] contribution, as it was during the years 1968 to 1980, would be irreplaceable." Of course, it didn't exactly turn out this way.

Since the book hasn't changed much since 1991, it remains the ultimate Led Zeppelin resource, including information on Zep's studio output, including not just the official releases but some very great descriptions of some unreleased studio reels, a chronology, and lots of exhaustive info like the serial number of Jimmy's Gibson ES 1275 6/12-string double-neck (You'll have to buy the book to look up the serial number!).

This is in fact the first book I ever bought on Led Zeppelin. It's the one book on which I relied most heavily during the first few years of publishing my daily newsletter, "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History." I loved it then, and I love it now in its newer, more convenient size and shape. I'm sure the pages will soon be just as bent on this copy as they are on the old one.

Sadly, a few things in the book accepted as fact in 1991 have proven to be incorrect over the years, such as the date of Zep's April 1, 1971, Paris Theatre performance for the BBC (thought to have been March 25) and the dates of the subsequent shows in Copenhagen (actually May 3, not in June) and Milan (July 5, not July 3). Lewis' concert itinerary in an appendix has apparently not been touched since it appeared in 1991, which is why the first concert date listed as Sept. 14, 1968; research in recent years has turned up evidence that the opening night of the Scandinavian tour was actually Sept. 7. Be forewarned that not every detail in the book is actually true.

Dave Lewis concludes his introduction on a promising note, stating that everything that has happened since the original publication of A Celebration constitutes "more than enough for me to begin work collating a second volume." Elsewhere, Dave Lewis has announced he is compiling a followup, tentatively called A Celebration II. Hopefully, he will collaborate with some of his peers in the Led Zeppelin community to present the most accurate information available when the sequel is written.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Thrilling online clips preview Led Zeppelin's official DVD compilation

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Ten days remain until the U.S. release of Led Zeppelin's chronological live set, DVD, and live album, How the West Was Won. (Click here for a description of their contents.)

Here's a quote that makes me hope the next 10 days go quickly. Dave Lewis and Dave Linwood at TBL/Web write:
"The Earl's Court footage captures Zeppelin at their most extravagant and thrilling, totally on top of their game and performing with supreme confidence. It's just sensational viewing."
Earlier comments from Dave Lewis are available here.

Also, in the last few days before we're offered supreme footage from concerts like the Earl's Court show described above, we can sit back and enjoy Led Zeppelin's newly improved official site, which now offers a sneak preview of five songs from the CD set. Visit today! And for a sneak preview of "What Is and What Should Never Be" from the DVD's 1970 Royal Albert Hall performance, try the news page of Electric Magic's Web site at and look for "AOL DVD preview." High-speed Internet connection recommended.

Update: None of the Web content described in the preceding paragraph is available any longer.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Letter-writing campaign: We should really spell 'Led Zeppelin' correctly

These comments originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

If you have a minute or two to spare, do the following to get a message out about Led Zeppelin. Click here for a Motor Trend article on the new look of Cadillac. All I read was the first paragraph, where Led Zeppelin's name is misspelled. Click on the author's name, Thomas Voehringer, and you'll be taken to a page featuring his biography. At the bottom of that page, click on "Contact Us," and you'll be taken to a feedback form. At the top, choose "Truck Trend Editors" as the destination, fill in as much or as little of your contact information as you want below, and for the comments enter some text like the following:
"Art Director Thomas Voehringer made a comment on 'Led Zepplin's back catalogue' in a May 15 article on the new look of Cadillac. If Thomas were really familiar with this rock group's back catalogue, he would know that the correct spelling of the band's name is 'Led Zeppelin.'"
You might also want to mention that new CD and DVD releases that will blow him away are just 11 days away. Click "Send Mail," and you've done your service to the band's name!

Monday, May 12, 2003

Q magazine's special edition quotes yours truly

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

The 148-page special issue of Q dedicated to Led Zeppelin is still available for purchase at -- Go there and click on "Special Issues" at the left. And guess who's mentioned on page 129?

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Let's have a party; DVD to receive premiere screening treatment

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Get ready for the ultimate rock experience: the chance to hang out with the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin and celebrate the band's landmark live DVD and CD sets.

On May 27, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones will premiere these long-awaited releases at New York's Loews 34th Street Theatre. The red carpet screening will feature two hours of rare and spectacular Led Zeppelin live concert footage taken from their upcoming five-hour DVD set. The screening will be followed by an exclusive, invitation-only VIP party with members of Led Zeppelin.

And you could be there! One lucky winner plus three of his or her friends will get to attend that VIP screening and exclusive VIP party. The contest, which ends May 18, is airing at radio stations and Web sites in more than 125 cities, so check local listings for dates and times. One additional screen at the theater will be reserved for second-prize winners, who can win tickets by listening to New York's Q 104.3 FM. Click here for contest rules and to enter.

Loews will also present premiere screenings in selected cities in the United States. In the words of David Letterman, "Just pray to God your city has been selected."
  • San Francisco, Calif.: Metreon Theatre, 101 Fourth St.
  • Universal City, Calif.: Universal City, 100 Universal City Plaza
  • Schaumburg, Ill.: Streets of Woodfield, 601 N. Martingale Rd.
  • Gaithersburg, Md.: Rio, 9811 Washingtonian Blvd.
  • Boston, Mass.: Boston Common Theatre, 175 Tremont St.
  • Detroit, Mich.: Star Southfield Center, 25333 West 12 Mile Rd.
  • Garden City, N.Y.: Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Rd.
These are tied to the local radio station affiliates in each city. Listen to local radio in each city for info, hit up, or visit participating FYE retailers for more information.

The following tentatively scheduled release dates for the DVD and CD sets are accurate as of the best information received:
  • May 26 - United Kingdom & Europe
  • May 27 - United States
  • May 30 - Australia
  • June 11 - Japan

Sunday, May 4, 2003

Madison Square Garden '73 shows to be reissued by 30th anniversary

This news originally appeared at the end of the edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" published on the 30th anniversary of the start of Led Zeppelin's ninth North American tour, in 1973.

That's the beginning of the 1973 tour, 30 years ago today. The end of the tour, three nights at Madison Square Garden, was captured in the 1976 film The Song Remains The Same and its accompanying soundtrack. With the release of Led Zeppelin DVD in about three weeks, we'll see even more of those final shows than ever before!

Be sure to read the latest update on Led Zeppelin DVD at Tight But Loose's Web page. Visit (link no longer active) for information on the 1973 performance captured on the DVD and much more!

Finally, a five-song promo sampler for How the West Was Won has been hitting the airwaves. Listen to your favorite radio stations to find out whether the 1972 live versions of "Immigrant Song," "Heartbreaker," "Black Dog," "Over the Hills and Far Away" and "The Ocean" are currently in rotation.

TBL/Web also has a preview of the full 3-CD set. Read the comments from Dave Linwood at (link no longer active) and you might be singing the same thing I am, which is: "If I keep on drooling, the levee's going to break!"

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Page: 'Nobody in the band has even discussed' reunion; suggestion is 'just disgraceful'

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the 1973 tour, it is timely to point out the quote from Jimmy Page's Q magazine interview in which he dismisses the recent rumors of a Led Zeppelin reunion: "That's just disgraceful" to suggest a reunion at this time, Page begins. "I started to hear [rumors] about this tour when I was in the studio putting together the DVDs and CD box set, and I immediately thought that the most ridiculous thing we could do is to put out a live album and then tour on the strength of something we did 30 years ago. Nobody in the band has even discussed it." Interviewer Nick Kent asks whether it is too late to dream of a Led Zeppelin reunion, and Page responds, "I never discounted it, but everyone has their own agendas. Maybe, at this point in time, it's just too late."

Friday, April 25, 2003

Zepfest 2003: What was and what we're glad wasn't meant to be

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

"It's always something, isn't it?" Grant Burgess snickered on Friday, April 11, just after I arrived for the inaugural event of Zepfest 2003. Grant could easily go on for hours listing the many occurrences that have threatened the existence of his (mostly) annual get-together. "This year, it's the SARS, and I guess some people had to cancel because they were a little uneasy about coming to Toronto."

News of the Serious Acute Respiratory Syndrome and a few cases in Toronto were common knowledge to a good percentage of attendees before they flew in or drove up to Toronto for the Led Zeppelin convention. Nevertheless, those who'd been at previous years' shows commented that attendance did not seem to be down in any way. By the end of the weekend, there was most likely nobody unfamiliar with SARS, thanks to the ingenious idea of one exhibitor to hand out specially designed Zepfest 2003 surgical masks to those making a purchase. Because it seems nobody was infected with SARS that weekend, this gag gift will go down in history as a sign of what we're glad wasn't meant to be.

Speaking of gag gifts, the Zepfest 2003 mug actually says "Zepfest 2002" on it. Some attendees commented that it's rather fitting. As Led Zeppelin fans, they're well aware that even the band had a hard time getting certain things right at the printers. That's something we've seen many times over, particularly with album covers. Most recently, a mailing list at sends an automatic response in which the band's name is spelled incorrectly. So, the misprinted mugs could become more of a collector's item someday.

On to the events: Zepfest kicked off with drinks at Healey's. Before the main act took center stage, fans were treated to bootleg video of Led Zeppelin's filmed Seattle 1977 performance; new bootleg releases of this video shown at Zepfest blow away versions previously seen in the black market. Spectacular versions of "Since I've Been Loving You" and "Achilles Last Stand" set the tone for the evening's main act, Canada's Led Zeppelin tribute band Zeppelinesque.

Four band members took the stage: one gorgeous female bassist, one drummer, and two guitarists! Nobody was standing in front of the center microphone, and so ensued shouts of "We need a singer!" A tall, lanky man with a straggly wig and an open shirt pushed his way through the ocean of people and took the stage to much laughter and cheers. He knocked over at least one beer on the way to the stage, for which he publicly apologized after finishing a song.

The singer had a small arsenal of Robert Plant's moves at his disposal, but the people around me agreed with my comment that his voice was less like Plant's and more like that of Geddy Lee, lead singer of Canada's own Rush. After I made the comment, it became tougher for my friends to listen to these versions of Physical Graffiti tracks when you're expecting to hear the singer bust into "Fly by Night."

The rest of the band was great: right on with arrangements of Led Zeppelin's studio catalogue. Zeppelinesque played a few songs that you'd be hard-pressed to find on a greatest hits album or in any Led Zep set list. Each rarity made the crowd go wild, but the highlight of the first set was probably a version of "Dazed and Confused" based on the six-and-a-half-minute version that graces the first side of Zep's debut album. The group's lead guitarist played a violin bow solo but chose to keep things going and not to indulge too much.

On the following day, the commercial exposition at Healey's and a post-convention reception were supported by more video screenings of our favorite band in action. Some recent footage of Robert Plant's Strange Sensation also received some play and appreciation among gawking fans.

For me, the best part of the convention was meeting people and being able to discuss how checking out our heroes' favorite music has affected us. There were people, like me, who rediscovered the music of groups like Love and Moby Grape just because Robert Plant has dropped their names in many interviews between the 1960s and today. It's rare that in my personal life I can find fellow fans to sit down with and discuss a rare B-side or particular live version. That's why these get-togethers are so special.

Even more of a trip was meeting people who didn't recognize the name Steve "The Lemon" when I introduced myself and couldn't say they recalled ever reading "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History." But when they found out about the four-hour interview I conducted with John Paul Jones a few years back, they enthusiastically listened to me recanting the words he told me and the impressions he gave me. One tidbit about the 1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reunion I haven't seen repeated elsewhere is mentioned on page 129 of Q magazine's special issue devoted to Led Zeppelin.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Yardbirds hatch new album; Jeff Beck returns for guest spot on 'Birdland' CD

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Released today in the United Kingdom and Tuesday in the United States is Birdland, the first studio album by the Yardbirds since 1967's Little Games, when Jimmy Page was the lead guitarist of the group. Two of his former bandmates, founding members Chris Dreja (guitar) and Jim McCarty (drums), remain in the lineup today. Joining them are lead guitarist Gypie Mayo, singer/bassist John Idan, and Alan Glen on harmonica. The group's modern-day live act depends on new versions of the songs made famous by the Yardbirds 1963-1968. For this reason, it's no surprise that remakes of songs including "For Your Love," "Train Kept A Rollin'," "Shapes of Things" and "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" grace more than half the album.

Some of the real treasures, however, are heard in seven of the 15 songs on Birdland. These are the moments that prove the Yardbirds is still relevant today, some 40 years since the group's beginnings in London. The new material bears more than a few allusions to the old days. Ex-Yardbird Jeff Beck sits in on one track. Some of the new songs feel like they are sculpted as re-workings of classic tracks. No less than three of them feature the Gregorian chant-style singing that was the trademark of such Yardbirds songs as "Still I'm Sad" and "Heart Full of Soul." The album's brilliant closing track, "An Original Man," is dedicated to Keith Relf, the group's original singer who died in 1976.

If there is anything wrong with the CD, it would be that the revolving door of guest musicians impedes the album's continuity. The guitar work of Gypie Mayo, a name recognizable to fans of Dr. Feelgood, holds up to the expectations being a guitarist for the Yardbirds obviously brings with it. He shines especially on the CD's first original, "Crying Out for Love," with a guitar solo that could be revered and dissected by the guitar students of tomorrow as if it were "Comfortably Numb." But he isn't given the chance to shine when guest guitarists step in. Still, names like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Slash, Brian May, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and Steve Lukather are nothing to sneeze at, and so any distractions they cause can easily be forgiven.

You can catch the Yardbirds on tour. Some dates in Europe and the United Kingdom will be followed in June with a tour of North America. Dates that have been announced can be seen at the group's new official Web site,

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Sources hail their advance glimpses of Led Zeppelin DVD

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Led Zeppelin's upcoming 2-DVD set is receiving plenty of attention. I'd like to call your attention in particular to this April 14 article at with interview quotes from all three surviving members of Led Zeppelin.

In the meantime, I'd like to thank readers for sharing information about their previews of the DVD! Descriptions and summaries have come in from two sources: Dave Lewis, author of the long-running fanzine Tight But Loose, and Gary Moore, host of "Whole Lotta Led" weekdays at 4 p.m. on Los Angeles' 95.5 KLOS.

From Dave Lewis:
My new issue of the Tight But Loose magazine is out now (issue 16). If you read Steve's excellent daily updates, then I'm sure you'll find much to enjoy in the new TBL. It's another mini book packed with features rare visuals, etc. Cost is £8 U.K. sterling. Visit for full subscription and ordering details.

About the forthcoming DVD: Forty days to go! Having been lucky enough to have seen a preview, let me tell you it exceeds all expectations. The integrity and sheer detail that Jimmy Page and director Dick Carruthers have brought to the project is just stunning.

For me, personally, this has been a long wait. I was lucky enough to see firsthand the extent of the Zep visual archive as far back as 1981 when I was invited to view the Earls Court, Seattle and Knebworth video masters at the London Swan Song office.

Now, finally, we are all going to see and hear in absolute full splendour the sheer magic of Led Zeppelin live. Excited? We certainly should be! And the waiting is nearly over...

Dave Lewis
April 16, 2003
From Gary Moore:
I got a sampler in over the weekend featuring three cuts on the upcoming DVD. They are as follows:

1.) What is and What Should Never Be / Royal Albert Hall, January 1970 (even though it says 1969, it's the '70 show). A very nice, tight performance of this song with everyone in great form. You notice two things right off. First, it's still a darkly shot show, but there's some welcome lightening of the show. Second, the sound quality is fantastic, especially in Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround sound. In fact, the sound quality on all the tracks is stellar -- absolutely tremendous.

2.) In My Time of Dying / Earl's Court, May 1975. If the rest of the show is this good, toss out all of your eighth-generation bootlegs because they'll pale in comparison. No contest. This may be the best overall live performance I've seen or heard of the song. There are some slight filtering special effects on a few moments, but overall it's a mesmerizing performance. You see the band's confidence like never before with this upgrading: Jimmy in complete musical domination, Robert selling the message with unbridled fury, John Paul and Bonzo's thrifty, seamless rhythm. Such a high point in their career!

3.) Rock and Roll / Knebworth, August 1979. Beaten down the press, the punkish times and their own personal trials, this is a revitalizing concert showing that they still had it, they never lost it, and they were so set for the 1980s and beyond. Again, terrific sound and video transfer onto DVD.

If the Zeppelin DVD won't persuade Ledheads to get 5.1 sound for their living rooms (and prices are way down now), then it's hopeless. Because this WILL be the next best thing to seeing Led Zeppelin in concert, I guaran-damn-tee you. In fact, for those of us who did see them live, it's almost better because of the proximity and crystal-clear sound.

In short, what I've seen is a joy to watch -- but bittersweet at the same time. You give thanks for what they gave us but feel sadness over how much farther they might've taken us.

Gary Moore
April 14, 2003
Well, what more is there to say than -- Led Zeppelin rocks!

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

New early Zep photos discovered

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

The photographer who snapped pictures at Led Zeppelin's first concert recently announced the discovery of some frames from an early Zep show previously unavailable as prints. A total of 37 shots are now available of the Zep concert from March 15, 1969, taken by Gladsaxe Teen Club house photographer Jorgen Angel. To order any of his prints, visit his Web site at

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

It was an April Fool's morning when he told us they would go ...

The following is adapted from an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

One year ago today, when all some fans needed was the slightest glimmer of hope that Led Zeppelin was on the path toward reuniting, a Los Angeles DJ made a brief announcement similar to this:
"Well, folks, it's finally happened. Led Zeppelin is finally giving the fans what they really want: The band is getting back together. That's right, folks, you heard it here first: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones have stated in a press conference that they're officially reuniting for a summer tour of the United States this year. As for who will be playing drums, the band has agreed to allow a fan in each city who bid the highest on eBay to be that evening's drummer."
The announcement by Gary Moore of 95.5 KLOS was a flash in the pan: It lasted less than a minute and was immediately followed by the words, "Check the calendar: April Fools!" There was no truth to anything he'd said. It was just a joke designed to take place on the first day of April, which in some countries is traditionally a day full of practical jokes.

But the reaction by some fans indicated that they didn't get the joke. Moore told Lemon Squeezings a few days later:
"Clearly, as evidenced by the half-dozen calls and emails I received, people either tuned out after I said the word 'reuniting' or just didn't get it. But the phones didn't light up per se. The whole bit lasted maybe 40 seconds and, again, I thought I'd defused it by saying, 'April Fools!'"
And how did I hear about this L.A. DJ's announcement all the way on the other side of the country? From people wanting to ask Steve "The Lemon" Sauer whether it was true, of course. If you wrote me this time last year to ask whether what you heard was true, then your secret's safe with me. Got that, Sasha? Got that, Temax? ;-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Q magazine dedicates special edition to Led Zeppelin

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

The latest special edition of Q magazine is now on sale. It is 148 pages jam packed with Led Zeppelin!

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters provides comments on the band, and Nick Kent interviews Jimmy Page. Each album is discussed, along with stories from the road. Visually stunning are some previously unseen photographs of the band.

Finally, fans recently voted on their favorite Led Zeppelin songs, and the top 50 appear. (Guess which is at No. 1.)

If the magazine isn't at your local newsstand, you can order it online here [link no longer active].

Thanks to Karen from Cresco, Pa., for the info.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Buddy Guy on Led Zeppelin: 'They're great, aren't they?'

These comments originally appeared at the end of an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" that mentioned Buddy Guy, who was a featured performer alongside Led Zeppelin on a film called "Supershow."

I got to watch Buddy Guy perform earlier this year at his Chicago blues club, Legends. It was the last of his January shows there. Onstage and even venturing forth amid the ravenous fans, his guitar and voice captivated the crowd with every note, despite his own displeasure with the set.

Even though he and his backing band played for hours, they really didn't play very many songs through to the end. After each piece had exceeded 10 minutes, Buddy would make the band stop, even mid-verse at times. He kept wanting to try different songs he thought the audience would enjoy better.

As a tribute to some of the legends represented on the walls, Buddy even attempted some versions of "Voodoo Chile" and some Texas-style blues guitar, referencing Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. To my surprise, he even gave us a rendition of Cream's "Strange Brew."

Throughout the set, Buddy kept complaining that his voice was giving out, but I don't think many people could tell. He sounded great to us! Buddy was playing Carnegie Hall next, so he had to save some for New York.

Inspired by his performance, I decided that I'd sign up to play keyboards two nights later during open mic night. Just about an hour before the evening's jam session began, I spotted Buddy Guy next to a phone booth in the back of the place, where he was discreetly sipping some booze.

Most club patrons were unaware of the man's presence. After one of his performances, you would have had to wait in a 30-minute line just to say hi. But on his off nights, one person can divert Buddy's attention for minutes.

So, I decided to approach him. I figured that since I seemed to be the only 23-year-old white guy in the place aside from a bouncer, I was sort of an anomaly to him, so I introduced myself and explained that I was a huge fan of the blues, having grown up on the Blues Brothers, whose music turned me onto the blues originators.

Then I told Buddy that I run a Led Zeppelin newsletter, and I reminded him that in 2000 he'd shared a stage with Robert Plant at a blues festival in 2000. I asked Buddy what he thought of the guys from Led Zeppelin. I think Buddy was hardly paying any attention to me because his response was, "Yeah, Led Zeppelin, they're great, aren't they?" Perhaps it was too open-ended of a question.

Nevertheless, he was happy to autograph two copies of his latest album, Sweet Tea, which was the recipient of W.C. Handy's Best Album of the Year award in 2002. And he wished me good luck with the jam session that night. Beginning about an hour later, I proceeded to play keyboard for just about every group up there all night long until closing time. (It's nice being a keyboard player; for some reason, there are fewer of us than guitarists, so there's not as much competition.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Two Led Zeppelin songs permitted for use in documentary 'Dogtown and Z-Boys'

This story originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

In 2001, two of Led Zeppelin's more obscure 1976 songs were presented in a film documentary of a 12-member team of teen-age skateboarders from California who influenced a generation of kids and revived the art from once being another passing fad like the hula hoop and the yo-yo. Their efforts are easily responsible for the existence of modern competitive skateboarding.

To convey what it felt like to be a member of the Zephyr Skate Team in the 1970s, Stacy Peralta directed and co-wrote the film Dogtown and Z-Boys. To capture what it might have sounded like, he teamed up with editor Paul Crowder, who had previously worked as a drummer, studio engineer and songwriter.

In supervising the selection of music to complement the film's narration, interviews and fast-paced videos and photographs, Peralta and Crowder chose more than 40 pieces of music. Among the songs they picked were some likely choices heard frequently on classic rock radio: ZZ Top's "La Grange" and Jimi Hendrix's "Foxey Lady," to name a couple.

But some of the classic rock tracks Peralta and Crowder wanted were deep album cuts like "I'll Give You Money" by Peter Frampton, "Seasons of Wither" by Aerosmith and "Bad Boys" by the Pretenders. The Led Zeppelin songs they wanted were "Hots on for Nowhere" and "Achilles Last Stand," two lesser known tracks from the group's catalogue. Presence, said Peralta, "is a great album."

"We got Led Zeppelin on board," said Crowder, "because 'Hots on for Nowhere,' apparently, allegedly, is one of Jimmy Page's favorite tracks, and he dug the fact that we were like, 'Can we use this song?' and he's like, 'Sure!'"

Debra MacCulloch and Marc Reiter worked during the making of the film to secure the rights to use songs. "From what Marc Reiter said, Jimmy was stoked that we weren't going after what everybody else does, which is like 'Whole Lotta Love' and, you know, 'Stairway to Heaven' and stuff like that," said Peralta.

In one early scene, some original 8mm footage shot in the early to mid 1970s depicts surfers weaving through protruding planks of wood that had years before been the track of a roller coaster. As Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla" plays in the background, some guys describe how they used to risk their lives surfing at their secret "Cove," in the midst of the wreckage of the Pacific Ocean Park pier. One of them said, "You knew that if you made a mistake, you were going to pay in flesh."

Led Zeppelin's rocking music kicks in soon thereafter, just as the screen shows a series of signs with the menacing words "Positively No Visitors" and "Invaders Must Die." The song gave the scene a "dangerous" feel, Peralta and Crowder agreed. An earlier take of that scene using "20th Century Boy" by T Rex, was scrapped when the narration was rewritten. "[In] the first cut of P. O. P., we never got the tone right. It didn't feel dangerous," Peralta said.

But in one way, the T Rex song was more fitting. Having been released as a single in 1973, "20th Century Boy" would have better represented the music of the era in which the underlying surfing footage was shot. The footage being shown was from the early to mid 1970s; therefore, it predated both "Godzilla" and "Achilles Last Stand" by at least two or three years.

Said Crowder, "I was a little worried about using 'Godzilla' because it's 1977. I wanted to try and stay close enough to the time ... but we gave ourselves a little three- or four-year window either side around."

Peralta said that one scene was sort of an exception: "That was the one area where we started talking, and I said, 'Look, I don't think we have to stay absolutely chronological to the time the music was,' although all the music that we've used here is a reflection of what we were listening to."

Much later in the film, "Hots on for Nowhere" provides the soundtrack for a biographical sketch on one-time skateboarding world champion Tony Alva. In the film, interviewees spoke about how Tony Alva revolutionized the sport of skateboarding: "His timing and balance and speed and agility were far beyond everybody else's." One interviewee said, "Tony was probably the first person who taught me what the word 'ego' meant."

According to Peralta, the music played when people talk about Tony Alva's personality could not have been any more fitting. "This to me is, when I hear this song, this was who Tony Alva was," he said. "Tony was Led Zeppelin." The scene had originally been cut to "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones because one comment said Tony was a front man like Mick Jagger.

In doing the editing, Crowder was able to replicate a nifty aspect of Led Zeppelin's "Hots on for Nowhere." In the original song, the music ends after four minutes but suddenly returns for an additional 40 seconds. In the film, Crowder played the song until its first ending, cut to 20 seconds of an interview and then made the song suddenly reprise. Another two minutes of "Hots on for Nowhere" complement more footage of Tony Alva.

Shortly thereafter, the raucous of Ted Nugent's "Motor City Madhouse" leads seamlessly into the somber ending of "Achilles Last Stand." "This music transition, to me, is just so beautiful," said Peralta. "It just brings it down beautifully." In the meantime, the documentary describes the events of the fall of 1977, when Tony Alva stylishly accomplished an aerial jump in a steep pool called the Dogbowl.

A DVD version of the film was released in 2002, and among its special features was a track of audio commentary from Peralta and Crowder, from which many of the comments here are taken.

Peralta was named best director at the Sundance Film Festival 2001, and the film was presented with the Audience Award. At the Denver International Film Festival that same year, the film was given the People's Choice Award for Best Documentary, and the following year, the Independent Feature Project named it Best Documentary.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Plant says Zep won't reunite: 'When Bonzo left, so did I'

These comments regarding the possibility, or impossibility, of a Led Zeppelin reunion in 2003 appear exactly as they were delivered, with the historical perspective, in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" published March 13, 2003.

On this day in 1991 -- while it's been said that no news is good news, it was not so for those who were hoping that their wildest dreams of a Led Zeppelin reunion would come true any time soon.

The three former members of the rock band were mostly out of the public eye at the time, following a disturbing threat to the likelihood of any future reunion.

In 1990, Atlantic Records released two successful Led Zeppelin box sets, and the press reported as much as $170 million offered for a single reunion tour of North America. In the wake of these facts, the former bandmates picked up on the idea that people wanted -- or even expected -- a reunion.

As a result, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones met in January 1991 with their former manager, Peter Grant, to discuss and plan a tour, reunited as Led Zeppelin.

"It wouldn't be a bad thing to do. I'm not at all opposed to it," Jones was heard to comment. "I don't think I'd want to tour forever, but it's certainly good fun when you're out onstage together."

When asked to speak for Page, Jones responded, "I think Jimmy feels the same as I do about it."

The ever-indecisive Plant was much less in favor of a reunion, arguing that Led Zeppelin could never be the same. "Could we play 'Black Dog' for a further 10 years? I don't think so," he said.

Plant was reluctant but did briefly agree to a comeback reunion tour. However, he was said to change his mind once again within an hour of agreeing. Plant said he would not do it, and so Grant canceled all the plans he'd quickly laid down with stadiums and lighting and sound companies.

"I think it's pretty safe to assume that if it didn't happen then, it's pretty dim any chance of it happening in the future," reacted Page.

Page relayed to the press that Plant's stated reason was "that he thought it would harm his solo career." Page shrugged his shoulders and sighed. "That's what he said, which is rather peculiar, but that's his reason."

On the heels of a Zeppelin-heavy 1990 Manic Nirvana concert tour, Plant ended up taking most of 1991 and 1992 off. One would think that such a move could equally, if not more easily, hurt Plant's solo career.

Jones was asked to comment whether he thought a Led Zeppelin reunion would hinder Plant's ongoing solo career. Jones said, "I definitely don't think he's got anything to lose. I think it would be quite possible to do the two things -- continue his solo career and do a reunion tour. So you never know. It could be a possibility, but the chances are a bit slim."

The former members of Led Zeppelin had tried to reunite in January 1986, exactly five years before the January 1991 reunion that nearly came to be. Page and Jones discussed reuniting Led Zeppelin again in late 1993, but that reunion somehow ended up not including Jones. Whereas Jones had always been willing to take part in a Led Zeppelin reunion, he eloquently told Lemon Squeezings on Dec. 10, 2001, "The time has passed."

Did he feel the same way a year later when talks of a Led Zeppelin reunion were rumored to have occurred yet again?

Page, Plant and Jones were seen together at a London studio in October 2002 to work together on the Led Zeppelin DVD project, but proceeding on the DVD was all that was decided on, according to John Paul Jones. "I think that sightings of us meeting for this project have given rise to many rumours of reunions etc., but rumours they are," he wrote at his Web site.

Page has not publicly addressed this line of questioning, but Plant is faced with the question almost daily when he's doing publicity for his continuing solo career. This past weekend, he phoned into a British radio program to talk about football, but the presenters thought to ask him about a Led Zeppelin reunion instead.

"It's just not appropriate," he responded. "It's just not appropriate for me, anyway. Of course, the memories are great, the music is great, and the last 10 years or so with Jimmy have been great, but whatever showbiz you dress it up in, we don't have a drummer." Plant said that he and John Bonham had been playing in various bands since they were teen-agers. Plant finished, "When Bonzo left, so did I."

Thanks to Jools and to Billy's Zep Phreaks Club for Plant's quote from this weekend.

Saturday, March 8, 2003

Live Led Zeppelin DVDs, CDs to be released May 27: official announcement

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

A note from Steve "The Lemon" to the PR person responsible for writing the following official Led Zeppelin press release:

Please identify yourself so I can have what you're having.

Led Zeppelin Live At Last On DVD And CD: Legendary performances due May 27 with rare and unreleased material

Mar 07 2003

THE mother lode of Led Zeppelin live recordings has at long last arrived! Slated for a simultaneous May 27th release are LED ZEPPELIN DVD, a two-disc set, and HOW THE WEST WAS WON, a three-CD set. Long sought-after by Zeppelin devotees and collectors, this marks the first-ever official release of these rare and legendary performances, which span the group's entire career. Much-rumored and eagerly anticipated, the DVD and CD sets each contain entirely different material, so there is no overlap between the two releases. As a gesture to the band's millions of fans, both sets are specially priced - the 2-DVD set at 29.98 list, and the 3-CD set at 26.98 list.

Clocking in at nearly five and a half hours, 'LED ZEPPELIN DVD' has been culled from just a handful of performances which were ever filmed during the band's extraordinary lifetime. As guitarist Jimmy Page explains, 'We were never really part of the pop scene. It was never what Led Zeppelin was supposed to be about. Our thing was playing live. In that sense, Zeppelin was very much an underground band. The fact that it became as successful as it did was something that was almost out of our control. We actually shunned commercialism, which is why so little official footage of the band has ever been seen before.'

Featured are performances from: London's Royal Albert Hall in January 1970, just one year after the release of their debut album; their triumphant five-night run at London's Earl's Court in May 1975; and their record-breaking shows at England's Knebworth Festival in August 1979, just one year before the death of drummer John Bonham led to the band's dissolution. Also included are songs from New York's Madison Square Garden in July 1973 [that] were not included in 'THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME' concert film, the only previously released live Zeppelin footage. Other highlights of the DVD include: extremely rare television appearances, among them a performance for Danish television in March 1969; promotional clips; TV interviews; behind-the scenes material; and even a bit of fan-shot 'bootleg' footage.

Visually and sonically stunning, 'LED ZEPPELIN DVD' has been painstakingly restored, remixed, and remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS, and PCM Two-Channel Stereo - under the personal supervision of Jimmy Page and director Dick Carruthers.

Recorded in California, 'HOW THE WEST WAS WON' is a brilliant audio complement to the DVD. The material on the three CDs has been culled from two of the most legendary and incendiary live performances by Led Zeppelin, at the Los Angeles Forum and Long Beach Arena on June 25th and 27th, 1972. Melded together and sequenced to replicate a single concert from beginning to end, it captures the band at the height of their formidable powers. Among the highlights are a 25-plus minute version of 'Dazed And Confused' and a 23-minute medley based around 'Whole Lotta Love.' Alongside such classics as 'Stairway To Heaven' and 'Rock And Roll,' these shows find the band introducing songs from their forthcoming 'HOUSES OF THE HOLY' album, which would not be released for another nine months.

* * * * *

2003 marks the 35th anniversary of the first fateful rehearsal which brought together the talents of guitarist Jimmy Page, vocalist Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham in the summer of 1968. Universally recognized as one of the most innovative, powerful, and influential groups in rock history, Led Zeppelin has sold some 200 million albums worldwide. This is all the more impressive considering that the band only existed [sic] for a comparatively short 12-year period. In the decade between 1969 and 1979, the British quartet released eight studio albums and a live soundtrack ([A] posthumous set of previously unreleased studio material followed in '82).

While their work in the studio was brilliant, Led Zeppelin's work onstage was transforming. In concert, the band displayed a power and charisma unparalleled in modern music. Never content [in simply replaying] their recordings, Zeppelin used the stage as a creative platform in its own right - introducing material live before it was recorded, and always expanding, improvising, and pushing into uncharted territory. Their legendary, epic live sets - often lasting more than three hours - were shamanistic experiences [that] traversed exceptional musical territory, sonic journeys which were truly cathartic experiences for the band and audience alike.

Thursday, March 6, 2003

Led Zeppelin set to show 'How The West Was Won'

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

A Led Zeppelin live album has been tentatively scheduled for U.S. release on May 27. The rock band's new three-CD set, titled How The West Was Won, combines songs from two performances from June 1972.

These shows include a June 25 set at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., near Los Angeles, and a concert two nights later at the Long Beach Arena, also in California. The Forum concert included an extended rendition of the song "Dazed and Confused." While the band members jammed to the song, they ventured into two other pieces from the Led Zeppelin catalog: a then-unnamed instrumental piece now known as "Walter's Walk," and the soul/funk-influenced track "The Crunge."

How The West Was Won, which will retail for $26.98 in the United States, is part of a monstrous undertaking on behalf of guitarist Jimmy Page, who for more than 25 years has spoken about releasing a chronological live album of his former band. Page spent several months in a London studio in 2002 preparing this audio set as well as a two-disc DVD collection also expected to be released in the coming months. Led Zeppelin releases are also overseen and approved by Plant, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and representatives on behalf of the estate of the group's late drummer John Bonham.

Led Zeppelin performed hundreds of shows between 1968 and 1980, but until this year the number of concerts available on commercial live albums could be counted on one hand. The only live releases in the past have been the soundtrack to The Song Remains the Same, released in 1976, and BBC Sessions, released in 1997. The soundtrack contained songs from three Led Zeppelin performances at New York's Madison Square Garden, July 27-29, 1973. The other culled various radio performances for the British Broadcasting Corporation, including two live shows in London on June 27, 1969, and April 1, 1971.

A report in 1998 said that a video and two-CD set from another London concert could be released by the end of the year. Neither was released, however, that concert -- a performance at the Royal Albert Hall on Jan. 9, 1970 -- is reported to be the centerpiece of the upcoming two-DVD set to be released this year. Additionally, two songs from that same 1970 show had been released in 1982 on the Led Zeppelin album Coda. That album, the first released after the breakup of the band two years earlier, combined the two live tracks with six previously unreleased studio outtakes.

Rumors circulate that additional Led Zeppelin CDs could follow in the coming years, including a new album of unreleased material.

Some fans of Led Zeppelin are familiar with live work by the band not available on commercial CDs but on bootlegs. According to various reports, Led Zeppelin has the distinction of being the most bootlegged band of all time.

The band is perhaps most famous for "Stairway to Heaven," a seven-minute track from its groundbreaking untitled fourth album. That 1971 album also included "Rock and Roll," which is now enjoying new life as a major part of a highly successful Cadillac advertising campaign.

Currently on the U.K. album charts is Early Days and Latter Days, a two-CD best-of compilation issued only in the United Kingdom on Feb. 24. It features these two songs, as well as the band's biggest hit, "Whole Lotta Love," as well as radio staples like "The Song Remains the Same" and "All My Love." Enhanced portions of the CDs include videos of the songs "Communication Breakdown" and "Kashmir."

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Word of Led Zeppelin DVD project release expected soon

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Last year's project to revisit and celebrate the live work of Led Zeppelin was undertaken with Jimmy Page at the helm. His leadership in this monumental task was no surprise. It's been known for years that the Led Zeppelin guitarist has possessed a vault containing hours of unreleased footage of the group in action. Aside from this, Page has numerous times expressed his hopes for a chronological live album. He's made such comments repeatedly over a quarter of a century.

The DVD set resulting from his efforts in 2002 of wading through live tapes and editing footage may be just what he considers Led Zeppelin's ultimate collection.

Word has leaked, apparently from the inside, about the visual contents of the set, expected to run on two or three DVDs. Footage from some of Led Zeppelin's best known concerts will be featured, alongside previously unseen interview footage. The discs' audio will be enhanced with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround sound. Concert material under consideration for the set includes Led Zeppelin's March 1969 set filmed for Danish television; the concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on Jan. 9, 1970; previously unreleased footage from the New York 1973 concerts included with the film The Song Remains the Same; excerpts from the Earl's Court appearances on May 24-25, 1975; and excerpts from the two dates at the Knebworth festival in August 1979.

Other clips listed for possible inclusion are shots from backstage and offstage, interviews and press conferences. Also prepared for inclusion is a tribute to late drummer John Bonham, in the form of a full rendition of the drum solo "Moby Dick," from the aforementioned London concert in 1970.

Despite security at the London security that has been likened to that of Fort Knox, some leaks about progress on the DVD set have resulted courtesy of Kevin Shirley, a studio engineer who was involved in the mixing process for the DVD set last year. In journal entries at his production company's Web site throughout October, Shirley revealed some of the only known information about the DVD project.

He declared the project "a wrap" on Oct. 24, 2002, only a few days after commenting on the live footage he'd seen of Led Zeppelin: "I've always been a huge fan, but after this, I'm convinced of the geniuses involved and believe there was never a band with such a chemistry in rock. Miles and Coltrane in jazz maybe, Barenboim and Du Pre in classical, but in rock it must be the all four of them!"

Robert Plant said he had a VHS copy of some proposed footage with him when he chatted in 2002 via telephone with reporter Mark Brown for Ice magazine. "It's looking good," Plant said in Ice's December issue. "Some great footage, very exciting visuals."

John Paul Jones said in 2002 after seeing the footage, "I am still reminded what an incredible band it was -- excuse the modesty." In a message posted around Dec. 20 to his Web site,, the former Led Zeppelin keyboardist and bassist hinted, "It all looks and sounds very exciting and should be coming out soon."

Still, no official word is available on the DVD set's expected release date. The date will be set by marketing heads at Atlantic Records. A Feb. 2 news posting at Led Zeppelin Club Italia, translated into English, states that the date could be in late March or in April.

In addition, the club's Web site,, mentioned that a double-CD live set compiling two Led Zeppelin concerts from the summer of 1972 has also been prepared for release with the DVD set.

Reunion tour?

Do the imminent release of Led Zeppelin's live anthology and the cooperation among the band's surviving members shed any more credibility toward the rumors circulating that a summer tour has been planned for former bandmates Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones? You be the judge of that. Management and the artists themselves when approached have denied everything thus far.

In the past, "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" has been very vocal in presenting the history of reunion rumors, none of which came to fruition. Review the Aug. 28 and Oct. 14 editions in 2002 for examples. However, it is some kind of a logical fallacy to suggest that just because something has never happened before, it will never happen in the future.

Kevin Shirley suggested last year that Led Zeppelin fans should be prepared with "a DVD player and a real 5.1 system." Perhaps the same fans should also start saving up some extra money just in case any official announcements regarding a summer 2003 reunion tour are made anytime soon.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

BBC broadcasts Plant's 'Whole Lotta Love' from Mali

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

A new Robert Plant version of "Whole Lotta Love" recorded this month in Mali and broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Andy Kershaw show can be heard online here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

American musician JP Jones says he was confused with Led Zep member only once

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Yesterday, I mentioned an American musician who records under the name JP Jones. His debut album in 1973 was released under his real name, John Paul Jones, an album that was handed on more than one occasion for the Led Zeppelin bassist of the same name to autograph.

Lemon Squeezings has heard from this American musician. Asked whether he had ever been mistaken for the Led Zeppelin bassist, JP Jones had this to say:
Well, this is a first, hearing something about John Paul Jones (the "REAL ONE"). No one who's heard my work has confused me with anyone else, at least not to the point where it's been brought to my attention, except, notably, ASCAP [The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers]. They sent me a few checks for some Led Zep tunes some 25 years ago or more -- nothing really big, of course, but enough so that I had to return them and ask them to straighten it out. Always wondered if the reverse were true.

After Windfall/CBS released that first record of mine (a disaster both commercially and artistically, as far as I was concerned -- in no small way thanks to the powers that be -- or were), I had ASCAP change my official name to JP Jones. They still can't keep all their records straight about the hundreds of songs I've written, but at least they make fewer errors, mostly omissions.

Thanks for the info and best of wishes for your newsletter and site,
Those of you in New England who want to check out JP Jones can do so on Saturday, Feb. 15. He will be appearing at the Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, Connecticut. For more information, see his Web site at

Don't forget: John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin has a Web site at

Monday, January 13, 2003

Zeppelin's John Paul Jones often asked to sign album by American performer J.P. Jones

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" that centered on a comedian who, for a short time in 1970 and 1971, was calling himself John Paul Joans and had famously released a single under that name, against the wishes of Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. The following portion of this newsletter edition introduces yet another musical performer who had been using a similar name for decades.

What a popular name! Lemon Squeezings learned recently of a musician whose name is John Paul Jones. John Paul "J.P." Jones, born in 1949, hails from America. His self-titled debut album appeared on the Columbia label in 1973. On its cover is J.P. Jones, with toes protruding from holes in his socks.

This album has caused some confusion among Led Zeppelin fans. The former Zep bassist told Lemon Squeezings in 2002, "People in the past have tried to get me to autograph this record and get pretty pissed when I won't."

In addition, this aspiring folk singer-songwriter has continued to perform and released eight CDs since 1991. Check this guy out at

Check out the Led Zeppelin musician at

Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Robert Plant picks up two Grammy nominations

The "Where are They Now?" file apparently doesn't include Robert Plant.

The one-time Grammy award winner has been nominated for a pair of the coveted phonograph-shaped statuettes at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards. Plant's release, Dreamland, is one of five nominees for Best Rock Album, and his single "Darkness, Darkness" is one of five up for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.

Not surprisingly, Bruce Springsteen is among the four other nominees in each of the two categories. He received a total of five bids for his album The Rising and its inspirational title track, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year.

Elvis Costello is also named in both of Plant's categories. Aside from him and Springsteen, Plant's competition in the rock album category includes Sheryl Crow and Tonic, and the other performers up for the rock vocal award are David Bowie and Peter Gabriel.

Plant's only other Grammy nomination as a solo artist was in 1993. His performance on the single "Calling to You" was nominated in the hard rock vocal category. Stone Temple Pilots, a Zeppelin-influenced band on the Atlantic label, picked up that award for the song "Plush."

Plant was given his one and only Grammy award when his 1998 single "Most High" with Jimmy Page won the hard rock performance category, beating out Pearl Jam, Metallica, Kiss and Marilyn Manson.

Page and Plant were not present to receive their award in February 1999. Many fans at the time read into their absence as a response to years of neglect on the part of the Grammys to recognize their music.

Three years earlier, Page and Plant's Unledded version of "Kashmir" had been nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The winner in that category was "Run-around" by Blues Traveler.

Led Zeppelin received a bid for Best New Artist in 1969 but lost to Crosby, Stills & Nash. This marked the only time Led Zeppelin's music earned a Grammy nomination.

That same year, the Led Zeppelin II artwork was nominated for Best Album Cover but lost. Four future Led Zeppelin albums -- Houses of the Holy, Physical Graffiti, Presence and In Through the Out Door -- were nominated for Best Album Package in their respective years. They all lost.

At the same time Page and Plant's "Most High" won an award, Led Zeppelin finally received some sort of an honor from the Grammys. The group's untitled fourth album from 1971 was one of 189 records or albums to be named to the Grammy Hall of Fame as part of the 41st Annual Grammy Awards.

The ceremony for the 2002 awards will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2003. It will be televised worldwide. In the United States, CBS will broadcast the ceremony live.

Saturday, January 4, 2003

Dedication to Kevin Scott MacMichael

This news originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Today's edition is dedicated to the memory of Kevin Scott MacMichael, one of Robert Plant's guitarists on Fate of Nations and the 1993 tour. Kevin died on Dec. 31, 2002, after a long battle with cancer.

Friday, January 3, 2003

Your favorite studio moments with John Paul Jones

These comments originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" distributed on John Paul Jones's 57th birthday.

As an appreciation of John Paul Jones's studio work, "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" readers recall some of their favorite John Paul Jones moments on record.
"The Rain Song." I always imagined JPJ conducting an orchestra whenever I listened to this song. And don't miss those subtle piano bits from JPJ. Lovely. Understated, but absolutely essential to the overall listening experience. You'd miss them if they weren't there.
- Billy, Brooklyn, N.Y.

"The Thunderthief." JPJ does damn near everything on this track. There are vocals, basses, guitars, and that rapid-fire keyboard part. I hope I get to hear this one live.
- Steve "The Lemon," Silver Spring, Md.

That funky Clavinova in "Trampled Underfoot," his intro to "In the Light," and everything he does on "Zooma."
- Kate, East Lansing, Mich.

His droning, ambient piece, "4 Minute Warning," from Brian Eno's Opal compilation, Music for Films, Vol. 3.
- Mark, Oregon
Obviously, there are many more where these came from. And, as John Paul Jones reveals in his recent letter to fans at, there's more to come:
Christmas already! How the time flies.

As you may have noticed I have not been touring this year as hoped.
Events and builders have conspired against it for the past months but I hope to get back on course in 2003. I have meanwhile been honing various musical skills and working on some new instruments. I have also been singing quite a bit more and will soon unleash a value added JPJ!

Work also continues on the forthcoming Led Zeppelin DVD, it all looks
and sounds very exciting and should be coming out soon. I am still reminded what an incredible band it was, (excuse the modesty;-) I think that sightings of us meeting for this project have given rise to many rumours of reunions etc., but rumours they are.

In the meantime I hope that you all have pleasant and peaceful holiday and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Best Wishes
John Paul Jones
Christmas 2002