Friday, July 31, 2009

Name of John Paul Jones supergroup reportedly Crooked Vultures

A band name has been blurted out for the group involving John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme. It's the Crooked Vultures, according to one musician who's apparently in the know.

Eagles of Death Metal singer Jesse Hughes said the name during a live interview broadcast on Power 99 in Winnipeg, Canada.

Hughes, when asked if Homme was touring with the Eagles of Death Metal, said, "No, he's actually with the Crooked Vultures. He's doing the supergroup thing with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones."

When the interviewer asked Hughes to clarify, he paused and said, "Yeah, maybe I'm not supposed to say that."

The conversation then got back on track to the original question of who's playing with the Eagles of Death Metal.

Management for Jones offered no comment when contacted by

Visit for all up-to-date information about this emerging band as reported by Lemon Squeezings.

Update: It appears the band will be going by the name Them Crooked Vultures. There is an e-mail sign-up at, a domain that was purchased in March. Some other obvious domain names -- including, purchased in April -- redirect there. The band's marketing team won't be omitting new media: There are also official Twitter, Facebook and Myspace pages for Them Crooked Vultures.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thirty-six years since robbery of Led Zeppelin's cash, only explanation is work of fiction

The $203,000 in cash stolen from Led Zeppelin at the Drake Hotel in New York has never been recovered, nor have any arrests been made in conjunction with the heist.

But finally, 36 years later, Patrick Sullivan has claimed responsibility.

Too bad he's a fictional character made up by Jason Buhrmester, for his book, "Black Dogs: The Possibly True Story of Classic Rock's Greatest Robbery."

And before you go blaming Buhrmester, keep in mind he wasn't born until a month after the robbery -- or so he says in this interview conducted with him last week for the syndicated radio show "Get the Led Out."

To commemorate today's anniversary of the robbery, Buhrmester will be reading from his book at 7:30 p.m., at the Los Angeles bookstore Stories, located at 1716 Sunset Blvd.

Friday, July 24, 2009

'It Might Get Loud' release dates

As previously reported, the guitar documentary It Might Get Loud, starring Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack White, is to premiere Aug. 14 in New York and Los Angeles. The movie's official site says, without providing any further detail, other opening dates are to follow in other cities.

The following U.S. theatrical release dates for It Might Get Loud were announced this morning by Sam Rapallo, webmaster of the official Led Zeppelin site. At the time of publishing on, these premiere dates have not been confirmed with Sony Pictures Classic, distributors of the film.

  • Trussville: Oct. 2 (Trussville Cine)
  • Anchorage: Oct. 2 (Fireweed Seven)
  • Scottsdale: Sept. 11 (Luxury Shea 14)
  • Tucson: Sept. 25 (Loft Cinema 2)
  • Fayetteville: Oct. 2 (Fiesta Square)
  • Berkeley: Aug. 28 (Shattuck 8)
  • Encino: Aug. 14 (Town Center 5)
  • Hollywood: Aug. 14 (Arclight Holly)
  • Irvine: Aug. 14 (University Town)
  • Los Angeles: Aug. 14 (The Landmark)
  • Mill Valley: Aug. 28 (Sequoia Twin)
  • Monterey: Sept. 11 (Osio)
  • Palm Desert: Sept. 11 (Palme D'Or)
  • Palm Springs: Sept. 11 (Stadium 9)
  • Palo Alto: Aug. 28 (Aquarius Twin)
  • Pasadena: Aug. 14 (Laemmle's Playh)
  • Pleasant Hill: Aug. 28 (Century Five)
  • Rolling Hills Estates: Sept. 11 (Promenade Stade)
  • Sacramento: Sept. 11 (Tower Angelika)
  • San Diego: Aug. 28 (Hillcrest Cinem)
  • San Francisco: Aug. 28 (Embarcadero Cen; additional showings at UA Stonestown T beginning Sept. 4)
  • San Jose: Aug. 28 (Camera 12)
  • San Luis Obispo: Sept. 11 (Palm Theatre 2)
  • Santa Cruz: Sept. 18 (Nickelodeon Fou)
  • Santa Rosa: Sept. 11 (Rialto)
  • Ventura: Sept. 11 (Century Downtow)
  • Boulder: Sept. 18 (Century 16)
  • Denver: Sept. 11 (Mayan Three)
  • Washington: Sept. 4 (E-Street Cinema)
  • Boca Raton: Sept. 11 (Shadowood Squar)
  • Gainesville: Sept. 25 (Gainesville 14)
  • Jacksonville: Oct. 2 (Beach Blvd Cine)
  • Jupiter: Sept. 25 (Jupiter Mall 18)
  • Miami Beach: Sept. 11 (South Beach 18)
  • Sarasota: Sept. 25 (Hollywood 20)
  • Tallahassee: Sept. 25 (Miracle Five)
  • Vero Beach: Oct. 2 (AMC Indian Rive)
  • Athens: Oct. 16 (Cine)
  • Atlanta: Sept. 11 (UA Tara Cinema)
  • Honolulu: Sept. 25 (Kahala Mall 8)
  • Boise: Sept. 25 (Flicks Four)
  • Chicago: Aug. 28 (Century Centre)
  • Evanston: Aug. 28 (Cinearts 6)
  • Highland Park: Aug. 28 (Renaissance)
  • Indianapolis: Sept. 25 (Keystone Art)
  • Notre Dame: Oct. 15 (Browning Cinema)
  • Des Moines: Sept. 25 (Fleur 4 Theatre)
  • Dubuque: Oct. 9 (Mindframe)
  • Olathe: Sept. 25 (AMC Studio 30)
  • New Orleans: Sept. 25 (Canal Place Cin)
  • Baltimore: Sept. 11 (Harbor East)
  • Bethesda: Sept. 4 (Bethesda)
  • Cambridge: Aug. 28 (Kendall Square)
  • North Falmouth: Sept. 25 (Nickelodeon 5)
  • Waltham: Aug. 28 (Embassy Cinema)
  • Royal Oak: Sept. 18 (Main Art Theatr)
  • Minneapolis: Sept. 4 (Lagoon Theatre)
  • Columbia: Oct. 16 (Ragtag Cinema)
  • Kansas City: Sept. 25 (Cinemark Palace)
  • St. Louis: Sept. 18 (Tivoli Theatre)
  • Missoula: Oct. 16 (Wilma Four)
  • Omaha: Oct. 2 (AMC Oakview 24)
  • Las Vegas: Sept. 18 (Village Square)
  • Reno: Sept. 25 (Riverside)
  • Albuquerque: Sept. 11 (Century 14)
  • Santa Fe: Sept. 11 (UA Devargas Cen)
  • New York: Aug. 14 (AMC Empire and Sunshine Cinema)
  • Charlotte: Oct. 2 (Manor Twin)
  • Columbus: Sept. 25 (Gateway Theatre)
  • Oklahoma City: Sept. 25 (AMC Quail Sprin)
  • Tulsa: Oct. 2 (AMC Southroads)
  • Bend: Oct. 2 (Pilot Butte 6 P)
  • Corvallis: Sept. 25 (Darkside Cinema)
  • Eugene: Sept. 18 (Bijou Twin)
  • Portland: Sept. 11 (Fox Tower 10)
  • Philadelphia: Sept. 4 (Ritz East)
  • Knoxville: Oct. 2 (Regal Downtown)
  • Memphis: Sept. 25 (Ridgeway Quarte)
  • Nashville: Sept. 25 (Green Hills Com)
  • Austin: Sept. 11 (Arbor Cinemas)
  • Dallas: Sept. 4 (The Magnolia)
  • Fort Worth: Sept. 18 (Modern Art)
  • Houston: Sept. 4 (Angelika Theatr)
  • Plano: Sept. 4 (Angelika Plano)
  • San Antonio: Sept. 25 (Fiesta 16)
  • Salt Lake City: Sept. 25 (Broadway Centre)
  • Arlington: Sept. 4 (Shirlington 7 T)
  • Richmond: Sept. 25 (Westhampton The)
  • Seattle: Aug. 28 (Harvard Exit Tw)
  • Spokane: Oct. 2 (River Park Squa)
  • Vancouver: Sept. 25 (City Center Cin)
  • Milwaukee: Sept. 18 (Oriental 3)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Alison Krauss says her second album with Robert Plant is to 'be different, as if we hadn't made the first'

It's been half a year since Alison Krauss and Robert Plant are known to have made any progress on a follow-up album to their successful and Grammy-winning Raising Sand album.

The female half of that collaboration is now busy with some of her own projects apart from Plant. Over the past few days, she's been recording a new album with her band Union Station, and she appeared with that group and Brad Paisley at the White House last night as President Obama saluted country music. She also has a new collection coming out for the British market, The Essential Alison Krauss.

Aside from all of this, she is also now talking once again about her upcoming work with Plant. In what is so far the most telling statement made of their sophomore album, Krauss tells the Telegraph, "It'll be different, as if we hadn't made the first."

"I love being in the world of the unknown," she also says.

Paul Sexton writes that the two have had "listening meetings about potential material."

In January, two weeks before picking up an onslaught of awards at the Grammys, they made their presence in a Nashville studio known in an interview on British radio, during which Krauss said they were "in pre-production."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dave Lewis offers holistic, balanced view on Knebworth in upcoming book

"The lights bathed the band in clear vision and the audience went crazy," writes Stuart Whitehead about seeing Led Zeppelin during their last U.K. concert series, the Knebworth Festival 30 years ago this summer. "When things settled down you could sense a newfound confidence. They knew at this point they were still the biggest and best band in the world, and here were a hundred thousand fans agreeing, and at the same [time] giving punk and the U.K. music press an almighty one-fingered salute."

Whitehead is one of over 30 festival attendees whose firsthand accounts are carried as the centerpiece of the forthcoming book compiled by Tight But Loose fanzine writer Dave Lewis. "Then as It Was: Led Zeppelin at Knebworth -- 30 Years Gone" is soon to be released as a 270-page hardcover book in a limited edition, with a launch party taking place near the festival site next month. Lewis has announced ordering information for the book and provided a preview of some of the contents.

He reproduces his original review of the gigs published in Tight But Loose plus the transcript of an interview recorded by future MTV veejay J.J. Jackson, who was then an on-air radio personality for KLOS in Los Angeles, with Robert Plant and John Paul Jones after Knebworth. Along with the firsthand accounts, the new content in this book includes, the author says, "an engrossing view of the whole Knebworth episode from the perspective of an American fan, Larry Bergmann."

Lewis explains, "Zep was still a massive deal over there in the late 1970s -- there was no punk rock explosion to harm them and 'In Through the Out Door was a massive seller and No. 1 for weeks. It was cited as being something of a savior to the flagging U.S. music industry at the time. So it's good to gain a view of how it all appeared from across the water."

But of course, for Americans, most of the book is from the point of view of those on the other side of the Atlantic, including the introductory material. Jimmy Page's photographer of choice, Ross Halfin, contributed the foreword, which details what it was like shooting the Aug. 11 show. Former Melody Maker editor Chris Charlesworth has also lent his words to the project, penning what Lewis describes as "a very perceptive opening preface overview."

As a journalist, Charlesworth enjoyed close access to Led Zeppelin and published his interviews with the various band members in the '70s, but he held off for nearly three decades in reporting the full stories of everything he experienced and witnessed in the band's midst. He has written with a new level of unbridled frankness since the turn of the century when recounting, for instance, Zep manager Peter Grant's dealings with some limo drivers in Greensboro, N.C., and an eventful flight aboard the Starship from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1975. Charlesworth no doubt brings the same welcome candor in his preface to "Then as It Was," a lot of which centers on the press coverage afforded Led Zeppelin in their home country at the end of their four-year absence from the British concert stage.

"This was a period of big upheaval," says Lewis. "Punk rock had arrived, and out of it grew the new wave. This movement was set to render dinosaur bands such as Zeppelin redundant. So what you have is the situation of Zeppelin attempting to reconnect with their audience again, in the face of much derision from the press and media. How they coped with that is an interesting story in itself."

Lewis acknowledges the band's awareness of the pressure on them to present a worthy show. "I think they found it hard to ignore, particularly Robert Plant," he says. "In the book I summarize both the press reaction to the Knebworth shows and the 'In Through the Out Door' album. They did suffer some highly critical reaction -- Plant himself made comment to that onstage during their second appearance. They were very sensitive to it all.

"Taken as a whole though, there were some very balanced views. To quote Phil Sutcliffe in his review in Sounds at the time, 'How would you feel if you saw a dinosaur coming down the street? Surprise, fear, fascination, awe. All of these things. It's by no means all bad to be a living fossil.'

"The fact is, Zeppelin was still a very powerful musical force, and I think journalists seemed to have a job admitting that without losing face. In his foreword in the book, Ross Halfin makes a good point that the press didn't really dislike Zep that much -- not in the same way they derided, say, ELP or Yes."

Lewis doesn't gloss over the controversies the Knebworth Festival portends. As to the disputed number of attendees present, the quality of the performances particularly on week two, the less than stellar supporting lineup assembled for both weeks, or even the suitability of a two-show stint on such a large platform, Lewis addresses it all.

And he does so in a much more objective manner than he did writing for his fanzine at the time. As for his original review, published in full in the book, Lewis admits, "There's no denying it's a rose tinted view, but maybe that's not too surprising. Back then I was 22 years old and my whole world revolved around Led Zeppelin. I lived and breathed it, so Knebworth was in its infancy, and obviously I wanted to offer extensive coverage in the next issue."

Thirty years of retrospect have allowed Lewis to take a more reasoned reflect on the circumstances of the time. He now believes the Knebworth setting made Zeppelin "quite remote from their audience." By comparison, he points out that the Who in 1979 combined smaller shows at the Rainbow Theatre and the Hammersmith Odeon with a larger performance at Wembley Stadium. The Who, Lewis opines, "seemed more in touch with the musical climate of the time."

Despite any flaws in either the conception or the undertaking of the concert series, Lewis says that overall, "Knebworth was a triumph, and it put Zep right back in the spotlight." This is evidenced in some of the photographs from the shows, including ones taken both weeks by Alan Perry, which are used extensively in the book. In all, the book includes over 100 black-and-white illustrations and 16 color pages.

The shows certainly have also inspired collectors of both bootlegs and memorabilia alike, as some appendices in the book attest. One, a detailed Zep Knebworth bootleg appendix, is the work of contributor Graeme Hutchinson, who Lewis says "logs over 80 different vinyl, CD and DVD unofficial releases." In another appendix, U.K. collector Nick Anderson "offers a comprehensive and fully illustrated worldwide 'In Through the Out Door' discography" that "includes details of the differing promo pressings that came out and the singles that were issued from the album." An appendix on Knebworth Festival memorabilia draws mostly from the Brian Knapp collection, including a handwritten set list, various backstage passes, the shirt off of Page's back, the violin bow he used, a prototype bow he discarded in rehearsal, and fiberoptic cables that were used in conjunction with the laser sequence, to name a few items.

Lewis says he hopes the book will appeal to new fans and old. "On a nostalgic level, it's an affectionate reminder of the way things were in that field all of 30 years ago," he says. "For Zep fans that have come on board since, or were elsewhere at the time, it provides the opportunity to find out what it was all about." He says it "all adds up to what I hope is an engaging read that chronicles the final days of Led Zeppelin and the simpler times of the last great festival gatherings of the 1970s.

The first run is strictly limited, and each book will be individually signed and numbered by the author. Books will be available to those registering ahead of time at to attend the Aug. 8 gathering at the Lytton Arms. Books may also be ordered online via PayPal (see for details) or from the Wymer UK book site.

Lewis is scheduled to appear on the Nicky Horne Show on Planet Rock Radio on Sunday, July 19, after 8 p.m. GMT (4 p.m. Eastern).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nile Rodgers reflects on Tony Thompson guest spot at Live Aid

Today's the 24th anniversary of Live Aid, and Nile Rodgers has just shared with me a short reflection on the lineup his late former bandmate in Chic, Tony Thompson, started that day.

As we know, Thompson sat in with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. As we also know, they had little time for rehearsals before the show, and Page in fact amped up his guitar for the prime time set without even having it tuned first. Not to mention, the four were joined on a second drum set by Phil Collins and also by Paul Martinez, who was Plant's bass player at the time.

Take out those extra superfluous people, and you have yourself a fourpiece lineup that may have very well been the next coming of Led Zeppelin the following year. Rolling Stone broke the story in 1986 that Page, Plant and Jones were rehearsing with Thompson. The former Led Zeppelin members, with their past experiences, viewed it as a bad omen and too much like events of the dark past when Thompson was injured in a car crash during their rehearsal stage, and the lineup retired before anything came off the ground.

Just the fact that they attempted anything like this in 1986 shows there must have been some magic present among the four of them. Guitarist Nile Rodgers was already close to the Zeppelin boys, having been a part of the production team behind The Honeydrippers EP with Plant and that also included Page. Now with ample time to reflect over the nearly two-and-a-half decades that have elapsed since Live Aid, Rodgers spoke to me today, offering the following words about the brief chance Led Zeppelin had to fly again with his close friend and colleague, Tony Thompson, on drums.

Rodgers says:
To see Tony Thompson playing at Live Aid with one of my favorite groups of all time, Led Zeppelin, was a dream come true. I know he had to struggle through the gig because of the near fatal accident he had suffered, but like the troopers all CHIC alumni are, he hit the skins as hard as his body could deliver. It brought tears to my eyes. I love and miss him. How great is music? Who'd believe some unknown black guys from NYC could wind up being life long friends with arguably the greatest Rock band ever (in my humble opinion).

I'm a permanent member of the Honeydrippers with Robert Plant, and we speak on a semi regular basis. I respect Jimmy, John Paul Jones (the unsung hero of the band), and Little Jason Bonham stepped up to deliver the goods at the Ahmet Ertegun tribute in London after his death. Tony Thompson was one of the greatest drummers ever, and that night was history.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Robert Plant speaks upon presentation of British rank

Robert Plant was mellowing by the time he told Buckingham Palace he would accept the presentation of a British rank. A report by the Press Association today opens, "Robert Plant has admitted he's less rock'n'roll these days." Yeesh!

In March 2005, the singer declined a royal invitation to meet the Queen at a reception honoring famous British musicians. His former bandmate, Jimmy Page, was there, along with Brian May of Queen and Eric Clapton of, well, almost everything. The reception's hilarious news angle at the time presented itself when the Queen kept insisting on asking questions like, "And how long have you been playing guitar, Mr. Clapton?"

Plant told New York DJ Carol Miller that he skipped out on the reception to watch a football match.

But he hasn't completely lost his edge over the past few years, despite today showing up at Buckingham Palace and being photographed with the ornament that officially makes him a Commander of the British Empire, or CBE. He insisted to reporters that this didn't make him part of "the establishment." The Telegraph reported him saying, "The diversity of people who have moved through here this morning prove there is no real establishment here."

Plant still got off at least one jab at Prince Charles, referring to their first meeting, in which Charles ogled Plant's then-wife Maureen and commented to the singer, "Remarkable voice. Do you gargle with port?"

Reporters also took the occasion to seize upon Plant for comments about whether he would sing again for Led Zeppelin. (You have to ask that every time you see him or else you might miss that complete 360 he makes every decade or so.)

Apparently, Plant's initial response to the question centered either on his own physical condition or a backhanded jab at others: "Sometimes I go a bit deaf in either ear, especially when people are talking nonsense."

He added that he and his former bandmates still get along: "If we can remember each other's phone number at this time in life it's a miracle. We're still good friends, we both enjoy a rather dark sense of humour that comes I think from being from rather the wrong side of the tracks for all those wild years."

Both the Press Association and the Telegraph were keen on reporting one offhand remark Plant made. The Press Association article reported that "he and former Zeppelin band-mate Jimmy Page - who has an OBE - would not be fighting over rank."

Let the record show that the British Empire rank Plant received today is higher than the one awarded to Page on Dec. 14, 2005.

Previously unreleased Rod Stewart track with John Paul Jones, David Gilmour to emerge

A song recorded in the summer of 1992 by Rod Stewart, David Gilmour and John Paul Jones will finally be released this September after more than 17 years of collecting dust.

The track is called "In a Broken Dream," and it's a remake of the song Stewart first recorded in 1969 as a special guest vocalist for a band called Python Lee Jackson, which had crossed over from Australia to England.

The story goes that in April 1969, Python Lee Jackson's regular singer, David Bentley, told his bandmates somebody else's voice would suit the song better. Somehow, they reached Stewart, who was then singing regularly for Jeff Beck, and he sat in on this and two other songs during the London sessions that month.

Despite the song's special guest star, multiple releases of "In a Broken Dream" eluded the charts for three years. In 1972, it finally became recognized and entered the charts internationally.

As we fast-forward well beyond Rod Stewart's years fronting the Faces and into his third decade of solo stardom, we emerge at the aforementioned year 1992.

He'd just experienced a comeback of sorts with a series of successful singles in 1989 and 1990, namely "This Old Heart of Mine" with Ronald Isley, "Downtown Train," "Rhythm of My Heart," and "The Motown Song" with the Temptations. Stewart was entering into a period of collaborations with other vocalists and musicians.

Having famously reunited with Jeff Beck in the studio to sing "People Get Ready" on the guitarist's 1984 album Flash, Stewart was now making a habit of recording with all sorts of people: Tina Turner, the band Glass Tiger, and pretty soon it would be Sting and Bryan Adams for the Robin Hood soundtrack. Even Stewart's own Unplugged ... and Seated album and TV appearance would feature Ron Wood as a special guest on guitar, a reunion with his Faces bandmate.

In the middle of all that collaborative work is when Stewart got together in the studio with John Paul Jones and David Gilmour over the summer of 1992, in what appears to be a previously unreported recording session!

The Pink Floyd guitarist had worked with Jones longer than a decade and a half earlier. They'd met up when recording a 17-minute song featured on Roy Harper's rock album HQ, which Jones and Gilmour were happy to play out live on one occasion. (Sincee we've been talking about supergroups involving Jones, allow me to mention that their drummer was Bill Bruford!)

Jones had also worked with Stewart long before that. Toward the end of his days as an in-demand session musician, Jones sat in with the Jeff Beck Group on the recording sessions for Truth. Consequently, Jones plays organ on that album's version of "You Shook Me," only a few months before he did the same -- plus bass and electric piano -- for Led Zeppelin's debut album.

Jones had also played as a hired session musician on two blues covers Stewart recorded in 1964, before the singer was anybody. These versions of "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town" were originally released as Stewart's first single, in October 1964, and are now available as some of the earliest tracks on his double-disc set 1964-1969.

Again, this brings us to the 1992 meeting of all three musicians, including Gilmour, who was leading Pink Floyd sans Roger Waters. Stewart had just about given up on creating new songs and decided to record some covers. This superstar edition of "In a Broken Dream" has Stewart on vocals, Jones on a steady yet intense organ, Pete Thomas on drums, (Nick Lowe on bass?), and Gilmour on an electric guitar lead that could have been on any Floyd album from Wish You Were Here or after. This was one of six songs Stewart recorded in the summer of 1992 but chose to put on the backburner.

All six of these will be included on the final disc of the 4-CD box set The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998, offered by Warner and Rhino. The set is scheduled for a Sept. 22 release, but preorders are being taken.

Update: Click here to listen to this very Pink Floyd-sounding track now from Spinner!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

John Bonham's gong fetches $64,000 in sale to anonymous buyer

A gong used in the 1970s by John Bonham has sold in Los Angeles for $64,660.

Specialist Margaret Barrett of the auction house Bonhams and Butterfields confirmed to that a buyer who wishes to remain anonymous bought the item yesterday.

The instrument was consigned by John Bonham's sister, singer Deborah Bonham, and their mother, Joan Bonham.

Yesterday's transaction was termed an "after sale" because the instrument did not sell on June 14 when it was part of an Entertainment Memorabilia auction.

It had been expected to fetch upwards of $80,000 and as much as $120,000.

While the instrument's value fell short of these figures, the amount paid for the gong yesterday is still more than double the $30,000 pricetag an anonymous bidder paid in an eBay auction on May 21 for an amplifier Jimmy Page is known to have used frequently between 1971 and 1973.

That amp, a 1971 orange Matamp, was sold by Rutherford Music Exchange in Rutherford, N.J.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Media abuzz over John Paul Jones band, not O2 offer to Led Zeppelin: Michael Jackson's 50 London gigs split between Zep, ABBA

Numerous media outlets have rolled with the semi-confirmed report on the musical project involving John Paul Jones with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme in the past couple of days since Antiquiet broke the story. The as-yet unnamed supergroup has been the talk of Rolling Stone, The Guardian and an infinite number of music blogs with great interest in each of the three.

Yet there has so far been no such mass regurgitation of a report yesterday that AEG Live has offered Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Jason Bonham, the would-be members of Led Zeppelin, half of the 50 concert dates at the O2 arena that had been booked for the recently departed Michael Jackson. Shows there were to begin July 13.

Perhaps the lack of coverage has to do with the current American holiday, or maybe the media are responsibly holding off until they can confirm the report, considering it was issued by the British tabloid, The Sun.

Interestingly, The Sun is the same outlet that, late last year, correctly aired the first reports of Jones and Page rehearsing Led Zeppelin songs with singer-guitarist Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge.

But this time, the report in The Sun does not come from a source close to the members of Led Zeppelin, rather from a source at AEG Live. It outlines an offer made, not one necessarily being considered, and the point of view comes from AEG Live, which the article says would "face multi-million pound losses if they cannot fill the slots."

The other half of Jackson's concert dates was offered to Swedish pop group ABBA, according to the report in The Sun. It quotes a source at AEG who tells The Sun, "Only Michael Jackson could sell out 50 nights at such a big arena, but Led Zeppelin and Abba combined might just rival him. There is huge money on the table."

This wording could translate to a mistake in making the offer an attractive one for the members of Led Zeppelin, who are hardly ever ones to make a decision about resurrecting that band name lightly. Even despite a close relationship between that band and ABBA, it is hardly acceptable for Led Zeppelin to equate itself with ABBA or any other act. The AEG Live source may have hurt the cause in obtaining Led Zeppelin by implying the group is half as good as Jackson and exactly as good as ABBA.

Another report has surfaced, quoting ABBA's Benny Andersson as denying having been approached by AEG Live. "No one has ever asked us," Andersson reportedly said. "And if they asked us they would have had 'no' as an answer." So, there you have it: ABBA may turn down an offer, although his opinion is admittedly one of four that all matter. If ABBA backs out of the equation, it could leave Led Zeppelin as the sole act to pick up the slack.

A series of 50 gigs is not something Led Zeppelin would quickly, or even slowly, agree to complete. It's reportedly been a sticking point of Plant's that any reunion activity is limited to a single gig here and there, and always for the right cause. In the case of the band's 2007 concert at the O2 arena, its first public performance in 19 years, the cause was a tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun benefiting a scholarship foundation established in his memory. It seems highly unlikely that a cause like keeping some promoter out of debt would be a top priority for the would-be members of Led Zeppelin.

For the group to accept this invitation would be highly unexpected. Instead, maybe the invitation ought to be extended to Jones, Grohl and Homme, if they're eager enough to get out there and play.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jason Bonham joins Slash in Norway for all-star set including Led Zeppelin songs

As part of Jason Bonham's busy season, the drummer earned an assist June 30 by playing a 90-minute set at Norway's Quart Festival as part of Slash's backing band. They played four songs each with Ozzy Osbourne and Fergie on vocals, although the best singer may have been Franky Perez, who opened the set with "Immigrant Song" and also sang "Whole Lotta Love" as an encore. Scott Rowley, writing for Classic Rock magazine, expressed high praise for Fergie in her rendition of "Black Dog." Photographer Ross Halfin added, "Jason Bonham played drums and I must say he was right on it, he nailed every song."

Photo credit: Ross Halfin

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Josh Homme's wife confirms his album with John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl

John Paul Jones has indeed been in a Los Angeles recording studio, working with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme, wife of the Queens of the Stone Age has confirmed in an interview, Antiquiet reports.

Brody Dalle, who is the singer and guitarist for Spinnerette, confirmed the latest rumors about her husband's upcoming project with Grohl and Homme, as reported less than two weeks ago.

In her interview, as reported by Johnny Firecloud, Dalle says, "I'm not at liberty to talk about it… but I think [the project] is pretty f---ing amazing. Just beats and sounds like you've never heard before."

Still no official confirmation, but this pretty much firms it up! Hope to hear their new music really soon!