Led Zeppelin has plenty of fans, even though they haven't had a chance to enjoy a live performance since the band last toured in 1980 — unless, that is, you were lucky enough to score a ticket to the reunion concert the band gave at London's O2 Arena in 2007.
It's doubtful whether anything will be enough to get guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones together again. But now you can see them in the 2007 concert, along with Jason Bonham, the son of original Zeppelin drummer John Bonham (who died in 1980).
Tonight, theaters around the world will be showing the recorded 2007 concert in an event called Celebration Day, in advance of a November 19 DVD/Blu-ray release (with artwork by acclaimed designer Shepard Fairey). Find out more about tickets and the DVD at the band's official website.
Although fans will no doubt relish the idea of watching a Zeppelin concert in their living rooms, music buffs are saying a theater with good-quality sound is the best place to get a taste of the band's brilliance (unless you've got a primo home sound system — in which case, maybe plan to invite some friends over for a Zeppelin-themed holiday party?). And unlike some previous reunions, this one went smoothly and garnered critical acclaim. The show's 16 songs include classic interpretations of some of Zeppelin's best-known songs such as "Since I've Been Loving You," "Kashmir" and, of course, "Stairway to Heaven."
The concert was a one-time tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, who originally signed the band to Atlantic Records. Unlike many record deals at the time, the one he arranged was a good deal for the band in terms of financial and artistic freedom, and the band members were, clearly, forever grateful.
Led Zeppelin formed as the New Yardbirds in 1968, changing its name in 1969. They went on to record blues- and folk-inflected hard rock that would, in turn, influence many of the artists who would come after them.
It's is and English band with English roots: Page was born in the London district of Hounslow and grew up there and in nearby Surrey. Plant and Bonham were raised in Worcestershire and started their careers playing with bands throughout central England. Jones grew up in Kent, in England's southeastern corner. As well as American blues and jazz, they were influenced by the traditional folk music of their heritage.
They recorded many of their nine albums in locations around Britain, including studios in London, a remote cottage in Wales, and Headley Grange, a former poorhouse in Hampshire where Fleetwood Mac also recorded.
The band broke up after Bonham's death. Although Page and Plant worked together off and on for the next three decades, they rarely got together with Jones, who reportedly felt slighted by the duo. A series of drummers stood in for Bonham before his son was able to step in and take his place.
All four have successful solo careers, which, on top of proceeds from re-released Zeppelin music, gives them little incentive to get back together. That means this might be your last chance to see the current incarnation of Led Zeppelin — unless there's a next time. But with this band, you never know.
by Christy Karras