One Album Wonders: Coverdale Page

coverdale page

In 1993 Jimmy Page was a guitarist in desperate need of a singer. I know because his manager had asked me to help find him one. I wish I could say teaming up with David Coverdale was my suggestion, but that brainwave was Geffen executive John Kalodner’s.

The result was exactly what everybody secretly wanted: a Zeppelin album from the band’s earliest, sexed-up days. Opening with blues rock colossus Shake My Tree, it was sheer bombastic bliss, from the mystic blues of Don’t Leave Me This Way to grand finale Whisper A Prayer For The Dying – where Stairway To Heaven met Kashmir, no kidding.

COVERDALE PAGE
1993, GEFFEN

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Led Zeppelin “Celebration Day”

Led Zeppelin Celebration Day

Led Zeppelin will release the movie of their 2007 reunion show under the title Celebration Day on DVD and as a cinema feature.

The 2hr4min production will play in selected theatres across the world on October 17 following premieres in London, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities. Tickets for the public screenings will be available on September 13 via LedZeppelin.com.

Celebration Day will then go on sale in video and audio formats on November 19.

Over 20 million people applied for 18,000 tickets when Led Zeppelin announced they’d play London’s O2 Arena to celebrate the life of Atlantic Records boss Ahmet Ertegun.

Drummer John Bonham’s son Jason performed with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, leading to plans for further shows together, which then ground to a halt when frontman Plant decided not to remain involved.

The Celebration Day announcement came after Led Zeppelin spent five days teasing fans with online countdown images and teaser sound clips.

Meanwhile, the band have been named as recipients of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors. The organisation says the band “transformed the sound of rock and roll with their lyricism and innovative song structures, infusing blues into the sound of rock and roll and laying the foundation for countless rock bands.”

Celebration Day track list

01. Good Times, Bad Times
02. Ramble On
03. Black Dog
04. In My Time Of Dying
05. For Your Life
06. Trampled Underfoot
07. Nobody’s Fault But Mine
08. No Quarter
09. Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You
10. Dazed And Confused
11. Stairway To Heaven
12. The Song Remains the Same
13. Misty Mountain Hop
14. Kashmir
15. Whole Lotta Love
16. Rock And Roll

Jimmy Page

After the death of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham in 1980, guitarist Jimmy Page refused to even pick up a guitar for nearly nine months.

Bought the house Aleister Crowley once owned in Scotland on the Loch Ness as a retreat. Sold it to hoteliers in the 1980s.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of The Yardbirds, in 1992. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of Led Zeppelin, in 1995.

The Gibson EDS-1275 6/12-string doubleneck that he used on live performances of the classic “Stairway to Heaven“, and later on “The Song Remains the Same” and “The Rain Song“, had to be especially ordered from the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, because it had only been available in the company catalogue from 1962 to 1966.

Page also produced all of the Led Zeppelin albums, re-masters and some boxed sets.

Was originally invited to replace Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds, but refused and recommended his friend Jeff Beck. He later changed his mind and joined, replacing bassist Paul Samwell-Smith. However, when Chris Dreja switched to bass, he went back to playing guitar.

After Led Zeppelin broke up, Page would not allow anybody to sing “Stairway to Heaven” during live performances; he would instead play the song as an instrumental. He felt that no one could do the song justice except Robert Plant.

Led Zeppelin

In 1966, Jimmy Page joined the blues-influenced rock band, The Yard birds, to replace bassist Paul Samwell-Smith. Page soon switched from bass to lead guitar, creating a dual lead-guitar line-up with Jeff Beck. Following the departure of Beck in October 1966, The Yardbirds began to wind down. The Yardbirds played their final gig in July 1968 at Luton College of Technology in Bedfordshire, England.

Drummer Jim McCarty and vocalist Keith Relf authorised Page and bassist Chris Dreja to use “The Yardbirds” name to fulfil the band’s obligations. Page and Dreja began putting a new line-up together. Page’s first choice for the lead singer was Terry Reid, but Reid declined the offer and suggested Robert Plant, a Stourbridge singer for The Band of Joy and Hobbstweedle. Plant eventually accepted the position, recommending former Band of Joy drummer John Bonham. When Dreja dropped out of the project to become a photographer (he would later take the photograph that appeared on the back of Led Zeppelin’s debut album), John Paul Jones, at the suggestion of his wife, contacted Page about the vacant position. Having known Jones from his session days, Page agreed to let him join as the final member.

The four played together for the first time in a room below a record store onGerrard StreetinLondon. Page suggested that they attempt “Train Kept A-Rollin'”, originally a jump blues song popularised in a rockabilly version by Johnny Burnette, which had been covered by The Yardbirds. “As soon as I heard John Bonham play”, recalled Jones, “I knew this was going to be great …

The band completed the Scandinavian tour as The New Yardbirds, playing together for the first time in front of a live audience at Gladsaxe Teen Clubs inGladsaxe,Denmark, on 7 September 1968. Later that month, they began recording their first album, which was based upon their live set. The album was recorded and mixed in nine days, and Page himself covered the costs. After the album’s completion, the band were forced to change their name after Chris Dreja issued a cease and desist letter, stating that Page was only allowed to use the New Yardbirds name for the Scandinavian dates. One account of how the new band’s name was chosen held that Keith Moon and John Entwistle suggested that a super group containing themselves, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck would go down like a “lead balloon”, a British idiom for disastrous results. The group dropped the ‘a’ in lead at the suggestion of their manager, Peter Grant, so that those unfamiliar with the phrase would not pronounce it “leed”. The word “balloon” was transformed into “zeppelin”, perhaps an exaggeration of the humour, and to Page the name conjured the perfect combination of heavy and light, combustibility and grace