Going Down Slow Like a Led Balloon - The Rise and Rise of Led Zeppelin by Robin Piggott
The news, just released, of a one off reunion concert in London, in November 2007, of arguably the Band that changed the face of Rock Music, will be something that will be talked about in generations to come.
Led Zeppelin, fronted by Robert Plant; he of the cherub face and long blond curly locks strode into Rock and Blues History in 1968 with the release of their first album. On this piece of vinyl magic Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul-Jones and Mr Plant, with the fatherly figure of Ahmet Ertegun, head of Atlantic records wove a spell that will never be broken! It’s hard to believe that it will be 40 years in a few months time that this little piece of music history first saw the light of day.
Its worth mentioning that the genesis of this Band came about as a result of the demise of another R&B legend namely the Yardbirds. All three of the Lead Guitarists of the Yardbirds went on to create their own chunk of Rock and Blues history and still create a lump in the throat wherever they appear. Eric Clapton…Jeff Beck…Jimmy Page all came to prominence in the years 1963 to 1966.
Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds, making way for Jeff Beck as Lead player, to join the Godfather of British Blues …John Mayall. The year was 1965.
Jimmy Page joined the Yardbirds initially as Bass Guitarist, after the departure of Paul Samwell- Smith who became a record producer. He then transformed the Band with a two guitar line-up which proved successful. If you get a chance get hold of the film “Blow-Up” by Antonioni and you will see a clip of the Yardbirds playing in a small club with this line up. As the Band was beginning to creak at the seams, Jimmy Page, in being obliged to honour an American Tour that was imminent changed the name of the Band to “The New Yardbirds” and from this beginning Led Zeppelin was born.
Eric Clapton as we all know steamed into Rock Legend with John Mayall followed by Cream and a solo career subsequently.
Jeff Beck, while not perhaps as celebrated commercially as Jimmy or Eric built up a loyal and fanatical following but remained in the shadows.
November 2007 in London will give an opportunity to those who were not born when Page, Plant, Bonham and Paul-Jones strutted their stuff on the world music stage, to glimpse a slice of Rock History.
Robin Piggott is a Driving Instructor and Blues Disciple in Ireland, who brings four decades of experience to his Astral Driving School based in Limerick. take a peek at his web site http://www.astraldrivingschool.ie Here you can find a treasure trove of everything for the Learner Driver and while you are at it ... Pick up a free seven part mini course"Passing the Driving Test First Time" and stack the cards in your favour.