Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ZepFest Updates

There's a little bad news coming out of camp ZepFest, as previously reported speaker Richard Cole will not be in attendance at National Harbour in Washington DC next month. According to the organizer,  "couldn't work out travel to accommodate all."

tbl29-coverDave Lewis, of Tight But Loose, will be there, however, and he will have his new book, Feather in the Wind - Over Europe 1980. You can pre-order by emailing Dave, davelewis.tbl1@ntlworld.com, and request a copy or copies be reserved to be picked up at his ZepFest display.

Dave, meanwhile, has been busy both putting together the book and the latest edition of Tight But Loose, #29. Featuring a preview of Feather in the Wind, a look back at Stairway to Heaven 40 years later, a review of Anna Nicole: The Opera and a listen through of the new Black Country Communion album with Glenn Hughes. If you don't already subscribe, you can do so here.

Finally, a technical note. Last week I posted a video of myself playing my Led Zeppelin I 8-track, which I received from ZepFest during their 12 daze of Zepmas giveaway (to tie this whole post together, the question I won on was, how many editions of Tight But Loose are released every year?) I have no idea why the video simply won't work on YouTube, but it won't. I have tried editing, re-uploading &tc. But there is something wonky with the codex, and I am not a video guy. It does not matter very much, it was a silly little video. If you have tried to watch the video, my apologies, but you didn't miss very much.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yardbird Jimmy Page talks to US Army Radio

A JImmy Page interview with US Army Radio in 1967. It's very hip and groovy and short. Page's segment amounts to how The Yardbirds closed down the Crawdaddy, because the kids were so wild.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Anthony "Top" Topham: "A pre-Zeppelin album exists..."

In May 1963, Keith Relf and Paul Samwell-Smith left The Metropolitan Blues Quartet and joined Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty and lead guitarist Anthony “Top” Topham to form a new band, The Yardbirds. Sixteen year old Topham was a high school friend of Dreja.sir-topham-hatt

In September of that year, Topham left the Yardbirds at his mother’s insistence, who was concerned about her 16 year old son spending his nights playing in the clubs. His replacement, Eric Clapton, would use the Yardbirds as a springboard to international acclaim and success, as would Clapton’s successors, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.

In an interview with Guitar International, Topham claims that is not the end of his story flirting with fame. In 1968 JImmy Page was remaking The Yardbirds in his own image, creating the band that would become Led Zeppelin. According to Topham, he was contacted to play in the band:
Well this is what happened, in 1968... I received three telegrams, which I still have, from Peter Grant and Jimmy Page, expressing an urgency to get in touch with them, one of these said “great news for you.” I called them... and I spoke to Jimmy who I saw reasonably regularly. He said he wanted to reform under the name of the New Yardbirds and hit America, and asked if I would be interested.

Wait for it, I said no.

Topham also claims there was an early, pre-Led Zeppelin I album, under the name of The New Yardbirds:
Also, it’s a fact that a pre-Zeppelin album exists under the name the New Yardbirds, and includes much of the same as early Zepp. I believe this has never been released.

The idea of Topham being in Led Zeppelin and of an early album is new information in the Led Zeppelin narrative. It is unknown whether, if the album actually exists, it is with the members of Led Zeppelin, a Yardbirds album with some variation of Keith Relf, Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty playing, or a group of musicians previously unknown. What is known, however, is that the last lineup of The Yardbirds performed a number of songs that would find their way onto Led Zeppelin I, so the The Yardbirds recording this material can’t be discounted.

The Top Topham interview is not just about the sixties, and is an interesting look at the player who didn’t become “One of the legendary Yardbird guitarists.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Led Zeppelin I - on 8 Track

At Christmas time I won, courtesy of ZepFest 2011, an 8-track of Led Zeppelin's first album. I did promise at the time that I would post on it. Well, I took my sweet time, but you do have to understand, t took me a while to find an 8 track player I liked. C'est La Vie.

Here's my first ever home produced video of me trying out my Led Zeppelin I 8 track.

Click here for information on tickets for ZepFest 2011.
Update. The video is not currently working. I don't know why, but t will be a day or more before it's corrected. I will post to twitter when it is updated

ZepFest 2011

With just over a month to go until Zepfest 2011, things are coming together. They have announced 5 "waves" of musicians and speakers who will be in Washington over the Memorial Day weekend, and they have an astounding line up of acts.

[caption id="attachment_1075" align="alignright" width="300" caption="David St. Hubbins will not be at ZepFest?"]David St. Hubbins will not be at ZepFest2011[/caption]

Wave V came out last week, and features former Led Zeppelin tour manager and author of Stairway to Heaven Richard Cole and Warren Grant, the son of Peter Grant. Musically, they announced former Detective singer Michael Des Barres. Detective were signed to Swan Song, and Des Barres was married to infamous groupie, and former Jimmy Page lover, Pamela Des Barres. Wave V also announced skiffle legend Chas McDevitt and former Ted Nugent front man, Derek St. Holmes (not to be confused with Spinal Tap frontman David St. Hubbins - that was just embarrassing).

Other acts already announced include The Yardbirds, Vanilla Fudge and Dread Zeppelin. Zeppelin tribute acts will be in abundance, including Zoso, Get the Led Out, Led Zepagain and Kashmir. If you have seen that video of the old guy dancing while the band played Whole Lotta Love, the band playing is a local band here in Ontario, The Crunge, and they too will be playing ZepFest 2011.

The speakers are just as impressive, with Tight But Loose author Dave Lewis leading the pack, along with Cole and Grant. Former Yardbirds Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty, and Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice will also be speaking.

I have just touched the surface of what someone going to ZepFest 2011 can expect, and the organizers promise more to come. It will be a very full weekend of immersing yourself in Led Zeppelin activity, and worth the drive to Washington. Tickets are available in single day or as a three day pass.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Trucking with Robert Plant

American Trucker is a television show that features truck expert Robb Mariani showing, “…the iconic trucks, the famous routes they followed and the cargo missions that made history.”american-trucker-150x150

This weeks episode, Rockin' Down the Highway, is described as, "Robb tours with one of the biggest country acts in America."

An attentive fan that has seen a preview for this week's episode, says the country act in question is Robert Plant and the Band of Joy.

It was rumoured in February that the crew of American Trucker was with The Band of Joy, as a poster to LedZeppelin.com noted:
There was... a... film crew from American Truckers [sic] following one of the tour drivers for a segment on the life of a tour trucker.

The show is scheduled for 10PM on Speed Channel, but check your local provider and directory for access to Speed and broadcast time.

Record Store Day

Saturday April 16th is Record Store Day, a day when music fans can celebrate their community record store through special releases, both old and new.

Last year Led Zeppelin fans had something new to line up for outside their local record store: Them Crooked Vultures Mind Eraser, No Chaser picture disc EP.

418454522953This year it is something old: a 7” 45RPM vinyl re-release of The Yardbirds last single, Goodnight Sweet Josephine. The Jimmy Page era single is from the Little Games sessions, but did not make the cut on the original album. It was released on 1992’s Little Games Sessions & More CD.

The b side is Jimmy Page, Jim McCarty, Keith Relf written song, Think About It.

The single will come with a black and white picture sleeve, with a picture of the four Yardbirds standing sideways and looking at the camera. A smiling Jimmy Page is prominent on the cover.

Visit Record Store Day’s website to find a participating store near you and a comprehensive list of records being released for Record Store Day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BCC 2 Acoustic Premier

Bassist and singer Glenn Hughes premiered the new Black Country Communion album, 2, by releasing a video of himself playing an acoustic version of the song Cold.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Alison Krauss: Paper Airplane

Robert Plant's singing muse from 2007-09 - Led Zeppelin's Yoko Ono (but I mean that in the nicest way)- Alison Krauss releases her first album since 2007's Raising Sand with Robert Plant on Tuesday.

Here's the video of the title track, Paper Airplane:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience

Friday, April 8, 2011

Glenn Hughes Supports Japan

Black Country Communion bassist and singer, Glenn Hughes, has recorded a song on behalf of Artists Support Japan.

Artists Support Japan is a charity began by former Guns 'N' Roses manager Alan Niven.
The idea, which began with Graham Thomas, an old friend and former CEO of Saatchi And Saatchi, is for artists to record an acoustic song with an i-Phone or whatever, something immediate and real and of the moment, and attach a message of support.

“We’ll put them on our YouTube and Facebook sites, and the fans get to see fresh and unusual performances. We’ll go to businesses and ask them to donate to the fund. If Sandra Bullock can give a million then perhaps we can find a company to make a meaningful donation, in return for site sponsorship. Individuals will also be able to donate personally

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Robert Plant Announces 11 date June Tour

Robert Plant and the Band of Joy have spent the winter touring America. Before heading into Europe in July, The Band of Joy will perform one more an 11 date North American tour in June.

The shows include  The Bonnaroo Festival, The Revinia Festival, The Telerude Festival and the Ottawa and Montreal Jazz Festivals.Robert Plant

As well as the June shows, Plant will play The Allman Brothers Wanee Festival in Florida  during the April 14-16 weekend, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 29th and  MerleFest on Sunday May 1st.

The scheduled dates for June are: