Tuesday, April 30, 2013

John Paul Jones on Jools Holland

John Paul Jones performed today on Jools Holland show with Seasick Steve. Led Zeppelin News Page on Facebook has some pictures.

The show will air later tonight on BBC Two.

Patty Griffin - American Kid

Robert Plant's muse, Patty Griffin, released her 7th solo album this week. It is currently streaming on the Wall Street Journal. Plant himself joins Griffin on  three songs, Ohio, Faithful Son and Highway Song.

Ohio is a powerful, slow, droning piece about the underground railroad. Plant sings a prominent harmony vocal under Griffin's.  Griffin featured this song at a London show of the Sensational Space Shifters last July.

Faithful Son is more uptempo, with Plant really offering a few Ah-ahs throughout.

Highway Song is a ballad, with Plant and Griffin singing a harmony vocal throughout.

American Kid is available now on Amazon, iTunes, or wherever you buy music. A vinyl edition of American Kid will be released.

Jason Bonham: Heartless?

It appears when Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience takes to the stage in Florida on June 17, it will be without a key member: Keyboard/lap steel/guitar/mandolin player Stephen LeBlanc has been told the tour can't afford a keyboard player.

Stephen LeBlanc in Full Phantom of the Opera mode

Jason's Led Zeppelin Experience (JBLZE)  will be touring in a supporting role for Heart beginning June 17th, and continuing August 30th in Portland. The show will consist of JBLZE opening the show, and then joining Heart onstage for a 30-minute encore set of Led Zeppelin songs as a finale.

The practical effect of what the LeBlanc snub means is that JBLZE will play rockers such as Rock and Roll, Black Dog, The Immigrant Song and Whole Lotta Love to open. Any keyboard songs, such as Kashmir, Since i've Been Loving You and Stairway to Heaven will happen in the encore when Heart's keyboard player, Debbie Shair, will be onstage with the band. Likely any acoustic songs will also happen then, when LeBlanc's mandolin can be filled by guitarist Tony Catania while Heart's Nancy Wilson and Craig Bartock take the guitar parts (speaking of the latter, thinking it through, does anyone else expect a Battle of Evermore/Stairway to Heaven finale?).

It's a sad day for Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience to see LeBlanc, in his own words, "thrown off the bus."


Update: Elly LeBlanc weighs in:
This is NOT JBLZE without Stephen LeBlanc...it's a reprehensible decision...and after three years of contribution...Jason or whoever made this decision is a fucking idiot... Stephen didn't do anything other than his best to make what is essentially a fucking tribute band, (albeit probably the best Zep tribute band out there, with Stephen in it) better. Yes it does hurt... it always hurts when people are treated unethically and led to believe they are part of the band, particularly after three years of hard work.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ramble On Radio Podcast #29

front-picture-smallThe episode in which I do not freak out because Robert Plant is singing too many Led Zeppelin songs. Plus, Plant is touring America, as is Jason Bonham. Jimmy Page is scouring the archives for unheard Led Zeppelin material, and John Paul Jones is writing his opera.

Review: Neal Preston's Sound and Fury iBook.

Available here, or through iTunes download.

John Paul Jones to Join Seasick Steve on Later... with Jools Holland

Next Tuesday, April 30th, John Paul Jones will join Seasick Steve on Later... with Jools Holland to play songs from the upcoming Seasick Steve album, Hubcap Music.

Meanwhile, Patty Griffin has released a video of her first song from her upcoming album, American Kid.

The song, Ohio, is an historical piece about slaves escaping via the underground railroad. Robert Plant sings a harmony vocal throughout the haunting, evocative song.

Griffin first premiered the song at a Sensational Space Shifters show in London last July.

Update: The latest podcast is now available. Listen or download through iTunes.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Music by Jason Bonham (sort of)

When producers of the new Man of Steel movie, due for release in June, released the latest trailer, Jason Bonham tweeted


Bonham spent two weeks in LA recently. During that two weeks he spent time in the studio laying down tracks for the movie.

According to Tool drummer Danny Carey, 12 drummers were used to create the soundtrack, including Bonham. The soundtrack was written by well known film composer Zimmer, and the movie features Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Russell Crow and Kevin Costner are also in the movie,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Robert Plant North American Tour Confirmed

Robert Plant, with his band the Sensational Space Shifters, has announced a North American tour. The tour begins on June 20th in Dallas and ends on July 27th in Brooklyn. A tour trailer video has also been released.

The Sensational Space Shifters are guitarist Justin Adams, keyboardist John Baggott, African ritti player Juldeh Camara, bassist Billy Fuller, Dave Smith on drums and percussion and Liam Tyson adding more guitar, vocals.

Here's the confirmed dates:

June 20: Dallas, TX - Palladium
June 21: Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center
June 23: Austin, TX - Moody Theater
June 26: Los Angeles, CA - Shrine Auditorium
June 28: Santa Barbara, CA - County Bowl
June 29: Berkeley, CA - Berkeley Greek
July 2: Jacksonville, OR - Britt Festival
July 4: Quincy, CA - High Sierra Festival
July 6: George, WA - Jambase Festival
July 7: Portland, OR - Portland Blues Festival
July 10: Morrison, CO - Red Rocks
July 12: Chicago, IL - Grant Park
July 13: Memphis, TN - Live In The Garden
July 14: Louisville, KY - Forecastle Festival
July 17: New Orleans, LA - Mahalia Jackson Theater
July 19: Atlanta, GA - Verizon Amphitheatre
July 20: Cary, NC - Koka Booth Amphitheatre
July 22: Vienna, VA - Wolftrap
July 24: Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun
July 25: Boston, MA - B of A Pavilion
July 27: Brooklyn, NY - Prospect Park

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Jimmy is Digging Through the Archives"

In a Q&A with Jimmy Page's manager at Reddit yesterday, Peter Mensch answers a variety of questions posted by fans while driving to Bethlehem, PA to see the band Dawes.

Mensch tells one fan who asks about the upcoming remasters, "Jimmy is digging through the archives for material that's never been released to the public before." While that may excite Zeppelin fans, there's bad news in that statement too: "No progress (on the solo album Page has said he's committed to doing) yet. Currently focused on rooting around in the Led Zeppelin archives."

Mensch also states that "some" of the Led Zeppelin remasters - talked about here as reissued box sets - will be released this year. It is hoped Coda will be included in the reissues.

Finally, on the question of will Led Zeppelin do any more shows, Mensch is not the optimistic one:
Honestly, my gut tells me they won't.

Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013)

Beginning with Pink Floyd's Ummagumma in 1969 right through to 2011's Rival Son's album Pressure and Time, Storm Thorgerson designed many iconic album covers in his career. Working with the London based art design group Hipgnosis with Aubrey Powell and Peter Christopherson, he helped design the most well known album covers of the 70's. Included on the list, Led Zeppelin's Presence and In Through The Out Door.led-zeppelin-presence-2

Thorgerson has had some health issues the past ten years, including a stroke in 2003 and a more recent battle with cancer. He died yesterday of complications from cancer, aged 69.

Rest in Peace Storm Thorgerson.

Here's a partial list of albums Thorgerson designed:


  • Genesis - And Them There Where Three

  • Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

  • Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

  • Rainbow - Bent Out of Shape

  • 10cc - Mirror Mirror

  • The Cult - Electric

  • Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel (1977, 1978 and 1980)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: Sound and Fury by Neal Preston

Neal Preston's new iPad book, released Monday exclusively as an iTunes download, is a coffee table book on steroids. It is full of pictures with accompanying text by Preston, the only official tour photographer Led Zeppelin ever had. Interspersed are over 80 proof sheets, allowing you to see the shots that surrounded a given picture or that never made the cut.

ledzeppelinsoundandfurybynealprestoncoverart_zps48366964As for the pictures themselves, while there are “over 100 previously unpublished images," Preston has taken more iconic Led Zeppelin shots than anyone else, possibly than everyone else combined, and he includes most of those as well. Think of a Zeppelin picture you know and love - Jimmy Page in his stormtrooper outfit; Robert, holding his arms outstretched at Knebworth; John Bonham, in bowler and white overalls, waving to the crowd after Moby Dick; Jimmy getting off the helicopter at Knebworth; Robert holding the dove; Bonham, again in bowler and coveralls, giving a peek of his underwear &tc. - and there's a chance Preston took it and it's in his iBook. Pictures and text, put together as a coffee table book, would make a great piece for your living room.

With the use of Apple's digital book creation app, however, the coffee table book becomes an adventure. Preston has added video commentary of himself and others telling stories of the road, plus a number of pictures have Preston’s own audio commentary on a given picture. Add to that the ability to enlarge a picture or scroll through series of pictures at the touch of the screen, and you have an interactive coffee table book that you can take anywhere.

Preston has also used the iPad’s high definition screen to full advantage, scanning the original slides in high quality. Every picture in the iBook jumps off the screen with clarity that’s, at times, breathtaking.  Sound and Fury is a journey through Led Zeppelin’s performance career and latter tours, full of pictures that cover each member of the band, on stage and off.

On the downside, as noted before you must have an iPad to view the book - according to my downloader, it will not work on iPhones - and is a very large file, over 800 mb. If you have an 8-gig iPad, that’s a lot of your storage space. It took over 20 minutes for me to download it, so it’s not something you can grab on the fly like you can with other books, and you really need a wifi connection to download it at all. That said, for $9.99 it is great value for a great book.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Robert Plant joins Patty Griffin at studio 1A at KUT 90.5 in Austin to perform Griffin's new song, Ohio.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

If I Was Jimmy Page...

"I'd wear those dragon pants everywhere..."

Drive-By Truckers guitarist and singer Patterson Hood has been doing a solo show for a few months now, and featured in the set, his song, Jimmy Page. This video is from a performance in Sacramento, California last week.

Hood is doing shows in support of his new album Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Photographer Neal Preston has new Led Zeppelin iBook

Neal Preston, photographer of this picture of Jimmy Page in Chicago 1977 immortalized in the National Portrait Gallery, is releasing a book of Led Zeppelin pictures exclusively in iTunes.

From Big Hassle Media:


Led Zeppelin: Sound And Fury, an innovative illustrated digital book by famed photographer Neal Preston, is available now for pre-order and will be released exclusively on the iBookstore on April 15 for a price of $9.99. The book comes alive with a tap, swipe or pinch and provides an unprecedented and comprehensive look into the world of Led Zeppelin, one of rock's most iconic bands. Through Preston's lens the reader experiences hundreds of photos (over 100 of whichhave never been seen before), 80 contact sheets (all previously unpublished), audio commentary from Preston, video and text interviews with people who worked with the band, and even memorabilia and set lists for concerts whose photos are featured in the book.

Created with Apple's digital book creation app, iBooks Author, this Multi-Touch experience on iPad is unprecedented in its visual style and layout, letting the reader explore never-before-seen shots of Led Zeppelin and join them not only on stage, but also backstage. Led Zeppelin: Sound And Fury contains an intro by Stevie Nicks and has contributions from bands like My Chemical Romance, Heart, Mastodon and many more.

No photographer was granted the access to Led Zeppelin that Neal Preston had. Any photo of the band from the post-1973 era familiar to fans is probably one of Preston's images. Led Zeppelin: Sound And Fury immerses you in the band's inner circle with brilliant on-stage performance photos, backstage candid shots, intimate images from onboard the band's two private planes, as well as snapshots from press conferences, movie premieres, private band parties and more...

Led Zeppelin: Sound And Fury, an innovative illustrated digital book by famed photographer Neal Preston, is available now for pre-order exclusively on the iBookstore for a price of $9.99 before going on sale April 15.:

iBookstore Pre-Order:


Official Teaser Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOkSlVXu0jA

Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience to tour with Heart

screen-shot-2013-01-15-at-44519-pmThere has been no official announcement of a tour as of yet, but tickets are available for Heart with special guests Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience on August 22nd at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Tickets are currently only available to "Premiere Marquee Club members," of the Greek.

Listed as the Heartbreaker Tour, I hear the Jason and the LZE could be doing upwards of 40 dates alongside Heart this summer. That should cover most of North America.

There will be more details to follow as dates are announced.


6/17 West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan AmphitheaterBuy Tickets
6/18 Tampa, FL Live Nation AmphitheaterBuy Tickets
6/20 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park AmphitheaterBuy Tickets
6/21 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless AmphitheaterBuy Tickets
6/22 Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Music PavilionBuy Tickets
6/24 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau LiveBuy Tickets
6/25 Washington, DC Jiffy Lube LiveBuy Tickets
6/27 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach TheaterBuy Tickets
6/28 Boston, MA Comcast Center – Mansfield MABuy Tickets
6/29 Bethel, NY Center for the ArtsBuy Tickets
7/2 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts CenterBuy Tickets
7/3 Philadelphia, PA Susquehanna Bank Center - CamdenBuy Tickets
7/4 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun ArenaBuy Tickets
7/19 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music TheaterBuy Tickets
7/21 Pittsburgh, PA First Niagara Pavilion - BurgettstownBuy Tickets
7/22 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music CenterBuy Tickets
7/23 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian AmpitheatreBuy Tickets
7/27 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music CenterBuy Tickets
7/29 Chicago, IL Ravinia FestivalBuy Tickets
7/30 Indianapolis, IN Klipsch Music CenterBuy Tickets
8/1 West Allis, WI Wisconsin State FairBuy Tickets
8/14 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell PavilionBuy Tickets
8/15 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy PavilionBuy Tickets
8/17 St. Louis, MO Verizon Wireless AmphitheaterBuy Tickets
8/18 Kansas City, MO Starlight TheaterTBA
8/20 Denver, CO Fiddler’s Green AmphitheaterBuy Tickets
8/22 Los Angeles, CA Greek TheaterTBA
8/23 Los Angeles, CA Greek TheaterTBA
8/24 Indio, CA Fantasy Springs Resort CasinoTBA
8/26 San Diego, CA Open Air TheaterBuy Tickets
8/28 San Francisco, CA America’s Cup PavilionBuy Tickets
8/30 Portland, OR Sleep Country AmphitheaterTBA