Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John Paul Jones Hosts 2013 Polar Music's "Meet the Laureates"

John Paul Jones sat with Youssou N'Dour and Kaija Saariaho,  2013 Polar Music Prize Laureates, on Monday in Sweden.


Although Jones was a former Laureate who was asking questions rather than answering them, he made a number of statements in the 40 minute presentation. Here are some of them:

When I was young I always wanted to play every instrument. Then when I realized I couldn't, I think that's when I started thinking about composition more. I'd write for people who could.

I was a church organist. My father was a fantastic pianist and I couldn't compete, so I took up the organ.

 I always hear what's wrong with a piece of my music, before I hear what's right.
Some critics you come to respect. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they pick on something you kind of knew you weren't perhaps happy with, and you go, right, note to self.

There's music everywhere, in shops and public places... I find myself arranging things all the time.

I'm writing an opera an I've just come to the end of the first act, and I'm like Ahhh! It's the holy grail, the rest is going to be easy, I'm sure.

(On how does he relax) I play instruments I'm not usually associated with like fiddle and banjo. I see my grandchildren.

(On the best way to get inspiration) The inspiration's not the difficult thing, it's what to do with it afterwards. And the best way to realize that is to switch off the internet. To get away from it and then find the time to realize it.

Robert Plant Begins Tour of England Tomorrow

Robert Plant's 65th birthday holiday to Wales is over, he is rumoured to have met up with Jimmy Page in the last week, and he spent the last two weeks at home in England's Black Country, but Plant returns to his real home, the stage, tomorrow night in Bristol.

Plant will lead his Sensational Space Shifters on a short tour of three dates in five nights through England and Ireland. The dates are:

August 29: Bristol - Colston Hall
August 31: Co. Laois, Ireland - Stradbally Estate (Electric Picnic)
September 2: Wolverhampton - Wolverhampton Civic Hall

The shows appear to be sold out

As well, Plant is playing two late October dates, at the Apollo Manchester on the 29th of  October and a halloween date at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Dave Lewis over at Tight But Loose is going tomorrow night and will, as always, cover the show in detail.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

John Paul Jones Interview Clip and DVD

A news-clip of John Paul Jones backstage at the Øya festival in Oslo last week has turned up. While mostly in Dutch (at a guess), Jones does have a couple of clips discussing his playing with Supersilent, who Jones played with at Øya.

The clip also shows Jones recording with Susanna Wallumroed and Helge Sten.

The clip can be found here, and starts at the 7-minute and 6-second mark.

Jones will also be doing a small UK tour with Supersilent in November. Tour dates are:

Nov. 14: Birmingham - Town Hall
Nov 15: Glasgow - The Arches
Nov 16: Manchester - RNCM
Nov 17: Bristol - Arnolfini
Nov 18: London - Village Underground

Jones also announced via his homepage that last September's Sunflower Jam, a London concert featuring various members of Deep Purple and others, will be released on DVD:

 The Sunflower SUPERJAM 2012 was a unique event that brought together some of rock music’s true legends at The Royal Albert Hall making the iconic venue rock like never before. Now, for the first time, The Sunflower Jam charity is raising money by producing an exceptional DVD of this once-in-a-lifetime event. Watch Alice Cooper, Bruce Dickinson, Brian May, Ian Paice, John Paul Jones, Mark King, Alfie Boe and a host of other amazing musicians ‘jam’ on one of the most famous stages in the world.  
 Plus, also included is a bonus DVD with highlights from The Sunflower SUPERJAM 2011, including the last ever, live performance from the legendary Jon Lord. The DVD will be released exactly a year on, on September 16th 2013 but it will be available for preorder from Tuesday 20th August 2013 at 1.00pm via
The DVD, due out September 16th,  is £19.99 and can be pre-ordered directly from the Sunflower Jam webpage.

Man of Steel Soundtrack

The Hans Zimmer soundtrack for the movie Man of Steel, featuring Jason Bonham, is now available in a limited edition. The soundtrack can be purchased for MP3, CD and Deluxe Deluxe 2-LP Vinyl.

 The US price is $29.98, however here in Canada we have to pay $46.22 - or add shipping and import fees making the total $44.22.

The CD price is $19.99, however, and MP3's can be ordered for $13.49.

The Man of Steel soundtrack was recorded in April, with composer Zimmer using 12 drummers, including Bonham, to create a wall of drum sound.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Robert Plant: 65 Years Gone

As a young man, Robert Plant took some training in accountancy. It didn't take and he soon packed it in. A few years ago he told A BBC documentary that after his son, Karak, died of a viral infection in 1977, he considered becoming a teacher. Last week in a twitter Q &A Plant said if he didn't become a singer, he would have become a marriage counsellor. But the truth is, Plant is a singer, a troubadour and has always been so. The likelihood is, that had Plant not become Led Zeppelin's Golden God, he would still be a singer, still be a working musician: it is who and what he is.

Today is his 65th birthday, the day he becomes eligible for social security and the Denny's senior discount. It is worth noting that he is far more likely to take advantage of the latter as he travels America singing for his supper than the former. Retirement just doesn't seem to be on Plant's radar.

So happy birthday Robert Plant, not for the Viking wail or the delicate beauty of That's the Way, not for the three minor blues masterpieces or the grandiosity of Kashmir, not for the solo years or the Page and Plant reunion years (City Don't Cry being an absolute favourite). Not for the 2007 reunion or for finding his big voice in his recent incarnation. Happy Birthday for all of it, the stuff that is seared into my soul, and the stuff that I may never listen to again. I love much of it, some maybe not so much, but you can't help but respect where it all came from, and who else can you say that about after a 40+ year career?

Happy Birthday Robert Plant, and may you keep on ramblin'.

Here's the birthday boy on his last tour,  singing one of his earliest solo hits, Big Log.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Podcast Episode #33

Oh, I might have been in a mood when I recorded this one. I go off on Jimmy Page's lawyer, (Satan LL.B. Esq.), Jason Bonham's holograph idea and the Canadian publishing industry.

On the other hand, Robert Plant finished off his American tour in good form, funds were raised for a plaque in Gladsaxe and I discussed Led Zeppelin within the Bach Cello Suites.

For the first time ever, I've posted the podcast on YouTube - minus the Jimmy Page's lawyer rant, which got unintentionally cut - and, of course,  you can subscribe on iTunes. While your at iTunes, give Ramble On Radio a review.


Here's the download link for Robert Plant's free live version of What is and What Should Never Be.
 Don't forget to follow Robert Plant on Twitter.
You can now pre-order Robert Plant: A Life.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Robert Plant in Elvis Shades

Shades of Elvis is a book by Priscilla Presley and photographer Christopher Aneruos. In it, a number of stars, including: Steven Tyler, Willie Nelson, Sam Elliot, Johnny Depp, Elton John, Peter Fonda, Tony Hawk are photographed wearing "a pair of Elvis' (Presley) previously owned famous sunglasses."

In July, Sammy Hagar spilled the beans on the book on his own blog. As well, Aneruos has posted some pictures from the shoots on his own blog, including three shots of Robert Plant in Elvis' shades.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Black Country Communion 2.0

It looks like the Black Country portion of Black Country Communion, Jason Bonham and Glenn Hughes, are working together again without Joe Bonamassa. Hughes has been reporting via social media this week that he is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida staying at Bonham's home. The two were joined by guitarist/keyboardist Andrew Watt and have been writing.

According to Hughes, they will be recording this fall, and Hughes is mentioning touring with "something new," in 2014.

Watt posted a picture of Bonham's O2 drum kit, and  a video of Bonham playing in the studio on his Intagram account.

Supersilent in Oslo

John Paul Jones stepped on the stage this afternoon in Oslo, Norway with the Norwegian avant-garde group, Supersilent. Here's a short Vimeo video of Jones.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Robert Plant Goes Multimedia

Robert Plant has re-launced his website,, with a new look and some multimedia surprises for fans. The site comes with a new logo, seen in the middle of his opening page, below.

Plant has also taken to twitter, with the handle @RobertPlant, where he is currently answering fans questions.

Also, according to LedZeppelinNews, Plant has an early mix of Moonlight in Samosa hidden in his website (possibly the download he is planning to make available to fans later today?).  Plant will offer a self-made documentary on his website on his trip to Mali, to be released in ten weekly instalments later this year and you can expect "stuff from his personal collection" on the website.

Plant has updated his Facebook page to reflect his new look, and as well as going on Twitter (where he will be signing off personal tweets with RP), Plant has opened an Instagram account, where he will have "personal photos of his life on the road, at home and in the recording studio." There is currently one picture uploaded to his Instagram account.

Check out Plant's YouTube and Google+ pages as well. 

The changes to Plant's online branding come through LoveLive, who wanted to ensure "a complete re-design of his website with global fans and multi-media at the heart of the strategy."

1001 h/t's to @LedZepNews, who's been all over this.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dear Robert...

Robert Plant has opened a twitter account at @RobertPlant, and will launch it today by answering ten questions submitted by twitter users using the hashtag #AskRP. Plant will chose ten questions to answer and "send a free download," presumably to the people who asked the ten questions.

Some sample questions at the time of writing are:

Who was you role model growing up?

Will there ever be another Honeydrippers album?

What was/is your favourite Led Zeppelin song to perform live, and why?

 @LedZeppelinNews, who is a must follow if you are a Led Zeppelin fan and are on twitter, has confirmed that @RobertPlant is an official Robert Plant twitter account. As well, he confirmed today that @johnpauljones is an official, but unused, account of Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. Jones has not tweeted to date, and lists @BarackObama as the only twitter account he follows.

Jimmy Page has been using his @jimmypagecom account for some time now.

You can follow Ramble on Radio at @RambleOnBlog

Update: Robert has extended this by 24 hours, meaning he will answer the questions on Thursday August 8.  It's being reported that he will offer all his followers a free live download.

Plaque to Commemorate First Show Almost Done

A crowd funding campaign to raise the money to put a commemorative plaque on the wall of the school where Led zeppelin's first concert took place is almost done.

The campaign by photographer Jorgen Angel to put a plaque at the site of the Gladsaxe Teen Club near Copenhagen began in June. We can report that as of tonight, the campaign had raised all but $50 of $1750 needed to have this important spot in music history commemorated (The Borough of Gladsaxe has given a $1,200 grant. The total for the plaque will be $2,950).

The plague will be unveiled September 7th, on the 45th anniversary of the show.

Donations can be made via

Update: As of this morning, Wed. Aug 7, he funding campaign has successfully met it's goal. Congratulations to Jorgen Angel and the team who raised the funds.