February 13, 2005
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
"Grammy at last for Led Zeppelin"
Led Zeppelin have finally got a "whole lotta love". Grammy voters have handed members of the former band a lifetime achievement award ahead of the ceremony in Los Angeles.
The British band are widely regarded as having helped change the face of rock music with songs such as Stairway to Heaven, but have been ignored by the industry's most prestigious awards until now.
The guitarist Jimmy Page and keyboard player John Paul Jones as well as the two children of the late drummer John Bonham, collected the award at a lunch on Saturday, before last night's Grammy ceremony. Robert Plant, the band's singer, sent a video message.
Page said he had found the ceremony very emotional and bore no resentment that the band had been ignored while it was still together. The group's music, he said, might have been too eclectic for voters to get to grips with. Jones said the belated recognition was "incredibly cool".
The band split in 1980 when Bonham died of alcohol abuse at the age of 32. His daughter, Zoe, who was five at the time, told Reuters at the ceremony: "It's totally overwhelming. The whole crazy thing about it is, it's a lifetime achievement award, and he's not here. The legend lives on."
Led Zeppelin formed in 1968 in London, when Page, a former member of The Yardbirds, decided to start a new band after that group broke up. With the new members recruited, they briefly performed as The New Yardbirds before altering their name to Led Zeppelin. They began to conquer America later that year on tour.
The band won a reputation as an extravagant live act, with mammoth shows lasting up to four hours. They also honed a bad-boy reputation, trashing hotel rooms in now classic rock style. They made eight studio albums, the last, In Through the Out Door, released in 1979. Another album of rarities was put out in 1982, entitled Coda. [Guardian UK, 2-14-2005]