January 25, 1977
Official Bio (Press Release)
Swan Song Inc., Official Bio - January 25, 1977
As the years go by and we watch rock and roll bands reach peaks, fall from those same peaks, break up, glue themselves back together again or just plain re-cycle.. Led Zeppelin continues to be. As with all the great 'superstar' rock bands, Led Zeppelin continues to produce the kind of visceral spirit, gripping music that is always an instantaneous success with an audience that transcends age categorization. A lot of people get off on it.. prima facie success rule of rock that Zep has lived up to with full heart and mind since its inception back in late '68.
At that time there was a small London rehearsal hall that housed Mr Jimmy Page (late of the Yardbirds and numero uno session man in London), Mr Robert Plant (late of Alexis Korner Blues Band), Mr John "Bonzo" Bonham (a rising young drummer), and Mr John Paul Jones (super session man, and arranger). These four men played together and created some of the best contemporary blues rock music ever heard, earning eight gold multi million seller L.P's, constant sell-out concert tours the world over with standing ovations as normal procedure, Led Zeppelin is in the contemporary pantheon rock which includes only the very least, and they continue to grow and evolve in the best professional sense, assuring us of years of great music to come.
The scene is London mid-winter 1968. A small rehearsal hall with four musicians who are about to play together for the first time. Jimmy Page, former Yardbird and leading session guitarist in England had jammed with John Paul Jones (ace keyboard session man, bass player and arranger.)
They were pleased with the results and now were thinking about projecting that jam into a total 'band concept'. With the fortuitous addition of Robert Plant (ex Alexis Korner Blues Band singer) and John "Bonzo" Bonham on drums that projection was to take form in a group named Led Zeppelin. A group that was to be the totally successful prototype for the super heavy English blues-rock bands of the sixties.
The very distinctive sound that Zep developed was built on powerful, mesmerising guitar riffs by Mr Page and a mammoth rock bottom bass-drum sound with Plant's vocals pushing the general energy level along. Added to this were some incredible solo instrumentals, a stunning use of electronic technology to supplement the sound and a dynamic visual stage presentation that brought standing ovations on their very first tours. In each of these areas, Zeppelin established precedent setting modes that became Standard Operating Procedure for many bands that followed. They were the first group to take high volume and distortion, make it a distinct, creative entity and key it directly to the emotional thrust of each song. Jimmy Page combined the virtues of precision and innovation from his session days with the unbridled power and soaring emotionalism that typifies rock and roll at its best. The rest of the group contributed in equal parts that welded the group into a total fusion of electronic excitement.
The public was quick to recognise all of the inherent virtues in Led Zeppelin and have consequently made the group a world leader in contemporary music. Each of the group's eight albums has been a certified gold-million seller while Zeppelin continues to get SRO audiences in concert halls and arenas in Europe, Japan, England and America. They have won just about every music poll and their albums get continuous and extensive play on radio stations throughout the world. One of the reasons for Zep's solid continuity in music is their regenerative ability to grow and change without lessening in overall power or effectiveness. Their individual talents as musicians; arrangers; songwriters; producers and 'sound creators' assures them a continuing position in the vanguard of modern music.
LED ZEPPELIN, LED ZEPPELIN 2, LED ZEPPELIN 3, LED ZEPPELIN (FOUR SYMBOLS), HOUSES OF THE HOLY, PHYSICAL GRAFFITI, PRESENCE, SOUNDTRACK OF THE FILM "THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME"
JIMMY PAGE - Lead guitar. Equipment on stage: choice of three Gibson Les Pauls (vintage models) 1 Gibson SG Double neck, 1 Dan Electro, 1 Fender Stratocaster.
Thirty two year old Jimmy Page, together with Peter Grant founded Led Zeppelin and produced all their recordings, he began playing guitar in his early teens taking his roots from blues, Chuck Berry, and early Elvis Presley recordings.
Originally from Feltham, near London's Heathrow Airport, he began touring with small groups but later decided to go to Art College. Page spent some time in college, but continued to play clubs in and around London, never losing his interest in music. He moved onto studio work, and by the time he was twenty had become a successful session guitarist, recording with, among others, the Kinks, the Who,Van Morrison and Joe Cocker. In 1966 Page joined the legendary Yardbirds as bass player and shortly thereafter the band re-organised and Page was playing dual lead with Jeff Beck. Page remained after Beck left in 1967, taking the band to new heights and achieving lasting respect and critical acclaim. With the folding of the Yardbirds, Page decided to form his own band, christened, by Keith Moon - Led Zeppelin.
ROBERT PLANT - Vocals. Growing up in the Black country in Birmingham, twenty eight year old Robert Plant's intentions and training were directed towards being a chartered accountant, but his great love was always music. He played in a succession of Birmingham blues bands, among them The Crawling King Snakes, Black Snake Moan, Alexis Korner Blues Band and the Band of Joy. Earning a reputation of "The Wild Man of Blues from the Black Country", Plant found little recognition in Birmingham so he moved to London where he stayed until Jimmy Page asked him to join Led Zeppelin.
JOHN PAUL JONES - Bass and Keyboards. Equipment on stage: Fender Fretless Bass, Fender Jazz Bass, 1 Fender Set Bass Pedals, 2 W DUNNE Bass Pedals, Mellotron, Clavinet, Fender Rhodes Electric Piano, 8 String Bass Guitar, Steinway Grand Piano (tuned to Concert Pitch with electric pick ups).
It was John Paul Jones' father, an accomplished pianist with the famous Ambrose Orchestra in the Big Rand era, who insisted that John learn to read music, so at the age of six he began to study piano.
While at school in Christ College, Blackheath, he formed his own group, and subsequently played several American Bases in the area. He also worked on the road with his parents as part of a trio, John playing bass and his father on piano.
In London John Paul Jones began to do session work, especially arrangements, contributing to the Rolling Stones 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' LP and to tunes by Donovan and Dusty Springfield. Jones was the arranger of Donovan's 'Sunshine Superman' and Mellow Yellow and while working on the singer-songwriter's 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' he met Jimmy Page, When Jones heard that Page was putting a band together, they renewed their acquaintance and Jones became a member of Led Zeppelin. John Paul is thirty.
JOHN BONHAM - Drums. Equipment on stage: Ludwig Drum kit, 2 Timpanis, Dinner Gong and effects.
Raised in the Birmingham area, John Bonham never had any formal music training. He played in clubs around his home town but was unpopular because he played too loudly. At one time he was drummer with Robert Plant in the "Band of Joy". With drums the only spot to be filled with the new Led Zeppelin, Plant suggested Bonham, who was at the working with Tim Rose. It took a good deal of convincing, but finally Bonham agreed to join the group, completing the band. An avid auto enthusiast, twenty eight year old Bonham is also an active farmer in Worcestershire.
PETER GRANT - Manager
As much a member of the band as the four musicians, Peter has combined a rare mixture of hard business sense with close personal friendship with each member of Zeppelin. As Executive Producer he has worked on all eight albums, and far prefers to be on the road, travelling to each of the group's gigs around the world than puffing a fat cigar in an office complex.
Peter's initial involvement was with Jimmy in the Yardbirds days - a relationship which flourished into the formation of Led Zeppelin in 1968. There is no disputing the fact that along with one of the finest bands in the world, Peter Grant is undoubtedly the finest manager.