May 30, 1973
U.S. '73 Tour - Press Release
Official Press Release:
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SOLTERS/SABINSON/ROSKIN Inc. PUBLICITY-PUBLIC RELATIONS
May 30, 1973 - With all the media attention on Led Zeppelin's statistics, their fantastic string of sold-out concerts, and number one albums--the reason for their popularity, their music, has been overlooked.
Sure they broke the Beatles 72 year old record for the largest concert attendance and largest gross in United States history (Tampa Stadium 5/5/73: 56,800 people $309,000 gross topping Beatles N.Y.C. Shea Stadium 1965: 55,000 people $301,000 gross), sure their album is No. 1 in England and the U.S.A. but the question unanswered by these numbers and others like them is WHY?
A leading rock magazine put it this way: "Led Zep's group image is not only intact, it's virtually the most aggregate thrust that exists in rock 'n roll, undiminished in focus and direction since they unseated the Beatles as the world's most popular group in 1970, and it's in that sense that Led Zeppelin remains a definer of rock 'n roll as art rather than a purveyor, an expediter of the form."
These are the lofty words of the true believer, yet they sum up Led Zeppelin's dev-tion to their music that has kept them together for five years through five consecutive "gold" albums. While many group's rush to cash in on success, Led Zeppelin waited 18 months between their last album and their new one working on its perfection.
Lead Guitarist Jimmy Page, now 28, was an English recording session legend before he was 21. Burt Bacharach never conducted an English session without Page nor very often did the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks or many other early rock bands on whose recordings Page's unique guitar can be heard. Page became leader of the Yardbirds, the legendary group who appeared in the film "Blow Up," and whose other members included Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.
When Page formed Led Zeppelin in 1968, he introduced a unique new use of electronic sound utilizing feedback and distortion in a controlled way that would influence countless rock bands. Page can play Bach as well as rock (he includes a short bit in concert) and in Europe often played four different guitars in concert although in America he has limited himself to two electrics:. a Les Paul and a double back with a six and a twelve string neck combined. Page also plays a version of the theramin, an electronic music maker the sound of which is altered by the closeness of his hands to it.
Bass guitarist John Paul Jones is classically trained and has done arrangements for albums by the Rolling Stones, Donovan and many others; he also plays organ and a mellotron which simulates an orchestra.
Drummer John Bonham plays a 20 minute solo "Moby Dick," midway during Zeppelin's concerts, and lead singer Robert Plant who writes all the lyrics combines sexy charismatic stage presence with a knowledge of English history and spiritual legend which results in a rare poetry.
The core of Zeppelin's art is their taste. While they are sophisticated enough to play classics, jazz, blues and modern music, they always use it only as it relates to their central rock and roll program. Virtuosos all of them they combine that skill with a spontaneous dramatic flair for entertainment and magic the result being a screaming happy, satisfied audience. However while many other rock age three groups get screams when they merely appear on stage, Led Zeppelin's audiences are more mature. "We have to Kin them over every time; they're not to be fooled," says singer Plant.
During a pop era when glitter and makeup are the central hallmarks of popularity, Led Zeppelin's musical prowess surpasses all gimmicks. While other groups play the same concert note for note, night after night, Led Zeppelin's music is constantly alive, improvised and evolving. "The thing is," says Page, "is that we all love playing music."