October 7, 1972
Hong Kong Press Conference
The group hold a press conference in Hong Kong at the Mandarin Hotel.
Confident, but oh so Brash and Brutal
10-8-72 | Hong Kong Standard
"We're just four English gentlemen here to look around," said Robert Plant, yesterday in Hong Kong for the first time along with his group, Led Zeppelin.
A little difficult to believe, maybe, but then it's also a trifle difficult to believe four long-haired pop musicians tripping down the haughty corridors of the Mandarin Hotel.
But there they were, almost larger than life, so I suppose it is possible to believe anything these days.
One of the most successful rock bands of the post-Beatle era, Led Zeppelin – Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham and Robert Plant – are precisely what one would expect a rock band to be – confident, brash and at times brutal.
Confident that its music is the best, brash in that it is the music and not the money that makes it all worthwhile, and brutal as in their uncalled for attack on entrepreneur Pato Leung.
It seems that Pato took the boys on the town Friday and forgot to fork out the cash. "He's our Yiddesher Mama. He had only 50 cents in his pocket," the four laughed. I'm glad that somebody found the remarks humorous.
Led Zeppelin might be the epitome of rock musicians but, said singer and chief spokesman Robert Plant, it is not the epitome of a rock band. "Rock is a thing of the past, that belongs to Chuck Berry. You can't categorize us. If you listen to our albums, you'll see the spectrum we cover in our music."
"It's a spectrum," continued Plant, "that embraces music around the world – street music," he called it, "music heard in places like Morocco and Japan.
"We can't put our finger on a particular piece," chipped in John Paul Jones, "and say this is from a certain part of the world. But the influence is there."
Throughout the press conference, a number of the group's fans listened on intently, hanging on every word uttered by these heroes of the modern world.
Alas, their main hero, super guitarist Jimmy Page too a back seat leaving most of the question answering to the capable vocal chords of Plant.
The softly-spoken Page would only interject to clarify a point or to hit back at a reporter who seemed to cast doubts on the group's sincerity.
The group said it was anxious to perform in Hong Kong and talks between its manager and two local entrepreneurs – Capital Artists and Just Good Productions – are now in progress.
John Paul Jones denied that the group's music would be too loud for Hong Kong. "When you play to 20,000 people (as Zeppelin did in Japan), you've got to be loud to be heard by those at the back. There's good loud and there's horrible loud. It's all a matter of dynamics. We are loud one minute and soft the next. One moment Jimmy will be doing something on guitar and you can hear a pin drop. It's really great when there are 20,000 people and you can hear a pin drop," said Jones.
The conference, at times rather heated, was over. Plant was off to find a wig; Jones some Chinese musical instruments; Page to unknown pastures and as for John Bonham, he had disappeared long before the conference reached its conclusion.
Led Zeppelin leave Hong Kong today (Oct. 8) for Japan to continue their cherry blossom tour before returning to England later in the month.
They will no doubt leave Hong Kong with mixed feelings, feelings that will obviously be shared by those who came into contact with the group during their brief stay. (Oct. 8, 1972 – Hong Kong Standard | Special thanks to LZ.com forum member "PlanetPage".)