The most fun thing about this set of hand made Led Zeppelin matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls) is the fact that the tiniest member is their late manager, Peter Grant, who was famous for being not so tiny. Purchasing information is available at This Link.
A publicist recently asked me what bands I’m currently listening to – and I know she expected me to name some “new” bands, but I had to confess that the bulk of music I’ve been loading on my iPod or adding to my collection in recent months is music from the 1970s. Because, from The Beatles through Glam, Prog Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, the onset of Electronica, Punk Rock and New Wave, the Seventies really had it all. This realization actually brought back an awkward memory of the time an editor (whom I still affectionately refer to as Iron Nuts) accused me of being “desperate to like a modern band.” Okay, guilty as charged. Still, I’m not going to apologize for it.
One modern band that I do like a lot is Black Stone Cherry. I’d own all of their records even if I didn’t get them for free from their label, and I try to see the band play live when they come to New York City. So, I felt very fortunate to get on the guest list to see these remorselessly southern rockers from Kentucky kick out a super tight but exhilarating 45 minute set last week, in support of the Sammy Hagar-fronted all star contingent Chickenfoot. Making sure to please both faithful and new fans, Black Stone Cherry’s three albums (2006’s eponymous debut, 2008’s Folklore and Superstition and 2011’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea) were equally represented within an eclectic 10-song set list.
Black Stone Cherry maintain a gritty enough modern edge to do battle with the fiercest head bangers, but what they remind me of at their creative core is The Allman Brothers with a touch of Hendrix. Surely no one could find fault with that. And any doubt of the veracity of this groups’ southern rock roots is laid to waste with Deep Blue Sea’s exceptional cover of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” on which Black Stone Cherry pay deep homage to the original tune while completely making it their own. It’s easy enough to casually toss out a phrase like “The Real Deal” when describing a blues-based rock band, but I’m not fronting when I say that Black Stone Cherry does their old school mentors proud in their ability to rock out and entertain without the need for any added bells and whistles. These guys just love music; and it shows. Front man Chris Robertson, who effortlessly tackles lead vocals and lead guitar owns a seasoned but fluid voice that delivers both rockers and ballads with equal power and finesse. As a front man, he’s cute but also burly and masculine. I dig his vibe. While bassist Jon Lawhon stays mostly anchored to the stage, his fretwork is top shelf, and it’s a lot of fun to watch rhythm guitarist Ben Wells work the stage, tirelessly leaping atop monitors, engaging the audience and heightening the energy of the room. But for me, the superstar of the band is drummer John Fred Young, who channels the thunder power of John Bonham in his attack on the kit while fully capturing the showmanship of a crowd-pleasing player like Tommy Lee. Young’s arms never stop moving. I could watch him play drums all day. Plus: Hot.
Black Stone Cherry had me and the rest of the crowd on our feet for most of their set (impressive for an opening act), and I love all of their songs, but the most memorable tune of the evening, I think, was “Blame It On The Boom Boom,” which, despite being somewhat dorky, keeps the decadence of the Rock Star Lifestyle alive with its message about the joys of bonking and getting wasted, or something like that. I doubt that any of these guys are Motley Crue-level partiers, but it certainly wasn’t lost on me that they chased “Boom Boom” with few bars of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” – a song I would love to see them cover on a future album.
See the Set List after the Jump!
JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE will celebrate the life and music of the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. The limited engagement of concert dates – timed to take place just after the 30th anniversary of his Dad’s passing on September 25th, 1980 – will launch in North America October 8 in British Columbia. JBLZE will kick off in the U.S. October 19 in Minneapolis and continue through late November, reaching major North American cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal, Houston, Seattle, Vancouver and many others (see the initial dates listed below with more to be announced).
Bonham – who has teamed with Annerin Productions, the heralded company behind “The Pink Floyd Experience” and “Rain, A Tribute to the Beatles” – is anxiously anticipating the show’s opening night. “I can’t wait,” Jason enthuses. “I’m sure it will be an emotional night, especially the first time we do it in front of an audience, but it’s a commemoration of Dad’s life and my life with the music and the company of Led Zeppelin. I’m really looking forward to doing it.”
As Bonham and his band rock through Led Zeppelin’s hallowed catalog, a state-of-the-art sound system and light show will enhance their live performance onstage. Behind them, giant screens will display futuristic art and mood-setting historical video footage and photos. The stunning atmosphere and powerful live performance will take concert-goers through a personal journey into Jason’s past and put them front and center at this stunning multimedia concert experience.
On sale beginning Friday, August 20, JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE will take place in grand theatres offering excellent sightlines, promising an epic, intimate and unforgettable night of rock n’ roll.
Tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information and to reserve tickets for JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE visit: JBLZE DOT COM.
Dates and Cities for the first leg of JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE after the jump:
On This Date in 1973: after playing the final show of three nights at Madison Square Garden, Led Zeppelin lost $180,000 in cash when a thief stole their hotel safe deposit box containing receipts from the two previous concerts. The theft – a crime largely suspected to be an inside job perpetrated by employees of the hotel – was never solved.
Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was born on this day, May 31st, in 1948. The music world still feels his loss.
JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE: ONCE-IN A-LIFETIME LIVE EXPERIENCE TO COMMEMORATE THE 30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PASSING OF A ROCK & ROLL LEGEND
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT OF 30 CONCERT DATES IN NORTH AMERICA SET FOR FALL
JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE will celebrate the life and music of his father – the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham – in true epic fashion with a limited engagement of 30 concert dates in North America this fall.
“This is a personal trip through my life with the music of Led Zeppelin,” explains Jason, “and how the music influenced me.” Jason played with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones at Led Zeppelin’s “final” show at London’s O2 Arena in 2007, which was heralded as the most powerful Led Zeppelin performance since the group’s disbandment. The band received uniformly rave reviews and Jason didn’t want to stop after that magical and memorable night.
“When I was offered to put this together over a year ago, it wasn’t right,” notes JASON. “This September 25th is the 30th anniversary of my father’s passing – I thought, what better way to celebrate his life than to do 30 shows for the 30 years he’s been gone?”
BONHAM has partnered with Annerin Productions – the critically acclaimed producers of The Pink Floyd Experience and Rain, A Tribute to the Beatles – to create a once-in-a-lifetime concert. As BONHAM and his band rock through Led Zeppelin’s hallowed catalog, a state-of-the-art sound system and light show will enhance their live performance onstage. Behind them, giant screens will display futuristic art and mood-setting home movies and photos. All this will take you though a personal journey into Jason’s past and put you at the center of this multimedia event.
After Jason saw Rain, A Tribute to the Beatles he put together his own show with himself in his father’s coveted seat behind the kit. “I loved Rain and its take on The Beatles,” notes Jason. “The way they used a timeline and news reel to create a mood, and crafted set changes throughout, it was stunning.”
JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE will offer an epic and intimate evening – an unforgettable night of rock ‘n’ roll. “I remember when I went to see Led Zeppelin live in 1979 at Knebworth, there were certain songs that stood out to me and will stay with me forever,” Jason recalls. “I will also share other big moments in my life, time with my Dad and my relationship with the band. The show is far from being ‘just another tribute band.’ I want to make the show as personal as I can and show how much Led Zeppelin means to me.”
Look for more information, tour dates and band members to be announced soon.
On This Date in 1980: Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was found dead as a result of asphyxiation from vomiting after excessive vodka consumption the previous night. He was 32 years old.
On September 25, 1982: Queen were the musical guest on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, performing “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Under Pressure.” This was their only live performance on a television program.
On September 25, 1990: Dave Grohl, former drummer for Washington DC based band Scream auditioned to be Nirvana’s new drummer and was offered the job immediately.
Led Zeppelin: Good Times, Bad Times
A Visual Biography of the Ultimate Band
By Jerry Prochnicky & Ralph Hulett
with a foreword by Anthony DeCurtis
Getting free stuff in the mail is fun, especially when that free thing is a huge coffee table book full of pictures of Led Zeppelin, the greatest hard rock band ever in the Universe of all time. I’ve spent a couple of days looking through this amazing and gorgeous book and it has given me a nearly unprecedented series of nostalgic thrills, because I love Led Zeppelin so much. But whether you just dig Led Zeppelin’s music, or you are a total completist collector fan geek for whom the members of Led Zeppelin are gods – like myself – trust me, you will want to own this book. Authors Jerry Prochnicky and Ralph Hulett kick off a fantastic chronological collection of over 200 rare photos with a very complete yet concise introductory overview of Led Zeppelin’s career – from their first gigs as “The New Yardbirds” to John Bonham’s tragic death, and subsequent band reunions featuring Jason Bonham taking his dad’s place behind the kit. So, even if you didn’t previously know anything about Led Zeppelin’s history before picking up Good Times, Bad Times you will be an expert by the time you gaze at a beautiful black & white photo of The New Yardbirds on stage at their very first gig on September 7, 1968 (41 years ago today) at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Copenhagen. History!
No one who lived and rocked through the seventies will deny that it was arguably the best era for Rock & Roll that still had balls; and no band personified The Rock better than Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin! Whether the photo depicts the band onstage, backstage, recording in the studio, on tour, or at home, there are accompanying captions with the details of and history behind each picture. I never get tired of seeing shots of Led Zeppelin on stage and in action. But I really loved seeing pictures of the guys with their wives and kids. I loved seeing pictures of them hanging out with groupies at the Rainbow on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. And I also found a nice shot of Jimmy Page’s Robert Plant’s exceptionally hot ass as he gets out of a pool after being pants’d by John Bonham. Candid!
If I were you, and did not get this book for free in the mail, I would buy it as soon as possible or pre-order it from Amazon.com right now.
Led Zeppelin: Good Times, Bad Times. A Visual Biography of the Ultimate Band will be released on October 1, 2009 with a cover price of $35.00.
Best. Band. Ever.
On This Date in 1980: Led Zeppelin performed their last concert with their original lineup at the Eissporthalle in West Berlin, Germany. Coincidentally, twelve years earlier on his very date, Jimmy Page’s former band, The Yardbirds, broke up, which paved the way for Page to form Zeppelin. I am going to load some Led Zeppelin tunes onto my iPod right now! Led Zeppelin!