Led Zeppelin Pro Edition Pinball Game (All Images Courtesy of Stern Pinball)
Do you like Led Zeppelin? I sure do. If you’re also a collector looking for a bit of Led Zeppelin memorabilia that (probably) no one you know already has, and you have several thousand dollars at hand, maybe you want to enhance the decor of your home Media Room with the addition of a Led Zeppelin Pinball Game? If so, Stern Pinball has just released three different models: and to own one, all you need is cash.
Formed in London in 1968, Led Zeppelin consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. Together they became one of the best-selling bands with estimated record sales of 300 million units worldwide. In 1995 Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their innovative and influential impact on the entire music industry. Now, they have their own Pinball Machines! Led Zeppelin!
Some of you who have been fans for a while may know that, back in the day before I wrote about Rad Art and Delicious Food, I used to interview famous Rock Stars at a pretty steady clip and then publish those interviews across the globe. Those days are long gone, of course, but sometimes traces of my previous life live on!
A former Rock Journalist colleague of mine, Hank Bordowitz, has recently published a book of more than fifty collected interviews (from 1957 to 2012) with all four members of Led Zeppelin, appropriately entitled Led Zeppelin on Led Zeppelin, and it is just a fantastic read. The best thing about this book, however, it that my rad interview with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, conducted in his NYC Hotel Room in Spring of 2002 has made its way into this fine Rock Tome.
Hank was kind enough to send me a copy of the published book and I was so excited to see my interview in there that I read it right away, and then I made a little squee. Let me tell you, it is a really terrific interview — and if mine is that great, imagine how excellent some of the others must be that were conducted by people who were fortunate enough to be able to make a living writing about music and didn’t have to get a day job working for the man. Led Zeppelin!
RR Auction, an Amherst, NH-based company is proud to present unreleased studio mixes of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 album Physical Graffiti, from the Ron Nevison Collection, as part of its Marvels of Modern Music auction coming up on March 13th, 2014.
Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail
The vintage 10″ tape reel of rough studio mixes, recorded on Ampex 406 quarter-inch tape, is labeled and hand-notated with the track listing and recording data. The track listing includes:
Client: Led Zeppelin, Subject: Rough Mixes, Engineer: R. N., Date: 28-2-74, Location: Headley, Speed: 15, Reel: 2.
Song titles and times are listed as follows:
“Trampled Underfoot” — 5:40
“Driving to Kashmir” — 8:50
“Custard Pie” — 4:20
“In the Light (Everyone Makes It Then) ” — 7:18
“Swan Song—Part 1” —1:20 and “Swan Song — Part 2” —1:20
The recording sessions for Physical Graffiti initially took place in November 1973 at Headley Grange, using Ronnie Lane’s Mobile Studio. Out of fifteen songs, eight were recorded over an eight-month stretch. Led Zeppelin made the decision of adding previously unreleased songs instead of dropping some, eventually, making it a double album. However, these sessions came to a halt quickly and the studio time was turned over to the band Bad Company, who used it to record songs for their eponymous debut album.
A highlight of the lot is an early rough mix of one of Led Zeppelin’s most popular songs “Kashmir,“ named “Driving to Kashmir,” in this mix. Jimmy Page well known for his use of alternative guitar tunings along with John Bonham’s drums that featured a phasing effect courtesy of an Eventide Instant Phaser PS-101, supplied by engineer Ron Nevison for the track. The song would become a concert staple for the group – they would perform it at almost every concert after its release.
Also included in the Ron Nevison Collection:
Rough mixes from Bad Company’s debut album recorded in Ronnie Lane’s mobile studio at Headley Grange, including their first hit, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.”
Vintage “rough mix” 10″ tape reel of four songs from Clapton’s 1973 album, Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert, includes Mixes of ‘Layla’ and ‘Let It Rain.’
Other artists featured include: The Who, Flo and Eddie, Ozzy Osbourne and UFO.
The Marvels of Modern Music auction, from RR Auction will feature more than 800 items and is set to begin on Thursday, March 13th, ending on the evening of Thursday, March 20th, 2014. See the other museum quality pieces up for auction at This Link.
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.
Back when I used to eek out a few bucks writing about music, one particularly hard ass editor accused me of being “not a real Rock Critic.” This was likely due to my unwillingness to indulge in the widespread practice of pondering the sociopolitical leanings of a band in the context of a record review rather than just basing my critique on how the music sounded to me. I never really got that approach. I’m not interested in reading paragraphs of turgid, impenetrable prose and rock-crit wankery. Just tell me how the music sounds so I know if I want to buy the record.
Along those lines, The Sheepdogs are a band that’s easy for me to write about, because their music sounds amazing. This Canadian Classic Rock quartet (who in 2011 won a contest making them the first unsigned act ever to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine) have three independent albums under their belts and an EP released on Atlantic last year, but this record is their major label debut (produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys), and it’s beyond impressive.
“Laid Back” and “Feeling Good,” the first two tracks on the disc set the tone for the entire album: This is an exceptionally great feeling album of groove heavy tunes performed by a band that embraces an extremely lyrical approach to their playing. Lead singer Ewan Currie (whose voice has been compared to The Guess Who’s Burton Cummings) delivers the kind of quietly confident, effortlessly powerful vocal performance that is the mark of true natural talent. Guitarist Leot Hansen is doing wildly innovative stuff on the guitar while paying homage to tone masters such as George Harrison (“Never Gonna Get My Love”), Duane Allman (“Javelina!”) and of course Jimmy Page (“Sharp Sounds”). He’s amazing. Drummer Sam Corbett varies his drum feels to serve the song and his rhythm section partner, bassist Ryan Gullen holds down the bottom end while layering in adhesive hooks. This means that The Sheepdogs are just as vibrant and tight live as they are on disc, and you can’t say that about many acts these days.
What’s most impressive about The Sheepdogs is the band’s ability to integrate their influences so seamlessly that the songs are instantly familiar without sounding derivative. “Is Your Dream Worth Dying For?” feels pleasantly infused with tiny reminiscences of Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw The Light”, “While We’re Young” comes off like a revamped version of “Shapes of Things” and “In My Mind” captures the same kind of transcendent, euphoric quality as a song like Cream’s “Badge” without sounding anything like that song. As an aside, at least half these tracks indicate that The Sheepdogs should have a ready-made fan base in anyone who ever cited The Grateful Dead as a favorite band.
In their review of The Sheepdogs, Rolling Stone wrote, “Listening to the Sheepdogs is like having good luck finding classic rock stations on a long road trip.” I agree with that sentiment, but to me it feels fresher than that: as if it were possible travel back in time and actually hear new songs from a ‘70s band. It’s a refreshing reminder that the most vital benchmark of what constitutes good music is (or should be) that the music just sounds good.
Apparently, Jimi Hendrix Always Dressed Like This (all Post Photos By Gail, Click any Image to Enlarge)
Every picture tells a story. During his career, Photographer Barrie Wentzell collected an endless cache of unheard stories from and about many of rock’s greatest legends that would blow your head right off. From 1965 to 1975 – certainly one of the (if not the) most vibrant and fertile decades for Rock & Roll music and culture — Wentzell shot both live performance and candid, intimate photographs of everyone who was anyone: from Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles to The Kinks and Led Zeppelin for the UK weekly music rag, Melody Maker.
John Entwistle and Pete Townshend During Recording Sessions for Tommy
His pay was about 20 pounds per week, but Wentzell will tell you even today that his dream gig during the Golden Age of Rock & Roll was never about the money; it was about the experiences he had with these artists.
An Early Incarnation of Yes
Right now, you can view a small portion of Wentzell’s extensive and wildly impressive career legacy at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in the comprehensively entitled exhibit, Melody Maker: The Best Years, 1965-1975, The Photography of Barrie Wentzell. Most of these pictures have never been published or viewed by the public. In fact, Wentzell admitted that, prior to staging the exhibit, he’d not viewed the majority of these photos since he first took them. And that is just shame, because his pictures are transcendent.
Ray Davies Plays Pool
Pete Townshend & Friends
I have seen many, many great rock photography exhibits and I must say that this is the first one where the words “Fine Art Rock Photography” – which is what Morrison Hotel Gallery is known for – really resonated with me when experiencing Barrie Wentzell’s photos. The oddest reaction I had was while silently gazing at a black and white photo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, taken while both were still in their early 20s. They just looked so young and unjaded, with their entire lives and careers ahead of them. I thought about the first Elton John songs I ever heard, like “Mona Lisa’s and Mad Hatters,”“Mad Man Across the Water” and “Sixty Years On.” And unexpected tears of deep nostalgia welled up in my eyes. It was embarrassing to dork out in public like that, but it was also such an amazing feeling to be so fully transported back to a time when Rock Stars meant everything to me. Barrie Wentzell’s work is truly as magical as the music of that era.
Read more about Barrie Wentzell, and view some of the photos in this do-not-miss show, at This Link.
Morrison Hotel Gallery is Located at 116 Prince Street (Loft) and 124 Prince Street (Store Front) in NYC’s Greenwich Village.
This Photo of Led Zeppelin In Concert Fully Captures the Energy of the Performance in a Static Medium. Amazing.