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!
Innate ability aside, legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham got a big drum sound by playing big drums. Paying homage to Bonham’s signature, deeply resonant and otherworldly beat from “When the Levee Breaks” for this fantastic clip, “Open My Eyes,” Rival Sons’ drummer Michael Miley plays huge drums in a rather economically configured, three-piece kit while completely nailing Bonham’s nearly inimitable feel. And that should be enough to get any rock fans attention right out of the box. But really, this is just a great, pristinely produced Rock & Roll song by a band that obviously knows its shit.
Reviews I’ve read tag Rival Sons as a “Garage Rock Band,” but to my ears (and based entirely on this track) they sound more like one of the Classic Rock bands of the ’70s that built its foundation on blues and soul influences (Read: Led Zeppelin, Free, Uriah Heep). Just listen to vocalist Jay Buchanan and tell me that he didn’t pick up a few pointers from vocal greats like Steve Marriott, Robert Plant and Paul Rodgers. And just to toss in a comparison from my vault of unknown references, “Open My Eyes” really favorably reminded me of a much-loved-by-me lost track, “California,” from the woefully unsung Unified Theory, which is the band Blind Melon turned into after Shannon Hoon died.
“Open My Eyes” is first single from the album Great Western Valkyrie, due for release on Earache records on June 10th, 2014, which should be well worth checking out. Enjoy!
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.
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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.
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.
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 theaters 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.