Led Zepp-again?

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

So word has it that the mighty Zepp is set to tour again!  One small problem, or at the very least some assured controversy: minus iconic frontman Robert Plant.

I spent some time yesterday reading a few blog posts, but focused mostly on the voluminous fan commentary.   The overwhelming consensus was NEGATIVE, but for different reasons.  Many accused Jimmy Page of “selling out” whilst others accused Robert Plant of being “callous”…  as if rejoining was obligatory?  Amazing…  Many aficionados argued that Led Zeppelin died with John Bonham (1980), or that Robert Plant was no longer capable of delivering the demanding vocal range.   Of course, many pointed out the less than stellar prior Zeppelin reunions, even calling into question Plant’s performance at the 2007 London 02 tribute concert for Atlantic Records Chairman Ahmet Ertegün.

First, I must acknowledge that experiencing Led Zeppelin “live” was way up there on my bucket list because I was too young to see them in their prime.  When the London 02 concert was announced, I knew I was going to attend, regardless of cost – and I did! I figured the likelihood of an immediate follow-up tour was fairly low, and that a lot could happen during ensuing years including looming senior citizen status for a few of the gents.  Today, my decision to attend continues to appear more like an investment than an expenditure!

By all accounts, the London 02 show was a brilliant performance, but I can tell you first hand that it was an even more powerful experience.   As for Robert Plant singing out of key… rubbish.   Not only is pitch correctable with technology – employed by nearly all live artists – but the acoustics in that size of auditorium makes it indiscernible to human ears.

Live performance creates a unique experience – it is a real-time interaction between the band and its audience.  For Zeppelin, the persona and presence of Robert Plant is an immutable part of the equation – the song remains the same, but the experience does not.   Fact is everyone is entitled to their opinion on this, but speaking for myself, I had the same reaction with the Paul Rodgers/Queen team-up…  Sure, they played Queen’s music, but it wasn’t Queen without Freddie.  And it’s not just limited to rock bands: talk to anyone who experienced The Phantom of the Opera with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman.

For whatever reason, it appears Robert Plant will not be a part of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour, and I would encourage people to give him some benefit of doubt on this one.  Perhaps he shares the opinion of world renowned marketing guru, Seth Godin: “Be Exceptional or Quit“…  Whatever his reason, I not only admire his resolve, but also respect it.

That said, I really really hope the London O2 show eventually gets pressed into a DVD!  It was an amazing EXPERIENCE, and oh yeah, the music was pretty f*cking good too!

A sad day for Zeppelin fans!

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Well, it seems this was too fresh off the press… The Sun published an article claiming that Robert Plant had agreed to rejoin his band mates for Led Zeppelin reunion tour next summer (‘09)…

Full Article from The Sun, UK

But now, this is apparently being disputed by the Man himself…

Robert Plant sets the record straight

I was one of the very fortunate few that attended the Dec ‘07 London O2 show, and let me again reiterate that I have never experienced anything remotely close – and I’ve seen my fair share.   It goes without saying that this is unfortunate news, but not really a surprise as Robert Plant has never swayed publicly on this topic.  Nevertheless, still unfortunate because millions of adoring fans have been anxiously awaiting official word, one way or another…

With news like this, I continue to reflect on my 02/London concert experience as a wise investment vs. a frivolous expenditure!

Spring Concerts

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Managed to squeeze in two fairly diverse concert performances this month: Rush and Hiromi. Rush, of course, is the world renowned PROG powerhouse that have captivated their loyal fans for over 30 years. But make no mistake, these boys truly get better with time. I’ve had the privilege of seeing them perform on numerous occasions, but the LA show at the Nokia Theatre was a standout! The Nokia is relatively new concert hall certainly more famous for hosting American Idol than Rush and provides world class acoustics.

Click to Expand/Collapse Rush at the Nokia…

Click here to Expand/Collapse Hiromi at Ronnie Scott’s…

I am a professional hobbyist when it comes to this.   Though my relationship with the piano began at a young age, I only recently pulled off the gloves to rekindle it and haven’t looked back since.   This was partly inspired by huge advancements in music production technology now available to all  – and from the comfort and privacy of your home!   I’ve never subscribed much to job titles so I won’t attempt to label my genre.  Besides, composing music mirrors life in that there are really only two ways to write a song: your way, and the wrong way. 

Thank you for your interest and encouragement.