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Perhaps you didn't catch the big rock and roll news from yesterday, but it's true, Led Zeppelin will be reuniting. As exciting as that is, don't get your hopes up too much, (or perhaps do), as at this time it will only be for a one time tribute show to legendary Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun in the 02 Arena in London on November 26, 2007. The lineup will be the remaining three original members of the band, Plant, Page and Jones, with Jason Bonham (son of John Bohnam) on drums.
Originally the band had planned only a short set of material. Apparently though, once rehearsals kicked in felt they could play a full two hour set to headline the event, which will also feature Pete Townsend, Foreigner, and a few other UK artists. All the proceeds of the event will go to the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which provides music and liberal arts scholarships. If you're in London, or willing to travel, and are looking to go to this event you better act fast (aka by the time I'm reading this it's already too late) and have a bit of luck. Tickets are ONLY being sold though www.ahmettribute.com, so beware of scams. The site had already crashed due to excessive traffic when I tried to get through only a few hours after the announcement had been made and has been down every time I've checked since. Also, with only a set number of tickets available and demand so high, there will be a lottery where names will be chosen at random, and a limit of 2 per household.
First of all, this is spectacular news.
With Led Zeppelin as number 2 on my list of all time favorite bands, I don't think anyone is more excited about seeing them back together again as me. I happened to catch Robert Plant on Soundstage a few years back where he played a few Zeppelin songs including "No Quarter", "Gallow's Pole" and of course "Whole Lotta Love". If that performance is any indication Plant, can still command a stage and rock out, even if he might not be able to hit those high "Immigrant Song" open shrieks as well as he did when he was younger. Each of the Zeppelin songs from that show (and the rest of his set as well actually) was stellar. They were also distinctly different from the 70s era live takes, which some fans might not like, but I thought was great. I certainly don't expect this upcoming tribute show will be like the 70s heyday Zeppelin reborn on stage either, and no one should. Still, the songwriting is still as spectacular as ever, and each of the original members is an incredibly creative and talented musician. Those two things combined should result in an amazing show. Plus, I think that no matter how old they get, the unique chemistry that originally made Led Zeppelin great will always be there and come through in new ways to create great music and take their songs to new places.
I sure hope that the tribute show is televised, or released in some form.
That's one of the things those of us who are not lucky enough to attend this show can hope for: television footage or Internet released footage of this performance... perhaps even a DVD, which would be a great addition to the Led Zeppelin DVDs that are out. Zeppelin fans should check out the new collectors edition of The Song Remains the Same, which will be out November 20, 2007, right before the show. Maybe that will help make up for missing this reunion...or just make us wish we were there that much more.
We can also hope that the incredible demand for tickets will perhaps inspire the band for a few more gigs? Preferably one in Chicago? Keep your fingers crossed. And if anyone of the readers of the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll gets through and has tickets... shoot me an email either now or after the show. I'd love to hear what people thought and might even post your review.
I think just about every Led Zeppelin fan in the world will want to at least try to get tickets, even though it looks futile at this point. Take a look at http://www.ahmettribute.com and see if you can get through. It took all day of trying for me to even see the site... it's been that flooded with traffic.
A ticket or two will probably end up on eBay as well, if you want to try for that... I don't think I'll be able to afford it. I once saw U2 tickets sell for $1000+ each, on eBay. I can only imagine what Zeppelin tickets will fetch.
Jimmy Page is also supposed to tour with Jeff Beck and the Yardbirds this year. Although this wouldn't be the same as a Led Zeppelin show, it would still be amazing to see in my opinion and is something to keep an eye out for it they're going to be around your area.
UPDATE: This concert has unfortunately had to be postponed because Jimmy Page fractured a finger. Instead it will take place on Dec 10th 2007.
Also, make sure to check out the new DVD release I mentioned as it looks like a good one. You can pre order, and eventually order it from Amazon directly here: Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same (Collector's Edition)