The two words ‘Led’ and ‘Zeppelin’ conjure up something rather special in rock music. Unlike many other legendary rock giants, this British heavy R&B band strangely doesn’t have a ‘grand-daddy’ tag attached to it. This strangeness spares the generation contemporary to Messrs Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones from cringing each time ‘today’s kids’ say, “Never heard of them.”
Because whether it’s the i-Pod dangling Eminem fan or the hips-at-the-heels Linkin Park aficionado, everyone knows ‘Led Zep’.
As is the case for any band that disbanded over a quarter of a century ago (when drummer Bonham died in 1980 after a bout of over-drinking), chances of their reunion are seen, at best, to be slim and, at worst, to be a money-making, nostalgia-jerking racket. It’s hard to tell how the surviving members, Plant, Page and Jones, with Jason Bonham (the late John’s drummer son borrowed from the band, Foreigner) joining in will fare later today as they play for the first time since 1988 (when they played at the 40th anniversary concert for Atlantic Records with disappointing consequences). But the fact that Plant and Page have been playing rather superlative music of their own — as well as covers of Led Zep — since then, gives us hope that the London concert to honour the late executive of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegün will be the Big ’Un.
What a whole lotta love it will be if it does work out well. For it’s been a long time since they rocked’n’rolled — together.