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Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page on how band’s final remastered works show a Whole Lotta Love for Bollywood

By Pierre Perrone In 1972, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page came up with a master-plan but failed to execute it. “In those days, when you went to Australia, it wasn’t a direct flight. You’d be stopping off in all these cities on the way,” recalls the musician. “I saw a way that, maybe, we could go to Cairo with Led Zeppelin. We could record with an orchestra there. And we could then play the cricket ground in Bombay, and also record in India. And then continue on to Australia. It was a great idea. The only thing was there was no infrastructure to do this sort of thing,” muses Page, 71, who first travelled down under and then on to India in 1967 after joining The Yardbirds, the British beat group that also gave the world guitar heroes Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. “Out of all the popular groups that followed us, the first one to play in Egypt and India was The Police in 1980, years after that. But that was just an idea I had, you know, you try things out,” he says. Harmonically, melodically and psychologically, the Middle East and South Asia regions held a special fascination for many musicians who first came to prominence in the Sixties. The Grateful Dead played three concerts near the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt, in September 1978, while a decade earlier The Beatles and Donovan spent several weeks in Rishikesh, northern India, practising Transcendental Meditation at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Indeed, George Harrison and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones introduced the sitar and the... read more
The Brag: Whole Lotta Love

The Brag: Whole Lotta Love

Most rock’n’roll fans would agree that there ain’t nothing like a good live show. We can sit and pontificate about the illuminating merits of classic records, but a properly exciting live performance trumps all else. However, as the wheels of time keep turning, an increasing number of killer bands will retire from the live arena. Led Zeppelin are one such example. While three of the band’s original members are still alive, they’ve adamantly refused to reform. Laudable as this is, it means generations of Zepophiles will never get to witness them at full strength. This is something Sydney musician Joseph Calderazzo simply couldn’t tolerate, so back in 2003 he conceived the Whole Lotta Love concert. Over the past 12 years, Calderazzo has led an impressive ensemble of musicians in an annual night of Zeppelin celebration. Whole Lotta Love returns this September, with a lineup featuring vocalists Jeff Martin, Sarah McLeod, Dallas Frasca, Frank Lakoudis and Simon Meli of Sydney band The Widowbirds. This is Meli’s sixth year taking part in the onstage Zeppelin worship, and he’s pretty chuffed to be involved. “It’s Led Zeppelin the loudest that you’ll ever hear it, with guys playing it with as much gusto and passion as you would expect from the real thing,” he says. “The State Theatre is no small little pub, so there’s volume, there’s ambience, there’s the architecture, there’s a big lineup of people and they’re all pouring out huge passion for the band. Joseph only gets people involved if they really love Led Zeppelin, otherwise it doesn’t translate. So you’ve got all those people combined walking out onstage year... read more

Aussie mash-up catches Madonna’s eye

An Australian producer’s mash-up video has inspired Madonna to rock out to Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. Tom Compagnoni from NSW, whose online alias is WaxAudio, combined Madonna’s 1990 hit Justify My Love with Led Zeppelin’s 1973 track Whole Lotta Love for one incredibly cool video. It’s so cool, in fact, it prompted Madonna to learn the riff to the Zeppelin track and post a video playing it on her Instagram page. The musical chameleon looked every inch the rock goddess dressed in black trousers, buckled black boots and a zip-up top, with her hair in plaits, and topped off with some fingerless black gloves. “Channelling Led Zeppelin. Whole Lotta Love. #rebelheart,” she posted alongside a video of her making a fine attempt at the infamous rock riff. The video has gained a lot of interest from online news outlets around the world and Compagnoni has even been speaking with Madonna’s guitarist, Monte Pittman, directly about it. “I noticed that Monte Pittman started following me on Twitter and I believe he retweeted the video,” Compagnoni told AAP. Soon after, the NSW producer also noticed that Madge tweeted a video of her playing the riff to the rock song and he knew it couldn’t just be a coincidence. It didn’t take long for Compagnoni to get confirmation of his mash-up’s influence after he reached out on social media. “I sent a message via Twitter to Monte Pittman and he was very friendly and cool, and we got chatting straight away and he said `Yeah, we both watched the mash-up and loved it, and I showed her (Madonna) the riff and... read more

The Rock Pit Interview

Mark Diggins talks to Joseph Calderazzo Mark: This year is 10 years for the ’Whole Lotta Love’ show, it’s a long time, how does it feel to have made it this far? JC: It’s really good. We actually started twelve years ago in a tiny little room in Kings Cross; I used to run an acoustic music night there every Tuesday night. It was a room that held probably 80-100 people, and it was in the back of a bar. It was for original artists, who would come in and do their songs, I had some great artists come through, John Butler and Pete Murray played there, and all these great people, before they became famous. I had this idea of getting about sixteen artists together all on the one night, just for fun, and I thought of getting them all to do a Beatles song, in their own way, and that would glue it all together. So, we did that, and it was a really successful night, and good fun. We ended up doing a couple of Zeppelin shows, totally unplugged, with a couple of violins, a viola and a couple of cellos and it was really cool, and that’s sort of how it started. It started more as a Zeppelin unplugged vibe, and then we took it to The Basement, which is still a small venue, but we were able to go electric, and since going in to the theatres, we’ve been able to bring in multimedia and more musicians, more percussion, more strings sometimes, keyboards, so it’s been able to grow really well. I never thought... read more

Sludge Factory Interview

Robyn Morrison speaks to Joseph Calderazzo about a Whole Lotta Love This year is the tenth anniversary of the Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin Celebration. From its humble beginnings, the show now moves to amazing venues like the State Theatre in Sydney and the Palais in Melbourne. It’s something creative director Joseph Calderazzo could only dream of when he first started this venture. He explains to Robyn Morrison what the tenth anniversary shows will involve and what this year means to him. “I actually started this about twelve years ago at the Iguana Bar in Kings Cross (Sydney). I was running a regular Tuesday nightclub there. It was all done in acoustic mode due to volume restriction. While I was doing that, I had an idea where I could get a special night together so I decided to do THE BEATLES show, then it moved on to doing ZEPPELIN as well. I never imagined I’d be doing this at the big theatres and taking it interstate.” The burning question for a show such as this is how do you decide on a set list to pay tribute to such an iconic band? “I mix it up a bit,” says Calderazzo. “I’ve actually got three new songs in it this year. It’s hard to know what to do with that one. If we change it too much then people say they came because they saw it two years ago and we missed out on the songs they wanted to hear. Then there are those who say it’s the same show again. It’s so hard because there are so many essential... read more

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