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
Forte: Whole Lotta Love

Forte: Whole Lotta Love

Q&A with Amy Findlay No matter who you are or what your taste in music is, chances are you love at least one Led Zeppelin song, or you’ve got some sort of childhood memory attached to their bands. We had a chat to Amy Findlay, drummer for Stonefield, who’s set to perform in the Led Zeppelin celebration show: Whole Lotta Love. So normally you’re playing drums and singing for Stonefield, how did you get on board for the Whole Lotta Love show? A while ago I sang a couple of guest songs for Frank Zappa cover band Petulant Frenzy.One of the guys from that band is friends with the organiser of the Whole Lotta Love shows and put us in touch. It’s been a very different experience for me. I am so used to singing my own songs, so there is a lot of pressure when performing Led Zeppelin songs for hardcore fans! It’s also a lot of fun and an honour to sing some of my favourite songs. And the rest of Stonefield weren’t interested in the part? The way the show works is that they have a great band for the whole show and rotate guest vocalists. It makes for a really entertaining, exciting show. I guess being a vocalist opens me up for a lot more opportunities like this. It must be pretty great knowing you’re a part of such a well-respecting and long-running national show? For sure, I feel totally honoured to have been asked in the first place. The musicians I get to sing with are pretty phenomenal! Growing up were you always a big fan... read more

Remembering The First Time

Do you remember the first time you heard a recording by Led Zeppelin. If you are my vintage it would have been in the late 60’s, and it would have been either on radio (AM only – this was well before the advent of FM in Australia), or on vinyl LP (it was also way before cassette, CD, Mini-Disc etc.) Earlier this year, under the watchful eye of Jimmy Page, the first three Zeppelin albums were remastered and re-released. However this time round the formats of choice are a little more varied, with a variety of packages available encompassing Vinyl (high quality 180gram pressing), CD and High-Definition download. This was the first release of the entire nine studio albums which will be re-released over time (the next two are due in October), and which also includes a considerable repertoire of previously unreleased material. The fact that Vinyl features so heavily in this release is probably not surprising to many, the return of vinyl as a format has been well documented by the press in recent times. What is significant is that irrespective of how cherished the memories of your first introduction to Zeppelin is, you now have the opportunity to revisit their music at performance levels never available before. Before you correctly surmise that given the march of technology this should be expected you need to remember that ours is an industry that insists on striving for increased convenience at the expense of performance. The claims that CD was an inferior format to vinyl are justified. Cassette was a further step backwards, but nowhere near the giant leap backwards... read more

Jimmy Page

Australian Guitar’s Craig White goes behind the curtain for a unique look at the life and legacy of Led Zeppelin immortal guitar genius, Jimmy Page. The story of Led Zeppelin and ace guitarist Jimmy Page has been recounted so often that we have to assume anyone reading a guitar magazine is familiar with at least the basic details. Formed in the wake of the Yardbirds, and for a short period billed as the New Yardbirds, the band would come to be called Led Zeppelin, which was a jokey name attributed to Keith Moon that compared their imagined reception to the fate of a lead balloon, though on a much grander scale. The spelling was altered at the suggestion of manager Peter Grant so that Americans would not pronounce it as if it rhymed with ‘feed’. Page and bassist John Paul Jones were accomplished London session hands, while vocalist Robert Plant and stickman John Bonham were from the West Midlands and had played together previously. The chemistry was there from the first moment, and the band would go on to record six era-defining albums in as many years, each of which the All Music Guide rates as a five-star effort. The band is widely regarded as the prime progenitor of modern hard rock music and the myriad genres that have derived from it. Page produced the recordings and devised recording techniques that lent Led Zeppelin albums a unique vibe that has rarely been emulated successfully. He insisted on regularly switching recording engineers so that it would be clear that Page alone was responsible for the signature sound. His influence on... read more

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