Opeth: 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Led Zeppelin
Every metal band on the planet owes a debt to Led Zeppelin.
Without Led and their unprecedented heavy, guitar-driven sound, metal and other forms of hard rock quite simply might not exist. What’s certain is that rock and roll wouldn’t be the same.
And despite earning a legacy of their own since forming in 1990 – and arguably making the best metal album of 2014 – Sweden’s Opeth is no exception to that rule.
To commemorate the arrival of the Led Zeppelin catalogue for lossless streaming, Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt asked 10 rhetorical trivia questions about Led Zeppelin’s history, and then cheekily answered them himself.
10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Led Zeppelin
1. In the beginning, Led Zeppelin was known by a different name. What was it?
The ”New” Yardbirds. Together with Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page first gained himself a international career with the Yardbirds. The new name came from Keith Moon – famous wild man drummer of the Who – who suggested the band would go over like a ”lead balloon.” The name was thus changed to Led Zeppelin, with the “a” omitted in order to prevent people from mispronouncing it as “leed.”
2. Jimmy Page approached several singers for the position in Led Zeppelin. Who were they?
A few actually. Page had a fascination for singers that could belt it out and approached legends like Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad company), Steve Marriott (Small Faces, Humble Pie), Stevie Winwood (Traffic, Blind Faith) and, most famously, Terry Reid. All turned him down, while the latter recommended a young, unknown Brummie lad called Robert Plant.
3. Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page had a famous falling out regarding a particular song that was recorded by both Led and the Jeff Beck Group within a month of each other. What was the song?
They both did versions of ”You Shook Me” which was written by Willie Dixon and popularized by Muddy Waters in 1962. The versions appeared on Beck’s 1968 album Truth, and on Zeppelin I, released January 1969.
4. Between 2009 and 2010, Led bassist John Paul Jones was involved in a project with Dave Grohl (Foo fighters, Nirvana) and Josh Homme (Queens of the stone age, Kyuss). What were they called?
Them Crooked Vultures. Their self-titled debut, and only album to date, came out in November 2009.
5. The gorgeous song “The Battle of Evermore” features a legendary female folk singer. What was her name and which band did she gain international success with?
Sandy Denny from Fairport Convention. She also had minor success with the Strawbs and Fotheringay.
6. The cottage known as Bron-Yr-Aur was Page and Plant’s equivalent to Abba’s little writing den in the Stockholm Archipelago. Where was Bron-Yr-Aur located?
Wales, in the outskirts of Machynlleth.
7. Jimmy Page is known to have a fascination with a legendary British occultist, to the extent that he acquired said person’s famous Boleskine estate on the banks of Loch Ness, Scotland. Who is the occultist?
Aleister Crowley, who founded the religious philosophy of Thelema in the early 20th century.
8. Led Zeppelin swiftly became one of the biggest bands of the ’70s, with their extravagant lifestyle and hectic schedule finding them traveling by their own private jet. What was the name for this infamous aircraft?
The Starship, a Boeing 720 fitted with revolving armchairs, beds, a bar, couches and a Hammond organ.
9. Led Zeppelin’s final studio album ‘In Through The Out Door’ was recorded where?
In Abba’s then-state-of-the-art Polar Studios in Kungsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden in 1979. It is now, rather sadly, operated by SATS [Swedish gym chain] – yet another place for fitness, and not rock and roll.
10. Drummer John Bonham passed away in 1980. Where did Bonham’s last show with Led take place?
At Eissporthalle arena in Berlin, Germany in July 1980. It is, however, a common misconception that their last shows took place at Knebworth, U.K., where Led Zeppelin performed two rather legendary concerts the same year.
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