If you’ve read any of my blog posts, then you probably already know that I love cooking. But what you may not know is a passion of mine that formed long before I ever started cooking. I love, that’s with a capital L-O-V-E Led Zeppelin – the greatest rock band of all time. I would say I have Zeppelin running through my blood. I’ve been a Zeppelin fan since I was a kid. I don’t remember exactly when, but I first heard my brother playing Black Dog while tinkering on his old mustang in the garage when I was 9 or 10 years old and I have been hooked ever since. I explored other songs on that great fourth album and then listened to all the Zeppelin I could get my little hands on. One of my favorite gifts ever is the Led Zeppelin Complete Studio Recordings 10 disc box set I received for Christmas from my husband back when we were dating. I even made sure that a few of my favorite Zeppelin songs were played at our wedding reception. Since the DJ didn’t have all the tunes on disc, I let them use some of mine. I remember dragging my brother Cliff to the dance floor to join me to dance to Thank You. I’m sure he was embarrassed and it’s not really an easy song to dance to, but it was toward the end of the evening and I don’t think too many were even paying attention. It was my way of telling him thank you for just being him and introducing me to some really great music when I was young. Not just any music, gooooood music like CCR, Temple Of The Dog, Aerosmith, Zeppelin and more.
In my eyes, there’s never been a band who compares to Zeppelin’s consistent powerhouse of pure talent. The four legendary members of Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and Robert Plant) each arrived with gifts of awesome unheard of skills and when they formed together, the band was spectacular. They were something special and an innovative rock band intertwining multiple music genres. The perfect mesh of blues, folk, psychedelic rock, metal, and good ole’ rock and roll. This expansive musical versatility resulted in a vast catalogue of songs that stands the test of time. I never grow tired of the songs. I think I’ve pretty much had the song The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair running on repeat in my crazy head since the late 90’s when I first heard it on the BBC Sessions disc. Ha! I get excited with the possibility of hidden tracks and recordings being discovered and my girls definitely know who the greatest band of all time is and love to have little dance parties while I crank up some Zeppelin.
Since I just happened to be born a little too late to experience Led Zeppelin during the height of the band’s career and the band dismembered in 1980 soon after John Bonham’s death and any hope of reunion performances with the remaining three Jones, Plant and Page dwindles as the years go on. My chance of seeing the band live is probably not happening in my lifetime. I was supposed to see Robert Plant in Chicago last spring, but the concert was cancelled at the last-minute because he was ill and we couldn’t go on the rescheduled date. Maybe one day I will be able to see him live on stage but I know any reunion performance or solo from Plant or Page it will not be the same Led Zeppelin that I love so much. They are not the same without their Bonzo and trying to play those tracks after his death is nearly impossible on many levels. The remaining members have their own evolving music and artistry that has gone beyond the Led Zeppelin catalogue. They choose to continue to honor the integrity of the band and their lost band member John Bonham.
Last week I went to see Get The Led Out. They are a Led Zeppelin tribute band out of Philadelphia, PA. The group consists of Paul Sinclair on lead vocals and harmonica, Paul Hammond on guitar and mandolin, Jimmy Marchiano on guitar and vocals, Phil D’Augostino on bass guitar and vocals, Adam Ferraioli on on drums and percussion, Andrew Lipke on keyboard, guitar, percussion, and vocals. The band also includes Diana DeSantis, a guest female vocalist. I knew they were coming to our area and I was curious what they would be like. Would I be disappointed? Would they try to imitate the mighty Zeppelin and mock the great band that I love? Would they do their own spin on the songs and try to make them their own? I figured it would be worth checking out and I couldn’t pass up the chance, so we went. I avoided reading or listening to any clips of Get The Led Out. I wanted to check them out do the deciding in person without any prior influence. The show was in an old historic theater in a nearby town and the size of the venue was ideal. I like smaller venues so you can really experience the artists and feel a part of the music. Our seats were right in the middle of the lower main floor section and they were great. We were far enough back that we could see the whole picture and still close enough we could see the details on their faces and passion they have for performing. First impressions: Amazing! From the moment they opened up the show with the high energy track of Rock and Roll and immediately blew me away, I was overcome with emotion and couldn’t help but crying tears of joy. This was the closest I will ever get to a live experience of the great Led Zeppelin.
The musical talent of Get The Led Out and apparent respect for keeping the sounds true to the original recordings of Zeppelin are evident. They did a fantastic job of performing them just as they were written. I know these songs. I’ve listened to them countless times. I know the pauses, the melodies, the tempos. I know the tonal fluctuations, the way Plant draws out and his voice almost breaks at the end of the word “love” at the end of the first verse of Hey Hey What Can I do. Sinclair did this spot on. I was impressed. I think Sinclair’s tone sounds different from Plant, but it’s not a bad thing. He’s really great and can both belt it out and have the tender soft tone when needed as well. He does the lead vocals well and knows how the songs were meant to be sung. Get The Led Out strives to perform the songs as they were written. One thing that impressed me was the pure talent of each band member. These are difficult tracks to play and these guys know their stuff. Like a lot of bands, Led Zeppelin’s songs sounded different live because they were able to overdub multiple instruments and vocals into the recording while in the studio and when live on stage, this wasn’t possible with just four band members. Get The Led Out takes it all the way and performs the songs so they sound like the studio recordings. They have a few more members than Zeppelin so they can do all the layering of sounds and vocals live right there in front of you and the result is pretty awesome! When you watch them perform Dazed and Confused, you can see all the cool techniques they play with to get the sound just right. From hitting the big hits like Kashmir, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused and many others, Get The Led Out showed their true love for the whole Zeppelin experience by playing a not so familiar rockabilly tune – Hot Dog. I loved it! My favorite part of the evening was shortly after intermission when they played Moby Dick. It’s one of my very favorites and I did not expect this one to be tackled. When Sinclair announced Moby Dick was going to be played, I squealed with delight. Yes, you can hear it on my video. If you don’t know the song, it’s a long instrumental that features the crazy drum skills of John Bonham. It’s hard to describe. It’s not the type of drum solo that just seems to go on and on without any direction. This solo begins and ends with guitar and drums, but the middle is all drums. To me, it’s like a train that slows and goes around bends and then picks up speed and blows your mind. Andrew Lipke of Get The Led Out did an outstanding performance. It was around 12 minutes and I recorded the entire thing! Man, that takes a lot of practice and endurance to play the one and only Moby Dick. If you are a Zep fan, then you can see why The Girl I Love and Moby Dick are two of my favorites. The guitar riff on the two are very similar and the bluesy tone speaks to my soul and I just love it. Get The Led Out puts on a great show! No band can ever replace my love for the mighty Zep, but Get The Led Out does Zeppelin’s legacy justice. They enrich my love and appreciate for Zeppelin all over again. They bring the music to life for those of us who were born a little late in Zeppelin years and they are helping to carry on this iconic music to younger generations.
Click HERE to view a video of some of my favorite moments from the Get The Led Out Show. I hope you will check it out. Please disregard my annoying off-key singing and screams of excitement.