can one say but to revel in the sounds and overwhelming power of the greatest drummer Rock n' Roll has ever produced!! Robert's stratospheric voice and interpretive prowess never ceases to amaze me. Robert has a great sense of feel and poetry in his music and lyrics....having been influenced by Elvis, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Donovan, Tim Rose and Jimi Hendrix. He continues to stretch his musical boundaries with each successive album and has made the Zeppelin heritage an important part of his career.
John Paul Jones is the consummate musician, arranger and the glue that held the band together. His sense of rhythm and love of R&B and funk made for a supremely tight sound with Bonhams magical bass drum pedal!! His keyboard playing is masterful and had a strong classical influence (I found out later one of his and my favorite composers is Rachmaninoff ). The band as a whole had this strong English folk influence which was a thread that ran through much of their music.
Since each member of Zep was such a perfect compliment to each other, one cannot imagine their music being played by anything less than the original.
Shaping the Sound of a Generation
In 1963 I was on a session at PYE studios in London assisting Bob Auger in recording a tough new rock band called the Kinks. This was my first exposure to really loud amps and they really blew me away!! When it came time for the lead guitar parts Shel Talmy (their American producer) wanted the best rock guitarist on the scene, which happened to be Jimmy Page. My next encounter with Mr. Page was at Olympic Studios in 1967 when he was still with the Yardbirds, but for hire as one of the top session guys in town. I was recording a track for Donovan and Micky Most, the producer, had hired the top gun, Jimmy Page for the gig. The song we were recording was "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and Page's distinct fuzz tone and wailing guitar can be heard all over the record. I was also fortunate to meet and befriend John Baldwin (later John Paul Jones) who was the session bass player and pop arranger during the time I was at Olympic. He used to arrive at the session wheeling in his Ampeg B15 bass amp, with the charts under one arm and his Fender bass over the other, plug in, stand up on the conductors rostrum and proceed to conduct the entire 60 piece orchestra with the bass in his hand.!! I remember going over to Jones's flat one day just before the release of Zeps 1st album in early '68. I thought the album stunning and incredibly heavy. I asked Jonesy what was the name of the band and he said "Led Zeppelin". My reply was ... "That's the dumbest name I have ever heard of"… boy was I ever wrong..!!
In 1969 Zeppelin was on a major tour of the US and I was asked to record some new tracks, do some overdubs and mix the whole of the Zeppelin II album, which we did in two days at A&R Studios in NYC. Subsequently I recorded 5 more of their albums including: "Houses of the Holy", "Physical Graffiti", "The Song Remains the Same", "Coda", "How the West Was Won".
I have always been a huge admirer of Led Zeppelin, their music, the way they played with a ferocious attack in one moment and the next could be the complete dynamic opposite. Jimmy Page was an enjoyable challenge to work with in the studio..very demanding and particular with a specific vision in mind for the end goal. He reminded me of Jimi Hendrix in many ways with his amazing concentration and vast knowledge of his musical roots. As for "Bonzo" what else