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Whole lotta talk about Zeppelin returning to Belfast

Negotiations are going ahead to bring legendary band Led Zeppelin back to Belfast where they first played their class rock hit, Stairway to Heaven for the first time in public, 36 years ago.

Promoter Peter Aiken whose late father Jim brought Zeppelin to the Ulster Hall in 1971, was a guest at the band's one-off comeback gig in London last week and is now talking to singer Robert Plant and the others about a return to the city where big things happened for them nearly four decades ago.

"If Zeppelin go touring as has been suggested I will definitely bring them on an overdue return to Belfast, as they are keen on the idea," Mr Aiken said.

"I will take Robert and Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham, son of the late John Bonham, back for a tour of the Ulster Hall where they first played that famous tune, but this time the concert would have to go on at the Odyssey Arena.

"I hope it happens - just like the Belfast Telegraph forecast it would when the Zeppelin comeback in London was announced in the summer."

Peter Aiken wasn't at the original '71 Zeppelin gig.

"I was only 10 and father decided I was too young and besides I had a lot of studying too do with the 11-Plus just around the corner.

"I'd like to put the comeback concert on just for old time's sake. My dad always talked fondly about Zeppelin's time here.

"The Ulster Hall now would be too small for the return and of course it is closed to the public for refurbishment anyway."

Zeppelin recorded Stairway To Heaven on an album immediately after the 1971 Belfast gig because of the positive reaction of the crowd that night to the song.

On the 30th anniversary of the gig in 2001, there was a reunion of the Zeppelin faithful - complete with tribute band - again at the Ulster Hall.

Led Zeppelin split in 1980 after the death of drummer John Bonham whose place for last week's O2 reunion gig in memory of the band's mentor Ahmet Ertegun, found of Atlantic Records, was taken by his son.


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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

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October xx, 1968 - Led Zeppelin is recorded
October 19, 1968 - Final performance as the New Yardbirds
October 31, 1969 - Led Zeppelin II is released in the US
October 17, 1969 - Bonham is thrilled to play Carnegie Hall where Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa have performed
October 23, 1970 - Led Zeppelin III is released in the US
October xx, 1970 - The press lash out at the band over the Led Zeppelin III acoustic content
October xx, 1971 - Page and Plant venture around Thailand and India after the Japan tour
October 18, 1972 - Zeppelin rehearse at the Rainbow Theater for a UK tour
October xx, 1973 - Each member performs an individual film sequence for their concept film
October 31, 1974 - Swan Song hosts a party for the launch of its UK division
October xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin decide not to tour and concentrate on recording new material
October 20, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same premieres at New York’s Cinema One
October xx, 1977 - Jimmy starts assembling a Led Zeppelin live album from recordings as far back as 1969
October xx, 1978 - Jones and Bonham record with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios
October xx, 1978 - Rehearsals for In Through The Out Door in London
October xx, 1979 - All nine Led Zeppelin albums enter the Billboards Top 200 -- no other band has ever achieved this
October 10, 1980 - A private funeral is held for John Bonham at Rushock church in Worcestershire
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