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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

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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