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Listen: The 1969 Album Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham Recorded Before 'Led Zeppelin'

Three Week Hero
Our recent story about Jimmy Page's five best guitar solos as a member of the Yardbirds got us thinking about another legendary pre-Led Zeppelin recording featuring Page.

This project, however, features all four members of Led Zeppelin - Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham - recording together before there even was a Led Zeppelin.

While still in "New Yardbirds" mode, the four pre-Zeps took part in the August 1968 recording sessions for P.J. Proby's 1969 album, Three Week Hero.

As Dangerous Minds recently wrote, Page and Jones were successful session musicians at this point, and when Jones got the Proby gig, he invited his fellow New Yardbirds along. The Dangerous Minds story also quotes Jones as saying, "I was committed to doing all the arrangements for the album. As we were talking about rehearsing at the time, I thought it would be a handy source of income. I had to book a band anyway, so I thought I'd book everybody I knew."

The sessions started August 25, 1968, and led to an album that didn't cause much of a stir when it was released the following April.

"The boys told me they were going over to play in San Francisco and all that, and I said, 'Look, from what I've heard and the way you boys played tonight, not only are you not going to be my backing band, I'm going to say goodbye right now, because I don't think I'm ever going to see you again'," Proby says in the DM story.

"'That's how successful you're going to be. You're exactly what they want, you play all that psychedelic stuff and everything.' I said, 'You're going to go over there and go down so great I don't think you're ever going to come home.' They didn't ever come back until they changed their name to Led Zeppelin and stayed over there and came back huge huge stars. ... I said goodbye that day when I cut that album, and I haven't seen one of them since."

Check out some samples from the album (and a non-album B-side) below.

"Jim's Blues"

Is there any doubt this is Led Zeppelin? This is part of the eight-minute medley that closed the album. I admit, this track really "shook me" ... all night long.



"The Day That Lorraine Came Down"

Here's track two from the Proby album, which was released on CD in 1994. It's easy to picture Plant on vocals - not that there's anything wrong with Proby's voice.



"Mery Hopkins Never Had Days Like These"

Here's a non-album B-side from the same sessions. This song is interesting because Proby calls out each member of the band, who then plays a little solo, starting with bassist John Paul Jones. By the way, for a little more info about about the album, check out the Dangerous Minds story and good ol' Wikipedia. (PS: It seems the word "Mery" in the song title is supposed to be spelled like that; it's obviously a fun reference to then-popular Welsh singer Mary Hopkin.)



From: Guitar World
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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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