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The Band Of Joy

The Band Of Joy by Harry Barber

The Band Of Joy is not only a band name or an album title, it is now a book, written and self-published by Harry Barber, roadie for at least three incarnations of the band. The book offers excellent first-person experiences from a source as close as one could get to the band.

The Band Of Joy formed out of the ashes of many other bands as these guys were already career musicians at young ages, Robert Plant from Listen, Vernon Pereira and Chris Brown from The Stringbeats. Plant had become bored that Listen had stalled in it's success and he wanted more. Members of the first Band Of Joy convened at Holy Joe's Rehearsal Rooms and began playing gigs in April 1967.

Whether it was new found fame or something else, Robert Plant's personality was the main reason that the first Band Of Joy ended. The rest of the band had basically kicked Plant out and replaced him. Being that Plant himself came up with the band's name, he formed his own Band Of Joy with members of the band Paper and performed in the same areas as the former Band Of Joy. Eventually, a fourth Band Of Joy was formed in November 1967, once again with Robert Plant, who brought his former bandmate and drummer from the Crawling King Snakes, John Henry Bonham.

By the end of May 1968, The Band Of Joy was stalling. John Bonham accepted an offer to play drums with Tim Rose and Robert Plant left to go to London to shop his demo around for a proper contract and to jam with Alexis Korner. A sixth Band Of Joy formed to fulfil some previously scheduled performances. Various members of The Band Of Joy regrouped through the years with limited success and moved on to other bands or got out of the music industry altogether.

The Band Of Joy had limited press coverage, as they were a regional band and forty years later, very little is known about them. Only a little nugget of info is given by Robert Plant in current interviews or by another former member of the band that is still alive. This book absolutely fills a huge void in the world of knowledge about The Band Of Joy. Along with first-hand accounts of the band's history, the book gives band member biographies, venue information, gig dates and information on equipment that band members had used. For the die-hard fan or even the occasional fan, this book is a must have.

To order, go to Mr. Barber's website, http://bandofjoy.com.

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

December 16, 1968 - Zep plays Bath Pavilion for a mere £75.
December 26, 1968 - First American concert at the Coliseum in Denver, CO
December xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are reported to have sold 5 million dollars worth of albums in the US
December 11, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are presented gold and platinum discs for their first two albums
December xx, 1970 - The band enters Island Studios to begin work on the fourth album
December xx, 1971 - The band plays a few low-key shows back in England
December 23, 1972 - The band break for Christmas holiday after a London gig
December xx, 1973 - John Paul Jones works on studio productions for Madeline Bell
December xx, 1973 - Joe Massot films Jimmy Page’s fantasy sequence at Loch Ness
December 19, 1974 - John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page jam with Bad Company at the Rainbow Theater
December 10, 1975 - Led Zeppelin play a 45-minute show with Norman Hale at Behan’s in Jersey
December xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin rehearses for the 1977 tour
December 25, 1976 - It’s announced that Plant and Bonham will reunite with the Band of Joy for three shows in the new year
December xx, 1977 - The band minus Robert gather to discuss Led Zeppelin’s future plans
December xx, 1978 - The new album is completed quickly at Polar Studios and mixed at Jimmy’s Plumpton Studio
December xx, 1979 - John Bonham considers joining Paul McCartney’s Wings
December 29, 1979 - The band minus Jimmy Page attend the Paul McCartney And Wings Kampuchea befefit show
December 04, 1980 - Led Zeppelin issue the following statement not to carry on as a band: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of harmony felt by ourselves and our manager have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
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