After being named best rock band by Planet Rock, Black Country Communion comes right out of the studio from recording their second album to announce six new tour dates coming to Germany starting at the end of June and going into July. They also have a date to play The High Voltage Festival in London, England. Hailed as the saving grace for Rock and Roll, these tour dates are going to sell fast. Don't miss out on the hottest rock tour this year. For tour dates and ticket links check the Black Country Communion homepage.

Guantanamo (Solvision).- British musician Jimmy Page, former guitarist for the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, made a surprise visit of several days to Cuba.

Prensa Latina learned that the 67-year-old rocker left Cuba on Monday after a visit that included tours of historic sites, and purchases of souvenirs such as the famous photograph of Che Guevara taken by Alberto Korda and albums by local artists.

Page, who co-wrote the famous song Stairway to Heaven with singer Robert Plant, stayed at old Havana's Hotel Saratoga, which has housed other international figures of rock and roll.

Led Zeppelin has inspired many Cuban bands and has its own following on the island. After learning Page was visiting, a number of local musicians tried to meet him.

Musicians from the local band Tesis de Menta, a flagship of rock in Cuba, and well-known radio host and vocalist Juan Camacho, fulfilled their "dream" of meeting and talking with Page last Saturday.

After being mobbed in the hotel lobby, Page, dressed in shorts and a black T-shirt, talked for almost 20 minutes with the Cuban musicians about different aspects of his career.

He was interested in the work of the theatre Maxim Rock, headquarters of the Cuban Rock Agency, and the influence of Led Zeppelin on the local scene.

Tesis de Menta singer Beatrix Lopez told Prensa Latina that Page, "with a youthful spirit" and "very strong," talked about his friendship with the British guitarist Jeff Beck, who was part of the celebrated band The Yardbirds in the 1960s.

He passionately praised the work of the Belgian singer with Arab roots Natasha Atlas, considered a cult figure in the European underground scene.

Perdomo, leader of the band Tesis de Menta, added that the former Led Zeppelin guitarist, whose solo for Stairway to Heaven was selected the best in history by Rolling Stone magazine, expressed interest in Cuban rock and the different genres on the island.

Page founded Led Zeppelin in 1968 in 1968 with Plant - who incidentally visited Cuba some years ago - bassist John Paul Jones, and drummer the late John Bonham. The band, one of the most influential of all times, separated in 1980. Since then, members of the group have reunited only on special occasions.

Their last reunion was in 2007 in a London stadium, where they performed a concert in honor of the man who discovered Led Zeppelin and founded Atlantic Records, Turkish-born Ahmet Ertegun (1923-2006).

After that show, rumors circulated about their possible return to the stage, but for now, the band has not reunited. Members of the cult to Led Zeppelin all over the world, however, continue to wait hopefully for that possibility.

From: SOLVISION.CO.CU

"We were playing in one room in a house with a recording truck, and a drum kit was duly set up in the main hallway, which is a three storey hall with a staircase going up on the inside of it. And when John Bonham went out to play the kit in the hall, I went ‘Oh, wait a minute, we gotta do this!' Curiously enough that's just a stereo mike that's up the stairs on the second floor of this building, and that was his natural balance."

********************

There will never be a more important band than The Beatles. The Beatles redefined pop music, essentially created power pop music, redefined pop rock, and created the template of success for every single band that arrived after them. The Beatles were the first band to transcend the notion of a global audience; songs like "She Loves You" flattened and leveled the world. The Beatles forever changed the way that music is marketed and digested on a mass level. There will never be another Beatles, just like there will never be another George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Part of the mass appeal of The Beatles was that they were a band of four guys who were both collectively cool and individually God-like. Of course, nearly everyone identified themselves with McCartney or Lennon as the former represented a universal kind of genius and accessibility while the latter tapped into the arty and culturally conscious kind of genius that life after 1968 demanded. And then you had Harrison's Quiet Guy personality—smart, reserved, sensitive, spiritually experimental—and Ringo's Everyman quality—the blue collar and working man's totem; a (mostly) forgotten personality but a guy who nonetheless checked his ego at the door and thanklessly provided the foundation for every Beatles song ever made. Each band member had a meaning above their role as a musician/entertainer. To reiterate: The Beatles changed how we look at music, and musicians.

A handful of other bands and artists around this time (namely, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Who) also arrived and created their own mythology-making machines, but in terms of four-man bands the only one, I think, that rivals The Beatles in terms of individual larger-than-life, God-like personalities whose sum was greater than its individual parts is Led Zeppelin.

As a band, all Zeppelin did was take power blues with a collective force to levels not seen before (to the point that one can plausibly map out the history of heavy metal to include the seeds laid down by Robert Plant's screams, Jimmy Page's mythical riffs, John Paul Jones's heavy bass riffs, and John Bonham's booming drums). To be sure, there were bands doing power blues before Zeppelin, most notably Cream, but Zeppelin pulled away from the pack almost instantly. "Good Times Bad Times," the first song on their debut album, announces itself to the world so powerfully that only Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" stands above it in terms debut album openers. "Good Times Bad Times" kicks down your door and punches you in the face; the strengths of each Zeppelin member is on display with this song. You can learn a lot about an artist and what their trajectory will be based on their first piece and "Good Times Bad Times" shows you everything you need to know in spades.

As individuals, the members of Led Zeppelin are iconic and mythical; demigods to any rock-loving guy or man that's ever stepped on American or British soil over the last five decades. When viewed strictly through the lens of talent Plant, Page, Jones, and Bonham are all arguably in the top 5 of their respective abilities in the history of rock. Would anyone disagree that Plant is not one of the best rock frontmen/lead singers; that Page is not one of the best rock guitarists; that Jones isn't one of the best rock bassists; that Bonham isn't one of the best rock drummers of all time? But to say that these guys are some of the best individuals to grace a microphone, guitar, bass guitar, and drums does not paint the entire picture. The reality is that these guys are not only demigods but also comic book superheroes incarnate as well. Damn near every guy who loves rock has imagined being like any one or all of them, or some combination of them.

The history of rock is in part written by emulation and deification, and few are the guys who haven't tried to sing like Plant during that intro of "Immigrant Song." Few are the guys who've never wished that they looked like Jimmy Page performing on stage, or being able to pull something like "Over the Hills and Far Away" out of their ass while learning the guitar. Few are the guys who haven't envied Bonham's drum-playing ability, or to be in position to re-enact his personal highlights. Few are the guys who have heard the bass lines to "Dazed and Confused" and didn't imitate their crisp sound at least once while it played through their car or stereo speakers. Few are the guys who didn't draw at least one of the runes from their fourth album on a book cover, folder, or backpack during a class or study hall in high school. I believe it was Chuck Klosterman who once wrote that most guys will agree that The Rolling Stones are the best rock band of all time, but that Led Zeppelin is the band that they most want to emulate and love on a more personal basis. And I cannot disagree with this assessment at all. After all, who would you rather be if given the chance: Charlie Watts or John Bonham?

So where does Led Zeppelin's collective and individual greatness dovetail—where does their masterful craftsmanship intersect with the (sometimes pot smoke-induced) mythology that has been applied to them? What is their best overall song that also shows each member at the height of their demigod powers? It's "When the Levee Breaks"—specifically the part of the song that runs from 2:26 until 3:05. There are other songs one can choose when talking about Zeppelin's overall presence ("Stairway to Heaven," "Kashmir") or about individual deification ("You Shook Me" or "The Rain Song" for Page and/or Plant; "Moby-Dick" or "Immigrant Song" for Bonham; "Dazed and Confused" or "In the Light" for Jones, amongst others) but "When the Levee Breaks" is the band's masterpiece. The track starts with John Bonham's famous thundering drum beats, recorded by way of the setup explained in the quote at the beginning of this post, and then it proceeds to be one of the best rock songs ever made as it effortlessly marries straight-up rock with just experimental enough production touches (the backward echo harmonica). And then starting at 2:26 and running until 3:05 you have Jimmy Page shifting from metallic jangly riffs to letting off riffs that are the auditory equivalent of fireworks, but the firework riffs are drowned out a bit by Bonham's assaulting dual bulldozer bass drums and Jones's deep bass lines.

And then there are the screams by Robert Plant.

The screams are short, guttural, and alien. They are exactly the kind of thing that you will never be able to imitate in your car but fuck if you think you nail them every time while this song is blaring. "When the Levee Breaks" is the last track on Led Zeppelin IV, which is arguably Zeppelin's most accessible album and the album that is filled with radio-friendly juggernauts. "Stairway to Heaven" (or even "Kashmir") might be the go-to seven-plus minute song in Zeppelin's catalog for many people but for me "When the Levee Breaks" kills every song in their catalog. It stands alone. It is the crown jewel from four demigods. It is the exclamation point on one of the most iconic albums of the last 40 years. It reinforces the reason why all of the many symbols of Zeppelin appeared on so many guys' backpacks and jackets and book covers. It is one of the best blues covers of all time.[1]

[1] "When the Levee Breaks" was originally recorded by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in 1929.

From: Pantheon Songs

Rock and Roll legend Robert Plant will be the musical guest on the Feb. 4 edition of the "Late Show with David Letterman."

Plant is currently on the road promoting his 2010 CD, Band of Joy. Recorded in Nashville, Plant titled the album after the name of his first group, which also featured future Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. The new CD is also the follow up to Plant's 2007 Grammy-winning album with Alison Krauss, Raising Sand.

Band of Joy is an Americana folk rock album of cover tunes by such artists as Townes Van Zant; Barbara Lynn; and Los Lobos; and one song penned by Plant and his co-producer, Buddy Miller. In fact, Plant's recent music video for the Los Lobos song, Angel Dance, included an appearance by the band's singer/songwriters David Hidalgo and Louie Perez. Folk/pop performer Patty Griffin is part of Plant's current touring group.

Plant has been busy making media appearances on behalf of the album. He and his touring band performed Angel Dance last September on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" program . They returned to the show last month to play another Band of Joy song, You Can't Buy My Love. In November, they were one of the artists featured on an episode of the BBC series "Later with Jools Holland." That same month, the BBC also aired a documentary, "Robert Plant: By Myself," in which he discussed his career up to the Band of Joy CD.

When the current tour finishes, don't expect Plant to be part of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour. In an interview published in the Allentown Morning Call, Plant told writer Allen Sculley that the 2007 Zep reunion show couldn't be duplicated.

"That night was a spectacular night," he said. "It was really something special. For me now, I can't see any way of it carrying on. I just don't know how mechanically it could happen. It [a tour] is such a huge deal. And I've seen people do huge deals. I've seen Genesis on tour, U2, people like that, and it becomes a military operation rather than just enjoying the time."

Plant has been performing a few Zeppelin tunes during this tour. Houses of the Holy, Ramble On and Rock and Roll were featured in his European shows last fall.

An interesting bit of scheduling finds teen pop star Justin Bieber reading Letterman's Top Ten list on the program the same night as Plant's musical appearance.

From: ASSOCIATEDCONTENT.COM
Jason Bonham was amongst the guest musicians who performed with Camp Freddy this past Monday, January 24 at Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California as part of a benefit event to create awareness and raise positive vibes in celebration of breast cancer survivor Carolyne Williams. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be viewed below.

Carolyne Williams is a 27-year-old breast cancer warrior and advocate. After months of being told that her cancer was just a cyst or an infection, Carolyne discovered the worst: that she was diagnosed with malignant Cystosarcoma Phyllodes while having no health insurance from her part-time job. Cystosarcoma Phyllodes is a sarcoma, a very rare type of breast cancer that accounts for less than 1% of breast cancer diagnosis. Phyllodescurrently has no research or support for survivors from the bigger Breast Cancer Foundations, because of its rarity. Phyllodesis is made of connective tissue and blood that forms in the breast that does not respond to chemo or radiation. Sadly, many cases of breast cancer are currently being found in younger girls/women in their teens, 20s and 30s, and in many cases they are being misdiagnosed, as Carolyne was. There needs to be more awareness to this growing and sadly silent epidemic.

This benefit was to help raise awareness and spread hope in the darkness of cancer and its effects on families and friends of the infected. The benefit hoped to raise funds in order to help Carolyne with her disease. This unprecedented and special event included appearances by Camp Freddy featuring Matt Sorum (GGuns'N'Roses, Velvet Revolver), Billy Morrison (Billy Idol, The Cult), Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and was hosted by Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath.



From: BLABBERMOUTH.NET
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

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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