Ye Zeppe links...
Tight But Loose: The true Zep site built from the true randomly-produced fanzine of old... Just start here - anywhere else just ain't home
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Percy, Pagey, Bonzo and Jonesy...
Bromsgrove, my home town, is a Zeppelin town - Bonham lived on the doorstep, playing pool at The Chequers, while Robert was just up the road in Kidderminster, even if he did make the mistake of throwing in his lot with Wolves rather than West Bromwich Albion. All thinking sixth-formers were Zep fans of some degree, unless you were a twat and chose to support Deep Purple, just to be rebellious. You couldn't support both. Given the gulf between them, who'd want to?
Familiarity breeds contempt, they say, and yet the depth and variety of Zeppelin keeps it as fresh today as it was the days it was recorded. Every live performance is unique thanks to the band's tight but looseness, making each bootleg to be treasured even if sounds like it was performed in a distant sardine can. As any Zep fan will tell you, there is no best track - not Stairway, no, not even No Quarter. Nor is there any easy way into Zeppelin: just live with it, groove with it, and let it seep into your soul. I've yet to find any canon of music so high, glorious, joyful, artistic and ballsy. What can I tell ya?
Never saw them live - a great regret of course. Could have been at Knebworth but was on a family holiday - and who was to know it would be so near the end? Saw both the 95 Page/Plant Wembley gigs, which were truly wonderful, and the 98 gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, through which I was pleased to discover that I felt strongly enough to leap out of bed at 6am and hasten to Oxford Street to queue for tickets. (Oh the disappointment on arrival to find no queue - then a sign saying 'Concert tickets round corner in Tottenham Court Road'. How our hearts soared to turn the corner to find an endless line of people snaking around the building… faith restored! And another blinding gig.)
And I think that about says it...