“I controlled the level of the PA from an amplifier that sat in front of the bass drum,” Robert Plant mused to me about Led Zeppelin’s first public performance November 9, 1968 at The Roundhouse at Chalk Farm. On Rolling Stone‘s Top 500 Albums of All Time list, magazine writers, contributors, and hundreds of recording artists ranked Led Zeppelin‘s January 1969 debut at #29. The UK magazine Uncut‘s list of the “100 Greatest Debut Albums placed it at no less than #7, but when the Q glossy compiled “The 21 Albums That Changed Music”, Led Zeppelin 1 clocked in at a breathtaking #6 on that uber-elite accounting. “Heavy metal still lives in its shadow”, Rolling Stone reminds us. Not bad for an almost 50 year old.
John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant were awarded America’s highest cultural award by President Barack Obama before the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors gala for , among others, the songs on the January 1969 debut such as “Good Times, Bad Times”,”Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”,”Dazed and Confused”,”Communication Breakdown”, and Willie Dixon‘s “I Can’t Quit You”, while Page has released deluxe editions of the first three Led Zeppelin albums with alternate mixes, previously unreleased live performances, and remastered sound. Page and Plant are my guests In the Studio for this classic rock interview.- Redbeard