Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Farewell to Porl Thompson

On this day in 1995, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant concluded a tour of North America and bade farewell to the second guitarist in their group, Porl Thompson, the former guitarist for the Cure. Thompson had played with Page and Plant since the beginning of their reunion in 1994. At Thompson's final show with Page and Plant, taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York, Page and Plant arranged for some belly dancers to award him onstage with a bouquet of flowers.

Shows on that tour usually ended with "Kashmir," as does the Unledded DVD. The set that final night at Madison Square Garden also closed with "Kashmir," but there was still one more song to come -- even after the band had left the stage and the house lights had come back on. The band returned to the stage for a triumphant rendition of "Rock and Roll," played in total brightness.

With further Page/Plant concert dates set for a tour of Japan and Australia early the following year, the singer hinted that
another album and tour in the United States would soon approach. Porl Thompson reunited with Plant in 2001 as the original lead guitarist for Plant's new backing band, the Strange Sensation, and his playing is featured on Plant's album, Dreamland, issued in 2002.

While Page and Plant have no longer toured together since 1998, they did reunite for the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2001 to honor Sun Records, playing some of their own material plus a cover tune they'd also contributed to a Sun Records tribute CD released earlier that year. The two worked alongside each other, and also with John Paul Jones, in preparing and promoting new packages released since 2003.

So Led Zeppelin history is still ongoing well into the future.

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