Sunday, March 26, 2006

Special journalism edition part 2 of 2

The newsletter edition published on March 26, 2006, was called the "Special journalism edition." The first part focused on some questionable reviews of Led Zeppelin concerts through the years. This second part contains some random thoughts that advance the theme of questionable journalism.

Special thanks: As I did in 2003 when this info first appeared in my newsletter, I'd like to thank Mark Brown, who is both then and now a pop music critic for the Rocky Mountain News. His archive search a few years ago turned up Thomas MacCluskey's articles on Led Zeppelin in 1970, 1972 and 1973, and an AP wire article on Led Zeppelin the newspaper carried on June 3, 1973.

Spelled how?: Would you believe that the 1970 concert review in the Rocky Mountain News spelled the name of Led Zeppelin wrong in the headline? It was correctly in the body of the article (in the first line only, then abbreviated "LZ" in all occurrences thereafter), but the headline spelled it "Led Zepelin."

In the city that hosts a national spelling bee: Fast-forward 36 years to 2006. Editors in the mainstream media are still butchering the band's name for some reason. A column in the Washington Post on Thursday, March 23, referred to the group as "Led Zepplin." It's right there in The Reliable Source, which I read almost every day. I couldn't believe my eyes.

A common error: It is a common error, actually. Click here to see the results of a Google News search for this misspelling as an exact phrase.

Teach the teacher: A few years ago, when I was sending this newsletter on a daily basis, one reader wrote me to say that although I was doing a fine job chronicling the band's history, I was always spelling the band's name wrong. The reader informed me that the correct spelling was "Led Zepplin," neglecting to cite any supporting evidence. After I read that e-mail, I remember first sighing, then laughing, then showing some friends, and finally copying and pasting the message into the following day's edition, where I printed it as a letter to the editor. That person may still be a subscriber today; I don't know!

Speaking of letters: To write to me today, don't bother using the AOL account I used to use. Please use ledzeppelinhistory-owner at yahoogroups dot com as my e-mail address.

Great concert last night: I saw British jazz/pop singer/pianist Jamie Cullum at the 9:30 club in Washington, D.C. It was one of the absolute best shows I've seen in my whole life. This assessment is mostly because of the musicianship of everybody in Jamie's band, but it is also because Jamie just comes off as so cool. Do yourself a favor, and purchase one or both of his CDs, and go check him out if he comes to your town.

In closing: Three years ago at this time, a special edition of Q magazine focusing on Led Zeppelin had just gone on sale. Its 148 pages were packed with articles about the band and rare and previously unseen photos. Dave Grohl, drummer for the Foo Fighters, provided his comments on the band, and Nick Kent interviewed Jimmy Page. Each album was discussed, along with stories from the road. Visually stunning are some previously unseen photographs of the band. The issue also included Led Zeppelin's top 50 songs as voted on in 2002 by fans. I didn't know it until I thumbed through the copy I ordered, but my name also appears in the pages; some quotes from my 2001 interview with John Paul Jones were included in a section on the scarcity of Led Zeppelin reunions. I think you can still order this special issue online with a credit card if you click here and fill out some forms.

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