Monday, December 17, 2007

There's no denying

On this day in 1987, Robert Plant made history by singing, for the first time, Led Zeppelin songs at one of his solo concerts. The occasion was a show at Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone, England. It was Plant's first show in nearly a year -- just two days short of that mark.

Plant's band that night was billed as the Band of Joy, reviving the name of an old band he'd played with before Led Zeppelin, one of a few that paired him with his friend John Bonham. For this 1987 show, the lineup of youthful musicians was Doug Boyle on guitar, Chris Blackwell on drums, Charlie Jones on bass, and main songwriter Phil Johnstone on keyboards.

"Working with Phil and all these young guys has been such a joyous experience because they've never played outside of bars before," said Plant. "Their honesty and their enthusiasm was so good that it was a Zen-like experience. It was like, God, these guys really want to do it. There were none of these 35-year-old menopausal mumblings that I was beginning to get with the last band. It was almost the second summer of love."

The Dec. 17 set opened boldly with a rendition of "In the Evening," the number that introduces Led Zeppelin's album In Through the Out Door. As the evening wore on, the band settled into two more Led Zeppelin tunes -- namely, "Trampled Underfoot" and "Misty Mountain Hop." It's interesting to note that Plant performed both of these songs at the Led Zeppelin reunion concert one week ago today.

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