Led Zeppelin Report Led Zeppelin is the true father of of modern rock and roll music.

They have directly and indirectly influenced the metal music scene in a multitude of ways. The music of Led Zeppelin has been a "crowning achievement in the genre of hard rock/heavy metal and the band must be considered one of the most important of all time."(1) The issue of whether or not the Led Zep influence exists is one of the most controversial issues of the rock world today. The materials for this report come from a wide variety of accurate sources. Most of the material comes from GUITAR FOR THE PRACTICING MUSICIAN a monthly publication dealing with the guitar scene. It provides information on music and the bands that create it as well as accurate descriptions of how it is played. The other major source is the book HAMMER OF THE GODS, a biography of Led Zeppelin by Stephen Davis. These two sources will most often be referred to. Other sources in include THE HARMONY ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ROCK and a multitude of sheet music. The basis of this report is whether or not Led Zeppelin is the creator of modern rock music. It is a massive under statement to say that Led Zeppelin was a major influence in the evolution of heavy metal music. It would be more accurate to say without Led Zeppelin there would be no metal music. In the eruption of the rock music scene of the 60's and 70's many standards were set and many innovations were made. Among these musical pioneers were: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and, of course, Jimmy Page. Today these pioneer's musical cliches, witticisms and techniques are widely used for they are the basis of the music in which they are used. Many of these "inventions" and "metal pyrotechnics" are blatantly used and turned in to "plagiarism for profit". However subtle these influences are they will always exist .(2) The consolidated elements that created the well defined Led Zeppelin sound were the result of a "singular chemistry within the band"(3). The members came from different backgrounds created a musical sound that harnessed elements of the blues and rock and roll. All of the members were veterans of the British rock scene and had been involved with music most of their lives. The man responsible for forming the band was James Patrick Page. Born to an industrial worker, James Page, and his wife, Patricia Elizibeth Gaffkin in Heston, Middlesex on January 9, 1944, Jimmy lived a quiet life in Epsom, Surry. He spent most of his childhood alone. As he grew up the guitar became his best friend and he quickly became involved with the music scene as time passed he became the "English guitar ace" and had all the up to date equipment.(4) Jimmy played with many bands including The Crusaders and The Yardbids and worked as a studio session artist. The charismatic singer who was the perfect "lyrical foil" for this bands concept was Robert Plant.(5) Robert Anthony Plant was born on August 20, 1948, at West Bromwich,

Strat-fordshire. He lived in a well off family and attended a private school. He became interested in rock music early and soon turned to the blues. He played in many bands in his area and became a popular singer. He had the perfect mixture of rock influences including Elvis Presley and blues influences in-cluding Muddy Waters. The rhythm backbone of the band was John Henry Bonham. Born on May 31, 1948, at Redditch, Worcestershire, he grew up near Robert as the son of a carpenter. He got his first drum kit when he was ten and he got into it very fast. Bonham was in and out of many bands since he learned to play. He had soon developed the reputation of the loudest, hardest drummer around Birmingham. The harmonic/rythmic "counterpart" of the group was John Paul Jones. He was born on January 3, 1946, at Sidcup, Kent. He grew up in a musical family and was on the road by the time he was two. He started out on the piano but soon moved to the bass guitar. He was a very popular session artist and a brilliant composer and arranger. He was influenced mainly by jazz bassists and followed the idea that the bass could be a solo instrument. When the members of the newly forming "New Yard Birds", soon to become Led Zeppelin (6) first played together there was a sort of "magic" that happened. They Knew what they had when they played in the studio and soon they were on their way to a long, strange journey into the world rock legends. (7). Their first album, a self titled one became a major hit and soon they were holding concerts all over. More albums came out and soon they became a musical/media sensation. At the height of their career they were a legend and produced eight albums. They were touring all over the world and living a wild, hedonistic life style of sex, drugs and parties around the clock. The band ended abruptly after the death of the drummer, Bonham. The remaining members went their separate ways. Robert began a long solo career; Jones virtually "disappeared" and Page found a new band. In recent years, Zep has had a few reunions and Robert and Jimmy are at new high points in their solo careers. Today, in the wake of the legend, rock music flourishes more than ever and many new bands are trying to fill the gap that Led Zeppelin left. Most of the bands of today are influ-enced by the legend in some way and however subtle the influ-ence is, it exists. Led Zeppelin created many innovations and these are widely used. They include styles, recording techniques and rhythms. It is, of cource, argued that Led Zeppelin was not a major influence. "They could have luckily stumbled upon things unknown to them at the time" or "shame-lessly ripped off other performers".(9) To some, Led Zeppelin had just been using stuff they had already heard, they just "spiced it up". This is probably true in some respects because if the earlier blues men of the past or the rock heroes of yesterday had not come along there would certainly be no Led Zeppelin. As Led Zeppelin may have quietly stolen bits of material, they are truly innovators. The have brought many

tech-niques and cliches into being. The irony is that when they were first becoming known, the name "heavy metal" was created to classify the type of music Led Zeppelin was playing. Although many artists claim not to have any Zeppelin in them, faint echoes and some times large amounts of the Led Zeppelin influ-ence can be seen and heard. Without the music of Led Zeppelin, bands like Whitesnake and Kingdom Come would not exist. One of their most widely known achievements is their approach of rock orchestration, "the guitar army" effect. It is the use of multi track recording that creates the illusion of a large army of guitars, it is also called over dubbing. This style gave Page the room he needed to use his riffing style and composition. It is this that sets the standards for recording in the present day. In dealing further with the subject of influencing, there are two types of influence, indirect and direct. The indirect is the type that is deeply in musicians, that is, a guitarist grows up listening to a band. As he learns to play the instrument, he begins to think of what his favorite guitarist would be doing. In most case the subconscious mind is remembering what the other musician was doing and it begins to translate it into the new guitarist's playing. With the case of direct influence the guitarist may be purposely emulating the other and calling it his own. This can turn into plagiarism. The most common form is the indirect influ-ence. Today, however, the other form is becoming more and more popular. It is personified in such bands as Kingdom Come and Cinderella. The bluesy, harder rock sound is becoming more popular in the wake of the technical L.A. sound of such bands as Van Halen and Dokken. Most bands of today are influenced indirectly by Led Zeppelin. Of the more technically obvious is a piece of music by Steve Via called "The Attitude Song". It contains a three note riff sequence that is derived from the Led Zeppelin song, "The Ocean" (see fig 1). This riff makes use of the polyrhyth-mic interplay between drums and guitar. John Bonham's time keeping "lent cohesion to Page's esoteric and free form musical approach".(11) Of the question of direct influence, some bands take a riff whether they are aware of it or not and base a song around it . Some times they steal entire choruses or bridges, part leading up to the chorus, and "write around it " in attempt to come up with a different song. In most cases this fails and the band has what could be considered a shameless rip off(12). In Whitesnakes's song "Still of the Night", the chorus is a riff derived and almost copied from the Led Zeppelin song, "The Immigrant Song". In the same song, the bridge resembles the riff form "Black Dog", another Led Zeppelin song. The same band has written a song called "Crying in the Rain" that is in the same time as the Led Zeppelin song, "Dazed and Confused". In the Whitesnake song, the bridge has a striking if not exact resemblance to the bridge in the Led Zeppelin song. (SEE EX 2). It is ironic to say this fact when Led Zeppelin had copied the song "Dazed and Confused from another artist. Another major concept that is being used that Led Zeppelin brought into use is the

extended middle of a song. In some songs they would change what they were doing and go into something, sometimes, completely different, ie. "Whole Lotta Love", "Dazed and Confused". Some new bands are making use of this cliche widely and even going so far as to copy one of Zep's songs in doing so. In the Cult's song "Peace Dog", the middle part bears a striking resemblance to a part in "Stairway to Heaven" Just as in Whitesnakes "Still of the Night" resembles the part in Whole Lotta Love". Another group that is responsible for plagiarism is Kingdom Come. They wrote a song, "Get It On", which has stolen an entire chord progression from the Led Zeppelin classic, "Kashmir", the chord progression being: A5, A+, A6, G, A is identically both songs. They also wrote a song called "What Love Can Be" which copies from "Since I've been loving You" and "The Rain Song". Another issue concerns the new bands "borrowing or steal-ing" from the entire Led Zeppelin image. Most of the newer singers are influenced by Plant's braggadocio and "Falsetto Blues Melisma"(13). They are also obsessed with the idea of "living on the edge" with constant parties and excessive sex and substance abuse. More influences include album cover design and the occult related obsession witch groups like the PTL seem to associate with everything. One thing which Jimmy Page proba-bly considers an embarrassment is the use of a violin bow on the guitar. It produces almost unearthly sound effects. this is now being used by many bands. As with any case were something great has happened. Those who follow in its wake will try to learn from it and take small pieces of its work. The influence is there and there is no getting around that. Led Zeppelin was the influencing power in a world of developing musicians. As the individuals grew up with Led Zeppelin on the radio and on their record players, they began learning from them and creating their own style which included the zeppelinesque style that already existed. In some cases the influence is innocent and "only natural".(13) In other cases the Led Zeppelin style has been exploited and copied shamelessly. The majority of listeners will probably not notice this but the musically alert and wise will, and have spotted this fakery. When Led Zeppelin was around they had a sort of magic, a style that, when it no longer was around, left a void. Many have tried to fill this void. Everyone is trying to walk in a giants shoes when they themselves are too small. What makes them small is the fact that they stoop to low levels of fakery to try and create the Perfect band that they are not ".(14) When the bands of today are long since deceased, they will too be looked upon as the influences and trend setters. for now at least... "In a world of imitators there is only one original, Led Zeppelin."

Bibliography 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Davis, Steven Hammer of the Gods, New York

Guthery and Alaster The Guitar Handbook Alfred A Knopf, New York The Harmony Encyclopedia of Rock Salamander Press LTD Jasper, Tony The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Fact On Files Inc, New York Nite, Norm Rock On: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll Volume I Harper and Row, New York

6. Guitar For The Practicing Musician article: "The Zep Influence" 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Guitar For The Practicing Musician article: "The LIstening Room With George Lynch" Rolling Stone article: "Led Zeppelin" People article: Robert Plant Guitar Player article: "Vernon Reid" Guitar Player article: "Rock and Roll Plagiarism" Spin article: "Rock n' Roll Influence" Guitar For The Practicing Musician article: " Jimmy Page" Rolling Stone article: "Heavy Metal" Guitar "Dazed "Black Song", "Whole Foe The Practicing Musician sheet music: and Confused", "Crying in the Rain", Dog", "Still of the Night", "The attitude "The Ocean", "Stairway to Heaven", Lotta Love"

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