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Moving Through Kashmir
1974–1975
Absence from the stage didn’t mean

Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI, January 31, 1975. Charles Auringer/BackstageGallery.com

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inactivity. Led Zeppelin had to nish a concert lm, get its own record label o the ground, and record a double album. First the lm. Each of the four musicians and Peter Grant, the h member (at least in his mind), conceived and shot fantasy sequences, entrusting the project to director Joe Massot, a Page pal who had wri en the hippie western Zachariah and directed Wonderwall about a peeping-Tom professor. e mighty Zeppelin lm and a endant live album wouldn’t be released for another three years, however. In January 1974, the ever-visible Grant and Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, announced that Led Zeppelin would form its own record label. In May, the band se led on a name, Swan Song Records. Surprisingly, Zeppelin signed mostly old cronies rather than new faces. e rst year, Swan Song released new LPs by the Pre y ings, rst-wave British rockers who started in 1964, and With the launch of Swan Song Records, the band’s new label recycled old Atlantic Records publicity images. Bad Company, a supergroup featuring former members of Mo the Hoople, King Crimson, and Free (namely lead singer Paul Rodgers). Swan Song also would later sign Backstage pass, U.S. tour, 1975. Grant’s pal and subsequent client Maggie Bell, who had powerful pipes, and pub-rock stalwart Dave Edmunds. Sessions for Led Zeppelin’s sixth album began in late 1973 at Headley Grange and later continued from February through May 1974. Early in the process, Page had a strong sense of direction, as he explained to Circus magazine in 1973: “ e last album was di cult to get into because it was so complex. We used intricate rhythm pa erns and hid a lot of ideas in the lyrics. e next one will still have complex songs, and will have an acoustic guitar piece based on a solo I used to do with the Yardbirds during a song called ‘White Summer.’ But most of the album will get back to something people think we’ve been dri ing away from straightforward rock ’n’ roll.”
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Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI, January 31, 1975. Robert Alford

WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN

Still, the album a double disc with een songs would be a long time coming. “We haven’t yet got around to our six-month decision on covers yet,” Robert Plant joked in late March 1974, according to Keith Shadwick’s Led Zeppelin: e Story Of A Band And eir Music 1968–1980. ere was some truth in his jest. It really did take months to create the complicated cover, which was more be ing the Rolling Stones than Led Zeppelin. e cover didn’t depict mystical mountains but rather gri y reality: a photo of a four-story brownstone, walk-up apartment building in New York’s Greenwich Village. On the front cover, the apartment windows were cut out to reveal le ers that spelled the band’s moniker; on the back, the shades were drawn in the windows. Actually, the le ering and the window shades were on the album’s two inner sleeves; ip the sleeves over and the windows reveal a Sgt. Pepper–like mish-mash of historical images: Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, King Kong, presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, e Wizard of Oz, a U.S. spaceman walking on the moon, a crashing blimp, Jean Harlow, a Leonardo da Vinci painting, and, among others, the individual members of Led Zeppelin. Whew! On October 31, 1974, Swan Song threw an extravagant party for the release of its rst title, Pre y ings’ Silk Torpedo, in southeast London, complete with ever- owing booze, food ghts, and strippers dressed as nuns. at night it dawned on Plant that Zeppelin hadn’t been on stage for more than a year. “I realized that I really missed the unity of the four of us,” he told New Musical Express. “I realized that, above everything else, above record companies, above lms, we were Led Zeppelin. . . . From that moment on, we started rehearsing and ge ing into full gear.” One of the tour rehearsals was used to provide additional footage for the lm project. Filmmaker Peter Cli on had replaced the sacked Joe Massot. Cli on told Chris Welch in Peter Grant: e Man Who Made Led Zeppelin: “I got them all on the stage together in their out ts [they had worn in New York City] and they suddenly realized they were back on stage together for the rst time since Madison Square Garden. ey started playing ‘Black Dog’ just for me, and we all got such a shock. ey were so hot and tight and fueled up with you know what. ere had been a huge argument just minutes beforehand, and then suddenly they began playing, and it was an extraordinarily electric moment between them.” Actually, it wasn’t as simple as the director made it sound the band never knew which rehearsals would be lmed and, hence, which out ts to wear, and Page had dramatically restyled his hair, so he had to wear a wig for the lming.
Program, U.S. tour, 1975.

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indd 144 WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN 144 6/19/08 3:57:21 PM . between legs of the U.” Physical Gra ti was released on February 24.” On tour.S. “Here is the door. tour. but I think this album is really honest. People might say it is sloppy. “In My Time Of Dying” is a good example of something more immediate. but we’ll always be good.” which hadn’t been played live in nearly four years. but not completely. I am in.” he told New Musical Express.” and “Ten Years Gone” are all very ambitious.Olympia Stadium. dammit. 3 and soon ascended to No. I’m disappointed that I can’t do all I can do. then Physical Gra i is one of your loosest.S.S. On the other hand. JP: It doesn’t? Maybe. tour 1975. We may not be brilliant for a few nights.” Swan Song Records publicity photo. Page talked about his new masterwork in an interview with Guitar World magazine. Physical is a more personal album. 1975. Robert Alford en. charts at No. and Page was obviously ummoxed by his nger. 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. U. 1 for six weeks. does not seem as punchy as some of your previous e orts. and it really came as a blow because I just couldn’t play with it. the band substituted “How Many More Times. GW: e recording. It was nobody’s fault but his. tour. though.” “In the Light. which meant he couldn’t play “Dazed And Confused. MI. You know. Detroit. “Kashmir. GW: If Houses Of e Holy was one of your tightest productions. but I enjoyed its edge. But I just thought it sounded like a working group. “I always want to do my very best and it’s very frustrating to have something hold me back in the set the very second I’m able to play it. He had to devise a new fre ing technique. It was just being put together when we recorded it. Page inadvertently caught the middle nger on his le hand in the door as he was exiting a train at crowded Victoria Station in London en route to a band rehearsal. and I think it allowed the listener to enter our world. It entered the U. “I have no doubt that the tour is going to be good. a er warm-up gigs in Holland and Belgium for a winter U. January 31. Did you make a conscious decision to retreat from a highly polished sound? JP: Yes.S. “It’s the one that does all the leverage and most of the work. I look at it as a document of a band in a working environment. 1975.” he told Cameron Crowe in what would be Led Zeppelin’s rst and only cover story in Rolling Stone until 2007. We could have tightened it up. it’s just. It is jammed at the end and we do not even have a proper way to stop the thing.

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or tried to fuck with their band.” Buell wrote. who also dallied with Mick Jagger. taking her on horseback to his castle. he loved to spew his saliva into my mouth. According to Buell. . something Robert and I eventually did. January 31. .” Circus By Jon Bream Of The L. Everybody hung out in a pack and catered to those boys and their whims. is was an observation Burroughs had a er hearing “Black Mountain Side. and if you got in their faces.” In the end.” So was Buell. at least according to Buell. e original title was “Driving To Kashmir. so Grant moved Page and Buell to another suite. Todd Rundgren’s longtime girlfriend. He was a lot like Henry VIII. but stab—any dragon for you. and we had a lengthy discussion on the hypnotic power of rock and how it paralleled the music of Arabic cultures. who is now best known as the mother of actress Liv Tyler (whose father is Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler). and you can really hear the in uence in songs like “Kashmir. “It’s all there all the elements that de ned the band.” sparked by a long drive in southern Morocco. Robert Matheu GW: You and Plant were traveling to places like Morocco and the Sahara Desert around this time. no vocal hysterics. and he prospered. Page and I couldn’t have done it without Bonzo’s thri . “Peter Grant brought the gangster image to the rock ’n’ roll scene. Because Jones was tardy for their recording session. e ri came from some work tapes from Page’s home studio. weird enough to continue exploring. . They were living the rock and roll cliché to the hilt. and Elvis Costello. lyrically. . this dilapidated road. David Bowie. the epic eight-andhalf-minute “Kashmir. and it looked as if somebody had been engaged in a great life-and-death struggle—hence Peter’s suspicion that we had been engaged in some torrid orgy. Queens “Kashmir” was tremendous for the mood. It is unquestionably the quintessential Zeppelin song. other-time vibe.” the guitarist said. and there was seemingly no end to it.” with its classical sweep and drama. had devoured the fruit and spread his business around the bathroom. 1975. It was so positive. very Renaissance. Perfect Zeppelin. “There was shit smeared all over the walls. especially the rough-and-tumble tactics of the bear-sized Grant. In her 2001 book.” Crowe told the song’s story in the boxed set’s liner notes. she talks about meeting Page in 1974. Rod Stewart. In her book. was the double album’s masterstroke. The image he projected was: I would stab—not shoot. who had to be dragged away by tour manager Richard Cole. He was a real thri y player. to name a few. In a 1990 interview with Q magazine. A lot of that was down to Bonzo. “It’s so right there’s nothing overblown. bands like Led Zeppelin were sloppy seconds.” A raccoon. Grant. The next morning. and plodding rhythm.” And if inquiring minds want to know.” Whose idea was it to explore Morocco? JP: I did a joint interview with William Burroughs for Crawdaddy magazine in the early ’70s. It was what he didn’t do that made it work. They were rough players. Page’s longtime L. . only a lot more handsome and Jimmy was slim. It was a single track road which cut neatly through the desert. Just another night at the Riot House. but manly.’ It’s one of my favorites. It was a little like hanging out with the Mafia. Charles Auringer/BackstageGallery. Another was Bebe Buell. He had that otherworldly. In her book.Bebe Buell. stars to ll my dreams. ‘Oh. of course. “he never tried anything but completely straight sex with me. Plant added the middle section. she showed up at Page’s Hyatt House room with Rundgren’s pet raccoon. “He was my type—very dashing. Later. let the sun beat down upon my face. concluded. . Plant named it his favorite Zep song. Two miles to the east and west were ridges of sandrock. and Jones later overdubbed his bass and the string parts.” John Paul Jones told Cameron Crowe for the liner notes for e Complete Studio Recordings.A. Buell also discussed the violence surrounding Zeppelin.” she wrote.” from our rst album. Buell. showed up. L Olympia Stadium.com f course. While the soulful strut “Trampled Under Foot” got most of the radio airplay in the United States.A. operatic vocals.” Ouch.indd 146 WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN 6/27/08 11:10:19 AM . what he played. As Plant recalled: 146 “ e whole inspiration came from the fact that the road went on and on and on. “Richard [Cole] and Peter were not to be tangled with. although he had one weird penchant. It basically looked like you were driving down a channel. Page worked on the ri with Bonham. “The Stones created the prototype for the rock and roll lifestyle. Z O 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. Zeppelin’s overly protective manager. very English. reportedly a former wrestler. He then encouraged me to go to Morocco and investigate the music rsthand. you would get a knuckle sandwich. When he kissed me. or did anything to disrupt or harm any member of the band. MI. Page offered Buell some cocaine and suggested that they put the raccoon in the bathroom with a basket of fruit that was in his suite. Rebel Heart: An American Rock ’n’ Roll Journey. Pamela Des Barres was only one of many Zeppelin groupies. she fantasized about Page as her Sir Lancelot. aroused by noise in Page’s suite. Detroit. the new lovebirds were awakened by a hysterical Lori Maddox. He had a medieval attitude—not macho. girl. “We dashed into the bathroom and peered in at an incredible mess. “ e structure of it was strange.

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it’s a rapport that takes it away from being an earthly thing to almost a little bit above it. . Charles Auringer/BackstageGallery. Detroit.com 151 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. . This is where you go out on a limb and become King Arthur.” in Stephen Davis’ Hammer Of The Gods —Robert Plant. 1974–1975 Olympia Stadium. . MI. January 31.“It isn’t just a musical thing that takes place. quoted MOVING THROUGH KASHMIR. 1975.indd 151 6/20/08 6:27:10 AM .

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using the guitar.com 154 6/20/08 6:30:19 AM . January 31. MI. I’m talking about actual orchestration in the same way you’d orchestrate a classical piece of music. 1975. quoted in Stephen Davis’ Hammer Of The Gods 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. Charles Auringer/BackstageGallery.“My vocation is more in composition really than in anything else. orchestrating the guitar like an army—a guitar army.indd 154 WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN Olympia Stadium. Detroit.” —Jimmy Page. Building up harmonies.

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com 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10.indd 157 6/20/08 6:33:01 AM . Detroit. January 31. Michael Brennan/Scope Features. MI. 1975.Olympia Stadium.

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It was the ’59. based on his 1959 Les Paul. it endured some custom decorating by Page when he became a Yardbird (“Everybody painted their guitars back then”) and interior rewiring. he was one of the first rock musicians to acquire a varied arsenal of guitars. Its neck was later fitted to another “Botswana Brown” Telecaster body.Jimmy Page’s Gu The Hammers Of The God: By George Case itar Gear L ike nearly all rock ’n’ rollers of the 1960s and 1970s. that was copied to produce Gibson’s signature Jimmy Page model Les Paul in 2004. Later that year it was stolen during a Zeppelin tour of North America. but Page went further. understanding that different pieces were suited for different sounds that could become part of his sonic palette. During other times in Zeppelin’s career. so there’s no way of knowing today whether it was indeed a ’59. Though rarely used on stage. Originally a white guitar. Others say it was the second Les Paul that was the Number One and the supposed ’59 that was Number Two. this one fitted with a “B-bender” tremolo device working off the front strap button. The Fender had been Beck’s since playing in his early act. borrow from someone else. If this is the case. It has never turned up. and more often than not the guitarist chose whatever instruments and accessories he felt comfortable with and could withstand the rigors of transport and performance. then of the James Gang. and effects. an ebony three-pickup model equipped with a Bigsby tremolo. From his session years. or vaguely request from a roadie or assistant who would then do the legwork of selecting and modifying. was carried on Zeppelin’s final European tour in 1980.indd 162 6/20/08 7:01:30 AM . Page subsequently acquired a second 1958 Les Paul. The guitar had already been modified by Walsh. Talk about dazed and confused. toward the end of the Zeppelin years. or perhaps a ’58. Either way. The Les Paul gained from Joe Walsh had had its serial number shaved away when its neck was slimmed down. The Tele was given to him by his friend Jeff Beck in 1965 after Page had recommended Beck to take over Eric Clapton’s spot in the Yardbirds. if it really is a ’59. amplifiers. the Tridents. Gibson Guitars 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. Armed with this elderly Les Paul. between 1968 and 1973 the band was gigging and recording extensively. Electric Guitars 162 WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN Page recorded Led Zeppelin using a 1958 Fender Telecaster (some sources cite it as a ’59). Page wrung a famous stinging “fat” tone from the guitar’s two patent-appliedfor humbucking pickups. In 1971. In 1969. Page certainly knew what gear he wanted and. Jimmy Page was a working player whose selection of equipment was often based on expediency rather than connoisseurship. Page purchased a 1959 sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard from Joe Walsh. which was nearly identical to his ’59. He eventually replaced the tuning heads with sealed Grover units and changed the tone controls to push-pull rotators that could be switched to achieve a “reverse phase” effect. it is believed to have been Page’s “Number One” axe for his Zeppelin tenure. or he would simply pick up something lying around backstage or in the studio. Guitar buffs debate the origins of both instruments and their usage by Page. manufacturers would press freebies on Page that he might use a few times without ever endorsing. the guitarist did play it at the 1970 Royal Albert Hall gig. the Walsh Les Paul must have been Page’s Number One for a while. at least until the ’58 was taken up. with years of professional experience behind him (particularly as a session hand from 1962 to 1966). Page also briefly used a 1973 Les Paul Standard with a customized crimson finish. this one a 1966 and also with a B-bender. Page ordered a custom-built Gibson EDS-1275 6and 12-string doubleneck guitar to replicate the various tones of Gibson Custom Shop’s Jimmy Page Signature Model Les Paul. A third cream-colored Tele. From Led Zeppelin II onward. Page also brought to Zeppelin a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Custom. this was the guitar that defined Led Zeppelin’s sound—and that of much hard rock in the 1970s and beyond. That said.

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and soul (origin unknown).” and the instrumental “White Summer”/“Black Mountain Side.000 today. Jimmy Page played a number of acoustic guitars while with Led Zeppelin. He was also spotted with a 1957 sunburst Stratocaster. Page debuted a 1964 Lake Placid Blue Fender Stratocaster. ♦♦♦ The extent to which any of these pieces of gear “made” Jimmy Page the legendary guitar player he became is uncertain. A 1965 Fender XII 12-string chimed throughout the studio takes of “Thank You” and “Stairway To Heaven. Acoustic Guitars 1690T Coronado. He began with a Harmony Sovereign H-1260 (heard on Led Zeppelin III and the untitled fourth album).” and had played Gibson A-2 and A-4 mandolins (as on “Going To California”). Page was also known to have owned a lute-shaped Giannini Craviola. As he enthused. One of the most iconic instruments in rock history. ears (ditto). At Zeppelin’s 1975 Earls Court gigs. Designed by Russian inventor Léon Theremin in 1919. Guitars and amplifiers—made of wood. a Gibson “Everly Brothers.” His Marshalls were modified over the years to boost wattage. a perfect match. Two antennae connected to audio oscillators controlling frequency and volume transformed vibrations in the air created by the player’s hand gestures. Rickenbacker. and an Eventide Harmonizer for delay.” “Stairway To Heaven” onstage. while he’d borrowed a beautiful Gibson J-200 for Led Zeppelin I. and tubes—have their own unique temperaments.” Page used a 1960 Danelectro 3021. with later modifications).“The bottom line is that Led Zeppelin leader Jimmy Page’s three most important musical utensils were his hands (1944. a budget-priced solid-body whose high string action and bright tones from its single-coil pickups were well-suited to slide and unconventional tunings. humidity. For the open-tuned workouts of “Kashmir. He also used a Maestro Echoplex reverb unit. Univox overdrive. Aspiring guitar heroes and members of Zeppelin tribute bands should also be warned that duplicating the collection listed here will cost you well into six figures: a 1958 or ’59 sunburst Les Paul alone can easily fetch $100. and a 100-watt Hiwatt setup before settling on the classic 100-watt 1959 SLP Marshall heads and cabinets with Celestion speakers. Univox. aided by innovator Roger Mayer. Page was an early exponent of outboard signalaltering accessories. compact theremin like a magician creating surreal sounds out of thin air. modified with a transducer pickup. the theremin was one of the earliest fully electronic instruments. He preferred heavy-duty Herco Flex 75 picks. An unusual Gizmotron mechanical contraption was used for the spooky intro to “In The Evening. metal. ears (ditto). a Fender 800 Pedal Steel (“Your Time Is Gonna Come” and “Tangerine”) plus a Vega banjo (“Gallows Pole”). and even the same instrument can respond differently at different times to particular conditions of age. He later used amps from Fender. Gibson SG.” One of Jimmy Page’s most distinctive audio tools was his theremin. and chorus effects. both souped up by Mayer. Z WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN 164 AmpliFiers & Accessories Page tried out a number of studio and onstage rigs in his Zep period.” This epic number also featured Page using an ordinary violin bow on his electric guitar to further his psychedelic solo. Page’s electric guitars were strung with light-gauge Ernie Ball Super-Slinky strings.” Always partial to bluesy bends. with later modifications). he toted a 1971 Martin D-28 into the studio and on stage. flanging. Led Zeppelin was recorded with a small Supro Robert Knight Archive/Redferns/Getty Images Text 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10 com 163-165 corretas. Page moved his hands over his latemodel. he’d also turn to it for “The Song Remains The Same” and “The Rain Song” live. It was also unique in being played without being touched.” “In My Time Of Dying. The piercing tone and tremolo arm of the Strat were later prominent throughout Presence and In Through The Out Door and were also heard at 1979’s Knebworth performances. the theremin was showcased during the studio and stage recitals of “Dazed And Confused. MXR M-101 phaser. wires. and simple wear and tear. Page supercharged his electric sounds with a Vox Cry Baby wah-wah pedal and a Sola Sound Tone Bender distortion box. turned up to full volume to generate the album’s milestone crunch. From the early 1970s. Page typically strung his acoustic guitars with Ernie Ball Earthwood strings. Page’s double-neck is virtually a celebrity itself and cemented Page’s reputation as a musical wizard: this guy was so good he seemed to be playing two guitars at once. and Gibson RD Artist. The bottom line is that Led Zeppelin leader Jimmy Page’s three most important musical utensils were his hands (1944.indd 164 Job:01880 Title:Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin(MBI) Page:164 07/04/11 17:29:59 . “You get a Marshall with a Gibson and it’s fantastic. Played through a 100-watt Orange amplifier. and soul (origin unknown). As devoted to folk music as to electric blues.

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the isometaphysic inventor of physical gra ti. hen I was rst asked to write an article on the Led Zeppelin group. which was all the more pleasant for being easily controlled. A rock concert is in fact a rite involving the evocation and transmutation of energy. and it was very good. creating the atmosphere of a high school Christmas play. I was not sure I could do it. ushering gate-crashers out with a minimum of fuss. I summarized my impressions a er the concert in a few notes to serve as a basis for my talk with Jimmy Page: “ e essential ingredient for any successful rock group is energy the ability to give out energy. Burroughs We were channeled smoothly into our seats in the thirteenth row. e literary progenitor of verbal anti-materialism and concise print communication meets Jimmy Page. “A iendly conversation over naked lunch. however you cut them up. e security guards seemed to be cool and well-trained. e performers were doing their best. ere was a palpable interchange of energy between the performers and the audience which was never frantic or jagged. neither low nor insipid. Rock stars may be compared to priests. It bears some resemblance to the trance music found in Morocco. this scenario seems unlikely. All in all a good show. with the introductory apologia. as we streamed through one security line a er another a river of youth looking curiously like a single organism: one well-behaved clean-looking middle-class kid. repetition. which is magical in origin and is interview rst appeared in the June 1975 issue of Crawdaddy!. I decline earplugs. as did John Bonham’s drum solo and the lyrics delivered with unfailing vitality by Robert Plant. A few special e ects are much be er than too many. not being su ciently knowledgeable about music to a empt anything in the way of musical criticism or even evaluation. I think a rock group singing political slogans would leave its audience at the door. Jimmy Page’s number with the broken guitar strings came across with a real impact. and drums. Over a relaxed dinner before the concert. if skillfully performed.Uranium Willie And The Heavy Metal Kid: A Near-Forgotten 1975 Talk With Jimmy Page By William S. I pointed out that it always can when you get that many people together like bull ghts where you buy a straw hat at the door to protect you from bo les and other missiles. a theme that was treated in Peter Watkin’s lm Privilege. eir interactions exist here.” e article is reprinted here by permission of Crawdaddy! editor Peter Knobler and the Burroughs estate. My rst impression was of the audience. to be based on a ending a concert and talking with Jimmy Page. which drew an appreciative cheer from the audience. Leaving the concert hall was like ge ing o a jet plane. e special e ects were handled well and not overdone. and it always has. to receive energy from the audience and to give it back to the audience. an exhilarating and energizing e ect on me. e last number. is was a safe and friendly area but at the same time highly charged. a Crawdaddy! companion had said he had a feeling that something bad could happen at this concert. In that lm a rock star was manipulated by reactionary forces to set up a state religion. I decided simply to a end the concert and talk with Jimmy Page and let the article develop. I can see the laser beams cu ing dry ice smoke. and I knew then that nothing bad was going to happen. It’s known as “clearing the path. W 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. “ e Led Zeppelin show depends heavily on volume. As the performance got underway I experienced this musical exhilaration. found the audience well-behaved and joyous.” So there we sat. “Stairway to Heaven. I am used to loud drum and horn music from Morocco.indd 166 WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN 166 6/20/08 7:08:38 AM . If you consider any set of data without a preconceived viewpoint. then a viewpoint will emerge from the data. I was displacing possible danger to a Mexican border town where the matador barely escaped with his life and several spectators were killed.” where the audience lit matches and there was a sca ering of sparklers here and there.

.purpose that is. move unless you will it to move. . e dogs growl ominously. Walking across the room is a magical operation. Tied until the end of the last quarter. another hurled y feet down from the top of the stadium . “You sit on your ass writing I could be torn to pieces by my fans. . You see. when whole towns were swallowed by landslides. Neither does your physical body. hysterical with fear and rage and maddened by the tear gas. . bodies piled up ten feet deep at the exits. . e best way to keep something bad from happening is to see it ahead of time. . Someone sticks a mike in your face and says. . . no illness. like Orpheus. A howl of rage from the crowd. I saw that it wasn’t going to be that way. I would like to say exactly what I mean by magic and the magical interpretation of so-called reality. . . e bad vibes in that dance hall must have been really heavy. Martial music long vistas the statuesque police with their dogs on leads the crowd surging in a sultry menacing electricity palpable in the air grey clouds over Lima people glance up uneasily . e game is tense. which I hoped would not take the form of an interview. in the style made famous by Triumph of the Will.” drawled the dandi ed Commandante. We started talking over a cup of tea and found we have friends in common: the real estate agent who negotiated Jimmy Page’s purchase of the Aleister Crowley house on Loch Ness. John Michel. MOVING THROUGH KASHMIR. and then . e crowd tears an Alsatian dog to pieces a policeman is strangled with his tie.” The Interview I felt that these considerations could form the basis of my talk with Jimmy Page. e underlying assumption of magic is the assertion of will as the primary moving force in this universe the deep conviction that nothing happens unless somebody or some being wills it to happen.” I said: “ e crowd surges forward. re . . Since the word magic tends to cause confused thinking. and that magic is always used to obtain some de nite result. A wave of fans follows e Bomb the Uruguayan referee scrambles o with the agility of a rat or an evil spirit the police release tear gas and unleash their snarling dogs. . and then a huge black known as La Bomba. From the viewpoint of magic. In the Led Zeppelin concert. . Jimmy. . concerned with the evocation and control of spiritual forces. safe in the pages of my book. e kids come to get far out with the music. e soccer scores are coming in from the Capital . no misfortune.indd 167 6/20/08 7:13:29 AM . Peru in 1964. . or almost never. ere is something just basically wrong about the whole interview format. as a few drops of rain begin to fall. and writing is magical and evocative. which is composed of much the same materials. . and then the stunning decision: a goal that would have won the game for Peru is disquali ed by the Uruguayan referee. “You know. We are ushered into the arena as VIP’s. e important thing is maintain a balance. and when it does it’s worse than seeing mules foaling in the public streets . exits locked . For such magic to succeed. . I’ve thought about that. “Yes. . and as another rock star said to me. who has started three previous soccer riots and already has twenty-three notches on his bomb. security goes mad. or riot is accidental. A chair does not move unless someone moves it. Kenneth Anger. . thirty-seven people dead including all the performers. It is to be remembered that the origin of all the arts music. . To me this has always seemed self-evident. Now any performer who has never thought about re and panic just doesn’t think. If the performers had been sensitive and alert. war. painting.” I found Jimmy Page equally aware of the risks involved in handling the ssionable material of the mass unconscious. . the ying saucer and pyramid expert. it must tap the sources of magical energy. trampled ruptured bodies piled in heaps . “ e soccer scores are coming in from the Capital . vaults down into the arena. A cop is beating and kicking someone as he shoves him back towards the exit. and the Jaggers. 306 . who worked on Performance. “I didn’t know how bad it was until rain started to fall. . We all have. As soon as Jimmy Page walked into my lo downtown. In Morocco. Page. and you can’t see it if you refuse to face the possibility. Oh lucky man.” CLICK CLICK CLICK: Jimmy Page did not bat an eye. . . And then a sound like falling mountains. e subject of magic came up in connection with Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Anger’s lm Lucifer Rising. e music of Joujouka evokes the God Pan. they would have checked to be sure the exits were unlocked. a sound like falling mountains . and this can be dangerous. . and when we got there with the cameras the bloody thing was still squirming there like a worm . Mick and Chris. representing the real magical forces that sweep away the spurious. “Mr. a heavy piece of equipment falls on the crowd.” said a survivor. musicians are also magicians. 1974–1975 167 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. the last time it rained in Lima was the year of the great earthquake. 318 . I took on a valence I learned years ago from two Life-Time reporters one keeps telling you these horri c stories: “Now old Burns was dragged out of the truck and skinned alive by the mob. would you care to talk about your interest in occult practices? Would you describe yourself as a believer in this sort of thing?” Even an intelligent mike-in-the-face question tends to evoke a guarded mike-in-the-face answer. . And will is another word for animate energy. one must pretend an interest. . It’s our job to see they have a good time and no trouble. Gnaoua music is used to drive out evil spirits. it never rains in Lima. Rock stars are juggling ssionable material that could blow up at any time . for which Jimmy Page did the sound track. ere are no accidents in the world of magic.” And remember the rock group called Storm? Playing a dance hall in Switzerland . . the result aimed at would seem to be the creation of energy in the performers and in the audience. accident. Pan God of Panic. Donald Cammell. 352 . no death. . . .” while the other half of the team is snapping pictures CLICK CLICK CLICK to record your reactions so over dinner at Mexican Gardens I told Jimmy the story of the big soccer riot in Lima. .

“ ere is a responsibility to the audience. e show must carry itself and not rely too heavily on special e ects. and when this is turned on even at a low volume. We talked about trance music. music in in a-sound. “I feel TERRIBLE!” . We discussed the possibility of synthesizing rock music with some of the older forms of trance music that have been developed over centuries to produce powerful. sound pitched below 16 Hertz. the level of human hearing. I mean we were really there. and he never once missed. .” I brought up the subject of infra-sound. aware of the dangers involved. e Major discovered his healing abilities in World War II when his regiment was cut o without medical supplies and the Major started laying on hands . Jimmy expressed himself as well aware of the power in mass concentration. but with more interesting and useful possibilities. lasers. Buddhist mantras act by se ing up vibrations in the body. He had heard the Brian Jones record from recordings made at Joujouka. . Needless to say.” Well Major. that scientists took over from the Church. but the underlying force is the same: human energy and its potential concentration. . Infra-sound sets up vibrations in the body and nervous system. a healer and psychic who lives in Scotland.” We talked about magic and Aleister Crowley.140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. I pointed out that this “either/ or” straitjacket had been imposed by Christianity when all magic became black magic. In the session. conveying an immediate sonar experience that requires no symbolic translation? I mentioned to Jimmy that I had talked with Dr. “You can feel all the organs in your body rubbing together. who worked with John 168 6/20/08 7:14:24 AM . Need these vibrations necessarily be harmful or unpleasant? All music played at any volume sets up vibrations in the body and nervous system of the listener. Jimmy was interested. It turned out to be the Indian rope trick. however spectacular.indd 168 WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN Previously. He had seen it li a six-hundred-pound church organ ve feet in the air. We talked about the special e ects used in the concert. who was able to clear himself of any criminal charges. Especially interesting is the possibility of rhythmic pulses of infra-sound. ill. and of the skill and balance needed to avoid them . I a ended a group meditation seminar with the Major. anyone within range is a ected. as ultra-sound is above the level. It seems that the most deadly range is around 7 Hertz. I turned to Jimmy Page: “Of course we are dealing here with meditation the deliberate induction of a trance state in a few people under the hands of an old master. the Major asked us to see a column of light in the center of the room and then took us up through the light to a plateau where we met nice friendly people: the stairway to heaven in fact. . rather like driving a load of nitroglycerine. but you can feel it. as Gavreau puts it. His psychic abilities were so highly regarded by the Admiralty that he was called in to locate sunken submarines. dry ice are ne but you have to keep some balance. You can’t hear it. a er some preliminary exercises. at’s why people listen to it. over two ngers of whiskey in my Franklin Street digs. that is. the movie actor. and infra-sound generators constructed from inexpensive materials. .” he said. Jimmy said that Crowley has been maligned as a black magician. whereas magic is neither white nor black. Caruso as you will remember could break a champagne glass across the room. what people really feel and want and are. Did Aleister Crowley have opinions on the subject? He apparently had not expressed himself. that is. reaching much further than ve miles. and thought this unlikely it’s not the improbability but the upkeep on monsters that worries me. kill everyone in a ve-mile radius. . and nally exclaim with one voice. since he was obviously incapable of falsi cation. is would seem on the surface to have li le in common with a rock concert. “Sure. However.” I told Jimmy he was lucky to have that house with a monster in the front yard. and Western man has been sti ed in a non-magical universe known as “the way things are. good nor bad it is simply alive with what it is: the real thing. he claims.” Rock music can be seen as one a empt to break out of this dead soulless universe and reassert the universe of magic. Professer Gavreau of France developed infrasound as a military weapon. depressed. Could something be developed comparable to the sonar communication of dolphins.” And it turns out the Major is a walking hypo. I had no reason to doubt this.” he said. Sanders commi ed suicide in Barcelona. What about the Loch Ness monster? Jimmy Page thinks it exists. and we both remembered his farewell note to the world: “I leave you to this sweet cesspool. knock down walls. Infra-sound kills by se ing up vibrations within the body so that. I had told Page about Major Bruce MacMannaway. ey feel anxious. Before the session the Major told us something of the potential power in group meditation. A powerful infra-sound installation can. last thing you want at a rock concert. and I gave him a copy of a newspaper article on infra-sound. and break windows. I wondered if it could nd enough to eat. At one time the house had also been the scene of a vast chicken swindle indirectly involving George Sanders. around the borders of infra-sound perhaps a safe range can be found.” I pointed out that the moment when the stairway to heaven becomes something actually possible for the audience would also be the moment of greatest danger. Jimmy told me that Aleister Crowley’s house has very good vibes for anyone who is relaxed and receptive. I think it’s a load of bollocks but I’ll try anything. “lights. Such a synthesis would enable the older forms to escape from the mould of folk lore and provide new techniques to rock groups. Could this be done in a much more powerful yet safe manner by the use of infra-sound rhythms which could of course be combined with audible music? Perhaps infra-sound could add a new dimension to rock music. Truby.” e plans for this device can be obtained from the French Patent O ce. one is not concerned with military applications however unlimited. sometimes hypnotic e ects on the audience. “We don’t want anything bad to happen to these kids we don’t want to release anything we can’t handle.

and applied the montage method to writing. 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. if you made a medley by taking thirty seconds from a number of scores and assembling these arbitrary units that would be a cut-up. Antony Balch and I collaborated on a lm called Cut-Ups. an edited medley. And music certainly comes closer to such direct communication than language. half a person cut in two by a car. re ections from shop windows. I mean we were playing a dance hall in heaven at the moment when the stairway actually possible for the audience was unlocked. working on a grant from the government so that when all our kids are born Venusians we will understand them when they start to talk. which were passed along to me by Reich’s daughter. He does not acknowledge any indebtedness to Reich. I showed Jimmy the orgone box I have here. One wonders whether rock music could have go en o the ground without Petrillo and the Union. e word chair is not the object itself. and we agreed that orgone accumulators in pyramid form and/or using magnetized iron could be much more powerful. Sound like falling mountains of the risks involved. Danger to a Mexican border town. Can rock music appeal directly to this interest? In short. like all the arts. Musical cut-ups have been used by Earl Browne and other modern composers. really enjoyed the concert.) Over dinner at the Mexican Gardens. publicity. instead of being the province of a relatively few a cionados. Now the cut-up method was applied to writing by Brion Gysin in 1959. We start talking over a cup of the mass unconscious cut to a soccer riot photo in Lima. Here for example is a phrase taken from a cut-up of this article: “I can see the laser gate crashers with an appreciative cheer from the 13th row. Dr. Recently a scientist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced an “electrical cell” theory of cancer that is almost identical to Reich’s cancer theory put forth 25 years ago. and I showed him plans for making this device. undercu ing the need for symbols. and the mass audience. as we know it. there are a number of disparate tendencies waiting to be synthesized. If for example you walked through Times Square. roadhouses. and that it is kept that way by the nature of verbal and symbolic communication. e Uruguayan referee as another rock star. which put musicians in the big money bracket. is magical and ceremonial in origin. rather than nonsense. Music. in which the lm was cut into segments and rearranged at random. and then put on canvas what you had seen. which must be indirect. is that the cut-up is at some point random. Could musical communication be rendered more precise with infra-sound. very good. How much new material will be accepted by a mass audience? Can rock music go forward without leaving its fans behind? We talked about Wilhelm Reich’s orgone accumulator. Nicholas Roeg and Donald Camel saw a screening of the lm not long before they made Performance. I think this was a highly important discovery. . Truby is a specialist in inter-species communication. . Basically the device is very simple.” (Actually a gate crasher was extricated by security from the row in front of us. or is it a self-limiting form. Can rock music serve as a vehicle for this synthesis? e broken guitar strings. Buy a straw hat at the door the audience all light matches. yes. I suggested to him that all communication. in common with Moroccan trance music. an incident I had forgo en until I saw this cut-up. really. I was surprised to hear that Jimmy Page had never heard of Petrillo. well-trained laser beams channeled the audience smoothly. consisting of iron or steel wool on the inside and organic material on the outside. say. Do dolphins have a language? What is a language? I de ne a language as a communication system in which data are represented by verbal or wri en symbols symbols that are not the objects to which they refer. Can rock music return to these ceremonial roots and take its fans with it? Can rock music use older forms like Moroccan trance music? ere is at present a wide interest among young people in the occult and all means of expanding consciousness. MOVING THROUGH KASHMIR. the chair. vitality by Robert Plant when you get that many people to get it. fragments of street signs. Actually.Lilly recording dolphins. You can’t see it if you refuse underlying force the same. John Bonham’s drum solo. It’s our job to see trouble and plateau the center of the room remember the stairway to Switzerland? Fire really there. he said that writing was y years behind painting. Rock music appeals to a mass audience. A sca ering of sparklers. 1974–1975 169 Word for Word WB: I really. and night clubs into Madison Square Garden and Shea Stadium. We talked about the lm Performance and the use of cut-up techniques in this lm. thereby a racting managers. What distinguishes a cut-up from. I think it has quite a lot. Can rock music make another step forward. JP: Yes.indd 169 6/20/08 7:15:21 AM . con rmed by the demands of a mass audience? How much that is radically new can a mass audience safely absorb? We came back to the question of balance. the result would be a montage . So any such system of communication is always second-hand and symbolic. Cool. montage is much closer to the facts of perception than representational painting. thus bringing the whole of music a second radical step forward? e rst step was made when music came out of the dance halls. Cut-ups o en result in more succinct meanings. For example. is actually inter-species communication. whereas we can conceive of a form of communication that would be immediate and direct. who started the rst musicians’ union and perhaps did more than any other one man to improve the nancial position of musicians by protecting copyrights.

♦♦♦ WB: Have you used the lasers in all of the concerts? JP: Over here. . . which really is a black hole as a concert hall. . . yes. One is so aware of the energies that you are going for. somebody came to the front of the stage to take a picture or something and obviously somebody said. JP: Yes. I’m very involved in ethnic music from all over the world. . yes. if I hadn’t been playing the guitar I was playing it would’ve been over somebody’s head. 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. the other night we played in the Philadelphia Spectrum. In fact. the Gnaoua music is to drive out evil spirits and Joujouka music is invoking the God Pan. what I’m saying is this . get three-dimensional. . WB: Well. . . JP: Well. . you know. . . . . It was a double-neck. So I really missed out on all that sort of traveling. . . . Our crowds. Musicians there are all magicians. . going down. making their own journeys to Istanbul. a stairway to heaven . where you actually try to get them into a state where they’ve got to go like that. “Be o with you. It’s been taken right down. . if you stayed in the country for more than six months.WB: I wondered if you consciously were using any of that. which is irreplaceable. . . . but I mean . . WB: Have you been to Morocco? JP: No. . there’s sort of a balance to be maintained there. so that you can get reports of this. JP: Yeah. . channeled in some magical way . ♦♦♦ WB: I was thinking of the concentration of mass energy that you get in a pop concert. You used to see them in the old horror lms. I’m just waiting for the day when you can get the holograms . you know. For example. . WB: And their music is de nitely used for magical purposes. I was at art college during that period and then I eventually went straight into music. I was quite impressed by that. . . . on this one solitary person. JP: Uh. . . It’s the very one that they used for the moon. What had happened. ♦♦♦ JP: When we rst came over here . for instance. say. . . and then another and then another. . JP: Because during the period when everybody was going through trips over to. . WB: Yeah. they’d drag you straight into the dra . . and then another. yes. And then one chap went over the barrier. quite consciously. well they think of music entirely in magical terms. and all that. . you were eligible for it . WB: e audience the other night was very well behaved. it could become quite actual.” And he wouldn’t go. “Kashmir” a lead bass on that even though none of us have been to Kashmir. . really. It’s not the sort of Alice Cooper style. .indd 170 WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN 170 6/20/08 7:29:41 AM . . the people that come to see us are very orderly. WB: at isn’t the kind of machine that would cause any damage. . JP: I think we should have more of them. Frankenstein. But I know musicians that have gone there and actually sat in with the Arabs and played with them. And the wrong word said at that time could’ve just sparked o the whole thing. Morocco. you could see the sts coming out . that’s right. . when the dra was really hot and everything . I saw this incident happen and I was almost physically sick. it doesn’t burn a hole in . I haven’t. It was just sickening. WB: Very e ective. I know. I’ve never been east of Athens. WB: Yes. . Now. that and the other. JP: No. and it’s a very sad admission to make. if you look straight into it. I mean. way down. e other thing I wanted to do was the Van de Graa Generator. India and Bangkok and places like that through the Southeast. WB: Oh yes . . and if that were. JP: Yes. e security there is the most ugly of anywhere in the States. WB: Yes. I’ve only been to. . It’s just that we’ve all been very involved in that sort of music. . don’t you? About 30 of them! Do you know they bounced that one o the moon? But it’s been condensed . there is a li le on that particular track. and you could so easily. and they all piled on top of . unless you wait another nine months for them to make another one at Gibson’s. And they dragged him by his hair and they were kicking him.

JP: No. WB: It’s apparently . I was just totally and completely spaced out. . anyway. from the stage to the audience. I thought you had to be an American citizen. . weren’t they. . Well. but not in such a detailed explanation. . and physically that was a real . . . . saying “We don’t want these poisonous rays” [laughter]. . when radio rst came out they were picketing all the radio stations. . I just couldn’t . any music with volume will set up these vibrations. JP: Well. . JP: I’ve heard of this. . de nitely. or hear it. . . and it’s really like a mantra. . Music which involves ri s. .Yes. And it was developed by someone named Professor Gavreau in France as a military weapon. certain notes can break glasses. . And it is . it was just about neck and neck. of course. But it could be used just to set up vibrations. it’s not complicated to build these infrasound things. JP: Ah. . . well . . and the days coming up to the six-month period were just about . JP: Hmm. I was producing and having to work in studios here. JP: I want laser notes. . obviously does the same thing. JP: I’ve never seen it done. it’s patented in France. . this can be fatal. I mean I’ve never seen the group play. will have a trance-like e ect. For a very small fee. actually. . But I was wondering if on the borderline of infra-sound that possibly some interesting things could be done. . I can only see it on celluloid. you can make one of these things out of parts you can buy in a junk yard. WB: I’ve never seen it done. but somebody would’ve been there. infra-sound is sound below the level of hearing. And I still had a couple more days le and a couple more days to work on this LP. WB: Well. WB: Were they right there with the papers? JP: Well. I would say yes. JP: hours. WB: Yes. It’s not a complicated machine to make. . And this thing about rhythms within the audience. . ♦♦♦ JP: Last year we were playing [sets] for three hours solid. I mean obviously it would have taken some time. Z 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. But it kills by se ing up vibrations within the body. . I’ve heard that certain frequencies can make you physically ill. A death ray machine! Of course. It can also knock down walls and break windows. WB: What a mantra does is set up certain vibrations within the body. He had an infra-sound installation that he could turn on and kill everything within ve miles. . JP: Ah hah . You know. . I mean. it goes . at was two hours MOVING THROUGH KASHMIR. WB: Oh. . carry on. yes. and according to French law. . Of course. it comes out too far. . . . . at’s not what you’re looking for. . ♦♦♦ WB: Did you ever hear about something called infra-sound? JP: Uh. at is part of the way the e ect is achieved. . you can obtain a copy of the patent. And actually the patent . But I know what I see.indd 171 6/20/08 7:30:45 AM . Because I’m part of it. I didn’t even know where I was going. they do keep an eye on people. And we’ve been a acked for that. I mean. it’s hard to know just exactly what is going on. . WB: Apparently. . It used to go for three WB: I’d hate to give a three-hour reading. obviously. JP: Yeah. You can only . We almost overstayed our welcome. 1974–1975 171 at was two and a half hours.WB: I didn’t realize that. not quite. but I know that you can do it. No no. what I was wondering was whether rhythmical music at sort of the borderline of infra-sound could be used to produce rhythms in the audience because. when I came back from the last tour I didn’t know where I was. WB: How long was that you played recently? and a half. that’s what I’m a er! Cut right through. this is true? WB: at was one of Caruso’s tricks. Well. you see the thing is. JP: But it is true? WB: Of course. . Yes. opera singers can break glasses with sound. . We ended up in New York and the only thing that I could relate to was the instrument onstage. . and this.

140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10.indd 172 WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN 172 6/20/08 7:33:48 AM .

indd 173 6/20/08 7:36:06 AM .140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10.

He camped out alone among the phantasms and spirits. John Paul Jones fell ill and the recording was postponed until February 1974. a month after the band announced the formation of Swan Song Records. who demanded he choose between her and the music).the LPs: Physical Graffiti By Jaan Uhelszki A 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. This song shows how well he chose—and marks one of the first times in their history that Zeppelin allowed their flesh-and-blood foibles to fuel their lyrics. to no one’s surprise. During the early stages of preproduction. but because it was reported to be haunted—something which. damp. this band might not appear to be a hive of industry.” But the band’s human side isn’t restricted to that track. Plant’s voice is naked. the double-LP Physical Graffiti felt the first stirrings of life in November 1973 when Led Zeppelin descended on Headley Grange in Hampshire. tantalized guitarist Page. the former workhouse–turned–recording studio and rehearsal complex that the Zeppelin organization purchased from former Faces bassist Ronnie Lane.” as well as “Ten Years Gone.” Once they finally settled in.indd 174 WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN lmost eighteen months in the making.” wherein his languid. not only because it was colorless. but when we do get something together it’s always something that we’re all completely satisfied with. sharing the historic space with a shrouded lady in gray who flitted about at the top of the second-floor landing. vulnerable. culminating in the deathless phrase “on the wings of maybe. The band started work on this massive undertaking just as Jimmy Page was finishing up the soundtrack for Lucifer Rising. the mysterious woman fed Page’s imagination and no doubt had some impact on the stuff he was writing—most notably the brooding arrangement of “In My Time Of Dying. “On the surface. Even as they lustily wore the thorny crowns of rock legends—and their apocryphal antics and Herculean misbehaviors were hourly whispered among the cognoscenti—Graffiti saw them step down off of Olympus to pen songs that were as messy and shambolic as anything on the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main 174 6/27/08 8:17:08 AM . preferring a nearby luxury hotel. arrhythmic runs provide a near-perfect and almost liquid foil for Plant’s ruminations about fleeting love and unwelcome change (reportedly inspired by the singer’s first girlfriend. Robert Plant told reporters. the band refused to stay at the Grange. Rather than unnerving him. and not always in key as he uses a series of avian metaphors. Unapologetic for the long lapse. a film by Kenneth Anger (best known for penning Hollywood Babylon). and filled with wet mold.

making Zeppelin the first band ever to have six albums on the Top 200 simultaneously. the record was reportedly selling 500-plus copies an hour. Page had been contemplating putting out a double disc for sometime. Physical Graffiti is a historical document that chronicles a time when dinosaurs walked the earth. Atmospheric. cut through the Moroccan incense (well. where Page’s daughter Scarlet was conceived.Street and as varied and seemingly incongruent as the Beatles’ “White Album.” along with “The Rover” and “The Wanton Song. and creating a sprawling view of what the band was capable of—the innocence of “Ten Years Gone. but to their own suite of rooms at New York’s fabled Plaza Hotel to sup on chilled lobster and strawberries and ravish willing women. with their past successes and now their own label.” and it chronicled a trip that Page and Plant made to Morocco—not Kashmir—in 1973.” After six blockbuster albums Zeppelin was almost walking on water and no one was pestering them for another hit.” Page insisted.” and the mixed metaphors and messages of “Night Flight.” Still. and where the austere and stoic guitarist claimed he really got to know Robert Plant. “Black Country Woman. The first incarnation was titled “Driving To Kashmir. It was not going to be high art—that was clear.indd 175 6/20/08 7:37:57 AM .” epitomized the band’s untouchable rock-behemoth reputation and easily could have been on either Led Zeppelin II or IV. atonal.” Up until this time. 1974–1975 175 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. even after the long and protracted skirmishes over the album’s sleeve art. noting that the running order of the tracks was very important. unearthing outtakes from the Zeppelin’s previous albums. which was what the beauty of how the band was. and allow themselves to be seen as mere mortals. “That’s gonna be the one.” But ironically. and how the music was made as opposed to how things are today.” the deceptive simplicity of “Custard Pie. “It wasn’t thrown together haphazardly. and two photos of the band in drag. and once again contrasted bone-jolting rocksolid tunes alongside mystical spiritual quests. might be the graceful flub during the recording of the elevenplus-minute “In My Time Of Dying. at the very least. to be whisked away on their own jet. two weeks after its release in February 1975. Z MOVING THROUGH KASHMIR. Yet. Instead. and the fifteen songs that make up what critics have called the most Zeppelin-ish of all Led Zeppelin albums spanned genres and tempos. pulling all of the band’s previous five albums in its draft and depositing them back on the Billboard album charts.” “Rock And Roll.” and “Bron-Yr-Aur. folkloric paean to the holiday home of Robert Plant’s family.” and “Whole Lotta Love. do anything. At best. Zeppelin undertook Physical Graffiti because. with no obvious hit. And walked proudly. Witness the loose jams “Boogie With Stu” (featuring “sixth Stone” Ian Stewart).” Jimmy Page told me in 1997. “Kashmir. not The Graffiti Of The Gods. isn’t it?” Also left in the mix are the sounds of an aircraft in “Black Country Woman. here they peel back the velvet curtains. Lee Harvey Oswald. however. not to a private island or Idaho. acoustic. “At this point we had this beautiful freedom that we could try anything. throw open the gates to rock Valhalla.” It was the first song that Page wrote for the album and one that mutated several times before the final version. The first clue that the songs weren’t delivered from on high was the album’s title.” Taken together they are. and also where the band wrote most of their third album. they could.” the keening mysterious spirituality of “In The Light. a calling card of the band’s accomplishments. Covering a vast expanse of musical territory. except on the buzzy exotica of “Kashmir”). But forget the artwork—what was inside is what counted. this album.” Drummer John Bonham can be heard to cough and then ask. It was called Physical Graffiti. The most humanizing aspect of Physical Graffiti. was the one that went straight to No. At the time of its 1975 release. fractured and disturbing. none of the band members had set foot in the country. Zep were seemingly inaccessible. At the time of its release (which garnered over 1 million advance orders).” and then the phrase “We gotta get this airplane on.” the latter of which is Page’s placid. most notably the Eastern-tinged “Kashmir. 1. which originally sported images of Aleister Crowley. they intended to record what moved them rather than what would appease a record company. grafting them to the band’s more recent compositions. and went on a scavenger hunt of the band’s vaults. rarely giving interviews or stooping to speak to their faithful—four bigger-than-life alpha men swathed in red Turkish robes the moment they left the stage.” the jittery singsong naturalism of “Down By The Seaside. Their canon was swelling with anthemic numbers like “Stairway To Heaven. “A band today has to constantly try to keep its head above water.

” —Ian Hunter. He’s one of the few. Mott the Hoople 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10. I always respected Robert Plant as he goes his own way.WHOLE LOTTA LED ZEPPELIN T OU R DAT E S “‘Kashmir’ was the one for me—an unbeatable riff.indd 176 176 6/27/08 10:08:42 AM .

27. MI 2. Seattle.75 Sam Houston Coliseum.24–25. PA 2. Louis.75 Met Center. NY 2.75 Sports Arena.75 Assembly Center.19–20.75 Madison Square Garden.1.31. PA 2.75 Long Beach Arena. New York. Chicago.14.28. TX 3. Louisiana State University. MO 2. CA 3. New York.4.75 Olympia Stadium. Philadelphia. Seattle. Robe Olympia Stadium. Indianapolis. IL 1.12. OH 1. NY 2. NY 2.4–5.75 Montreal Forum. Vancouver. BC 3. Bloomington. PQ 2. IN 1.75 Seattle Center Coliseum. Long Beach.75 Chicago Stadium.75 Market Square Arena. Montreal. St. Houston. Fort Worth. Uniondale. Detroit.10.75 Nassau Coliseum. Inglewood. NC 1.75 Arena. Greensboro. Uniondale. WA 3.3. CA T OUR DATE S 140-267 LZ_Ch6-Ch10.7. Pittsburgh. Baton Rouge.25.75 Seattle Center Coliseum. TX 3. Rotterdam.21.18.75 Coliseum.75 Sports Arena. 1975. Brussels.75 Richfield Coliseum. 27. January rt Matheu 6/27/08 10:18:45 AM .75 Pacific Coliseum.75 The Forum.3. TX 2. Cleveland.7.12.10. CA 3.6.8.75 The Spectrum. MD 2.1.75 Vorst Nationaal. Landover. NY 2. MN 1. NY 2.75 Madison Square Garden. Belgium 1. CA 3.75 Civic Arena. New York. WA 3. San Diego.13–14.24. LA 3.17.75 Madison Square Garden.1.75 Ahoy Hallen. Austin.75 Capital Centre.indd 177 31. Dallas. Detroit.75 Memorial Auditorium.29. MI.75 Nassau Coliseum.20–22. San Diego. TX 3.16. Netherlands 1.11–12.75 Events Center.75 Tarrant County Convention Center.