The Point
Last updated: 24 April 2018.

...red sky thinking for an open and diverse left

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Celebration Day - Led Zeppelin are back

   Spacebound Ape looks forward to the return of Led Zeppelin to the public arena for the first time in five years.

Hold onto your hard hats, folks, the Zeps are back.

Celebration Day, the film of Led Zeppelin’s legendary re-union (and supposedly last ever gig) at the 02 Arena in London in 2007 is coming to a big screen near you on October 17th and 18th only, in full glorious HD and surround sound. The gig in 2007 was hugely oversubscribed with over 3 million applying in the space of a couple of days for a limited number of tickets. At the time those of us (including Spacebound Ape) who couldn’t make it fully expected a DVD to be issued shortly.

Well, we’ve waited for five years, and the rumour mill is that it will be well worth the wait, with the film theatre release being followed by a DVD release around Christmas time.  Spacebound Ape will write a full review of the film for The Point once it’s released, in the meantime look on this as a little teaser...

The 02 gig was the first time the Zeps had gotten together for over 25 years, since the tragic death of drummer John Bonham in 1981. In 2007, with Bonham’s son Zak taking over at the kit, the surviving Zeps,  Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones delivered a sign off show that, I’ve been told, will live long in the memories of those who were lucky enough to be there. Now fans of the world’s greatest band everywhere will have a chance to catch some of the gold dust for themselves. The chat boards and papers have even seen considerable speculation about a new album and tour. But perhaps that’s being greedy and unrealistic. After all, Jimmy Page (aka Beethoven with a Les Paul, the greatest rock guitarist of all time, Mr. Sweaty) was eligible for his pensioners bus pass even prior to the 2007 gig.

By this time you’ll probably have guessed that this article eschews any claims to objectivity. Spacebound Ape writes as a fan – and it is fair to say that Led Zeppelin are generally not the most popular band on the left – particularly amongst the punk generation who saw themselves as part of a movement against overblown rock aristocracy. However, there has been no mass extinction of these particular ‘dinosaurs’ whose music has outlived many of those who prematurely prophesied its death. Indeed, in recent years there has been something of a welcome revisionism over the way Zeppelin were traditionally seen and consumed. Once seen as ‘’eavy metal, ‘eavy metal, ‘eavy metal – just like your fuckin’ head’, being described in a famous Melody Maker article as ‘a combination of Laura Ashley and Stalingrad’ and ‘peculiarly, sadistically right for the seventies’, and regarded by many as purely the province of sexually frustrated adolescent males with a copy of The Hobbit in their bedrooms, Zeppelin have emerged from the particularities of their period to be acknowledged as genuine musical greats and innovators. Probably amongst younger people, most of whom were scarcely a gleam in their parents’ eyes when it was all actually happening, they are second only to Pink Floyd in dad rock affection.

‘Ape’ once occasioned to a local hostelry wearing one of his old Zep T-shirts and was asked by the young man behind the bar if I’d seen the (then) new Zep DVD ‘the one of Knebworth’. I replied I had, and remarked casually that I had been there that August in Stevenage in 1979. A free pint ensued. I don’t think the youngster could’ve been more impressed if I’d told him I’d been behind the picket fence in Dallas in ’63, or on the Brazell ranch in New Mexico in 1947, when that thing fell out of the sky.

Anyway, enough words for now. A blow by blow review of Celebration Day will soon be forthcoming along with a defence of Zeppelin’s Blakesian lyrical radicalism.

For now, turn up the volume and enjoy. 

External links:

Bella Caledonia

Bright Green

George Monbiot

Green Left

Greenpeace

The Jimmy Reid Foundation

Laurie Penny

New Left Project

Newsnet Scotland

Richard Dawkins

Scottish Left Review

Socialist Unity

UK Uncut

Viridis Lumen

Wings Over Scotland

Word Power Books