Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin's bear of a manager (by turns huggable and ferocious) may be long gone but his legacy remains the same. His policy of merciless treatment of bootleggers is very much alive today, even when those "bootleggers" are just ordinary blokes taking grainy, boomy minute-long video clips with their cellphones and posting them to the Internet.
It wasn't always thus. In interviews, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page have talked about going shopping for Led Zep bootlegs in Japan. In fact, the duo's 1972 experimental jams with the India's Bombay City orchestra, once thought lost forever, resurfaced as a bootleg in the early 1990s and Plant, for one, was delighted. The orchestral arrangements of those Led Zep numbers seemed to have a direct influence on some of the eastern-flavored reworkings of Zep songs on the "Unledded" album. During that 1994-95 tour, Page&Plant even had designated spots for bootleggers to set up their equipment, much as jam bands such as moe. do today. As the most bootlegged band in Britain, it's arguable that tapes of the band's legendary live shows only added to their legend and mystique and must-see status.
On a lighter note, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have announced their first tour dates, here.
And, in other news, Rolling Stone's David Fricke, a Zep aficionado, offers the most compelling review of the show I've seen yet. And here's a song-by-song critique by Kevin Shirley, engineer remaster of "How the West Was Won" and the reissue of "The Song Remains the Same." Dave Grohl, "the nicest man in rock" and would-be drummer behind Page, Plant, and Jones, salutes Jason Bonham, here.