As a longtime Led Zeppelin fan, I was excited to tune into last night's reunion show in London. Strangely, the show wasn't broadcast anywhere--not even on LedZeppelin.com. Surely somebody could have sold some advertising for such a popular event, and if the promoters objected, they could have donated the proceeds to the Ahmet Ertegun Educational Fund (where funds from ticket sales went).
Fortunately, that's what YouTube is for. Unfortunately, as quickly as fans post their videos (taken on cellphones?) on YouTube, Warner Music Group asks for them to be taken down.
This is completely incomprehensible to me. The YouTube videos aren't competing against anything--there's no DVD or recording to satisfy the approximately 24.98 million of us who applied for tickets and didn't get them. And even if there were an official recording, these amateur YouTube clips would serve to whet our appetite for the real thing. And it's not like the band sucked--every review I've read so far has been surprisingly positive, with a few naysayers racing to point out the obvious. (Zeppelin? Playing long, downbeat blues rock songs? No way! I wonder if Johnny Rotten's heard.) So if there's actually going to be a tour, why not build excitement further by giving fans a few glimpses of what might be in store?
Zeppelin fans and curiosity seekers: head over to The Daily Swarm and check out the 2nd video on this page quickly, before Warner asks for it to be taken down. (I'd insert it myself, but if it's in fact a copyright infringement, I'm sure CNET won't approve.) If it's already gone when you get there, here's what you wanted to know: it's a suprisingly half-decent recording of "Stairway to Heaven," Jimmy Page is playing it like the original (he's dropped those annoying extra riffs you can hear on official live Zeppelin recordings like The Song Remains The Same), and Robert Plant did not ask "does anyone remember laughter?" Presumably, he figured out the answer on his own.
Relatedly, I enjoy reading Bob Lefsetz, even when I disagree with him, but today's post just seems like sour grapes. I was eight years old the last time Zeppelin came to town, yet they were just as much a part of my life in high school as they were in yours. So why shouldn't I get a chance to see them? If you don't like it, stay home. Please. That'll be one less guy yelling "down in front" through the whole show.