Over the Hills and Not That Far Away

Led Zeppelin rocked the Sam Houston Coliseum the night before this 1975 show in Baton Rouge.
Led Zeppelin has been in the news so much lately it’s getting hard to remember they broke up 27 years ago. Of course there’s the big reunion show at London’s O3 Arena, with late drummer John Bonham’s son Jason taking over his dad’s stool, which has been moved to December 10 after hammer of the Gods Jimmy Page fractured one of his magic fingers last week. More than one million people have already put in for the ticket draw, and O3 only holds 10,000, so at this point it’s probably best to see if the concert shows up on YouTube or wait for the inevitable DVD.

That’s hardly all the Zep news. Banshee-like vocalist Robert Plant’s new collaboration with Americana/bluegrass siren Allison Krauss, Raising Sand (Rounder), is No. 6 on this week’s Billboard 200. And just today, XM Radio debuted its first dedicated artist channel, something rival Sirius has been doing for a while with Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett and the Rolling Stones, to name a few. Guess who XM picked? XM LED, channel 59, signed on at midnight and is running the sound track to 1975’s The Song Remains the Same, which Rhino reissued last month, on a loop all day. Alongside the Song DVD and its two-CD sound track, Rhino’s brand-new two-CD compilation Mothership will be in stores Tuesday for all your hard-rocking holiday shopping needs. For those who prefer shopping by mouse, the band’s entire catalog will be available from all major online retailers starting Tuesday. (A review of Mothership will be posted soon on Houstoned Rocks’s new recurring installment, “Classic Rock Corner.”)

But wait, there’s more! Houstonians hungry for a Led Zep fix can track down a recording (rated B+) of the band’s March 1970 Hofheinz Pavilion performance here or one from May 1973 at the Sam Houston Coliseum (rated A-) here. Or you can head down to the Continental Club for tonight’s levee-breaking show by Zeppelin tribute band Von Hindenburg. Paul von Hindenburg was President of Germany throughout the Weimar Republic years, and his 1933 death enabled then-Chancellor Adolf Hitler to seize total control of the government. Houston’s Von Hindenburg, meanwhile, features former members of Kelly Osbourne chums Pure Rubbish and drummer Steve Candelari, who organized last month’s hugely successful Sgt. Pepper’s live performance.

So far Led Zeppelin has vehemently denied any possibility of a tour, which could literally gross in the bajillions of dollars, following next month’s London show. For now, the songs may remain the same, but obviously the world is still listening. – Chris Gray

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