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Roots of Zeppelin

Bring It On Home - Sonny Boy Williamson
This track was written by Willie Dixon and was recorded on November 01, 1963 as a single. Led Zeppelin only borrow from this song for the intro and ending of their version. They were sued by Arc Music in 1972 and the lawsuit was settled out of court.
Gallis Pole - Leadbelly
Recorded in 1935, Gallis Pole is both a documentary of the southern prison experience, and a deadly guitar piece. Led Zeppelin was inspired to do this song, after Jimmy Page heard a recording of Fred Gerlach play it on the 12-string guitar in the same way that Leadbelly played it. Robert Plant changed the lyrics, some and the poetry and some intent, but still made mention of the friends who did not bring any silver or gold to save him from the hangman.
Good Golly Miss Molly - Little Richard
The intro is similar to the musical arrangement of Boogie With Stu from Physical Graffiti. It was released in 1958 as a single. Little Richard claimed that he took the music from Ike Turner's piano intro to Jackie Brenston's 1951 song, Rocket 88, and used it for Good Golly Miss Molly.
I Can't Quit You Baby - Willie Dixon
This track was originally written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Otis Rush as a single in 1956.
Keep A-Knocking - Little Richard
The drum introduction played by Charles Connor on the Little Richard recording inspired the drum introduction John Bonham played for the song Rock and Roll. This was recorded in 1957 and released as a single.
Killin' Floor - Howlin' Wolf
The Lemon Song is a myriad of old blues songs, including Travelling Riverside Blues by Robert Johnson, Crosscut Saw by Albert King and this song, written by Chester Burnett a.k.a. Howlin' Wolf and released as a single in late 1964. Some early pressings of Led Zeppelin II listed The Lemon Song as Killing Floor. Arc Music, publisher for all of Howlin' Wolf's music, sued Led Zeppelin in December 1972 and settled out of court.
My Bucket's Got A Hole In It - Hank Williams Sr.
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant recorded a version of this song for the tribute to Sun Records in 2001. Recorded on August 30, 1949 by Hank Williams Sr., although the words and music were originally written by jazz musician Clarence Williams in the 1930s.
Never - Moby Grape
Lyrics from this song were used by Robert Plant in their third album for Since I've Been Loving You. Robert was a fan of the California sound of the late 1960s. Never was released on April 3, 1968 as part of the bonus album Grape Jam.
Oh Well - Fleetwood Mac
Black Dog has very similar vocal arrangements to this song. Jimmy Page said in an interview that he had heard Oh Well. Originally released on Fleetwood Mac's 1969 release Then Play On.
Ooh! My Head - Richie Valens
Jimmy Page once told fellow British musician/author Ian Whitcomb during an interview: "Valens was my first guitar hero and I played that bridge to 'La Bamba' a thousand times." Led Zeppelin later cribbed Ritchie's Ooh! My Head for their own Boogie With Stu. The band retitled the song, listing themselves as composers. On July 28, 1978, Led Zeppelin and their record company, Swan Song Records, settled amicably out of court for a reported $130,000 plus future royalties with the stipulation that the settlement's incriminating terms be kept confidential. Ooh! My Head was even a variation on Ooh! My Soul by Little Richard, which was recorded two years before Valens' song. This song was released in February 1959 on Ritchie Valens' self-titled first album.
Shake 'Em On Down - Bukka White
Recorded in 1937 in Chicago, Robert Plant used the lyrics as a basis for the song Custard Pie and Hats Of To (Roy) Harper, with lyrics from Sleepy John Estes' Drop Down Mama.
Taurus - Spirit
Led Zeppelin toured with Spirit on their first US Tour. Jimmy Page nicked the riff from this song for the arpeggio acoustic guitar intro on Stairway To Heaven.
Travelling Riverside Blues - Robert Johnson
The lyrics for Led Zeppelin's version of Travelling Riverside Blues was drawn from many blues sources, including Sleepy John Estes' Milk Cow Blues, as well as Robert Johnson's Come On In My Kitchen and Kind Hearted Woman Blues.
You Need Love - Willie Dixon
This track was released by Chess Records in 1962 with Muddy Waters singing and Casey Jones on drums. Dixon sued in 1985 for royalties and they settled out of court, with proper credit being put on future releases.
You Shook Me - The Jeff Beck Group
Part of Jeff Beck's first solo album Truth released in August 1968 (and featuring vocals by Rod Stewart), this track also includes John Paul Jones on Hammond organ. Although Led Zeppelin's version was released five months later, their version got more recognition that Jeff Beck's.
You Shook Me - Willie Dixon
This track was written by Willie Dixon and J.B. Lenoir and was released by Chess Records in 1962 with Muddy Waters singing, J.T Brown Ernest Cotton on tenor saxophone, Johnny "Big Moose" Walker on organ, Earl Hooker on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, and Casey Jones on drums.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History


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September 07, 1968 - The band fulfills some old Yardbirds dates in Scandanavia
September xx, 1969 - Jimmy Page is reported saying the second album will be harder than the first
September 19, 1970 - Led Zeppelin gross over $100,000 for two performances at Madison Square Gardens on the same day
September xx, 1971 - Jimmy Page is furious over a live Yardbirds release. It was forced off the shelves
September xx, 1971 - The band vacations in Hawaii
September xx, 1972 - Discussions to play various countries ends with a decision to play Japan again
September xx, 1973 - Jimmy Page considers a live release of material before releasing a new album
September 14, 1974 - Led Zeppelin and CSN&Y jam at an after party
September xx, 1975 - Jimmy meets up with Robert in Malibu, where he is staying on a tax exile
September 12, 1976 - Page and Bonham return to Switzerland and record a drum piece title Bonzo’s Montreux
September 08, 1977 - Page takes to the stage with other well knowns at a WEA records sales conference
September 15, 1978 - Zep road manager Richard Cole and Bad Company’s Simon Kirke get married in a double ceremony
September 17, 1979 - Promoter Fred Bannister forced into liquidation over Knebworth Sales with Led Zeppelin
September 18, 1980 - Jimmy reviews a new stage set up and technical details for the Eighties Part One tour at Swan Song offices
September 25, 1980 - John Bonham is found dead in Jimmy Page’s Windsor mansion by sound technician Benji Le Fevre
September 12, 2007 - It was announced at a press conference by Harvey Goldsmith that the remaining members of Led Zeppelin would reunite with Jason Bonham on drums.
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