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A fire which destroyed a mansion formerly owned by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and occultist Aleister Crowley was not started intentionally, investigators say.

The blaze broke out at Boleskine House on the eastern bank of Loch Ness at around 1.40pm on December 23.

Around 60% of the B-listed mansion was destroyed in the fire, which took hours to bring under control.

Investigators are confident the fire was not suspicious but have been unable to establish its cause.

Crowley, who became infamous for his books on the occult, lived at Boleskine House between 1899 and 1913.

Former Led Zeppelin guitarist and Crowley memorabilia-collector Jimmy Page bought Boleskine House in 1970 but spent less than six weeks there before selling the mansion in 1992.

It has since been used as a private residence and a guest house and was put up for sale in 2009 for £176,000.

From: STV News


The night Led Zeppelin played a free gig at the Boat Club is part of Nottingham rock and pop history.

It was more than 40 years ago but now a film maker is hoping to find Nottinghamshire people who remember that show.

As part of a major BBC project called People's History of Pop, producer Rob Whitehouse is making a short film for the East Midlands magazine programme Inside Out focusing on fans' memories in the East Midlands.

And he is particularly interested in hearing from anyone who was at the Led Zeppelin gig.

He said: "It would be wonderful if I could find someone who took photographs, even better if anyone had some film or a sound recording of that night.

"Unfortunately, there were no mobile phones back then but you never know."

Rob will be filming an interview with Boat Club president Keith Atkinson, who first booked Led Zeppelin to appear on Trentside in 1969 before they achieved worldwide fame - for the princely fee of £80.

The free Led Zeppelin gig of 1971 is still regarded by many as Nottingham's finest rock hour.

Led Zeppelin became the biggest stadium band in the world, breaking attendance records in America held by the Beatles.

Yet, in March 1971, they returned to the Boat Club for an extraordinary gig.

Keith, speaking about a night he will never forget, said: "They played for free that time. They wanted to put something back to the venues that had set them on the road to success."

He said the queue of fans hoping to get a ticket snaked back across Trent Bridge, adding: "Ironically, although we were raking in the cash at the time, we hardly made anything that night because it was so rammed that people couldn't get to the bar because no-one could move."

There were other high-profile visitors to Trentside, including Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Motorhead – led by the legendary Lemmy who died this month – and Ozzie Osborne with Black Sabbath.

Rob is hoping to hear from anyone who was at these gigs, especially if they have memorabilia from the time.

His film is part of a nationwide project in which the BBC is crowd sourcing photographs and audio/video of fans' cherished music memorabilia – ticket stubs, diary entries, teen band recordings, wrist bands, rare footage and more – to tell the story of British rock and pop music from the 1950s to the noughties.

A BBC spokesman said: "Whether you were into skiffle, punk, hip hop or anything in between, we want to see your stuff and hear your stories.

"What was the first record you bought? Do you still have the ticket stub to your all-time favourite gig? Were you in a teen band and do you still have the recordings?

"If you've been inspired by British sounds and you still have the memorabilia in your attic, under your bed or in the recesses of your computer, dig it out and go to www.phop.co.uk to take part.

"All you need to do is join up by creating a profile with our partners, History Pin, and follow the links to share your stuff. If you have an object, just take a photo of it and upload that. If you have audio or video, you can embed that too.

"Everything sent in to People's History of Pop will be part of an incredible online archive and will culminate with a television series for BBC Four, featuring the best of what's been uploaded to the site."

To contact Rob, email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/BBC-search-fans-attended-Led-Zeppelin-s-historic/story-28522398-detail/story.html
Jones/Bowie

(from September 1976 Playboy)

PLAYBOY: Do you remember the first time you got stoned?

BOWIE: On grass? I'd done a lot of pills ever since I was a kid. Thirteen or fourteen. But the first time I got stoned on grass was with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin many, many years ago, when he was still a bass player on Herman's Hermits records. We'd been talking to Ramblin' Jack Elliott somewhere and Jonesy said to me, "Come over and I'll turn you on to grass." I thought about it and said, "Sure, I'll give it a whirl." We went over to his flat–he had a huge room, with nothing in it except this huge vast Hammond organ, right next door to the police department.

I had done cocaine before but never grass. I don't know why it should have happened in that order, probably because I knew a couple of merchant seamen who used to bring it back from the docks. I had been doing it with them. And they loathed grass. So I watched in wonder while Jonesy rolled these three fat joints. And we got stoned on all of them. I became incredibly high and it turned into an in-fucking-credible hunger. I ate two loaves of bread. Then the telephone rang. Jonesy said, "Go and answer that for me, will you?" So I went downstairs to answer the phone and kept on walking right out into the street. I never went back. I just got intensely fascinated with the cracks in the pavement.


Attorneys for group blasted for requesting "irrelevant" documentation in copyright dispute

As any Led Zeppelin fan knows, the group has long been associated with one legendarily impure fishing expedition. And now they're being accused of engaging in a pure one.

In the latest turn in the "Stairway to Heaven" copyright saga, the group was accused of undertaking a "pure fishing expedition" in legal papers filed Tuesday.

In the filing, attorneys for plaintiff Michael Skidmore - trustee for the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust which, according to the papers, owns Wolfe's copyrights - blast Team Zeppelin for questioning the validity of the trust.

"There is no evidence to cast even the slightest bit of shade on the validity of the Trust, nor have Defendants argued that there is any real reason to doubt the validity of the Trust," the papers read. "This is a pure fishing expedition."

Skidmore brought the suit, claiming that Zeppelin's rock classic "Stairway to Heaven" infringes on the song "Taurus" by the group Spirit, of which Wolfe (nom de rock: Randy California) was an original member. Wolfe died in 1997.

Led Zeppelin's camp contends that the Wolfe trust is only valid if it is a qualified charitable foundation or other qualified entity, and claims that Skidmore's legal team hasn't provided evidence to that effect. Zeppelin's lawyers are asking Skidmore's team to provide proof, such as "all Internal Revenue Service notices or correspondence qualifying the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust as a charitable foundation or other qualified entity."

The plaintiff's side contends that it has already provided all the proof that's necessary, and that the Zeppelin team's request for further documentation is "overly broad, vague, irrelevant, not calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant evidence, and unduly burdensome."

They also say that nobody has ever questioned the validity of the trust, and "because Defendants are not the beneficiaries of the Trust they have no legal authority or standing to challenge the validity of the Trust."

According to the filing, Skidmore claims that the trust's receipts "are used to donate musical instruments for schoolchildren in Ventura County."

From: The Wrap
Robert Plant
Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters have announced a tour of the American South this Spring.

"I'm always eager to return to the hospitality of the Southern states," Robert said in a statement. "Towns and cities that hold fond memories for me personally, places that gave birth to so much of the music I love."

He continues, "Our recent travels have taken this wild whirlwind of a band though many incredible and inspiring places. Having just begun work on our new album, we thought we'd take time out to raise a little sand and welcome springtime with one more adventure, another celebration of life and song."

The tour kicks on March 4th at the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, see the full dates below.

03/04-06 – Okeechobee, FL – Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
03/06 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
03/07 – Mobile, AL – Saenger Theatre
03/09 – Jackson, MS – Thalia Mara Hall
03/10 – Baton Rouge, LA – River Center Theatre
03/11 – Shreveport, LA – Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
03/13 – Cain's Ballroom – Tulsa, OK
03/15 – The Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX
03/17 – San Antonio, TX – Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
03/18 – Midland, TX – Wagner Noel Center Performing Arts Center
03/20 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at Moody Theater

Tickets for these dates can be found here - http://www.robertplant.com/#road/2010
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

December 16, 1968 - Zep plays Bath Pavilion for a mere £75.
December 26, 1968 - First American concert at the Coliseum in Denver, CO
December xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are reported to have sold 5 million dollars worth of albums in the US
December 11, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are presented gold and platinum discs for their first two albums
December xx, 1970 - The band enters Island Studios to begin work on the fourth album
December xx, 1971 - The band plays a few low-key shows back in England
December 23, 1972 - The band break for Christmas holiday after a London gig
December xx, 1973 - John Paul Jones works on studio productions for Madeline Bell
December xx, 1973 - Joe Massot films Jimmy Page’s fantasy sequence at Loch Ness
December 19, 1974 - John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page jam with Bad Company at the Rainbow Theater
December 10, 1975 - Led Zeppelin play a 45-minute show with Norman Hale at Behan’s in Jersey
December xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin rehearses for the 1977 tour
December 25, 1976 - It’s announced that Plant and Bonham will reunite with the Band of Joy for three shows in the new year
December xx, 1977 - The band minus Robert gather to discuss Led Zeppelin’s future plans
December xx, 1978 - The new album is completed quickly at Polar Studios and mixed at Jimmy’s Plumpton Studio
December xx, 1979 - John Bonham considers joining Paul McCartney’s Wings
December 29, 1979 - The band minus Jimmy Page attend the Paul McCartney And Wings Kampuchea befefit show
December 04, 1980 - Led Zeppelin issue the following statement not to carry on as a band: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of harmony felt by ourselves and our manager have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
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