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Taking Names: Led Zeppelin touts concert film, mum on future projects
The song remains the same, as Led Zeppelin once observed. But Zeppelin fans can visit the band’s music anew thanks to a film of the rock titans’ last show together in 2007 — which also was the band’s first full show in 27 years.
Singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones got together again Friday to promote the film — but that may be as close as fans will get to a new reunion.
At a news conference, the members flatly declined to answer when asked if they were tempted to perform together as Led Zeppelin.
Mr. Plant said that even lining up onstage to answer questions — “like a bunch of soccer managers being interviewed after a match” — was not his idea of fun.
The band members have moved on, with Mr. Plant in particular finding success in other genres. He has played with musicians from Mali and won a Grammy in 2009 for his rootsy collaborations with bluegrass musician Alison Krauss.
And, the 64-year-old singer acknowledged: “I struggle with some lyrics for particular periods of time” — especially for the famously cryptic “Stairway to Heaven.”
He’s not alone. Many listeners find that Zeppelin lyrics range from mystical to unintelligible.
“Maybe I’m still trying to work out what I was talking about,” Mr. Plant said.
But the musicians are proud of the December 2007 show at London’s 02 Arena captured in director Dick Carruthers’ crisp and energetic concert film “Celebration Day.”
The concert, attended by 18,000 ticket-holders selected from more than 1 million applicants, was a tribute to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, an early mentor of the band.
On screen, the 1970s hard-rock heroes — joined by Jason Bonham, son of original drummer John Bonham — look relaxed and sound confident as they power through hits including “Kashmir,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Whole Lotta Love” and — of course — “Stairway to Heaven.”
Four decades after they fused blues, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll into a new kind of hard rock, they remain very much the 1970s rock gods — Mr. Plant the strutting frontman, Mr. Page the guitar god, Mr. Jones the unshakable bass player.
Their chemistry is obvious, even though Mr. Plant said they don’t see each other much these days. Led Zeppelin disbanded after the death of John Bonham, who choked on vomit in 1980 at the age of 32.
Mr. Plant said diving back into the band’s music for the 2007 concert had been a “spectacular experience.”
“To get through it and come out the other side was something not much short of miraculous,” he said.
“Celebration Day” will be released in 1,500 theaters around the world Oct. 17 and on DVD and other formats Nov. 19.
Roger Ebert to receive award from Sundance
Critic Roger Ebert is receiving an award from Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute for his support of independent cinema.
Sundance leaders said Thursday that Mr. Ebert will receive their Vanguard Leadership Award at a benefit for the institute June 5 in Los Angeles.
Mr. Redford said Mr. Ebert was one of the institute’s first supporters when Sundance was founded in 1980 to support independent filmmaking.
Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam said Mr. Ebert has been a champion of challenging films, including many premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.
The 70-year-old Mr. Ebert has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967 and was the nation’s foremost movie critic on television on shows such as “Sneak Previews” and “At the Movies.”
Rowling’s Edinburgh home on the market for $3.7M
J.K. Rowling’s former home can be yours — if you can conjure up $3.7 million.
The eight-bedroom Victorian house in Edinburgh belonging to the “Harry Potter” author is listed for sale on the website of real estate agents Rettie.
It’s described as “an exceptional detached family house standing within a large yet discreet landscaped and walled garden” in one of the city’s most exclusive areas.
Miss Rowling lived there with her husband and three children while she wrote several volumes in her seven-book adventure series about the boy wizard. Miss Rowling, whose books have sold 450 million copies, now owns another house in the city, as well as other properties in Scotland and London.
She is due to release her first book for adults, “The Casual Vacancy,” Thursday.
Timberlake: Making albums ‘a really big deal’
He brought “SexyBack,” but don’t wait for Justin Timberlake to bring his music back — just yet.
The singing superstar said his music-making process is fueled by life’s experiences and making an album “is a really big deal.”
“For me, personally, when I do sit down and decide to do it, it’s just a special thing,” he said in an Associated Press interview.
Mr. Timberlake is engaged to actress Jessica Biel and has appeared in several movies in recent years, from “The Social Network” to “Friends With Benefits.” Currently, he’s in “Trouble With the Curve,” alongside Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams.
His last album was 2006’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” a Grammy-winning record that launched three No. 1 hits and sold more than 4 million units in the United States. Since then, he has appeared on songs by other musicians but has not released his own music.
The 31-year-old said he’s unlike today’s artists, who constantly drop albums and singles: “I don’t know that I can pump them out every year.”
• Compiled from Web and wire reports
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