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Led Zeppelin hit the stage at the O2 Arena in London shortly after 4pm ET. By all accounts, the Zep show went off without a hitch - the crowd went absolutely bananas upon hearing the first notes of "Whole Lotta Love" which marked the beginning of the encore. The band left the stage at around 6:15pm ET. Unfotunately, Led Zeppelin are not slated to perform any further shows despite the enormous demand from fans around the world. Robert Plant, however, is including a few unique renditions of some of Zeppelin's classic songs during his 2008 tour with Alison Krauss.
Led Zeppelin Setlist Dec 10th 2007:
"Good Times, Bad Times"
"In My Time of Dying"
"For Your Life" (first time ever played live)
"Nobody's Fault But Mine"
"Since I've Been Loving You"
"Dazed and Confused" (bow solo)
"Stairway To Heaven"
"The Song Remains the Same"
"Misty Mountain Hop"
"Whole Lotta Love" (Theremin solo)
"Rock and Roll"
CLICK HERE TO SEE O2 REUNION CONCERT PHOTOS!
Led Zeppelin fans braved high winds and heavy rain as they camped out for tonight's comeback concert - even though they already had tickets.
Some even started queuing three days before the gig at the O2. But as they said, it was a small price to pay when you have been waiting a quarter of a century.
David Beesmer, 42, a businessman from New York who spent more than £3,500 on his ticket and trip, said: "We turned up on Saturday, but we were told to come back the next day as we would still be at the front of the queue. I didn't want to take any risks.
"This is the performance of a lifetime. Who knows if they will ever perform together again? They are my favourite all-time band and I wouldn't miss this for the world."
Most early queuers were from America and Canada with just one British couple, Paul and Pip Wadsworth from Devon. Mr Wadsworth, 55, a training manager, said: "Led Zeppelin last played a gig on the same day as our wedding in 1979. At the time I thought never mind I'll see them next time. I've been waiting 27 years."
Mrs Wadsworth, 50, a teacher, said: "We played Whole Lotta Love at our wedding reception. We've always shared a passion for them. I'm hoping I get close enough so Robert Plant can see my Wolves scarf. He's a fan and I'm wearing it especially for him."
There were signs of the passing decades all round. While the middle aged fans turned up with thermal underwear, warm coats and vacuum flasks, the band - whose consumption of drugs, alcohol and groupies was the stuff of rock legend - showed that the days of excess were well and truly behind them.
Their backstage rider asked for tea, coffee - and an ironing board. The strongest drug Robert Plant, 59, Jimmy Page, 63, and John Paul Jones, 61, consume tonight will be caffeine.
Concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith told the Evening Standard: "They are much older now obviously and are very low maintenance.
"They've asked for cups of tea and coffee. We'll have some beer and a bottle of wine for them backstage but they have said they require very little. They are extremely focused and have been rehearsing. They know that a lot of people have been waiting a long time for this gig - it's going to be a great concert."
All registered ticket holders have to pick up their tickets in person with photo ID and they are then given a sealed wristband that cannot be taken off until after the concert.
Led Zeppelin have promised to sing their best known songs including Stairway To Heaven and Whole Lotta Love.
The arena's corporate hospitality boxes will include Paul and Stella McCartney, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Dave Grohl and Jeremy Clarkson.
Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham (son of the band's original drummer John Bonham, who died in September 1980) reunited onstage as Led Zeppelin at the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert, held in London, England on Monday December 10th 2007. Ahmet Ertegun passed away aged 83 in December 2006. It was Ertegun, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Atlantic Records, who signed Led Zeppelin to Atlantic in 1968. Led Zeppelin recorded for Atlantic Records its entire career.
Led Zeppelin performed for over 2 hours during a concert set marking their the first full live set since their last show in Berlin, West Germany during July 1980 - two months before John Bonham died.
The tribute concert was held at the 20,000-capacity O2 arena (the former Millennium Dome) at Greenwich, south-east London, on the evening of Monday December 10th 2007. The originally planned concert date of 11/26/07 was pushed ahead to December 10th after Jimmy fractured his left pinkie finger in late October '07.
Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant said: "During the Zeppelin years, Ahmet Ertegun was a major foundation of solidarity and accord. For us, he was Atlantic Records and remained a close friend and conspirator. This performance stands alone as a tribute to the work and life of a longstanding friend."
Speaking at a press conference Concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith said that the reunion came about after the band were contacted by the late record mogul's wife, Mica. Goldsmith explained that she had written the band an "emotive letter" asking them to play.
Goldsmith further added that he had originally asked Page, Plant and Jones to consider reuniting to play a 30-minute set as part of a gala concert. "I wrote to everybody and in particular to Robert and Jimmy and John Paul, and said: 'Look this is an opportunity for you to come together and really pay homage to your mentor and mine, and would you do it?' Much to my amazement they came back and said yes," he said.
After several weeks of discussions the band finally assembled in a rehearsal studio on the outskirts of London in June '07 to see if they could still play together. After a week of rehearsals, Zeppelin announced to Goldsmith that they would be willing and able to perform a full two-hour set. "Jason Bonham became part of the catalyst, and they did a week's rehearsal," said Goldsmith . "We had a meeting and Robert turned around and said we're not going to do 30 minutes, we're doing to do a whole set." Goldsmith added “They’re going to play all the great songs that everybody wants to hear. They are the last great rock gods that remain to be seen.”
Also performing at the event were Paul Rodgers, former Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Stars, rock band Foreigner and Paolo Nutini, Ertegun's last UK signing before his death.
Profits from the concert benefit the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which provides scholarships to universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Turkey, Ertegun's country of birth. Among the projects the fund is backing is a music scholarship at south London's Ravensbourne College, which is to move to a building adjacent to the O2 arena in Greenwich. Ahmet's wife Mica said: "He would be very proud that Led Zeppelin have chosen to reunite and headline a benefit concert in his name featuring so many of his friends. I would like to thank all of the artists for their generous contribution to help make Ahmet's vision a reality." Goldsmith said Ertegun "became a friend and was my mentor. Our industry deeply misses such a giant of music. It is a fitting tribute that these great artists have all come together to perform in his memory."
More than 1 million fans, seeking an opportunity to purchase tickets to the show, submitted a registration ballot on the Ahmettribute.com website which at one point was receiving over 5 million hits per hour. In total the website was said to have recorded hundreds of millions of hits between September 12th thru September 19th 2007. Concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith said at the time: "In the first day alone, we received an unprecedented number of hits that literally knocked the website out. Over the last seven days we have recorded over 1,000 million hits. This response is amazing and from it we have had over one million registrations. We would like to thank all the fans for their support."
Proceed's from Led Zeppelin's concert, at the O2 on December 10th 2007 in London, are helping to raise funds for The Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund formed by Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1923, Ertegun was the son of America’s Turkish Ambassador. At 9 years old he was attending gigs in Washington DC featuring jazz greats including Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. Inspired by what he saw, Ertegun and his brother Nesuhi began to stage their own concerts hosting artists such as Lester Young. In 1947, he formed Atlantic Records with friend Herb Abramson in New York, an independent record label for gospel, jazz and R&B music.
During the 50’s and 60’s Atlantic grew, signing the likes of Ray Charles, Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin and The Drifters, patenting the blueprint of soul music. After successfully and uniquely combining blues and soul music from around the world, Atlantic became the definitive rhythm and blues label, paying performers fairly and producing high quality records. Ertegun, as always, was hands on in business and in the studio.
Ahmet Ertegun's association with Led Zeppelin in particular goes back to their earliest days. In 1968, after hearing the band's demo, he knew the songs would become massive hits the first time he heard them. He made the magical move into rock by signing Led Zeppelin and helped guide them through a phenomenal career. In addition, he signed the monsters of 1970s British rock - from the Rolling Stones, through Cream and Genesis.
Ertegun was also the founder and chairman of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to which he was elected in 1987 for his pioneering contributions to popular music.
His most recent signing was UK artist Paolo Nutini whose 2006 debut album ‘These Streets’ reached number 3 on the UK Album Charts.
When he passed away on December 14th 2006, Robert Plant was among the first to pay tribute to him.
Plant said: "Ahmet (was) gifted beyond all belief- the way he moved from his origins, pushing against the grain into the bohemia of Stick McGhee and Joe Turner."
"I must have met him on Led Zeppelin's first US tour...Ahmet was always backstage with an entourage of folk, this melange of people from all walks of life. He'd have Henry Kissinger or a princess from some deposed royal family from Eastern Europe."
"He told me years ago, 'I gotta buy the company back.' And I said, 'You do. You gotta get it back quick.' But had he got it back, who knows? You can't keep abreast of the way things have gone. You have to be part of the next generation. He had already managed to do that through three generations, which is phenomenal."