New book features rare photos of Led Zeppelin

CBS This Morning

By David Morgan / CBS NEWS

Miami

Courtesy Reel Art Press

Led Zeppelin performs at the Three Image Club in Miami, Florida, February 15, 1969.

To mark the band's formation 50 years ago, Reel Art Press has published a book called "Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin," featuring many previously-unseen photos compiled by the group's three surviving members.

Contact Sheet

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Courtesy Reel Art Press

Led Zeppelin was formed in 1968 by guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, drummer John Bohnam and bassist John Paul Jones.

Jimmy Page

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Dick Barnett/Courtesy Reel Art Press

Guitarist Jimmy Page was a studio musician in London who had joined the psychedelic rock group The Yardbirds (playing with Jeff Beck, Chris Dreja, Keith Relf and Jim McCarty). When that band broke up, Page formed the New Yardbirds (with John Paul Jones, John Bonham and Robert Plant), which soon settled on a new name, Led Zeppelin.

Robert Plant

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Dick Barnett/Courtesy Reel Art Press

Robert Plant was a 20-year-old blues singer when Led Zeppelin was formed in 1968.

John Bonham

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Dick Barnett/Courtesy Reel Art Press

Drummer John Bohnam, just 20 in 1968, had already played in several bands before joining friend Robert Plant.

John Paul Jones

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Dick Barnett/Courtesy Reel Art Press

Bassist, keyboardist and arranger John Paul Jones was 22 in 1968; he'd played in his first band at 15, and became a session player in London, working with Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck and others. He also recorded singles before agreeing to play as part of the New Yardbirds.

London

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Courtesy Reel Art Press

In 1968 the group recorded sessions for the BBC Radio program "Top Gear," hosted by John Peel, an early advocate of the band's in England.

Page told CBS News' Charles D'Agata, "The first rehearsal that we did was here in London, in a rehearsal room where we had maybe an hour or two hours, and we just got together, and we counted, '1, 2, 3, 4,' and were all playing, and we just kept extending the song and jamming on it.

"And by the end of it I absolutely guarantee it was a life-changing experience for everyone from that point. Everyone knew that they'd never played with musical equals."

Copenhagen

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© Jorgen Angel, www.angel.dk/Courtesy Reel Art Press

John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham in their first public performance as The New Yardbirds, in Copenhagen, Sept. 7, 1968 – what Jimmy Page referred to as "an experimental concert." They would soon change their name to Led Zeppelin.

Copenhagen

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© Jorgen Angel, www.angel.dk/Courtesy Reel Art Press

Jimmy Page performs in Copenhagen, Sept. 7, 1968.

Page was keen to have the group playing in front of an audience before they went into the studio. "I knew that the way to do it was to have four musicians that were just really locked in tight, and everyone could be heard on the record, so it wasn't just about one person but the overall," he told CBS News' Charles D'Agata in 2018.

Copenhagen

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© Jorgen Angel, www.angel.dk/Courtesy Reel Art Press

John Paul Jones performs in Copenhagen, Sept. 7, 1968.

Songs in their first set included "Communication Breakdown," "Dazed & Confused," "Baby I'm Gonna Leave You" and "How Many More Times."

Copenhagen

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© Jorgen Angel, www.angel.dk/Courtesy Reel Art Press

John Bonham performs with The New Yardbirds in Copenhagen, Sept. 7, 1968.

Copenhagen

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© Jorgen Angel, www.angel.dk/Courtesy Reel Art Press

Robert Plant performs in Copenhagen, Sept. 7, 1968.

Los Angeles

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Courtesy Reel Art Press

Led Zeppelin performed at the famed L.A. club Whiskey a Go Go on January 5, 1969. Opening act: Alice Cooper.

San Francisco

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Neal Preston/Courtesy Reel Art Press

Led Zeppelin performs at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, June 2, 1973.

Jimmy Page

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Courtesy Reel Art Press

Jimmy Page is pictured in the recording studio.

From "Led Zeppelin I" through 1982's "Coda," the group produced nine studio albums that sold more than 300 million copies around the world. It's one of the most successful catalogs of the rock age.

Jimmy Page

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Courtesy Reel Art Press

Jimmy Page in Oakland, Calif., where the band performed at Alameda County Coliseum, July 24, 1977.

Led Zeppelin

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Courtesy Reel Art Press

Led Zeppelin is pictured during their 1973 tour.

Led Zeppelin

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Neal Preston/Courtesy Reel Art Press

Led Zeppelin performing in 1975.

Solo

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© Dominique Tarle/Courtesy Reel Art Press

When drummer John Bonham died in 1980, it meant the end of the band.

In recent years, Jimmy Page presided over a series of archive releases. And in 2007, with John Bonham's son, Jason, on drums, Page, Plant and Jones re-grouped at London's O2 Arena for the "Celebration Day" concert. Twenty million fans applied for the 20,000 tickets.

"Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin"

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Reel Art Press

"Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin," the first book by the band about the band, published on October 9, 2018 by Reel Art Press.

See also:

Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, "CBS This Morning"

For more info:
ledzeppelin.com
Reel Art Press

By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan

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