Definitive Official Led Zeppelin Doc Completed


Led Zeppelin fans are pinching themselves over the news that the band's first officially sanctioned documentary has been completed. Becoming Led Zeppelin, which was first announced in 2019, was directed by Bernard MacMahon of American Epic fame. MacMahon had unprecedented access to Zeppelin and its archives, featuring, "never-before-seen archive film and photographs, state-of-the-art audio transfers of the band’s music and the music of other artists who shaped their sound."

Variety quoted MacMahon as saying, "Becoming Led Zeppelin is a film that no one thought could be made. The band’s meteoric rise to stardom was swift and virtually undocumented. Through an intense search across the globe and years of restoration of the visual and audio archive found, this story is finally able to be told."

When the project was first announced, Jimmy Page said: “When I saw everything Bernard had done both visually and sonically on the remarkable achievement that is American Epic, I knew he would be qualified to tell our story."

Page explained that the members of Led Zeppelin both found themselves and came into their own by joining forces: [“There is some, like, divine intervention at this point that must bring us all together, because John Bonham, for example, wasn’t even known down in London, he was only known locally; although I saw him play with Tim Rose in London. And he played, but he never had the chance to play drums like John Bonham was going to play in Led Zeppelin. And John Paul Jones — a fine session musician and he’d done some arranging — but he never had the chance to show what John Paul Jones could do until he was in Led Zeppelin. And the same with Robert Plant.”] SOUNDCUE (:31 OC: . . . with Robert Plant)

Robert Plant set the scene for what it was like being on the road in the States with Zeppelin during the early-'70s: ["I was awake a lot longer in the old days, y'know? I was very stimulated. I mean, it was chaos then. There was no book, there was no handbook, nobody knew what was going on. You didn't know where you were or where you were supposed to be — or where you'd been. And when you got home, you couldn't remember what you'd done. And they gave you some money, but you probably spent that before you got back."] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC: . . . you got back)

Bassist John Paul Jones says he's reminded of how great Led Zeppelin was as a live band whenever he's exposed to material like this: ["The fire in the playing was particularly noticeable, and the cockiness is there. We used to just rip from one song to another and just roar into them at frightening speeds. We were s***t-hot, as the saying goes, and we knew it."] SOUNDCUE (:12 OC: . . . we knew it.)

Back in the day, the late, great John Bonham explained that the key to keeping Led Zeppelin alive as a working unit was constantly writing, recording, and touring behind new material: ["I think that with the act that we do, we keep, sort of doing fresh material and progressing, so. . . And I think if we were to tour all the time, they kids would, y'know . . . because we probably wouldn't — but when we go to America once a year, that once a year means that we're completely different each time we go. You're not conning them. You're still saying 'Come and see us 'cause it's different.' Rather than if you did that many tours in a year, y'know, they're going to be seeing the same stuff."] SOUNDCUE (:25 OC: . . . the same stuff)

John Bonham On Led Zeppelin Changing Setlists :

John Paul Jones Says Led Zeppelin Was A Great Live Band :

Robert Plant On Touring In The 1970’s :

Jimmy Page On Led Zeppelin Finding Themselves In The Band :