Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Un-Led-Ed

I was talking to my young protege at work the other day and the conversation was naturally about music and something he said caused me to mention Dread Zeppelin and he said who's that? I went OMG (sometimes you gotta talk their language) you've never heard of Dread Zeppelin? So I proceeded to educate him and soon the whole concept of the band was blowing his mind. Anyway I mentioned them briefly back in September and did a full piece on them some 4 years ago. Once again I feel I must pull out the education stick out and start breaking some heads with it so we won't have to hear "who's that" again.

So do you like Elvis? Do you like Led Zeppelin? Do you like reggae? If so then Dread Zeppelin is a band that will be right up your alley. Channeling the musical spirits of Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, and Bob Marley to create a unique novelty rock sound that is surprisingly good and is heartily endorsed by no less than Robert Plant himself. Led by one Tortelvis, a 300-pound Elvis impersonator, the lineup also included guitarists Jah Paul Jo and Carl Jah, bassist Butt-Boy, percussionist Ed Zeppelin, and drummer Fresh Cheese. Don't forget Charlie Haj (the man who hands Tortelvis his water and towels on stage). I think these guys were hanging out one night and after smoking some good weed they thought hey we should try this it sounds cool.

Dread played their debut live gig on January 8, 1989 (the 54th anniversary of Elvis' birth), the CA-based group performed reggae-influenced renditions of classic Led Zep anthems capped off by Presley-like vocals. By 1990 the group released their first album Un-led-ed which contained all zeppelin covers. Dread Zeppelin's second album, 5,000,000, followed in 1991 and contained zep songs and a few original compositions. Even after all these years of listening to these guys time after time, it's still funny. But even more amazing is the fact that this was ONE TIGHT BAND. Brilliant guitars, loud drums, and incredible production tells you these guys are a serious band. Even Robert Plant said he thought their version of "Your Time is Gonna Come" was better than Led Zeppelins original version. Now that's high praise. The lineups have changed over the years, yet they released a new album 2 years ago so Dread Zeppelin is still spreading their patented "zeppelin-inna-reggae-style" around the world. So young grasshopper you now know a little more about Tortelvis and the gang.

Whole Lotta Love
Your Time is Gonna Come
Buy It

Funny Toon

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