Led Zeppelin “Celebration Day” is simply THE GREATEST ROCK MOVIE EVER MADE.
I saw it cranked with volume to the max and on a huge screen at the premiere, shown here in New York at the Ziegfeld Theater.
The band was there, and in fact, I got to sit in Jimmy Page’s row. IN FACT, Plant was sitting behind me! (who did THAT seating chart???). Anyway, I was in the middle of Led Zeppelin watching Led Zeppelin and it was freaking awesome.
This MOVIE DEFINES what ROCK IS. So, now and forever, it can be shown to anyone who never got to see a real rock concert and they will totally understand!!
The feel of the music alone will make your head bob and your feet dance. And, you will be totally blown away by the sheer magic and the musicianship of the players. There is always lots of heat on Page and Plant, but when you see the dexterity of John Paul Jones, not only on the bass, but on the keyboards (while playing bass with his feet on foot pedals), you will be beyond impressed. When the word “Super-group” is used, they aren’t kidding. And when you see the notes and sounds that Jimmy Page literally “summons” out of the guitar, trust me, you will be speechless!!
Actually, I take it back, it’s more than just the greatest rock movie ever made—I THINK IT’S ONE OF THE GREATEST MOVIES EVER MADE, PERIOD!
Why? Because it captures a time, a very special Camelot sort of time when ROCK Ruled the world and a handful of very talented axe men (guitar players) wielded their electric guitars like knights wielded their swords, and became famous rock stars in their own right, swaggering across the stage wearing the fanciest of rock duds.
Because these guitar players wanted so badly to be good, hell, BE GREAT, they constantly pushed their limits and each other, always trying to outdo their competition. And they shared one thing in common—they wanted to be known as the best. Yes, they got rich (and famous), but that wasn’t their original goal. They wanted TO BE KNOWN AS THE BEST AT THEIR CRAFT.
Today, too many artists want to be stars and have the celebrity thing right away. They get hung up on marketing. Their focus is misguided—they should be practicing more and the other stuff would not only come, but would last a lot longer.
Consequently, there are no really great contemporary guitar players that come close to Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, David Gilmour, etc.
When you see Jimmy Page in this movie, you certainly see great chops, but you also must be aware that most of these songs are his compositions. Years of being a studio musician aided him tremendously when he began writing for Led Zeppelin.
I’d never seen the band in person and the film clips I used to see often showed them as a sloppy troop, not living up to how great they played on their records.
Now, everyone can see Led Zeppelin in their finest hour—where they play BETTER THAN THEIR RECORDS!!
For years I used to think the very best rock guitar players in order of importance where: 1. Jimi Hendrix (then there’s a big space), and after came the big three, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. But after seeing this movie there is no doubt in my mind, when it comes to electric guitars, it should read Jimi at the top, but then Page first, followed by Beck, then Clapton.
For all those songs, all those riffs, all the different sounds, his deep, magical extemporaneous playing, and completely individual touch, Jimmy Page is simply astounding!
PS. Every once in a while I highly recommend that you buy some particular music or DVD. In the case of Led Zeppelin – “Celebration Day” I Insist that every household should have one (just like a refrigerator or TV set)!