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Led Zeppelin 2 Revives the Original This Saturday at Saint Andrews Hall

Photo by  Barry Brecheisen

This Saturday, Led Zeppelin 2, an outfit from Chicago will grace the stage this Saturday at Saint Andrews Hall. I spoke with "Jimmy Page" (Paul Kamp) about how he gets into character and what drew them into becoming a tribute band for such a legendary and ground-breaking group.

Motor City Blog: All of you are/were in your own respective bands, but came together to form Led Zeppelin 2, why Led Zeppelin? What is it about this band that drew you in?

Paul Kamp: We actually covered Black Sabbath first - that went pretty good, crowds liked it a lot. Zeppelin was a lot more diverse, and dynamic, and we spontaneously broke into “Custard Pie” and “Whole Lotta Love” one time when we were supposed to be practicing for a Sabbath gig, and it stuck. I've always been a huge Zeppelin fan and even when I was a kid I used to seek out recordings by Otis Rush, Howlin Wolf, and Sleepy John Estes and blues guys I'd heard Zeppelin listened to and covered.  Over the past few years I've been amazed at how every time I put on a Zep album, it sounds better than before, and I've really gotten into Junior Wells and Buddy Guy's stuff and other records I know Jeff Beck and Clapton and Page must've been listening to. You can go really deep into music and trace it all back to the U.S. south, but then how Page reimagined it is even more intriguing, and awesome really.

MCB: As a Led Zeppelin fan, and also a person who has never had the chance to witness the original, where did the idea come from to perform a show that seems to take us back in time to the 70s instead of a modern version?

PK: Playing it like the 70s comes kind of natural to us, honestly. I don't think we really put to much thought into the playing and motions and stage interaction. Our original bands did a lot of the same, you know, extending songs, doing more improvising, and I played with a cello bow quite a bit in Busker Soundcheck - it wasn't just part of an "act," it was to get a certain sound. We think it is a modern version! It's just us playing.

MCB: Have you ever heard any feedback about the show from the members of Led Zeppelin?

PK: No, some of the them have been in town various nights when we've played in Chicago, Austin, Ft. Lauderdale, and we might take a look about, but no, none of them have showed up. We heard Jason Bonham was at a show in L.A., and three of the guys from Metallica were there too.

MCB: What steps do you take to get into "character"?

PK: Usually stretching and getting loose is first, then practicing a few bits if we're adding different songs to set, then of course there is the costume transformation into Page. It's pretty funny, we have to laugh at ourselves. The other guys get a kick out of my "Pagifying" I'm sure.

MCB: Which songs are you favorites to perform?

PK: “In My Time of Dying,” “Rain Song,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Achilles Last Stand,” “Rover,” “In The Light”; every song is challenging and unique, that's what keeps this fun.

As a person who considers listening to "A Whole Lotta Love" as a form a erotica, missing this show just is not an option. Led Zeppelin 2 performs at Saint Andrews Hall this Saturday. There is a limited amount of tickets available, but arriving early is requested since this show is first come, first rocked.