As the music scene started to change during the turbulent 60s, the Rolling Stones and The Who garnered reputations as the bad boys of rock 'n' roll, while Led Zeppelin became known as "pretty" bad boys, with the striking Robert Plant leading on vocals, darkly mysterious Jimmy Page on guitar, enigmatic John Paul Jones on bass and powerful John Bonham on drums. On August 12, 1968, Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham officially became Led Zeppelin when they had their first studio session in London's West End on Lisle Street. Page initially wanted Terry Reid as lead vocalist, but when he couldn't do it, Reid referred him to Plant, who'd already been in three bands. Plant suggested his friend Bonham, who'd already performed with the likes of Tim Rose. Jones had been a session player like Page and called him up when he heard about the group. The rest is history.
Their inaugural tune was "Train Kept A-Rollin'." It was originally released in 1951, written by Tiny Bradshaw and co-produced by Ahmet Ertegun, who would eventually gift the world by signing them to the Atlantic label. Ironically, he was also responsible forty years later for reuniting this legendary band at the 02 Arena for an unforgettable performance.
On that serendipitous day in 1968, they "exploded" when performing according to John Paul Jones. They knew they had something special, lightning in a bottle. Consequently they played "Train Kept A-Rollin'" as opening number on their tours during '68 and '69. As they played their electrified blues, these British lads had no idea what an ever-lasting impact they would have on the music industry. The perfect blend of light and dark and everything in-between, Led Zeppelin's music will continue to keep a-rollin', evermore.