Let the Led Out With Michael White’s Orchestral Zeppelin

Poster Michael White.jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Led Zeppelin is one of the most popular hard rock bands to come out of Britain in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Jimmy Page was one of three guitarists that included Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton that played in a powerhouse group called “The Yardbirds” Page decided to continue the band with singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. In 1968 he launched the band and called it “The New Yardbirds”. The story goes (and there are different versions) that on hearing the name Keith Mooncommented that it would go over like a Led Zeppelin, hence the name change and a deal with Atlantic Records and the birth of a legacy band.

Led Zeppelin disbanded in 1980. In 2007, 27 years later and with solo careers in the middle, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited (along with John Bonham's son, Jason, Bonham past away in 1980) for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at The O2 Arena in London, England. The band was expected to do a world tour of select cities, but to the dismay of fans of all ages it never materialized.

Michael White had a promising career in the USA with bands like the Boyz and with his remarkable range and physical similarities to Robert Plant it wasn’t long before he paid tribute to the British rockers with an uncanny reenactment of the quartets blistering stage show.

Michael White formed The White in 1977 and has toured The White extensively throughout North America and Europe. They recorded two CDs for the Griffin Music label: Michael White/The White (1990) and Michael White Plays the Music of Led Zeppelin (1994), which were later re-released as a double-album under the title A Tribute To Led Zeppelin - Studio Sessions, Volume One & Volume Two.

White has a personal passion to take the music one step further and has created “Orchestral Zeppelin” It isn’t just a classic rock show, it is a Classical one.
White once was quoted as saying, “Sometimes you go and see a show like this and it is an orchestra featuring rock, this is a rock band featuring an orchestra.” White uses budding talents of music students, many of whom know Led Zeppelin as their parents or even grandparents music. They have been introduced to it through the resurgence of classic rock stations filling the void create with computer generated and sound loops that dominate the pop charts today.

White comments “ The kids love it because it is so up-tempo and it is not “blue hair music”, it is not to waltz to. This is aggressive, over the top arrangements. It gave me goose bumps the first show and it still does today. This is the way I want to continue doing Zeppelin music and by using the students I am bringing it into the schools. We are creating fundraisers to help the crisis that cutbacks are creating for music courses that some feel are extra curriculum activities and non essential. The parents love it as well as Zeppelin music is still hot and played on radios worldwide.”

“When a youth comes to one of the concerts, it not only brings the music of Zeppelin live on stage with the rocking band but also introduces them to the Classical side of music, something they may not have thought of listening to before seeing our show. Surprisingly, the first time I did this (in Toronto), half a dozen students were wearing Led Zeppelin T-shirts,’’ points out White, who began writing the charts for classics like Whole Lotta Love and Stairway To Heaven four years ago. “They relate to the music in probably the same way their mom and dad did.”
You will have a chance again to see this event in Toronto when Michael White and the White perform with a 20 piece orchestra.
Orchestral Zeppelin performs at the Music Hall March 3rd 2012 in Toronto.

Tickets are available thru Ticketmaster.