"John was always breaking Bill's drums": on Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath's friendship, and the lost jam session

"The session, unfortunately, was lost. The recording probably survived somewhere, but I can't know for sure..."

Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath friendship: history and facts, lost jam session

Participants Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath knew each other and communicated warmly even before both bands released their first albums. Both bands were founded in 1968, but the first two Zeppelin records were released in 1969, while Sabbath managed to release their eponymous debut only in 1970. They always admired each other's work and were extremely important not only for British music, but also for the evolution of hard rock and heavy metal. Over the decades. Ozzy Osbourne talked about Led Zeppelin many times and even told us what was his favorite record of the band, created by Robert Plante, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones.

In his interview Prince of Darkness said the following:

"I've always loved what these guys have done. Every one of their albums is a masterpiece and a bright manual for beginners. But personally, I've always been especially close to their fourth album. It's got so many classic tracks..."

And indeed: on the "Led Zeppelin IV." There are a lot of great timeless compositions, from "Black Dog" and "Rock and Roll" to "Stairway To Heaven" and "Going To California". However, the story of the connection between these two iconic bands does not end with one album...

Osborne recalls the first time he heard Led Zeppelin

When the Zeppelins released their eponymous debut album in 1969, the entire music business was shaken by their sound, and Ozzy Osbourne was impressed, too. This record had such powerful tracks as "Good Times, Bad Times," "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You," and Osborne's favorite song "Dazed and Confused. Yes, Ozzy definitely has great taste in music. Many years later he would say:

"When I first heard their music, I was amazed. It was so fresh, so energetic... It was just amazing. It was very inspiring!"

Undoubtedly: Led Zeppelin inspired Black Sabbath (and, perhaps, they themselves were inspired by the latter's work). But was it rivalry between these two bands, which, as the years go by, have been called nothing less than titans of classic rock? Well, that question can be answered with one interesting snippet From Ozzie's autobiographyIn the story Osborne and Tony Iommi were returning from a bar one night and a song from the debut Zeppelin album was playing in the car. Then Ozzy said:

"What heavy music... But we'll be heavier!"

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath

It was probably healthy friendly rivalry. And it has borne excellent fruit!

Ozzie stands up for the rights of his friends

Ozzy Osbourne as a young man
Ozzy Osbourne as a young man

"Stairway to Heaven" - Led Zeppelin's cult hit, which became an all-time classic shortly after its release. There are many funny stories about this song, from its true lyrical meaning to Robert Plant's dislike and... plagiarism! There was even a lawsuit over the latter many years later: the Spirit group claimed that "Stairway to Heaven" copied the instrumental part of their song Taurus in the introduction.

By the way: the Zeppelins won that case, but it made too much noise... And as a true admirer and friend, Ozzy simply could not stay away. In particular, he made a long and emotional speech in public:

"That's some crazy stuff! Yeah, there's really a little similarity there. But do you really think guys like Zeppelin would sit around and think about who they could rip off the opening riff for their next hit? Those guys were always geniuses, and they would never stoop to plagiarism! I personally talked to every one of them, I listened to all of their records. This band is phenomenal as hell. They don't have to steal to record something. It can be stolen from them because they're freaking geniuses and classics of their time and genre..."

The Lost Jam Session

John Bonham
John Bonham

In one of his interviews Tony Iommi recalled:

"Early in our career, we had a good rapport with John Bonham. One day we were playing in a club, and John came up to us and offered to jam a little bit. We said, "All right." So: he sat down at Bill's rig, and...broke it because he was playing too intensely! Bill was angry, and he never agreed to jam with John after that..."

In the mid-'70s, however, the two bands got together in the studio to jam again. This time, according to Tony, Bill's drums, fortunately, remained intact.

"We were recording at Morgan Studios in London, and the guys from Zeppelin came to check us out. Only Jimmy Page wasn't there. We decided to jam, and it was just an amazing, very cool jam...".

According to Tony, they "just got caught up in the jam," and Bonham was his "the mastermind.". But alas...

"The session, unfortunately, was lost. Probably the recording has survived somewhere, but I can't know for sure..."


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