Led Zeppelin’s Bombay Sessions To Finally Be Released
(Gibson) Led Zeppelin’s Bombay Sessions will get an official release as part of the premastered version of the band’s final album Coda. Part of the band’s yearlong re-issue series program, which has already seen the release of premastered versions of the band’s first six albums, Coda will be re-released alongside Presence and In through the out Door on 31 July, 2015.
If you were a fan of rock music and lived in Seventies-era Mumbai (or Bombay, as it was then known), you’ll have recounted the story of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s impromptu gig at a local watering hole many times. The story, seared in the collective memories of pretty much every Mumbai rock fan that happened to be alive during the era, has many versions.
The basic plot points are this: Page and Plant happened to be passing through the city and had a night off. They walked out of their hotel and found their way to a nearby dive called Slip Disc. There they sat down for a quiet drink in the relative anonymity that an unfamiliar city afforded them. Eventually however, they were recognized and asked to go up on stage to play a few songs. They cheerfully obliged, rolling through a quick set that included ‘Whole Lotto Love’. Eventually they left and though fans lined up outside the pub the next night, they never returned.
While this tale is pretty much the main focus of their Mumbai visits, it tends to distract from the fact that the duo did more with their time in India than an impulsive gig. Page and Plant’s goal travelled to India at least four times over the course of the year, with the intention of collaborating and recording with Indian musicians.
Page’s friend, the famed sitar player Ravi Shankar, introduced him to an Indian flautist named Vijay Raghu Rao. In Mumbai, Rao put together an ensemble of Indian classical musicians that also included the world-renowned sarong player us tad Sultan Khan. The sessions yielded reworked Indian-iced versions of Zeppelin songs ‘Friends’ and ‘Four Sticks’ as well as a number of other tracks.