Are you ready for the Vegas arrival of the biggest hard-rock supergroup since Audioslave? Talkin’ ’bout Them Crooked Vultures, who will perch inside The Joint April 17 for the joyous one-year anniversary of the venue. TCV comprises Foo Fighter Dave Grohl (drums), Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme (vocals/guitar) and Led Zeppelinist John Paul Jones (bass/keys). The band’s self-titled debut album was released last October and earned rave reviews, most crediting the fleet, soulful fretwork of 64-year-old Jones.
While I’m unsure how often Jones has performed in Vegas, I’ve long heard natives insist on having seen English rock icons Led Zeppelin tear apart what was then known as the Ice Palace in Commercial Center on Sahara Avenue way back in 1969. (Las Vegas Cue Club now stands where the rink once stood.) The band arrived here on or around Aug. 11, after having put the final touches on Led Zeppelin II, which would hit American record stores two months later. This was the band’s only Vegas appearance. (A Zep concert at the Convention Center in 1970 was canceled.) One person who has proof of the show is Jacie Maynard. Thirteen at the time and a student at John C. Fremont Middle School, she says her mom dropped off her and her friends at White Cross Drugs to spare them from being seen as they climbed out of a parent’s station wagon. They each paid $5 admission; she has a ticket stub to prove it. She recalls hearing Zep unleash “Whole Lotta Love,” “The Lemon Song” and “You Shook Me.” (Zep wasn’t the only powerhouse classic rock act to play the Ice Palace. Maynard says she saw Cream and The Doors perform there, too.)
Speaking of Led, late Zep drummer John Bonham would definitely admire a mixed-media series by Jacie’s husband, Lincoln Maynard, a notable Vegas artist. Maynard’s recent “Rhythms of the Earth,” incorporates discarded drumheads and staging material (Masonite). The end product is a stunning, otherworldly yet organic collection of environmental designs. Although “Rhythms” was most recently displayed in Swenson Fine Art in Laguna Beach, Calif., expect a Vegas show in late spring/early summer. Check lmaynard.com for updates.
And here are my favorite John Paul Jones-penned Zep tunes for you to stuff into your iPads. Page and Plant didn’t write the entire Zep catalog, you know. Give a listen to the band’s last proper album In Through the Out Door (1979), which contains the following: “South Bound Saurez,” “All My Love” and “Carouselambra.” Don’t forget that Jones also supplied the Middle Eastern-tinged string parts in the stomping “Kashmir” (later sampled by Sean “Puffy” Combs for a song, “Come With Me,” that appeared in the 1998 Godzilla soundtrack). No wonder Jones is a legend!