LED ZEPPELIN releases first bits of documentary 'Becoming Led Zeppelin'
The official LED ZEPPELIN documentary “Becoming Led Zeppelin” debuted last Saturday (September 4) at the Venice International Film Festival in Italy. Directed by Bernard MacMahon, the film documents the legendary rockers’ “meteoric rise to stardom.”
The first clip from “Becoming Led Zeppelin”, as well as a short interview with LED ZEPPELIN guitarist Jimmy Page about the documentary (conducted by FRED [Film Radio Entertainment & Dialogue]), can be seen below.
Speaking about his original goal for LED ZEPPELIN, Page said: “I was looking for a band with four… I didn’t want to have a band with just the guitarist and the other guys are bit players. There was a lot of bands like that. I wanted each and every musician in it to be equally as strong. So then when they came together, they would feel the contribution by the others and up their game; everybody is upping their game. I believe that the first album, the musicians — Robert Plant, John Bonham… Certainly John Bonham, but Robert Plant, myself and John Paul Jones had never played at that level of intensity as to the quality of how good they could play. But it all joins together into something really special. And that never stops.”
MacMahon said in a press release: “With ‘Becoming Led Zeppelin’ my goal was to make a documentary that looks and feels like a musical. I wanted to weave together the four diverse stories of the band members before and after they formed their group with large sections of their story advanced using only music and imagery and to contextualize the music with the locations where it was created and the world events that inspired it. I used only original prints and negatives, with over 70,000 frames of footage manually restored, and devised fantasia sequences, inspired by ‘Singin’ In The Rain’, layering unseen performance footage with montages of posters, tickets and travel to create a visual sense of the freneticism of their early career.”
“Becoming Led Zeppelin” features new interviews with Page, Plant and Jones, as well as rare archival interviews with the late drummer John Bonham. It marks the first time members of LED ZEPPELIN have participated in a documentary about the group.
MacMahon previously directed the Emmy-nominated music documentary series “American Epic” about the early American roots music recordings of the 1920s. Page praised the film back in 2019, saying: “When I saw everything Bernard had done both visually and sonically on the remarkable achievement that is ‘American Epic’, I knew he would be qualified to tell our story.”
Plant added: “Seeing Will Shade and so many other important early American musicians brought to life on the big screen in ‘American Epic’ inspired me to contribute to a very interesting and exciting story.”
Jones stated: “The time was right for us to tell our own story for the first time in our own words, and I think that this film will really bring this story to life.”
An official LED ZEPPELIN book, “Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin”, came out in October 2018.