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Your e-mails: Older, wiser Led Zeppelin can still 'rock the joint'

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(CNN) -- With Led Zeppelin taking the stage Monday, December 10, for a reunion concert in London's O2 Arena, readers wrote in to share their thoughts on whether one of the most influential bands of all time can rock a sea of fans like they used to.


I-Reporter and musician Zack Domb of Los Angeles, California, sent this 1997 photo of himself.

Zack Domb, 25, of Los Angeles, California, said he feels the group still has the ability to play well and pointed out that Led Zeppelin often mixed in softer, more melodic elements with the heavy metal they are often associated with.

"They had a lot of acoustic stuff," Domb said. "It's not 'if they can still rock,' it's 'can they deliver the same level of performance?' That, I think they can do."

He wrote that as he became a professional musician, he was heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin:

"I started playing guitar at age 11. When I first heard Led, I was 12. I remember the first time I heard them in the car stereo of my sister's boyfriend. I was entranced. I got their tape and wore it out. For the next three years, all I wore were Led Zeppelin T-shirts. I learned guitar by studying Jimmy Page. Luckily, since he was such a diverse player, I was able to get into different styles (blues, Celtic, jazz, rock, classical, etc.) and develop a curiosity for other instruments (mandolin, sitar). First concert I went to was the Unledded Jimmy Page/Robert Plant tour."

Many readers echoed Domb's sentiments, but plenty of others expressed different opinions. Below is a selection of the responses, some of which have been edited.

Greg Walker of Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Stadium, 1977, Led Zeppelin threw down one of the most earth-shaking performances I have ever witnessed. Having attended hundreds of rock shows from clubs to arenas, that night will stand alone as the most memorable and most awe inspiring. Through the smoke, sweat, and volume, emerged the heaviest and tightest unit ever assembled. If Jimmy's performance with the Black Crowes a few years ago is any indication, Led Zeppelin will once again march on a road on bones!

Janet Turvey of Clinton, New York
Led Zeppelin still rocks. I am amused by them as I grew up not far from Robert Plant. His best friends are our best friends and call him "Plantee." The funny thing is I didn't realize they were famous until I came to the United States in 1985. My daughter came home from school and mentioned them and I told her I used to see Robert Plant in Kidderminster a lot. Her school friends have never forgotten that and neither has she.

Zac Gall of Kansas City, Missouri
I saw Robert Plant at the Uptown Theatre in Kansas City a few years back -- the man can still rock. He played through some of his new solo material at the time, but at the end of the show when he and The Strange Sensation played some Zep tunes, the place rocked. He can still do it. With the rest of the band (plus Jason Bonham), I can only imagine how great the reunion will be. I was three years old the last time Zeppelin played, so I can't wait to see if they're going to put a tour together. It's a concert I wouldn't miss for just about anything.

Lisa Joseph of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
If only I could be in London's O2 Arena tonight! Is there any doubt that Led Zeppelin can still rock?! The talents of John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham and, now, Jason Bonham blow me away. Led Zeppelin was comprised of four legendary men who were among the very best at what they did. All together, Led Zeppelin created a new sound that was more dynamic, deeper & more meaningful than any other band I've ever heard. They changed the way music has been made since. It would be such an honor just to be in the same room as those guys, let alone to see them perform again ... so, yes, of course they can still rock!


1969 -- Led Zeppelin
1969 -- Led Zeppelin II
1970 -- Led Zeppelin III
1971 -- Led Zeppelin IV
1973 -- Houses of the Holy
1975 -- Physical Graffiti
1976 -- Presence
1979 -- In Through the Out Door


John Schow of Chicago, Illinois
I saw Led Zeppelin in 1970 (phenomenal show), again in 1971(also phenomenal). In 1973 they were way too loud and had started combining glitz with the show. I was as hard core a fan as anyone and hated the show. In 1975 they were a little better but once again there was glitz. 1977 was a little better but nothing ever lived up to 1970 and 1971. In those earlier years it was strictly about the music. Jimmy Page wore a white tee shirt and blue jeans. Robert had a tank top and jeans. There were no colored lights, smoke machines, etc and I remember it like it was yesterday. I made a huge mistake and went to see Robert Plant when he was on tour in the early '80s. I just turned 60 (Thanksgiving Day) and on occasion will listen to my Led CDs while driving in my car. I probably wouldn't go see them again because it would probably spoil a lot of great memories.

Paul Rittenhouse of New Braunfels, Texas
Yes, they can still rock. Just because Led Zeppelin hasn't been on stage together for several years, it doesn't mean that they still aren't musicians. All of the members of the band have continued musically since their last concert together at the A&M party where they were listed as the biggest act of the night (and rightly so). I'm sure that they'll rock the joint. I would expect nothing less from them.

Matt Rosier of Pennsylvania
I don't think Plant can reach his notes anymore. So if he can't hit those pitches then they will not rock.

Sean O'Hara of San Diego, California
I saw Page and Plant during their 1997 and 2001 tours and they were magnificent. Loud and proud, there has NEVER been a music act with such ferocity and likely there NEVER will be. I would have sold my sister to get tickets for the London show. Let's hope it's not a "One Off" and it's a "Take Off." Let's face it, ZEPPELIN ROCKS!!!

Sam Atakra of Santa Fe, New Mexico
Oh my, Led Zeppelin is back? They weren't bad enough the first time?

Gaspar Guerra of Aransas Pass, Texas
I have always felt that Plant and Page can still rock out with the best of them, but without John Paul Jones, something was lacking. Now with John Paul Jones back I feel that the "hammer of the gods" is back in full force.

Neal Richardson of Ridgewood, New Jersey
Knebworth 1979. Their last UK performance. I grew up in the UK and had been a fan of the band for several years. I remember being in an almost trance-like state during the performance, hearing these amazing songs that I knew so well. I couldn't believe that I was actually seeing them do their magic in the flesh. As for tonight's show, I only wish I could be there. I gather that they are well rehearsed and sound amazing.

David Brown of Stouffville, Ontario
Can Led Zepplin still rock? I think not. Time doesn't stand still and the age and stage of this band is completely different. This concert will be a parody. A Spinal Tap moment. Would we want to see a Beatles reunion (if possible)? Let's cherish our memories of a time long gone. These bands are not the same and neither are we.

Debra Mordente of Lawrence, Massachusetts
I consider myself one of the very lucky ones to have seen Led Zeppelin in their heyday, six times. I was also one of the millions trying to get tickets to the show tonight in London. No matter what they do, what set list they come up with, their audience is in for a rare treat. I am willing to bet the house that Led Zeppelin will tour in 2008, they have been offered many millions of dollars and how can they turn that down. From my mouth to God's ears. Rock on Led Zep, rock on.

Dale Root of Trucksville, Pennsylvania
I think they will be able to do a great set as long as they pick the right songs. Being a musician myself, I know how difficult some of their songs are to play and sing. So as long as they accommodate Plant's current vocal range and if Page isn't too rusty, they should do fine.

Sandy Stokes of Lawrenceville, Georgia
I saw Led Zeppelin in 1976 during the Song Remains the Same tour in Greensboro, North Carolina. They were an hour and a half late starting the show and it was John Bonham's birthday so the crowd all sang Happy Birthday to him. The most interesting thing of the show, though, was right before they launched into Moby Dick, Bonham broke the head on his snare drum. While he and a roadie went backstage to fix it, the other three pulled bar stools up to the front of the stage and played old Muddy Waters blues tunes, JPJ on an upright bass, Jimmy on a tri-neck acoustic guitar, and Plant with the harmonica. We all felt like we had died and gone to blues heaven. It was a great show. Interesting enough, it was the last concert in the coliseum that allowed for "festival" seating on the floor. After that, all concert seating was reserved.

George Tinsdale of Ridgefield, New Jersey
I never understood the hype that surrounded this band. All the elements were there -- musicianship, talent, looks, songwriting -- but somehow it never came together to be more than those singular elements. Unlike the Beatles, who changed the face of popular culture, Led Zep has had no lasting effect on popular culture or popular music. They're footnotes. And $18,000 for two tickets to see these grandfathers perform?? How about giving that $18,000 to a homeless shelter or to 18 people so they can buy gifts for their children this Christmas? No, that's asking too much. It's more important to ask if a bunch of 60-year-old multimillionaires can still rock.

Bryan Cardella of Los Angeles, California
In general, I think Led Zeppelin can still rock. My only concern is regarding Robert Plant. I saw his solo act a few years ago and frankly, his voice was not what it used to be. He just couldn't hit the same octaves that he did in the '70s. I'm sure that Paige, JPJ, and Bonzo's son will bring the rock 'n' roll like no other, but Plant is a bit of a weak link. It will sound great live, but not as fabulous as in their prime.

Raul DeJesus of Tampa, Florida
Can Led Zeppelin still rock? Can Sanjay Gupta perform brain surgery? Of course they can still rock, THEY NEVER STOPPED!


R.W. Fuller of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sans John Bonham, Led Zep shouldn't even try.

Matthew Baker of Richmond, Virginia
Led Zeppelin will do fine; among their cohorts such as the Stones, Who, Rush, Kinks, etc., those bands still attract a fascinated audience base. Time takes its toll on everybody, but if they come out with enough rehearsal time under their belt, they will be as good as ever -- maybe even better!

Bryan Bartlett of Lexington, Kentucky
Jimmy Page isn't as nimble-fingered as he was in his heyday ... and Robert Plant just can't hit the high notes like he used to. But even the harshest of critics can't deny that a Led Zeppelin reunion will please rock fans far and wide. Welcome back, guys! E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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