By Lori Spencer
Yahoo! Music News
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and Jason Bonham (son of late drummer John Bonham) have a laugh during a press conference to launch the release of “Celebration Day.” The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 9, 2012.
If not for Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun, Led Zeppelin may well have languished away in obscurity, or been banished to the one-hit wonder pile. It was the late Atlantic Records co-founder and president who took a very personal interest in the group, above and beyond the call of duty. From the first time he ever listened to Zeppelin’s self-produced first album in 1968, Ertegun became the band’s champion at the label and nurtured their growth over the years like a proud father.
Another band Ertegun remained close friends with over the years was the Rolling Stones. While attending a concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre six years ago this month, Ertegun fell down a flight of stairs and hit his head on the concrete floor. He later slipped into a coma and died December 14, 2006 at the age of 83.
Led Zeppelin was at first devastated by the loss of their mentor, but Ertegun’s death would soon propel them into positive action. The tragic event actually become the impetus for a reunion concert both Mr. Ertegun and Zeppelin’s fans had waited 27 years for.
The surviving members of Led Zeppelin – Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and the late drummer John Bonham’s son Jason – agreed to get the band back together one last time in Ahmet’s memory. One year later, the dream became reality when they took the stage at London’s O2 Arena to raise money for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund.
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