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I heard Houses Of The Holy and Presence before any other Zeppelin albums; I was about eight or nine years old at the time. I remember some friends of my parents had this sort of high-class restaurant, and one day they said to me, ‘Do you know this band Led Zeppelin?’ And I didn’t, not yet anyway, so I said, ‘No, no, I don’t.’ They said, ‘The group was in our restaurant the other night, and they really annoyed the other customers. They were carrying on and being so loud and out of control – it was crazy!’
“I thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool. I’ve got to ask my dad about them.’ My dad is a huge music lover, so I asked him if he knew Led Zeppelin. ‘Absolutely!’ he said. ‘I’ve got some records – here, check ‘em out.’ He gave me Houses Of The Holy and Presence.
“I put on Houses Of The Holy first, and of course, it starts out with The Song Remains The Same. ‘Oh, my God! What the fuck is that?’ [Laughs] It was like a UFO had landed or something. It sounded so good; the music just locked up so tight. That really stuck out to me and made me think, ‘Wow, that drummer, he’s really holding everything together – in a big way.’
“The bands I liked before, KISS and Queen, were never really drummer focused, although I love my Queen records. But with Zeppelin, it was like, ‘Oh, my God. There’s a guy who really plays solid and gets a good sound.’ John Bonham had everything. I wasn’t even a drummer at the time, but I completely got it.
“Presence is quite a cult album. Most of the real musos love that album. Robert Plant once mentioned that it sort of defined the Zeppelin sound. And what about Achilles Last Stand? My God, just that one song along is ridiculous! Listen to Bonham’s fills. This is unbelievable stuff.”