The Zep Boys are a remarkable story from its inception right up to the current day. The music industry is arguably one of most competitive markets in entertainment today.
So why have a concept band from Adelaide South Australia succeeded at the highest level in their genre for 28 years? Many people have shared their opinion with me over the years but this is what I believe.
The music of Led Zeppelin is now part of music and social history it needs no introduction or explanation. Older and new generations alike still listen to their music catalogue. Zeppelin has become immortal and is now classical rather than pop as it transcends fashion and market trends.
In 1986 the thought of performing an entire program of Led Zeppelin songs live on stage not only terrified me but almost made me want to give up playing all together. The fear of not having the ability or confidence to perform what I believed was the ultimate in Rock music was fundamentally the inspiration to accept the challenge. This was to become a project of passion love and integrity. Success would only be measured by the execution of the music. What was to happen next was totally unexpected.
The first gig was a sellout. This experience was so humbling it would set the band up for the future. That night was the single most important lesson I learned in my career. Was it the members in the band the people came to see? No! It was the music of Led Zeppelin live they wanted to hear. It was simple, play the music right and keep them coming back for more, no gimmicks no spin just pure entertainment and it continues to this day. The Zep Boys have perfected the craft of communicating with audiences in whatever forum from unplugged acoustic to outdoor concerts of 50,000 people plus or performing with 75 piece symphony orchestras. The band has developed its own unique persona. It has never impersonated the characters and personalities of Led Zeppelin but chooses instead to just play the music and be themselves.
A true rock performance takes over the audience’s senses. If the performance is treated with respect and honesty then and only then the magic and mystery of rock and roll is unleashed. This is the philosophy that has guided the Zep Boys over a span of three decades. What started out as a project for a single night’s performance has not only turned into a career for myself, but also changed the face of Australian live music with the emergence of countless tribute and concept bands wanting to emulating the success of the Zep Boys. The winners being the public, venues and many (once out of work) musicians! The Zep Boys are now regarded as an institution they have become part of Australian music history.
- Vince Contarino