When the Bonnaroo festival announced its lineup this week, fans and press alike were impressed that the bill would include a diverse slate featuring Kanye West, Metallica, Pearl Jam, and Zeppelin. Except, it’s not that Zeppelin. When the festival coyly announced that tribute band Lez Zeppelin was confirmed for the festival, more than a few people misread it, and assumed the original Led Zeppelin (who recently reunited for a one-off gig) was slated to perform. Not the case, and while it may annoy some, it’s certainly helping to raise the profile of this all-girl rock act. From MTV News’ follow-up on the story:
Months before the lineup went public, though, several unsubstantiated rumors had spread like wildfire, suggesting that other band, Led Zeppelin — who had recently reunited to play a gig in London — would be anchoring the festival’s bill, performing their first Stateside concert in well over two decades. As a result, a number of prominent publications — including the esteemed Associated Press and the Chicago Sun-Times — erroneously reported Wednesday morning that it would be Led Zeppelin, not Lez Zeppelin, topping Bonnaroo’s roster. Embarrassing corrections followed within hours, some defending the mistake: “The press release was misleading, to say the least,” read the Sun-Times’ retraction.
According to guitarist Steph Paynes, who actually crossed the ocean to catch the reunited band’s O2 arena gig, Lez Zep doesn’t mind all the free publicity they’ve been attracting in the wake of Wednesday’s press release. She also says that while they’re not the real thing, the girls plan to bring it to the people at Bonnaroo.
“It was quite extraordinary,” Paynes, who helped found the cover band in 2004, said. “We were told by Bonnaroo that the lineup would be announced at midnight, and I happened to be surfing the Web at that point, and I was going to put the lineup on our MySpace page. Then, these stories started coming in. At first, it was really quite nice, because the first stories listed the lineup correctly, and listed us on there because of that expectation that Led Zeppelin might be playing.