Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tribute band Get the Led Out hopes to organize charity gig

Things have been going rather well for Get the Led Out, the Philadelphia-based Led Zeppelin tribute band that welcomed some very special guests onstage when they played New York last week -- so well, in fact, that the band has some lofty goals.

For one thing, guitarist Paul Hammond has expressed interest in expanding beyond their current gigs up and down the I-95 corridor and taking their show overseas.

"We want to travel the act, and we'd like to go overseas," says Hammond. "We're trying to further the act and take it to more people, and as of right now, we have hit some major cities, so we're very happy that we can do Philadelphia at the Electric Factory, we can do Baltimore [at] the Ram's Head Live, New York [at the] Nokia Theater, Boston [at the] House of Blues." attended two shows in Florida cities on back-to-back nights last summer. Now, the group is to perform:

  • a sold-out show tonight in Verona, N.Y.
  • a gig in Fairfield, Conn., on Jan. 23
  • back-to-back nights in Sellersville, Pa., on Feb. 13 and 14
  • in Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C., on back-to-back nights on Feb. 20 and 21

Obviously, the band's reach already stretches far along the East Coast, but the group's not content with only that. "We're making the big city stops," says Hammond, "and we would like that to end up being where we're hitting all the big city stops across the [United] States, and then also going abroad to Germany, Spain, England, the Netherlands. That's really our goal, to grow the act to that point."

Get the Led Out also has ambitions of organizing a charity gig.

"We hope at some point to be able to do something to give back," says Hammond. "We really want to do a big charity event and involve some of the celebrities we know and bring people in to give back and do something that benefits those that need it."

The band's VIP services director, JR Warner, also happens to be the U.S. affiliate for the ABC Trust, which counts among its flagship patrons Brian May of Queen and, of course, Jimmy Page. Just this week, Page became the first recipient of an award from the United Nations' Pathways to Peace organization.

Warner was recently written up in "The Sounding Board" newsletter (Vol. 28, page 15) from the Martin Guitar Company for having presented Brian May with a custom-made Martin acoustic.

Martin describes the unique guitar as a "Custom Shop oval sound-holed double cutaway with solar system inlays and 'Freddie' in mother-of-pearl surrounding the planet Mercury at the first fret."

Shown above are Warner, seated at left, with May at his side, and Graeme Hutchinson, also of the ABC Trust, between them. Warner and Hutchinson presented May with the guitar in appreciation for his support of the ABC Trust's mission. According to the charity's Web site:
"Action for Brazil’s Children Trust (ABC) is dedicated to helping the most vulnerable children and young people of Brazil. By raising awareness and funding, we support the work of local, community-led organisations who give children the education, support and inspiration they need to transform their lives."
"We've been talking with JR, who's really all about trying to help people out," says Hammond. "He's helped me out an amazing amount."

In Part Three of my interview with two members of Get the Led Out, Hammond discusses some of the people he's been fortunate enough to work alongside during his Get the Led Out days, and singer Paul Sinclair lists some plans for the immediate future.
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