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Them Crooked Vultures


When Led Zeppelin disbanded in '80 (following drummer John Bonham's alcohol-fueled death), Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones worked on soundtracks while Robert Plant pursued a solo career. Page also spent a brief period with The Firm and vocalist David Coverdale. Eventually, Page and Plant recorded and toured together, leaving 'Jonesy" out. Something Jones pointedly pointed out when Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame. In fairness, Page and Plant did include Jones in the infrequent Zeppelin reunion shows (Atlantic's anniversary, Live Aid and O2). Little could they or anyone else guess that Jones would one-day land in a high profile band with much younger players.

Josh Homme, embarked on his own quixotic journey. He founded Queens Of The Stone Age and the over-the-top Eagles Of Death Metal (the name tells it all)

Then there's David Grohl. He had a pedigree nearly as impressive as Jones - drummer with the legendary Nirvana and the founder/leader/guitarist/frontman of the Foo Fighters. But Grohl, still a drummer at heart, wanted to get back behind the kit.

Here's the interesting part. Jones was a member of the biggest Rock band in the world when Grohl and Homme were still in high school bands trying to learn "Kashmir." In other words, a big age difference. But then there were already a couple "supergroups" with multi-generation members (Chickenfoot or even Page playing with the Black Crowes). Talent is talent - and Jones is just that (bassist, keyboards, arranger, etc.).





During an '05 interview Grohl first talked about working with Homme and Jones. But it wasn't until '09 that the group entered in L.A. studio.

Homme's wife, Brody Dalle (The Distillers), gave the band a promotional boost. I think [the project] is pretty f*cking amazing," said Dalle. "Just beats and sounds like you've never heard before."

Them Crooked Vultures made their debut in Chicago before embarking on the Deserve The Future tour. Their self-titled album made its debut at #12 on the Billboard 200 and landed at the top on the U.K. Rock chart. "New Fang" was the lead single.

A short time later, Grohl stated in a radio interview that Them Crooked Vultures was not just a one-off project but a band with a future - though when they would record again depended more on scheduling than desire.

"You put the three of us together in a room, something is going to happen," said Grohl. "I don't think we'll have any trouble making five, six, seven records if we want to. It's just a matter of when and where and how. I wouldn't want to stop doing it - it's a fun band to be in." Grohl added that their other bands were awesome too (namely Grohl's Foo Fighters and Homme's Queens Of The Stone Age). "We're here now and it's a nice place to be," he concluded.

Them Crooked Vultures Discography

In '70, Led Zeppelin was mired recording their third album. While Jimmy Page and Robert Plant seemed bound and determined to turn the Hammer of the Gods into a Joni Mitchell tribute band, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham, launched a side project. Recruiting ex-Iron Butterfly guitarist Danny Weis and former Deep Purple vocalist Rod Evans, they put together Them Crooked Vultures and knocked out an incredible, no B.S., album.

Jolted that their rhythm section had so completely nailed it, Plant and Page quickly composed "The Immigrant Song" and "Out On The Tiles" to bring them back into the fold.

Of course, the above is pure fiction. Perhaps it should have happened but there's no doubt Them Crooked Vultures sounds exactly like what would have transpired.

Then again, Them Crooked Vultures is actually Eagles Of Death Metal II - with a killer bass/drums combo.

However you look at it or hear it, Them Crooked Vultures play inescapable Rock, driven by Zeppelin worthy riffs. At the same time they incorporate Aerosmith ("No One Loves Me & Neither Do I"), Cream, namely Jack Bruce's "White Room" falsetto ("Scumbag Blues") and pull off the unlikely combination of Metal and David Bowie ("Caligulove"). Of course, JPJ and Grohl got all the initial attention but give it to Homme for his vocal range and guitar dexterity. He swings the hammer in TCV.


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