Led Zeppelin broke up more than 30 years ago, but don't worry if you want to see them live. Almost as soon as the forefathers of heavy metal called it quits, the tribute bands arrived. There's Dread Zeppelin (reggae), Lez Zeppelin (all girl), Led Zepagain, Led Zepplica, Fred Zeppelin and plenty of others that play off the words "Led" and "Zeppelin."
Get The Led Out, which plays Feb. 14 at Remy's on Hilton Head Island, isn't trying to sound like Led Zeppelin. They're trying to sound exactly like Led Zeppelin. Their mission is to re-create Zeppelin songs word for word, note for note. In essence, going to a Get The Led Out show should be like listening to a Led Zeppelin album.
"The idea is to play it to the point that if they made a mistake, you make a mistake. If they use a 1940-whatever Gibson mandolin in a recording, you try to find one just like it," bass player Billy Childs said. "Everything is as authentic as it can be. It is over the top, but that's what makes it special."
The band has toured for almost a decade. Childs being a relative newcomer joined about two years ago. Joining the band became a change of pace from most of his work. He had first made it big in 1980s-era hair metal band Britny Fox. But complex bass lines were not the norm in '80s glam rock. Studying the work of Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones gave him a welcome challenge.
"When I was younger I would be one of those guys who'd put on an album and go nuts trying to play with it. That's pretty much how I learned," he said. "I was doing Zeppelin and Rush and some intricate stuff back then. My chops were there when I joined (Get The Led Out). I just hadn't used them in a long time. That's what I like about this group. It really gives you an opportunity to play."
He knew what he was getting into as far as the band goes. He wasn't quite sure what to expect as far as the crowds. There is a reason, after all, why so many tribute bands exist.
"I didn't realize the crowds were going to be so emotional," he said. "It's kids and parents, the demographic is all over the place. I'm surprised the number that come up with tears in their eyes and says they never heard Zeppelin live and this is the closest they came. That just speaks to how important this band was to so many people."