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The right Stuff

Ted Alvarez
Special to the Daily
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VAIL – The apres scene can get pretty wild at Garfinkel’s in Lionshead – just imagine what might happen when it’s packed with a hot tub full of Stuff Magazine Snow Angels gyrating to the rock-revival sounds of Lez Zeppelin.”I think they heard about us and decided they’d love to have us play and do something in the magazine,” Lez Zeppelin guitarist Steph Payne says. “It’ll be quite a party.”Lez Zeppelin play the same instruments, songs and style as Led Zeppelin, but don’t call them a mere cover band.”You know, traditionally with tribute bands, there is that kind of historical snobbery. We haven’t really come across it much, and partially it’s because we don’t approach it like many – we’re more of a she-incarnation,” Payne says. “We try and approach this amazing material from the same kind of spiritual and musical place, but it’s the four of us who are playing it. There’s no way that someone can look at us and see us as a clone band, because we’re girls. We’re actually freed by that.”Payne likens the Zeppelin catalog to that of Mozart or Bach; fans come to see the classics reinterpreted with unique spirit and vigor.”Take this music as a classical musician might take symphony, and reinterpret it,” Payne says. “(Singer Sarah McLellan) doesn’t sound like Robert Plant but she sings with the spirit, so she’s the same but not. It’s at a point where people are coming to see us play Led Zeppelin, and they’re walking away satisfied.”

As a female guitarist charged with playing some of the most blistering solos in history, Payne is shocked by how many people are still amazed that a woman can excel at shredding.”It’s still a revelation for people – it’s incredible but true,”Payne says. “I got a guitar for my sixth birthday, and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. (Some people) don’t believe that women can do it, and that’s part of the whole premise. It ends up being quite fun to prove them wrong.”For Payne, playing in Lez Zeppelin is a fantasy come true, and she finds fans are just as into Zep now as they ever were, and likely always will be.””I just can’t think of a world without Led Zeppelin – it’s too disturbing to me,” Payne says. “They’re still the heaviest band ever, and it’s still as resonant today as it was then. Everyone goes through Led Zeppelin, and even today we’ve got 14-year-old boys up front, shaking their hair like it was 1971.”I’m sure the four hot ladies ripping through some of the best rock music ever have nothing to do with that.Arts and Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or talvarez@vaildaily.com.

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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