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The band that Gene Simmons says that inspired Led Zeppelin

Gene Simmons


The band that Gene Simmons says that inspired Led Zeppelin

When Kiss was formed in 1973 by Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, Rock and Roll music had evolved really fast during the last decade and there were many revolutionary bands around who were an inspiration for countless other groups and were giving birth to entire new music genres. One of them was Led Zeppelin, who was already on the road for six years when Kiss released their self-titled debut album in 1974.


Formed by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham they already were one of the biggest bands in the world and were an influence to the American band. Their career lasted only 12 years, being cut short after the tragic death of their legendary drummer at the age of 32. They are still one of the best-selling bands of all time with an estimated amount of more than 300 million records sold worldwide.

Although they are credited as the group which really defined what Hard Rock music would become, Gene Simmons believes that they were inspired by another group that was doing the same thing before them.

The band that Gene Simmons says that inspired Led Zeppelin

There are not many bands that can cause a huge impact in music already with the release of their debut album but Led Zeppelin was one of those. Their self-titled debut record released in 1969, one year after they were formed. It shocked the world for the heaviness, fast playing and powerful vocals. Gene Simmons is a huge fan of the band and praised them many times during his career. But he believes that Led Zeppelin’s sound came from The Jeff Beck Group.

He gave that opinion in an interview with BBC News (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) in 2023 when he was asked to comment on Jeff Beck’s passing. The guitarist passed away at the age of 78 in January, 2023. “I will tell you that, and all the guitar players will tell you that. The classics, the greats, the Claptons, the Jimmy Pages, the Brian Mays, all amazing, amazing talents. Only Jeff Beck had the ability. The God-given blessing to be able to easily be an icon in Jazz, in Fusion, Rock, Blues, he could do it all. You want to hear something classic? Listen to Jeff Beck’s version of ‘Nessun Dorma’ with a symphony orchestra. If nobody’s around you will cry.”

“I will tell that above and beyond the words. Everyday when we do shows we put a little music in the background. Every single pre-show, because it takes me about two hours to do the make-up and all that. Every day that we are about to go to a show, what fires me up is the same thing that fired up Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin.”

He continued:

“Before that was a Zeppelin, you would put on that first Jeff Beck record, ‘Truth’ and then ‘Beck-Ola’, the second one. It’s just undeniable, nothing like it has been done before, during or since. In fact, it’s fair to say that Jeff Beck Group began Led Zeppelin. I listen to it all the time. When he plays, unlike any other guitar players, I hum along with the solos. That’s the sound of greatness,” Gene Simmons said.

Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were curiously bandmates in The Yardbirds for about a year. Just from 1965 until 1966 when Beck was fired. His solo debut album “Truth” was released in 1968. Being then followed by the also classic record “Beck-Ola” (1969), mentioned by Simmons. Although those albums can be compared to what Zeppelin was doing, Beck didn’t focused on only one kind of music. He experimented many different approaches to music during his career.

Until his death in 2023 he released 17 studio albums. But had sold an estimated amount of more than 5 million records worldwide. Curiously, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 by his longtime friend Jimmy Page. During his speech, Page said: “He’d just keep getting better and better and he leaves us – mere mortals”.

For Simmons, Jeff Beck took the Blues and turned up the volume

Gene Simmons gave a good definition of what acts like Jeff Beck and Led Zeppelin did, taking their Blues roots and creating a new sound. As he told Music Radar in 2017, he believed that Jeff Beck took the Blues and turned up the volume when he released his debut album “Truth” (1968).

He said that after listing that album was one that blew his mind. “What a line-up! Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart on vocals, Ron Wood on bass. Ronnie’s a much better bass player than he is a guitarist.”

“There’s a rumor that Jimmy Page played on some of this, too. Even before Led Zeppelin and Cream, Beck took the blues and turned up the volume. But it wasn’t just decibels; Beck was pushing the envelope in all sorts of directions. Nuanced little jazz licks that caught you off guard… sophisticated, delicate melodies,” Gene Simmons said.

Simmons was lucky enough to have met Jeff many times over the decades. His admiration for the British guitarist only got bigger.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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