By Kenny Young
This piece of mastery came to be written and recorded (like most of the songs on Zeppelin 2) while the Band was on tour in the States during the Summer of ’69. The ideas were coming fast for Page and Co. so they would pop in to Studios in the cities they visited to get them down on tape.
It was during a tour stop in New York that they set up shop at Juggy Sound Studios. Plant drew lyrical inspiration from his love of the J.R.R. Tolkien novels as visions of “the darkest depths of Mordor” and “Gollum and the evil one.” Drummer John Bonham improvised the quieter parts of the song by banging away on a nearby guitar case. (*according to the book John Bonham: A Thunder of Drum) Ironically enough, as great of a song this is, they never performed it live in its entirety during the Band’s initial run. That was until the one-off, O2 Arena reunion show in London, December of 2007 with Jason Bonham behind the throne. Here’s some video of that show with “Ramble On” coming in around the 3:00-minute mark of the clip.
Kenny Young can be heard weeknights from 7pm until midnight on Boston’s Classic Rock, 100.7 WZLX. Follow him on Twitter (@KennyYoungZLX) and like him on Facebook. Stream WZLX anywhere you go with the free Radio.com app for iOS and Android devices.