Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Lez not Led

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Contrary to what it says in the paper edition of the Sun-Times today, Led Zeppelin is NOT playing at Bonnaroo. Lez Zeppelin, however, is.

My esteemed Sun-Times music editor, whose name shall go unmentioned here (you're welcome, Thomas), is not the only music editor who made this mistake.

How could this have happened? The press release was misleading, to say the least. Keep reading and you'll see what I mean.





New York, NY. Wednesday, February 6th, 2008: Superfly Productions and
A.C. Entertainment are proud to annousnce the initial lineup for the
2008 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The seventh annual four-day
camping and music festival will be held on June 12-15 on the same
beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles south of
Nashville. A full list of confirmed acts follows, and more will be
announced in the coming weeks. The final Bonnaroo 2008 lineup will total
over 100 bands and over 20 comedians performing on 13 stages over four
days. Tickets go on sale exclusively through on
Saturday, February 16 at 12:00 PM EDT.

The largest and most revered music and camping event in the country,
Bonnaroo has elevated the American rock festival to an unprecedented
level. As the only round-the-clock major U.S. music festival, Bonnaroo
packs an unparalleled amount of entertainment options into its four
days. The event offers attendees the amenities and community spirit of a
small city, with 24 hours of activities including a comedy theater,
cinema festival, jazz club, silent disco, arcade, Internet cafés,
restaurants, yoga classes and hundreds of high quality craft vendors.
Since its inception in 2002, Bonnaroo has swiftly earned its status as
the country¹s premier music and arts event. According to the New York
Times, ³Bonnaroo has revolutionized the modern rock festival.² The event
is famous for the incredible energy that emerges from its crowds, who
make the Bonnaroo pilgrimage to immerse themselves in its unique camping
community and witness four days of historical music moments. Honoring
the festival¹s unique spirit, Rolling Stone called Bonnaroo ³one of the
50 moments to change the history of rock and roll.²

Continuing the Bonnaroo tradition of diversity and dynamism, the 2008
lineup draws top-flight acts from a staggering range of musical worlds.
This year, Bonnaroo welcomes metal stalwart Metallica, the explosive
Pearl Jam and acoustic rocker Jack Johnson, along with hip-hop star
Kanye West, indie-rock staple Death Cab for Cutie and scores of other
hot acts. Fresh talents like NYC buzz band Vampire Weekend and Austin
electro act Ghostland Observatory will perform alongside revered legends
such as Willie Nelson and the Band¹s Levon Helm, who will bring his
famous Woodstock-based Midnight Ramble show to thousands of festival
fans. Other special collaborations include the slow-burning duo of
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, roots-leaning couple Derek Trucks and
Susan Tedeschi and bluegrass darling Abigail Washburn¹s Sparrow Quartet
with Béla Fleck. The sprawling lineup also includes epic acts like Gogol
Bordello, Against Me!, Sigur Rós and Bonnaroo favorite My Morning Jacket.

In addition to stellar music programming, Bonnaroo organizers continue
to increase the quality and quantity of non-music entertainment options
at the festival. Bonnaroo¹s revered Comedy Tent will once again host a
stellar lineup of first-rate standup sets in a seated, air-conditioned
venue, including Janeane Garofalo, Zach Galifianakis, Mike Birbiglia,
Jim Norton, Brian Posehn and the return of David Cross, who will host
³Bonnaroo Late Time Chat About,² an original midnight talk show complete
with a house band, comic skits and special guests.

As a unique, unprecedented offer to the festival¹s fans, Bonnaroo is
offering the option to purchase a commemorative DVD of the 2008 festival
that will be sent to them in December. At an exclusive price for ticket
buyers, fans will have the option of ordering the DVD at the time of
purchasing tickets to the festival. These DVDs will feature exclusive
performances and backstage footage from the 2008 festival, allowing fans
to relive their Bonnaroo experience. The featured video will be
handpicked to showcase this year's performance highlights as filmed by
Bonnaroo's team of directors. The DVD will include full-color packaging
and artwork and a 5.1 audio mix created from Bonnaroo's pristine
soundboard recordings.

Other exciting new features for 2008 will be announced shortly. As
always, organizers are focused on providing Bonnaroo fans with the best
possible overall experience, handling logistics with finesse and
providing an unparalleled set of entertainment options for an
over-the-top weekend of cultural indulgence.

Official festival website is

2008 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Confirmed Artists:

Pearl Jam
Jack Johnson
Kanye West
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Phil Lesh & Friends
My Morning Jacket
The Allman Brothers Band
The Raconteurs
Willie Nelson
Death Cab for Cutie
B.B. King
Sigur Ros
Levon Helm and the Ramble on the Road
Ben Folds
The Bluegrass Allstars Feat. Luke Bulla, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Bela
Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Bryan Sutton
Umphrey's McGee
Iron & Wine
Yonder Mountain String Band
Swell Season
Talib Kweli
Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi¹s Soul Stew Revival
Gogol Bordello
Broken Social Scene
Robert Randolph¹s Revival
Rilo Kiley
Lupe Fiasco
Against Me!
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Pat Green
Tegan & Sara
Solomon Burke
Drive-By Truckers
The Avett Brothers
Israel Vibration
Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck
Phil Lesh / Larry Campbell / Jackie Greene
Aimee Mann
The Fiery Furnaces
Orchestra Baobab
Ghostland Observatory
Jose Gonzalez
Dark Star Orchestra
Minus the Bear
Donavon Frankenreiter
Lez Zeppelin
State Radio
Jakob Dylan
Two Gallants
The Sword
Vampire Weekend
Little Feat
Nicole Atkins
The Felice Brothers
Mason Jennings
The Lee Boys
Black Kids
Serena Ryder
Steel Train
Grupo Fantasma
Back Door Slam

Bonnaroo Comedy:
Bonnaroo Late Night Chat About with David Cross
Janeane Garofalo
Zach Galifianakis
Jim Norton
Brian Posehn
Mike Birbiglia
John Mulaney
Michelle Buteau

More acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the 2008 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival go on sale Saturday,
February 16th, 2008 at 12:00 PM EDT through

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Of course we did a double take when we received the Bonnaroo lineup press release yesterday. But if the AP and the NME (now deleted) and the Chicago Sun Times (see here) had spent more than 30 seconds looking at... Read More


A mortifying, rookie mistake, indeed. No excuses. Apologies, all.,zep020608.article

I need a vacation.


and you wonder why people get their news from blogs.

Just to let you know




DeRogatis and ChiSunTimes: PWNED!

You wouldn't believe how many people made this mistake. Even after I sent the press release talking about the GIRLS I still received phone calls (including one from a major late night talk show booker) wanting to discuss LED. Just wanted to thank you for the publicity. It's been amazing today! Alan. Management Lez Zeppelin

You do understand that this backpedaling blog post only makes the Sun-Times look whiny, right? "It wasn't our FAULT, Bonnaroo faked us out!" Funny how many news outlets managed to double-check their info...

No. Don't pass blame onto the press release. If you were confused or unsure, call and confirm - and even if you're not, do it anyway because it's your JOB. It's Reporting 101.

You guys wonder why your paper is dying.

Not to belabor this Lez/Led thing any more, but...

After the Sun-Times' (quickly corrected) gaffe yesterday was noted on a few sites on the Web, several snarky commentators chose to write in to this blog with cracks along the lines of "This is why print journalism is dying, you idiots." (See above.)

This prompted me to write a little more background on this incident -- since the other comment was "How did this happen, you dopes?" -- but the silly blog publishing platform we use here (for now) ate that post, and I didn't have the energy to type it up again. (Wanna tell me again how reliable online communications are?)

Because the emails keep coming, I'm gonna go into this again.

The back story here is that several months ago, a rather histrionic music industry insider turned blogger (he shall remain nameless here, but any quick search would turn him up) posted a story saying that the reunited Led Zeppelin would headline Bonnaroo.

As these things do, it quickly shot around the Web, and was in turn picked up by many print publications. The Sun-Times was not among them.

Eventually, Bonnaroo's publicity firm issued a pretty unequivocal denial: This is not happening. A little later, Robert Plant made it clear that he was going to tour with Allison Krauss before even considering a jaunt with Zep, and a little later still, Jimmy Page said there would definitely be no Zep tour before September. The story persisted regardless; fans (including many journalists) simply WANTED to believe it.

Now comes the official announcement of the Bonnaroo lineup, issued at midnight on the crazed news day of Super Tuesday, via the press release I reprinted in full above. You'll note how LEZ ZEPPELIN was trumpeted in all caps as a headline. No further mention was made of the group until the full list of performers, where it placed in the middle of a lengthy roster of acts.

True, the press release didn't expound on the coup of Bonnaroo booking the greatest hard rock band ever. But neither did it bother to explain who Lez Zeppelin is (a New York City-based all-female tribute band).

It turns out that Bonnaroo's promoters sought out Lez Zeppelin as a sort of wry comment on the earlier Led Zeppelin rumor, and Bonnaroo's publicists ran with the ball, having what they thought was a little fun with the whole thing. Except that it backfired: Quite a few overworked journalists (my editor among them) misread the press release -- seeing LEZ as LED -- and with the earlier rumor filed somewhere in the back of their addled brains, took off running to say that Plant, Page, John Paul Jones and another Bonham who ain't John were coming to the States.

The list of the duped included the NME, the Sun-Times, ABC News, the Associated Press news wire, the London Telegraph, and the Sound Generator Web site, among many others.

Let me be clear: Anyone who printed Led not Lez made a stupid mistake. But the promoters and their publicists were playing an early April Fool's joke on them, hoping they'd make this gaffe: They were being punked, or as one correspondent said yesterday, pwned. (I had to look that up -- it's what journalists do -- to learn that it is "pronounced as own or pone, not pawn, and used as a slang term that implies domination or humiliation of a rival, primarily in the Internet gaming culture, to taunt an opponent that has just been soundly defeated.")

Ha ha ha. What a funny joke.

The fiasco/prank generated even more publicity than usual for the announcement of the concert lineup, but it also had the unintended effect of taking the focus off of this year's most exciting headliners (Pearl Jam and Kanye West) as well as the totally lame ones (Metallica and Jack Johnson). And it ruined the day for quite a few ink-stained wretches. Boo-hoo.

So why am I bothering to spell all of this out? Well, for one thing, I love media criticism and always learn something from it; one of the things good journalists do is try to explain how this business works, and examine where it fails. But more than that, this silly "This is why bloggers are replacing journalists" notion burns my butt. This whole mess was started by a blogger, as I said. And you show me a blog anywhere on the Web that has taken the time to issue a correction and an explanation like this.

Good bloggers certainly have their place in the musical discourse. So do good journalists. And neither is infallible or immune from the media equivalent of someone sticking out their leg to trip someone else.

Even though I live in Phoenix, I still listen to XRT and Lin Bremmer even said Led Zepp on his show yesterday.... WOW.

I don't know who this Zeppelin guy is anyway, I just hope Britney is ok 'cause me and my friends love her even more than that new girl Hannah Fontana.

The fact remains that the press release said "Lez Zeppelin" not once, but twice, spelled the same way. I did a double take when I saw it too, because I've heard the rumors as well, but a quick Internet search for "Lez Zeppelin" was all that was needed. Just goes to show that even the pros get it wrong sometime.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on February 6, 2008 9:19 AM.

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