What Is And What Should Never Be: History of GtLO
GET THE LED OUT was formed in 2003 when a couple of Philadelphia-area musicians contacted Paul Sinclair about singing in a Led Zeppelin project they were trying to get off the ground. Sinclair, who had spent the majority of his musical career performing in his own original band Sinclair, had reservations about joining a tribute act. I had no interest in going the impersonator route, says Sinclair. Ive always found it a bit hokey. I was much more intrigued by the thought of playing this music that I loved so much, and playing it accurately. With ALL the instrumentation.
Enter guitarist Paul Hammond who shared a musical partnership with Sinclair that dated back to their teen years. Together they wrote songs, released albums and earned their rock and roll wings on the East Coast club scene. It was only natural that Sinclair would recruit Hammond for the latest rock journey. I knew Paul [Hammond] would add the stability and musical chops needed to pull this off, Sinclair explains. Besides guitar, he plays many other stringed-instruments and even played keyboards in an early incarnation of the band.
Sinclairs vision of performing on stage as themselves and doing the studio versions of the Zep catalog was not a popular concept with other early members in the band. In the beginning, some of the guys wanted to do the look-a-like thing. Akin to a version of the movie The Song Remains The Same. Those guys have since moved on to other things, says Sinclair.
With the Pauls in place and the addition of Adam Ferraioli on drums, Jimmy Marchiano on guitar, multi-instrumentalist Andrew Lipke (keys, guitar, vocals, percussion etc.), and Billy Childs on bass, GTLOs mission finally came into focus: to recreate on stage the complete sound of Led Zeppelins recordings with the studio overdubs that Zeppelin themselves never performed live. Oh, and without the wigs. It turns out that our approach is the very thing that separates us from all the other Zeppelin acts out there. Id like to say that it was a real savvy business decision, but truth be told its just the only way I could see doing it.
GTLO took the show on the road in 2004 with debut performances in major theatres, PACs, festivals and concert venues throughout the East. I remember our first time at Penns Peak (a 1700 seat national concert venue in Jim Thorpe, PA), recalls Sinclair. I was concerned about attendance because we had not yet made a name for ourselves. But then 1000 people showed up. We knew we were onto something. Now we sell the place out. I guess it goes to show the power of this music…and hopefully a little something about the band thats playing it.
Now dubbed by the media as The American Led Zeppelin, GTLO presents a two hour + set each night that spans the mythic career of the legendary British supergroup. And with it, they are achieving strong box office scores throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Not uncommon are return-visits and sell-outs at a number of the regions most prominent venues and PACs including The Nokia Theater (NYC Times Square), House of Blues (Boston and Atlantic City), Pennsylvanias Sovereign Center and Keswick Theatre, and Oswego New Yorks Harborfest as well as countless others.
The critics are raving. The Patriot News, Central Pennsylvanias leading news source that reaches nearly a half-million weekly readers, heralds, Get The Led Out didnt just pass Zeppelin 101 with flying colors — theyre working on their Ph.D. They didnt just do their Zep homework — theyre teaching the class.
And now in a new decade, GTLO is poised to do the same nationally.