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Institute for Popular Music celebrates Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones

September 9, 2014

The University of Rochester’s Institute for Popular Music kicks off its 2014-2015 performance and lecture series on Wednesday, Sept. 24, with a tribute to the iconic 70s rock band, Led Zeppelin. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the group’s debut album, Led Zeppelin I, which was ranked by Rolling Stone as No. 29 on the magazine’s list of the Top 500 Albums of All Time.

“Many rock historians think of Led Zeppelin as one of the first heavy metal bands that helped define the genre, but it’s important to remember that their first album received some scathing reviews,” said John Covach, director of the Institute for Popular Music and chair of the Music Department in the University’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. “Many critics said the album wouldn’t survive and it then went on to become one of the most seminal records in the history of rock music.”

The series starts on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Gowen Room in Wilson Commons with a lecture by David Headlam, professor of music theory at the University’s Eastman School of Music, titled “What Remains After the Song: Led Zeppelin, Inc.” The celebration continues on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. in Strong Auditorium with a special concert featuring Rochester’s premier Led Zeppelin tribute band, Out on the Tiles, along with faculty and students from the University’s Music Department. The events are free and open to the general public.

In the spring, lectures and a concert will focus on the music of the Rolling Stones and the 50th anniversary of the group’s career-making hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” This coincides with the launch of a free online course on The Music of The Rolling Stones, taught by professor Covach and available through Coursera on Jan. 17.

The Institute for Popular Music (IPM) was established in 2012 to encourage and support the study and performance of popular music through lectures, books, articles, and concerts. Last year, the Institute established its “In Conversation” series, which featured talks with artists John Densmore (The Doors), and Steven Page (former member of The Barenaked Ladies). This year the Institute will introduce virtual conferences and workshops by making videos of past lectures and workshops available online for a larger audience.

For more information about IPM and upcoming events, contact Elaine Stroh at or call 585. 275.9397.

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Category: Society & Culture