OZone Baby, North America’s premiere Led Zeppelin Tribute had the Olde Walkerville Theatre “Shakin’ All Over” when they returned to rock the annual Bad Examples Riders Club’s fundraising concert, for the second time in the event’s six year history, on Saturday night (March 7).
They came from Toronto, with one thing on their mind, to rock the night away like no one but Led Zeppelin can do. It is something Ozone Baby, with bassist Enzo Lapadula, guitarist Steve Major, drummer Elliot Pantich and the extremely talented vocalist Phil Naro, have been doing since 2005.
And all of it, seminal music of the late 1960s and 1970s, was for a good cause, organized by Bad Examples Riders Club of Windsor, a group of motorcycle aficionados with a passion for recreational riding and helping others.
As organizer Mario Ricci pointed out, if you close your eyes, you’d really believe through the magic of the theatre you were at an actual Led Zeppelin concert. Such concerts no longer exist, and will probably never will again, which is why such tributes are so important to its legion of fans.
Led Zeppelin itself, the world’s preeminent heavy metal band, was formed in 1968 by four accomplished true rock musicians, singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones along with drummer John Bonham. For them it was all over in 1980 when sadly, an accident took drummer Bonham’s life.
Ricci had a few other things up his sleeve to make the night even more enjoyable. It started with Cool 100.7’s morning man Dave Tymo, as the master of ceremonies. And it continued with the introduction of Bad Examples’ Board of Directors and then, it happened.
He called 11 year old Ariana Baptista to the stage to sing O Canada. It was an incredible beginning for a night of music. Baptista is a student at Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School. When she sang, you could hear a pin drop. The audience stood in awe almost not believing the notes she could hit.
Baptista tells Eyes on Windsor she has been studying voice for nine years at the Canadian Conservatory of Music. The audience asked for an encore which she did. And then, without further ado, Ozone Baby took their positions on the stage and ignited the evening with Rock and Roll, Led Zeppelin’s 1971 opus.
The lyrics include the line, “It’s been a long time, been a long time.” For Ozone, that time has been three years. This is the sixth year of Bad Examples now annual fundraising concert. Event three actually featured Ozone and the fans, who filled the Old Walkerville Theatre, wanted them back, so back they came.
The beneficiaries of the night’s rock-solid extravaganza are three pertinent local charities, the LaSalle Hangout for Youth, Alzheimer Society of Windsor Essex County and local food banks. LaSalle Hangout for Youth, executive director Rama Musharbash and Alzheimer Society of Windsor & Essex County CEO Sally Bennett Olczak were among those in attendance. Over the past seven years, the Examples have contributed $100,000 to local charities. It all started with support for the Kiwanis Sunshine Point Children’s Camp.
Aside from ticket sales, Ricci has a few other ways to generate funds. One is the sale of t-shirts and special lighters sold throughout the evening by the team of Tammy Holdaway and Pauline Fleming. One of the t-shirts is emblazoned with the slogan “Not All That Wander Are Lost.” Wandering is something club members do often. Sometimes for charity rides, like the Bob Probert Ride, and sometimes just for the fun of riding, to places like Tennesse and Siberia to name a few.
And then there is the magical work of art by local artist Frickenzero. It is the third time the artist’s work has been auctioned at the event. Organizers of the annual Hogs For Hospice Motorcycle Ride were in attendance and won the auction.
In addition, a raffle was being held in support of three year old Irelynn Montgomery and her fight against acute lymphocytic leukemia. Funds raised will help her family take time off from work so they can be by her side. Not only did organizers of Hogs For Hospice win the painting auction but they also donated $500 towards helping Irelynn and her family.
But without question, those packed into the Theatre’s seats were in the house for one reason, to sit, to tap and to dance to the nation’s premiere Led Zeppelin tribute band. Vocalist Phil Naro, who even looks like singer Plant, has not only emulated Plant but Queen’s Freddie Mercury and Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson and also toured with Billy Sheehan and the band Talas earning top ten hits in England and Japan. The band also shared the stage with the likes of Iron Maiden, White Lion, Anthrax and Quiet Riot.
He has also logged time in the recording studio, putting down tracks for such original bands as Velvet Crush, Druckfarben and 3D by D-Drive. But, somehow, it is his preoccupation with Led Zeppelin that takes him around the continent and gives audiences so much enjoyment.
For more information about the band visit the OZone Baby Led Zeppelin Tribute Facebook page
Upcoming shows at The Olde Walkerville Theatre include Abba Magic (March 21), Evil Dead The Musical (March 27), Brass Transit: The Musical Legacy of Chicago (March 27), PIGS Canada’s Pink Floyd (April 11), The Traveling Milburys (April 17) and Teaze Back Again (April 25). For all upcoming shows or more information call the Box Office at (519)-253-2929 or visit https://www.oldewalkervilletheatre.com
Article by Robert Tuomi
For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.