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Benji Lefevre

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Benjamin 'Benji' Lefevre (born 1950) is a British vocal technician, audio engineer, and producer. Born in London, England, he is best known for being Robert Plant's vocal assistant during his years with Led Zeppelin.

Career

Lefevre operated the Front-of-House (FOH) vocal effects, in particular the echo and Eventide Harmonizer effects, for Plant during his tours.[1] He personally assisted Plant after his motor vehicle accident on the Greek island of Rhodes in August 1975, by travelling with him to Malibu for Plant's recovery. On the 1976 film The Song Remains the Same he was credited as technician. Lefevre is also credited for coining the nickname 'the Beast' for John Bonham.

Along with musician John Paul Jones, it was Lefevre who found drummer John Bonham deceased, in bed, at Jimmy Page's residence, the Old Mill House, in Clewer, Windsor, Berkshire on the afternoon of 25 September 1980. At 1.45 p.m. Jones and Lefevre entered Bonham's room to check on him after he failed to wake-up for rehearsals. He did not stir and at first Lefevre thought Bonham was playing a practical joke on them until Lefevre checked his pulse. An ambulance was called but it was already too late. Sometime during the morning hours Bonham turned from his side onto his back and asphyxiated. The coroner later returned a verdict of accidental death by pulmonary oedema.

After Led Zeppelin, Lefevre went on to producing Plant's solo albums Pictures at Eleven (1982), The Principle of Moments (1983), Shaken 'n' Stirred (1985), and tracks 'Heaven Knows' and 'Tall Cool One' from Now and Zen (1988). At one stage he was rumoured to become Plant's manager when the singer established Es Paranza Records, but this did not eventuate. He was also engineer on the Rolling Stones' 1991 album Flashpoint, as well as engineer for singers Elton Dean and Anastacia. Lefevre produced the David Vanian and the Phantom Chords album in 1995, and Gong's 'Seven Year Itch' in 1998.

On tours, Lefevre was employed mixing the live vocal sounds of Peter Gabriel, INXS, George Michael, and the Rolling Stones on their 1989 Steel Wheels and 1994 Voodoo Lounge tours.

Lefevre attended the reception launch of Jimmy Page's photographic biography Jimmy Page on 4 November 2010 at the Elms Lester Painting Rooms in Covent Garden, London.[2]

References

  1. Cunningham, Mark (August 2009). "Knebworth '79 ...and all that". TPI (120). Retrieved on 13 December.
  2. Lewis, Dave (5 November 2010). Genesis Publication Launch Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page book at London Reception. Tight but Loose. Retrieved on 13 December 2013.