System of a Down singer Serj Tankian recently called out the members of Led Zeppelin. It turns out that it was done after Zeppelin members commemorated the 14th anniversary of their concert for a charity formed by Atlantic Records founder and CEO Ahmet Ertegun. A Led Zeppelin replacement singer recently revealed that he ‘felt Like an imposter.’
Serj Tankian makes bold claims
Serj Tankian claimed that Ertegun gave his philanthropic support to Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. After Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page took to his Instagram on Friday (December 10) to share a few photos of the 2007 performance, Serj lambasted the post and added the following message:
“Dear Mr. @jimmypage. Its very admirable that @ledzeppelin played a tribute show in 2007 for Ahmed Ertegun as the man who signed your band to Atlantic records. What you likely don’t know is that man spent millions of dollars on think tanks and chairs at various US universities all with the goal of denying the #ArmenianGenocide. There is absolutely no honor in that I’m sure you’ll agree.”
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Tankian, who is an Armenian-American vocalist whose grandparents were survivors of the Armenian Genocide, spoke to RT’s “Going Underground” about his meeting with Ertegun, who was the son of a Turkish ambassador. He said that he had a band that had signed to his imprint and label, and there were a number of record companies interested in doing a distribution deal.
He recalled that they met up with Universal Records, Atlantic Records at the time, and a few others in New York with the band. And after the meeting, he recalled the “the CEO of Atlantic saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna meet the old man? He’s still here. His office is right next door.’ And I’m, like, ‘Ertegun?’ I’m, like, ‘Yeah, I’d love to.’ He signed Ray Charles and LED ZEPPELIN and all these bands. So I went in and sat down with him and had a nice 10-minute chat.”
He later added that: “I realized that he had been responsible for funding foreign policy institutes and chairs at universities who hired authors and writers that denied the Genocide. And that was an awakening for me.”
Shortly after Ertegun’s 2006 death, Armenian-American writer Harut Sassounian revealed that he had met with Ahmet a couple of years earlier to discuss Armenian-Turkish issues. He also said that Ertegun was considering the possibility of issuing a public statement on the Armenian Genocide prior to his passing. In 2019, both the U.S. House and Senate passed a bill declaring that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks was, in fact, a genocide.