L e d Z e p p e l i n
One night in seventh grade my brother Colin interrupted my computer gaming to lay before me two gray plastic cased, red jacketed BASF taped copies of Led Zeppelin I, II, III and IV.
"these are the bibles of rock and roll."We started with Led Zeppelin IV, probably their greatest success.
heyhey mama say the way you moove, gon' make yew sweht gawn make yew groove
awaw child way you shake that thang, goin make yew burn goin make yew stang.
I was intrigued. I don't think I stopped listening to Led Zeppelin IV for six hours.
They hit me where it counted. Screamin' rock and roll ragin' - shoutin' and shakin' yer young male thang. Listening to Led Zeppelin made me feel alive.
Jeeks and I shared them. We would listen to "Get the Led Out" on Chicago's Loop fm 98 on Mondays for our favourite hard rocking classics, especially those two that weren't out on any album but were our favourite songs to hear, "Hey Hey Mama" and "Travelling Riverside Blues" with the oh-so-soulful steel guitar that continues to makes me cringe.
There's Led Zeppelin that still gives me goosebumps when I hear it. Jimmy Page's solos wailin' like pain and joy, Robert Plant screaming like I wisht I could, John Bonham's immense slamming, and John Paul Jones was cool too.
Of course we got into Zeppelin five or six years after the drummer died of 50 vodka shot alcohol poisoning. It was, however, prior to the box set orgy and the UnPlugged revival.
I read the Hammer of the Gods, a 450 page rockography on them, watched their movie The Song Remains the Same once a week for a few months, and found myself pondering "what would life be like if someone had turned Bonham on his side?" I eased up on my idolatrous rock worship. No band was worth two years of my life, until Jane's Addiction.
Led Zeppelin was the soundtrack to the early adolescent phase of my life. It still turns me on, though much of it strikes me as mysoginist, and perhaps corporate. This is partly due to their strong influence on nearly every long haired hard rock band since.
It's a good thing they had an appreciation of the blues.though even that grew distasteful, once I'd discovered a more original orator of the song "In My Time of Dying," Josh White, an early gospel guitarist sings it oh-so-soulful without any of the high production value. it's his song, his sentiments, his story, and they just seem to have taken that song, chopped off parts of it, called it their own, sung it like the seventies, and sold platinum physical graffiti.
sure it pumped my gonads. but it just doesn't seem to me to be the way the world should work.
go buy some josh white!
This'll get you plugged into the netzep: Buckeye's Led Zeppelin Page.