Thursday, February 26, 2009

Guest Blog - "Why la Clandestina hearts Led Zeppelin"

Not that I'm trying to sound like every other Zeppelin-o-phobe who can name all of Jimmy Page's chord progressions within "Dazed and Confused," but I have to admit a certain affinity for the band. Just because I own 3 copies of every album on cd, cassette and vinyl (still looking for the 8-track!), doesn't mean I'm obsessed, does it? Hmmm...I'll just give that a quick Palin wink-and-nod.

I'm sure I'm supposed to say that "Zeppelin fucking ROCKS MAN!!!" in response to "Why do you love this band?" but there's so much more to it. Its not just Jimmy’s too-ripe-for-parody-yet-totally-awesome cello bow/guitar solos or John Bonham’s 48 minute drum machinations (typically done while Jimmy and Robert got Jim Beam-ed out with mother-daughter partners involving various positions even donkeys would find appalling).

I never particularly cared for the mythology that surrounded the band (particularly Jimmy Page’s never-ending obsession with all things occult). Nor did I ever care to fuck Robert Plant (although I’d be lying if I said I would pass up the opportunity if I were more than just a zygote waiting to begin mitosis). It wasn’t that Bonzo inspired the “Animal” muppet or that John Paul Jones seemed to be the Ringo of the group. No, there’s a deeper reason that Zep pierced my heart.

At its core, Led Zeppelin was always about the making the best music they could. They never won a Grammy. They never even charted that high on the Billboard rankings. But they had killer fucking albums that you could play from Side A, Track 1 to Side B, Track 10. You never had to skip a song. The minute you put in their fifth album, “Houses of the Holy” and were met with “The Song Remains the Same,” you knew you made the right decision to purchase that album as opposed to the latest Strokes “effort.”

Their songs take you away to Mordor, to a castle in the sky, to a lake near the deep blue sea and then straight to hell and back. They are simply timeless. Zeppelin wasn’t just hard rock. They could do geek-folk acoustic musings as well as Simon and Garfunkel (see: “Going to California”) and then move straight to driving sexed-up devil worship riffs that would make Black Sabbath weep with kohl-eyed envy (see: “Dazed and Confused”).

Not many bands have so much versatility these days. But then again, not many bands are Zeppelin.
[editor's note... this piece begins a new idea for the blog, "Guest bloggers". The attempt is to connect my interests with those who share a deep passion for their own interests. This can be a great experiment in folks sharing what they love and why.. finding commonalities across music, interests and art.

I think its apt to present this piece as we are jumping big from one genre to the other. We can see what motifs and aspects of the genres fans find attractive, side by side with my own interests... so there you have it. I'll post my arguments why these pieces connect in the later post, but first lets get our mouths to salivate and get the led out!]

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