Music is nature's language. What it is telling you is to shut up for once and listen.

 

Where do you start, when writing about led zeppelin? Should I start with the super tight jeans and the long hair? The primal shout in the immigrant song? The mythological mythical magic riffs and chord changes?

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  
 

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  
   

Led Zeppelin - The gods of rock

Where do you start, when writing about led zeppelin? Should I start with the super tight jeans and the long hair? The primal shout in the immigrant song? The mythological mythical magic riffs and chord changes?

Ok, I will start here. There IS a reason why in Wayne's world there was a sign 'no stairways to heaven' in the guitar shop. It is not an anthem, it is not a hit, this particular song is much more , especially for any fledgling guitar player, no matter what generation you grew up in. it is the classical composition of the wild untamed gods of rock. It is the epic legend of guitar music, the Beowulf of the charts. (and I highly recommend you leave your prejudice aside and click the link again for that amazing voyage. Cheesy, overplayed, looked down on by the cynics and the snobs, but still one of the best songs ever written….remember, becoming a cliché is the best compliment)
 
 

It took me three decades to really get inside the led-zeppelin world. I was a late bloomer in this sense. Of course I knew them, and knew their most famous two songs, stairways and blackdog, but in my youth they were a bit too loud for me. (I know, I know, it should be the other way around, but it seems I never could do anything the normal way, so it figures)

I think the last step in my zeppelin education was thanks to YouTube and the accessibility of videos from rock concerts. There is something in the whole package that gives a better sensation of this band, better than just the music in its net value. It was THE show. It wasn’t pink Floyd with their flying pigs and huge videos of animated worlds, it wasn’t the grateful dead with their colored psychedelic backdrops,  it wasn't the rolling stones with fireworks and constructed sets of snakes and ladders. It was just the best rock show in town, with players spilling their guts on the stage in defiance, in pride and ego-trip, in an alchemistic combination of extremely unstable elements who together created such electric energy it moved the world.

And it was tight jeans and slashing guitars, it was tears and screams and all good things.
But it was not all animalistic distortion and horny anthems. One of led zeppelins keys to become truly godlike was the texts of the songs, the enigmatic verses bringing social commentary alongside with tales of old, morals, warnings, it was indeed inspirational motifs for a generation who saw the figures that were supposed to inspire them slide into the blackness of ignorance greed and apathy. Led zeppelin gave an alternative. A very very loud alternative, but still.

 
 

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forest will echo with laughter

 
Other than being so majestically endowed with the right look and feel, the reason they stay in our mind and will always be one of the original gods of rock, is that in the end there was incredible amount of talent there, and the drugs and sex was never an obstacle to full head-on professional music composing, arrangements and glorious improvisations and theatrical flair.
If plants singing was the wailing of a priest on his tower of prayer calling for the people to join the song of god, jimmy page was plugging his guitar directly to the soul veins of our beings, squeezing every chord full of buzz and vibrating pure energy.

Songs like 'black dog' are nothing less than the Sufi twirling dances, the Indian drum circles of the babas and the African witch doctor's trancelike dance. If you are getting ready for a night on the town I would recommend a shot of something strong, a small puff, and black dog in full volume. Then, then you are ready to go out there for the hunt, for the thrill, to show them what is what.
 
 

If you really are in a nasty mood, the alternative would be the immigrant song, feeling your blood curdle and boil in the same time as the first riff is charging forward like wild war horses, tearing pieces of your mundane life off you and making room for that primal scream you have inside.

Yes, indeed, that music is therapeutic to say the least.
Magic to say the truth.

And it wasn’t all shouting, not by a long shot. It was always a combination, a caress and a slap, a kiss and a kick… one of the most beautiful love songs I know is babe I'm gonna leave you, a sweet and sour song of love's end, of nature's own way, of soft words whispered and frustrated almost angry conclusions, the full circle, the whole story. And the acoustic guitar, the picking , the blowout chorus, the rollercoaster  of our life. It's all there. And it's all true, not a fake note, not a false cry, all real.

And that is why we worship them. Not for the tight jeans and the long hair. for the unadulterated truth. The pain, the joy, the raw emotion.

hail the gods of rock.
we are indeed not worthy.

 

Stairway to heaven http://youtu.be/9Q7Vr3yQYWQ
Black dog http://youtu.be/6tlSx0jkuLM
Immigrant song http://youtu.be/RlNhD0oS5pk
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You lyrics http://youtu.be/Kl0IVeyfACo
Kashmir http://youtu.be/hAzdgU_kpGo