Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Fantasy World of Led Zeppelin

RZ: You'd think if you're asleep and choking on your own vomit you'd wake up.

Scott: I guess you're so drunk you're not aware of it. Luckily I've never been that drunk.

RZ: Who else choked on their own vomit and died? Was it Janis Joplin?

Scott: Jimi Hendrix. Hey, you promised to tell me the story about how Les Paul met Jimi Hendrix.

RZ: I'll tell you later. Let's go to sleep.

Scott has an enormous collection of old videotapes. Last weekend we celebrated the 40th anniv. of Woodstock by watching the video. We'd forgotten about so many of the bands. Remember Ten Years After? Awesome. How bout Canned Heat! I bought the Canned Heat album when I lived in San Francisco. Jimi Hendrix became famous in America as a result of Woodstock.

Oh! How could I forget Crosby Stills & Nash. Woodstock was only their SECOND live performance. And Carlos Santana. Man, can that guy play.

Scott was amazed (but not dazed and confused) that I was unfamiliar with the British band Led Zeppelin. "You'll recognize the songs," he successfully predicted.

We made a date to watch the film on Saturday evening. It's a long and rambling film that the group later said was not entirely to their liking, which is why perhaps I was googling away while watching it, finding information about:

Jimmy Page on guitar
John Paul Jones, keyboard and bassist
Robert Plant, lead singer
John Bonham, the drummer who died within 2 years of their American tour, causing the band to break up

The film interweaves favorite fantasies of the band members while they play live at Madison Square Garden. These lyrical romantic scenes are in sharp contrast to the gritty life they led as hard-working experimental musicians who were open to trying anything to make their sound better. Each and every member engaged in bold and creative ways to get the finest sound possible, just as Les Paul himself had played in echo chambers such as bathrooms to accentuate his guitar solos.

The movie The Song Remains the Same is filled with wonderful tunes like Stairway to Heaven, Dazed and Confused, and No Quarter.

Their live concerts often lasted FOUR HOURS. The men are on their feet jumping and stomping and shouting, using tremendous amounts of energy. They play off each other as if they can read each other's minds, allowing each one the joy of soloing for as long as 10 minutes each, while the others groove.

To do this live in concert - and to have your audience be with you - is truly wonderful. Scott nearly saw them live at The Spectrum but the drummer had broken his leg and the tour was canceled. We need our legs and we know how to use them (this is from ZZ Topp's Tush song).

Got me to thinking I rarely fantasize. Oh, I rehearse things, such as going to Lake Galena today for a paddleboat ride and finding the thunderstorms have just begun.

When I was a teenager I LIVED in a fantasy world. One strong fantasy I had was that at the age of 14 I was the first female Cleveland Indians baseball player. It sustained me thru my miserably boring years of junior high school.

Think about your own fantasies.... then and now. If you wanna share them, feel free.


  1. Oh those were the days, Ruth! We went to the Jimi Hendrix Music Experience while in Seattle. It was fantastic.

    The subject of fantasy may have to wait for another day! Enough meat in this post to take up several new blog posts for you!!

  2. you bet those were the days, iris! and you and kim were there! right there in the excitement that was san francisco. i always remember walking across the golden gate bridge with kim. what a guy! i can so easily visualize him.

  3. I have to remind myself to always read your blog. I love reading it but sometimes forget.


  4. thanks, iris, ditto to your always enjoyable blog. i also read the blog of bill hess of wasilla alaska.