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Monday, December 10, 2007

Power, Mystery & the Hammer of the Gods

It's been a long time since I rock and rolled.........
Today Led Zeppelin plays together for the first time since their induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame 12 years ago. While that
night they played 4 songs or so, tonight they'll play a full set of Zep classics for the first time in nearly 30 years. History will be made tonight my friends even if we aren't there to witness it first hand.
So dancing days are here again.......i
Why am I making such a fuss about a rock band? Quite simply, Led Zep was never just a rock band. Their music like Mozart, Louis Armstrong, and Muddy Waters is timeless. Yes you read that right...I put Led Zeppelin, a rock band, a HEAVY rock band, in the same league as Mozart. Led Zep is so great they can sing songs about the Lord of the Rings and you can still take them seriously. Not even John Lennon could have pulled off singing about Gollum.
'twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair....
In addition to having better songs than darn near every other band, Zeppelin has integrity by the crap load. The only career choice I disagree with them on was their decision to play Live Aid with Tony Thompson and Phil Collins sitting in on drums. Kinda hard to hold that against them when they were helping to raise money to feed the hungry. When they next played together they brought Jason Bonham on board to sit in for his late dad. A brilliant move. Since then it seems a rumor pops up every year that the band will reform and tour yet it never happens.
But now I laugh and pull so hard...See you swinging on the gallows pole
See unlike the Who, Led Zeppelin understood what each member brought to the band. Pete Townshend seemingly came to believe that it was his songs and Daltrey's voice that were the Who forgetting that Keith Moon and John Entwistle gave the band its pulse. Thats why everything the Who ever did without them is terrible. It simply has no heart. When Page and Plant got together in the mid to late 90's they knew if they included John Paul Jones on their No Quarter and Walking to Clarksdale records that they'd be thought of as Led Zep records. Jones hurt feelings at being excluded passed with time and Zep's integrity was maintained.
From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow....Hammer of the Gods.....
The band has also done a masterful job of guarding its recorded work. Unlike say the Beatles and their anthology releases, the post-breakup output of Led Zeppelin has been handled in a very tasteful manner. Surely there are more outtakes than what came out on Coda (you'd think so anyway) but nothing has seen the light of day. Perhaps their worst breakup move was agreeing to allow Rock and Roll to be used in a car commercial a few years back. That might be the one time in the band's history they did something strictly for the money.
Sure as the dust that floats high in June...when movin' thru Kashmir....
So with tonight's show again comes talk of a full scale tour. Being good businessmen the members of Led Zeppelin drop hints that it might happen and it very well could but I personally doubt we'll ever see more than what we will tonight. Just some one off shows from a band that had the courage and dignity to quit while it was ahead. When Led Zeppelin called it a day on December 4, 1980 Robert Plant was just 32 years old. If the lure of what might have been or the desire to make a cash grab by reuniting hasn't sucked them in by now it likely never will. Raise your goblet high....The Gods have returned from Valhalla...for one night only.
Been a long lonely lonely time....yes it has.........

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