Thursday, October 03, 2002

"Stairway To Heaven" is my daughter's new favorite song. If you've been listening to FM radio the last thirty years (like I know I have), you're probably sick of the song, too. It's become a joke, or a punchline anyway, and any respectably hip music snob will have little good to say about it. The song's primary fault, however, is that it's been overplayed. It spent a decade or two as radio's "most requested song" and the Media, as we know, Gives The People What They Want. (As trite, predictable and boring as radio has become in the post-deregulation Clear Channel era, it's been an incremental change, not a massive paradigm shift.)

So, as I was looking through some CD booklets, some of the Zep photos inevitably reminded me of Almost Famous which Lora & I watched on video last weekend. Exactly why that movie was rated R is a little unclear to me, BTW. You can see more raw sex and drug innuendo on Fox between seven and nine PM any day of the week. It seemed like Matt was a little interested in it, but as he's only rated to PG-13, we tried to shoo him away. As if it's possible to keep a kid from gravitating to an active video screen these days.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, "Stairway To Heaven". Huh. It's a darn good song. As Sarah played it over and over while doing her homework last night, I came to appreciate it and then enjoy it again. It's cool to hear old songs through new ears. The recorder can be an effective instrument in a Rock context. Page is a very skilled guitarist. (Duh.) Plant's vocals and lyrics are highly appropriate. (If you want to make fun of the bustle in my hedgerow, be my guest, but your mocking is irrelevant. If you're some Sid Christgau wannabe who finds it pretentious cuz it isn't really rock and roll if it's more than 3 minutes long and you can't dance to it, why don't you just go away right now. Shoo!) And when the Loud Part begins with those ringing Dsus4 chords, well, that's just the archtype of a Rock & Roll Moment. Classic. Defining. Like McGuinn's 12-string intro to "Mr. Tambourine Man" or Daltrey's scream in "Won't Get Fooled Again". Make your own lists. (E-mail them to me if I get a link working around here.)

[Zo]So, I immediately wanted to play her the "Stairway" version on Zep's BBC CD, but suppressed the urge since that Historical Moment would mean relatively little to her. (It was before LZ IV was released, so, as the intro was played there was no Ovation of Recognition cuz the audience had never heard it before. Imagine that. I can't remember the first time I heard it. I remember the first time I heard "Ramblin' Man", but that's another story...) Then I thought I'd burn her a CD of "Stairway To Heaven" and "Over The Hills And Far Away" and "Tangerine" and any other songs I could dig up that feature the Acoustic Side of Zep more than the Heavy Blues N Rock Juggernaut Side...

However, before I got my stack of Zeppelin CD's down to the computer desk, I remembered that I have too many other unfinished projects at hand to take on this fun but ultimately pointless exercise at this time. Well, I'll know where to find Disc Two of the Led Zeppelin Box Set for the immediate future: in Sarah's CD changer in heavy rotation with her Anime Soundtrack CD's...

No comments: