November 19, 2018

Zeppelin


I had this friend in high school who was this huge Led Zeppelin fan...he had all their albums, stayed up and camped out all night so he could go to some of their concerts, which he said were the greatest ever...had posters of the band on his wall next to his extensive beer can collection that he was proud of; and I admit I contributed a few of those to the cause...his entire wardrobe consisted of different Zeppelin t-shirts (American Tour, World Tour, you get the idea...that kind of stuff)...the whole nine yards...anybody who didn’t like Zeppelin was dead as far as he was concerned...he even took guitar lessons so he could play their songs, but he didn’t play anything like Jimmy Page, Bettie Page, or any kind of Page that could play a guitar or anything even remotely close...after a little while, he gave up the idea and the guitar was banished to the dark recesses of the closet as so many of them are, quietly resigned to their fate...but not his beloved Zeppelin...I liked them too at one time, but have moved on to other stuff...I still listen to their songs when they come on terrestrial radio which I don’t listen to much in these days of corporate monstrosities and ‘local’ DJ’s who are thousands of miles away taping their shows for markets they pretend to be in but it’s all pretend, yes pretend...where about two companies seem to own all the radio stations in America...but anyway, that’s the extent of it...we’d lost track of each other for the most part...so we run into each other wasting time at the unemployment line and he says ‘Hey, why don’t you come over and we’ll listen to some music, party a little, you know?”...so I think that might be a good time and it’s better than working and I could use a good time these days, so we make plans for the following Friday...so I walk into his house and I can’t believe it...guess what’s playing...so I’m like “How about we listen to something else?”, not so subtle code words for “I’m really sick of listening to Zeppelin, so why don’t you put something else on.”...he’s an old friend and I do remember he always made some killer drinks and barbecue, but c’mon man, really?...“Man, these songs are the greatest. It’s better than that crap the make now” he says...I can’t disagree with that, but god, can’t we listen to something else like the Doobie Brothers at least?...at this point, I’d settle for the damn Beach Boys and some surf music...then he says, “Hey, I got something new I want you to listen to!”...so I’m thinking cool, finally something different...I grab another vodka and something or other that he’s got prepared in the kitchen of somebody’s dreams...and some more barbecue chicken and I grab a seat on the leather couch will different colors of brown leather for some reason...he puts this album on and no way...it’s some German bootleg concert of Zeppelin made in god knows when and who knows how he got it...I should have known better...it sounds muddied or maybe that’s my state of mind but I wish I was over the hills and far away...the guitar sounds like an out of tune electronic demon and Robert Plant wails like he’s been possessed by an emotionally overwrought banshee spirit that can’t sing...I sit there and realize I need some more of those killer drinks real fast until I’m dazed and confused and can pass out for the night.