A while back I wrote about how Van Halen’s music helps me through the winter blues. Too much rain can depress me, too, and for that I’m finding a remedy in Led Zeppelin.
Like most teenage rock fans, I listened to Led Zeppelin nonstop, studied every lyric and guitar solo and read any book in which they were at least mentioned. I remember reading Hammer of the Gods when I was 15, and though I know the band members never liked that book, I absorbed it obsessively. There were always rumors that the band was cursed for making a deal with the devil. I never believed that. They had their lows like any band, including the deatha of Robert Plant’s son and drummer John Bonham. But for me, the music is all that ever mattered. And this music didn’t come from Hell. No fucking way.
These guys channeled something that came straight from Heaven. They rocked hard, but some of my favorite songs were done acoustically. Zeppelin drew from every culture and used every obscure instrument known to man to get their sound. Folk is as integral to their sound as heavy metal. The song I used for today’s Mood Music is one of my favorites and cuts to the heart of the matter on rainy days like this, when I’ve given to blue moods:
These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion — I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient — Upon us all a little rain must fall.
Which brings me to another point: Robert Plant has always gotten his due respect for vocal prowess, but he is also one of the most underrated lyricists who has ever lived. Those lyrics in particular speak to me on a day like this, when I’m given to cursing the sky for handing me more gray instead of the sunlight I crave.
I’d even go as far as to say that a song like this makes me appreciate the rain.
I stopped listening to Led Zeppelin for a long time, not because they fell out of favor with me, but because I was simply exploring other bands and genres. My interest was rekindled by the film It Might Get Loud, in which Jimmy Page, U2’s The Edge and Jack White get together to share the stories and techniques behind their best-known songs.
Here’s a preview:
Also rekindling my interest is the new concert film Celebration Day, in which the surviving members of Zeppelin and John Bonham’s son, Jason, do a reunion performance in 2007. Here’s a preview:
This stuff permeates my soul and helps me see the joy in life, even on my most depressed, pissed-off days. Thanks, gents.