Trying To Get To You

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Led Zeppelin, Durability & the Blues

I’ve been getting a bunch of You Tube clips sent to me from Monday’s Led Zeppelin show in London. The clips look and sound very good; someone used the word “dignified” to describe the band onstage, and that word certainly has come to mind as I’ve watched. They sound tight and strong, command intact. And to their credit, they’re not hiding their age. Jimmy Page’s hair is silver-white and Robert Plant has a bit of a paunch; they’re not Gods anymore, but very mortal men who are happy to show it.

It’s incredible to me how popular Zeppelin has remained and how they’ve penetrated each successive generation of rock fans. Their music, twenty-eight years after their last studio album, has aged incredibly well, retaining both it’s power and modernity; it’s no wonder that they continue to appeal to new generations of fans. And I believe that appeal is due to their music’s roots in American blues and black music, music that continues to resonate, even if it has long since fallen out of fashion. It’s fitting then that the most anticipated rock reunion in years occurred at an event honoring Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, a man who believed that southern American black music was the foundation of all of American musical culture. Rock was built on that tradition and punk was the breaking point from it – and while it was a thrilling break, it’s telling that there isn’t one punk band that has had the staying power of the blues based British artists from the 60’s and 70’s.

It was interesting was talking to a couple of friends who were there and who work in the music business; “inspiring” was the word both of them used to describe the show. I asked them why and each of them said it was a treat to see the real thing.


Dale Henry Geist said...

Ben, just a note to say I've just discovered your blog, and I dig it. Duly bookmarked: keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é . Um abraço.

Anonymous said...

I must admit, I hope this gig remains a one off, it'd be a shame to see them carrying on like messers Daltrey and Townshend.