Friday, June 29, 2012

“My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon...”: Led Zeppelin’s Greatest

Last month when I saw Chris Cornell, he performed a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Tangerine. It was so beautiful, and I immediately asked my guitar teacher to show me how to play it. Despite a few itchy memories from a past relationship, I still love the song for its absolute heartbreaking beauty. Measuring the summer's day, only finds it slips away to grey. The hours, they bring me pain...

I have sporadically listened to Led Zeppelin. I had IV on vinyl and a cassette of Physical Graffiti. In high school, I remember hanging out with a friend in my backyard. We laid out in the sun on a blanket and played that Physical Graffiti tape on my little mini boombox. Whenever we’d get to Kashmir, we would continually Stop. Rewind. Play. Still, when I hear it, I can feel the warm sun on my face and remember that feeling of total relaxation. Oh let the sun beat down upon my face...

Lately, it feels like every time I turn on Classic Vinyl, they are playing Zeppelin, and considering that my album (part of my regretful vinyl purge - The Lost Art of Vinyl) and cassette are long gone, I’ve been looking for a good album to get me listening to Led Zeppelin again.

Every Monday as part of my Amazon MP3 addiction, I was perusing the $2.99 bin. This week, they had Mothership and a bunch of other great albums. My other picks this week were Greatful Dead's American Beauty and Let It Roll - Songs Of George Harrison.

Listening, I recognized one of the strange powers of Led Zeppelin: they can transport you away. The music is interesting, distinct, and amazing; it allows me to completely zone out and get lost in the music. I admit there were a few moments that I wished that I had my guitar handy... you know, just to pretend that I could shred that hard, but mostly, it was nice to have music that is so apt and interesting that it allows me to get out of my head for a little while and just enjoy the sounds.



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