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creditmoonforthename

What would you do you in this situation?

What would you do?  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Read the post below and answer the question.

    • Stop the crash and lose the song/album.
      21
    • Allow the crash and keep the song/album
      10
    • I don't know.
      6


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I don't know if this has ever been posed before and as abstract as I think it is, I kind of wouldn't be surprised if it had given the extent and intensity of Led Zeppelin's fan base. Anyway here it goes.

A couple of nights ago I had this weird dream. It was in the third person and it didn't involve me making it even weirder. In this dream I saw Robert's car crash in 1975, which, as many diehard fans may know, severely injured him and is credited for playing a role in inspiring he and Jimmy to write the masterpiece "Achilles Last Stand" (along with his travels in Africa with Jimmy Page). and create the opportunity for them to put together much of the material for Presence instead of going on tour that year. I know a small deal about the crash - something most casual Led Zeppelin fans don't even know occurred, and know small details about the crash like car type, rough location, passengers, and that it really took a physical/emotional toll on Robert, Maureen, and family which many people don't even realize. There's a lot about it I really don't know though - pretty much everything else about it, including what caused it. Anyway, my mind generated a scenario of this crash in my dream - a graphic one - and it really freaked me out, woke me up in the middle of the night, and I couldn't get back to sleep kind of deal. I attribute this dream to me playing the hell out of Presence (after finally coming across it in a small music store and thus completing my collection of Led Zeppelin studio albums) and almost getting into a serious car crash myself while driving home too fast in the rain on the way home from the store.

Anyway, I got to thinking today about having that dream and wondered...if I were able to somehow get ahold of Doc Brown's DeLorean and go back in time to August 4th, 1975 and could prevent the crash from happening somehow, would I? I mean Achilles Last Stand is an amazing song and quite honestly it is a favorite LZ track of mine, if not the favorite. I've been pondering the subject trying to weigh the pros and cons of stopping the crash and letting it happen. I keep feeling it'd be mad selfish to allow somebody to wreck a car and seriously get hurt - I've read Maureen was very seriously hurt, almost to the point where it was uncertain whether she'd make it or not, but she pulled through and Robert healed. On one hand, I want to say that because I would know that nobody died because of the crash so it'd be a no ultimate harm - no foul situation by letting it happen and my favorite song would exist in the future. Also remember the accident kept them off a tour in 1975 and let them write the material for Presence, a great album. What if Led Zeppelin had toured and never put together that album or the songs on it? Say goodbye to Achilles Last Stand as you know it and possibly other tracks, include For Your Life and Nobody's Fault But Mine. On the other hand though, it's only a song/album and you'd be facilitating a situation in which people, (including if, you're like me, one of your favorite singers and his family) would be put through a life-threatenening (although future would already be written, and thus not a life-taking) situation and months of physical/emotional duress. What would you do?

For me, I hate myself for saying it but I think it's a tough call. If I could stop the inspiration for "All of Love" I'd do it in a heartbeat because every time I hear that song and think about the meaning behind it, I'm crushed... but I don't know about "Achilles Last Stand" and the whole Presence album.

So. What do you do?

1. Stop the crash by any means necessary.

2. Let the crash occur.

Edit after the fact: I know that there are more important unfortunate events that one should probably try alter if this "Final Countdown"/"Back to the Future" situation could ever possibly take place, but if you're in this one, what do you do and why?

Edited by creditmoonforthename

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Not getting too deep into it, but I thought ALS had to do with the US Tour in 75. "Sent New York a glancing kiss to those that claimed they know (Rolling Stone)"...

I think it speaks of that tour. The ALS theme might have some reference to his injury, but the body of the lyrics, the crowds, etc, speak of something that lay in the past.

As regards the poll, I'd not throw Robert and family off a cliff regardless of whether it inspired a great song.

*edit to add* The lyrics were Robert's. The epic construction of the song were Page, Jones and Bonham's.

Edited by Evster2012

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As regards the poll, I'd not throw Robert and family off a cliff regardless of whether it inspired a great song.

True!

I would stop it too.

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I wouldn't throw them off the clip. It isn't worth it for any song.

I must agree with Ev, I didn't think it had to do with the crash.

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It's all really pointless anyway. Attributing the songs on Presence to the hiatus and the accident. Who knows what they'd have put together had the tour gone forward, TSRTS film not come out to fill the gap, and they'd hit the studio sooner. Who's to say? A lot of people weren't as struck by Presence, and the band were certainly on a roll with PG. Maybe Page wouldn't have gotten so smacked out. The accident caused a huge shift in focus. I wouldn't trade it for any song no matter how great. To be clear, better no accident. Same as I'd give back All My Love that Robert could have his child back.

I understand the idea that pain often brings inspiration. But I'd prefer nobody suffer trauma for any gain.

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It's all really pointless anyway. Attributing the songs on Presence to the hiatus and the accident. Who knows what they'd have put together had the tour gone forward, TSRTS film not come out to fill the gap, and they'd hit the studio sooner. Who's to say? A lot of people weren't as struck by Presence, and the band were certainly on a roll with PG. Maybe Page wouldn't have gotten so smacked out. The accident caused a huge shift in focus. I wouldn't trade it for any song no matter how great. To be clear, better no accident. Same as I'd give back All My Love that Robert could have his child back.

I understand the idea that pain often brings inspiration. But I'd prefer nobody suffer trauma for any gain.

I'm sorry you feel it's pointless. I've been thinking a lot about it and the effect it had on the band, especially Robert. I always felt that reflection and analysis were positive. You know? It intrigues me to think about how things happened, not just that they happened. History is pretty boring, I think, if you reduce it to a series of events instead of contemplating how things happened - their causes, effects - you know, their significance.

I'm confused about the chronology of events you just put forward. I was under the impression that Presence came out in March of 1976 and six months or so later, in September of 1976 The Song Remains the Same came out . More so, wouldn't a tour logically have postponed another record? Aren't bands typically a bit tired on the back-end of a tour and take time off to spend with family and just recharge?

Presence is definitely not among their most popular albums but its still a great album. Put it this way, it's as good as any of their albums, to me, and considering they busted it out in the midst of all they were going through in that time, in the recording studio in under 3 weeks, just blows my mind. It doesn't matter to me what other people think of the album. I enjoyed it when I first heard, but my respect for it and the band grew when I realized what chaos they produced it in the midst of.

You said it caused a change in perspective, but Led Zeppelin always changed perspective after a while, didn't they? I mean they always incorporated new experiences. They went in a largely acoustic direction after their heavier, successful LZ I and LZ II. They mixed different genres - reggae, funk, Celtic, Arabic, salsa, etc. and made them work instead of just staying with what had worked before with a mere blues and rock focus.

I'm not saying the accident in itself was a good thing. Of course it wasn't, but I think Robert grew from it and became more reflective. Wasn't he much cleaner in terms of the sex and drugs post-crash? I'm talking about post-crash. I always took from interviews about when Robert talks about writing and recording material for Presence, that he felt he kind of grew up during that time period because of what he went through.

Again, let me be clear. I am not saying that anybody suffering in and of itself is good, but what comes from it, after it, can be. I also wanted to clarify that at the time I made my original post, I guess I wasn't aware of how badly Maureen was hurt until I realized she had been in a coma and that his kids and Jimmy's daughter were in the car so at the end of the day now aware of all that, I too, would now definitely stop the crash from happening.

In hindsight, I feel bad about posting this thread because if I had been smart enough to more thoroughly research the accident before I would have been aware of how badly people in it were hurt. I never meant to pose it as a person vs music thing because I knew at the start everybody made it through alive and thought the experience, though horrible, was an important one in Robert's life. I meant for it to be more of a "Do you think stuff happens for a reason?" kind of thing. It really looks sadistic/sick the way I phrased it earlier the more I look at it. Sorry if it came off that way. I didn't mean it to and can't edit it now.

Bottom line: I was moved by the song/album and was interested to learn about its genesis/influences. Then I learned about the crash and was interested to learn about how it affected the album and the band. I still believe the crash was an important event in terms of influencing the band and its members (even though I'd stop it). I love Presence, but not enough that I wouldn't spare Robert and his family that pain if I could.

Edited by creditmoonforthename

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I'm sorry you feel it's pointless. I've been thinking a lot about it and the effect it had on the band, especially Robert. I always felt that reflection and analysis were positive. You know? It intrigues me to think about how things happened, not just that they happened. History is pretty boring, I think, if you reduce it to a series of events instead of contemplating how things happened - their causes, effects - you know, their significance.

I didn't mean your post was pointless, but rather that we can't change history. I meant it with a smile. Sorry if I came off negatively. :beer:

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I won't vote here because the right question wasn't asked...

Although the song title was inspired by Percy's crash, most of the album was already written at this point...ALS was at least partially written as far back as PG, maybe sooner. They already had a completed rhythym section back in 73, so it's reasonable to assume they wrote at least the rest of the instrumentals after the 73 tour. Page even says they worked on it for quite a while...it just wasnt recorded until Presence (which I would like to put on record here, is one of my top 3 Zep albums...I love this album). Robert's lyrics are mostly philosophical, they have little to do with the crash. I just think the title was inspired by this. And most of the other songs were probably also at least in the works, rarely does a band start completely from scratch making an album (they especially wouldnt have in the 70s).

So the right question is

1. Stop the crash and prevent physical and emotional trauma and possibly change the nature of the next album slightly

or

2. Let it happen, everything stays the same...

I pick #1

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Stop the crash....and while I'm at it,I'll get Doc Brown's DeLorean and stop the crashes of Buddy Holly,Otis Redding,Duane Allman,Berry Oakley,Jim Croce,Lynyrd Skynyrd,and Stevie Ray's helicopter....

...and prevent the OD's of Jimi Hendrix,Janis Joplin,and Jim Morrison,not to mention saving Brian Jones,Graham Parsons,Jayne Mansfield,and anyone else I can think of.....especially John Belushi.

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Achilles Last Stand is an awesome song, but Plant really just wasn't himself after that. True, stopping the crash wouldn't have stopped Karac from dying, but if he hadn't been in the wreck, Plant would have had only one traumatizing experience instead of two. So I'd stop the crash.

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Stop the crash....and while I'm at it,I'll get Doc Brown's DeLorean and stop the crashes of Buddy Holly,Otis Redding,Duane Allman,Berry Oakley,Jim Croce,Lynyrd Skynyrd,and Stevie Ray's helicopter....

...and prevent the OD's of Jimi Hendrix,Janis Joplin,and Jim Morrison,not to mention saving Brian Jones,Graham Parsons,Jayne Mansfield,and anyone else I can think of.....especially John Belushi.

And bonzo!

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