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How old will you be for Zeppelins 100th anniversary

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would be 94.

This question makes me realize how much time has gone by since I first started listening to Zeppelin.

I first started noticing Zeppelin when I was about 11 or 12 years old. That's when I entered middle school, which was grades 6-8 for me. Before that, the kids didn't really pay much attention to music, or at least I didn't notice. But by 6th grade, we start coming of age, just barely, and kids start digging music and girls. It just happens. It was around this time that I noticed that some of my desks at school had "LED ZEPPELIN RULES" written on them. I also remember when my mother would drive us to my grandmothers house in Salem NH, there was this intersection we were always stuck at, and the back of one of the stop signs said, "Led Zep". This was around 1985 or 1986. The cool kids in school wore rock concert t-shirts and Zeppelin was a popular one. It was also about this time that some kid brought his ghetto blaster (that's what we called them back then) on the school bus one morning and he played Black Dog. I had never heard anything like it because in my house we didn't play any music at all, outside of Christmas music. If my dad did crank up the radio it was only because it was new. After that, he never cranked it up, but in the beginning I can remember him blasting some Beach Boys tunes. I was not impressed and wasn't interested in music in the slightest, outside of playing a 12 bar boogie woogie on my Grandmother's piano. I liked the sound of that ever since I could remember and learned how to play that in C.

I remember hearing Black Dog on the bus and thinking that it was fascinating, wanting to hear it again. Back then, my mother used to say that heavy metal was DEVIL'S MUSIC and it was not to be played in the house, not that I was interested anyway, but I had a feeling she wouldn't be happy with me digging Black Dog. I wasn't sure about the "singer's" voice though. I asked my cousin who was on the bus with me, "Why does he sing like that?" He answered, "Well, if he didn't sing like that, it wouldn't be Led Zeppelin". Okay, if you say so. I didn't know what a riff was yet, but I sure liked the sound of that riff in Black Dog! The kids were lighting up their cigarettes on the back of the bus. Back then, our middle school bus was full of young smokers. From about the middle of the bus on back, everyone was smoking. Well, all the cool kids anyways. All the kids listening to Zeppelin were smoking. They were listening to that Devil's Music and smoking in the back of the bus. Some of these guys were way bigger than me. Some even had mustaches and fine girlfriends. Damn, they seemed all grown up. They would be talking about who puked at the party and who was stoned, way over my head, with the fine girlfriends hanging around looking pretty, being as cool as the big guys, with the mustaches, who were smoking and listening to the Devil's Music, while I was still, in every way, just a little boy, more or less.  I didn't smoke no cigarettes, didn't listen to no Devil's Music, didn't have no mustache (not even close!), didn't have a changed voice yet and sure as hell didn't have no fine chicks sitting next to me on the bus.

I remember my mother talking on the phone with one of her church friends, talking about how Stairway to Heaven was really a stairway to hell. Backward masking! I heard them talking about it and didn't care. This was before I heard Black Dog on the bus. All I knew was that she was convinced Led Zeppelin and Rock Music was a highway to hell. I even remember her and her church friends talking about Crystal Blue Persuasion being about DRUGS! Whatever. Then, just a little while later, I was watching TV and there was nothing on. It was a summer evening in 1985. Some boring big concert thing was on instead of the regular shows, dammit, and it was called Live Aid. Yawn. I wanted to watch Knight Rider and this crap was on. So I'm sitting there and they start playing Stairway to Heaven. I didn't know for sure that that was the song and I didn't know who the singer was or anyone else, but I had a strange feeling that this song was stairway to heaven. Don't know why. Then I heard him say it in the song, "and she's buying a stairway to heaven". This was the EVIL SONG! Oh no! Where's mum? She was at work, so I watched the tune. I was not impressed and didn't care, as I just wasn't yet into music. My hour had not yet come, but I did realize that I finally heard the Forbidden Song. Fast forward a few months to the start of school and I started noticing the Zeppelin Graffiti on the bathroom walls and school desks, and of course the Black Dog on the bus incident.

The summer following the 6th grade, summer of '86, I actually found an old spanish guitar in my parent's closet. What is this? No one ever told me about this! A guitar! I started playing and became fascinated with it. Come 7th grade, I started to really learn how to play the thing, getting better all the time. I tried to play the same boogie woogie 12 bar on the guitar that I could play on the piano and I could actually do it. Then one day I got a guitar magazine (March 1987 issue) and it had a transcription of Black Dog, so my cousin made me a copy of that tune, along with Rock and Roll and Stairway to Heaven. He gave me the tape and I listened to those three songs. I realized right away that Rock and Roll was a 12 bar like my favorite piano boogie woogie, but it was a whole band! Never heard anything like it before. I listened to those three songs over and over and over. I learned how to play the riff to BD and dug Rock n Roll, but I was slow catching on to Stairway. There was no riff. No hook. Too long. But then something happened one day. I listened to it and was completely hypnotized by the medieval charm of it. It was like a magic spell. The imagery of the song was amazing. The music went along with it perfectly and suddenly, just then, I was hooked - and the rest is history.

I remember thinking that Zeppelin was OLD MUSIC back then. It was the stuff my parents  and uncles listened to when they were kids, back when the world was in black and white. OLD! They wore BELL BOTTOMS back then. OLD! When I found out that Zeppelin disbanded in 82 I thought, "1982! Damn, that was a LONG time ago!" and it was only 5 years ago.

And now the question of the day is, how old will I be on their 100th anniversary! Ha! 94. Somebody please tell me where the time went.



Edited by Christopher Lees
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  • 1 month later...

I would be 118. But: I got to not only see Led Zeppelin live many, many times, but because of my job I met them as I was backstage for concerts, and I spent time with them! Yes, I knew the guys, one a lot more than the others, and I had the time of my life, flew on the Starship, etc. So I don’t really care about any 100th anniversary, but I hope you who weren’t born then or were just children have a great time.

BTW: I see some very strange comments about Plant and Maureen and Shirley. You people, who were not even old enough to go to the concerts, seem to want to make that into something it wasn’t. It was very straightforward, Robert Plant married Maureen, she was NOT pregnant, and they then had the kids. Later, after their divorce, he spent time with sister Shirley and they had a son. The two sisters and the kids all get along fine, Plant’s kids love him and spend time with him a lot. There was no “inbreeding” as some of you suggest, or weird family dynamics of cousins vs brother/sister. That is just ludicrous.

Edited by Built4hurricanes
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  • 2 months later...

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