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My first exposure to Zeppelin ... and why they linger in my life.

I Am

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I have found that my life has many characteristics that have, even after so many years, been influenced directly or indirectly by the music and mythos of Led Zeppelin. Some of the catalysts for these characteristics may, in retrospect, seem superficial or childish; but have grown over the years into substantial and forthright aspects of my personality.

I, like many, first noticed the music of Zeppelin in my pre-teen years. When I was 13, I bought my first album, Zeppelin I ... not because I knew what it contained, but I had found out that Stairway to Heaven was written by the band. I had no Idea what album Stairway was on... or anything else about the band; but the mystique of the song and the underlying quasi-spiritual nature, drove me to start from what I thought was the beginning. Hence their first album.

I had never been exposed to Blues music up to that point, and after hour upon hour of hearing the fresh, young guitar licks of Page and the raucous vocals of Robert Plant, I was initiated. I then vowed to proceed with each album, in succession, until I found Stairway.

Not long before I had decided to learn electric bass. When I finally saved up my allowance money to buy Zeppelin II, I discovered the holy grail of all bass players: The Lemon Song. It was then, and only then, that I knew that my heart and soul could be satisfied by pursuing the same muse that spoke to me in that song. It was then that I became a musician. And at 38, I still am.

Zeppelin III finally came into my life ... and taught me the first magical quality of not only the acoustic guitar, but to the strange new sounds of eastern-style open tuning; so I begged my parents to buy me an acoustic guitar, and I began taking mandolin lessons. The world to me was music and only music; but I was still striving to reach the pure, abstract spiritual quality that only comes from religious revelation. I did not conceptualize that then, but my later life would prove that truth to me.

Finally, I reached Zeppelin IV ... and something strange occured. Suddenly the music became secondary. By then I was privy to the occult rumors, references to Crowley, and the mystical lore of ancient Britain, and those things then came to fore. I longed for a spiritual identity, and was intrigued by the occult ... so my little intellectual mind went into overdrive; and I began studying Dark Age Britain, Rennaisance books on witchcraft and medieval Western occult traditions. All the while I sought the source of the open drone and strange melodies that are inherent in the East, because I knew in my heart that there was something spiritual to be found there as well.

By the time I was in my twenties I had a fair collection of Zeppelin boots, was studying music in college and had become an amateur scholar in Western occultism and Gnostic Christianity. I had yet commited myself to relgion, per se; but I knew all my efforts, both musical and spiritual, were bearing fruit that needed only to be ripened. I was well versed in Crowley, The OTO and Thelema; and though I only superficially aspired to become a working part of organizations of that sort, I did end up becoming a Master Mason by the time I was 28.

I continued my studies, but yearned to find a straight path. Theosophy intrigued me ... and I had amassed a huge collection of antique books, some first and second editions, of texts by Blavatsky, Eliphas Levi and Waite ... as well as nice limited editions of Crowlean material. The void was still there ... but I kept to my studies.

It was not until I had reached the age of 35 that I happened, by chance, to move next to a Hindu Temple ... where I currently live. My only exposure to Hinduism had been through a 101 course in world religions years back, but I decided to enter it one day to explore. What I found was the music, the ritual, the intellectualism, devotion ... and image ... of the God for whom I had for so long been searching; the God who had spoken to me in the Eastern drone of Friends, the melodies of White Summer ... and the sublime, primal magic of Four Sticks. It all came together, and I saw Maa. Durga Maa.

So ... because of my love of Zeppelin as a pre-teen, I am a Musician and practicing Hindu now.

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