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guitarmy

First Led Zeppelin Stories

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Maybe it was a friend who recommended you to listen

or maybe you heard them on the radio.

or maybe you feel guilty that Stairway lured you in

or maybe they were just always there

So when did you first start listening to the band and how were you led ;) down the Led Zeppelin path?

Personally, I'm from the "younger" generation of listeners that didn't get a chance to experience the band as they unfolded.

When I was in high school, I recall hearing a song on some classic rock radio station and I didn't know what it was.

I tried asking my parents because they were certainly conscious in the late 60s-70s.

I think my description was a little like this:

"It's got this awesome guitar riff and a singer that sounded like he was shouting his head off. First the singer belts out a few words with echoes and then the guitar erupts and then calms down again, and then they do it again and again until the guitar solo at the end that just kind of plays on until oblivion"

My parents weren't really sure. They gave me a few names to look up like Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Led Zeppelin.

So I found myself in a store with a bunch of tab books and I started searching them for song titles that matched lyrics of the song.

I looked for songs called "Hey Hey Momma", "Big Legged Woman", and even some of the weird inaudibles coming out of the singer's mouth!

I think at this point I was pretty sure it was some band called "Led Zeppelin". It sounded so exotic and I just wanted to know which song it was so I could buy the CD.

I had no luck while looking by title, so I started trying to match the actual lyrics.

I was looking for lines about making women sweat and sting and eyes burning red, and eventually I found it.

It was that day that I bought "IV", and if you haven't guessed the song title then you probably need to listen to more Led Zeppelin before you have a story about them!

After buying that album, it was only a matter of time before I would realize just how special these guys are. And not much later after that I would get a guitar and actually use the tab book.

So what about you guys? What are your Zeppelin firsts and how did you get attracted to the group?

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I had heard bits of a few of their songs, but I had never really sat down and listened/appraised them before. Around that time I was at a Best Buy going through the CD section. I saw the Zep section, and found their first album and decided to give it a try. I heard "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" and I never looked back.

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So my friend's older sister gave us (her brother and I were like 13) a ride in her truck and a Zep II 8 - track was in the deck. It was one of those life changing events where everything was so fu_in' cool, and I will never forget the feeling. I would have gottin into LZ anyway by hearing them on the radio or something, but that day was like yeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaah.....

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Mine is a sad story, nobody in my family listened to Zeppelin, my older sister had horrible taste in music, and made me get into rap/pop that was going on at the time, finally summer of Freshman year I was taking Art, and the teacher would play some songs from the 70s and I fell in love, went home and downloaded some more, was into Classic Rock, like Guns N Roses, Van Halen, Aerosmith, then after a year maybe I decided to try Stairway To Heaven, fell in love, then I got into Ramble On, Thank You, and Good Times Bad Times, the rest is history.

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Going through my younger school days I knew them only for STH. (not ashamed of this)

Later in life I got out of my punk rock phase and looked into rock n roll that was actually talented. Was at a friends house and he had II playing on vinyl and that was the start of it all. That was about 6 years ago. For the next 3 years after that I had the obsession, where if I was listening to music and it wasn't Led Zeppelin, then I just couldn't enjoy it. Thankfully I've gotten over that and have opened my ears to broader music, but Zeppelin will always have the best part of my heart.

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Going through my younger school days I knew them only for STH. (not ashamed of this)

Later in life I got out of my punk rock phase and looked into rock n roll that was actually talented. Was at a friends house and he had II playing on vinyl and that was the start of it all. That was about 6 years ago. For the next 3 years after that I had the obsession, where if I was listening to music and it wasn't Led Zeppelin, then I just couldn't enjoy it. Thankfully I've gotten over that and have opened my ears to broader music, but Zeppelin will always have the best part of my heart.

Ooh I am sort of in that phase now, I can listen to other music, if I am in someone elses car, but a part of me just isn't enjoying it, and wants to be listening to Robert Plant yelling like a little girl.

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It wasn't the music for me.

I was in a Technical Drawing class at school when my friend walked in with a really exotic looking album under his arm. Just the cover had me hooked but then somebody else said 'that's no music, it's just pure noise' and that was it I had to listen to it. Turned out to be PG. It was his sister's LP but he lent it to me.

What a blast listening to that hard, dense, funky music for the first time was. I asked for TSRTS for Crimbo and I've been in love ever since.

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I am also from the generation that only has footage and the music. We never got to see them or look foward to new albums. My father, however, had a couple albums but our record player had just recently broke. Still, my father knew that i had begun to take a liking to "Classic Rock" so my father handed me a larger than normal CD case with apartment windows on them. He told told me to take disc 1 out and play track #6. As you all know... the album was "Physical Graffiti" and the song was "Kashmir." After hearing that song....what i knew about music, or at least what i thought, changed forever. From Bonzo's crushing symbols to kick it off, to the guitar and keyboard, to Plant's whaling and screaming, music changed for me and i soon realized that the term "Rock Gods" did truly exist and that a band could occupy that position. :D

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I always loved rock n roll, but my parents wouldn't let me listen to it. They tried to make me listen to jazz, classical, and show tunes instead.

When I was 11, they finally gave in and gave me a radio for Christmas. I listened to all the hard rock and classic rock I could get away with. Led Zeppelin was an instant favorite.

When I was 13, my parents finally allowed me to get a few CDs. I got Led Zeppelin I, and then III. I listened to those CDs all the time. I got other CDs too, but I sold them so I could secretly buy an electric guitar.

Now I'm 28. I collect records and guitars. My whole life revolves around rock n roll and my parents still don't accept it.

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I was sixteen years old, and sitting in a pub with my first boyfriend and a group of friends, and Good Times, Bad Times,came on the radio, that was it HOOKED,everytime they released an album I got it, still have them all on Vinyl they are displayed in my appartment, along with books posters etc, then Zeppelin announced, they were coming to play in my home toewn that was it, I will never forget seeing them on stage.January 1973.

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Ooh I am sort of in that phase now, I can listen to other music, if I am in someone elses car, but a part of me just isn't enjoying it, and wants to be listening to Robert Plant yelling like a little girl.

Yeah I'm probably in the same boat.

When I was still discovering new Led Zeppelin material (new to me), it was all I listened to.

Right now, it's probably still 80% of what I care about.

But it's not like I'm branching out too far, because I'm mostly a fan of guitar driven rock.

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1974,I was 13 years old and had £5 to spend in Menzies a local shop,I browsed the album covers and kept getting drawn back to the cover of Zep 2 and wondered who they were and eventually took a gamble on getting it and rushing up the road to stick on the record player.It was a Decca with only one built in speaker, and I stuck the album on and sat there awestruck and the wonderful songs coming out of that speaker, and that was me caught hook,line and sinker.After that every spare penny went on Zep and then Knebworth came along and the dream was complete,getting to see them live. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

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I watched my older brothers dress up like Elvis, then like the Beatles, then like the Doors.

I did not understand why. Up until I went to high school and saw the boys starting to get their hair long, going to war-protest marches etc. I wanted to be hip just like them.

Then in one Literature class, the teacher asked us to write a Poem on the spot and read it aloud in class. One guy wrote the words to Stairway to Heaven - since the teacher didn't know where it came from - gave him an A. (but somebody squealed)

That's how I got introduced to LEDZEP cult.

Anyway, these boys who started to look like LedZep's just kept pushing the boundaries. They started rolling their MJ's (weed) in class in the corridors everywhere. The teachers (who were quite naive at that time) didn't know what it was, until a Narcotics Squad raided the school - and there they found marijuana plants growing in the school back yard. MJ was still new then.

Sigh. Those were the days.

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Hahaha...okay...

Live Aid. I was 5 years-old. I was quite familiar with and intrigued by their album covers but never heard a note of their music (my parents thought the music would be too loud for me so they played me a lot of Bowie, Beates, and Stones). When I heard the opening chords of "Rock and Roll," I was hooked. Then came "Stairway" and "Whole Lotta Love." My dad had taped their set on cassette from 95.5 KLOS and I remember listening to it about 4-5 times a day. A few days later, my dad comes home with a Music Plus bag for me. Inside was II and IV. Then, a few weeks later, he takes me to Aron's records and buys me Houses of the Holy and Bowie's Diamond Dogs on Japanese vinyl (I remember the paper strip to the left).

Good times!

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In the mid 70s I listened to a NY radio station called 99X that was a Top 40 station, but they did play this one song occasionally- "Stairway To Heaven". And for a while, I actually hated it because I thought it was so long & boring (I had horrible teenage taste in music back then).

Eventually I started disliking most of the songs on 99X (disco) & started checking out the rock stations. One day I heard this great long Eastern-influenced song & absolutely loved it- I found out the song was called "Kashmir" & was by the same band that did that "crappy" song "Stairway To Heaven"! Of course I had to find out more about Zep, and when I did I was totally amazed by them, starting a love affair that's lasted almost 30 years!! (damn now I feel so old now :boohoo: )

(and of course I love "Stairway" now)

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I always listened to Led Zeppelin. Its part of who I am thanks to my dad! My dad is a huuuge fan of the band and was lucky to see them back in the days. He discovered them in 70 and never stopped listening to them since. I grew up with them, their music. My mom tells me that I could already name the band members when I was 5. Its weird to say this but listening to Led Zeppelin is, for me, as natural as eating and drinking everyday.

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I think at about a 11 I checked out a copy of my step-dad's Remasters CD. We went on a summer holiday to Spain and I spent a large chunk of that 2 weeks listening to that CD. I knew nothing about the band at that point other than I wanted to listen to them so much. :D

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I grew up with all the "usual" radio Zep songs - GTBT, WLL, B Dog, RnR, Immigrant, STH, Heartbreaker, etc.

In other words - early Mothership Type songs. Good songs but they were so overplayed that they didn't really grab me.

Then came Presence with "For Your Life". The two words - "Well, well,..." by Robert snapped me out of my early "Mothership" blues. This song was Heavy! Pagey's riffs were catatonic!

So, then came Achilles, Candy Store Rock, Tea, NFbM, etc. Loved them all!

But nothing prepared me for the deeper side of Physical Graffiti - nothing!

Heard Kashmir and Trampled earlier of course, but never Wanton Song, DBTSS, Custard, Rover, Night Flight, IMToD, In The Light, Houses, Boogie w/ Stu...I was hooked and hooked for good.

What cemented the deal was when I FIRST saw TSRTS movie - in a wonderful old theather with awesome acoustics and a special sound system set up just for the movie...that was it - I became a life-long, card carrying member of the Led Zeppelin diehard fan club.

I suppose that's why I'm not big on the new Mothership CD pkg. The songs were not hand picked as favorites of the Band - no way! These are radio-overplayed songs that are for neo-phytes only.

Where is Wanton, For your Life, Down by the Seaside, Custard, Going to Cal, Tangerine, etc?

All the non-radio friendly songs should have been THE Mothership, not the obvious.

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OK ------------- HERE IS MY STORY

BACK IN TIME JANUARY,1973......I was working in the local police station, as a typist, when I heard Led Zeppelin were hitting town, I was so excited, in my lunch break,I raced to where they were selling tickets, still unable to believe it, next evening, all dressed up red leather over the knee boots, a band like John bonham round my head, and white fringed mini dress, off I went with friends, as I got to the venue, buses, were already arriving bringing in all the hippies that were following them, even babies tied in shawls to their mothers.

There was a hugh police presence, I kept my head down did not want them to see me,big mistake!!!!!(one at the time I was going to live to regret and still do, read on....... Led Zeppelin took to the stage amazing, after the concert was over, everyone stayed outside for awhile my eyes met a detective turned away,hoping he had not seen me.

The next day, the detective at work stopped me, and said hey Pauline, you were in the concert last night, I said oh ok yes I was, he then said, Shame you did not tell me you were going, why I said, because if you had, you could of attended, the aftershow party and met them, and with that he walked off with a stupid grin on his face, GUTTED TO THIS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

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When I was a wee lad I remember hearing the occasional rock song on good old WFIL 560AM in Philadelphia, tuning in on my Snoopy-shaped radio with the mono earplug after lights out. I can specifically remember hearing songs like Night Moves, Roundabout, and one particular oddity, something about a stairway to heaven...

Growing up I lived with my 20-something aunt and she was a Beatles fan, so I heard a lot of them, as well as show tunes, soundtrack albums, some Simon and Garfunkel. But I was a fan of the Bay City Rollers and Gordon Lightfoot! :blink:

Finally when I was around 12 or 13 my brother Jim gave me a cassette tape and said, "Listen to this." It was Physical Graffiti, the whole album on one tape. The only thing I had to listen to it on was an old tape recorder from Radio Shack. But when I put that in and heard Trampled Underfoot and In My Time Of Dying I was blown away. I had never heard anything like it before!! I was an instant fan. So in essence I have my brother to thank. He also got me into Dylan many years later.

From there I got more of the albums, and my brother and I (we are a year apart) plastered our room with posters, bought every Creem or Circus magazine that had an article in it. We also got in to a lot of other 60s and 70s groups, the Stones, Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis, The Who, etc.

In 1980 the big news was that Led Zeppelin were going to tour! My brother and I made plans to camp out at the box office (this being a time when that actually worked) to get good seats. The show was scheduled for the Philadelphia Spectrum in December 1980 and the tickets were going on sale in October! Could not wait!

Then came September 25, 1980. A day that will live in infamy. My brother came home and told me and we put the rock station on. They were playing Zep all day. We were devastated enough that poor John had passed, but realized how close we had come to seeing them in concert and knew it would never be. Then on December 4 they made the official announcement that they 'could not go on as [they] were' and were breaking up. (Incidentally, four days later Lennon got shot. 1980 sucked. )

I sadly awaited the release of Coda, the only Zep album I bought on the day it was released. It was a nice 'coda' for the band, but a bittersweet experience knowing that it was the end of an era.

In 1985 I got my first stereo system with a CD player and bought my first CD. You guess it, Physical Graffiti. I remember blasting it until my neighbor came and pounded on my door to shut up. :D

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My first encounter with Led Zeppelin was durring The International Year for a Culture of Peace(2000). It was a Gr 8 dance. The last song of the night.........Stairway. I was like "Wow". Not to mention having problems synchronizing my dance steps my my partner towards the end of the song. Watching my Gr 8 Teacher play the air drums to Bonham's drum slaying, sealed the deal for me. i give many thanks to them for what they gave all of us.....they made us "see"

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Before i got in to Zeppelin i was into depressing music, stuff like Damien Rice (who i do still love), and that kind of thing. I liked slower melodic stuff. Anyway my brother said i might like this song by this really good band and he played me stairway to heaven as it was quite slow and acousticy (he only had the early days album and it was the slowest song on there) so i listened to it a few times and then i realised that the bit i liked best was in fact the end part where it became much heavier. well that dragged me out of my depressing music stage. i then bought led zep II and after that all their albums followed. they've been almost all i've listened to for the past two or three years now!

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It's wonderful to read all these stories, especially from newer, younger fans. How great that the magic is the same!

My story is not unique, an autobiography with Zeppelin as the sound track. Their music was all around when I was in high school in the early 70's. I always smile to remember hanging out, smoking weed, & listening to IV and Houses of the Holy with friends. KSAN in SF would play whole album sides at a time, and Zeppelin was part of that; many nights I would listen to them alone in my room and be taken somewhere else. But the true bug had not bitten me.

Then there was the period when my younger brother never stopped playing Physical Graffitti - on his Quadrophonic system; it was beyond cool. B) He was bitten, and for awhile I was awash in non-stop Zeppelin. I remember those times with affection too - seeing him so happy made me glad. Whenever I hear the chiming, soaring guitar in "In the Light" it makes me think of him back then. But I was not infected, I was just being an indulgent big sister.

So, much water under the bridge, then Robert came out with Mighty Rearranger, and I was like, is that the guy from Zeppelin!? Wow - he still rocks! My husband thought my enthusiasm was pretty neat, so he bought me the crop circles set. Inside was this sly musical bug waiting to bite me, in the form of Stairway.

I'd only heard it about two billion times back in the day, and been burnt out like so many. But this time, it wasn't in the same order as on IV so I wasn't anticipating it, and I wasn't a teenager hangin' with friends. I hadn't heard it in a decade or longer. I was alone and receptive, and it was a completely different listening experience than any previous. So beautiful, then it grew in intensity and just exploded in my head.

Like a light bulb turning on, a lot about my life became clear. Why I live in the mountains. Why I'd rather listen to music or read or laugh with friends than go shopping. Why the sound of an electic guitar transports me. I had a memory of taking pots and pans out of the cupboards as a little girl, wanting to play drums, and suddenly realized the thrill Bonzo always gave me, that I hadn't appreciated before.

All this may sound like simple nostalgia, but it's more than that. I am well and truly infected. I finally get why my little bro' always had PG in. :) And we have the great good fortune to have HTWWW and the DVD, and the BBC sessions; and bootlegs are not so hard to come by, thanks to the interweb. Ah, life is good. Thank you, Led Zeppelin!

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In spring/summer of 69 saw LZ for the first time and my life was never the same. This was in San Francisco Winterland and Fillmore West. I was 12 yrs old and tagged along with my older brother and his friends. Back in those days the band was accessible to walk up to and say 'hey'...we did and it was cool.

Saw them many many times after...just wish i were going to see them 12.10 but that concert will be far from the intimate fantastic environment of Winterland and certainly wouldn't be able to say "hey"....:)

Edited by madison

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