Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I Want to be Your Groupie
Pour a couple of well deserved shots of decent sour mash into me after a solid and excellent week of business at the bike shop - slap on the headphones - punch up some Zeppelin and,.......and, ......turn it up to WOW! Well, I have to admit that no matter how many years separate me from those seminal days and eye opening years when Jimmy Page and his guitar first caught my attention - Well yeah I have to admit, I cannot deny my roots, Led Zeppelin is my all time favorite Rock n Roll Band.
There are many groups fighting for second place. But on my Rock Podium, Zep wins the Gold. Love the Who, Tull, Hendrix, Little Feat, Yes, the Rolling Stones, and Cream. Shit, name some Rock band from back in the day and I would have to say that there were moments when I was enticed away from the best of the best. But it never failed, I always came back for the ear splitting sound of Page, Bonzo, Plant and the unflappable John Paul Jones.
Many bands attempted to cover their music, copy their sound, ride on their coattails. Some famous, some just barroom tribute bands. How many budding guitarists cut their picking teeth on "Stairway to Heaven"? Frankly, "Stairway is one of my least favorite Zep tunes. Always against the tide I guess.
No one ever caught the essence or even really hinted at the soul of Led Zeppelin. They might think they nailed the guitar licks of Jimmy page. But it always ended up not quite. Lead singers Worldwide lusted after Robert Plant's pipes as they struggled to sing like he did. Bonzo baffled drummers all over as he pounded 4/4 time with exquisitely timed off beats. No one did it better. Some as good maybe, but never better. All the while John Paul Jones stood wooden and sane,keeping everyone on the same plane with his consistent and technically subtle bass. He remained to the end the pivot man in their excellent Rock n Roll Circle Jerk.
Yes many bands tried. Most bands failed. None ever really captured it all. Snippets, a song here and there. That is all. It took a band made up of four extremely talented women to get Zep right.
Lez Zeppelin - These ladies know how to rock. Sure I can tell they aren't the bonafide article. But their honest and respectful treatment of the music and their talent will make any die hard Zep fan smile when they catch one of their versions of "Since I have been loving You". Steph Paynes and her incredible talent on guitar keeps Kris Bradley and her great voice from stealing the show. Figures it would take some woman to hit the notes Robert used to hit.
My daughter Lis turned me onto them. Saw them in concert and I think bought their CD before she left the hall after the show was over. She ripped me a copy. The student is now teaching the teacher. And even though I have learned to respect Lis and her musical suggestions, I was sure any band named Lez Zeppelin made up of four females would never in a million jillion years come close to the Rock Gods that made up Led Zeppelin. They may never garner the fame. Being in the the right place at the right time with the right talent had so much to do with what made Led Zeppelin so huge. But the ladies are proving with their musical skills, they can come close. Closer than any tribute band I have heard.
So I sit here after playing their version of "Kashmir" for the fourth or fifth time and know I would gladly hang out by the back stage door for hours hoping to score a back stage pass. I'd be their groupie in a heart beat.
Or better yet - I would pay handsomely to just drive their truck. I did it for Led Zeppelin. Driving Lez equipment coast to coast would put a tidy book end on the years I spent in Rock n Roll. Ladies, I still know where all the halls are.
Oh look, someone dropped a joint.................
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