The past week or so have seen my inbox fill up with those “Check this news out” emails from my lovely rock music inclined friends from all over. For the most part, it’s about the recent Led Zeppelin reunion one-off show in London. On the 10th, I think it was. But before I go through my discourse on the subject, I just want to give a quick shout out to them and say, thanks, guys… but I do read the news too, y’know. 🙂
I’m a fan. No, I’m a BIG fan. Not only of music, but of musicians themselves. To this day, yes. Since I grew up listening to rock, I was always crazy not only about the music but with everything that went with the culture as well. Or the mania, if you will. You name it. I bought the records. All of them! I owned the videos. I joined the fan clubs. I read the magazines. I was informed of up-to-the-minute news. Yes, the gossip too. Again, to this day. And why yes, I grew my hair long and I WORE THE MAKEUP too, as a matter of fact! When I was younger though, posters hung on my wall as well. And tour t-shirts hung on my body. I went to all the shows. Heck, I even fought to get backstage to meet the bands. I am a fan, indeed.
Now, I’d be the first one to admit that Led Zeppelin are, indeed, the greatest rock band that ever was. Hands down. Don’t even argue with me on this one! But I also believe that no matter how legendary one’s status gets, or how much people are begging for a comeback, there comes a time when memories are all that really needs to live on, lest their hard earned merit gets diluted with inevitable, yet distasteful mishaps… i.e. hair loss, weight gain, etc. 🙂
Okay, I’m being a little cynical perhaps. But I agree with Robert Plant as he rebutted when asked about a possible full-on tour… the merciless reproduction of a magical moment is not what it’s all about. I’m paraphrasing a little here. But I admire the elder statesman of rock for his profound perspective and integrity. Spur of the moment should be cherished and not made redundant. So anyway, if such is the case, what is it all about then? What is it that validates the case for a comeback tour from these guys? Or anyone else, for that matter? I’m convinced it’s primarily about the money. It’s quite distressing that people actually pay what they pay for a ticket these days. I mean, I just want to hear some tunes for a couple of hours, not buy a car! I’m really not against them hitting the stage again as much as I am about the whole deal being financial gain-centric. Plant’s upcoming tour with bluegrass star Alison Krauss is so much more appealing to me now because of this. It seems more truthful and organic that way, I think.
So, why can’t it be just about the music anymore? Like a good, dirt-honest punk show. Say, the Ramones at the John Anson Ford Ampithteater! Or Pearl Jam at the Greek! But that’s really for another post. Sorry, I got carried away. 🙂 Did I mention I’m a fan?
Well, hey, I saw Robert Plant in concert too. That’s right. Twice, even. For a whopping fifteen bucks! Not to mention the gas money I had to shell out to get from Hollywood to Orange County. And the beer! The beer that spilled due to the crowd pushing its way to the front of the stage. Man, was I broke after all that. I have to say, though, that the guy seemed larger than life that it almost passed for a Zep event. Not quite, but almost. For fifteen bucks! And I read today that not only did the tickets cost an arm and a leg, but people actually flew to London from fifty different countries. Goodnight! And I thought I was a die-hard fan!
In all honestly, though, I would be delighted to see Led Zeppelin live myself. I’m sure it would be the thrill of a lifetime. How could you not want to see Page pounding his Les Paul with a cello bow? That’s like climbing atop Mount Everest. To me, it is. But I can’t help thinking of them as simply old farts anyway when I have to consider closing my bank account just to get through the door. Sorry, but I’m not falling for this highway robbery! I’m sure the DVD would be just as breathtaking. Heck, I might even just go to youtube in a few days. That’ll work too.
In the same manner, it’s sad that John and George are now gone. Yet, it’s a blessing in disguise that the Beatles will now be forever perceived exactly the way they were in their day… pure unadulterated magic. No critic can stain that shirt. Like a boxer retiring as a champion. Ah, now that’s legendary.
And I take it that Paul and Ringo aren’t doing so bad financially either.