I keep coming back to them. It’s been years. They were there when I was fourteen, nineteen, and now, twenty-three – I just keep coming back.
As I grow older and the more I get exposed to music, the more I start to appreciate it. Led Zeppelin feels like finally being able to absorb your favourite book from start to finish, in its entirety. There are things that will only make sense when you know how to make sense of it.
For one, you get to appreciate the incredible distinction of their playing and the absolutely batshit unpolished rawness they exuded, back when heavy music was just starting to rise. It was different, new, and the combination of Page’s guitars + Plant’s high-pitched guttural wails was almost like a breath of fresh air – if fresh air smelled like thick cigarette smoke, running beer taps and the occasional cold wind blowing. People loved that shit. It was the era of experimentation, the vast divide between what kind of music was accepted and what wasn’t were slowly closing in, lines were blurring and it was exciting because the notion of rebellion often is.
But among all the 6-minute solos, the orgasmic moans Plant was fond of doing on stage and JPJ’s incredibly underrated precision on the bass, the one thing I love about them are the sentimental values that seem to come with listening to them. Of course it would be sentimental. You can fall in love with the music, you can fall in love with the ingenuity that strings these puppets but where is the impact if it’s not sentimental?
Their BBC Session was the first album that I’d listened to – and it makes me remember long drives in the car with my father. We used to drive back to Kelantan (that was an 8-hour long drive back then, mind you) and I’d be in the front seat, picking out which album I wanted to listen to and my dad would explain what made the album tick.
He would give me in-depth explanations about them. Like.
“Jimmy Page was in a band called The Yardbirds with Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. They did okay music, but Yardbirds was a stupid name, let’s be honest.”
Very in-depth. Very.
I remember listening to Stairway for the first time and I fell in love, much like everyone else did. Completely and utterly in love with the melody – and at this point I realise I’m geeking out over one of if not the biggest rock song in history but you know, I’d imagine other people to have felt the same when they heard it. And being able to play it was my biggest achievement when I was in my teens.
I don’t really know how to end this post. Obviously I’d just spent a whole post gushing over a band that is well over their 60s by now. 70s, maybe? I just have a lot of feelings la.