Inspired after watching Davis Guggenheim's fantastic It Might Get Loud featuring The Edge, Jack White and...Jimmy Page, I've fashioned some sort of list...
As a teenager, I discovered all kinds of music, from traditional to offbeat, blues to punk, country to classical, classic rock to rockabilly, but no matter who I got into, no matter how great I thought various '60s garage rock bands or Marc Bolan, or The Velvet Underground or The Stooges were, I never strayed from Led Zeppelin -- no matter how ubiquitous they were. And I was obsessed with the ever mysterious Jimmy Page. From 14-18, I had a life size poster of the guitarist in my bedroom. I also had a high school teacher who actually saw Led Zeppelin in concert and I would drive him crazy asking about it. He took to calling me Kimmy Page. There are certain Zeppelin songs that will take me back to ceramics class, when I worked on the perfect pipe, not a bong, which I explained to my teacher's amusement (really, I was trying to make a pipe), but one tune in particular. The day the principal had a nervous breakdown, walked into class, and smashed all of our projects because he thought everything was a bong, I distinctly remember at that moment, "When the Levee Breaks" playing on the classic rock radio station, making the whole incident a perfect combination of awesome, scary and hilarious. Jimmy Page really is darkness and light.
When I was 15, buzzed after renting The Song Remains the Same, and probably stoned out of my mind, I tried to make Jimmy Page's black (or was it a dark navy blue?) moon and stars pantsuit get-up. I actually got it halfway right. I wore it to school with a pink silk scarf. I wanted to craft his white, Nudie-esque suit, the alpha to his dark lord omega costume, but that proved tougher.
One of my only childhood pictures during Christmas is me excitedly holding my copy of "Hammer of the Gods." I learned a lot about alternative uses for, ahem, fish.
When I was at the Joshua Tree Inn, I missed Robert Plant when he stayed there because I was in Los Angeles that day. On certain days, this makes me want to cry.
When I was in Los Angeles, I missed the chance to interview Jimmy Page because I was in Joshua Tree that day. This really makes me want to cry. Maybe my time is gonna come...someday. Or, as the song goes, I'm gonna make you pay for that great big hole in my heart...
Along with Frank Sinatra's "A Summer Wind," "Bron-Yr-Aur" was the only song that would chill me out during a bad acid freak out. I once walked through a thicket in the middle of the night while the song blared from the car stereo, turning imagined melting demon goblins into beautiful magical fairys. Thank you Led Zeppelin. It still calms me down in any situation.
I skipped prom at 16, gave my dress to my friend and listened to Physical Graffiti in my bedroom. I'm fairly certain my mother was downstairs in the kitchen, staring at knives, devising ways of murdering my rocker-girl ass.
I'm still annoyed Peter Jackson didn't do the no-brainer by having Tolkien obsessed Robert Plant sing "Ramble On" during the closing credits for any one or all of The Lord of the Rings movies.
When I found my stepdad's orginal LP of Zeppelin II as well as others and (and!) a book by Aleister Crowley, I looked at him as an entirely different kind of human being. Jimmy and magick? This was serious, scary exciting sex, drugs, rock n' roll and everything else. I commandeered the LP. And I stole the book.
I don't care how over-played they were/are on Classic Rock Radio, Led Zeppelin (Page, Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones) is still one of the greatest rock bands ever. And "Tangerine" is still one of the prettiest rock songs ever written. As is "Going to California." As is the lush "The Rain Song." And "Sick Again" still makes me want to get into trouble. And "In My Time of Dying" is still transcendent. And the beautifully enigmatic, yet charming Jimmy Page provided me with one of my happiest, most goose-bump inducing moments in movies this year -- listening to his 45 of Link Wray's "Rumble" in Guggenheim's It Might Get Loud, pointing out every genius aspect to the song, beaming with happiness as he air guitairs (Jimmy Page air guitars!) -- he remains the quintessence of pure musical bliss. Long live Jimmy. RIP John Bonham.