Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Older I Get, The More I Like Led Zeppelin 

When I was a kid growing up in the 70's and early 80's, my music exposure relied on 3 things - my parents record collection, what I heard on the radio and my fledgling record collection.

My parents were a little too old to be hippies, but they still got into some pretty cool music. I remember being absolutely mesmerized by the album cover for Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy." It was a tri-fold masterpiece of all these other-worldly nude blond children that looked like they were on another planet. I'd put the record on the record player though, and wasn't overly impressed with what I heard at the time.

Back then, before MTV, (yes Virginia - there was a time before MTV) kids lived with the radio. In the Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX area where I grew up, it was "The Zoo," Q102 and "The Eagle." (I also loved the original version of the radio station "The Edge," but that didn't come along until the 80's) I would open the windows of my bedroom, putting my stereo speakers in the windows and cranking the music up while I laid out in the back yard. (using baby oil and iodine, of course!)

Andi and I would go through my parents record collection and pick out Fleetwood Mac and have a living room concert where she sang all of Stevie Nick's songs and I sang all of Christine McVie's. When we started buying our own albums, we were absolutely obsessed with Heart's "Little Queen" album and to this day, both of us know every single lyric to every single song.

My first car was a 1973 Monte Carlo. It was burgundy with a white hard top and swivel captain's chairs. OH HOW I LOVED THAT CAR!!! The only thing I didn't like about it was that it only had an AM radio. I went and bought an FM converter AND installed it myself and I thought I was on top of the world blasting whatever was on Q102 on the way to school. Andi and I were 17 when we drove to the big city of Ft. Worth just to donate blood because Q102 was having a blood drive and would give us a T-shirt for donating.

Whenever the movie "Grease" came out and then "Saturday Night Fever," it began to be the thing to have a great soundtrack with a movie. To this day I want to strap on a pair of skates and go skating every time I hear a song from either of those albums! We were so entranced by "Grease," that Mrs. Wade would let us bring the album to school on Friday's, and if we finished our work before the end of the day, we could put on the record and reenact whole scenes of the movie. I was always Danny - the boys enjoyed the music, but were too cool to play.

When my friends and I started having parties, I would always take my stereo and a stack of records and be the DJ. I LOVED the feeling I got when the music created a great atmosphere. I still love it today!

I was working at a Music Store as a cashier and the opportunity came up to become the Music Manager. Some were against it because they thought all I listened to was "Classic Rock," but they relented and I got the job. I was exposed to every genre of music and with very few exceptions, found something to like about all of them. As a result of that exposure, I'm happy to say, I have a rather eclectic CD collection.

Now that I'm older, I'm finding that every time I hear a Led Zeppelin song, I turn it up loud and sing proud. Those days of not being overly impressed with "Houses of the Holy" have been replaced with a kind of reverence. This had nothing to do with the recent hullabaloo when they reunited for a concert - it started way before that.

I think it's a full circle type of thing - I grew up with Led Zeppelin always being in the background. Even though I was too wrapped up in my Van Halen and AC/DC records at the time, you couldn't help hearing Zep on the radio. Now that I'm older, my Led Zeppelin is just as accessed on my IPod as my Radiohead or Coldplay.

To quote another aging rocker, "I know - it's only rock n' roll but I like it, like it, yes I do!"

Peace Love & Happiness!

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