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they think they know so much...

DJ has been listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin lately. The rumor around middle school is that Jimmy Page is the greatest guitarist that ever lived. Apparently, Zep is big again with the 12 year olds.

I tell DJ I'll buy him one of those vintage Led Zeppelin t shirts (just bought him a Pink Floyd [DSOTM] shirt that he wears nearly every day). He says "I don't want that black and white shirt from '78 because they sucked then. I want the shirt from '76. That's when they rocked."

Ok then. I'm being schooled on LZ from my 12 year old kid?

Up until this point we had kept him away from Stairyway to Heaven. Just a thing I have against that song. We finally relented the other night when he begged to listen to it because all the other guys in his school who play guitar were learning the solo. I handed him the CD and sent him to his room. Twelve minutes later he comes into the living room with a bewildered look on his face.

"What the hell was that?"
"What?"
"That was Stairway to Heaven?? That was the song that everyone thinks is the greatest thing ever written?"
"Basically."
"I could play that solo without even trying. And the rest of the song sucks. What the heck is a bustled hedgerow (he looked up the words because he had no idea what Plant was saying)?"

He sighs.

"Page isn't that great. Give me five minutes and I'll be playing 'Heartbreaker' better than him."

Thirty minutes later I walk into his room.

"Hey, how's the Heartbreaker thing going?"
"Man, I totally underestimated Page."

I smile.

"But I did learn something."
"What's that?"
"Never judge a band by their most famous song. Oh, and don't listen to your stupid friends who learn everything about bands from dumb message boards. Oh, oh...and my stepfather is always right when it comes to stuff like this!" He says that loud enough to be overheard and for brownie points scored.

"And..."

"Oh, yea. My mom is always mostly right, too."

Comments

Just watch out if he pulls up in a van, and then puts on a Led Zeppelin tape.

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And this is most important. When you get down to making out, whenever possible, put on the first side of Led Zeppelin IV.

You'll notice that Ratner actually plays "Kashmir" from "Physical Graffiti."

Has he heard Black Mountain Side yet?

You can't say Page isn't that great if you've heard that one.

Page was ONE of the best. There are many.

Again, he is 12, which I might add is quite impressive. Nice job there Michelle...

If he ever gets too uppity as a guitarist, have him watch the climax of Crossroads (not the Britney Spears movie, the one with Ralph Macchio)

If he isn't yet, it's only a matter of time before he's into Vai/Satriani/Malmsteen . Guitarists have their own little geek world, too.

Oh, and Jimmy Page was VERY good - especially considering he had no shoulders to stand on except Hendrix.

No Malmsteen in my house. Ever. Guy was an overblown, egotistical, self-absorbed, meglomaniacal, creeptastic prick.

Guy was an overblown, egotistical, self-absorbed, meglomaniacal, creeptastic prick.

Rest assured, he hasn't changed.

He needs to watch Knebworth if he thinks that late Zep sucked. The version of In The Evening is riveting and Trampled Underfoot is a stampede.

Rest assured, he hasn't changed.

Should have been "is" not "was" though I prefer to think of him as in past tense.

He needs to watch Knebworth if he thinks that late Zep sucked

This is partly my fault. I really hated In Through the Out Door. I mean, LOATHED it. It was probably the most disappointing of all my "waiting eagerly for new releases from beloved bands" moments.

You should pick up the collection of live cuts "How the West was Won" from last year for him. Zep always was defined by their live performances! It beats "The Song Remains the Same" soundtrack (although flawed 'cause Pagey was strung out on heroin, it was still a decent example of them live).

If he's into that type of guitar playing you have got to sit him down for a listen to Maggot Brain by Funkadelic - Eddie Hazel laid down some mind blowin' guitar on that track!!!

He'd also probably really enjoy some Robin Trower - he was pretty much the white equivalent to Jimi Hendrix.

Send him on over to my blog for some mp3 downloads sometime, I've got a pretty expansive music collection (well over 1000 cd's & vinyls) with a lot of stuff from that era. He might enjoy some of it. McBoozo's Drunken Poetry Jam

My mom is always mostly right, too.

grasshopper won't be snatching any pebbles till he owns up to the incompleteness of that admission....

Has he been introduced to Allan Holdsworth yet? As far as guitar players go, he's up there at the top. Tribal Tech, give that a listen, too. Great stuff to check out. Shoot me an email if you want me to send a few tracks your way for him. It's how I'm molding my young budding guitarist!

God, I love this kid!

My own son, of his own volition and with very little prompting from me, has developed a taste for 70s-era album-oriented rock...especially Led Zeppelin. There's still hope in this world.

What a great insight: "Never judge a band by their most famous song".

I smell a list coming up. Bands who's best known songs aren't their best. List Band, song, and at least one better song.

By the way...I know he's on the "guitar track" but the latest Robert Plant Album is better than just about anything Zep did.

Just my opinion...I could be wrong.

Timmer, that would be every band that ever existed.

Bands (excluding one-hit wonders) who's best-known song is their best song would be a way harder list.

Dazed and Confused has always been one of my favorites...that and You Shook Me. Heh...I've actually witnessed fights break out over who the best guitar player is/was...seeing a Phil Keaggy fan whoop a Hendrix fan's ass is quite amusing...

Hey, I love the Mighty, Mighty Zep, and Page did some groundbreaking stuff, but he was a very sloppy guitar player. Go back and listen, and count the number of missed picks.

And, Mr. Clown, they were often horrendous live. I do agree with Tman about "Black Mountain Side," though. Tman, have you ever heard the precursor to that, "White Summer," when he was with The Yardbirds? Good stuff.

And Michele, you have the coolest kid ever.

I shouldn't have said "they" were often horrendous live. JPJ and Bonzo were always spot on. Page was usually drunk on his ass, and Plant's pitch problems were exposed in a live setting.

Zep was anything but horrendous live...at that time their stage show was so innovative and out of this world that their live shows just blew people away! They did a lot of things that no one had ever done before - lasers, pyrotechnics, the loudest damn sound systems anyone had ever heard...just because Page missed a few notes & Plant was a bit pitchy (and quite hoarse at times) didn't mean that they still weren't amazing as hell to see in person.

I believe that either "How the West Was Won" or "BBC Sessions" has the complete version of "White Summer/Black Mountain Side". One of the box sets might have had it too.

First of all, I said they could be horrendous live. I saw them open for The Who at Merriwether Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD in '69 and they were amazing. Everyone in the crowd thought they had stolen the show, but when The Who came on....mmmmm...NO.

Second, They did a lot of things that no one had ever done before - lasers, pyrotechnics, the loudest damn sound systems anyone had ever heard

What?? When are you talking about? How old are you? If and when they did anything like that, it was so far after that was cool that i had given up on them.

The loudest damn sound systems anyone had heard? I saw Hendrix in '67 when he had double Marshall stacks all the way across the stage. And the Dead had the biggest, state of the art sound system long before anyone else.

I can never decide about Stairway to Heaven: whether it's a vastly overrated song, or just one that was so overplayed I'm only now getting over the nausea I used to feel when I heard it begin on the radio.

Smart freakin' kid. Good taste too.