Thursday, September 25, 2008

We're Gonna Groove

Today marks the 28th year since the death of John Bonham and the end of Led Zeppelin. John was a family man who hated touring and the rock star lifestyle. He preferred to go to the local pub and talk to farmers about how every body's crops were doing. He didn't just own a farm, when he wasn't recording or touring he worked his farm. He was as proud of his prize winning cows as of his gold records. There are many stories about his angry outbursts but for the most part he was depressed about being away from his family. Everyone who knew him described him as a warm and giving person.

Led Zeppelin had one of the most varied list of influences imaginable. Bonham and Jones were into Soul, R&B, and Jazz. Plant loved Blues, West coast psychedelia, pop, and Indian Music. Page was fascinated by Blues, Early Rock N' Roll, Folk music, and world music. When people call them the first Heavy Metal band that's an insult. No heavy metal band has their knowledge of music history or their ability to play just about any type of music they decided to attempt. How many band could play blues, folk, hard rock, punk, reggae, country, and pop? Add to all of those the songs that simply defy categorization.

In interviews both in 1980 and since every band member has admitted that they felt that the band was stagnating and they were hungry to explore new directions and conquer new territory. Were they on the verge of another great period or were they about to head down a creative dead end? If their track record was any indication another great success was in their future. They were always risk takers. Even ending the band was a brave move. They had to know that none of them would ever achieve that level of success as individuals. Led Zeppelin is perhaps unique, with the exception of The Beatles in the fact that they decided to end it and go out on top. A wise move as no one would have been able to fill Mr.Bonham's drum stool. They never won a Grammy during the band's existence, they have since been honored with a Lifetime Achievement award.

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