San Pedro: Do the ‘Zepathon’-A A +A
Check and Balance
Monday, February 18, 2013
ON OUR way to school one morning, I was surprised to see my eight-year old son Adrian Elijah listening to Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker,” enjoying Jimmy Page’s riffling chords courtesy of the iconic Les Paul electric guitar. He then shifted to the No. 15 song in my old Led Zeppelin Remasters which is “Stairway to Heaven” and then looked for “Rock and Roll.” Hey, this kid rocks.
Adrian said the guitarist is an “expert” after listening to Page’s guitar solo act in the Heartbreaker song. I couldn’t agree more – Jimmy Page is one of the best guitar players in the world and behind the meteoric rise of the band in the ‘70s. Adrian wished that Holy Family Academy would be far away so that he can listen to more Led Zeppelin songs in the Remasters issue. I haven’t shown him the Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions CDs which I kept at home.
Last December 2012, the Kennedy Center Honors paid tribute to the Led Zeppelin along with Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, and Natalia Makarova. The three surviving members of Led Zeppelin – vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones – attended the event. The three who were seated along with President Barack Obama watched rock and roll bands as they play they cover their songs with not much success. One however got the attention of Plant and got him teary eyed – Heart, who sung “Stairway to Heaven.” The Obamas enjoyed “Whole Lotta Love.”
Heart’s rendition at the Kennedy Center Honors was simply amazing. The choral group which consisted of black singers further elevated the song, reemphasizing the song’s immortality. And of course, Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, added flavor to the Heart’s rendition.
Suddenly, I was transported back to the late part of the ‘70s when grunge or rap music was relatively unknown. I remember watching the movie-concert of Led Zeppelin titled “The Song Remains the Same” with the heavy stench of marijuana right inside the theater. I did not have to smoke it because you will inhale it anyway; the theater had been engulfed by the smoke. Aside from the musical high, I really felt high after leaving the theater.
“Led Zeppelin, the greatest rock and roll band of all time – better than the Beatles, better than the Stones, and even better the Tenacious D,” according to Jack Black. “If you don’t agree with me it’s because you did not yet do the “Zepathon” – which is listening to all nine albums of Led Zep in one sitting.”
With his locks all white, Jimmy Page still exudes the master of the Les Paul guitar while Plant sat silently and occasionally standing to acknowledge Jason Bonham, the son of former bandmate John Bonham who prepped up the Heart in “Stairway.” “Teachers” – they are teachers to us,” said the Wilsons of Heart. “That is not an easy song,” according to them.
One day, me and my son Adrian will take Jack Black’s advice and do the “Zepathon.” Led Zeppelin, the best rock and roll band ever – thank you for the music and the memories.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 19, 2013.