Most music fans – most true music fans – remember the first moment when the gears suddenly clicked. For me, it was my discovery of Led Zeppelin.
It happened when I was a young girl snooping through my father’s displaced album stacks – dust-covered and long forgotten in our basement. They were hidden behind old fishing poles, Christmas decorations and archaic hockey equipment. When I played the scratchy tunes on an old record player I knew I was about to embark on a journey through a world of music I knew nothing about.
Since then I’ve become a self proclaimed classic rock fan; feeling like I was born into the wrong generation. As a product of the 80s I reluctantly admit I have seen my share of N*SYNC concerts but I would trade every single one for a chance to see Led Zeppelin live.
My experience with them has been limited to anecdotes of my mother’s hippy days. I spend endless nights watching the 2003 DVD compilation or strumming the out-of-tune chords to “Tangerine” on my Ovation Celebrity. While many Quinnipiac students flock to the shuttles for a fist- pumping night at Toads, my idea of a good time is going to a friend’s apartment and listening to “Physical Graffiti” or “Zeppelin IV” on vinyl.
I recently received a phone call from a long lost friend telling me that “Plant, Pagey and Jonsey” would perform again for the first time in 12 years; over 20 if you believe the last real performance was before drummer John Bonham died.
The band had finally silenced a summer of rumors spawned by the “blogosphere” when they confirmed a reunion show for all to see – if you live in London that is. It’s not bloody fair.
I was crushed to learn the details of this so-called reunion. Hunter Thompson’s saying “Buy the ticket, take the ride” does not apply here.
Even if I had $250 floating around I could not buy the ticket and could not take the ride. Not even the most hardcore Zeppelin fan who would say “Hey man, I was at the ’73 Madison Square Garden show when they filmed ‘The Song Remains the Same'” could be part of this historical landmark.
On Nov. 26 the surviving members of the band will play a two-hour set at London’s O2 Arena for a tribute to Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun who signed them in 1968.
Okay, that’s sweet, but what gives? Not only is it a single show, but you have to pre-register online to get a ticket. Even then, ticket winners are selected through a lottery system due to the limited space of the O2 Ruin-My-Life-Arena. Nothing is guaranteed.
In 1975, “massive ticket riots broke out in many cities.The papers carried stories about the mysterious group throwing their town and children into upheaval. Then Zeppelin would come to town, still the outcry with a three-hour set, and move along to the next city.” Those are the words of Cameron Crowe in a 1986 article for Harper Collins.
His words still ring true 20 years later. Only this time it was a website that was crashed by thousands of hits per minute causing angry fan outbursts littering the internet. The only question that still remains is whether or not the band will follow up this highly anticipated performance with a tour.
Fans are left wondering if this will be Zeppelin’s final “Swan Song” or if they’ll quit teasing us and come through major cities in the U.S. I guess for now all I can do is continue wishing I was around for the heyday of rock and roll instead of singing Zep’s “It’s been a long time since I rock ‘n’ rolled.”