At the beginning of 1977 I was listening to KCBQ-AM, then a thoroughly Top-40 radio station in San Diego. I knew little of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin or Yes. I knew a lot of Carpenters, Boston and Peter Frampton.
By the end of 1977, I was punk. I was well into the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Elvis Costello and the Ramones. That other stuff, both the FM pretension of Yes, and the boring conformity of AM pablum had passed me by or lost its appeal. To me, Zep was a dinosaur band, and certainly groups like Boston could be seen for what the were (in my now maturing musical vision) — bubble gum crap, over-produced and under felt.
I held onto my prejudices for many years.
Then one day (circa 1990), after the tape deck in my car conked out, I was forced to listen to a classic rock radio station. And I really listened. These Zeppelin guys were really pretty good musicians, I discovered. And good songwriters. And passionate. Hey, Zeppelin ain’t half bad. Within a month of that little epiphany, I owned all of their CDs.
As evidence of my much more refined musical taste, my collection does include all of that Zep stuff, as well as some Floyd and Yes. But certainly no Boston or Frampton or Foreign, which was crap in the late ’70s and remains crap today.
My friend Bruce McLean, however, never lost his love for Zeppelin, which makes his review of the new DVD and new CD set so compelling. Also, be sure to read his sidebar about his journey with Robert, Jimmy, John Paul and John.