The Song Remains the Same

The Song Remains the Same is a concert Led Zeppelin gave in Madison Square Gardens in New York in 1973. Probably the same lineup I saw in 1972. Songs to send shivers down the spine – ‘Rock and Roll’, ‘Black Dog’, ‘Stairway to Heaven’, ‘Heartbreaker’, ‘Whole Lotta Love’.

When I saw Led Zeppelin it was possibly the first time they played ‘Stairway to Heaven’. I remember they arrived in a Rolls-Royce, maybe more than one. I had their autographs, or did have, until a Czech friend stayed a couple of years ago and kindly tidied up for me, her idea of tidying up being to throw everything away.

We were lucky, we had a choice of Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones. I never at the time realised how lucky. We had The Who not long after their performance at Woodstock. To me at the time it seemed the norm, Genesis, Fleetwood Mac, and so I could go on. It was only later I appreciated this was anything but the norm.

Watching The Song Remains the Same, which I had picked up from Ben’s Records in Guildford, thus brought back happy memories. It also made me think of my lovely Russian friend Polina. She likes the Stones, who I was to later see in London, but was not familiar with Led Zeppelin. She would definitely like Led Zeppelin.

I was surprised how small their set was. Especially compared with the classic Queen performance at Wembley a decade later.

The beginning is surreal. I will not say how as it would spoil it for anyone who has not seen. The raw vocals of Robert Plant cuts through you. Amazing drum solo by John Bonham. Equally amazing guitar work by Jimmy Page. When I saw Led Zeppelin a year or so before this concert, this drum solo seemed to go on for half an hour or more, maybe it did!

Interspersed with the concert is the New York skyline. It is eerie to see the Twin Towers still standing.

It is interesting to muse on influences. Watching this concert I can see the influence of The Who. I can see how Led Zeppelin were to influence Queen a decade later. How in turn Freddie Mercury was to influence Robbie Williams.

Led Zeppelin spawned a load of clones, but what they did not seem to understand was that Led Zeppelin were more than noise. They had talent.

Where is this talent today?

It says its all really when Paulo Coelho poses a question on twitter how many people were at the Woodstock performance by Jimi Hendrix, and the response he gets is to be asked who was Jimi Hendrix!

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2 Responses to “The Song Remains the Same”

  1. 10,000 hours « Keithpp's Blog Says:

    […] […]

  2. keithpp Says:

    Led Zeppelin – Kennedy Center Honors

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