Well not quite. They were the first band i ever saw, when i was 17 although all i can remember is being held up by the crowd on the stairs with only a toe touching them; so that we could see. It was just before i met uni friends and am not sure who i was with. When we arrived here, from Cheshire, life was different and I was so homesick, which I really didnt get over til the 2000 Sydney Olympics when the ‘aussie aussie aussie woy woy woy ‘ made me realise i’d been here most of my life. Coming down to the island below the mainland, mainly for financial reasons and to get off that frozen stuff through a relationship; I breathed a sign of relief. The cold winters invigorated me and the pressure I’d felt was off.
My friend Dale died in ’91 as did the conductor of the orchestra i worked for in admin; Freddie Mercury – and our Mum. I was given his artworks so that the family wouldnt take it all, as gay marriage didnt exist then and his boyfriend had no rights, and who also died within the year. Dale’s art, which had been in storage for yonx as i moved around after leaving the granny flat at the back of The Glebe when Dad died, fit in like a glove; two of the huge big ones fit over the mantelpiece as though they were made for it. I actually laughed to myself and said to the ‘spirits’ hehe course you can live here – just be friendly which reminded me of another bf who in that shock of when they go suddenly; i said sure you can visit but only if you are friendly and leave that anger behind. He was the original inspiration behind the book i intend to finish this year.
My interest in Led Zeppelin has been building slowly, but got a huge increase when i realised that they had tons of acoustic tracks and that JPJ was an amazing musician in his own right. Back to when we arrived here …. in those days the TV Times that i think were free in the Sunday papers, had advertisements in them that influenced me – one of them was for the International Correspondence Schools which i did tons of courses with much later, but always used to look through the lists; and the other one was the World Record Club. We’d left in the beginning of 1968 – i would get up on my desk when the top ten hit show played on the radio on a Sunday evening; and had the Jackie magazine posters all sellotaped together and hanging like a sheet from the picture hooks ( dad said i couldnt stick them on the wallpaper so found an equivalent ) : and when i started flute a friend asked me to play Pink Flamingo. Oh and i remember Top of the Pops when the Who came on with a big fluffy dog; and our eldest sister came back for the summer from Reading University in a very short lime green mini and showed us the twist; and how Clapton was God.
With the world record club, at first we got about 6-12 albums right off, and then one a month. With the three of us younger siblings, we would choose what to get. One of them was a Led Zeppelin album and when i heard some of the lyrics i recoiled in horror. I have found it is a blues term lol but in our transition to this other country, which in fact our parents actually came from, going across to Ireland at first for work after WW2, we all put on weight and had body types that were scorned on by the opposite sex here. I remember a time in the UNSW medical school common room, in the days Denis Tek was there ( getting full marks in the weekly tests even though Radio Birdman were playing every week ) .. where a group of students were perched up on the window sill giving us girls a score out of ten as we came in – when it was my turn they said ‘pass’. It might have been funny for them but it hurt big and anyway with age all of that is in the past!
Anyway on hearing those lyrics, i banned myself from listening to them. Went to heaps of concerts and had tons of fun dancing and fan-tasizing about groupie life .. ecetera; eventually working in offices to calm our parents down, bless them. Of course i was aware of LZ’s hits and the record covers, but had no interest in them at all because of that initial hurt. Then once i was regularly online in music discussion groups, a lady said that RP had replied to a post of hers when her dog died, as he kept the same dogs. That made me change my mind about them, and i lost my prejudice against them.
So i’m not sure how it happened – i think it was seeing the dragon suit – but i’ve found what many people say is the best rock n roll band ever at this advanced age, when i have heaps of time to listen. And read.
Currently reading Salewicz on Jimmy Page – quite slowly as listening to all the music mentioned which is a trip in itself; in fact just joined Apple Music as easier to concentrate just having the music rather than stopping reading to watch videos. Also go into the discussion groups as i always have ( loved alt music queen where i similarly got into them long after the fact, having been obsessed with Bowie for yonx ) where the discussions and personalities are huge source of fun, info and debate.
Currently listening to Buffalo Springfield, mentioned in the above book, 2018 paperback copy, p218 : which the next post will be about; but then i’ll have to go back to collect all my notes and listenings from before then, which has had me intrigued for days.