Sure, the pure Led Zeppelin snobs will throw the earlier “in their prime” albums in your face to proclaim the band’s greatness – and I will embrace and concur with all praise of “Physical Graffiti” or “Presence” or the number albums.
There are no bad Led Zeppelin songs and no bad time for their music to enter your life.
But this was when the greatest rock and roll band that our creator ever created first came into my life.
I bought “In Through The Out Door” in the brown paper bag cover during the first week of seventh grade, just as I entered Holabird Junior High. There, it was Zeppelin, Skynyrd and Kiss ruling the school – as well as the book cover art wars and jean jacket patch tattoos. I still have and wear my Led Zeppelin belt buckle that I bought at KayBee in Eastpoint Mall in 1980. #JennStrong knows this is a family artifact. She bought me a matching Rush one from the same era on the internet.
Now more than 40 years later, this smooth, wavy gravy Zeppelin groove is still my favorite and I listen to it regularly. I’m a huge fan of “I’m Gonna Crawl” at a volume that my wife doesn’t enjoy. And “In My Time of Dying” and “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” only have one volume and it’s the same as my cousin’s uniform!
Like some other bands and artists that have aged differently for me, most of their music was created before my time. So, I have spent the rest of my life going backwards in this catalog and always finding new things I love about their music. Any Led Zeppelin fan would tell you that is the case and that is the beauty of the music.
I interviewed Jimmy Page in 1985 on The Firm tour and shared soup, bread and ice cream with Robert Plant in my 1989 #AlmostFamous era. (He bought my son some Ben & Jerry’s at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia on the “Manic Nirvana” tour before a show I reviewed at The Spectrum.)
I only saw the two of them on the same stage at the same time twice – I was at Live Aid in 1985 and took in Page/Plant awesomeness once in Oakland, California with my cousin Gene.
“In Through The Out Door” had several different cover shots of the same image. This is the one I owned.
The cup is raised. The toast is made yet again…