Friday, December 14, 2007

It’s Been A Long Time Since They Rock ‘n’ Rolled….

…and a few folks think it should have been longer…like forever. First there was this sort of sour grapes carping from Diana West:

As for Mr. Plant himself, The New York Times said: "He was authoritative; he was dignified."

OK. I'll pretend I haven't seen concert pictures of Mr. Plant, his face contorted over his hand-held microphone and under his disheveled perm. In fact, maybe "authoritative" works, at least in the way a street person yelling at a bus is authoritative. But "dignified"?

No doubt "dignified" is in the eye of the beholder -- in this case, the concert audience, some 10,000 strong. Among them was the Washington Post's reviewer, a self-described attorney "staring down the barrel of 40," who wrote of the "palpable sense of community" in the crowd around him, and more. "It appears that all the tickets to this concert went to couples who care about each other deeply," he wrote. "Fathers and sons. Mothers and daughters. Lifelong friends who bonded all those years ago to the music of the men onstage." I can hear the old song now: "Should auld acquaintance be forgot, woman, you need it!"

I say “sour grapes” because one suspects Ms. West was among the 19,990,000 unsuccessful souls who participated in the ticket lottery. Or not, if you tend to believe her hippie-bashing. Which, of course, is the thing to do these days.

The Brits do snark the best, however. From Mick Hume, writing in The Times (UK):

So how come, long after they were buried, Led Zep can suddenly create “the longest ticket queue in history”? This is the age of the reunion, from the Spice Girls to (sadly) the Sex Pistols. It must say something about how tame youth music has become that the year's most talked-about gigs star a “girdle power” group and boring even-older farts who had a nice cup of tea afterwards.

Nostalgia clearly ain't what it used to be. Once it was the preserve of old people, focused on big events in their lives and times. Now we have middle- aged men, seemingly with guitar-shaped holes in their souls, banging on about the meaning of Zep or Floyd as their parents talked about the war.

Most depressing is the apparent desire of young people to be retro Zep-heads. A Facebook group entitled “And God said, Let there be rock. And there was Led Zeppelin” has 30,500 members; one called “Led Zeppelin SUCKS!” boasts just 49. Youngsters interviewed with their parents at the O2 gig were breathlessly excited about seeing “real” rock music and smug about their jealous mates.

Tip o’ the ice berg, that. Short, but sweet. Still and even, a very cursory look tells me they’ve still got it…

The fact that a bunch of guys in their early 60s (OK, Plant is 59) could take the stage and even attempt what is a young man’s game is cause enough for admiration. The fact that they succeeded (according to most accounts, the above are exceptions) is simply amazing.

More power to ‘em, more often.


  1. Let's face it Buck, if you had to listen to Rap, Hip Hop, or today's sorry excuse for Country(glorified Bubble Gum), you would find the old stuff better as well....Heck I find myself tuning my XM over to the 40s station, so I can listen to Sinatra and Big Band music....that stuff is great compared to the garbage kids are stuck with today.

  2. You sound like my Dad, Pat. Or me...depending on exactly when you look in. ;-)

    I've been trying to convince myself to buy an XM receiver...a couple of 'em, actually, one for the car and one for the house... for a couple of years now. But I haven't popped, as yet. While XM for the car would be "a good thing," I find CDs work just as well. I'd probably not listen much in the house, either, since I listen to RP most of the time.

  3. We were watching some 'young' people go on and on about some of these reunions - knowing full well they were in diapers when we went to the original concerts - it was strange. But, as Pat said, I pity them to have to listen to the music of today.


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