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Stairway to Heaven
July 13, 2003 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Stairway to Heaven - a deep, philosophical rendering of the crappy contracting work at Page's castle. Better yet is the feedback from fans who take exception to satire.
posted by PrinceValium (35 comments total)

 
the rolling stones suck.
posted by Satapher at 6:32 PM on July 13, 2003


been a long time since i rock & rolled...
posted by quonsar at 7:32 PM on July 13, 2003


"the rolling stones suck."
Satapher, it was the Beatles you fool.
posted by arse_hat at 8:04 PM on July 13, 2003


OK, it was worth it for this paragraph from the clueless girl who protested the narrowness of the interpretation:
""Stairway to Heaven" has a much deeper meaning than just the building of a deck. Although it may link to that it also links to many other theories. "
Beautiful.
posted by umberto at 8:49 PM on July 13, 2003


Personally, after reading through all the complaints, I haven't been able to construct a legitimate idea of what Stairway to Heaven is actually supposed to be about. Anyone?
posted by Jimbob at 9:50 PM on July 13, 2003


Fans put in hundreds of hours of speculation for a song that took 20 minutes to write.

Are we over that 80s phase where everything has some kind of secret meaning and the worst songwriter is a genius if you just look *deeply* at her work? I hope so.

I hope the subjective experience comes back into fashion. Musicians seem to grok it, especially the one who would rather not talk about what a song meant because it ruins all the stuff fans project onto it.

Be it satire, but even the idea of "interpreting" songs seems like people are missing the boat.
posted by skallas at 11:37 PM on July 13, 2003


>Do us a favor, and next time you are trying to pick a topic to do a satire piece on, try to find something that is that needs a bashing, and not one of the greatest songs ever written, alright?


The guy who wrote this has a mullet and at least four rolling stones t-shirts from the last four tours. Maybe even a Zep tattoo.
posted by skallas at 11:39 PM on July 13, 2003


Personally, after reading through all the complaints, I haven't been able to construct a legitimate idea of what Stairway to Heaven is actually supposed to be about. Anyone?

Speaking as someone who put in many, many stoned hours circa 1975 trying to figure this out, I can tell you with confidence that I don't have a fucking clue. And neither does anyone else, including the doofuses who wrote it.
posted by jokeefe at 11:47 PM on July 13, 2003


Here's what the Straight Dope has to say about Stairway.
posted by BigCalm at 5:10 AM on July 14, 2003


With all these protesters.... well, I never, ever, thought I'd have to say this about people who post on discussion groups (mainly 'cos it'd be like the pot calling the kettle black, y'know?) but geez...

Some people need to get a life.
posted by kaemaril at 5:11 AM on July 14, 2003


Actually, I think Stairway to Heaven retells the story of the pied piper. Not exactly a word for word retelling of the story, but the elements are all in there. The townspeople who believe their money is everything ("all that glitters is gold"), "the piper will lead us to reason", and of course the flute in the intro is a pretty big hint aswell.
posted by fvw at 5:34 AM on July 14, 2003


though i'd never have believed it in 1975, i can tell you precisely what the song means:

3. profit!!!!!!!!!
posted by quonsar at 7:13 AM on July 14, 2003


From the Straight Dope article:

probably rates between 2 and 3 millishakespeares

Bwahaha! I love Cecil.

Are we over that 80s phase where everything has some kind of secret meaning and the worst songwriter is a genius if you just look *deeply* at her work?

Nope, and I offer Pearl Jam as Exhibit A.

Myself, I prefer the straightforward horniness of the blues. No pretentions to great literature here:

Boom boom boom boom
I'm gonna shoot you right down,
right offa your feet
Take you home with me,
put you in my house
Boom boom boom boom
A-haw haw haw haw
Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm
Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:33 AM on July 14, 2003


I haven't been able to construct a legitimate idea of what Stairway to Heaven is actually supposed to be about. Anyone?

Maybe--just maybe--it's about being stoned.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:40 AM on July 14, 2003


I subscribe to Cecil's view - I think it's safe to say that what we're hearing aren't so much lyrics as the unmediated pulsations of the reptile brain.
posted by BigCalm at 8:25 AM on July 14, 2003


The people getting bent outta shape over some good-natured jabs need to get a grip, and I say that as a huge Zep fan (although I am sans ZoSo tattoo currently). I actually had an ex-hippie English teacher in 9th grade who had us analyze the lyrics of this(and a few Rush songs) to teach us literary devices and shit.

But as I said here (among other things) on the new live set, it's still only about a year old, so the band plays it with a vigor that makes you remember why it became a classic. Anyways, as time has gone on I've realized that "How Many More Times" "When The Levee Beaks" "Rock And Roll" "In The Light" and "Hot Dog" are all better songs. Plus you could make a case for "Communication Breakdown" as proto-punk (in musical terms anyway) and remember that at their inception, Zep was as much an anathema to the tenor of the times as punk would be later.


yeah, I guess I'm back. You didn't think I could sit out a Zep thread could ya? :)
posted by jonmc at 8:54 AM on July 14, 2003


Oh hell, Jon, "D'yer Mak'er" is a better song!
posted by Dreama at 9:10 AM on July 14, 2003


A friend of mine used to have an overweight nympho girlfriend. We called her "Bed Zeppelin".
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:29 AM on July 14, 2003


Hahahahaha. Now we know that if jonmc ever loses his way in the woods again, we can always lure him back with a well-placed trail of junk food and Led Zep!
posted by yhbc at 11:38 AM on July 14, 2003


Zed Leppelin rulez! Seriously, I love a good laugh like this anytime, though I wonder WTF ever expected meaning from the lyrics of groups like Zep. Dylan, Springsteen, even Tori amos, but LZ? That's like asking someone to attend an AC/DC concert without a case of beer.
posted by billsaysthis at 12:29 PM on July 14, 2003


at their inception, Zep was as much an anathema to the tenor of the times as punk would be later

Huh?? (Welcome back jonmc!)
posted by timeistight at 12:35 PM on July 14, 2003


timeistight--at the time (1969) the former hippies were moving towards country rock and singer-songwriters, Zep was loud hormonal music for barbiturated teenagers. This is all based on contemporary accounts I've read and heard from people who were there, since I didn't pop outta mamma till 1970. Plus with all the synth pop/MTV tripe clogging up the airwaves and my classmates record collections in the early 80's, listening to Zep (which I discovered by working backwards from 80's metal) was actually rebellious again.
posted by jonmc at 12:53 PM on July 14, 2003


Well, I was a hormonal teenager in 1969, and Zep was part of a continuum of bands that we'd been listening to for years: the Stones, The Yardbirds, Hendrix, Cream, Mountain, The Jeff Beck Group, and many others who's names have faded in the mist. The band was even called "The New Yardbirds" before settling on Led Zeppelin. The critics never liked them, but they always sold like hotcakes.
posted by timeistight at 1:22 PM on July 14, 2003


Damn. I forgot The Blues Breaker's 1966 "Beano" album where Clapton pioneered the Les Paul/Marshall roar that Page would mine so successfully:

posted by timeistight at 1:29 PM on July 14, 2003


Heh, Mountain. A great big man with a little tiny guitar and a bass player who got shot by his wife. I'm involved in a CD swap at another site and I put "Theme From An Imaginary Western" (for my money their best song) on it.

And for what it's worth, that continuum continued to my generation with Black Sabbath, Rush, AC/DC, Metallica, Megadeth. There will always be testosterone stoner rock of some sort man. And despite what some people say, it's not neccessarily diametrically opposed to punk rock. It took my teenage self a while to figure that out, but hey.

On preview: Great Album, but I always thought Clapton was a Stratocaster man. Plus I believe that the MOR balladeer we know today and the man who played on that record, Cream, and Derek & the Dominoes cannot be the same person. What have they done with clapton, dammit.
posted by jonmc at 1:34 PM on July 14, 2003


Zep was part of a continuum of bands that we'd been listening to for years: the Stones, The Yardbirds, Hendrix, Cream, Mountain, The Jeff Beck Group, and many others who's names have faded in the mist.

While it's true that their white-brits-playing-the-blues business was a continuation of that tradition, the way that Zep put the pieces together was pretty original. I mean, who ever heard of a long-haired singer screeching like a girl before LZ? I don't think they're as much proto-punk as proto-metal; without Robert Plant how would any of the 80s metal bands have possibly seemed credible?

Black magic + rock 'n' roll: two great tastes that taste great together.
posted by norm at 1:39 PM on July 14, 2003


I always thought Clapton was a Stratocaster man

I think he started out all-Gibson and then migrated. He's got an SG in every Cream picture I've seen.

(which pissed me off when I was a teeneaged Fender partisan)
posted by COBRA! at 1:44 PM on July 14, 2003


....and many others who's names have faded in the mist

Here's a few...Canned Heat, Ten Years After, Humble Pie, Grand Funk Railroad, Wet Willie, Little Feat, Status Quo, and countless others, many of whom I learned about when I inherited a buncha LP's from a neighbors older brother around 1984.
posted by jonmc at 1:49 PM on July 14, 2003


Here's a page with info on Clapton's Blues Breakers Les Paul.

The famous painted Cream guitar is actually a Les Paul. Gibson dropped the original body in 1960 and replaced it with the light SG-style, but it was still called a Les Paul. I think Les Paul himself objected because they changed the name in 1962 and then re-introduced the original style Les Paul in 1968.

(Boy, I'm really geeking out on this.)
posted by timeistight at 2:12 PM on July 14, 2003


Clapton is Good.

(but he's no Joe Jackson!)
posted by yhbc at 2:14 PM on July 14, 2003


Clapton is Good.

No, no, no.

posted by timeistight at 2:22 PM on July 14, 2003


What happened to Clapton... he got sent to the same rehab as David Bowie, I think [derail][bitter] 'cause Bowie released those brilliant albums, the Berlin albums, and then came out with Scary Monsters, and then Let's Dance, after which it was obvious that he had been replaced by some sort of peroxided robot...[/bitter][/derail]

Oh yeah, I saw LZ in 1972 as a wee 13 year old sprog, and my ears rang for three days, but let me tell ya, Robert Plant was all about sex.
posted by jokeefe at 2:59 PM on July 14, 2003


It was just a rolled up sock, jokeefe.
posted by timeistight at 3:10 PM on July 14, 2003


"Theme From an Imaginary Western": Actually a Jack Bruce song, though Mountain's version may be better known.

"The New Yardbirds": They were only called this on some marquee in, I think, Sweden. It was never the band's idea, though they did end up touring briefly as the Yardbirds to fulfill some contractual obligations.

There's tons of good material on the Page-era Yardbirds and early Zeppelin in the most recent issue of Ugly Things (sold out, unfortunately). And Mojo featured Zep in last month's issue.
posted by macrone at 3:53 PM on July 14, 2003


It was just a rolled up sock, jokeefe.

Wha... NOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo!!!!
posted by jokeefe at 6:47 PM on July 14, 2003


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