Skip

Led Zeppelin
January 8, 2010 9:59 AM   Subscribe

So Mote It Be: excerpt from the new Led Zeppelin biography When Giants Walked The Earth by Mick Wall
posted by vronsky (41 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
related from boing boing: Rock and roll and the occult
posted by vronsky at 10:01 AM on January 8, 2010


If you like this occultist approach to the Led Zep, Erik Davis' book on the 4th Zeppelin LP is must read.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:08 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sigh.

O.T.O. - Ordo Templi Orientis, aka Order of the Temple of the East, aka Order of the Oriental Templar (membership of which also confers membership of the Freemasons)

Wrong.

This entire piece reads like a babbling stream-of-consciousness.
posted by mrbill at 10:14 AM on January 8, 2010


"Mote" being, of course, the awesome new past-tense version of "might," which finally allows English to form the elusive optative past mood, and allows us at long last to avoid those weird optative/subjunctive nightmares we used to have to go through when forming all-too-complex clauses like "so might it have been being."

Okay, actually, I really just have never heard that word before. Now I am going to disappoint myself by looking it up and discovering the real definition.
posted by koeselitz at 10:15 AM on January 8, 2010


The thing that most convinces me Page was really involved in the occult is the first few bars of Achilles' Last Stand.
posted by swift at 10:19 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here is a good writeup on the use of the phrase "So Mote It Be" as it pertains to Freemasonry.

Heck, I said it myself last night, at the end of the pre-dinner prayer.
posted by mrbill at 10:20 AM on January 8, 2010


..and destined to take the place of the mud shark in your mythology...
posted by fixedgear at 10:24 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


koeslitz - that phrase was written on the run-out grooves of my Zep lV album. It was pre internet so I had to go to the library to look up the meaning. My understanding is that is equivalent to ending a prayer with "amen" or similarly in the Psalms, "selah".

There were other things written into the center of the albums too -- I remember "sterling" and "strawberry" and there was another weird phrase that I have forgotten that I could never find out what it meant.
posted by vronsky at 10:25 AM on January 8, 2010


So it looks he basically retyped some pages from "Hammer of the Gods" which, I'm sorry, is an awesome book.

Yeah, it's often full of bullshit but come on, it's *awesome* bullshit, especially if you're a 14 year-old kid who always wanted to be in a rock band. And then Richard Cole wrote a book called "Stairway to heaven" that was basically the same old "Shark incident" and "black magic" stories all over again, except he changed the parts in HoTG that smeared him specifically.

And then there is *another* recent unauthorized bio of Page called "Man, Magus, Musician" or something silly that I picked up just for fun and never read. I would be interested if Page ever actually wrote his own memoirs, but otherwise this story has been done.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:31 AM on January 8, 2010


drjimmy11: “Yeah, it's often full of bullshit but come on, it's *awesome* bullshit, especially if you're a 14 year-old kid who always wanted to be in a rock band.”

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you to offer you our sincere congratulations; after long deliberation, our judges have selected yours as the winning entry in our contest to ‘SUMMARIZE LED ZEPPELIN'S ENTIRE FREAKING CAREER IN THIRTY WORDS OR LESS!’ Enclosed please find directions to our downtown office, where you may pick up your GRAND PRIZE: a genuine Led Zeppelin pencil case and matching binder, and, if you are female and under the age of 15, a nice groping from Jimmy.

Regards,
Richard Cole (and yes it was me with that goddamned red snapper)

posted by koeselitz at 10:47 AM on January 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


if Page ever actually wrote his own memoirs

I'm guessing that he's going to find a biography of Robert Johnson and just replace Johnson's name with his.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]



I'm guessing that he's going to find a biography of Robert Johnson and just replace Johnson's name with his.


Ohhhhh! Good one. But not fair.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2010


NOTHING REPLACES THE MUDSHARK

MU-UD SH-SH-SHAAAARK

posted by CitizenD at 11:04 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is There No Help For the Widow's Double-Necked Gibson Guitar?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


poor jimmy - years of messing around with the occult and he STILL wasn't the best musician in that band
posted by pyramid termite at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


So Jimmy Page dies and goes to hell, and he meets the devil there. And the devil shows him his life as a long beach, and along the sands there are two sets of footprints. And the devil says, you see, I was with you always.

But there's a stretch of sand that has only one set of footprints, and Jimmy Page says "What's that?"

And the devil says, that was the hardest time in your life.

And Jimmy Page says, "There's only one set of footprints, where were you then?"

And the devil says, Those are my fucking footprints, idiot. You were unconscious in a stairwell for the entire time. Also, I played all of your solos on In Through the Out Door.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2010 [12 favorites]


"...entered into a Faustian pact with the Devil, signing away their immortal souls in exchange for earthly success."

Maybe so....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2010


oop. Too slow. Hats off to (Roy) Harper Astro Zombie.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2010


This thread seems as good of a reason as any to crank up How the West was Won.
posted by Ber at 11:48 AM on January 8, 2010


When [Brian] Jones' messy departure from the Stones was made public in June 1968, around the same time as news of the Yardbirds' own break-up,

That's some wrongness, right there. A year off.
posted by anazgnos at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2010


The day before I saw a review of this in the NYT, I had a dream that I was, for some reason, reading the earlier Led Zeppelin book, Hammer of the Gods. To be really honest here, I haven't given Zeppelin a great deal of thought since I was about sixteen, so I'm inclined to think this was some kind of omen. On the other hand, I also had a dream that same night that I was going out with JWoww from Jersey Shore, so....
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:08 PM on January 8, 2010


..and destined to take the place of the mud shark in your mythology...

If anyone else recognised that line from Frank Zappa's song but, like me, was wondering what it meant and why fixedgear quoted it, I suppose this is the answer.
posted by Bangaioh at 12:54 PM on January 8, 2010


The Mud Shark was Vanilla Fudge.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:02 PM on January 8, 2010


Someone already tipped us off that this seems like a rewarmed version of "Hammer of the Gods." Which, although awesome in that cheesy "OMG I've just discovered this great story about BLUES and the DEVIL", is pretty much made up of unconfirmed stories provided by a single disgruntled and totally broke roadie. A roadie who ended up in jail in Turkey or Morocco or something when the band fell apart.

As an aside, if an editor had been allowed to actually remove all the redundant statements from "Hammer ..." it would have been just about large enough to publish in Esquire or Playboy. They don't even try to disguise the fact that the book just sort of ends nearly mid-paragraph, as if even the author knew the thing had gone on too long, and couldn't keep up with the charade any longer.

But, we do learn that Page was into occultish BDSM with under-age girls, Bonham was a lovable but dangerous drunk, Jones was the smart one and Plant had a big cock but was painfully shy and innocent.

As an updated Beatles-like template for which rocker you could crush on and/or be like, you can't ask for much more that that.
posted by clvrmnky at 1:11 PM on January 8, 2010


is pretty much made up of unconfirmed stories provided by a single disgruntled and totally broke roadie. A roadie who ended up in jail in Turkey or Morocco or something when the band fell apart.

You're thinking of Richard Cole, who was not a Roadie, but the band's tour manager from 1968 to 1980. Post-Zepplin, He was temporarily imprisoned in Italy because he was mistaken for being a terrorist.

I mean, there's plenty of reason to think his account is horseshit, but it's nice to get the details right.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:29 PM on January 8, 2010


Mr. Bill has it - there were plenty of mystics in the 19th century who wrote gobs and gobs of stuff trying to link the Masons to the ancient super-seekret magickal Egyptian mystery schools. Although it's true that the origins of the fraternity are somewhat lost in time, mainstream Freemasonry is not about spiritual alchemy in the "draw this stuff, incant these words and sprinkle eye of newt on the floor" sense.

It's kind of amusing to imagine Jimmy Page at a Lodge potluck dinner, though.
posted by usonian at 1:54 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


But, we do learn that Page was into occultish BDSM with under-age girls, Bonham was a lovable but dangerous drunk, Jones was the smart one and Plant had a big cock but was painfully shy and innocent.

You mean the book reiterates what a cursory glance at them would confirm?

At any rate, this post makes me want to reread the Illuminatus! Trilogy and smoke weed until I forget that the majority of occultism is just ham-handed and wildly inaccurate appropriation of bits of culture from England's colonies mixed with some third-tier Lovecraft rip-off.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 2:26 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, does anyone else get the impression that Jimmy Page is the George Lucas of rock music?
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 2:28 PM on January 8, 2010


Led Zepplin? Is that like, one of those oldies bands like uh, the Beatles or Herb Alpert?

And weren't all of those old-time hippy bands into magic and shit? If so, they evidently weren't successful enough at it to keep the 80s from happening.
posted by happyroach at 2:29 PM on January 8, 2010



Also, does anyone else get the impression that Jimmy Page is the George Lucas of rock music


Say what!?
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:02 PM on January 8, 2010


Yeah, I'm with Liquidwolf here. A few days after my prophetic dream (not, one assumes, the dream that ended with me having "Come here an' fuck me, ya douchebag!" screamed at me, although....), I saw It Might Get Loud, a documentary that shows in no uncertain terms that Page is still completely awesome. I'm not 100% sure what "the George Lucas of rock music" could even mean, but I don't think that's the droid you're looking for?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:26 PM on January 8, 2010


It's kind of amusing to imagine Jimmy Page at a Lodge potluck dinner, though.

Man, nothing dispels the dark, conspiratorial mystique of the Freemasons quite like...uh...meeting actual Freemasons.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:26 PM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Despite being AT A NEW HEIGHT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF MY OCCULT CAREER, I'm actually finding "Jersey Shore" more interesting than Led Zeppelin's Crowley connections these days. And I, for one, would like to hear more about kittens for breakfast's JWoww dream and any prophetic import it may contain.

(As an aside, does it seem to anyone else like JWoww gets short shrift on that show, despite having a nickname at least as ridiculous as The Situation's?)
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:30 PM on January 8, 2010


Robart Plant
A slimy fuck
John Bonham, man
He really sucked
Those greedy fuckers
Those phony shits
They made their money
Off idiots
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:45 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll say this.

Post-Zep (and, I suppose, Pre-new Zep), Robert Plant could be held responsible for this.

Jimmy Page, post-Zep, can be blamed for this.

On the other hand, Lighten up, baby, I'm in love with you.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:01 PM on January 8, 2010


Well, I mean there's Led Zeppelin and there's Star Wars, and they're silly and bombastic but it more or less works really well. Then there's a period where they're relatively low-profile. Then Page and Lucas revive the things they were idolized for in the 70s (the reunion with Robert Plant, the special editions and the prequels) and they end up with something bloated, un-fun and really embarrassing.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 5:49 PM on January 8, 2010




My 15 year old self will always love Zeppelin, and remembers well discovering them in my older sister's record collection. Never understood the allure of Crowley though. When I finally read some of his stuff it was such a let down, because it had seemed so mysterious. But those awful, puerile poems, the ridiculous prose, it all just seemed so fucking stupid. Still does.

Congo Natty - Stairway

Koons on Zep -- "My interest has always been in art. I remember when I was 16 and I turned on the radio and heard Led Zeppelin. That was when I came into contact with how powerful art can be. It was a very moving experience, and I thought, “I want part of this.”"
posted by vronsky at 8:08 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


But those awful, puerile poems, the ridiculous prose, it all just seemed so fucking stupid

try reading his autobiography - the man was an arrogant twit - a genius who never developed his talents and knowledge well because of his highly deficient personality
posted by pyramid termite at 8:34 PM on January 8, 2010


@Astro Zombie, fair enough, but give me a break. It has been several decades since I read the thing. At least I got the general geography close enough. The important bits are that we have an author who has made a career based on the mostly unconfirmed statements from a single source -- a source who, because of his relationship with the subject, just can't be trusted a whole lot, and tends to mix fancy with fact.

Wasn't the tour manager with the cricket bat in Spinal Tap modelled after Cole, now that I think about it? Come to think of it, Almost Famous cribbed a moment ("I'm a golden god!") from "Hammer ...", too. Though instead of an interview in a hotel room it was the dude tripping on acid at a house party. (I suppose SCTV could be blamed for stealing the TV thing, too, but this might be stretching things a bit.)

That era of live music c. 1970 to 1982 in the US was pretty special, and likely will never be seen again. Almost every touring band that could fill an arena has stories of excess from that time, and the various venues, hotels, ticket agents and transport companies have changed their relationship with band management to minimize their exposure to damages.

But what a time it was.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:14 AM on January 9, 2010


This excerpt seems to be a reasonable summary of the career of Crowley. So far this book does not appear to a photocopy of The Hammer of The Gods, although it has been a few years since I read that one. I seem to vaguely recall that both books discuss some of the same subject matter.
posted by ovvl at 8:19 PM on January 10, 2010


« Older go fall in love with something new   |   Notown Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post