Thursday, April 30, 2009

Caveat Emptor...

Com’on, admit it, you’ve had the very same moment of weakness. Everything you see and hear tells you not to do it. The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. You just have that sliver of optimistic gut feeling that perhaps everybody else was just missing the magic and if they simply stopped, closed their eyes, and took a deep breath it would all make sense and beauty would be revealed. You? Well you would be credited with discovering the most overlooked diamond in the rough the world has ever seen.

As you humble readers may recall (all three of you), I read the pinnacle rock bio of Led Zeppelin “Hammer of the Gods” not too long ago. You remember the post…

Me: Great story of this gigantic force of rock music. Don’t like all their work, but a great deal is simply mind blowing. Deserving of their place in the pantheons of rock history.

Jackson: Plant sucks, Page is sloppy.

Misanthrope: Yeah, what he said.

Anyhoodle, During the long dry spell of output following Bonzo’s death, the surviving Zep’s really struggled to figure out what they wanted to do next. For Jimmy Page, consuming metric tons of heroin didn’t help his quest any. There were many attempts on Jimmy’s behalf to get together with Robert in any of Jimmy’s bazillion studio’s spread out all over the United Kingdom to do some song writing, but Robert was having none of that. Jimmy had been a working musician for most of his life and ALWAYS worked in collaborative situations no matter if it was session work, The Yardbirds, or Zep. He simply didn’t do well on his own.

So, after being turned down by Plant yet again and in an act of creative desperation (or defiance depending on who you ask), Page dialed up another formidable blonde front man, fellow countrymen David Coverdale.

Before you all make the obligatory stinky cheese grip of your nose, remember Coverdale’s resume goes far deeper than supermodels crawling on the hoods of cars. He capably fronted Deep Purple in the early/mid 70’s and made some decent records with Whitesnake before MTV and greed ruined it all. Just admit it, the dude’s got the pipes. Yes, his mop of blonde hair, and stage poses harkened back to old Zep shows, but I can grant him his right to pay homage to an idol of his. Okay… So he sounds a bit like the guy too (I’d say much better really).

Coverdale must have pissed his pants after what I’m sure must have been many hang ups before the realization hit that this was no crank: “Hello mate, this is Jimmy Page… you wanna come down to my place and have a go at a couple of these songs?” Coverdale: “Who is this? Nigel? Fuck off and quit calling me, I’m in the midst of being beat up by my girlfriend”.

You’ve got Jimmy Page with arm loads of material backed up since Zep grinded to a halt, and a more than capable singer who is currently in the charts everywhere. Something great is about to be put to tape, right? I mean com’on?!

I should have known when I got an e-mail from Amazon that said: “This album is no longer in print, please check our used offerings for this title”. Okay, let’s take a look… Another sign telling me to wave off: There are hundreds of copies available from used resellers and the price range on the first thirty listed is .01 to .50 cents (NO! They’ve all got to be wrong). I pull the trigger and order the disc for .50 cents plus $2.50 shipping and am careful not to tell anybody about it. I pray that I get home and grab it at the door before my wife see’s what I’ve done. "Have you ordered porn online?!" (opens package) "Oh no Tony, this is much worse!" I grabbed my disc and this morning dropped it into the player for the ride in sure that vindication would be mine.

Well... Jimmy Page would have done himself (and the rest of us) a favor by forgetting Plant's and Coverdale's number and ringed up John Paul Jones instead. JPJ's the song crafter of that lot anyway. He's the one who molded Pages riffs into songs. No, everybody wasn’t missing anything. There would be no diamond in the rough discovery. No defensible “They don’t know what they’re talking about” moment. Just eleven songs of poop. Into the rack it goes filed under "P" perhaps never to see the light of day again.

Hmmm, wait a minute, who’s birthday is coming up next…?


At 12:34 PM, April 30, 2009, Blogger Mathdude said...

Too late - mine was last week.

At 1:25 PM, April 30, 2009, Blogger BeckEye said...

I'm trying to forget all about Coverdale/Page. I dug The Firm though. Can't beat Paul Rodgers.

At 1:42 PM, April 30, 2009, Blogger dhc said...

Coverdale....wasn't he actually MARRIED to the wackjob that was Tawny Kitain (the model on the car)?? I think she may have beaten him up a time or two as well... :)

He's ok though, too bad that this effort needs to be filed under 'P". I haven't heard it, and I guess I won't now.

My dashed hopes?? The first time I saw Kansas in concert at WP back in the day when Ike Hall still had some good concerts. UUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!! And I was in such disbelief that they could suck so bad in person, that I actually saw them AGAIN in 2001 (for free, thank God, I think they just happened to play before the band I really wanted to see) at the Taste of Minnesota. And they were even worse!! So sad, because I really loved some of their stuff in HS. Definitely a studio created sound for them!

At 1:38 PM, May 01, 2009, Blogger McGone said...

This is one of the biggest problems with iTunes. I had a chance to go through and dig up all of those forgotten rock acts I "discovered" back in the day and soon realized why they were forgotten in the first place.

I will admit that I have, as recently as 3-4 years ago, purchased a Whitesnake song from iTunes. It was "Fool For your Loving," and I did it for the Steve Vai guitar solo. And now I get the "You purchased Whitesnake, so you may also like..." recommendations as my penance.

At 5:22 PM, May 04, 2009, Blogger Phat Mama said...

You have four readers now!

Found you on Zibbs. Meeowww right back. *lick*

At 3:57 PM, May 05, 2009, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Red Snapper! Red Snapper!

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