a hugely over-rated rock four-piece from the 'seventies, an ensemble whose off-stage, brutal, degrading debauchery was and is widely known but indulged, bless, as is that of so many and yet none of Rock's household names has attracted the attention of the BeastPolice. Still, like Zepp, many will have low friends in high places, might even be knighted.
As well as competing among themselves to photograph the largest head of celery inserted in a teenager, Led Zeppelin are the most comprehensively larcenous people in show business, having stolen nearly all of their material and impudently claimed it as their own, even the massively lucrative Whole Lotta Love was lifted lyrically, musically and stylistically from Steve Mariott of the Small Faces. There are channels on YouTube dedicated to exposing Zeppelin's thievery but as yet their star still shines, surviving members recently filling the Albert Hall with ageing fuckwits.
As we see at the PBC, it is the silent approval of others which makes all these things possible, a conspiracy of men, generally men, being true to their selves, their careers, their almost certainly baseless idea of who they are.
a twenty-stone fuckpig and dyed in the wool moron who would nevertheless guide Zeppelin to Devil-worship, to orgiastic, underage rough sex, to fatal drug overdose and to fortunes almost beyond the dreams of avarice.
I thought it was unwholesome, nothing to do with me, gender benders, can't stand them, one thing or the other, anything else endangers the spacecraft, nothing to do with rock and roll, nothing to do with music, even, dragging-up and queening all over the shop. Buddy Holly never did shit like that, that'll be the fucking day and maybe Phil Spector did wind-up shooting folks and taking our childhoods to jail with him but he never dressed up as a woman. The great Little Richard is as bent as a nine-bob note - or a forty five pence piece - but you wouldn't ever catch him faking fellatio on his guitarist. Bowie hanging out in Berlin, acting as if he was Isherwood on amphetamine, he and his mental Mrs, banging the same poxed-up rentboy, what a load of old shite, pretentious art school wanker. And while I could understand young women being turned-on by Led Zeppelin's vulgar, bombastic, ostentatious and meaningless cock-rock, I could never figure out why so many young men in greatcoats had a hard-on for Robert Plant. Although the biggest hard-on in town is the one he has for himself. Even by the abysmal, pathological standards of show business, Plant, the great rock god and cock-waving numbskull, is almost uniquely self-obsessed, seeing himself as, I dunno, rock catalyst, Svengali, mover and shaker but mainly as just, well, great, his greatness being the vocal icing on the dodgy battenberg of Page and Jones and Bonham, his co-Zeppers, them all being great together, their greatness, collectively and independently, greatness, like Handel or Beethoven, really, truly great.
but I heard a few of the albums, back then, histrionic rubbish, noisy, vulgar and flashy, twin-neck Gibsons, guitars played with 'cello bows,
wow, man, and drug-crazed, interminable drum solos where a couple of bars would have done, and Planty, bare-chested, shrieking and howling, a cucumber down his kecks, a study in pointless homoerotic excess.
His Zeppelin drummer, wotsisname, Bonham, had been his mentor, had got him the gig and so, when the stupid fuck had drugged himself to death, he and Pagey and the other clown just couldn't, you know, couldn't....
It is said that when the Zeps ran out of inspiration, surely after about ninety seconds playing together, they would retire to a Welsh cottage with the latest Incredible String Band record and recharge their creative batteries, or steal the ideas of truly creative people, as we call it in the real world. I find this hard to credit. The String Band were one of those odd combinations of flighty wit and roaming intelligence and virtuosity; they could effortlessly merge sitar with barrelhouse piano, four piece rock band with string section and cathedral organ with tin whistle to produce stunning and inimitable masterpieces, thoughtful and elegant, rocking and rolling; riffs, reels and ragas, the world's music, distilled and alchemised into something uniquely British, leaping and soaring, running, laughing at Time's tricks, giggling, from the scratchy vinyl groove, at Ruin's march.
There's none of that in Whole Lotta Love.
Jimmy Page has been very interested in occultist Aleister Crowley for many years, even going so far as to own Crowley's old place, Boleskine House, from the early 1970's until 1992. Crowley was infamous locally for performing black magic, in particular for saddling the House with Hell's aristocracy. He started a ritual to invoke his Guardian Angel, which required 6 months of preparation, celibacy, abstinence from alcohol and the summoning of the 12 Kings and Dukes of Hell, in order to bind them. Unfortunately, after he'd invited the Kings and Dukes to Boleskine, he was called to Paris by his boss, the leader of the Golden Dawn. He never got around to banishing Hell's aristocracy, who occupied themselves for the next hundred or so years, up to the present, in mischievously setting fires, rolling decapitated heads around the corridors, pretending to be wild animals snuffling outside guest's bedrooms and other japes. In 1978, Jimmy explained: "I feel Aleister Crowley is a misunderstood genius of the 20th century. My studies have been quite intensive, but I don't particularly want to go into it because it's a personal thing and isn't in relation to anything apart from the fact that I've employed his system in my own day to day life. ... The thing is to come to terms with one's free will, discover one's place and what one is, and from that you can go ahead and do it and not spend your whole life suppressed and frustrated. ."
mr ishmael's essay today was extracted from the following:
These few Precepts 23/09/2014
Can White boys sing the Blues? 17/04/2011
Whole Lotta Shite 6/06/2010
What's on Telly - Betjeman Land 1/09/2014
Honest, Not Invent is an anthology of essays by stanislav and mr ishmael. It is