There are bands. And then, there is Led Zeppelin. There are albums. And then, there is Led Zeppelin’s IV. This album seriously needs no explanation, so, I won’t even attempt one. What I will attempt is to share a story about some of the people whose memories are conjured up whenever I hear Led Zeppelin, especially one song in particular.
In college, I became friends with a ragtag group of guys who treated me like, well, one of the guys. One of the things we shared was a love of music, and Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and The Grateful Dead were played quite often and quite loudly. Their music provided the soundtrack for our time together at the University of Dayton, and Going to California provided me with a sweet moment with some of these special friends.
In the wee hours one morning, I found myself hanging out with several of the guys in their suite in our sophomore dorm. We were sitting scattered around the small living room listening to music, which was a familiar scene. The room was lit only by the lights coming from the stereo system, and IV was playing in the background, as we talked and laughed.
When Going to California began to play, we grew quiet. As the music filled the room, we all were silent, even yours truly, as we took in Robert Plant’s incredible vocals backed by the legendary Jimmy Page’s acoustic guitar and John Paul Jones’ mandolin. No-one said a word, until we spontaneously and softly joined Robert Plant in singing this part of the song:
Seems that the wrath of the Gods
Got a punch on the nose and it started to flow;
I think I might be sinking.
Throw me a line if I reach it in time
I’ll meet you up there where the path
Runs straight and high.
Then, we fell silent once more, but not before one of the guys said, That was some nice singing, Kristi Jo. The song may have ended, but thankfully, our friendship did not.
Later this month, I am going to see Robert Plant in concert for the first time, and I cannot wrap my brain around the fact that I am going to be in the same breathing space as this true rock god. Whether or not he plays Going to California, my mind and heart definitely will be going to Dayton.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story