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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax

We sat around yakking a lot today. Manning is one of those people I can yak with for hours. Strider always has been, but it's good to mix it up. The convo went all over the place and through all kindsa topics. At one point I told him about going to see Zep one month and ELP the next. And for just a split second I felt what I felt those nights. The rush of a huge live concert, those minutes before the band appears where the anticipation, hormones and recreational substances combine in an energy that fills the whole place.

And damn did I remember it.
A Zep concert was like going to a religious rite. The smoke was so thick you barely saw the gods from afar... the people danced and sang with abandon...there was joy and hope in the temple of Led Zeppelin. I miss those rites.

An ELP concert was just as heady but different. For one thing, there were way fewer women, ever. Two or three times as many guys as gals. And lots of nerds. At a Zep concert people dressed for sex. At ELP concerts people dressed for anthropology class. ELP had an audience. We weren't there to go wild, though that happened; we were there to hear and see them play. The rest, the showmanship and the crowd, was gravy. The playing of this complicated and surprising music was the focus. People would shush you at an ELP concert, however wasted you or they were; that never happened with Zep.

Zep can never reunite. Now it looks like ELP won't ever again. That time is past, at least we have the memories. It really stinks that there are so many who would've grooved just as righteously as we did, but they were babies or weren't even born yet.

From another part of the convo, we may see time travel in our lifetimes. If at all possible, I'm taking Strider and Manning back to the summer of  '77. Maybe I'll be one of those old people I saw there in MSG and thought, "Why are old people here?"