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My Led Zeppelin Experience

Updated on October 29, 2016

The Changing Man

As I grow older I find my interests changing almost as quickly as my eyesight and my hairline. I no longer enjoy long state-to-state drives with a thermos of coffee as my "partner", interrupted only by gasoline stops, restroom brakes and push-ups on the rear bumper. Yes, strangely enough, I used to like those long drives, and did them often. Now I prefer shorter hops broken up by good meals and good sleep, though I still need my "partner" the coffee thermos. I used to prefer hot sunny days on the beach, sifting sand through my toes, and watching girls. Now I prefer cold days in the woods watching the skies darken and the trees sway; and listening to the sounds of the wind, the birds and the crunching duff under my boots (with my coffee thermos, of course). I used to root for the "Los Angeles" Rams, and now I soar and crash (usually in the same season) with the San Diego Chargers.

John Bonham
John Bonham | Source

The Unchanging Part of The Changing Man

Now, in contrast... when it comes to music, my interests have only widened. I haven't lost my love for the music I grew up with, I've only come to appreciate a wider variety. For example, thirty-five years ago I would have run at full speed from the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Nah, you wouldn't have seen me boarding that train if I had a free ticket and a hundred miles of marching ahead of me. If you asked me who Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and Cole Porter were, I would have gone to the closet for my old box of baseball cards. That's different these days. On a late night or early morning drive with only the soft green lights of the dashboard giving any dimension to the car, I've looked over to see my beautiful wife dozing under her travel blanket with "Begin the Beguine" playing softly on the satellite radio station, and I've thought... life just doesn't get any better than this.

In the 1960s and 1970s I had no choice but to listen to my mother's favorites like Marty Robbins and Roger Miller, and my sisters' favorites like the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel. My brothers had their favorites like the Doors, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin; and I too enjoyed those later in the 70s when Disco started getting out of control, and I had to distance myself from it while I still could.

In those same years I found my own style of music including Boston, Kansas, Heart, Fleetwood Mac and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. While all of this music, the volume of which could easily play continuously for years without repeating, was fed from AM and FM radio, it also lived in "record stores", and I spent my share of time in them. Record stores were great places, and not much like music stores of today. Though I still have some of those old LPs and 45s, I wish I had more. I often stop at thrift stores, antique stores and at garage sales for the purpose of finding a great vinyl treasure I don't already have.

From one decade to the next and one music style to the next, the "old stuff" still holds it's original appeal with me. New interests join the ranks, but none leave. As my daughters grew up I added "Hippos in the Bathtub" and "The Dinosaur Song" to my list of favorites, and now my grandchildren are listening to those. When in the 1980s it became clear that my spiritual life needed to be put in order so that I could be a good example for my children, I found a new love in contemporary spiritual music. My daughters have carried that on, and have been bringing me to some awesome material from musicians their age and younger. There is some great stuff out there by Jars of Clay, Skillet, Lifehouse, Third Day, Kutless and Superchic. I even have CDs that my daughters recorded with their respective college choirs that would "blow your mind". With all of these new musical experiences happening to me as my family matures, I still listen to my recordings from the past and the "oldies" that were new when I found them in Tower Records.


Led Zeppelin 1970

Jason Bonham Brings His Father's Music Back

I've seen more than a handful of concerts in my lifetime, and I have to admit that most of the recent ones include aging bands bringing their old music back (The Monkees, Heart, The Byrds, The Association, etc.) The music was good when it was written and it will remain so just like Shakespeare plays. Performers change, get old and pass away, but the music lasts. And as long as the original performers can "bring it", I'll keep listening. If new performers do the old songs justice, I'll listen to that too.

November 19th of 2010 I bought a single ticket at the Fox Performing Arts Theater box office for a November 21st concert that I knew I'd have to attend alone. My wife would have joined me... wearing ear plugs under ear muffs under her Skagway hoodie, under a parka, with her travel blanket wrapped around her head; but the seats in that theater just aren't big enough for that kind of hearing protection. Jason Bonham was touring with a "tribute" band, performing the music that his father helped create as the drummer for Led Zeppelin. Now, if you don't care for "hard rock" you wouldn't care for Led Zeppelin, but if your musical interests include that genre, you have to at least respect the old band who never "remained the same" after John Bonham died.

By File:Jimmy Page with Robert Plant 2 - Led Zeppelin - 1977.jpg: Jim Summaria File:John Bonham 1975.jpg: Dina Regine File:JohnPaulJones1980-2.jpg: Klaus Hiltscher  derivative work: Sabrebd [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], vi
By File:Jimmy Page with Robert Plant 2 - Led Zeppelin - 1977.jpg: Jim Summaria File:John Bonham 1975.jpg: Dina Regine File:JohnPaulJones1980-2.jpg: Klaus Hiltscher derivative work: Sabrebd [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], vi

Led Zeppelin

Jason Bonham was given the Page/Plant/Jones blessing to carry the music on a North American Tour called "Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience". I felt like taking a trip back in time that weekend, and as a "drumming enthusiast" myself, I was excited about hearing a reprise of some of the best ever heard. My wife dropped me off so I didn't have to find parking downtown, and as the crowd filled the newly-refurbished theater I sat alone but not alone. All ages came out for the show (meaning, I didn't feel like the oldest person there).

I looked for someone I might know, but didn't recognize anyone. The show lasted nearly three hours, and was everything I needed to satisfy the Led Zeppelin fan in me. I even learned things about the original band and its legendary drummer when Jason showed old photos, and talked about his family life. About half way through I wished I had brought a bit of hearing protection; but I liked it all, with the exception of the one old guy who had to "light one up" a few rows down. Don't people grow out of that?

Jason Bonham

Jason Bonham has absolutely equaled his dad's drumming, and his band puts on an awesome show. I hope you see it when it comes around to your area; even if you aren't a fan of classic "hard rock". Who knows, you might just find a new musical interest to add to your current favorites.

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