Here's the Scoop: September 5, 2012

Zeppelin flies again
When it comes to music, I don’t usually like to look/listen back. Sure, I have a bunch of favorite bands from my formative days, but I don’t play those tunes all that often. Maybe it’s because my eight-track player hasn’t worked in years.

Music certainly has the power to send one back down Memory Lane. It’s very common for people to associate certain bands or songs with specific times in one’s life. There are great “summer songs” that harken back to more carefree days. There are “break-up songs” that conjure up bad times. For better, or worse, music often provides a powerful connection to days past.

Crank up the Zep
Such was the case over the weekend when I stepped into the time machine and hear a Led Zeppelin tribute band perform. It is not commonly known that I was a very big Led Zeppelin fan during my rebellious years.

Heck, I can still recall sitting around in the basement with Fez, Hyde, Jackie, Donna, Kelso and Eric…wait a minute, I think I may have seen those characters on “That ‘70s Show.” That’s right…and “That ‘70s Show” was modeled after — people I know. Very well. Anyhow, the actors and my friends all hung out and listened to Led Zeppelin. So did I.

My parents were rather straight-laced and there was no way I was going to be allowed to my grow hair down to my butt and wear tie-dyed outfits. That was OK, I really wasn’t a fan of those styles. However, folks flipping through my high school yearbook often point a resemblance to the Hyde character. Unfortunately, I was nowhere near as cool.

But I was a huge Zeppelin fan. Just ask my old neighbors. The searing Jimmy Page guitars. The howling Robert Plant vocals. They spoke to me — loudly (very loudly) and clearly.

Just chilling out
My room for many years was in the attic. Maybe because there were no heat (as in none!) in the attic, my parents took pity on me and let me crank my stereo as far as I could twist the volume knob. They probably figured the high-powered stereo would create a bit of warmth.

Now, before anyone calls the Parental Humane Society on them retroactively, I must point out that I wanted to sleep in the attic. Heat or not. And, there was a lot of it during the summer.

Despite the extremes, I loved living in the attic. The best part was that when I ventured up to the third floor, I could open the windows and let the music play. Since we lived at the top of a hill, I’d like to think that my choice in tunes serenaded much of the neighborhood. When I headed up to my room to enjoy some musical entertainment, it was like I was climbing a “Stairway To Heaven.”
What, you thought I wasn’t going to work in the name of one of the world’s most famous tunes? We also owned a Labrador Retriever during that period. For the purpose of this column, I could simply call our canine “Black Dog,” but I won’t.

I will say, however, all these decades later, despite a music collection filled with current tunes, I still have a “Whole Lotta Love” for Led Zeppelin.
— Brian Sweeney