Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Physical Graffiti - 40 Years Gone

most albums don't survive the test of time
we're lucky to live in a time
where we see the masters still alive
and celebrating their enduring works

after 40 years
physical graffiti is one of maybe 40 albums that endures
it sold more than 15 million copies
and it remains a massive testament
to the ethos of the double album

led zeppelin were hated by the critics
outside of creem magazine
no one really gave them any love
their albums were always panned
and their live shows received terrible reviews
they were referred to as a 'people's band'
as if that was a bad thing

but zeppelin endured
they ignored everyone
and just kept making great music
they toured and sold out venue after venue
no awards
no favourable press
no singles

i think not wanting to have any real singles (45s)
set the recipe for physical graffiti
i imagine them in a studio
all in the same room
playing together
and listening to each other
figuring things out slowly
looking for that magic slice of a riff or a fill
that would go down in history
plant scribbling lyrics
jpj adding colour
then jimmy would take the tapes
and start overdubbing
knowing when to leave it raw
and when to add the hammer

physical graffiti takes time
there's a lot of music on those 4 sides
it harkens back to an era
when we had the time to listen to 4 sides of music
in one sitting
we were young
and there was nothing but imagination to accompany us
as we listened
we dreamed
and planned
and loved
and wrestled
anyone over 40 will tell you significance of those afternoons
in that we started composing our identities
alongside these powerful works of music

the CAL zep band has been tearing this album apart
it's like a magnificent imported toaster we've opened up
there's gears and coils and wires all over the counter
and on march 6 we roll into massey hall
and heat everyone up with a performance
that shows us at our best
(the above paragraph is one of my worst metaphors ever)

5 guitarists - led by dom polito
will ably demonstrate how complex and beautiful
physical graffiti is
dom polito is the world's best zeppelin guitar player
i scour the internet looking for someone who plays better zep than dom
i never find them

rick vatour will drum the songs
with the most attentive accuracy
rick is the world's best zeppelin drummer
no one falls on a beat like he does
he's our age
rick demonstrates what a lifetime of love sounds like

nick walsh is canadian rock royalty
i still like to go to clubs and hear music
one night i'm at a dive having a fine time
and nick gets up to sing
i couldn't move
he was so good
his voice was a siren of power and beauty
i knew instantly that he was the right fit for the CAL zep band
since then nick and i have had many conversations
about the majesty and poetic verve of plant's lyrics
a sadly over looked and never referenced part of the zep legacy
plant carried on a long traditional british poetic vibe
i urge everyone to listen to the album with the lyrics
which are available on line

a funny aside
when we were young
the lyrics weren't available
quite often you had to make up phonetically sounding correct words
case in point:
during the vocal break at the end of 'in my time of dying'
we all had a different idea of what was being said
i thought it was 'oh my teeth ache'
rick thought it was 'oh my jeans fit'
dom thought it was 'oh my tea yeah'
i'll leave it to you to do your own investigation

physical graffiti is 40 today
a generation sends congratulations to the masters
you created another enduring masterpiece
that we will continue to carry throughout our lives

on friday march 6
classic albums live will honour the album
with a note for note - cut for cut recital
it's an evening that those in attendance
will talk about for a long time to come
perhaps 40 years gone

february 25, 2015
coffee and rye toast


  1. Hey Craig,
    Still buzzing from the show last night at the Stockey... we're all blown away had friends drive from Collingwood and Gravenhurst. Going in I admit I didn't really think the vocals would be THAT good. See ya at Abbey Rd

  2. your postings like haiku are stupid
    self-important and bloviating
    learn to use some punctuation
    get the led out (from philly) is by far
    the best "led zep" whatever
    except for plant and page
    you should have them play your
    led zep cover shows
    they already do it.