A Second-by-Second Account of When Led Zeppelin ‘Sucked,’ From Chuck Klosterman
Video of Led Zeppelin's 1979 Knebworth Festival performance of 'In the Evening' has been broken down, second by second, in a highly entertaining article by noted pop-culture author Chuck Klosterman.
The article chronicles a difficult time near the end of the legendary band's career. A younger generation of punk-influenced bands and music fans had grown fond of attacking the excesses found within Zeppelin's late-career music and stage show.
As you can see by the lasers and overblown instrumental passages in this clip, they had a point. But as Klosterman compellingly states, even Zep at their worst - ravaged by inter-personal arguments and drug addictions, maybe possibly having crawled up their own asses just a bit - was pretty damn awesome.
Klosterman uses this eight-minute song as a springboard to analyze his many thoughts on Led Zeppelin and '70s rock in general, the telephone John Paul Jones for some reason has on his keyboard, the way people dance at weddings, and most amusingly, whether bullfighting outfits or sweater vests are better fashion choices for guitarists.
Here's a brief snippet of the article:
"1:46 to 2:19: So here we go: The look in Robert Plant's eyes say, "I am a human lion." The sweat on Jimmy Page's shirt says, "I am more like Patrick Ewing than most rock historians remember." The arc of Page's sartorial decisions have always struck me as an underreported reflection of his musical evolution: He began his career dressing like a Victorian bullfighter before briefly switching to sweater vests, thus becoming the only human to ever don a sweater vest and immediately seem less gay. Zep's superrock ascension led him to that famous black dragon suit, still the coolest garment anyone has ever worn for any purpose under any circumstance..."
By all means, you should read the rest.
Watch Led Zeppelin Perform 'In the Evening' at Knebworth in 1979