“Not that many people know that I read a lot too. As I just found out you and I have very similar interests. Look, Rick I really want to get to know you a lot better. Why don’t I give you a call tomorrow? Maybe we can go out for lunch. Right now let me introduce you to some people at the party. I’d say let’s go talk to Peyton and Sabrina but it looks like they are holding court right now.
Rick really enjoyed the rest of the evening, He thought that several of Misty’s friends were really cool. People kept going over to Peyton’s record collection and put on their favorite albums. The record that got the most play was Led Zeppelin III. Although the music critics of rock journalism didn’t give the album very positive reviews, the people attending the party seemed to love it. The new Led Zeppelin LP got by far the most plays. Rick especially enjoyed the songs, Gallows Pole and Celebration Day. As Rick smoked one of his Old Port Colt cigarellos he thought about how much his social life had picked up in one day. He agreed to have lunch with Misty at The Black Top Restaurant. He was so excited about it and the way his whole day had played out that he knew he wouldn’t get much sleep tonight, but being only eighteen years old Rick knew he’d still feel great in the morning.
After the party ended Rick and Misty got a ride home from Misty’s friend Carol. Misty actually kissed Rick goodnight which surprised but pleased him no end.
Rick was right. He didn’t get home until near 3:00 AM but he only managed a couple of hours sleep until he needed to get up to ready himself for hockey practise. This was Rick’s third year playing for The St. Vital Cougars. He didn’t play very well during last year’s play off run and he still felt bad about it. Last season Rick felt more stressed than a seventeen- year- old should have to be
. He had a very demanding coach who expected his team to win every game even if it was only an exhibition contest. Coach Reynolds would often yell at his players when they made a mistake or didn’t play up to his expectations. Rick often took the brunt of his coach’s wrath as he was the Cougar’s number one goalie and was often blamed if his team lost a game. Rick would burn with shame and humiliation whenever he was publicly called out by his coach. Rick had a very sensitive temperament and would be upset for days after a loss. He never questioned his coach or his tactics. The truth was that Coach Reynolds terrified him and he would have quit the team if he wasn’t so afraid of what the coach would do to him as a consequence. The amazing thing was that the majority of the team remained loyal to him in spite of the abuse. The one thing that could not be denied was that Coach Reynolds always produced a competitive hockey team.
After his family had finished supper Rick told them about his plans for the evening.
“I met two very interesting people today, a couple named Peyton and Sabrina. Peyton plays guitar in a local rock band and I was invited to see them play tonight at Maplewood Community Center. The doors open at 7:30 PM so I have to leave right now to make it there on time.”
His parents told him that they hoped he would have a good time this evening. They were pleased to hear that Rick had made some new friends as Rick didn’t socialize very much. They often worried about the amount of time Rick spent on his studies at school and hockey obligations. His parents were becoming concerned that Rick might one day crash under the pressure.
Rick walked the five blocks to Maplewood Community Center. As he was in good physical condition from playing hockey he was able to keep up a fast pace. When he arrived he saw that there was already a crowd of about ten people waiting for the doors to open. Rick thought that Peyton’s band, Winter Dreams must be very popular.
When the doors to the club opened even more people had arrived to see the band. Many young people were already lighting up their first cigarette of the evening. The houselights were still up while Winter Dreams set up their equipment. While checking how his Gibson Les Paul guitar sounded plugged into his Marshall amplifier Peyton turned around to see Rick in the audience. He waved at Rick and said, “Hey man. Glad you could make it. Sabrina’s helping set up the canteen.”
‘Thanks for inviting me. I love to hear live bands play. I’ll go over to the canteen area and say ‘hello’ to Sabrina.
After a few minutes Peyton gave a thumbs up sign to the community club custodian. This was the signal to dim the house lights. Within seconds the community club’s halls, walls and floors reverberated with the heavily amplified sounds emanating from the band’s Marshall amplifiers. Winter Dreams lead vocalist sounded the Viking scream that opened Immigrant Song, the first track on the latest LP released by Led Zeppelin. Winter Dreams lead singer Vance Chessler was blessed with the same physical attractiveness and sexual appeal of Led Zeppelin’s front man, Robert Plant. He also possessed a voice that was eerily close to Plant’s. Peyton was a very proficient lead guitarist and had easily mastered the basic guitar riff to Immigrant Song. Some of the audience were already dancing or otherwise moving their bodies in rhythm with the pounding repetitious beat that was greatly enhanced by the deep thundering notes played by bassist Chevy Raines. The group’s drummer, Pick Harding tried hard to pound out the sonorous beat maintained by his hero, drummer John Bonham of Led Zeppelin.
For many of the students of Maplewood Collegiate the weekly canteens were the highlight of their weekends. There would sometimes be a house party or two to attend after the community center closed down at 11:30 PM. Some of the attendees would imbibe a couple of drinks and maybe share a joint before the canteen opened.
This evening was no exception. One young male was already intoxicated when he arrived at the community center. As he staggered backwards he almost knocked over a burly looking fellow who greatly took exception to this action. The big, heavy-set dude landed a perfect shot to the chin of the inebriated teenager who had bumped into him. The altercation ended right there as the victim of the assault was too drunk to get up and defend himself.
Lionel gave all Edith’s belongings to her sister and found a nice, quiet apartment block a short distance from the university. On many days the professor would not even take the bus. He would walk to work if it was not raining out. He rented a two bedroom apartment mostly because he had accumulated lots of stuff over the years. What he liked most about his new apartment was the hardwood floors and the rather old fashioned, historical feel of the place. Many of the things that Lionel owned blended in well with the general ambiance of the apartment.
Lionel loved music. He grew up listening to the early recordings of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Eventually he came to prefer The Rolling Stones especially their early albums, Aftermath, Out of Our Heads and December’s Children. Lionel especially liked the exotic, eclectic flavor that Brian Jones brought to these recordings.
When he was in grade eleven Lionel discovered the music of Led Zeppelin. He listened to Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III and Led Zeppelin IV until he almost wore out these records. There were other artists that Lionel was also a fan of such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Guess Who. Now that he was in his sixties Lionel found that he really enjoyed the heavy metal, straight ahead rock and roll music of Motorhead. The professor had spent a lot of time finding space in his new apartment and eventually organizing his vast collection of LPs, CDs and cassette tapes. Lionel even found a few old eight tracks in his collection.
The professor had to use a good portion of his second bedroom for his bookcases and boxes and stacks of books. Lionel had enjoyed reading books by Stephen King since his own days as a university student. His favorite works included The Dark Half , The Tommy Knockers and a collection of King’s short stories called Nightmares and Dreamscapes. Recently Lionel had read and enjoyed one of Stephen King’s new releases called 22-11-63. This novel centered around the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Lionel was very grateful for all the book cases that his son had built for him. Eric was a carpenter and possessed many skills that Lionel lacked.
The other author that Lionel loved was J.R.R. Tolkien. He had read The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings several times and also owned the DVD trilogy pack of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
In this episode of What’s Up? Ken David Stewart reviews Led Zeppelin’s new box set, Celebration Day.
Although I have many interests I have trouble focusing on any one thing for more than fifteen or twenty minutes. After that I become restless and start thinking about a different activity. This evening was very typical for me. I spent some time practicing classic Led Zeppelin riffs on my guitar. I practiced Whole Lotta Love, a portion of the solo in Stairway to Heaven, Heartbreaker, Immigrant Song and How Many More Times. The thing about these riffs is that they look surprisingly easy when you read them on tablature. Then I try to play them and they’re not as easy as they seem. To get them right requires continuous repetitious practice of the same riffs over and over on a daily basis. I guess this is called self discipline. After about twenty minutes of this I had enough and switched over to playing a game of football on my PS3. I now own both the 2011 and 2012 versions of Madden NFL. I find that the format of these two games is significantly more user friendly than previous editions.
When Giants Walked the Earth
This week I have been reading When Giants Walked the Earth by Mick Wall. It is a biography of the iconic band Led Zeppelin. This is the best book on Led Zeppelin that I have read. It is probably one of the best rock biographies that I have read period. Many rock biographies degenerate into tales of substance abuse and not much else. When Giants Walked the Earth reads more like a novel. The story certainly has some fascinating characters including Led Zeppelin manager, Peter Grant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham. Jimmy Page’s extreme interest in Aleister Crowley is explored in great detail. Peter Grant is portrayed as a larger than life character who was notorious for intimidating any business associates who Grant felt did not have the best interests of his act in mind. John Bonham’s Jeckyl and Hyde personality is also discussed in great detail. In addition to being probably the heaviest drummer of all time Bonzo was also known as The Beast when he was on tour with the band. Led Zeppelin’s drummer was also a man who missed his family terribly when his band was on tour. He would sometimes be in tears when he confided to others how much he hated being away from his wife and kids.
Three one shot reunion concerts are also analyzed. This is one heavy book and is a must for any hard rock or heavy metal fan.