Friday, August 06, 2010

The greatest band of all time

One of the greatest, most wasteful ways to spend your time is to sit around thinking about ‘what if’.

Today I came to think – what if the greatest band that has ever walked this earth hadn't been completely ruined by its useless poser of a front-man.

I am of course referring to Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant.

I was listening to my iTunes on random. Something I almost never do. I wasn't paying much attention until a guitar solo of such brilliance and originality leapt out and demanded my admiration.

To compare this to their mega-band contemporaries, I heard:

  • none of the unrefined torrent of Hendrix;
  • none of the white-knuckled clinching to the old school of blues we see with Clapton;
  • none of the Vaudeville of Queen;
  • none of the adolescence of The Who;
  • talent, unlike with the Stones;
  • and none of the Nigel Tufnel as with Jeff Beck.
To this point I hadn't recognised the true giant amongst giants in Jimmy Page.

I had come across Achillies Last Stand. Skip forward to around 3:30 and you'll hear 70's guitar rock at its absolute finest. The maturity, restraint and originality displayed in this passage came as a revelation to me. I had never really paid attention to Zeppelin – I was much more the Floyd kind of guy.

The reason I wasn't a Zeppelin kind of guy is plainly evident at 7:20.

What we hear from here is amongst the most annoying sounds a human body can make. His nasal whine sounds like a leaf blower. And his lyrics make me think… ‘who cares’.

But I'm a can-do kind of guy. I like to offer solutions, not just point at problems. So in that spirit I offer a collection of front men that would have rounded out this band and fulfilled its destiny as the greatest.

Joe Strummer, Roger Taylor, John Fogerty, Phil Lynott, Justin Hawkins, Dr Dre, Sonny T, Nigel Tufnel, Linda Ronstadt.

And also in the spirit of the greatest blogger ever, I invite all the Squinkers to put their shoulder to the wheel and solve this riddle once and for all…