On a Possibly Surprising Musical Lapse

A reader dropped me an e-mail yesterday.

Was I, he wanted to know, excited about the Led Zeppelin reunion?

As I wrote back, I’m indifferent. It’s not even ambivalence — I simply don’t care. I have a couple of their CDs, but in the end, I’m completely indifferent.

I don’t change the radio station when I hear a Led Zeppelin song, but neither do I go out of my way to listen to the Zep. Except for “Kashmir,” I am simply indifferent to their music.

Yes, I think it’s a damn shame that Cameron Crowe couldn’t license “Stairway to Heaven” for Almost Famous, but as much as I love that movie I will say that it is bloated. Just a little. But still bloated.

The reason he asked was because of the reunion concert earlier this week and because I’d mentioned the Zeppelin-flavored cover of “Winter Wonderland” a few days back. Well, of course I’d mention “Winter Wonderland” — it’s a Christmas song, and a fun and goofy one at that, and I like listening to it, and I’d think that my friends and readers would like listening to it, too. Nothing more, nothing less.

I’ve listened to Zeppelin. I will listen to Zeppelin again the future. But I don’t think they’re the greatest thing ever, and I don’t actually get the appeal. Yeah, they make a racket. Yeah, their lyrics can sometimes be inscrutably strange. Neither makes them geniuses or poets. Just makes them literate (though bonkers) guys who make a racket.

So, it’s a musical lapse on my part. Zep is just a band to me, and not an especially important one. I don’t hate them, but neither do I actively enjoy them. They’re just there.

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