Words in a Row

Spelling and grammer and all that stuff--supposibly its like, real important!

Robert Plant and the Commando Lunge

Here’s one way I know I’m get­ting to be an old fart:

I first saw Led Zep­pelin’s con­cert movie The Song Remains the Same when I was 15, waaay back in 1978.

The­ater sound sys­tems weren’t much bet­ter than a cheap AM radio back then, but although I did­n’t own Charles the Deep Breather or the leg­endary under­dash Pio­neer Super­tuner yet, I had some friends with decent stere­os and I had a pair of Koss head­phones at home, which no doubt con­tributed to my old fart hear­ing, but they did a far job of pound­ing “Whole Lot­ta Love” and “Heart­break­er” and “Dazed and Con­fused” into my skull, so my brain could fill in the son­ic gaps.

It was, how­ev­er, the first time I’d seen what any­one in the band looked like.

I remem­ber think­ing how wicked cool they looked, espe­cial­ly Jim­my Page’s embroi­dered black/silver kimono-jack­et-bell-bot­tom-what­ev­er-the-heck-it-was outfit.

I thought Robert Plan­t’s hair was cool, but I also thought then, and do now, that his pack­age-bulge, which had white bleach marks or dried splooge or liq­uid paper kan­ji sur­round­ing it, was either a cucum­ber stuffed down his pants a la This Is Spinal Tap, or it was his real pack­age and he had to spend time in the dress­ing room every show rear­rang­ing his junk so the white crap sur­round­ed it just so, but either way it looked uncom­fort­able as hell—not to men­tion that he was obvi­ous­ly singing com­man­do, giv­en that the jeans were tighter than a strip­per’s G‑string, which might have helped him gain an octave or two more range on the high­er notes.

All right already! We get it!

I also remem­ber think­ing the cam­era spent an inor­di­nate amount of time focused on Plan­t’s crotch, lov­ing­ly cap­tur­ing for pos­ter­i­ty his pelvic thrusts for future gen­er­a­tions to study.

Any­way, ear­li­er today I came across1 a lis­ti­cle of inter­est­ing facts about the movie, includ­ing that the movie was shot over a three-day gig at Madi­son Square Gar­den, dur­ing which every­one in the band wore the same out­fit for all the shows except John Paul Jones, who wore dif­fer­ent clothes each day and horked up the movie’s already shaky continuity.

Zep­pelin’s con­certs were famous for last­ing four hours or more, so I thought Man, those clothes took a seri­ous beating.

This got me to think­ing about oth­er pho­tos and video of their con­certs I’d seen here and there, and after some Googling I ver­i­fied that Robert Plan­t’s bolero-style shirt and pack­age-stran­gling pants, along with Jim­my Page’s kimono-gi-kung-fu-paja­mas thing, appear in dozens of their con­certs from about 1970 up till 1980, when they broke up after John Bon­ham died.

This brought me back around to the triv­ia fac­toid about 75% of the band wear­ing the same clothes for three days in a row. Which in turn made think those out­fits (espe­cial­ly Plan­t’s jeans, which by all rights should have had exter­nal­ly-vis­i­ble per­ma­nent skid marks in back by then) would have been god-awful funky enough to kill the first 20 rows of fans at their concerts.

Watch Smell Remai—I mean, Song Remains the Same and you’ll notice they’re all drenched in sweat, and giv­en their noto­ri­ety for debauch­ery and par­ty­ing on the road, the mun­dane swamp-crack fra­grance suf­fered by we mere mor­tals had to be an epic, eye-water­ing melange of sweat, booze, tobac­co, pot, hotel carpet/drapes, smegma/sanitary napkin/splooge/swamp crack/smog/overflowing toilet/mace/sewer/sushi/caviar/effluvia abom­i­na­tion that would gag a vulture.

I mean hell, when I was still healthy enough to train in Kem­po and work out almost every day, my cup and gi pants (even though I had sev­er­al of each, washed them after a sin­gle use and wore a clean one every day) got so funky so fast I had to ditch them every cou­ple months.

All that to say I’m sure glad John Waters’ Smell-O-Vision idea nev­er got off the ground.

  1. “Came across”! Uh-huh-huh-huh-huh! He said “Came across”! It’s a post about Robert Plan­t’s wed­ding sausage and he said “Came across”!

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