It's Ok To Love Led Zeppelin Even Though They Made A Groupie Stick Fish You-Know-Where

Illustration for article titled Its Ok To Love Led Zeppelin Even Though They Made A Groupie Stick Fish You-Know-Where

I always wanted to be the kind of girl who discovered Led Zeppelin on her own and taught herself Jimmy Page-ish guitar riffs instead of studying for algebra. Unfortunately I was studying for algebra, and so learned about the Zep through my high school crush. As a result I always thought of them as a guy band, even though I would eventually become the true Zeppelin obsessive. Later, when I actually started listening to the lyrics more carefully and learning more about their on tour antics, I started worrying that idolizing Led Zeppelin and having a vagina were mutually exclusive. As a recent article in the UK Independent, in honor of a Led Zeppelin reunion slated for tonight, put it, "Many of the themes and euphemisms [Zeppelin] employed had previously been coined by black blues artists, but instead of their usually light-hearted, flirtatious manner, in Zep's hands the terminology developed a more aggressive, predatory character," not to mention the rumors of "interspecies hi-jinks" where "live fish and octopuses [were] erotically involved with submissive groupies."

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Fish-in-vag aside, I should definitely get over misogynistic undertones when uber feminist Germaine sodding Greer is penning columns about how awesome Zeppelin is.

Greer writes about a Zeppelin concert she attended in 1970 at Albert Hall:

The Albert Hall acoustic is peculiar: the sound came up to me with a force that pummelled me breathless. No other band ever managed to make a sound like that. It was certainly loud, but it was also driving, pushing along with incredible energy. Up there above the heaving crowd, I couldn't believe the transcendental noise I was hearing.

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I would let Robert Plant c. 1970 pummel me breathless pretty anytime. The sort of raw sexuality Plant and company exuded was certainly a key component to Zeppelin's appeal, for both men and women, in addition to their truly stunning musicianship. "The spring god Dionysus had arisen and was shaking his streaming red-gold mane on stage," Greer writes, and there's something to be said for embracing the pure hedonism of rock gods.

So they let the "interspecies hi-jinks" get a little out of hand. It was the 70s. Everyone was so busy doing coke and summoning the occult I doubt they remember any of it in the first place.

Led Zeppelin: The First, The Biggest, And Still The Best... [Independent]
Germaine Greer: The Night Led Zeppelin Blew My Mind [Telegraph]

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DISCUSSION

jennasauers
Jenna Sauers

Germaine Greer is a creep who outed a transsexual colleague and opposed her being hired at Cambridge's Newnham College (which is single sex) because she'd been born male. Greer also defends FGM on "cultural" grounds. And her book about teenaged boy beauty is the kind of thing that we'd deplore if NAMBLA had published it, as opposed to just buying it and salivating over all the kiddies within (not all of whom were even asked permission for the use of their pictures before it was published). And nobody criticises other women like Greer: any female journalist who dares pan her work is liable to be made the subject of some kind of knives-out sexist tirade in a competing broadsheet. A failed reality T.V. star, perhaps, but she's certainly no feminist.

I feel entirely vindicated in my thorough dislike of Led Zeppelin simply in knowing that Greer likes them.