I need some Led in my pencil


Boy, did I ever play the mortal shit out of this one on my parents’ Telefunken, which until the Sixties had been accustomed to a steady diet of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and the like.

Well, Ziggy Stardust may have left the building, but Led Zeppelin beat him to the door. The band broke up in December 1980 after the death of drummer John Bonham, but it was on this day in 1969 that they released their first album.

So with that in mind, here’s a little fiery Zep to hot you up on a cold January morning.

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33 Responses to “I need some Led in my pencil”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Good morning!
    1969 was an interesting year for me. I got drafted, and somehow that got me reading and really listening to music, a really good thing. Zep was there, but Blood, Sweat, and Tears and Chicago pulled me in their direction. Then while overseas, a buddy on the firebase used to go up on the roof and blow the blues on his key of G Hohner Marine Band harp. That got me on the blues as well. Zep never had a chance. Time to give them another try.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I was listening to a lot of stuff in the late Sixties and early Seventies. I loved my parents’ music (Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, et al.), but I was also getting into some serious noise, like Led Zep, Iron Butterfly, Black Sabbath, and whatnot.

      Also, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and of course the Beatles and Stones (my Miller and Dorsey, I guess). The Dave Clark 5, Zombies, Animals, and Byrds, too.

      But yeah, Chicago was in there. “Color My World” was great for slow dancing, and it had a nice flute bit, too, which I just tried to play and made a horrible mess of; the mind remembers, but the fingers not so much.

      Then there was this huge detour into country-hippie music — Allman Brothers, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and all the various sons of The Byrds, like Poco, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Flying Burrito Brothers, Souther-Hillman-Furay, The Eagles, and so on.

      I feel sorry for the young people of today with their stupid fucking tuneless horseshit; that may be a generational judgment but I seriously doubt it. (Name the author who wrote that sentence, win a prize).

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Yea, you have used that one before. Was walking the Duffer, I couldn’t give Khal a run for his money. And let us not forget Carlos Santana. The congas did it for me. Bought the first album.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Oh, yeah, jeez, Santana. For sure. And Cat Stevens before he became Yusuf Islam. A lot of mescaline went down the old pie-hole around “Tea for the Tillerman.”

        And of course there wsas Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Merrill, Lynch, Fenner, Pierce, Sacco & Vanzetti.

        Annnnnd leave us not forget Leon Russell (especially with Mark Benno in Asylum Choir). And Joe Cocker.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Yep. I think the only time my parents threatened to open the gun case on my account was when I bought that record.

    Surely one can have a communication breakdown when the stereo is too loud….

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Hey Patrick–just sent you this by email, too.

    I would like to make a flyer for an upcoming rally at the Roundhouse. The BCNM has just agreed to give a thumbs up to the bicycle portion of this gig—see link. Can I use something of yours that would be appropriate out of your substantial body of bicycle-political work?


  4. md anderson Says:

    Zeppelin has been my answer when a particularly saccharine earworm gets into my head. It once took a steady 2hours to get “Dancing Queen” gone.

    Funny Zep story. I had a CD playing in the car, I think it was Zep II, when my daughter was about 9 years old. She was listening intently for a while then turned to me and asked, “Is this that Ed Zeppelin guy?” Ever since we tease her about Ed. (And yes she later became a fan. I did my job well)

  5. Libby Says:

    Rent or buy the documentary “it Might Get Loud” (2009). Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White each tell their story and then get together and share their guitar passion and music.It just came to my attention last week on my cable VOD. It’s very engrossing. I’ve also seen “Twenty Feet from Stardom”, that tells the story of several backup singers, including Merry Clayton and Darlene Love. Love describes how Spector destroyed her solo career.

    • psobrien Says:

      We rented “It Might Get Loud” last year on Blu-ray. We liked it, especially the acoustic set. It took a small panel truck to haul the equipment for “The Edge.”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Got to confess: I’m not a Jack White fan. I’m gonna throw my McGuane flag on him. Every time I see the sonofabitch I think it’s Johnny Depp pretending to be a musician, the way some folks thought Leon Redbone was actually Andy Kaufman, or Don Novello.

      And for some reason I’ve never been able to warm up to U2, either. I watched some concert film of theirs in a hotel last trip to Bibleburg and it damn rendered me homicidal. But then it had been a long day and my back hurt.

      One of my favorite lines in “The Commitments” is when Da Rabbitte takes note of son Jimmy’s band forming up and quips, “U2 mus’ be shittin’ themselves.”

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Me either on Jack White. Irritating guy. The acoustic set showed me who was still on top of his game, Page for my money. I made the comment about equipment and “The Edge” for a reason. What is it with that name anyway? He is a great guitar player, but I think he is distracted by the tech. He must have had 25 effect pedals in front of him.

  6. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Dunno whether it’s “stupid fucking tuneless horseshit” or just “same shit, different day”. When I watch SNL these days and can stand not to hit the MUTE button on the musical presentation I seem to mutter to myself something like “Geez, so-and-so did that years ago…nothing new there. How much do they get paid to do that?”
    But a LOT of these folks simply can’t SING so they just blather on while some folks behind ’em torture musical instruments.

    • khal spencer Says:

      When I was in grade school back in the early sixties, a bunch of us set up garbage can tops, toy guitars, and other makeshift instruments in a neighbor’s garage and sang nonsense lyrics, thinking ourselves the next Beatles. Back then, it was “pipe down out there”. Nowdays, we would be millionaires. Speaking of the neighbor’s garage….funny one should think of this.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I never tried the band thing, same way I never did motorcycles. No idea why; it seems appallingly stupid in retrospect.

        I learned how to play a few instruments, though: flute (which I still have), bassoon, oboe, piccolo, piano (had a keyboard until recently), and guitar.

        Alas, I’m about the same kind of musician as I was a bike racer. But I practiced longer and harder at bike racing.

      • psobrien Says:

        Judy didn’t give you Marv’s Ovation did she? That beautiful Custom Balladeer? Besides the obvious sentimental value, Ovations are great guitars, especially if you live where the humidity goes up and down like a yo-yo. A friend with a high end Martin tells me his nightmare is waking up to the sound of a loud crack. Composites do have their place.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Oh, no way, Pat. That would be like Mario Batali handing me a skillet and saying, “Kitchen’s yours, Chef.” I can play a number of instruments, entirely without skill. Including the skillet.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Its never been clear to me how I survived my early twenties with motorcycles. Living proof that “the good die young”

      • Hurben Says:

        I only got my car license when I was 27. Up until then I lived & breathed motorcycles.

        And rocking out to:


      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Good morning (very early) Hurben. I had motorcycles from age 15 to 35, that last year being 1984. Mostly Yamaha, with a few from Harley, Triumph, Ossa, and Bultaco. The burning desire for two wheels with a motor was dead and cold until a few years ago when Patrick started lighting fires with those Vespa matches. Then Yamaha brought this out which tempted me. I resisted. Our local dealer still has a new one, but I have enough hobbies.

    • Hurben Says:

      Good Morning Pat, (also early, 5:06 AM Local time),

      My second last bike was the SR500 version which I had in the 80s, lovely bike.

      I’ve always been a Yamaha man, baring a Suzuki DT550 & PE250.
      Last bike was a Yamaha XV1000B which I brought with me to NZ in 87, only got rid of it 2 years ago.

    • Hurben Says:

      That would be Yamaha XV1000RH, I was confusing it with my Yamaha XS750B.

      (I’m only on my second up of coffee).

      • Hurben Says:

        Also Suzuki GT550B, I was confusing it with my Yamaha DT400B. Time for my third cup of coffee, (or just spooning the powder directly into my mouth & cutting out the middle man)

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        My first bike out of the Army was a 1972 DT-250. Later that year I got a Ossa Plonker trials bike. That was fun. But Yamahas were always my favorites. My last bike was a 1983 Vision will full fairing. Bike was ahead of its time. Much faster and easier to ride fast than the 550 Seca that I traded in for it. No torque reaction at all from the shaft drive. But the engine had plenty of torque for a 550!

      • Hurben Says:

        My full motorcycle history is:
        Yamaha HT1B 90cc – straight out of the military & back to school.
        Yamaha DT400B – my first job as a Computer operator
        Suzuki GT550B – my first road bike, seized the motor..
        Yamaha XS750B – loved this bike
        Yamaha SR500C – great bike once you mastered the art of kick starting it.
        Yamaha IT425 – serious off road bike, scared me, sold it to pay for my wedding, I should have kept the bike.
        Yamaha XV1000RH- fantastic bike, took me all over South Africa & then Later, all over New Zealand
        Suzuki PE250 – Great bike but told me that my back could no longer cope with motocross.

        & then onto Bicycles….

  7. Amy Lee Says:

    From all of your comments I suppose many might be surprised by the fact that a 15 yr old girl wrote the songs for the band she named Led Zeppelin. The girl was from Alabama…so…she used a lot of songs from artist that somehow had a connection to Alabama…such as Alabama native Sam Phillips of Sun Records artists Howlin’ Wolf and Jerry Lee Lewis. Ever heard of the song “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On”? Or, how about “Big Legged Woman”? The lyrics from The Lemon Song were actually lyrics from blues legend Robert Johnson’s song “Traveling Riverside Blues”. The “Kashmir” song was inspired by the title of Berkley Mather’s novel “The Pass Beyond Kashmir”…though his first novel “The Achilles Affair” did not do well…it did inspire the song “Achilles Last Stand”. I was that girl in 1983…and named the band.

  8. Amy Lee Says:

    Oh! The band claims to have released the album on Jan 12th (my bday)…

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