Feeling sorry for that person who wasn't getting a steady Led Zeppelin fix over here at LedZeppelinNews.com, I started putting some more stuff up at OnThisDayInLedZeppelinHistory.com right away.
In the past week, there have been new posts about Jerry Wexler signing Led Zeppelin to Atlantic Records in 1968 and turning operations over to Ahmet Ertegun, the band proceeding exactly one year later to begin recording music for a third album in a row, and John Paul Jones reflecting on the band's BBC sessions during an interactive online interview in 1997.
While I felt sorry for this one disenchanted reader of LedZeppelinNews.com, I felt even more sorry for Jimmy Page, the member of that band who put it together from day one, lingered in the studio to put onto tape the sounds in his head, painstakingly mastered the tapes again and again through the years to make sure they fit his vision, and sought time and time again to do something a little more for us unworthy fans.
Like last year, when he wanted to assemble a new band. We now know that it fell by the wayside.
Ever since his last bout of rehearsals and planning came and went without any fruit, Jimmy's been out of the limelight for a little while. Some of the reason is he hasn't done much to put himself in the limelight, but another part of it is because the film "It Might Get Loud" didn't make the big splash I thought it deserved.
I've seen three public showings of this film, twice on opening day in New York City and once in Washington, D.C., a little while after it opened there. Of those three showings, only the second, a noontime showing in Greenwich Village, was packed. Energetic people in the theater burst at the funny moments, and they waited patiently during the film's exaggerated lulls for the next thing to grab them by the arm and entertain. It was a thrill to see so many people so into this movie.
But for the third public showing I attended, I was the only person in the theater. Sure, I suppose downtown D.C. mid-day on a weekday is a thriving metropolis, but not the kind that has people flocking to the cinema at that time. Everybody was busy. I couldn't even coax a friend of mine, a closet U2 fan who works for one of the government agencies, to skip work for a couple of hours and watch his favorite guitarist and mine share the silver screen.
I don't think this film had the crossover appeal it was destined to have. Maybe the upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray releases, and the online release preceding that, will make it easier for people to know of it, enjoy it, talk about it, recommend it and really make something of a sleeper hit out of it. I think generations to come should be watching this film.
The sorrow I feel for Jimmy Page was enhanced today when I noticed some news outlets are reporting "It Might Get Loud" has been overlooked by the Academy Awards in nominating films to the documentary category. Director Davis Guggenheim's previous work, "An Inconvenient Truth," may have picked up an Oscar, but "It Might Get Loud" evidently won't share that fate, which is regrettable.
True, the Grammys overlooked Led Zeppelin in the '70s, and that didn't hurt anybody, so there's really nothing to sweat here. Yet this is a different day and age. Most of the Led Zeppelin news these days is from Them Crooked Vultures, whose members have signaled they're in for round two. Robert Plant earlier this year created waves, picking up five Grammys with Alison Krauss and then creating enough momentum to earn a second wave of sales.
Now, although a follow-up album by Plant and Krauss has stalled, and Plant's fit not to be on tour right now or have any particular album to peddle, his bluegrass turn of the past few years still manages to get acclaim from all directions:
- National Public Radio has just named Plant and Alison Krauss's album Raising Sand one of the current decade's "50 Most Important Recordings."
- Furthermore, Crawdaddy contributor Angela Zimmerman now believes that the work by Plant and Krauss has, in retrospect, totally overshadowed the possibilities of a Led Zeppelin reunion.
Now, can it be the right antidote to coax him into action again and generate some new music for people to hold up and appreciate?
Update, 4:45 p.m.: Ah! I did not see this until just now, but similar thoughts were posted three weeks ago by Matt Patterson, a National Review Institute Washington Fellow and the author of "Union of Hearts: The Abraham Lincoln & Ann Rutledge Story." His remarks are also reflective of the sentiments I expressed here on Sept. 2, in my post "Do musicians ever really retire?"