11.25.2010

The Drug Lord's Prayer



Su Padre, who art in Hell,
hallowed be thy High,
thy Cocaine come,
thy Deal be done
on Sunset as it is in Colombia.
Give us this day our daily Dope
Forgive us our narcotics
as we likewise have forgiven our
narcs.
And lead us not into indictment,
but deliver us from prison.
For Thine is the Cartel
And the Powder
And the Gory
Forever!
Amen.


*****

Happy Thanksgiving!

11.20.2010

Nuclear Family: A War Poem

~ for my grandfather, still soldiering on, as he says,
 "at the young age of ninety-five"


[***this is a very rough draft, clunky, work in progress at the moment; way too long; and the stories get lost somehow; but I'm not exactly sure where to make the cuts, or whom the piece is really about anymore -- it's too complicated for its own good, but here it will stay as I ultimately revise, drastically cut the wordiness, and figure it out***]




When Gramma plunged kamikaze-like half-a-century ago
And her pristine parlor, and then her bungalow entire
Listed lethally from the profound impact unending
No one saw the mushroom clouds who felt the fallout
Her daughters were too young
Her husband on a gunship

Was it Hitler or Hirohito who lit her fuse?
Evening ignition of shakes and quakes
"Wake up girls!" as candle wax pooled on her trembling palm
"Can't you see all the snakes hissing up the walls!
It's awful!"
Candlelight pranced upon once tranquil expressions
Every night in this now single story house
Undergone some reptilian renovations
Window dressings of shedded skins
"Can't you see them?!"
Forked tongue mirrors reflecting moulting and fangs
The endless slitherings and cold blooded quiverings
The hammer indentations pocked all over the hard wood floors

The War abroad ended and the sensitive soldier returned home
No matter what he'd seen overseas
Whether hand to hand
Or with his steadfast companion carbine
He'd never witnessed human carnage like this:
His wife one night grasped a butcher knife in her fist
Her free arm roped like twine
Same kind they'd wrap sticks of dynamite with
Around her daughters necks
Her daughters gasping "Daddy Daddy!"
Whenever they could choke out a shrill and raspy breath

Hadn't he already fought through enough blood and death?
What was his wife doing to their kids
Clutching their girls tight
Shouting "don't close your eyes!"
And taking that knife and sawing her mind in two?
Who the hell knew?

Stitched up months later, bandaged
Scrubbed clean and transfused
The white suits who'd hosed her off with shots
and shocks
and pills
After much intense and clinical scrutiny
Got careless
Meanwhile, Gramma sensed, see
Her exit opportunity
The Holy Spirit whispered she swore
Run Ruthie run when I tell you
And directed the way as if by plague
When that righteous commandment came ...

Pretending catatonia one overcast day
When the psych-techs switched shifts
The stupid shits my grandfather later fumed
Yukking it up with their incoming colleagues
Gramma ... out of the locked but unguarded corridors

Escaped

Like Enola Gay high up over Hiroshima that day
Rode the bus home from the hospital still ablaze
And set her family on fire 
Who cried as they fried
But never complained

Come Christmas
You could witness generations of charred flesh smoldering
Scarves come off and the third-degree scars start to speak
But the only words out are how everybody's so starved for food
My doesn't the stuffing smell good!
Salivating while Aunt Greta's redundantly relating how Grampa
Her Dad, took forever
To carve the goddamn turkey!
And was that poor bird ever roasted just right?
Never if you listened to Greta
And eyes would glance down or dart around
When she opened her mouth
Searching for safe emergency landing amidst the annual season's spectacle
Chatter of secret recipes and special ingredients ensued
But not poor Aunt Greta in her mushroom clouded moods
Forever fearful she'd come of age overcooked like her mother
Like Gramma like daughter eyeballing cornucopia
Of delusional and hallucinogenic things:
The stoic image, to see her, of the woman she soon became
Corroborated by the wall-sized all smiles family portrait
Florid work of art above the mahogany carved mantel
Directly opposite the extended dining table

Lost an eye
Aunt Greta did
At twenty-two with her Dad's .22
That first time she tried eluding Gramma's backfiring genetic code
And cracked open her haunted coop with a single trigger's blow
Her glass eye glinted in every photograph she rarely smiled in
"Why does her right eye sparkle like that in the pictures, Mom?"
"Just because it does so, Son"
She recalled that day daily, my Mom
The day she cried "Daddy Daddy!" with her sister
And shudders thinking about that knife
And wonders
Why?

Aunt Greta
Burned bone deep by Gramma
Every nerve perversely exposed at our nuclear family gatherings
Conflagrations of awkward indignations erupted
Every not very merry Christmas
So prone
Husk of a nuclear ghost
Mad Aunt Greta
To abruptly and bluntly and out of any conversation's context
Stand and point above the crackling fireplace at the happy family portrait

--Was she casting spells placating her hells?
Or in deep disturbing dialogue with her family up there profiled?--

And proclaimed with that look and a certain inciting sigh
Though nobody heeded her except the children
The curious grandkids who'd gawk at their odd Aunt Greta
Every time she'd rise and point and accusingly declare
"That's a picture there tells a thousand lies!"



11.18.2010

Looking Back: My Book Journal, Nov. 7th, 2009

Just finished Tolstoi's Confession and am quite moved. Stunning that he felt so despondent two years removed from Anna Karenina's publication, when he was at the height of his creative powers, and yet believed what he had accomplished was ultimately meaningless. He was in such despair that he seriously contemplated suicide for a good year, until he rediscovered what he terms "the faith of the poor." I want to review this once I get my thoughts organized on paper.

A Confession (Hesperus Classics)

Trying to make my way through The Anatomy of Melancholy but man, it is tough going. I have little idea of what I'm reading, but it's nonetheless compelling: I love the topic, being a melancholic person myself, so I'll keep pulling it out from time to time and treating it like a poetry volume when I'm in the mood for something heavy and profound to chew on. If anyone hereabouts has read it and could provide a synopsis or aim of the book, I'd be very thankful.

Am also making my way through William T. Vollmann's - my favorite alive writer's epic treatise on CA/Mexico border socio-politics, Imperial. Truly fascinating. I have an adopted son who's Mexican (3yr old) and since I live in Chino, CA, a mere hour-and-a-half from the border, the topic is a very personal and weighted one for me. Vollmann originally wanted to write a novel of his 10 years of research on the area he defines as "Imperial"; an area much larger than Imperial County proper, extending south to the Sea of Cortez and north to Indio and west to the Pacific Ocean, but felt it wouldn't be right to fictionalize the lives of all the real people - "Southsiders" and "Northsiders" he calls them - so he turned his research into a 1,300 page examination of the history and current climate of the conflict. Fascinating stuff. I wish more people read Vollmann. Any Vollmann lovers out there?

Imperial

I ordered The Hour of the Star two weeks ago from Amazon and am peeved that it still hasn't arrived; supposed to be reading it for a group read.

The Hour of the Star (New Directions Paperbook)

Am presently skimming a couple works of analysis and criticism on my favorite dead writer, David Foster Wallace: Elegant Complexity, an in-depth, practically page-by-page examination of Infinite Jest, and also a more general title on the author's life and work, Understanding David Foster Wallace. I'm still upset (sort of, if I let myself think about it too much) that he's gone - and gone so young at the peak of his creative powers - truly tragic that he didn't believe he could be helped by therapy or medication or other interventions anymore.

Elegant Complexity: A Study of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest Understanding David Foster Wallace (Southern Classics Series) Infinite Jest

Lastly, for now, am skimming a couple works on the French Revolution just so I have at least some working knowledge of all the references made to that violent era in Les Miserables, a book I'll begin re-reading next month.

 Les Misérables (Signet Classics)

11.14.2010

A Girl's Best Friend

***The naughtyhottie  is the author of this post***

I don't want to flave over books right now.  I just finished Justin Bieber's awesome autobiography, First Step 2 Forever: My Story, that he wrote himself!  It's amazing, but I'm still "processing it," like my hair stylist says I should, whenever I read something deep, before I tweet about it.  It rocks, though, I can say that.  I give it 4 woo hoos


Today I want to talk about a girl's best friend.  And no, silly willys, I'm not talking about chocolate or chihuahuas.  Or Justin Bieber.  LOL.  And definitely not diamonds either!

Go ahead and giggle, but let me tell you something, when your BFF, as in your "Boy Friend Forever," has had too much to drink, and that dangly drawbridge of his won't rise to let the ship pass through (no matter what you try and do!) then big Mister D. (your always alert and ready disembodied penis -- HA!  I just made that up) can come in pretty handyFive woo hoos for Mister D.!  Woo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo!!!!!

Or, like, forget if he's drunk for a sec, what if your BFF is so ridiculously obsessed with the NFL on Sundays (the only full day you get to spend together!) that he forgets all about you?  What's a girl to do?  Mister D.!  That's who! 

I can't believe that my BFF would rather watch big burly men get so freaking physical with each other, grabbing and clawing like animals at each other, than spend some quality time tackling me to the ground!  I'd love to get tackled like that on Sunday.  But I'm not.  And I'm hot!  It's so weird!

And what is it, anyway, with men and football?  Or just men and their balls period!  I swear!  Forget boobs, Girls, men are actually more obsessed with balls.  It's so pathetically true.  Think about it.  I mean, if it's not football, then its basketball, or soccer balls, or ping pong balls, or golf balls, or tennis balls, or volleyballs ... it never ends! 

Have you ever been to a ballgame and seen how excited your BFF gets whenever some goofball lobs a beach ball and it dings and dongs off people's heads like a pin ball?  No matter how big your boobs are, he'll still get more excited by balls.

Even little boys go bonkers over balls: gum balls or crazy balls, like they haven't been playing with their own balls enough already!  Trust me, I used to baby sit little boys.  I know.

And then there's billiard balls every Friday night and bowling balls every Monday night and those big grapefruit-sized soft balls every Winsday night!  Guys might as well worship balls!

And even if he does take you out somewhere, finally, what the heck does he always order every time: Spaghetti and meat balls!  Or rice balls with his sushi.  Guh-rossssss!

And what if your BFF is of the Hebrew persuasion, like my last BFF was, then its matzo balls.  Puh-lease! 

And if your BFF notices another man acting like a man, the way a man is already supposed to act like -- like a man -- then he'll say, "Wow, that Dude is ballsy," or, "He's got balls" (well, duh, he is a man right, and every man has a set hello!), or, if your BFF is Hispanic, like my seventh-to-last BFF was, it's "He's got cajones!"

And if a girl acts like she's got balls? ... She's a bitch.

That's why my ball-less, big Mister D., in my opinion, will always be a girl's best friend.

***For more AMAZING posts from The Naughty Hottie, visit her AMAZING Book Spa and Massage***

11.12.2010

Gatsby Books: My Favorite NEW BOOKSTORE in Long Beach



Gatsby Books: My Favorite NEW BOOKSTORE in Long Beach!  Check it out.  They just opened in August, and I'm going to tell everyone I know who loves books about them.  So hear's an earfull below:

Scroll down to the bottom of their website linked above and look at that picture of Gatsby's interior.  Old school bookstore ambiance with roaring '20s motif.  What a great new classy little bookshop in Long Beach, just off the 405 and Bellflower Blvd.  The selection of classic literature is the best I've seen anywhere in a long time, like since the mid-90s when Borders and Barnes & Noble once stocked more than the usual suspects, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Dickens, Dostoyevski, in their Literature sections.

I bought three books at Gatsby's today; all of which, I'd never seen for sale anywhere else previously.

1. The Richard Trilogy: Things As They Are [1951], Everything to Live For [1968], The Thin Mountain Air [1977]  by an unknown I'll soon get to know, Paul Horgan, a writer of the American southwest, in particular, New Mexico, praised highly by Wallace Stegner.  Works for me. 

2. Tirant Lo Blanc by Joanot Martorell & Marti Joan de Galba.  The obscure Catalan novel from 1490 mentioned by name and praised in Don Quixote, and not available in English translation until 1984.

3. The Atlas, first printing
The Atlas
William Vollmann

Of course I knew about the latter, long time Vollmann fan, just never seen it, as Vollmann's work from the 90s becomes scarcer and scarcer to come by (unless you bite the bullet and order online, which I'd rather not do since I prefer the book hunt of stalking and scoping out real bookstores).

Gatsby's caters to a clientele who want their books in excellent shape.  Free of the dust and must and mold rather typical of most used shops.  You won't find creased spines or dog-eared pages or the bloat of water damage or torn covers.  None of that riff raff here.  No mass markets to speak of either.  Hence, Gatsby's subtitle: "Gently used books." [emphasis mine] 

Gatsby's is a small store (so far) but spacious (well set up, room to sit), and inviting and relaxing to peruse.  Hopefully their non-classic literature sections will one day match the present matchless glory of those mouth-watering classics they've got standing just so, just right, spines out, covers out, on their rich mahogany shelves.

11.11.2010

You and Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney




You are not the type of reader to read Bright Lights, Big City.

You're better than that. You have dignity. You have self respect.

First printing of the first book that launched Vintage Contemporaries in 1984

You're way too good to read Bright Lights, Big City, in fact, a book whose plot is "Snort Snort" and "Wham! bam! thank you Skank!"  You did plenty of clubbing in the 1980s.  You got around, oh yeah!  You called in sick the next day after nights of decadence to your crummy fact-checking gig at the New Yorker or whatever elitist rag it was that once employed you, long before you were somebody important, when you were hungover and maybe still wasted at six in the morning, just exiting the bar, still looking to get your freak on, while colleagues in suits stormed the sidewalks in the morning rush to work, lots of times. 

You did that a lot, and that's the plot (voila!) of Bright Lights, Big City, so why waste any more time reading it?  Because you're nostalgic?  Because you're sentimental?  Because you miss the 1980s?  You are a loser then, aren't you?  You already snorted tons of cocaine, didn't you?!  You know you did.  Big deal.  You've been there done that.  And you did other things too, didn't you?  You did boys and girls, that is, searching out your sexual identity, exploring your natural lascivious inclinations and proclivities.  Are you straight or are you gay or maybe bi?  Experimenting.

Or was that Less Than Zero you were reading?  You should be reading Less Than Zero, a better book by far, (and one that's not written in the gimmicky nor annoying constant second person) but you really need to stay on topic and keep on not reading Bright Lights, Big City, the book that made Jay McInerney (in)famous.  Don't read it.  Don't.  You're too smart to read that shit.  Why don't you break out some Culture Club records if you're going to read Bright Lights, Big City, while you're at it, you dumb retro dweeb?!  Or Wang Chung or Kajagoogoo?  Now there's some lasting music to go with your lasting, "classy" literature.

If you still think you are the kind of reader to read a book like Bright Lights, Big City, then ... fuck you!  You should be used to hearing that too since there's already lots of "fucks" and lots of "yous" in Bright Lights, Big City, isn't there?!  Nothing but "yous"!  It's all about you you you, isn't it?  And you're just not very interesting anymore, are you?  Because you're old, dated, cliche-ridden, and superficial just like you always were.  You're a has been:  Bright Lights, Big City.  That's you, Sucker.  You always did suck but your PR people at the publishing company ran a damn good marketing campaign didn't they, the ingrates.  And your cocaine was low grade anyway the whole time too.  Cut with corn starch or some alleged cancer causing sugar substitute like saccharine.  Cheap Tijuana shit, yo.

11.10.2010

A Free Associating Stream of Consciousness Type Experiment Down a Georgia Creek in Describing Dickey's Deliverance



Before O Brother Where Art Thou there was Deliverance.  
It's Dante's Inferno meets Hee Haw!

Virgil, armed with bow and arrow meets gap-toothed vigilantes with guns.
It's The Odyssey in canoes floating downstream through Georgia wilderness.
Backwoods inbreeding makes banjo virtuoso out of intellectually disabled young boy.
Did the young boy with the banjo ever try out for Hee Haw! and get hisself rejected?

First printing, 1970
It takes a strong steady hand when the arrow is pulled back taut and the target -- a murderous hillbilly -- needs to step back just a little closer ... a little closer ... Keep holding the bow don't lose your grip keep aim ... a little closer ... let it loose ... woo-wee!  Murderous hillbilly's got himself an arrow shot clean through his neck.  Damn thing is so stuck in his neck he cain't even grab it out.  That's a dead hillbilly-would-be-sodomizer-mother fucker there.  Good shot, canoer turned cliff-clinger in the dead of night and hid out in a tree so that the hillbill's with the guns couldn't just pick you off from their perches on cliffs overlooking the creek.  You killed him.  Killed him good.
Fuckers got one of your guys, though.  Not to mention making Ned Beauty their personal ho.   Bastards made 'em squeal like a pig.  Which just makes me realize right now that these backwards brutes undoubtedly had their way with those live hind pork quarters in the pig pen out back their hovels and camps in the mosquito swarming mud scuz ponds.  The pig fuckers got there due though.  Sunk the bastards in the swamp off the creek.  The whole creek's being dammed; nobody'll ever know.  Just get the fuck out of the canyon fast before more of those crazy hillbilly motherfuckers with or without those iconic plucking banjos show up and point more guns in your face and pick off another of your friends.  Brave those rapids, boys.  Won't be easy over them waterfalls.  Will the sirens show up?  You may shipwreck, but you've got to try, downstream is your only escape out of this Georgia creek Hades full of deformed half-men half demons bent on sodomy and murder.  Get to the town.  You'll be safe.  But what will you tell the sheriff there?  What'll you tell the sheriff there when he wonders aloud those two woodsmen are missing; what would you boy know about that?  Them is good boys and they didn't come back home last two nights.  How long you been out on that creek, you say?  And you didn't hear nothing; you didn't see nothing.

No sir.

You boys best leave your contact information here with us.  Something's awful fishy, but I'll be damned if I can put my finger right on it.  You sure you boys are levelling with me?  You got something more you might like to add to what you saw what you heard all those days out there on the creek in the brush?  You really didn't see those boys out there their old ladies say they ain't been home in days; their old ladies say they was heading down to the creek, they heard some gunshots, but you all three nodding at me like that didn't know hyde nor hair of them, is that it?  They didn't bother you and you maybe didn't take the law into your own hands, something like that?

No Sir.

Well  I'm not sure I believe you, but I cain't prove it, none of it, 'sall jus hearsay as far as I's concerned; so you boys just get the hell out of this county right quick if you don't mind, and I sure as perfume won't never make a pig clean, don't  never want to see you here again.  Do you understand me?  I'll arrest all your sorry asses I see you here again.  I'll just trump up some charges, see, the local folk'll demand it, especially if those poor boys don't home here right quick.


We'll be leaving right now, Sheriff, if you're done questioning us.


Yeah, I'm done.  You all just get the fuck outta here right now before I change my mind.


And that's Deliverance by James Dickey, who also wrote the screenplay for the film.


Here's the Original Theatrical Trailer.
Here's the Dueling Banjos.

After Deliverance, you'll never oink like a pig the same way again.

11.07.2010

Led Zeppelin One to Ten: A Fan's Ranking of Their First Ten Albums, 1969 - 1982

1.   Physical Graffiti 










1975; their sixth studio album, and first double-lp.  I was fourteen, and recorded Physical Graffiti off  KLOS (95.5 FM in Los Angeles) on their "Seventh Day" program, a feature each Sunday evening in which the radio station would play seven albums in their entirety, back to back.  I played that Memorex 120-minute cassette tape to death, before finally, when CDs became the latest rage, but weren't so absurdly expensive, finally legally acquired the music.   My favorite rocker off the album at the moment: "The Rover".  My favorite mystique-laden, moody, slower-build-up-ditty at the moment: "Ten Years Gone".  I also absolutely love "Down by the Seaside," and that steel-pedal, country vibe guitar work.  Does the apartment building photographed on the album cover seem vaguely familiar?  Could it be the very same building where Mick Jagger, six years later (1981) intoned the opening lines for the music video of ... "Waiting on a Friend"?   Affirmative!

2.        Presence 
Presence 
1976; their seventh studio album (and least commercially successful).  But since it was so little played on radio, it still sounds fresh today.  My favorite rocker off it?  Well, it's damn difficult picking between "Achilles Last Stand" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine," so why not both?  Favorite mystique-laden, moody slow build up tune: "Tea For One."  A superb, forgotten song, that one.  Creepy album cover, if you know what you're looking at; and by "at" I mean that black thing -- "The Object" -- centerpiece on the table, the obelisk (and frankly, I don't see the similarity of the obelisk, besides it being black, to the monolith of 2001: A Space Odyssey, that it allegedly alludes to), that the "happy family" seem so pleased by in their spiffy threads.  The obelisk is an "occult object" used in seances and such.  What "presence" was Led Zeppelin perhaps, attempting to summon with that artwork, if not their music?  Satanic conspiracy theories, anyone?

3.  Houses of the Holy
Houses of the Holy
1973; their fifth studio album.  Another weird album cover I was warned about in Sunday school.  What's with the blond locked little girls with their bare derrieres climbing what look like some famous stone steppes of Ireland toward a glowing entity?  Is it Celtic mythology depicted?; a Druidical rite of passage taking place?; or is it ... demonic?  Dunno.  Favorite rocker: "The Song Remains the Same."  Favorite ultra mystique-laden slow builder: the mesmerizing "No Quarter".  Now that song sounds demonic, er, I mean, divine!

4.   Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin III
1970; their, uh, (do I really need to state the obvious and say this was their...) third album?  Favorite rocker on a largely laid back acoustic album: "Out on the Tiles".  Favorite slow building acoustic song with steel guitars: "Tangerine".  Favorite acoustic song on the album sans steel guitars: "Gallows Pole".  I spent hours examining this cover to find all the faces and hidden messages and mythological allusions. 

5. In Through the Out Door
In Through the Out Door
1979; their eighth (and final) studio album (ninth album released overall).  Favorite ominous, spooky sounding rocker (with its gothic crescendo of an intro, reminiscent of the film, Suspiria's theme): "In The Evening".  Their best hybrid song mixing synthesizers and electric guitars (the epic): "Carouselambra".  Don't ask me how many different versions of the album cover exist.  I'm not that hardcore.  But I do know if you find the rarer covers, and they're in decent shape, you've got a gold mine on your hands.

6.     Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin 1
1969; their first, eponymous record.  Favorite rocker: "Good Times Bad Times."  You know, I've had my share!  Favorite slow builder; so hard to choose, but I think "How Many More Times" barely beats out "Your Time is Gonna Come."  This time, at least.  "Dazed and Confused" has grown mightily on me over the years.  Didn't really care for it, for whatever reasons, as a teen.

7.     The Song Remains the Same
Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the SameThe Song Remains the Same [Vinyl]
1976; their first live double-lp (8th album released to date), the soundtrack to their surreal, concert documentary film, the concert footage shot in 1973 at Madison Square Gardens.  I like watching the movie more than I do listening to the soundtrack.  What a trip, those four dream sequence vignettes, each one featuring a member of the band, particularly Jimmy Page's cheesily concocted occultic red eyes staring at the jittery camera while he's ... doing God knows what! ... in an English glen beside a pond!  Can't get enough of the John Bonham footage too.  He died at 33!  I prefer his music legacy more than the legacies left behind by Hendrix, Morrison, Moon, Joplin, Phil Lynott, and even Bon Scott.  Hard rockers all; all OD'd.  I still don't understand the appeal of drinking thirty-something shots of (whatever it was) one right after the other, tempting the grave like that.  Love you, Bonzo!  Hope you've got some nice drum sticks in the sky!  But what a boozing bozo, Dude, to meet your death like that.

8.    Led Zeppelin IV
Led Zeppelin IV Zoso LED ZEPPELIN ZOSO BAND LOGO DECAL STICKER
1971; untitled album, most popularly known as their fourth record (IV), but also known as "ZOSO" or "Runes" (see image above of the band member's "runes") among their fans.  I've heard the rockers on this record so many millions of times that I can't say I really have a favorite anymore.  "Black Dog," hey hey mama, probably.  The only song left on this one that still amps me up, makes me go off in my ride (assuming I'm alone, say, commuting back and forth from work) with my invisible, imaginary drum sticks, no surprise, "Stairway to Heaven".  I've heard it played backwards on reel-to-reel tape too.  And there is something there, no joke. One song on side Two, now that I consider it, still intrigues me also: "Four Sticks". 

9.    Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin II
1969; the album that bumped "Abbey Road" from Billboard's #1 album position in November, and that announced loudly to the dawning 1970s, "Hard rock is here!"  I love the Tolkien imagery and allusions of "Ramble On," but my favorite slower song on the album, bar none, has to be the beautiful, "Thank You."  No, Led Zeppelin, "thank you!".  My favorite rocker is "Bring it On Home," with that opening harmonica and Robert Plant mimicking (he, a white Brit) a black American blues singer, before abruptly flooring the gas pedal with those drums ... that guitar ... I didn't get, as a teenager, that Robert Plant was, well, hopefully it's only adults here (there's nobody here, Enrique, don't worry about it), having a recorded orgasm (allegedly) during the psychedelic-sonics of the interlude to "Whole Lotta Love".

10.         Coda
Coda
1982; ah, the end ... an album of previously unreleased outtakes, with an exceptional retrospective photo-spread of the band mates covering their entire twelve year history included inside.  There's nothing really classic here, but what a healing salve this short, eight song compilation (only thirty-two minutes playing time; short by Zeppelin standards) covering music recorded 1969-1978, was for fans who thought, with Bonham's death, they'd never hear "new" Led Zeppelin music again.  Notice also the upside-down cross on the cover (can you see it?)  Those dastardly musicians!  My favorite on the record is "Poor Tom".

For more on the band, read my review/gushing fan piece, on Stephen R. Davis', Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga ... right here.

Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga

And what would a Zeppelin piece be without at least a mention of their Swan Song record label and cool angelically asexual logo?!  I wore my Swan Song logo T-shirt with pride, New-Wavers with their trendy spiked haircuts be damned!


Official Led Zeppelin YouTube Video Channel.