Saturday, January 24, 2009

Led Zeppelin

"Back to Schoolin'" by Kevin Courtright

Led Zeppelin. As with most things in life, these words hold different meaning(s) to everyone who reads them. For some, that meaning may be simply "The premiere rock band of the 1970's"; for others "Four excellent musicians whose music defines a generation"; for yet others "The very apex of rock and roll excess and debauchery." As for me, though the meanings above have at one time or another spilled from my lips, I never could have imagined that the meaning "The first and most important music teachers I've been privileged to have", would find utterance.
"Converting" to the music of Zeppelin as a teenager in approximately 1978, I am certainly ignorant of the fact that my quickly growing obsession with the band from that point on actually entails a subconscious absorption of information concerning music and the music business that will one day manifest in my own burgeoning musical career. This manifestation is at once subtle, and obvious. The subtlety reveals itself to me when, after repeated listenings of a particular piece I've written, I come to discover particular shadings, colorings or other such elements have subconsciously found their way into my work which I first hear in Zeppelin's. The more obvious manifestations are when conscious "borrowings" from Zeppelin are employed in my music--a practice that any Zeppelin fan knows is common within Zeppelin's own music. This same scenario finds manifestation in my approach to the presentation of my music (album covers, album titles, etc.), as well as the business approach I utilize with my music. So, whether it is the music itself, the presentation of that music, or the marketing strategy within the confines of the music business, I am indebted to Zeppelin in a multiplicity of ways.
Once I fully realize this indebtedness, I become eager to share what I've learned. The most practical way to do this is to write it down in book form. Thus, Back to Schoolin': What Led Zeppelin Taught Me About Music, is my expression of musical indebtedness to Zeppelin, with the express purpose of passing on a wealth of information and wisdom that I have been pleased to receive over the years to whomever may be teachable enough to likewise reap the benefits. This book is testament to the wonders of both a band of extraordinary power and purpose, as well as the less-than-obvious way in which they have impacted one musician. My gratitude knows no bounds.