Saturday, May 29, 2010
I'm very pleased to announce that Back to Schoolin' has been reviewed most generously by world-renowned Zeppelin expert and author, Dave Lewis:
"Similar in feel to the recent Led Zeppelin Philosophy volume, Kevin Courtright's Back to Schoolin' offers a wealth of in depth Zep analysis. His own leanings as a musician aids his understanding of the musical diversity of the band. There are microscopic dissections on every aspect of the Zep spectrum: lyrical symbolism, live performance, improvisation, production techniques, session appearances, business practice, album artwork and artistic integrity -- all these subjects are stripped back with intimate detail. The rather dry tone of this type of research work may not be for everyone, but as the title implies, dedicated scholars of Led Zeppelin and those anxious to learn more on the philosophy of the band, will find much to glean from Kevin Courtright's admirable mass of Zepp cornucopia."
This review is contained in the latest issue of his magazine, Tight But Loose. Most Zeppelin fans know the name Dave Lewis, but a few words are in order.
Dave, who grew up and lives in England, is a Zeppelin fan since the early 70's. He has the honor of having seen the band some 12 or 13 times, including such milestone concerts as the 5 night season at Earls Court in London, in May 1975 (all 5 shows!), as well as both shows as headliners at the Knebworth Festival in August 1979. Dave is author of the books Led Zeppelin: The Concert File (with Simon Pallett); Led Zeppelin: A Celebration; Led Zeppelin: The Tight but Loose Files: Celebration II; Led Zeppelin: The Compete Guide To Their Music; Then As It Was - Led Zeppelin At Knebworth; and the forth-coming Led Zeppelin - Feather in the Wind: Over Europe 1980 (due out later this year.) Some of these books indeed serve as valuable well of information for me when writing Back to Schoolin'. I highly recommend subscribing to Dave's Tight But Loose magazine. It is well worth it! (go to: www.tblweb.com )
Any consideration of one's work is always appreciated, but positive considerations are highly rewarding. I want to thank Dave for his kind words!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
In 1919 a Russian named Leon Theramin invents an electronic device the intent of which is utilization as a musical instrument. In 1969 a Brit named Jimmy Page enlists this electronic musical instrument, aptly named a "Theramin", to add an other-worldly, psychedelic touch to the middle section of the Rock anthem he and his band-mates Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones have written (with lyrical borrowings from Bluesman Willie Dixon), called "Whole Lotta Love". This bringing together of Old World and New, Eastern hemisphere and Western, Scientist/Inventor and Musician/Composer/Producer proves to be an unlikely but highly successful synthesis.
Mr. Theramin invents his instrument while his country is suffering through its civil war/communist revolution. Mr. Page makes use of Theramin's instrument while Great Britain and the United States are suffering through a period of civil unrest/counter-cultural revolution. But regardless of the times and conditions in which the instrument is invented (Mr. Theramin) and later utilized to such magnificent effect (Mr. Page), the unquenchable spirit of creativity, over the back-drop of revolutionary upheaval, unveils for us the universal penchant for the transcendence of the arts -- in this case, music.
Obviously Mr. Theramin can not possibly imagine in the 1920's the remarkable manner in which Mr. Page will use his instrument in the 1960's/1970's, but this ability of each to tap into the muse for musical inspiration, distant in time from one another, solidifies for us the eternality of the creative spirit. From Leon Theramin proceeds forth a musical/electronic cross current, right to Jimmy Page. Though divided by time, they are united by creative purpose. Let music lovers everywhere rejoice.