Sunday, December 30, 2007

Led Zeppelin - "Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)" (1969)

While shooting bumper pool at the East New York YMHA's teen lounge, this song thundered out of the jukebox (literally) and stopped everything. I walked over to peer behind the glass to see the red and green 45 spinning around playing this song. From then on, I was poking the request digits for this song, as it just blew me away every time.

To this day, I remember everything about this three-minute song that pushed a button for me: Robert Plant's untamed and biting vocals ("ohh, you got it!" at the end of Jimmy Page's guitar solo), the machine-like thump of John Bonham's drums, the building guitar chords after each chorus ("So you better lay your money dow-w-w-wn!") and that crazy lead figure that leads to "Living... loving... she's just a woman."

That was enough for me to scrape together enough money and buy the Led Zeppelin II at some department store that is probably long out of business (Korvettes?). I didn't have the greatest phonograph player when I was 12, but it didn't matter. I loved every second of this album and damn, this was the second longest drum solo on an album I had ever heard (next to Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," of course). Right after "Living Loving Maid" was the hiss and crackle that lead to the soft acoustic strumming of "Ramble On." Still, this was by far the loudest record I owned at the time (not much competition at this point either with Seals & Crofts' Summer Breeze).

There are tons of online videos showing amateur guitarists demonstrating the riffs and solos of this song, and Lord knows how many cover bands, including this out-of-nowhere one from a local Canadian morning TV show that must have woken up the audience immediately. With no live Zeppelin videos, here's a nice homemade tribute which really is all about the song and definitely not the visuals.

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