Friday, December 12, 2008

(Love Me Like Music) I'll Be Your Song


Jason dropping in.

Growing up on a farm outside a small Australian country town (population: 20,000), music options were pretty limited. Exposure certainly wasn't through the local AM radio station. The few shows on TV helped a little (Molly Meldrum on "Countdown", Donnie Sutherland on "Sounds", Rock Arena.....), but it was the magazines that brought the wider world of music to our doorstep - especially for bands that had been and gone. Reading about them was one thing - you'd then have to work out how to get a hold of their back catalogue. Maybe you got lucky in the local bargain bin. Otherwise you had to wait until a trip to the big smoke (Canberra).

In the case of Led Zeppelin IV, it was a musically-enlightened class-mate (there must have been, hell, two of them).

And so I found "Going to California".

Someone told me there's a girl out there
With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair
To find a queen without a king,
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings
I used to wonder who Robert Plant had in my mind.....

A year later I found Heart. This time it was their 1985 smash "What About Love". I thought it was their debut single until a metal mag pointed out their back catalogue to me (no internet in those days). So again, the trawl.

And theirs has been an interesting progression - starting with folk, to rock, through to the power-pop of the 80s ("Alone" is now one of those "Moment" songs on American Idol - its all about the Capital-M-Moment maaaaan), on to indie associations (guitarist Nancy Wilson married Cameron Crowe and helped compile the "Almost Famous" soundtrack") and Seattle-cred - the Wilson sisters formed The Lovemongers and released an EP that included Zeppelin's own "Battle of Evermore". Zeppelin bassist, John Paul Jones, even produced their 1995 live acoustic album.

But the first album I got a hold of (other than 85's "Heart", of course, probably the reason I thought it was their debut) was "Dreamboat Annie" (a bargain bin double cassette bundled with their "Little Queen" album).

To my ears, older sister and singer Ann Wilson, who grew up in southern California, was the girl Robert Plant had in mind. "(Love Me Like Music) I'll Be Your Song" is not a song I can listen to twice in a row. But when it appears at random on the pod, I slow my pace breathing gets a little wistful....yes, Robert's girl would sing something like "If you love me like music, I'll be your song."

That album is loaded with (gulp) easy listening folk music that would not have been out of place on 2GN. There are songs I prefer on that album - Soul Of The Sea, How Deep It Goes, Dreamboat Annie itself......but its this song that had Robert reaching California, finding Ann, as the guitar slides:
Can you feel the light shine
You now this song's yours and mine

Photo: ST TROPEZ. Taken by Jason Bryant


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Going To California is about Joni Mitchell...