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Friday, May 04, 2007

Girl who sings blues buys stairway to Heaven

"I've noticed that no one changes the station when "American Pie" comes on; they always listen to the whole thing and sing along with the chorus. However, almost no one listens to "Stairway To Heaven" all the way through." (Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live, p. 144, middle paragraph)

Now how true is that? I know it's true for me. I, for unfathomable reasons, am quite fond of "American Pie". I listen to it every time it comes on the classic rock station in my car, and I sing along to all of it, not just the chorus. "Stairway to Heaven", however, is horrendous. When it comes on The Bone, I flip the station, then switch it back when I know the almost-end is coming up. I don't like 85% of "Stairway to Heaven" but I do like the bit which begins with "And as we wind on down the road".

I like Led Zeppelin, though. And I don't like Don McClean. Long-haired, side-pipe-rocking, Aleister Crowley-channeling Brits are way better than middle American everymen who write tributes to Fred Astaire and Vincent Van Gogh. So how come I can't stand most of "Stairway to Heaven" but know every word to "American Pie"? It's not like I have any visceral reaction or attachment to either song. Both are exceptionally overplayed and overrated by nearly every classic rock station in the US. Both pretend to be important and neither really succeeds. And I bet if you tried to play the opening bars of "American Pie" in a music shop, the bassist from Slaughter would rush up and stop you.

What was my point again?

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