Weekend Plans Post: Kingdom Come
A million years ago, back in 1988, there was a concert advertised on MTV for THE MONSTERS OF ROCK. You couldn’t watch for 10 minutes without seeing 2 commercials and a Kurt Loder speech about the concert.
Van Halen was touring for OU812, Scorpions was touring for Savage Amusement, Dokken was touring for Back for the Attack, Metallica had And Justice For All coming out about a month after the tour ended, and Kingdom Come had, you know, Kingdom Come that they were promoting.
What I thought was funny was that MTV was making such a big deal of these guys but they wouldn’t touch Metallica with a 10 foot pole otherwise. I had never seen a Metallica video but, you know, there was no shortage of Van Halen, Scorpions, Dokken, or Kingdom Come on there. In discussing the upcoming tour with friends (there was *NO WAY* that I was going to go, but they were all talking about how they were going to get tickets), they explained that Van Halen was awesome (though Van Hagar was less awesome than the previous incarnation), Scorpions were awesome, Dokken was awesome…ish…, METALLICA WAS REALLY AWESOME OH MY GOSH, and, yeah, Kingdom Come sucked.
I had listened to Kingdom Come a bunch of times and I thought, huh, they’re pretty good. They remind me of, you know, Led Zeppelin. Here:
See? A little bit of Kashmir, a little bit of Black Dog… what’s not to like?
Well, my peers explained, they were totally ripping off Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page explained that he thought it was awful what those kids were doing, ripping off that signature sound. And, welp, that message got passed along to my peers while missing me entirely and they hated Kingdom Come while I was thinking, hey, it’s not like Zeppelin is putting out any new albums.
As I got older and learned more about the history of rock and roll, I learned that Jimmy Page had his own… let’s call it “cavalier” attitudes towards borrowing the sound of others. The song “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” was credited to “Traditional, arr. by Jimmy Page” instead of to Anne Bredon who wrote it less than a decade before. (Anne Bredon missed the song all through the 70’s and finally learned of Led Zeppelin’s version in the 80’s. Starting in 1990, she got her name on the song and a chunk of change.)
Here’s her version (the original):
Having heard it, I now understand how she went 10 years not hearing Led Zeppelin’s version and, at the same time, having a circle that didn’t contain anybody who would have heard Led Zeppelin’s version.
Jimmy Page hadn’t heard that version, though. He’d only heard Joan Baez:
You can kinda hear the seeds of Led Zeppelin’s version in there.
Well, not only was there that incident, but there was also the incident between Stairway to Heaven and Spirit’s song “Taurus” (jump to 0:44 if you just want to get to the juicy bit):
Led Zeppelin toured with Spirit. Jimmy Page had their album in his collection. They went to court over this and the case was finally decided just LAST YEAR. The court found for Led Zeppelin and the appeal made it to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal which pretty much finally puts a lid on this one for good.
Anyway, Kingdom Come came and went and there were a bunch of bands that did their best to sound like Led Zep (but not *TOO* much like Led Zep) until Wolfmother came out and said “you know what? It’s time” and they out kingdom came Kingdom Come:
When Mike Patton (from Faith No More) was giving an interview at one of the Lollapaloozas and heard Wolfmother singing this song, he immediately stopped the interview and asked the interviewer “Are you hearing this?!?!? WHAT YEAR ARE WE IN?!?!?”
Well, I disagree with him and disagree with my peers from 1988 and, yeah, disagree with Jimmy Page. Hey, it’s not like Zeppelin is putting out any new albums.
Anyway, this weekend, I’ll probably be studying for my (not-yet-scheduled) test and listening to music to help me calm down while I do so.
So… what’s on your docket?