Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day LX
Date: 97-08-07 03:40:42 EDT
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)
Sender: zeppelin-l@LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU (DIGITAL GRAFFITI)

...And here we are again. I can't wait to start doing some of the instumental songs as songs of the day, at least the lyric controversy will be eliminated. Ever onward, as someone once said. OK then, how about we venture down south and give good ol' Audrey a visit? What, you don't know who Audrey is? Well she was this ever persistent little groupie who was constantly following our dear Robert around. Seems she just wouldn't leave him alone. So he dedicated a song to her. Down deep in the heart of the lone star state we go, from the "In Through The Outdoor" album, track four, clocking in at 3:17, "Hot Dog."

Roy Clark joins Led-Zeppelin? Sure sounds like it from that intro. Jimmy kicks in with a very fun (and funny) attempt at some good old fashioned country rock. Whoa, hang on a second! Led-Zeppelin in a hoe-down? Oh man, these guys will try anything. Of course considering the time when this was recorded helps explain some of Jimmy's, umm, short comings. His accuracy wasn't quite there, but hey, maybe he meant it to be that way, who knows? The solo is a scream, only Pagey could come up with that one.

While Bonzo is as solid as usual, it is John Paul who really shines through on this track. His honky tonk piano is just amazing. His versatility as a musician is quite evident, as he effortlessly eases into this song. In fact he shines on the entire "Outdoor" album, showcasing his talents many times over. The piano solo in the intro is happy and fun, and really helps set the vibe for the entire piece.

A song about a certain "girlfriend" of Robert's who lived in Texas and was always there whenever the group hit the state. Robert's lyrics are a hoot as well. Reflecting on personal experience here or making it up? Who knows with Robert. The tongue is very much planted deep in his cheek.

     "Well well well I just got into town today,
      to find my girl has gone away...
      She took the greyhound at the general store
      I searched myself I searched the town,
      but when I finally did sit down...
      I found myself no wiser than before...

      She said we couldn't do no wrong
      no other love could be so strong...
      she locked up my heart in her bottom drawer...
      Now she took my heart she took my keys
      from in my old blue dungarees...
      and I'll never go to Texas anymore..."

Well what to say after that? You just have to love the humour that Zeppelin, and particularly Plant, exhibited during their career. The ability to carry that over to song and do it well is something to be much admired. Robert's lyrics are just too funny in this song, but my favourite line is this: "I took her love at 17, a little late these days it seems, but they said Heaven's well worth waiting for." 17? A "little late?" That has to be Pagey telling him that: "Gotta get 'em when their 14 Robert." Then the classic line that follows: "I took her word I took it all, beneath a sign that said U-haul, and she left angels hangin' 'round for more."

Ah yes, a bit of humour is what we need, and Zeppelin is the perfect vehicle for that. "Hot Dog" began its life at rehearsals in London as they dove into some old fifties songs to warm up. A nod to Elvis and all of their rockabilly heroes, a brief "light" moment for the band, both in the studio and on the stage. "Hot Dog" was premiered at the Copenhagen warm up shows in 1979, and would stay in the set for the Knebworth shows as well as the 1980 "Over Europe" tour. An actual promo video was made for "Hot Dog" and released by Swan Song to the record industry. The video contained footage of the Knebworth performance.

The ability to poke fun at oneself is a very good trait. A good lesson that we would all be wise to adhere to. So have a laugh, have some Zeppelin, and remember... smile people, it's only life.

Rock on,

Jeff

 

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