Led Zeppelin is the most incredible rock and roll band of all time. Their songs, albums, and music are loved and adored by decades of fans all over the world. Turn on the radio and you will hear classic Zeppelin songs like “Stairway to Heaven”, “Kashmir”, and “Immigrant Song.” But, one particular album has bridged the generations and has provided this generation and more specifically, the 2016 Presidential Election with a musical explanation unlike none other. A musical explanation that will help you select your next President. Just follow the songs, answer the questions, and your answer will be clear.
That album is the band’s first release, simply “Led Zeppelin I.”
- Good Times, Bad Times – This Presidential election has been about perception of reality and how we are doing as a country. Do we live in good times and hope to continue the path that others in one party have started? Or do we live in bad times and need a fresh start, as outlined by one party? Good times or bad times – your answer should help you decide a candidate who will either stay the course or take us in a new direction.
- Baby, I’m Gonna Leave You – The two major parties, Republican and Democrats, have seen an exodus by Senators and Representatives of their own party. Instead of aligning themselves with a particular candidate, these Republican and/or Democratic men and women have stated publicly, in various speeches and I am paraphrasing here “Forget the party, I cannot support that person.” Wow, Baby I’m gonna leave you to fend for yourself in the party that I represent and cast my vote for the other candidate or maybe a write in candidate. Interesting.
- You Shook Me – Shocking allegations continue to pour in about events that happened months, years, even decades ago about these candidates. Things were said, things were sent, things were mishandled, things were proven false, things were so shocking that it caused people to pause and think. What do these shocking events, some of which happened years and years ago, have anything to do with your vote? That is for you to decide. Does something uttered under confidence 20 years ago mean something to you today? How about a misjudgment of policy in a lifetime of excellent public service? Again, this is for you to decide and vote the candidate you can forgive for their mishaps and personal conduct.
- Dazed and Confused – I saw a poll the other day that said close to 80% of the public are just plain disgusted with the 2016 Presidential Election. People who normally vote Republican are dazed and confused with a candidate who has never been in the military nor served public office. People who normally vote Democrat are dazed and confused over a candidate who mishandled confidential emails and has a checked history serving as Secretary of State. Those Republicans who thought a standard, safe candidate would be leading the charge against the Democrats are dazed and confused as to how a certain candidate became their party’s candidate for the Presidency. Those Democrats who were so eager to “Feel the Bern” and reap the benefits of change are dazed and confused as to how a certain candidate became their party’s candidate for the Presidency. And in the meantime, the American public is just dazed and confused as to which candidate will do the right thing, not lie through their teeth, and make this country better for our children.
- Your Time is Gonna Come – I had to replay one segment of the second debate when one candidate threatened to jail the other candidate, should that candidate be elected to office. As for the two candidates, the truth has come out. The truth about abuse of power. The truth about mishandling and misjudging policies. The truth about their personal lives. The truth has come out and it became a chess match on Twitter between the release of the news sources and the spin doctoring of the candidates. Tell the truth and stick with your story. If you lie or “mis-speak” or talk out of turn, guess what??? Someone will call you out and your time is gonna come to face the American people and tell the truth.
- Black Mountain Side – Finally, an instrumental to break the tension here. No vocals, just incredible music on this track. The song is rife with upbeat tempos, solos after solos, great percussion, a lively and spirited song with folk and jazz influences. Jimmy Page is just brilliant on whatever instrument he plays on this track. But again, there is a steady rhythm aspect of the song with a constant and vibrant soloing interjected over the rhythm. Perhaps a symbol of one party being steady and staying the course and the other party looking to mix it up a bit. Hmmm. And then the song finishes with an abrupt end.
- Communication Breakdown – This Presidential election has shown the American public just how bad each candidate is. Their treatment of women, the military and Veterans, Hispanics, the middle class has all been on full time display on social media, news outlets, and during each of the Presidential debates. Bad mouthing and mud slinging are standard practices of any election but this year it has cast a shadow so wide reaching. This shadow has prevented the light of day to shine on the candidates’ visions of American. They have spent so much time telling me, you, us the American people how bad the other person, they have seemingly forgotten to tell me, you, us the American people why they are so good and deserve your vote. There is good in each of these candidates, but by the time you sift through all of the bad they have done, you are exhausted.
- I Can’t Quit You Baby – Despite the scandals that would break up most companies, most marriages, most friendships, the loyal followers of each candidate just seem to keep on keeping on. One has been sued hundreds of times, been accused of sexual misconduct, was found to have lied about sensitive issues like the birthplace of a certain US President, and uses locker room talk at tea parties. One has a husband with a documented history of sexual misconduct, was investigated during the election season by the FBI, has been quoted that the other party has crowds of deplorable people, and made questionable decisions in an overseas situation involving our US Military. And yet, the crowds were there. The poll numbers were there. The families stood on stage with big smiles and helped raise the hand of their candidate. I can’t quit you baby – no matter how many bad judgments you have made, I’m sticking with you.
- How Many More Times – The negative ads on TV during an election season just seem to be increasing and increasing day by day. In the morning, you have a negative ad about a candidate and what he says and why kids should not have to hear such awful things. You have a cartoon ad with a rental truck backing up boxes labelled “Whitewater” or “Benghazi” up to the White House asking do we want this kind of baggage back in Washington. You have ads that mention the alleged sexual misconduct of one candidate. You have ads that target the “rigging” of the election. Nothing about how to create jobs or create a positive outlook on college debt or how we are going to shift to a renewable energy type economy. Nope, just he did this and she did this and how awful this person is and how could you possibly vote for someone that did that? How many more times do we have to see a negative ad? After today, the answer will hopefully be none. That is until the 2020 election, of course.
This Led Zeppelin album is going to be my road map for my vote this year. I love the music so I think I’ll play in many, many times today. Until Rachel asks me “How Many More Times are you gonna play that record?” To which I’ll respond “I’m dazed and confused.” I will vote, that is for sure. But it may take several flips of this album to get my vote decided.