“I met God, he drums for Led Zeppelin”
I think I actively only listened to Led Zeppelin for about 8 months. I didn’t get bored because of the sheer amount of variety. Every song was different, I didn’t understand how one band could produce such an expanse of music, let alone powerful and mesmerizing. The only way I managed to move on was because I heard something else. My flatmate in second year told me to listen to The Dark Side of The Moon by Pink Floyd. I knew there was a massive amount of hype and wonder around it, so I planned a 50 minute break where I wouldn’t be interrupted and lied down in my bed with my headphones on. To be honest, I didn’t really get it the first time I listened to it. Or the second. I didn’t hate it but I certainly didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t understand it at all, it felt like someone had thrown together lots of strange sounds from airports and shops. However the third time I listened to it I actually began to appreciate the lyrics and find some meaning in them. It was Time that particularly stood out to me and I am sure I am not alone in saying that. The lyrics left me feeling as cold as ice.
The song was written by Roger Waters when he was 29 (I believe) when he realized that he was no longer waiting for things in life to happen, but he was in the middle of life, experiencing it. I don’t know how accurate that is, however it certainly got me thinking about and questioning my own life. What was I doing waiting for things to happen to me when I should be making them happen. I believe this is what caused me to experience a form of existential dread in my second year of university. Questioning ones existence isn’t really a pleasant experience, it led me to a state of what felt like madness and depression, however it did open my mind to the understanding that we are not permanent here. We have roughly 80 years in which we spend 20 becoming the person we will likely be for the next 60. I don’t know what will happen in those years or how I or the world will change, but I will be damned sure I will make the most of it and do what I want, not what I am expected to. Currently I would like to go into research mathematics, it may not be the easiest or the most economical, but it I believe I will be happy discovering new things in the world Mathematics.
Back on the topic of music, I think I had (and still have) an obsession with Pink Floyd. The Wall, Animals and Wish You Were Here were the next albums that I listened to. I knew then that this wasn’t just a “one album band” and I did what I did with Led Zeppelin; I made a playlist of their studio albums and listened to them in order. It started off pretty difficult, I didn’t really enjoy the first few albums, basically anything up to Dark Side, but eventually I began enjoying them. I’m still unsure of Ummagumma, I haven’t listened to that one as much as the others.
I would say that Pink Floyd had a bigger impact on me than Led Zeppelin did, however that shouldn’t discredit their importance to me. After bringing a friend to see to Robert Plant live, I set him down a similar path I walked. I am glad that I could share these treasures with someone.