This song title, “Dazed and Confused,” sums up the ideologies of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, lead singer and guitarist of Led Zeppelin, respectively.
The content of Zeppelin’s songs displays the contrasting viewpoints the band members held. While spirituality, love, and peace meant a lot to Plant and Page, they participated in very violent, crude, and disturbing affairs.
“Over the Hills and Far Away” is a prime example of Plant’s and Page’s idealism and sort of hippie views. This song was written while Page and Plant vacationed in a place called Brom Raur in Wales. The twosome spent time in the woods composing music and writing lyrics. This sense of nature and adoration of pastoral living was reflected in the sound and lyrics of “Over the Hills and Far Away.” The song title actually derives from a poem in the saga Lord of the Rings. The band was major LOTR fans. The hobbits’ lifestyle was ideal to Plant. In fact, Plant bought a farmhouse and raised sheep on it with his family. Below is a picture of Plant and his family on his farm:
Plant idealized pre-Industrial society and had a fascination with ancient Celtic history. He wanted his music to make teens look at the past and learn the wisdom from it. Unfortunately, most fans didn’t get this message. One night in LA, a show was canceled to the fans’disappointment. Out of spite, the fans destroyed the stadium in which the show was to be performed. This act of violence hurt Plant. He claimed that this unruly attitude was not the impression he had hoped Led Zeppelin would have on his fans.
“Whole Lotta Love,” “Black Dog,” and “Rock’n’Roll” epitomize Led Zeppelin’s indulgence in a lifestyle of excess. Though seemingly supporting peace and love, Plant and Page promoted the lustful and dirty kind of love in the mentioned tunes. “Whole Lotta Love,” which includes Plant’s impression of a girl climaxing, became the finale at their shows on their first tour and remained the climax of the show from then on. Sometimes, the band would drag out the instrumental section for thirty minutes. Sex, drugs, and alcohol highly influenced the tour-lives of the band. Though Plant was happily married with his wife back in the UK, he fooled around with the mass of groupies while in the States. Here the band is with some groupies:
The band hid their lives from their wives to the point where they would tell their wives they were in Ohio, when really they were in LA or NYC. The wives knew LA and NYC meant trouble. Led Zeppelin treated their groupies terribly. I won’t go into detail, but the “mudshark incident” began the escapades of the band. They trashed most hotels they stayed in by tearing up the walls or spraying the fire hose all over the room. Their tour lifestyle strongly contrasted their home lifestyle back in England.
In short, Led Zeppelin led two lives, one of idealism and one of excess, which is evident in the content of their songs. I guess the artists didn’t really know what they wanted. Maybe they were just too “Dazed and Confused” to bother to reflect on their lives.