Monday, March 16, 2009

Stairway to 11:51 pm

Radio used to be different.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, every single station in the U.S. (with the possible exception of the airport information stations) was required to play "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin immediately before midnight. So any teenagers fooling around in cars with the ratio on would always have warning -- even if they were listening to 24-hour news stations, opera stations, or NPR -- that they needed to stop what they were doing in order to get home in time for curfew. And teenagers without dates would know that they were one day closer to being able to go off to college and escape the small-minded hypocrisy of their hometowns.

And, by the way, do we really want the radio suggesting just before midnight that there might be a bustle in our hedgerows (whatever that might mean)?

As a result, anyone who grew up listening to radio in the 1970s or 1980s never needs to hear this song ever again.

Unless it's performed like this.

Or maybe like this.


Anonymous said...

I always thought a bustle in your hedgerow meant a stick in your kazoo ... but that's just me! What I really meant to ask you was ... what do you think about John McVie's Gotta Band with Lola Thomas?

Highly underrated IMO.

Alex said...

I've actually never heard this (and it seems to have gone out of print a while ago), but judging from the descriptions I've seen online, it's probably something I'd enjoy.