‘Vette Tunes – Led Zeppelin “The Ocean,” Live From New York, 1973

“Led Zeppelin, The Corvette Of Rock…”

Years ago someone tagged an overpass in my hometown with just those words.

It resonated deeply with me and is the inspiration for our new, re-occuring column here on Corvette Online, ‘Vette Tunes.

Cars, music, and fashion have long been inter-connected. Post-war optimism and the baby boom saw a collusion of the three elements and each were heavily monetized by their respective industries.

The ensuing automotive “lifestyle” phenomena has since morphed into many iterations, each with it’s own roster of luminaries, stalwarts and peccadilloes.  The Grateful Dead and crusty VW buses, imports and Maroon 5, old BMW’s and Jimmy Buffet, you get the drift.

 Brian Wilson and Mike Love were key tastemakers, interweaving car culture with their music.

Marketing teams the world over have spent many a long night trying to identify tastemakers, predict new trends or, God willing, create new ones.

Whether organically occurring or not, nothing beats a top down cruise in a clean car with a really great song wafting out of the speakers.

Corvettes and rock music seem to go hand in hand. Even though we will explore all genres in our quest for the perfect Corvette playlist, Zeppelin seems a good stepping off point.

Song of The Week- Led Zeppelin’s “The Ocean,” Live From 1973

The British band’s incendiary live version of “The Ocean” was tucked away for years. Originally released on the Atlantic album “Houses Of The Holy” in 1973, it’s a text book example of high decibel riff rock that evidently, only Jimmy Page can summon.

This live version–from Zeppelin’s sold out, multiple night run at Madison Square Garden–was curiously not ncluded in Zeppelin’s official live performance film and soundtrack, “The Song Remains The Same” from 1976.

Only when Jimmy Page went into “the vaults,”–probably in the bowels of a medieval castle somewhere in England–and re-mastered long forgotten, but smoking hot, live material from the band at the height of it’s powers, did we get to see this preening performance from these rock gods.

Jimmy is looking very occult in his dragon emblazoned suit and Robert Plant is full-on Haight Ashbury hippie, and conspicuously dressing “to the right,” while John Bonham and John Paul Jones calmly lay down a crushing rhythm section.

The Perfect ‘Vette – Chrome bumper C3 – Any ‘Vette would do, but like choosing the appropriate wine with dinner, we think the perfect ‘Vette for this era of Zeppelin would be a C3.  Chrome bumper, 427, 390hp motor, four-speed transmission, and Cragar mags with big rubber.

Bellbottoms, miniskirts, bamboo rolling papers and a “McGovern ’72” or “Nixon ’72, Now More Than Ever..” sticker would be apropos as well.

Why It Rocks – Melody, drums, vocals, bombast.  All of Zeppelin’s best traits boiled down to their essence. The song is about Plant singing to an “ocean” of people at Zeppelin concerts and his then 3 year-old daughter Carmen. Also, it’s one of the few Zeppelin songs where John Bonham contributes vocals. The end section is a 50’s doo-wop throw back that is a nice finishing touch.

Crank it up.

Let us know in the comments what your favorite ‘Vette Tunes are, and who knows?  We might spotlight ’em.

Can you imagine the fuss folks would make about this album cover now?

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods.
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