Place yourself in a bizarre position, as bizarre as some of these symbols: it is America in the late seventies, and a boy, no more than eleven or twelve, is listening, rapt and spellbound, to a voice the like of which he has only heard once before, and even then it was at a distance. It is not entirely clear whether he is aware that the singer is essentially imitating the boy’s father; he hears the last, Sisyphean “roll” at the end of “Stairway To Heaven,” the escalating abstract voice interplay of “Battle Of Evermore,” or the fourth quarter of “Four Sticks,” and something of that smiling despair stays with him and sticks to him, such that when he eventually turns to making music a decade and a half hence, everyone will compare him to this singer, perhaps more so than the inevitable comparisons with the long-gone father whom he never really knew in the first place. Eventually, and prematurely, he will die, slightly inebriated, up to his waist in an unpredictable river, the destruction wrought by which will be described in the record’s final, climactic song; and in almost his last conscious act on Earth he will be singing one of this man’s songs.
Marcello Carlin, on the connection between Led Zep and Jeff Buckley. The world can be very strange.