Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kashmir by Led Zeppelin

First, I would like to thank Perplexio for his suggestions including Kashmir by Led Zeppelin off the Physical Graffiti album. I do have a couple of smaller stories I would like to share about this song.

When I first starting learning drums I had already been a Zeppelin freak (as immortalized in my high school yearbook). So it was no surprise that John Bonham became an early influence on me. I remember playing Kashmir in the basement and just getting into a zone while pounding away that amazing drum beat. The bass drum beats in the middle sections were a bit tricky for me at first but I eventually got it down. The long rolls near the end were especially fun and challenging for me at the time. I still enjoy playing Kashmir on the drums.

Skip ahead to the present where I am a family man and an avid fan of karaoke. We purchased a machine for my older son and we love it. Now even my 4 year old songs along (look for videos of this in the near future). As mentioned before, I have been a Zeppelin guy for most of my life and Robert Plant to this day is my favorite singer of all time. I always joked with people that if I could sing like that I would quit my job tomorrow. He was real, raw and powerful. So yes, I try to sing along to Led Zeppelin tunes with Kashmir being my all time favorite song to try and imitate. I have sang in public before while in bands and so I can sing somewhat, but we all know trying to copy Robert Plant is not easy. I love to try on this song because of the vibe it has. The moaning, groaning and the notes he hits are just magical even in my living room. Nothing is more rewarding than being able to hold that long note near the middle.

All I see turns to brown, as the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand, as I scan this wasted land
Trying to find, trying to find where I've beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.

Thanks again Perplexio for the suggestions. Do you have a memory from this song? Let me know.


  1. Die hard fanatic of Zeppelin here as well! I remember seeing Page/Plant in concert in Chicago during their reunion tour. The encore, you guessed it, was Kashmir! A totally different version than the one created in the studio! The song stared out slow, gaining momentum using a symphony and the Egyptian Ensemble to create more of a Middle Eastern effect. Even a violin solo (not the violin bow thing) in it! Incredible!

    It sounded quite similar to this.

  2. I saw the same Page and Plant concert here in Milwaukee. They had part of the Milwaukee Symphony like the video link you posted. I was literally in tears. I never thought I would see any form of Zeppelin live. While I admit i don't listen to them as much as I used to, they are always there in my heart. I am sure when my ears tire of the prog metal stuff I listen to now, I will fall back gently into the arms of my beloved Led Zeppelin.

  3. One of my favorite versions of Kashmir is by the late Kevin Gilbert. Gilbert was an insanely talented musician and a brilliant songwriter in his own right. Much of his music is a scathing indictment of pop culture and the music industry that chewed him up and spat him out. Gilbert died of auto-erotic asphyxiation (the same thing that Michael Hutchence of INXS died of) in 1996, at the age of 29. The timing of his death was especially unfortunate as he was scheduled to fly to England the following weekend to audition with Genesis to replace Phil Collins as their new lead singer. Gilbert was a huge fan of early Genesis (he even performed their Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album in its entirety at Progfest in 1994) and likely would have urged Banks & Rutherford to their prog-rock roots had he gotten that gig.

    Gilbert's version is stripped down and bare. His vocals are raw pure naked emotion. And he doesn't try to sing the song like Plant. He sings the song HIS way. Don't take my word for it-- listen for yourself - Kevin Gilbert - Kashmir

  4. I have heard about Kevin Gilbert in the prog circles. I have not really head anything by him except this amazing version of Kashmir you sent me. Very haunting in the beginning. I love it. Thanks for post.

  5. I like Led Zeppelin there music is awesome. The way that John Bonham played the drums in the music no else can even be compared to him and Robert Plant's voice is awesome. I think that Physical Graffiti is one there best album. I was talking to someone the other day about the band and I told them that listening to them live is better than the studio versions. Because the live you can hear how they really sound. The studio version they can cut clips here and there and make sound totally different. I wish I was able to see them in concert before John Bonham passed away.

    I read a book about the band and some of the things they did on the road really amazed me. I wrote about it on my blog.