Friday, September 10, 2004

Stairway vs. Freebird

I would like to attempt to debunk a popular belief in the annals of Rock Mythology. I think it is most commonly believed that Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is Rock and Roll's most requested song of all time, as voted on by just about every FM radio listener in the past 30 years. From High School dances to radio request broadcasts, it has just become an accepted fact that this schmaltzy eight minute long power ballad has given rise to more pubescent boners than Rebecca DeMornay.

There is a strong case supporting ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as the most requested Rock song ever. Inevitably, every teenage boy has requested this rock odyssey at least a zillion times at High School dances and Youth Club soirees for the guaranteed opportunity to rub their raging hard-on’s into the bellies of the objects of their school boy affections, for almost an entire 10 minutes undisturbed. It also promises a chance to prove to their prospective sweethearts what a great crooner they are by singing along to the entire song into the ear of the poor female trapped in their clutches.

This also lends to the fact that all females actually abhor this song as they inevitably end up mauled and serenaded by Peter Pimplepuss from Biology class who suspiciously smells like formaldehyde and stuccos the inside of his locker with his collected belly button lint. It’s no wonder they all disappear together in a gaggle into the Girls bathroom immediately afterwards when the song is over as they probably feel the incredible need to scrub themselves down with disinfectant and a steel Brillo Pad and take hits off the communal crack pipe in order to erase the whole sordid memory of this recent ordeal from their heads altogether, forever.

But regardless, the influx of horny male machismo prevails and propels ‘Stairway to Heaven’ into the coveted #1 slot in the Most Requested Rock Song and automatically into mythical status. It is my claim however, that contrary to popular belief, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is not all the all-time Most Requested Rock Song. But instead, those lofty laurels in fact rightfully belong to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic Southern shit-kicker power ballad ‘Freebird’; the original drunken rebel-rousers Call-to-Arms.

What it may lack in actual urgent dance and radio call-in pleas, ‘Freebird’ makes up for in obnoxious inebriated shout-outs at any genuine performance or presentation before a live audience. I am willing to wager that it is a universal law of nature that governs and guarantees that ‘Freebird’ will be hollered out, at least once, any place where more than a dozen people have conspicuously gathered. I even bet that some drunken tuxedoed knob will eventually holler out “FREEBIRD!” at a concert performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra during their brief segue from Braham’s ‘Lullaby’ into Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ from the theater’s Martini Bar in the back. I further bet that even street mimes at one time or another have had boisterous observers request this token salute during their vigorous performing of ‘Feeding Peanuts to an Elephant’ in the public park. It’s just natural law. It has to be done!

If nobody else, some drunk who has spent the entire show passed out wrapped around the toilet bowl in the Men’s bathroom in a puddle of his own vomit will regain consciousness and sober up just long enough to scream out “FREEBIRD!” just as the band begins to wind down for a break before the encore. He may not even know hos own name at this point, but he has enough common sense to request the token 'Freebird'. It’s as inevitable as the moons gravitational pull affecting the Earths tides, or as certain as the traumatic aftermath of Captain Hook high-fiving Edward Scissorhands during a vigorous game of beach volleyball.

In fact, I immediately suspect that Armageddon was upon us and that I was actually playing witness to one of the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse if ever a complete concert was to successfully conclude without the mandatory token ‘Freebird’ request being shouted out from the Peanut Gallery.

It’d be the ultimate Classic Rock Request Grudge Match: “Stairway vs. Freebird”. The juvenile boner anthem takes on the original hellions swan song.

Personally, both songs give me bowel movements that feel like they have been squeezed through a pastry bag, and I would be able to die a very fulfilled individual without regret if I were never to hear either of these Redneck paean’s again. I would rather phone in a request for Kim Mitchell’s ‘Patio Lanterns’ as performed by those annoying caroling dogs; the same ones that have you driving sharpened candy canes into your eardrums each Christmas Season whenever you turn on the AM radio.


Blogger tank said...

That's great. I guess I'm too young to know all about that stuff. The only time I've heard "Stairway" at a dance was at a wedding. My cousin danced the whole song with Matthew McConaughey. Then I remember hearing "Freebird" as the class song at a high school graduation. "Freebird" is by far the better of the two.

8:52 PM  

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