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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 015
Thurs, Jan 31, 2013

“Tangerine”
Led Zeppelin

1970

“♫ Tangerine,
Tangerine/
living reflections
from a
dream
♫”

Right there,” the guy on the car, called out, stopping all conversations, while he said holding the can of MGD pointing out, “that little mistake is the best thing I ever heard.” It’s that perfectly placed false start at the beginning of Led Zeppelin’s “Tangerine,” that Roland the host of his party referenced. “Did you hear that?” Roland asking me and answering questions only an annoying drunk guy could do “Hey bro, you like Zeppelin? Of course you do.” Every one, gathered around us; I remember the way he lifted up his can of beer, “let’s toast to Tangerine” was all he said as all of twenty of us outside on the driveway tried conjuring up the Sun Gods as we raised our cups, bottled, cans holding up a toasted tribute honoring their favorite “Tangerine” song to stars.

Jimmy Page once commented on “Tangerine’s” opening faux pas when he said, “That’s commonly known as a false start. It was a tempo guide, and it seemed like a good idea to leave it in – at the time. I was trying to keep the tempo down a bit. I’m not so sure now it was a good idea. Everybody asks what the hell is going on.” I don’t think, twenty years later, Jimmy Page would have realized, how much one little false start meant so much to this legion of devoted “Tangerine” aficionados.

Many casual fans like “Stairway” but Page purists, like the ones I encountered on that summer night, prefer “Tangerine” as they favorite Zeppelin acoustic torch song. I just remember how “Tangerine” sounded while watching these die hard Zep fans crooning along to Robert Plant’s words while honoring their “Tangerine” song, they all, truly loved. I wanted to find my own Zep song; one that I could toast to at my own party. But sometimes, I feel like that eighteen year old recluse at that same party toasting, listening and still reliving moments captured within the soundtrack beauty of “Tangerine.”

P.S. Robert Plant would introduce “Tangerine” in concert by saying, “This song is for our families and friends and people we’ve been close to. It’s a song of love at its most innocent stages.” I just remember, before I left, I asked Roland’s girlfriend, why he loved this Zep song so much? She looked back glass eyed and smiled, “It always reminds him…nothings perfect…not even his favorite Tangerine song.” And sometimes, I’ll still drink to that…moment doused in Tangerine.

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