Led Zeppelin had a relationship to the blues (and black music generally) that could veer between brilliantly creative and stupidly abusive, sometimes within seconds. ... But Led Zeppelin weren’t a minstrel show—they were something so much weirder. To suggest that all they did was steal from the blues is an insult to the band, but also to the blues. Zeppelin’s appropriations could be bereft of ethics, but they were more often just bereft of logic: Here was a band that wedded Robert Johnson-isms to plots borrowed from Tolkien novels with no sense of incongruity, or embarrassment.
Led Zeppelin had started as an idea, and was now despised as one. But why did people really hate Led Zeppelin? ... They represented someone’s cynical fantasy of the masses, a coalition of louts and groupies and wasted youths who, come to think of it, probably weren’t even reading rock criticism in the first place. The revolution had failed, and Zeppelin was playing its wake, and cashing in... Rock ’n’ roll had once been art for art’s sake, or the world’s sake: now it was just art for money’s sake, and Page & co. didn’t even have the decency to pretend otherwise.In a foul mood this evening, partly 'cause I'm going to California. And I don't even know why.