Led Zeppelin - The Morning Song
I moved out of my Mom and Dad's house twice as a teenager. This story is about the second time I moved out into the very nearly infamous "Green Apartment." My Mom and dad were moving to another state and I had to make a choice. Stay with my friends or start anew in..ack..Tennessee.
So Tim, Dan, and I moved into the lower level of a house in Sheffield, AL. It was grit your teeth green and had a massive room in the middle. I don't remember if we officially named it the "dungeon," but it had a vaulted ceiling and it ran most of the length of the house. It was the perfect place for late night D&D. There was a small room in front that was the living room and the kitchen/dining room and a bathroom in the back of the house. A couple of bedrooms were thrown in along the side. I started out sharing the larger bedroom with Dan, I remember this because I had to turn my clock radio up on its face because the light from the clock evidently radiated all the way across the room and disturbed Dan's sleep. He didn't seem to mind the extra volume from the speaker as I listened to Larry King and Art Bell going to sleep late at night.
Before I get to the point, that little living room in the front of the house was where I beat Super Mario Brothers 3! I came in from work one night around 5:30pm and my roommates were all working night shift, so I had the place to myself! I started up the Nintendo and started my game. My roommates and other friends started coming in around 9:00 and beers were passed around as I worked. About 5:30 the next morning after defeating bowser in his clown sky car we all watched in horror as Princess Peach proclaimed, "Thank you for saving me, but our princess is in another castle...Ha Ha Ha, just kidding!"
But more to the point, "The Dungeon" was the perfect place for parties. We lived there for a couple of years and the parties were fast and furious. We had a band at the time with me, Dan, Scott, Kevin, Jamey, and Danny. Danny was the new lead singer and he will probably get a post to himself at some point. But we would practice over a store front in Tuscumbia and everyone would gravitate back to our apartment after the fact. "The Dungeon" would become the triage unit for after party causalities that couldn't and shouldn't drive home.
Along about this same time I discovered Led Zeppelin. I was the oldest child, so my music discovery was mixed between me, my parents, and MTV. My parents had provided me with ample doses of 60's and 70's Pop and country music. Fortunately, MTV came along and the closet classics indoctrinated me into 60's and 70's Rock-n-Roll. One of the bands featured on those closet classics was Led Zeppelin, but I never really got into them until THE box set came out.
I remember saving up for it. It wasn't cheap, but I knew I had to have it. It was supposedly some kind of Holy Grail of rock-n-roll and I needed it for research, if nothing else. Well, I finally got it and I cannot remember ever doing this since, but I would literally lay in the middle of the floor in "The Dungeon" on my off days for hours on end soaking in the information on the cassettes in that box set off our little stereo in the "entertainment center." "Good Times, Bad Times," "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You," "Whole Lotta Love," "Heartbreaker," "D'yer Mak'er," "Kashmir," "Over the Hills and Far Away," and etc,... But the song that defines the "Green Apartment" is "Fool In the Rain."
As I mentioned before, the "Green Apartment" had its share of parties and thus had its share of morning afters. One morning after, I got up and decided I would cook breakfast for everyone, more to impress the girl I was dating at the time than anything. Tim, roommate, smelled breakfast cooking on the stove and got up and came into the kitchen to see if he could scalvage any food. I had every intention of sharing, but not until it was ready and definitely not until my girlfriend got first pick!
I told him to get back in the dungeon and watch TV or something and he could get in line behind everybody else. Well. He didn't turn on the TV, instead he turned on the stereo and the fourth cassette of the Led Zep box set was in and track 1 was "Fool In the Rain." He cranked it and everyone in the house came pouring out of the bed rooms. The smell of bacon frying on the stove and the strains of Led Zep's zydeco music turned it into a joyous occasion and to my amazement it was my girlfriend, not a morning person, that lead the conga line into the kitchen and snuggled up against me as it proceeded through the kitchen and back into the dungeon all to "The Morning Song." A tradition was born and many parties went by and many morning afters, all capped with "The Morning Song" and the conga line. It was the first time I can remember feeling like I kind of had a family outside of my family.
PS. My favorite cover of this song. O.A.R. featuring Robert Randolph: