Led Zeppelin in the mall

This morning I walked into a local mall (just outside of Tokyo) with my wife and 10 month old daughter, and was met with The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin over the mall’s PA. Six floors, all Zeppelin, all Japanese shoppers.

“Ah-ah-ahh-ah, ah-ah-ahh-ah
We come from the land of the ice and snow
from the midnight sun where the hot springs FLOW”

Now I’ve always loved Led Zeppelin, and that’s hands down one of the greatest rock songs ever, ever, ever. But to walk into a mall in Japan with that song playing, it just seemed so wrong on many levels. One part of me was so happy that it was available for my listening pleasure as we pushed my baby’s stroller by a Gap, a suit store and a Babies-R-Us. But I felt a pang of loneliness, like this song was really just for MY pleasure; surely no one around me had the history to understand its unadulterated rock power. How could these young Japanese families looking for the 70% sale on pillows and those teenagers with the Disney accessories and J-pop fashion get this song?

Maybe elevator music would have been better, I mean there I was pushing my stroller with a burning desire to grab the PA controls, crank the song to 11 while begging for their understanding:  This is what great music is, it’s not for families, it’s definitely not for malls, set your controls to the heart of the sun, burn shopping cart rubber and take no prisoners!!!

I realize I have issues.


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