Over the Hills and Far Away
I have such an enormous penchant for rockumentary photography that I can distinctly remember when it all happened. The very first time I picked up a Rolling Stone magazine I was barely 12, it was June, I was stuck in a waiting room in the middle of Roseland, New Jersey and it was Issue 526 with Lisa Bonet on the cover. As I thumbed through those pages I was sucked in. Hardcore. Whether it was Tina’s legs, Pete’s bloody hand, or Jerry’s smile. I knew in an instance that I was born at the wrong time.
From that moment on I became obsessed with these photographs, this lifestyle. I had only seen them decorating the inside folds of my prized vinyl albums and I needed to know more about these people who were capturing the soul of these musicians. From toddler aged, I imagined packing up all of my stuff up in a fancy carpetbag and traveling with rock stars like a gypsy from place to place. I found the thoughts were romantic and magical, they knew a world the rest of us didn’t.
Does this remind any of you of a particular Cameron Crowe movie? Thought so. If not, here’s a clue…
The radio waves were starting to become infiltrated with keytars, synthesizers, skinny ties and neon. I don’t connect with 80s music the way others do and I’ve never been able to take it seriously. Yes, I know that’s a bold statement, I missed that gap and twenty-something years later in retrospect I can appreciate the nostalgia, but I still don’t get it. Maybe a song here, or a band there, but the ones I found a glimmer of hope in were high up on Casey Kasem’s Sunday Morning Top 40 and never reached mainstream radio. I was the kid who dreamt of somewhere far away playing dress-up in Stevie Nicks’s closet and touring as Blondie’s tambourine player. I wanted to run away in my Catholic school uniform, argyle socks and penny loafers to the Sunset Strip and all across Europe. And if I couldn’t get there, CBGBs or Max’s Kansas City would have to do.
While I never fulfilled the daydream of traveling with the band, I have spent much of my adult life around many talented musical legends. Whether it was for work or for play, I was right all these years, they might be human like the rest of us, but they all hold a special secret deep down inside their soul only a few can understand. Each one of them are who they are for a reason, they all had the same dreams like I did. That there was more out there.
This morning as I was searching for some new photographs to switch-up in my rock and roll gallery (i.e. hallway), and I came around this one. I felt my heart stopped. Led Zeppelin at Chateau Marmont.
This is the greatest rock band of all time inside my favorite place. I had to remind myself how to breathe as I studied this picture. The best part? I’ve met both Robert Plant and John Paul Jones and the story never gets old. Ever.
I did eventually pack up like a gypsy and left home to find out what else is out there leaving everything in New Jersey behind. 3,400 miles and years later, I’ve enjoyed quite a few mornings, afternoons and evenings inside and out of the historical West Hollywood celeb-haunt and I will take many of these memories to the grave. I respectfully do not publicly share many details because there is an unspoken privacy code that is synonymous with Chateau and I feel obligated to honor it; however enough time has passed that if you find yourself in conversation with me passed last-call, or during a small gathering during GNO I may regale you with a story or two, or three… about the good-times I had inside the majestic walls of this iconic hotel with legends. Until then…
“If you’re going to get in trouble…do it at the Chateau Marmont.” Harry Cohn 1939
Who would you like to get in trouble with at Chateau Marmont?
Disclosure: On occasion, contributors of The Trend Tribe receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence the contributor’s point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the reviewers experience. The opinions are their own.