When Led Zeppelin Went Full Country on ‘In Through the Out Door’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Zeppelin on tape 1980

Over the years, Led Zeppelin followers got here to count on forays into totally different musical kinds. On Houses of the Holy (1973), the band someway married doo-wop and reggae on the whimsical “D’Yer Mak’er.” And you’ll find “The Crunge,” Zep’s salute to James Brown, on the identical LP.

That development continued with 1975’s Physical Graffiti, an album that featured “Trampled Under Foot,” a heavier tackle funk, along with “Boogie With Stu” and “Down by the Seaside.” At that time, no might moderately predict how a Zep report may prove.

The closing Zeppelin data stored the surprises coming. On Presence (1976), Jimmy Page paid tribute to rockabilly guitar greats on “Candy Store Rock.” And on In Through Out Door (1979) followers heard John Bonham dive into samba on “Fool in the Rain.”

But when Page performs the “chicken-pickin’” opening riff of “Hot Dog” (facet 1 monitor 4), followers heard Zep embrace a classic type of nation music for the primary time. And the band took it on tour the primary likelihood it received.

Led Zeppelin tipped its hat to Texas nation music on ‘Hot Dog’

Zeppelin on tape 1980
Led Zeppelin performs reside in 1980. | Rob Verhorst/Redferns

Rock followers most likely didn’t know what to make of In Through the Out Door when it hit report shops in 1979. After the very Zep opener “In the Evening,” the needle labored its approach to “South Bound Saurez,” the first-ever monitor credited to Robert Plant and John Paul Jones alone.

From there, the band vaulted into the South American-inspired “Fool in the Rain.” If your head wasn’t spinning by that time, Zep closed out facet 1 with “Hot Dog.” On that monitor, the Zep took followers on a visit to the dancehalls of Texas.

[embedded content material]

After Page’s opening riff, Jones enters the combination with a powerful piano half that may outshine his bandmate’s line. Behind them, Bonham lays down a shuffling beat that completes the Western really feel. Finally, Plant joins in singing concerning the common retailer, dungarees, and the lady who’s gone and left him.

That about covers the music in “Hot Dog,” which doesn’t break any floor within the nation style. But the band definitely loved taking part in the one Page-Plant monitor on In Through the Out Door. Their setlist of the band’s 1980 tour is proof of that.

Robert Plant appeared to reference a groupie from Texas on ‘Hot Dog’

Page and Plant having a laughPage and Plant having a laugh
Jimmy Pageand Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin peruse pictures at Stringfellow’s nightclub, circa 1980. | Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In summer time 1980, Led Zeppelin toured Europe because the band took inventory of issues after quite a few bruising years. And someway “Hot Dog” took its place as a staple of the units. Oddly sufficient, Zep took to taking part in this nation romp after Page’s majestic “Rain Song.”

When introducing “Hot Dog,” Plant would have enjoyable with European audiences. “This is a song now with relation to the United States of America,” he instructed a crowd in Rotterdam (through Led Zeppelin Reference) in June ’80. “This is a track we must dedicate to the state of Texas.”

A number of days later in Zurich, Plant introduced extra banter to his “Hot Dog” introduction. “This is one that relates to the rigors of relationships in Texas,” he quipped. “Hard time in Texas.” As Plant famous, the lyrics appeared to reference a relationship he had with a groupie within the Lone Star State.

True to the narrator’s promise, Led Zeppelin would “never go to Texas anymore.” In September, Bonham died in his sleep, canceling the band’s deliberate tour of North America and shutting the guide on Zeppelin.

Leave a Comment