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Shock Corridor Cinema Presents: Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains The Same. Preceded by Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

Tue. July 27th 2004 9pm
Shock Corridor Cinema Presents:

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME (1976; 130 min.)

While many are familiar with the hyper cult status of The Rocky Horror Picture Show - a film that has maintained extensive runs at art house theaters and midnight screening venues since the late 70s - the lessor known, The Song Remains the Same, provided a similar outlet for those Bangers and Zep freaks who found the glam scene a little too fem for their rocker sensibilities. At the time of Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham's, passing (who was said to have choked on his own vomit in a hotel room, providing much fodder for the Spinal Tap screenplay) , the band was forced to end their North American Tour prematurely, inevitably making this shortened stop in America their last. These unexpected turn of events gave The Song Remains The Same a new life, playing many urban centers in late night screenings sessions throughout the early 1980s to, in part, provide a simulated outlet for those fans not old enough to have caught the band live (i personally knew of a couple boys in my youth who claimed to have seen the film at least 70 times, every weekend for two years at an abandoned porn theatre - a testament to the notion that if you consume enough of the right kind of drugs, an individual rock film can provide a different set list each screening).

While consumption of copious amounts of Angel Dust is not required, some recreational treats may help one's screening experience. The Song Remains The Same is, in large part, a concert film shot at Led Zeppelin's 1973 Madison Square Garden show in NYC. Beyond great versions of Black Dog, Whole Lotta Love and a 25 minute Dazed and Confused, it is this film that bares witness to the birth of some of rocks most pertinent cliches: a 15 minute drum solo; excessive wanking on double neck guitars; smoke bombs and dry ice ; Jimmy Page's infamous violin bow solo (a symbolic replacement for the phallus?). Beyond making a spectacle of Zeppelin's technical mastery of hard rock blues appropriation, the concert intersects with sequences that are intended to reveal the band members' individual fantasies, sequences that predate the MTV video but play out, in true British fashion, like a moronic version of Masterpiece Theatre. It is here that the cliches of the 70s rock film really soar: Jimmy page climbs a Misty Mountain to find his elder hood-cloaked self awaiting his arrival with sword in hand; John Paul Jones appears to relive the tale of the headless horseman, slaughtering a village and subsequently finding his ferry tale wife and kids waiting for him on the home front; and Robert Plant's Journey across the sea which sees him arrive into the loving arms of his wife and children following a psychedelic quest through the grassy knolls of Britain (many will expect dancing dwarfs to appear; sadly to no avail). Given the band's notorious reputation for being thugs to staff and concert promoters while on tour these wholesome fantasy sequences seem to smack of a misrepresentative PR campaign to improve the band's image and to a lessor extent, Disnefy the corporate mandate of the Zeppelin empire. Regardless of their intentions, these sequences are in a word, hilarious, and ironically, knock "The Hammer of the Gods", off the pedestal the music critics placed them during the 70s.

preceded by:


Filmmaker Jeff Krulik shot this witty documentary moments before a Judas Priest concert in Landover, MD. during the mid 1980s. The camera roams across the arena's parking lot, seeking out impressionable Bangers who dare to speak to the filmmaker about Heavy Metal, Judas Priest and their drugs of choice. What we witness is a funny, sometimes disturbing portrait of the rock and roll lifestyle as youth culture puts itself on display and lets it all hang out. Moments of sexism, debauchery and foolish rants of masculine bravado make this piece perhaps one of the greatest documents of Heavy Metal culture to date, and because of its shear juvenile sensibility, widely surpasses Krulik's follow up rockumentary, Neil Diamond Parking Lot (1998) . For any one who used to tailgate at arena shows or for those who were always curious about the Banger in his/her natural habitat, this film is a must see.

@the fifty fifty arts collective
2516 Douglas st. (at Bay St.)