Friday, 14 June 2024

The Australian spin on Led Zeppelin

I was going to write about the Quibley Brothers' "Go Weird," one of those great albums you never heard of. But, I'll write about this one instead.

You may have heard of it or, at least, of it's starting point.

Back in 1995, good ol' Atlantic Records released the stateside version of "Starways To Heaven," a product of 12 demented Australians and their groups. It contained versions of Robert Plant's freak out, "Stairways To Heaven," by the Australian Doors Project, the early and the late Beatles (Down Under chapters), the Rock Lobsters, two opera singers, Elvis (Ned Pepper) and la creme de la creme, a shout out by the venerable Rolf Harris and his digereedo or wobbleboard.

"There's an old Australian stockman ... er ... rock band ..."

I got mine at a defunct junk shop on Clear Lake's Lake Shore Drive (no, not that Lake Shore Drive) for a couple of quid and you can get yours, as it is currently out of print, on for a measly $18. The original Aussie release, has 22 takes on "the lady who's sure ..."

Overkill? You be the judge. That one runs about $45 but could be worth it, judging from the domestic offering.

Play this at your next party.

Leonard Teale offers up the spoken word version and if you have never actually heard the words what the hell is a "spring clean for the may queen" anyway? well, you should, at least ... once.

These takes all come from the Australian TV show, "The Money Or The Gun," which featured a different reading on the "lady who's sure all that glitters is gold" at the conclusion of each broadcast.

Andrew Denton's liner notes are also not to be missed.

"Some of the rejections make a veritable Who's Who of rock 'n' roll," he writes. "Shane McGowan of the Pogues couldn't remember his name ... Peter Gabriel gave up after almost a year of trying to teach it to the hill tribes of Southern Yemen and Midnight Oil refused to sing 'Stairway' because they felt it represented US interests in the Caribbean."

Oh, and "Bruce Springsteen somehow made it longer."

But, "if you listen very hard, when all is one and one is all."

You get "a rock that doesn't roll."

"And it's whispered that soon, if we all call the tune, then the piper will lead us to reason" or maybe just to Rolf Harris tying down the May Queen ..."all together now!"

E-mail Gary Peterson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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