Saturday, March 01, 2008

a flourish here, a spot there

In an interview with Q magazine, Robert Plant was asked what Led Zeppelin thought about how widely used the beat for When The Levee Breaks was. His respons contained a nugget of information that, surprisingly, I've not read elsewhere:

We were flabbergasted and impressed when people started using When The Levee Breaks. when Jimmy and I talked about it, we figured nothing was sacred, as we'd been nicking old blues stuff since the beginning of time. it got a bit preposterous when Michael Jackson did Bad -- which is the riff to Heartbreaker [from Led Zeppelin II] with one note changed and as far as we're concerned is a nick.

[courtesy: When The Levee Breaks: The Making Of Led Zeppelin IV by Andy Fyfe, a book that's low on style but laced with information and one that sports one of my favourite photographs of the band on the cover]

Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do? . That was Speed. 5 years later, someone latched onto the idea of combining the buddy film along with this premise and a generous helping of mad science to come up with Chill Factor: Things will turn radioactive and bad, if a new biological chemical weapon is exposed to temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit (that's about 10 degrees celsius) and it's going to take an ice cream truck driver (Cuba Gooding, Jr. in a career-questioning role) and a convenience store clerk to keep it getting into the hands of some ex-Army terrorists.

Meanwhile, Subhash Alfred Ghai, last seen as his unsubtle self in Om Shanti Om is returning to the director's chair (Kisna anyone?) with Black and White (in search of harmony). The font echoes the Leone-ian territory covered in Omkara and the ebony-and-ivory packaging aside, the film's premise echoes The Devil's Own; this is quite a comeback for Ghai, whose Karz, the muse for Om Shanti Om was an echo of The Reincarnation of Peter Proud.

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