Nov 062007

I hired a stripper for the whole weekend. Surprisingly inexpensive, but very tiring.

Right now, I’m taking a bit of a break from the stripper, and instead I’m enjoying a nice glass of wine, sitting back, listening to my new album – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand. I have only one thing to tell you: buy it! This album is a cast-iron classic, with Plant and Krauss at the absolute height of their powers, which is an amazing thing to say about a guy like him, who’s been around for so long. I was a young child when he started out and now, by that curious conflation of years that happens as time slithers towards the void, I’m the same age as him.

But a thousand times less cool. And not a billionaire. And without his talent.

Nevertheless, I’ve travelled a bit of a journey with Robert, as have most of us here, I’m guessing, and the journey continues. About two years ago, I was driving to school with Bullet and you know how it goes, we were both a little groggy. I had a savage hangover due to a night of Wild Turkey and brown mescalin. Bullet had a headache because naturally I’d drugged his cocoa to keep him quiet — it was before he became a rock star, obviously: these days he drugs his own cocoa. It’s how our children become independent of us.

I thought I might do a little bit of encouraging musically, because I was worried about his tendency to listen to Rammstein and Linkin Park, so I slipped a little memory stick into the player, on which I had recorded a couple of Led Zep albums. Bron Y Aur Stomp was the track, a loose, drunken bottleneck acoustic bluesy kind of thing.

Have a listen to that, I said. What do you reckon?

Bullet listened. It’s good, he said. Who is it?

Who does it sound like? I asked him.

The White Stripes.

Exactly! I said. But it’s actually Led Zeppelin. Now what I can’t figure out is this: how the hell did Led Zeppelin know what the White Stripes were going to sound like?

As we pulled up at the school, Bullet gave me one of those gentle, reproachful looks that said, you fuckin idiot, and slid out of the Bockmobile.

Ah. Such memories. It’s how we move away from our parents, though becoming an adult is never easy.

Well actually, in my case, it turned out to be completely impossible, but we’ll gloss rapidly over that.

I’m not saying I didn’t try. For example, I went through that awful phase of decorating-the-house-even-worse than-our-parents. Remember that?

I know! Let’s get that heavy dark horrible dining table and chairs that will never be used in case they get stained or burned!

Yeah. They’ll be handy if there’s ever a dead-serious family conference involving distant relatives and money.

And of course there’s always the wallpaper.


No, not the dreaded wood-chip that everybody who ever lived in some damp, smelly rented shit-hole slapped on the walls and painted Magnolia, and covered with cheesy Burne-Jones posters. Not that stuff, bad though it was.

Personally, I preferred this kind of pre-Raphaelite painting.

We’re talking about growing up now, and what I’m contemplating is that appalling abomination, the satanic obscenity that is vinyl wallpaper. I ask you honestly, what the hell is going on there? Were we all mad? What terrible alien larva took over for an instant and festered inside our brains?

I think I know: I think it was the awful more-money-than-our-parents-had syndrome, which had to mean we were all ultra-grown-up. Yes indeed. And ultra stupid.

Vinyl wallpaper is indestructible and unremovable. They should wrap Chernobyl in old vinyl wallpaper.

Even with the help of a stripper, it’s extremely difficult to remove vinyl wallpaper, and that’s why I’m here, with a nice glass of wine, taking a break, listening to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. And wishing I could somehow grow up before I grow old.

kick it on

  13 Responses to “I Wish I Was a Singing Billionaire Like Robert Plant and Then I Wouldn’t Have to do DIY”

Comments (13)

    Plant and Krauss, what a combo. She features in that film O brother where art thou, which I have a fixation about, a positive one… and Mr. Plant wrote that song(they should have taken out the crap canned clapping spound, but apart from that) called Big Log, which seems to have nothing to do with the song, oh yeah and he was in Led Zeppelin…’s on the shopping list.


    dammit..i KNEW there was something i had planned on buying when i went out for retail therapy today! ya’ll had mentioned this the other day, sugar…dammit! i knew i should have written it down..and #3 son told me to pickup a copy of joni’s new cd, too…dammit.i need a keeper!


    That was a bloody enjoyable post. Just saying, like.


    Lovely post, Bock. You must have done a lot of wilting sitting in a room coated with vinyl wallpaper. Must have been like your very own steam room, so you were actually ahead of the times, and the technology.

    Mssrs Plant & Krauss (and Joni, Savannah) are on the shopping list for the winter solstice festival.


    On the wallpaper front.
    Try putting up Black matt designer wall paper with a gloss design that can only be seen if the light reflects off it AND match the pattern.
    Herself picked it out and had to special order it .Where was she when myself and her dad were screaming abuse at the stuff??? Nowhere to be seen ,she did stick her head in the door while we were putting it up with a cheery “How is it going”.. The response she got was not fit for publication on this fine page…..

    Vinyl paper? What i wouldn’t give…….

    Spot on about Plant/Krauss album btw,not much else to be said about it apart from BUY IT!!


    Ah, not a fan of wallpaper either…seems to me to be a sales product of the fifth ring of hell, right up there with those do it yourself high colonic packages. I’ve ruined many a wall in removing said wallpaper, because eventually I get effing pissed at the slowness of said wallpaper removal, and just start ripping the shit off. I can always mud over what I screw up, right?

    Enjoy that, Bock!


    Enjoyed your post, thank you. I purchased the Plant/Krauss album ‘Raising Sand’ last week and have been stunned by the consistent brilliance of every single track. With cream of the crop talent like Plant and Krauss, I knew it would probably be good, but what we have here is an instant classic. I have a dozen or so friends that own this album and every one of them already loves it. Considering that Led Zeppelin created many soft and melodic masterpieces, along with the yet to be equalled diamond standard for powerful rock, I was well aware of Plant’s ability to pull off beautifully nuanced and subtle songs. Those with a superficial knowledge of Zep as just a ‘heavy metal’ band, will be shocked at Plant’s skillful and delicate voice, but part of what made Zeppelin so dynamic and great was that they were never confined to any one genre of music, as a billion or so Zep fans will quickly tell you. Anyway, I digress, go get Raising Sand. You will be glad you did.


    Tim: That’s about right.

    Savannah: Off ya go.

    Badgerdaddy: Thanks, like.

    Conan: Git shoppin’

    Bigphil: Sounds like a case for the Vinyl Solution.

    Eliza: Mud? You put mud on your walls?

    Bobby: Yes. It is good.


    Thanks Bock, loved it. Trés good .


    Behind the time…not real mud…wall mud, that goes on top of drywall


    Plaster, we’d call it.


    Bought Raising Sand when i read this post, tis good. Thanks for the recommendation!


    Thanks for the good read, here are some cool 70s Pretty Things Vids

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