The thing I like most about rediscovering Led Zeppelin—and listening to the Chemical Brothers and The Bends—is that they can no longer be comfortably accommodated into my life. So much of what you consume when you get older is about accommodation: I have kids, and neighbours, and a partner who could quite happily never hear another blues-metal riff or a block-rockin' beat in her life. I have less time, less tolerance for bullshit, more interest in good taste, more confidence in my own judgement. The culture with which I surround myself is a reflection of my personality and the circumstances of my life, which is in part how it should be. In learning to do that, however, things get lost, too, and one of the things that got lost—along with a taste for, I don't know, hospital dramas involving sick children, and experimental films, was Jimmy Page. The noise he makes is not who I am any more, but it's still a noise worth listening to; it's also a reminder that the attempt to grow up smart comes at a cost.
nick hornby, songbook