Speaking of being wrong

Sunday, 24 August 2003

In the Fall of 1986, I think, I was in the Candyman in Santa Fe or maybe it was some shop in ’Burque. Anyway, a fellow noticed whatever teen affectation of Zeppelin I had managed to incorporate into my dress and asked me if I knew much about Robert Plant songs.

“Yes I do,” I said.

“The lyric is, ’She’s so professional.' I can’t find the song or album anywhere.”

“I know every word Robert Plant ever wrote,” I said, “and he never wrote or sang that.”

The man was crestfallen. He’d only heard it once perhaps but he was in love with the song. He had been so sure it was Robert Plant. But my surety trumped his. He could tell. He knew that I knew every word Robert wrote. And he knew he’d never find the song now that he didn’t even know who wrote it.

An hour later, driving back to Taos, I realized it was a line from Easily Lead, off Robert’s most recent release, “Shaken ’N’ Stirred.” The only song, off a difficult album, which I never found a taste for but knew the lyrics, in the remaining year or two before the Age of the Track Skip Button, nonetheless.

I wake up at night sometimes. Wrong. No business being wrong about it. No way to apologize to that man to tell him how I suffered these 16 years of being wrong. Wrong. I can’t take it anymore.

So I post this. This plea. In the hope that perhaps he will find this page and write to me. So I can grovel. So I can apologize for my tragic hubris. Tell him that I’ve been in pain whenever the exchange comes to mind. That I was wrong.

And maybe most importantly to tell him what I should have said to him that Autumn day, “How could you possibly like that song? It’s the worst piece of crap Plant ever put to tape.”

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