Check it out. Led Zeppelin, Home Alone (yes, the movie),
and rock legend Chuck Berry are connected.
For decades, the classic tune "Rock and Roll" by Led Zeppelin has been a mystery to both drummers and guitarists alike. Any time you want to jam this rock staple with a band, every drummer has their own little randomized version of the classic drum intro, which is never the same thing twice, which in turn makes it hard for the guitarists and bassists to ever find that dreaded downbeat.
John Bonham has been dead for years, so it's not like we can have him explain it. This percussive and musical motif may always be a mystery! So, how in hell DO you count that God-forsaken thing?! Can it be done? Is there a reason why it sounds the way it does and throws cover bands for loops all the time?
Truth be told, there IS a reason! Thanks to the dedicated ears of some finely tuned Nashville musicians, they began to hear some similarites to the Bonham groove in other songs. The great guys over at Whitestone have put together this very intriguing video that first connects the drum part to Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Goode"- and when you first hum that Back to the Future guitar intro that is now so famous, it DOES seem like it could match up with the drums.
Music is no stranger to using other music within itself, sometimes obviously, sometimes very covertly. But little "tributes" are everywhere in music, sometimes whether the recording artists knew it or not. Upon some deeper examination, it became evident that ANOTHER song was the link to this quirky intro.
Recorded at 170 BPM, "Rock and Roll" is the classic driving blues rock groove with all those Bonhamisms that vintage rock guys foam over. So if you slow that down to 160 BPM, then lay it over the guitar intro for ANOTHER Chuck Berry song ("Run, Run, Rudolph") it's pretty magical what happens.
Don't believe it?! Let the Whitestone fellas explain it with their tempo-matched arrangement, I think you'll finally rest easy at night knowing that Bonham very well might have been paying tribute to a classic early rock anthem from HIS childhood. Talk about leaving a legacy. So go forth guitarists, and play this song in your band with ease now!