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This Must Be The Place: Holy Grails and Musical Meccas in Pop Culture

Barney Hoskyns, unpublished, Fall 2012

FOR TRAMPLED UNDER FOOT, my oral history of Led Zeppelin, one of the interviews I conducted was with Dave Bates, an almost-famous A&R man from the era when records still made obscene amounts of money for the music industry. After signing Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to the Fontana label in 1994, Bates visited Plant at the farm he owns in Wales, and the two men set off for a walk in a nearby forest. As they emerged from the trees to gaze over a lush valley, Plant suddenly halted and sang the words, "There's a feeling I get when I look to the west…" He then turned to Bates and said, "This is it." Plant was casually informing his A&R man that this was the very spot that inspired a key line in Led Zeppelin's most famous song, 'Stairway to Heaven'. He said nothing more, and the two men walked down into the valley.

Total word count of piece: 5300


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