Day 4: The Ocean
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES
As I write this the container ship Jonah is merrily ploughing its way through the Atlantic Ocean. The wind is at our back, which makes very little difference when your boat is basically a floating brick, but it is a bracing day out on deck. After five minutes I returned to the very basic cabin, where poor Crispian was lying doubled up with seasickness. Apparently this happened to him the first time he saw Jaws too. And Jaws II.
“Crispian. You know the best cure for seasickness?”
“Gin and tonic?” He suggested. There is that servant-mistress bond between us demonstrated.
“Well, yes, but for more than just the usual restorative power of the juniper berry. They say if you keep your eye on the horizon, the steadiness soon counteracts the lurching of the ship. But who wants to be out on deck on a day like this?”
I cracked open a bottle of tonic as I poured him a draught.
“Note the way the level of the liquid slops up and down. Level with the horizon. You just stare at the top of tonic water in that glass and you will soon feel better.”
It worked almost instantly. Which is just as well, because almost as instantly I drank the G&T, being unable to resist, and removing his remedy.
Led Zepellin: The Ocean
A very similar sort of queasy effect can be obtained by listening to The Ocean by Led Zep. Who told Robert Plant that singing like that would do anything but scare away the birds who were continually trying to nest in Jimmy Page’s hair. Though thinking about it, if the birds had attacked Jimmy Page in a Hitchcock fashion, no-one would have had to put up with Physical Graffiti.
The Ocean is the last track on Houses Of The Holy, which means that unless you have the constitution of an ox, you probably never heard it. It is just as well as it contains about as much Bobbie Plant showboating as anyone can stand. Nonsense lyrics of course, about the ocean getting lost, and mountains, and probably dwarves. You know it was around this time that Led Zep considered financing and starring in a version of Lord Of The Rings. Though apparently in their version Tom Bombadill was going to be the hero, and the Zep would either play him or the Ents. As admirable as this whacked out idea was, and as dependent on drugs as it was, would you go see a film about a hippy and some trees? Mind you, would you buy a record with the human version of whale song on it? The Ocean is such a song.