Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tool, Led Zeppelin, Hypocrisy, and The Pot

Ok kids, normally I don't worry about this, but to avoid some of the more rabid trolls I've decided to reference this post and include a disclaimer at the end. I know, why bother, I just want to demonstrate that not all of this came outta my arse.

Pretty much every Tool song has multiple readings. It's the sign of a master lyricist, really. I don't usually voice my opinions on them (I don't believe in any right or wrong answer) but I went looking and couldn't find any other post with this reading of Tool's The Pot so I thought put it out there.

First, the song:

The lyrics can be found here.

The first time I heard this song, the first line that hit me was:
Eye hole deep in muddy waters
You practically raised the dead.
Muddy Waters was a blues musician who performed during the 50s and all the way through to the 70s. I first heard the name in a conversation with a friend who was commenting that the artists formerly known as Led Zeppelin were publicly ostracizing artists like Pearl Jam and Tool for playing covers of their songs during their concerts. Allegedly the response had been "Uhh Muddy Waters? Pot? Kettle? Black?".

You see, Led Zeppelin could be considered the most successful cover band in history. Reference time? Thought so. I'll give you two:

But if you need more, please google "Led Zeppelin steal" or "Led Zeppelin lawsuit" before flaming me.

So why would Tool use the shady past of Led Zeppelin as a vehicle to hate on hypocrisy (ha! Band name!)? I wondered about that, then I found out that Page and Plant tried to sue a business for allowing bands to play covers of their songs during their concerts. Let me reiterate that, for playing the songs LIVE, not recording them.

Before you ask, I don't believe the song is solely about this. As I mentioned previously there are multiple readings, but all of them come back to hypocrisy. It could be about the hypocrisy of drug laws (the most common reading I found). It could be both. It could be neither.

This post is not passing judgement on Page's ability to make a guitar his bitch nor on Plant's ability wail like a banshee in labor.
Just their lack of honesty in giving credit where credit is due and their incredible assholiness for suing people for doing less than what they did.

Was that bating?


  1. first blog post ive found that agrees with me that this line is about Led Zeppelin, spot on mate.

  2. not to mention the use of the term "lemon juice" in the song. -bill462