Tag Archives: lord of the rings

Nerd Rock: Led Zeppelin

Círdan’s note: Welcome back music lovers. On Monday, we kicked off our Nerd Rock series with Pink Floyd. This blog series was developed by one of our high schoolers, Ethan, a.k.a. spock0528. Make sure you read the introduction and his explanation of what makes rock music nerdy in Monday’s Post before tuning in to this one.  Enjoy!wp-1462761910460.jpg

Led Zeppelin

wp-1462762574688.jpgYou don’t get more epic than Led Zeppelin. British hard rock band Led Zeppelin is one of music’s greatest artists. As far as bands go, they are only second to the Beatles in terms of innovation and influence. They revolutionized live shows and made Rock and Roll about albums, not singles. Though they were only around for a little over a decade, they created about as flawless as a career as possible through their nine albums. Rated the 3rd greatest artist of all time by VH1, 14th by Rolling Stone Magazine, and second greatest band of all time by WatchMojo their music is timeless and oh-so nerdy, often borrowing elements from fantasy and history for their music and appearance.  

wp-1462762565582.jpgLed Zeppelin formed in 1968 as a heavy blues rock band made up of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham, and bassist John Paul Jones. They released their first album in 1969. It was made up of  blues covers, acoustic tracks, and psychedelic songs. It began one of the most successful debut albums of all times becoming the fifth best selling album of the 60s. They released their second album Led Zeppelin II later in the year which outsold its predecessor and is now seen as one of the most important albums in hard rock and heavy metal history. The album featured more original songs written by Page and Plant such as Whole Lotta Love and Ramble On.

Listen to the Tolkien influenced “Ramble On“, especially the second verse:

Led Zeppelin were renowned for their incredible musical ability. Jimmy Page is considered to be one of rock’s all great guitar players (usually ranking just under Jimi Hendrix). John Bonham is usually rated the greatest drummer of all time, while Jones was known not only for his skill with a bass but with the keyboards as well. Plant became known for
his powerful, bluesy voice that cemented him as one of the greatest frontmen of all time. Led Zeppelin’s live shows wp-1462762491966.jpgbecame legendary partly due to the fact that they lasted for many hours, much longer than had ever been done before. They were also known for never releasing singles, meaning you couldn’t go to the record store and buy a single Led Zep song, you had to buy the whole album.

Watch Jimmy Page play an incredible guitar solo with a bow:

By Led Zeppelin’s fourth album in 1971 they were the biggest band in the world, taking over from the now broken-up Beatles. The album featured many of Zeppelin’s best songs such as Black Dog and When the Levee Breaks and of course, Stairway to Heaven.  Led Zeppelins lyrics began to get more complex as they now used the works of Tolkien as inspiration for songs. Stairway to Heaven, Ramble On, Misty Mountain Hop, and The Battle of Evermore all reference LOTR in some way. The group also referenced Norse mythology and Vikings with songs like the Immigrant Song and No Quarter.

Try to find all the Tolkien references in the geeky “The Battle of Evermore”- 

wp-1462762553227.jpgOn their next few albums Led Zeppelin began to experiment with more types of music such as funk, reggae, ballads, progressive rock, folk, along with using spanish and eastern influences, such as on the song Kashmir (featuring the nerdy line: “I am a traveler of both time and space”) . Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti were some of the bestselling albums of the decade and their new musical styles helped bring in new fans.

However in the late 70’s personal tragedies, such as Plant being injured in a car crash and his young son dying of illness, along with drug use caused Led Zeppelin to begin to disintegrate. Soon after the release on their 8th album In Through The Out Door, John Bonham died of alcohol poisoning leading to the band’s breakup in 1980. In 1982, the album Coda was released. It was made of previously recorded but unreleased tracks. Page and Plant both pursued solo careers during the 80’s and 90’s. In 2007 the band reunited with Bonham’s son, Jason, on drums for the Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert leading to a DVD release of the concert in 2012.  

Watch the trailer for the Celebration Day concert: 

Our Nerd Rock series continues on Friday with Rush! 

wp-1462762540468.jpgP.S. At the meeting, we talked about Page’s playing of the guitar with a violin bow and how different and unique that is, and how that is, really, what a nerd looks like. What do you think?

Send us an owl: What is your favorite Led Zeppelin song and why?


East McDonald Islands

Círdan’s note: The NerdyBalrog brings us a rare treat. He writes, “This story is my Middle-Earth McDonalds story translated into French, then Polish, then Vietnamese, then Greek, then Korean, then Latin, then Turkish, then Arabic, then Urdu, and then back into English. It was all translated in Google Translate.”

What an fascinating experiment! It reminds me of our discussion about constructed languages and universal translators. Feel free to pull up the original story and view these two side by side– and then leave us your comments below about the similarities and differences you noticed. What did this make you think about the nature of language and translation?

This was the beginning of the fourth century. Once again they may not fit your territory. King Elessar Gondor and the king chose the Arno. Boone was a massive fortress. But the question remains: It’s a good middle ground for dinner

Boone heard a bomb in the Supreme. It’s the most productive, our life can be for food. Gates is just fantastic food! Gates expertise that can be spread visited a lot of places. McDonald’s is created. Uncle and brother operated a restaurant Hui son’s name. Some new challenges, but the foolish.

First, a McDonald’s Rivendell (certainly not the last, but) come. In fact, the first McDonald’s Rivendell. McDonald’s opened a lot. Chicken Fingers, and quarter-inch guns hit the Big Mac hamburger is very flat. Very close to the first creatures to cook with the effort made by McDonald’s to be affected. A few months after the beginning of love, the McDonald began to spread more quickly! McDonald was a great success!

After you make a gift of McDonald’s has been effective for thousands of years. Gates actually achieve the dream. I enjoyed the food (and I mean the whole world). McDonald lines always remember:

The taste of salt
All are open.
This peaceful
Vegetables severe hunger.
In the past, the meat must be met,
Places to Balaheul.

Send us an owl: What do you think Professor Tolkien would think about this translation experiment?

What A Nerd Looks Like in Germany!

Círdan’s note: We are thrilled that the essays written by our members have sparked a movement for others to share what being a nerd looks like. Today, it is Grey Havens YA’s tremendous pleasure to get to share with you the following essay from one of our social media friends. Isn’t the internet incredible? We’ll let Julian introduce himself to you; we hope you are inspired and we welcome you to share your own stories with us! What does being a nerd mean to you? How are you spreading nerdiness to those around you? Please send us an owl (comment below) or email us at greyhavensya@gmail.com. #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike

Friendship, Inspiration, Creativity: A Little Nerd Manifesto by a German High School Teacher

wpid-julian.jpgMy name is Julian Eilmann and I am a 35-year-old high school teacher (subjects: German, History, Filmmaking) at the Inda-Gymnasium in Aachen, Germany. I would like to introduce you to the Inda-Fellowship, which is the only school based Tolkien club for young people in our country. Our nice school is based at the green borders of our lovely home town Aachen, which is one of the most western cities in Germany next to the Dutch border.

Being a nerd seems to be the same in the USA and Germany these days. Although nerdism appears to be just another trend in mainstream culture for some years now and everyone who wants to be cool is wearing “nerd glasses,” this is not what nerdism is all about. Being a nerd is all about dedication, enthusiasm, and a true love for great stories and characters in all their manifestations (books, films, comics, games etc.). And this is what the Inda-Fellowship is all about too. So, are we, in this sense, nerds? Of course we are. Our Fellowship is the home for all lovers of fantasy at our school!

We are all dedicated to the works of the founder of the modern fantasy genre, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. When I founded this club in 2010, I had been a Tolkien and fantasy fan since my own youth. Since I first listened to the great German audio play of The Lord of the Rings on the radio at the age of 12, a new and wonderful world was in my imagination. In the following years I read everything from Tolkien I could get my hands on and played the pen and paper role-playing games with my friends (does anyone remember MERP? – that was fun!). This was another fine way to become part of this world of endless adventures. In some ways, I have been under a spell ever since these days and have been constantly enchanted by Middle-earth, which is in fact an imaginary home for me where my thoughts travel at least once each day. Apart from enjoying Tolkien’s work just for my pleasure, I have been researching Tolkien’s work for a decade now and am right now writing my PhD study on “Tolkien: Romanticist and Poet.”

wpid-inda-group.jpg.jpegTolkien’s Middle-earth novels and, even more so, my beloved Silmarillion do leave me breathless and still fill me with great joy. When in the end Frodo passed away into the West, there were some tears, but we learn from the wisdom of a famous grey Wizard that “not all tears are an evil.” These misty eyes do rather signify that you have made a great experience. One you will never forget. I can truthfully say that I got inspired by Tolkien and have been for my whole life now. And now it is my goal as a teacher to inspire children and teenagers at my school, because I am convinced that Tolkien has left us in fact a modern mythology that offers endless joy, excitement, and wisdom for each generation.

And it warms my heart that the Inda-Fellowship has been progressing so well over the years. At the moment, the group consist of 17 boys and girls of the age of 11-17 and four teachers, who love to immerse themselves in Middle-earth with these wonderful kids. As has been said, being a nerd for us means dedication to our hobby – or rather our passion. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that our group motto is “Friendship, Inspiration, and Creativity!” Our Fellowship is the place where one can meet likeminded people who share the same love for imagination and fantasy, especially in the works of Tolkien, but also apart from that. And, as friendship is a major topic in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we are forming our own alliance to spend time together in our beloved Middle-earth. It is a delight for everyone involved – teachers as well! – to debate all things concerning Tolkien and beyond. Friendship means that everyone’s opinion is valued, and in a relaxed atmosphere one can feel free to share his ideas with other Tolkien nerds in the group. For example, we have two teenage boys in our group who started in our Fellowship when they were in 5th class. Now they attend 10th class, are in their home-stretch for the final exams in two years – but are still among us. In fact, they have spent their whole high school time in our group which proves that this group can be more than just another afternoon school club.

Furthermore, the Inda-Fellowship offers many ways for young people to get inspired. The last five years have shown how we all get constantly inspired by our joint exploration of Middle-earth. One source of inspiration was our journey to Tokien’s Oxford in the winter of 2011, where we had the chance to take a look at Tolkien’s manuscripts at the Bodleian Library and visited the picturesque Merton College, where the professor lived. To get so close to our beloved author and the place where he created his mythology was the chance of a lifetime for participants. Some of the kids said: “This was the best time of my life yet!” For me, it is a lasting experience too.

wpid-inda-cosplay.jpg.jpegThe third pillar of our group is creativity, which is a force that is essential for Tolkien’s work. We don’t want to be passive too. We rather want to get our bottoms up and find interesting ways to create something our own. Recently we have spent quite some time producing hilarious stop-motion films with Hobbit Lego sets. This has been a lot of fun for us and we received a lot of positive response from the audience. Right now, we are building Middle-earth models in the school’s workshop. If you can imagine 17 boys and girls and four teachers working with clay, wood and paint to build the Black Gate of Mordor, a Hobbit Mill or a Rohan house, this is exactly what we have been doing the last months.

We have lots of great ideas for the future, and we love to get in contact with other Tolkien fans around the world. Although Middle-earth will ever be the core of our group activities, we also like to chat about other fantastic universes. With this in mind, we greet the Grey Havens YA – you guys seem to have as much fun as we do and we wish you all the best for your future.

To learn more about Julian and the Inda-Fellowship, check out their website: https://indagefaehrten.wordpress.com/ 

Banned Books: Harry Potter

Banned Books Week 2014 is already off to a great start. Click here to read one of our member’s thoughts on banning books and click here to read Robyn/evermind’s introduction.

We totally didn’t plan for the timing to coincide, but two Saturday’s ago, Grey Havens YA created an All-Harry-Potter themed Fandom’s Unite.

Our lovely volunteers: Donna, Robyn, Kelly, Luwanna, and Dyhrddrdh. Wands at the ready!
Our lovely volunteers: Donna, Robyn, Kelly, Luwanna, and Dyhrddrdh. Wands at the ready!

More photos to come! During our Hogwarts special night, we asked our members and attendees to share some thoughts on banned and challenged books, seeing as J.K. Rowling is on the banned and challenged author list. We compiled a little video to share with you below. Enjoy!

Send us an owl: Please feel free to share your own story about how Harry Potter or another work of literature changed your life and how you would feel about that work being banned and/or challenged.

PS. Did you know that September 22, 2014 was Hobbit Day aka Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday???

PPS.  Did you know that both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have been challenged and/or banned? Share some love for the hobbits in the comments! If you have anything you’d like to write about Tolkien and/OR Banned Books Week, please don’t hesitate to email us at greyhavensya@gmail.com.

PPPS. …I’m referencing Gandalf’s letter in The Fellowship of the Ring right now.g-rune