Zehn Jahre Krieg in Afghanistan (2001 - 2011)
Im Mittelpunkt dieser Webdokumentation stehen nicht die großen militärischen oder politischen Strategien, sondern die kleinen Geschichten aus dem Alltag der Menschen in Afghanistan - was sich in den Städten und Dörfern veränderte, die Stimmung in den Gesprächen mit den Leuten auf der Straße. ARTE.TV und SPIEGEL ONLINE laden Sie dazu ein, das Land am Hindukusch einmal aus ganz anderen, neuen Blickwinkeln kennenzulernen. Jede Woche neue Videos, jede Woche Spannendes und Überraschendes.
How did high school dances end before November 8, 1971? That’s the date that Led Zeppelin released a promotional disc to FM rock stations that would become the world’s most-played radio hit and cross over to teen-packed auditoriums everywhere.
“Stairway to Heaven” was an unlikely on-air success at eight-minutes long, but in the early ’70s, FM DJs still could play the full-length version of “In-A- Gadda-Da-Vida,” Iron Butterfly’s 17-minute bathroom break anthem. And “Stairway”’s length, plus the song’s long, quiet build-up, made it perfect for slow dancing until the explosive finale, which provided an outlet for the hormonal energy that the slow dancing generate.
The song that Gibson Les Paul legend Jimmy Page described as “crystallizing the band” started taking form in 1970 during Page and Robert Plant’s famous songwriting vacation in rural Wales at a cottage called Bron-Yr-Aur. Page developed the acoustic opening section there, and Plant wrote the initial verse. By the time the entire band re-grouped at the Headley Grange rehearsal and recording building in East Hampshire, England, Page had several distinct pieces of electric and acoustic music that he felt were related to that initial theme. While Page tried to weave the sections together with drummer John Bonham and bassist and
keyboardist John Paul Jones, Plant sat in a corner, writing. When he stood up and started singing, about 80 percent of the lyrics for “Stairway to Heaven” were complete.
Led Zeppelin cut the basic rhythm tracks for “Stairway to Heaven” in December 1970 at Basing Street Studios in London. Plant cut his vocals in early 1971 at Headley Grange. Then Page retuned to Basing Street to cut his solos. Initially, it went poorly. Page couldn’t quite hit the mark after a number of passes. According to Jones, he could see concern in Page’s eyes, so Jones broke the tension by turning toward the guitar wizard and declaring, “You’re making me paranoid!” Page shot back, “You’re making me paranoid!” And with the air cleared by laughter he nailed the solo’s elaborate architecture in a few more passes.
Page saw “Stairway” as a successor to “Dazed and Confused,” an epic musical adventure in several movements. As for Plant, he’d drawn on Scottish folklorist Lewis Spence for his lyrics.
The song got its first live airing on March 5, 1971, well before the album Zoso, a.k.a. Led Zeppelin IV, was released in November. It reportedly took a few weeks for the tune to win fans over, but by the time the group appeared at London’s Paris Cinema on April Fools’ Day 1971 for a concert recording by the BBC, it was in full bloom and drove the audience mad.
One of the song’s visual signatures is Page standing in the spotlight with a Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck guitar strapped over his shoulders. More important than the guitar’s striking looks was its functionality. The EDS-1275 saved him the trouble of switching between six and 12-string necks in concert. In 2007 the Gibson Custom Shop built 250 Vintage Original Spec Jimmy Page Signature EDS-1275s, modeled after his red 1971 original.
Atlantic Records pressured the band to edit “Stairway to Heaven” down to a more traditionally radio-friendly length for the November 1971 release of Zoso/IV, so it could be pitched to programmers as a conventional single. But Led Zeppelin were staunch in their refusal. “Stairway to Heaven” was a fully realized work of art, they contended, so Atlantic had to be content with servicing radio with an EP – an amazing EP. Side A was “Stairway”; side B was “Black Dog” paired with “Rock and Roll.”
As of the year 2000, “Stairway to Heaven” had scored more than 3 million radio plays and remains the most popular piece of sheet music in rock, selling 15,000 copies annually. (Take that, “Free Bird!”) Nonetheless, it scored a mere 31 on Rolling Stone’s 2004 list of “The 500 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time,” although Gibson fans ranked Page’s stunning solo #1 in Gibson.com’s Top 50 Guitar Solos of All Time in 2010 (a ranking Guitar World agreed with in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitar Solos in Rock and Roll History”).
“Stairway” wasn’t the only epic number on Led Zeppelin IV. Their definitive cover of Memphis Minnie’s blues chestnut “When the Levee Breaks” also clocked in at more than seven minutes and featured blistering sequences of guitar and harmonica. Another song, “The Battle of Evermore,” also captured the idyllic influence of Bron-Yr-Aur. And “Misty Mountain Hop” and “Four Sticks” added to the album’s visceral side, while “Going to California” displayed their mastery of blues dynamics. Zoso/IV reached #2 on Billboard’s top albums list, but “Stairway” dominated the radio charts for a triumphant 44 weeks.
Page still considers the song a milestone. “Every musician wants to do something of lasting quality, something which will hold up for a long time,” he told filmmaker and music journalist Cameron Crowe in 1975. “I guess we did it with ‘Stairway.’”
A Road to Mecca
More than 80 years ago, one man crossed the frontline between the Muslim world and the West - we retrace his journey.
In A Road to Mecca, filmmaker George Misch sets out to explore the frontline between the Muslim world and the West. His guide for this journey is a man from the past - somebody who, 80 years earlier, crossed all boundaries between countries, cultures and religions. Leopold Weiss was born a Jew on the edge of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1900. But his story would unfold far away in the deserts of Arabia.
Feeling restless and unhappy in Europe, in 1922 Weiss accepted an uncle's invitation to join him in Jerusalem. But what began as a family visit soon turned into a life-changing journey.
Weiss enjoyed the hospitality of the Arabs he met in the Middle East and was enchanted by their lifestyle. With the passion of an explorer, he began to travel across the region.
His travels and encounters nurtured in him a sense that Zionism was causing a great injustice to the Palestinian Arabs. In Jerusalem, he got into heated arguments with the leaders of the Zionist movement and began to feel at a greater distance from the religion of his ancestors than ever before.
"Islam should be presented without any fanaticism. Without any stress on our having the only possible way and the others are lost. Moderation in all forms is a basic demand of Islam."
Muhammad Asad As he discovered the Muslims of the Middle East, Weiss also discovered Islam - studying the Quran and finding not only the answer to the spiritual emptiness he had felt but also an alternative to the materialism of Europe's Roaring Twenties. In Saudi Arabia, Weiss felt truly at home, writing: "I am no longer a stranger."
In 1926, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Asad. Full of enthusiasm, he embarked upon his first pilgrimage to Mecca.
Curious to get to know other Muslim communities, in 1932 Asad left Saudi Arabia - travelling to Turkistan, China and Indonesia. In India, he met poet and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal. Iqbal dreamed of creating a separate Islamic state as a solution to the bloodshed between Indian Muslims and Hindus. Iqbal's vision of Pakistan quickly became Asad's own dream.
Asad campaigned for the creation of Pakistan by writing books, giving public lectures and hosting radio programmes. He also drafted the outline for an Islamic constitution in which equal rights for women were secured.
In 1951, Asad became Pakistan's envoy to the United Nations. But to his dismay he was forced out of the position after just one year. Deeply disappointed, he turned his back on politics, deciding instead to write his autobiography in the hope that it would promote better understanding between Muslims and the West. The Road to Mecca quickly became a bestseller.
By 1970, Asad had grown increasingly concerned that the Quran was being misinterpreted and misused for political goals. This motivated him to undertake his biggest challenge: a new translation of and commentary on the Quran. He settled in Morocco and estimated that it would take him four years to complete. Seventeen years later it was finished. He dedicated it to "people who think".
"Every age requires a new approach to the Quran for the simple reason that the Quran is made for all ages. It is our duty to look for deeper meanings in the Quran in order to increase our knowledge and experience. The Quran wants your intellect to be always active and trying to approach the message of God. God himself dedicated this book to people who think."
Muhammad Asad Despite the fact that Asad today has a loyal following among those who share an interest in his writings and an intellectual affiliation with him, his translation was not embraced by all. Rumour has it that there were even book burnings of Asad's Quran.
Emotionally and financially exhausted, he withdrew to Europe - settling in Spain in 1987. He planned to revise his translation once more but old age and prolonged illness prevented him from completing it. On February 20, 1992, he died, alone and secluded.
A Road to Mecca can be seen from Tuesday, November 8, at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100.