The legendary scene in the movie School of Rock with Jack Black rocking out to the copyrighted song “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin will be remembered by fans. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin has explained the basis for his acceptance of Black’s rendition of the song.
Jack Black pleaded with Led Zeppelin to let him use “Immigrant Song”
Led Zeppelin was infamous for being tight about licensing out their music, which prevented several movies and TV series from using their songs. Given that filmmaker Richard Linklater attempted and failed to use a Zeppelin song in the 1994 film Dazed and Confused, Black wasn’t convinced they would receive clearance to utilize “Immigrant Song” in the 2003 film School of Rock.
In a last-ditch effort to convince the band, Black shot a video of himself performing in front of a thrilled crowd. He pleaded with the crowd, “Lords of rock, Led Zeppelin!” to permit them to use their song. Luckily, this ruse was successful, and the outcome was advantageous for both sides.
Robert Plant explained why Led Zeppelin chose to permit the School of Rock to utilize “Immigrant Song” in an interview with Vulture. His response isn’t too convoluted, since he saw no harm in doing so. The lead vocalist does see an advantage in not being the gatekeepers of this legendary song and in allowing it to be heard by younger generations.
“Our songs didn’t come from Valhalla,” Plant said, “It’s not a preferred destination, either. I like the idea of taking the hammer to another time. Jack Black made a magnificent meal of it. It’s a killer guitar riff… Everyone gets it, young and old. It’s a great song. Not only slightly ridiculous but ridiculous. Considering that we wrote it in midair leaving Iceland — a fantastically inspiring gig and an adventure, beyond which there will be no books written. To give it to the kids is important. Send it up, send it down, and just keep sending it. Just dig it because there’s no hierarchy.”
Plant thinks his choice was the appropriate one since it temporarily destroyed the “myth” around Led Zeppelin. In School of Rock, Black considers the group as gods of rock, and he educates it to a new generation. Plant said that he “found it funny” after watching the movie.
“There are risks that are immediately attractive,” Plant added. “So to give it to the kids, it’s great. I mean, Jack Black’s got it right down. He’s that risk. All of my grandkids have all been able to play Jack Black’s riffs. I think it was exactly the right thing to do, with School of Rock, to blow our myth up into the sky for a while. Because it’s all myth. It doesn’t matter. I’ve watched the film and find it funny.”
— BANG Showbiz (@BANGShowbiz) January 5, 2023