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'12.12.12' TIFF: Harvey Weinstein Savages Jimmy Page At Rock Doc Premiere

Music and film fans may have come to the Toronto International Film Festival's world premiere of "12.12.12" for the documentary's flashy mix of live performances and backstage footage from the star-studded Hurricane Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Gardens, but they stayed for the post-screening gossip.

That's not necessarily a slight against the film itself, which was chock full of stunning footage of performances from concert stars like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney -- and the remaining members of Nirvana, who get a surprisingly passing mention -- and augmented with a number of delightful and often unexpected backstage moments.

Paul McCartney's efforts to convince Alicia Keys that he's as cool as his daughter Stella are particularly amusing. And Chris Martin's stunned delight when Michael Stipe says that he wants him to sing along to "Losing My Religion" during the performance is almost enough to obliterate any Coldplay and/or GOOP-related stigma the singer has accrued over the years.

But nothing came close to torrent of named names and unbridled bitterness that the concert promoter and Hollywood bigwig Harvey Weinstein dished in the post-screening Q&A with his fellow event organizers James Dolan and John Sykes and doc producers Amir Bar-Lev and Meghan O’Hara. Some of the things that Weinstein willingly shared with the sold-out crowd at Toronto's Wintergarden Theatre left Bar-Lev, the film's director, visibly stunned at some of the things he'd missed while he was filming the event.

First of all, Weinstein gleefully confessed that he'd sold a sit-down with "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart for charity funds. Apparently the "Prince of an Arabian country" was offering to pay top dollar for a fifteen-minute chat with the chronically awkward actress.

Weinstein called Stewart and filled her in on the situation. "She said 'How much?' My kind of girl," he quipped. The mogul and the prince were eventually able to agree to a $500,000 donation. In cash. The prince, Stewart and a number of bodyguards enjoyed a lovely fifteen minutes together during the concert. (The concert went on to raise $30 million.)

Weinstein was even more forthcoming, not to mention venomous, when a member of the audience asked if they'd asked Led Zeppelin to play the concert.

As it turns out, they had. Weinstein was convinced that an appearance from the band's remaining members could significantly increase the amount of money that the benefit could earn for victims of the hurricane. So he approached Robert Plant.

"We get an OK from Plant if Page will do it... Jimmy Page doesn't want to do it," Weinstein explained with a dramatic flair. "Jimmy Page's lawyer... Maybe he works for Satan? Maybe he is Satan?"

Undeterred, Weinstein asked Hillary Clinton if she could lend her considerable diplomatic skills to the cause. She didn't think that she'd be the best person to talk Led Zeppelin into reforming, so she recruited her husband Bill.

Former President Bill Clinton took up the cause. "Bill talked to the group and Jimmy told him no," Weinstein said with barely concealed rage.

Still, he wasn't ready to give up just yet. As a last ditch effort, Weinstein asked President Barack Obama for help. Unfortunately, getting Jimmy Page to raise money for hurricane relief isn't quite as easy as tracking down Osama Bin Laden.

"Jimmy Page struck out Obama and Bill Clinton," Weinstein sighed. "That will live on in infamy."

From: Huff Post
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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