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After 47+ years, I can finally share the following story:

In June, 1972 I went to see Led Zeppelin perform at the Nassau Coliseum here on Long Island. There was one particular roadie, Mick Hinton, John Bonham’s drum tech, who I had said hello to the previous year, when the group played in Madison Square Garden in 1971. After the latter concert ended, I went up to the row of seats behind the stage at the coliseum and yelled down to him again. He seemed to recognize me from the 1971 concert and yelled hello back. On a whim, I asked if I might come down and help them pack up the equipment. To my complete surprise, he says yes. “How do I get down there?” He then picks and tosses a guitar case to me! I walked down, past two security checkpoints with the case in hand, up onto the stage, and handed it back to Mick. After the few minutes it took to pack up the drums, he says to me, “You can have that.” I was speechless, to say the least! “Where will the guitar go?” He took me over and showed me Jimmy Page’s number one Les Paul guitar in its brand new anvil road case. The case I was given was being discarded that night since its back was crushed and no longer afforded protection to the guitar. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

So began my decades-long possession of a genuine rock n’ roll artifact. But I also realized from that point onward that it was something I couldn’t talk about. While there have been a small handful of friends over the years who were aware that I had it, I had kept this a deep secret over the past 47 years in fear that someone might either burglarize my house or worse, threaten me in order to steal it. For this reason, I had decided a couple of years ago that I no longer wanted the guitar case.

Despite its certain significant monetary value to a collector, I had also decided that I wouldn’t ever sell it since making money off someone else’s fame is simply against my principals. I decided that I would find a way to personally return it to Jimmy Page. But how to accomplish this? How would I get in touch with the right people to set up a meeting?

Back in July, I went to see the “Play It Loud” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Jimmy Page’s number one Les Paul guitar was one of the instruments on display. I got the idea that maybe I could be put in touch with his people via the exhibit’s curator. A few days later, I called the museum and spoke with the curator’s assistant who asked me to send an e-mail with photos, which I did. About two weeks later, I got a call from a gentleman, Perry, who works with Jimmy. He asked to set up a meeting to personally examine the case and take several more detailed photos. About a month later, I received word that Jimmy wanted to meet me and have the case returned.

So, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in a hotel lounge in New York City, my two daughters, a close friend and I had the pleasure of a 1-hour sitdown and conversation with Jimmy, with him finally getting the guitar case back. When I opened it up, the look on his face was priceless: “What memories this brings back!” “Thank you so much!” In person, he is a genuinely warm and very welcoming gentleman. We talked about Led Zeppelin, he asked about my musical influences, asked my daughters what type of music they enjoyed and various other topics. I gave him copies of both my CDs, which he said he would listen to. He also had brought me a special limited box set edition of “Led Zeppelin 2” and signed its book as well as another book I had brought with me. I can honestly say that after the first few minutes, my nervousness completely disappeared and it felt like I was talking with an old friend. Nevertheless, the experience of having had the opportunity to sit down with the very person whose music not only greatly influences my own but also inspired to me to initially pick up and learn to play the guitar almost 50 years ago is something that I will never forget!

Thanks so much Jimmy and thank you Perry! Mission accomplished.

A Jimmy Page Guitar Case Story        A Jimmy Page Guitar Case Story

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

October xx, 1968 - Led Zeppelin is recorded
October 19, 1968 - Final performance as the New Yardbirds
October 31, 1969 - Led Zeppelin II is released in the US
October 17, 1969 - Bonham is thrilled to play Carnegie Hall where Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa have performed
October 23, 1970 - Led Zeppelin III is released in the US
October xx, 1970 - The press lash out at the band over the Led Zeppelin III acoustic content
October xx, 1971 - Page and Plant venture around Thailand and India after the Japan tour
October 18, 1972 - Zeppelin rehearse at the Rainbow Theater for a UK tour
October xx, 1973 - Each member performs an individual film sequence for their concept film
October 31, 1974 - Swan Song hosts a party for the launch of its UK division
October xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin decide not to tour and concentrate on recording new material
October 20, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same premieres at New York’s Cinema One
October xx, 1977 - Jimmy starts assembling a Led Zeppelin live album from recordings as far back as 1969
October xx, 1978 - Jones and Bonham record with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios
October xx, 1978 - Rehearsals for In Through The Out Door in London
October xx, 1979 - All nine Led Zeppelin albums enter the Billboards Top 200 -- no other band has ever achieved this
October 10, 1980 - A private funeral is held for John Bonham at Rushock church in Worcestershire
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