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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

July xx, 1969 - The band play many festivals now on their third American tour
July xx, 1970 - Additional recording for Led Zeppelin III at London’s Island Studios
July 16, 1970 - Photographer Chris Welch films Led Zeppelin on his 8mm camera, some clips later used in the Whole Lotta Love promo video
July xx, 1971 - Untitled gets re-mixed in London
July 05, 1971 - A riot erupts mid-concert, forcing Led Zeppelin to stop after about 40 minutes
July xx, 1972 - After repeated bad press, Led Zeppelin hire their first publicity firm
July 20, 1973 - A last minute decision is made to film the remaining part of the tour
July xx, 1973 - Led Zeppelin is filmed over the three nights for their film that will emerge as The Song Remains The Same
July xx, 1974 - After viewing their 1973 filmed performance, it is apparent critical errors were made
July xx, 1974 - Mixing for Physical Graffiti at Olympic Studios
July 05, 1975 - The band meet in Montreux to discuss adding South America and Japan to the end of their North American tour
July xx, 1976 - Bonham and Page fly to Montreux, Switzerland to check out some new sound and drum effects
July 17, 1977 - The last ever performance of Moby Dick played at the Seattle Kingdome
July 24, 1977 - The band plays its last US date at the Oakland Coliseum
July xx, 1978 - Led Zeppelin are invited to perform at Maggie Bell’s Festival Hall show
July xx, 1979 - Led Zeppelin film their rehearsal at Bray Studios
July 04, 1979 - Led Zeppelin confirm a second date at Knebworth in August 1979
July 05, 1980 - Simon Kirke joins in on drums for an encore in Munich
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