Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's not every day that something like THIS unexpectedly shows up in your mailbox

Autographed (Led Zeppelin) Page & Plant set list - 1995

Earlier this year, I was helping my friend Jim Donovan with a project to scan in various pieces of memorabilia from early in his 15 year career as drummer for the band Rusted Root. He says to me, "I'll send you a bunch of stuff" and a few days later, I receive a Priority box in the mail.

I open the box, pull out a file folder, and start flipping through various photos of the band when I happen upon,

This piece of paper.
This piece of paper with words on it.
This piece of paper with words on it and some blue scribbles...

I look at it in my hand for about 5 minutes. I'm pretty sure I know what it is, but it's not registering. Those song titles... they look so familiar... Ok, I get it. They are the names of some pretty famous Led Zeppelin songs. And there are what look like signatures on the page as well...

Could that be? Nah.... (Boy, was I ever in denial!) But then I jump right on Google to verify that the signatures belong to who I think they belong to.

Yup. It's them alright. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. They signed that paper. The one I was holding in my hand. Two members of the undisputed greatest rock and roll band in the history of the WORLD. They signed that paper and I was holding it in my hand and I had just pulled it out of a file folder that came to my house in a Priority Mail box.

What the heck??? It was almost like finding a Picasso at a yard sale. Ok...maybe not like that, but you get the idea.

I quickly find an archival plastic sleeve and slip it in as though I was handling the last known copy of the Declaration of Independence. Then I run upstairs and barge in on my husband who was in the middle of taking a bath.

Holding it out for him to see (but not touch) I say to him, "DOYOUSEEWHATTHISIS?" (Since he too is a longtime Led Zep disciple.) After he "Wow's" it up for a few minutes, I go running back downstairs to call my friends.


The backstory is that in 1995, Rusted Root was asked to tour with Page & Plant across the US and in the UK - and this was the first time they (Page & Plant) had shared the stage since the end of Led Zeppelin in 1980. As Jim was also a huge Zeppelin fan, one night he stole their set list and asked them to sign it.

See? Even rock stars can be fans of other rock stars.

Now I know that rock stars are people too. That they get headaches and diarrhea like the rest of us, and that a scribbled signature in the grand scheme of things, isn't that important. But to have something like this show up unexpectedly? It kind of threw me for a loop because I think there's just a little bit of "fan" in each and every one of us.

05/10/09 - Edited to add: Just wanted to clarify that this wasn't mine to keep and has since been returned to it's owner.

PS - if by the grace of God you aren't familiar with Led Zeppelin, I suggest you run, don't walk, to go and grab your credit card, then come back to your computer and order this:

Complete Studio Recordings

Go ahead, I'll wait. You'll be glad you did. :o)


The Missive Maven said...

Ooooooh!!!!! I'm a huge Zeppelin fan, too - zowie! Will it be framed behind art glass?

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

It has since been returned back to Jim - not sure how he might choose to display it. :o)

Gladtobemom said...

I remember being at the Bluegrass Airport when their plane landed . . . it must have been 1977.

They did a concert for Easter Seals . . . not only great entertainers, great music, but also great guys. I remember we got them on short notice when the WIZ cast begged off at the last minute.

I was a plebe on the committee and we were all sitting around wondering what to do, we'd sold out Rupp Arena and now we had nothing but warm up acts. There had been bunches of phone calling and we had 4 days--so far nothing. Then someone came running into the room and said, "listen." while she popped the button on the conference call thingy in the middle of the table. It was one of the guys from Led Zeppelin, he said someone told him we needed a show to hold 25,000 people in their seats and make money for sick kids. (I really don't remember which one it was).

Our chairman said, "It's Sunday afternoon."

He said, "Outdoors or Indoors?"

She said, "Indoors, it's a basketball stadium and concert venue"

He said, "My guys can be there in a few hours to help decide how much of a show we can bring, that OK?"

She said, "Oh yes, can you give me a contact so we can make travel arrangements?"

He sort of laughed, "No need for that. My guy's just stuck a paper under my nose, they'll be there about 7pm at Bluegrass Airport. "

They did a fabulous show. The opening act we had for them were Flatt and Scruggs (bluegrass music) and one of their guys actually played Mandolin with them. It was a great show. We also raised a LOT of money for Cardinal Hill Hospital (an Easter Seals Hospital in Lexington).

I remember it so clearly because most of the older women didn't know who Led Zeppelin even WAS. The younger ones of us were speechless.

gypsy said...

It must have felt like the twilight zone + jet lag wrapped together. Wow!

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