Jeff Koons, the American artist and sculptor, got a flyer in the mail telling him Jimmy Page would be appearing at the 92 Y for a q and a while promoting Jimmy’s picture book. Being a member of the YMCA board, Jeff immediately called to find out who would be conducting the interview and when he discovered no one was chosen, offered himself up.
In the first few minutes of the interview, Koons admite that as a 14 year boy Led Zeppelin 1 changed his life and later on claimed to listen to Page every single day.
So, yeah, we we weren’t expecting a tough minded conversation with one of the greatest guitarists of all time and we didn’t get it either. What we got was an occasionally (maybe three times) revealing comments from Page and a whole lot of gush from Koons and an audience that cheered every time Page mentioned a song title.
The book, “Jimmy Page By Jimmy Page” is a coffee table monstrosity with 600 pictures –starting with Jimmy as a choirboy and ending a coupla years ago when the book was first published as a limited edition coupla grand extravaganza, it would make a good doorstop but otherwise seems a little on the useless side. It is like Madonna’s “Sex” for old geezers and their wenches.
So that’s the product and here we all are Monday evening, and pictures from the book are being shared on the screen and nothing very interesting is being shared with the audience. There is not much revealing and then there is willful denial of reality but having said that, you do get one thing: you get to see the 70 year old former Yardbirds and Led Zep guitarist still looking every inch the rock and roll star. With an odd penchant to blush, a ready wit and a ready smile, he skims his career with 90 minutes of light chatter. Slim, with white hair and a ponytail, he doesn’t look like your Grandpa at all, he looks like he could pick up a guitar and play all day at any given moment
The problem is, not much is being revealed here. I guess we don’t want to (though I wrote a question for the questions from the audience ending segment that wasn’t used for some odd reason) know about Satanism and Aleister Crowley and I guess Robert Johnson by extension. Perhaps we don’t, but we sure don’t wanna know about how he learnt to play the Theremin.
Taking us from session musician work as a sixteen year old, through the Yardbirds to overnight success, literally three months between recording LZ1 and touring the States to sold out Arenas, and finally rehearsing with jason Bonham before the O2 gig, the interview had the length but not the depth.While much of what Jimmy has to say about the music, layering in beds of guitars so Plant would have something to sing on, improvising from night to night, is, like, yes and… still what can you ask?
I don’t know but I know who does… Binky Philips. I would love to see a true expert like Binky tackle Page, Binky is too much the man to be disrespectful, and too knowledgeable not to get him in deep. Jeff Koons was clueless and should not have been given the job.
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