Monday, November 30, 2009

Jimmy Page could not be coaxed into playing at Brazil fundraiser

Jimmy Page, despite appearing as scheduled at a fundraiser on Saturday for a shelter bearing his name, reportedly could not be coaxed to join the musicians for what would have been his first onstage appearance all year, outside of some brief jamming at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in April.

In the YouTube video above, Page is seen making remarks at a microphone and playing "air guitar" in the absence of a real guitar.

Stiletto Group has provided one of the most complete event summaries so far. As translated from Portuguese, the Nov. 29 story says many young musicians played songs including Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" during the event. Another translated report from O Globo says a 10-year-old drummer by the name of João Terra Santos was disappointed Page did not end up playing with him.

At one point, musician George Israel was jamming with some youth musicians on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by the Beatles when they encouraged Page to come up and play. Page declined their offer but did take the stage to encourage bidding on the auctioning of a guitar autographed by members of Iron Maiden.

With the crowd chanting "Jimmy" in hopes he would play, Page joked that since it was an Iron Maiden guitar, he would have to play something of theirs. The crowd laughed, and he went on to describe the guitar. Once the crowd erupted into chants of his first name again, he finally strapped on the electric guitar. With that, he played a single E chord, shook the guitar above his head, and handed it over.

This moment can be seen in two YouTube videos below. The first one is more complete and includes Page's words before strapping on the guitar but is shot from amid the crowd so the sound is very overloaded. The second video captures Page from a different angle from the strike of the chord onward.

O Globo is the same news source that, in breaking the story last week, insisted that Page would play. Word has it that tickets to the event were sold with the understanding that Page would at least appear at the event but not necessarily perform. Additionally, printed on the tickets were the words "Rock Fest in the presence of Rock Legend Jimmy Page." Proceeds from the auction and ticket sales are to benefit Casa Jimmy, founded in 1998 by Task Brazil as a shelter for abandoned street children in Rio de Janiero.

O Globo says Page followed instructions not to do any speaking, even if asked questions. He was reportedly friendly with the autograph seekers, particularly the females, yet smiling silently and stoically through it all. A YouTube video shows Page leaving the building and hopping directly into a waiting car while fans are lined up outside hoping to meet him.

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