Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page

My collectors edition of the Jimmy Page photo-biography arrived yesterday. It's been so delayed I'd forgotten it was coming. Genesis Publications didn't send me a "your product has shipped" notice, so when the FedEx door tag got stuck on my gate, I had no idea what it was they'd tried to deliver. On the FedEx site it said it had shipped (in just two days!) from Feltham, in the UK, and weighed 17.5 lbs. I put two and two together and had it held at the facility so I could pick it up. I didn't want to risk them throwing it in the van again and then lobbing it over the gate into sprinkler-land. $650 is a LOT for a book, even if it is signed by Jimmy Page and a limited edition of 2,150 copies (plus 350 copies of the Deluxe Edition, which is no longer mentioned on Genesis' site, but sold out within 48 hours of going on sale, and I missed it).


I opened it today and took a leaf out of Rick Barrett's book, so to speak, and taped the Opening Procedure. (Led Zeppelin obsessives site Royal Orleans has mentioned that at least one arrived damaged.)

(That's Rick, not me. His is a Deluxe. Lucky feller.)

After about 25 layers of Pass The Parcel, we got down to pulling the Perspex-protective-film off the front and there it was - a beauty. It's just gorgeous. With my white cotton gloves on, I leafed through it and every picture is a gem. Unfortunately, having spent the last several years tracking down pictures of Jimmy Page, posting on the various Led Zeppelin websites, not that many of them are entirely new to me. One I had not seen before shows Jimmy standing on the wing of their private plane - when the hell did he ever have the courage to do that? He was holed up in hotel rooms with the blinds pulled around that time, and here he is in the sunlight, in a dangerous high spot!

Some things are much clearer in a high-quality print on good paper than on a screen. I've long known of one where Jimmy is holding his double-neck guitar upright using only one hand on the end of the guitar and wondered how someone so frail can do that. In the print you can see his elbow is against his stomach, so it's braced to get plenty of leverage. The legendary Bray Studios shot of Led Zeppelin rehearsing in their shorts is in there and in high-quality print, it still looks totally faked to me - Jimmy still appears to have someone else's right forearm. There are lots of Pangbourne boathouse shots and all the ones I've always thought of as "Sol Studios" because a magazine that published them dubbed it thus, are all labeled Plumpton (Jimmy's home studio at Plumpton House), so that clears up the obvious date discrepancy.

It's a lovely book, but I don't think it'll take much handling, being far too heavy for its binding. Once I've had a good look it'll go back into its packaging material and get stored flat so the signatures don't pull on the spine.

Edit: they did send me a "your product has shipped" email on the 18th. I just failed to notice it until now. Sorry, Genesis!


Malia said...

It's coming out for another airing on Jan 30th, no?

Peromyscus said...

Yes, don't panic! We'll re-unveil it for you next Sunday. :)


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