There I was, stars in eyes, suitcase in hand, and blood pumped full of adrenalin while entering the queue to meet Jimmy Page. It was midnight; my bud and I had just gotten on off our 8-hour bus ride, ready to get our hands dirty with some JP. You never think you are going to be the person sleeping on a filthy New York City sidewalk to meet a fellow human being, until you are sleeping on a filthy New York City sidewalk to meet a fellow human being. To be completely fair, our original plan was to start waiting in the morning, but there were already 50 people in line, and only the first 200 would get the coveted handshake and book stamp with the legend, so we decided to take our place when we could. After meeting all the amazing people sitting around us, waiting on the street for 8 hours quickly seemed like it was going to be a piece of cake.
(Our little set-up- equipped with good company, blankets, and drinks)
Eventually the sun began to peek out in-between the buildings, and excitement really started to kick-in. Bereft of sleep, sore, and grimy, we were finally able to go into the store to be rewarded with our wristband marked with our place in line, so we could come back later that evening and pick up where we left off. Too excited to sleep, I spend the day figuring out what to wear and cleaning up. Before we go back to Barnes and Noble, we naturally made a pit stop at the location of their Physical Graffiti album cover. Today was surely going to be the day (most) of my Led Zeppelin dreams were going to come true.
(My Jimmy Page partner in crime underneath the Physical Graffiti building- now the lovely tea shop Physical Graffitea- Ha!)
We return to the Barnes and Noble, which was bustling with unrecognizably cleaned up Page fans. Everyone was frantic with anticipation and soon enough the leather clad God entered the room with an undeniable swagger, effortlessly cooler than everyone else there. He gives us a little introduction about how it is all going to work, and one by one each fan walks up on stage to get their moment with Jimmy. When reality starts to sink in, it occurs to me I forgot to think of something to say. EMERGENCY!!!! I had been thinking about this moment for years, yet somehow I neglected to think about what it was I would say to him. I quickly turned around to the older gentleman behind me and asked him what he would want to hear from a younger woman trying to make an impression, he answered “that I am just as attractive now as I was 30 years ago!” the other men around him shook their head in agreement… Brilliant. It was now my turn. The world halted, and so did my whole body. I conjured up enough strength to shake his hand and introduce myself, while also developing a burning blush. He noticed and our eyes lock. It seemed like an eternity I got to look into those magical grey eyes. He proceeded to tell me that there is no need for nervousness, and I tell him, “I’m sorry, I just can’t help but to blush. You are more attractive now than ever!” He throws his whole upper body back in laughter, his crew is also laughing too- SUCCESS! He gives me a genuine smile and tightly grasps my hands in his, looking me in the eyes while saying, “It was nice to meet you…….. really nice”. I smile coyly and exit the stage, he watched as I walked away. To say it was unreal would be an utter understatement.
(Cold hard evidence of our first encounter)
My friend and I were both in a state of complete shock, so we float our way to a restaurant to debrief over wine and dessert. This “debriefing” does not last long, Jimmy Page had entered the establishment. I did not even have to look to know that he had arrived, I could honestly feel it. I told my buddy without even looking over to confirm my sense, so we look over together to see him standing there, chills ran up through our bodies. We held back the desire to say something to him; we knew he just spent several hours meeting with fans so he needed this time with friends alone. We could hear him telling stories and laughing, it was surreal. He got a pizza, and of course we giggle watching him attempt to eat it. We get occasional glances and winks and struggle to keep our cool. Miraculously we did keep our cool, and we part ways. We were proud of ourselves for not bothering him, but I can’t say I don’t fantasize about what would’ve happened, had I gone over and tried to hit it off. The day came to an end, and I congratulated myself for not only hitting on Jimmy Page, but also making him laugh. Even writing it today it feels unreal, but it was real and I can’t help but to admit that I am one lucky gal.