---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 00:49:12 +0000 (/etc/localtime)
From: Jeremy Mixer <mixer@zoso.net>
To: "zeppelin@zoso.net" <zeppelin@zoso.net>
Subject: Review of DVD screening 5/27/03

Before I start this, I just wanted to thank the people involved with
inviting me to this incredible event, you are out there and I want to
publicly thank you for the best evening of my life.

I also want to extend a special thanks to Cindy and her husband
Dave, both very wonderful people, who put myself and Kat up in their hotel
room.

Without furthur ado, here it is. I think there shouldn't be too many typos
either.... :)

I can die happy now.

After working an overnight shift and an 11-4 shift at my other job, I left
Bangor, Maine Monday afternoon destined for New York City. The last time I
was down there was in hte fall of 1997 when I went down to Pennsylvania to
meet up with a girl who I THOUGHT was 17, turned out she was like 14.
Oops, live and learn. I was bitter about that incident for some time, but
her and I are cool now, and I THINK she's back on FBO (Hi Jess) and she'll
probably hate me after reading this. But I stopped in NYC on the way down
just for the hell of it, and it ended up being the last time down there
for a long time. Until Monday Night.

After a couple of wrong turns, I finally ended up in Harlem and started
making my way towards Times Square. The plan was to meet up with Cindy,
her hubby Dave, and Kat down near the hotel. It was about 12:30 AM when I
finally got near Times Square, so I pulled over and found a payphone where
I called Cindy's cellphone and she told me where to meet them in front of
the Manhatthan Sharaton.

After I met up with them, and some friends (I forget their names) that
they knew from the Toronto Zepfest, we set out to find some food. It was
so great to meet Cindy (truly as beautiful in person as in pictures I'd
seen), Kat (probably the closest online friend I ever had who has been
there a LOT for me) as well as the others. We ended up getting some crappy
food from some crappy place and all went to the hotel, where we popped the
HTWWW CD into Kat's laptop, had a few beers, and just talked about our
favorite topic- Led Zeppelin. The two guys that were there took off and
Cindy, Kat and I stayed up till about 5:00 AM Tuesday morning just enoying
finally being in each other's presence. Even after the long drive and
hours of working, sleeping was hard and I had no desire to. After all, Led
Zeppelin Day had started.

Tuesday we awoke in the morning and headed down to St. Mark's Place (East
8th St) to see the Physical Grafitti Building. Although I've been there
every time I went to the city, no trip to Manhatthan is complete without a
trip to this historical Zep (and Stones) landmark.

We grabbed some food to eat right across at a cafe that was there, Yaffa
Cafe. Interestingly enough, there was a painting on the back of the cafe
with a woman who had the Swan Song logo tattooed on her shoulder. We at
outside directly qacross from our favorite building.

After eating, and checking out a few shops to get various different
Zeppelin goodies, we headed off to Lowe's 34th street theater to pick up
our tickets. I only found out I was getting these Saturday, so it still
hadn't hit me yet that I would actually be going to this.

Upon getting there we saw the red carpet all rolled out awaiting the
arrival of our boys. It was quite a site, I'd never seen a red carpet
before. Don't laugh, I'm from Maine. This of course came complete with
metal gates for fans to stand behind and take pictures, as well as a
sectpion partitioned off for the press. It was amazing being invited to
such an exclusive event. But that was nothing.

When I picked up my invitation, I opened it, and nearly shat myself in
amazement when I saw qa little blue stub inviting me to the exclusive VIP
party, along with my two tickets to the premeire. It still hadn't
completey hit me yet, but I was PSYCHED. On top of that, I was going to
the party afterwards in which the three remaining members of Led Zeppelin
would be at.

Well now it came time for the girls to get ready. I, too, decided I needed
to dress up for this event. I had never been that dressed up before, but
for this I felt it was important to. So I donned my jacket, and tie, and
was ready, and then Dave and I went down to the hotel lobby to wait for
Kat and Cindy. Of course, Kat and Cindy being women, they took forever :)

But they came down after what seemed like a couple of decades and we were
ready to go, so we hopped into a taxi and took it to Lowe's theater. where
by this point in time there were tons of people waiting for the arrival of
the boys at this much-publicized event. The excitement was starting to
build. we waited outside for a bit wondering if we would be able to meet
up with Nech. The press was arriving, tons of tleevision cameras and
photographers all lining up in the press area along the red carpet. It was
difficult to comprehend how big of an event this whole thing actually was,
even being there and witnessing it all.

Eventually the time came to go inside. It turned out there were three
theaters showing screenings, and we found out poor Kat would be seperated
from us. Luckily we were able to find our two friends (who got their
tickets from Kat and myself) and were able to switch the tickets so Kat
could be with Cindy, Dave and myself. While waiting outside of the
theater, Cindy met up with the world famous Nech, as well as TangerineMan.
When I got there I got to meet two of the members of the hardest working
FBO committee ever.

Soon we went into the theater, and the anticipation continued to build.
But it seemed to take literally forever. HTWWW was playing in the
speakers, and provided an appropriate soundtrack. We sat in the theater
and listened to all of disc one and disc 2 to give you an idea how long we
were there just waiting for this, but we wanted good seats so we showed up
early and were just about the first people there.

But finally Disc 2 ended. The lights went down and the spotlight turned
our attention towards the front corner of the theater at stage right,
where the CEO of Atlantic Records talked about how Atlantic Records would
not exist today if it weren;t for Led Zeppelin, their biggest selling band
of all time. With that, he introduced Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John
Paul Jones. I had never seen these three men so close before, actually JPJ
I had never seen in person. The closest I ever was to them was about 300
feet when I saw them at Great Woods on 7-14-98 (Page and Pllant) but the
door that they entered at was about 100 feet away, maybe closer. They
walked down to the front of the theater. Jimmy talked a little about the
project and how much work it took to put it together and how proud he was
to be a part of this, Plant said much of the same and dedicated the DVD to
Bonzo, which received a standing ovation. Jones made the best comment of
all though, with typical JPJ humor, mentioning that he is excited about
this because he finally gets to see Led Zeppelin play live. With this, the
band made their way away from the front of the theater and the footage
started.

The Royal Albert Hall Footage was simply incredible. I was always under
the impression that the version of "I Can't Quit You Baby" was from a
soundcheck, but no, in fact, it was from this concert. Robert Plant never
sang a song the same twice, there are some edits in the Coda version, most
notably at the beginning. Also, "We're Gonna Groove" from Coda also came
from here, however once again there are some editws on the Coda version,
the live solo is edited out and a new solo was overdubbed over a part that
was palyed instrumentally live. Once again it is obviously the same
version because of Robert's vocal approach. This is a man who sung songs
differently every time. And his voice often was inconsistant and had
different sounds to it, even in the early days.

As the Albert Hall footage continued, I waited with anticipation of what
footage was to come. Do you know that feeling that you are loving what you
are seeing, but you have so much anticipation, you can;t wait to see what
is next? That explains how I was feeling for this whole DVD screening.

It went on, and everyone was in awe. We made it a point to, even though we
already had copies of it, we made it a POINT to not watch any of the DVD.
We figured that we had to wait for the screening so our first viewing of
it would be that memorable. And memorable it was.

The tune I was looking the most forward to was one of my favorites of all
time, "In MY Time of Dying." And let me tell you, it exceeded my
expectations. and one thing summed it up. In the couple of seconds of
silence right before the "Oh My Jesus" part, someone in the theater yelled
"HOLY SHIT!" and this received applause from the entire audience. This was
excactly what we were all thinking at the time. WOW. It was simply
amazing.

There were these two guys sitting about 5 rows down, and one of them was
just getting into it, I've never seen a whole movie theater getting into
what they were watching so much. But it was like seeing Led Zeppelin live.
This was more exciting and seemed more live than either of the Page/Plant
shows I went to. And that is not a knock against those shows, they were
fabulous. That just shows how incredible this whole DVD screening was, on
that big screen, larger than life Zeppelin boys. It seemed like Page,
Plant, Jones, and Bonham were performing for us, the people in the
theater. I can't imagine what it must have been like to see those shows in
person, because the video expirience was by far the most incredible
concert I've ever been to, and I wasn't even really there.

When Stairway Started, one of the best moments was when the guy that was
getting into the music so much, sitting a few rows down, lit his lighter.
It was so appropriate. Not anything you'd ever imagine seeing in a movie
theater, but it fit so well. Unfortunately, I left my lighter in the hotel
room.

Quicker than it started, Suddenly the screening was over. Holy shit man,
what an incredible expirience. And the night wasn't even over.

My first priority was to releive myself. After doing this, I met back up
with Cindy, Kat, TangerineMan, amongst some others upstairs outside the
theater. There was an "exclusive" party outside of the theater that we
were not able to go to, but this wasn't the real party, that was why.
Soon, after chatting with some people, including a gentleman I vaguely
remembered from the Zepfests I went to in the mid to late 90's, we made
our way over to the party.

We got to the door we were looking for where we were all asked what
our names were, and they were all on a list that the doorman held. Upon
entering, the place was rather empty. It was an odd place, very dimly
lit, strange music playing. I went up to the bar to get a beer and took my
wallett out, and the bartender told me that the entire bill was being
picked up by Atlantic Records. Thank you Atlantic/AOL/TimeWarner, I don't
usually like corperate companies that are that huge but my opinion of them
went up dramatically after this night. Thanks for the booze guys! Needless
to say, I was in for quite an evening.

I grabbed some food and situated myself near Nech, CIndy and the FBO
crowd. After muching for a little bit and walking around and mingling with
a couple of others, there he was- none other than the man, Jimmy Page, he
quickly made his way to the back of the room and before we knew it he was
gone. But JPJ was there, and I walked over and introduced myself to him.
He was very friendly and more than happy to give me his attention, and not
long after westarted talking Cindy had dragged Kat, the biggest JPJ fan
I've ever known, over to him and I introduced her to him as the girl who
called him up on rockline talking about what a beautiful singing voice he
had. Once he started talking to her she was suddenly at ease, and the
three of us (mostly Kat and him) were discussing his web site, some
problems with the cuirrent one, and he was talking about how it is out of
date and needs an overhaul soon. We were also discussing having a little
discussion board on his web site, he seemed very interested in the ideas
and eventually after a couple of minutes politlely said that he had to
move on because there were a lot of people to talk to, we shook his hand
again and he moved on.

So I'm sitting there thinking "Holy shit, I just met John Paul Jones."
About that time, Robert Plant walked in.. I had to go see if I could shake
his hand too.

Let me tell you this was a challenge. This is a man that still has as many
groupis at 55 that he did when he was 25. And a lot of people were
swarming around him just trying to get his attention. On my first attempt
I had no luck, he took off and went the other direction. But about 10
minutes later I found myself near Percy once again so I figured I would
attempt again. Eventually I got his attention and thanked him for the many
years of wonderful music he has provided me, and that my name was Jeremy,
and he shook my hand and said "Thank you very much Jeremy" and that was
that, he immidiately moved on. Not as much of a meeting as I was hoping
for, but I really can't complain at all. He was cordial and friendly with
me, he was just more interested in the swarms of women around him, who can
blame him? I met the tall cool one in person. That was all that mattered.

But, I still had yet to meet Jimmy. But thanks to Cindy, she pointed me
towards the person I needed to talk to. I went up to this man and
introduced myself, he happened to be the one who invited me to this in the
first place. He was busy chatting with someone at the time and Nech was
right behind me and introduced himself too, to which this man asked us to
hold on. Ater finishing his conversation, he turned to me and asked me if
I had met Jimmy. I said no. Then he asked "Would you like to meet him?"

Now, there could have been a lot of wiseass answers to this quaestion. I
had a lot of them going through my head I have to admit. But I said what I
was truly feeling as a response, "Why yes, I would be honored to" and the
same question was askee to Nech, and he asked if he could take his wife
along. After a brief hesitation, the three oif us were taken to a guarded
stairway, up the stairs, and this literally was a stairway to heaven. We
were brought over to a little table in the corner, where Mr. Page was
seated chatting with some folks. When he was done, the gentleman who took
us up said "Jimmy I have a couple of people I'd like you to meet" and Nech
met him first, and immidiately asked for 20 million autographs. heh. When
I got my chance, I introduced myself to Jimmy and he voluntarily signed an
index card for me "To Jeremy: Rock on!" with his John Hancock underneath.
I thanked him for the wonderful work putting the DVD trogether and he said
he was very happy to do it and at that, I decided to head back downstairs.
He looked so good and healthy too, it was really great to see that.

Now, I've come across many well known people in my life. The most famous
would be author Stephen King who I work for. The first time I met him, I
confess I was slightly starstruck, I remained composed well, which I have
trained myself to do over time and expirience. And it felt cool after I
met him I've always been a fan of his books, and am very proud to work at
his radio station.

But meeting Page, Plant or Jones, even if just one of them, would be much
more near and dear to my heart. As a matter of fact, 3 nights later, it's
hard to beleive that it happened. But what nice guys, really. I was very
impressed by their attitude towards all of their fans. They seemed very
thankful for all of us supporting them, and I could tell that they are
three guys who really do care about their fans, they have strong heads,
and their egos aren't as overinflated as many would imagine that they are.
This, in my mind, as someone who has met a few people with VERY
overinflated egos, is remarkable and impressive.

Beleive it or not, I've met people who work in radio and television in
Bangor, Maine who have more of an overinflated sense of self-importance
than any of these guys did. That says a lot for the Zep boys (and not a
lot for these select few radio and television personalities)

After some more mingling downstairs, someone pointed Zoe Bonham out to me.
What a little cutie she was too. So I decided to go over and introduce
myself. She was sooooo cool. Very happy that I would come over and talk
to her, and someone asked for her autograph and she seemed so honored that
someone would ask for her autograph. So I did the same, and she signed the
notecard that Jimmy did right next to Jimmy's John Hancockl. She wrote
"Jeremy, Best wishes, luv Zoe Bonham" and drew Bonzo's symbol underneath.
It was so cool. What a little cutie she is. By this point in time things
were finally starting to wind down. Robert had left around the time I was
meeting Jimmy, and Jimmy had taken off not long after I had met him.
However, still there was none other than John Paul Jones. the little group
of FBO'ers was gathered up front and we all got to chat with JPJ just a
little bit longer, and Kat got her ultimate dream- a picture with JPJ,
actually 3-4 were snapped. Soon after, he too, took off, and many of us
were just looking at each other in disbeleif. What an incredible night.

With that, we soon took off, parted ways with our fellow FBOers Nech and
TangerineMan and Cindy, Dave and I set out to find some food. Even in
Manhatthan food at 1 AM can be hard to come by. So we settled for
McDonalds. (I know, I know, we originally set out to find food, but we
settled on just finding something to eat) I had an incredible emotial high
that at the time I thoguht was just the alcohol, but72 hours later, I sit
here at work and I KNOW it had nothing to do with alcohol. I had just
expirienced the most incredible night of my life. And I challenge Grant to
make the next Zepfest a better expirience :)

After getting back to the hotel room, we crashed. At least I did. And I
crashed fast. I was tired. 3 hours of sleep and the most incredible night
of your life will do that to you.

(zep content ends here)

The next morning Cindy, Dave and I got up and headed down to the fox News
studios to sit in on the set of Day Side with Lindsa Vester and be part of
the studio audience. I've always wanted to do such a thing, even though
I've worked on a local television show this was not the same as a national
news show. It was a great expirience, for someone who works in the media
in a small market such as Bangor, Maine, to see how the pros do it on a
national news channel. And while I do not feel that FoxNews is as "fair
and balanced" as they claim to be, I do want to point out that Linda
Vester made it a point to get as many different views from the studio
audience as possible. And I thought this was admirable.

After this it was time to pack my things and start on the 7-8 hour trip
back to Bangor. I went to get my car and the parking attendents told me
that there was a problem with my battery and they had to push start my
car. Wonderful.

I figured I'd try to get out of Manhatthan and deal with it then. But I
wasn't so lucky. The car died, I called AAA, and it got towed to a garage
in Harlem. They couldn;t look at until the next day unfortunately.

Fortunately the tow truck driver was a Zeppelin fan though, so he brought
me to the nearest subway stop so I could go back to find Dave and Cindy.
So I did, carrying all my stuff with me.

After going back and telling them what happened, I decided I wanted to
explore the city some more so I headed on down to lower Manhatthan and
went back to the Physical Grafitti store in the famous building. There was
this pair of leather pants I had seen there that I knew would fit me, I
didn't want to spend the money initially because I knew I needed money for
booze Tuesday night, but Atlantic Records took care of that. So I figured
what the hell, these will look good on me for the next FBO jam.

After that I went down the street to a bar and grille and was talking
Zeppelin with this guy named Xavier O'Connor, a freelance actor who has
made appearances in "The West Wing" as a rabbi, he was pretty cool. Also a
Zeppelin fan.

At this point in time I decided to head down to the former site of the
World Trade Center. As someone who had been in one of the towers before
(only in the lower shopping part) I felt it was my duty as an American to
visit the site to get the full scope of how much was destroyed. And let me
tell you, television doesn't do it justice. It is huge, immense,
incredible, and emotional. 'Nuff said.

With this I went back to the hotel room and crashed on the floor once
again. The next morning I called the auto repair place, knowing that any
work done in Manhatthan would kill me. Sure enough, battery and alternator
were dead. The total bill, with tax? $521.76. They said it would be ready
by the afternoon. So I had time to kill. I parted ways with Cindy and Dave
who were wonderful, bid them goodbye and wished them a safe trip back (are
you two home yet?) and proceeded to Rockefeller Center where I got the NBC
studio tour, for the second time in my life. Instead of bringing us to
Conan's set, this time we saw the dateline set. Also walked past Tom
Brokaw's studio and saw the inside of it, as well as looked down upon the
set of Saturday Night Live. After this, I made my way back to Harlem to
get my car. After getting confused on the subway I finally made it down. I
paid the bill, grabbed my car, and saw the highway entrance I had to get
onto. Unfortunately, I could not get on that way, so I tried to go around,
anded up going the wrong way, went out past Queens, all in the middle of
Rush hour, before finally finding myself in Manhatthan again, in severe
lower Manhatthan, confused about where I was until I found Wall Street and
used that to Navigate myself to something more recognizable and eventually
to FDR which brought me to 278 which led to I-95 and I was on my way home
through a few different highways and back onto 95 up to Bangor.

No matter how long I live, I don't think there will be anything in my life
that will be more of a hilight than the night of May 27, 2003. Thanks
again to those responsible for me getting invited, and a special thanks to
Cindy and Dave for letting me crash in their hotel, and having me be in
their way so much and not leaving them with much privacy. It's people
like the two of you that restore my faith in humanity in general. Thank
you!

And before I close this, I just want to say that there was only one
regret. That I couldn;t have shared this expirience with many more of the
FBO community. But it is good to know that FBO did have a presence at this
exclusive event. I don't want to appear to be rubbing this in anyone's
face, and if it seems that way then I apoligize. But I had to post this,
when I had several emails inquiring for my description of the event,
including one from Shar virtually begging for my account of the night of
May 27, I knew I had to. (For those of you who don't know, Shar and I
hgave had many unfriendly email axchanges in the past, so when I get a
very nice email from her begging me to write about this event, it is my
honor to post it, and it's nice to not have such bad vibes going on now
like there have been in the past. :) )

So that's it in a nutshell. Well more like a dumptruckfull.

The best night of my life.

Thanks for reading,
Jeremy