---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 07:49:42 -0400
From: "AylaKat@aol.com" <AylaKat@aol.com>
To: zeppelin@zoso.net
Subject: DVDs, Premieres, and Joneses

I wake up somewhat to the sound of the radio. It doesn't hit me yet just quite what I was hearing, because I'm dazed and confused after a mere 3-4 hours of sleep. The night before, Cindy, her husband Dave, and two friends we met at Zepfest Toronto were gallavanting around New York City, hitting Virgin Megastore ten minutes to midnight, gazing at the giant billboard they have up on 7th street, between 40 something and 40 something.

We ran around the store for a bit, waiting for THE MOMENT... when the CD and DVD would be wheeled out on a little white cart, and the scramble for copies would begin. It's funny really, we were the only ones that really ran for copies, all of us in contest to be the first ones to purchase both. Cindy was officially first to pay at 11:59 and about 30 seconds, if you must know. I was second, and the Canada boys were last. It didn't matter though, because we HAD them... we owned our copies and it felt GOOD. We posed for pictures, tore open the wrappers, and gazed at those discs. But Cindy and I had made a promise... we can't watch that DVD, at least, not until we see it on the big screen! But we could, on the other hand, dip into those CDs...

So after that we walked back to the hotel, where we met one of the true badgeholders of For Badgeholders Only, Jeremy Mixer. The rest of the night was spent listening to the first CD, feeling every note... singing along when we had the guts and those who played anything played along using only the air as instruments. At the first few bits of every song, one of us uttered an "Ohhh..." or "Yess!" in some sort of orgasmic glory. It was sound yet it was shining, glimmering treasure ringing in our ears.

After the Canada boys left, we sat around talking and such... blah blah. Then comes Tuesday morning.

We have a Zep day, visiting Physical Graffiti and eating at Yaffa, searching the little shops at St. Mark's Place finding all kinds of Zep goodies, before it's time for us to rush back to the hotel and doll ourselves up for THE NIGHT...

Of course, Cindy and Jeremy had to pick up their tickets first (I got mine elsewhere) and lo and behold... inside Cindy's envelope was a little blue slip inviting her to a party... the same blue slip Mixer had in his and that I see Nech mentioned.

We rush back to the hotel to shower and change... Cindy and I making ourselves look like classy ladies in our dresses. Yes, of all the women there, I must say, we were the shining examples of female specimens, dressed like ladies without dressing to little like we saw on some rather scantily clad girls. We arrive at about 4:50 or 5, and there's the red carpet rolled out, and and a people waiting behind fences to find available tickets from scalpers, and a barrier of photographers lining the eventual pathway of the boys into the theater. We waited for them the clear the theater out, until their secret service let us in. We were first.

We got into the theater and sat down, legs shaking in anticipation. The screen was large, and tonight we were small, for the images of those boys would be enormous, and even they, dwarfed by the sound.

Eventually, the lights focused on a man with a shoulder length curly poof of hair behind a microphone on a podium, and we clapped. He was the head of Atlantic, and he spoke his thanks for a moment before introducing... Page, Plant, and Jones!

Now, there were three theaters showing this movie... the other two with mostly contest winners, and the third, the one we were in, with mostly invited guests. This is where we all sat... Cindy, her husband, Jeremy, me, Nech, his wife, and I'm pretty sure Tangerine Man. This was the theater that they would be watching it in, so this was the theater they made their last speeches in. The boys were funny and heartwarming... Plant dedicated it to Bonzo and that was met with much rowdy applause in agreement. Jones mentioned how he would "finally see Led Zeppelin perform..." it was met with laughter and applause, and for me, agreement. Finally, the boys, together, could be larger than life... larger than my TV screen.

The movie started as the DVD starts... and the anticipation was over, because when the sound started, so did the ride! Notable bits include the way they showed so much Bonzo. I love looking at him play. Watching his arms move was breathtaking, especially on In My Time of Dying, and of course, his Moby Dick bit! It was a shame they didn't have the whole solo on the big screen, I would have loved to watch all of it and more, but I'll do that on my own. As for the rest of it? There were times where I just had to close my eyes and FEEL it instead of watching it... I mean, it just sunk into me and twisted my muscles around and shot chills up my spine, every bit of it... The 1972 Immigrant Song images were dead on gorgeous, my congrats for a primo editing job there. That just stuck out as an amazing and exciting thing to watch... because it never, much like the song, slowed down to let you breathe. If you closed your eyes, you missed a Jimmy dance, or a Jonesy dip, or a Bob shuffle or a Bonzo drum smack. What a feeling.

And yes, there were those audience moments... normally, when an audience member interacts with the movie in a regular movie, that guy gets hit with random pieces of candy or my fist. But in that theater, audience interaction made it feel like it was alive... when the man in the back left yelled out "HOLY SHIT!" at the top of his lungs during IMTOD, the audience exploded with laughter, because guaranteed, everyone thought the same exact thing at the same exact time. When Stairway came on, two people near the front put up their lighters and were met with tons of laughter. I had thought of bringing a lighter with me but I forgot... I could only imagine the reaction the boys would have gotten if the place exploded into a sea of lighters. But it was a movie theater, not a real concert, so I'm sure most people were unprepared. Still, it was beautiful, until the guy had to put it out because he burned his fingers.

The Ocean.... gosh, The Ocean had me feeling so good, and Bonzo introduced it and I know me and others said it along with him... and every note of it, every bit of it just... gosh, I'm not even sure what to say at this point, because the memories of those feelings I had during The Ocean and IMTOD just... just... gosh. All else has escaped.

There were a few "OMFG THAT WAS AWESOMEs" after the show, before we hurried along to that after party. Just to note on the atmosphere of the club... when we walked in there, it was dark, and the designs on the wall were creepy, and the music sounded straight out of hell, and I was very creeped out. The feeling left after I heard Jones arrived and saw the top of his head in the crowd. And soon after was when it happened.

Cindy was talking to Jones. I watched her. She turned around, I saw her face. She walked toward me. Her arm was out. Five fingers grabbed my wrist. I tugged back. She pulled. I walked, helpless. There he was. Shaking my hand. Smiling of the tattoo of his symbol on my arm. Jeremy next to me telling him how I was on Rockline that time, and how I was the one who told him his voice was pretty. Sometime after that, a comment Cindy's husband gave me ringed in my head... "Underneath, they're all flesh and blood." John Paul Jones was one of the nicest people I had ever met... he chatted with me, let me talk to him about my ideas about his website, thanked me for my input... let me make a dumb joke about how he should call Jimmy on Rockline for a goof... and then it was over.

JOY? YES. JOY.

All in all, it was a great evening. The highlight was certainly meeting Jones, and the images... just gorgeous. I was lucky to be there, someone was smiling down on me, because things worked out too perfectly. Somehow, my manager knew to give me Tuesday off, without question. Somehow I found the perfect dress and shoes. Somehow, those tickets got into my hand. Somehow, I saw it.

As a final note: It was great meeting Nech and his wife and Tango-Man, and Mix Master J! Everyone was cool people, and although the likelyhood of something like THAT happening ever again is slim, I hope one day we all get the chance to get together again. Zepfest perhaps?

And on the DVD itself, not just the movie... I looked through and saw that all the menus have little gorgeous clips here and there... so no matter what, even if you're just surfing, you get an awesome treat! This DVD is amazing, more than I hoped to ever have, and if you don't like it, phooey to you, and go find another favorite band!

Now I only wish I could have given them all a big THANK YOU in person to them for the amazing time...

Kat Dalton