What do rock and rollers do when they're sick of the biz? Well, of course,
they hit the mean streets of New York City to stamp out crime. That's what
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page did, and they became the hottest crime fighting
duo in the history of New York City justice.
Here is their story.
Detective James P. Page sat at his cluttered desk in the 9th Manhattan
Precinct building. He leaned back in his comfortable but tattered arm chair,
and wearily crossed his cowboy boots on top of his paper-covered desk. He
was clad in neatly pressed black trousers, and a slightly puffy grey silk
shirt. A loose black tie rested along his chest and stomach like a
slumbering snake. His long, unruly black hair was tinged with grey at
the sides; his bangs touched heavy brows, accentuating his brooding
The detective's desk was covered with a clutter of newspapers,
official forms, and rap sheets. A full styrofoam cup of black coffee sat
untouched among the scattered papers, and next to a framed color photograph
of a beautiful woman and a young boy. His desk looked just like any other
desk in the precinct, with the exception of a very conspicuous electric
guitar, an orange Les Paul Custom, no less, propped at a jaunty angle against
its right side. Another desk, at the moment unoccupied, faced Detective
Page's. The brass name plate declared: "Det. Robert A. Plant."
Detective Page was in an extremely pensive mood, as he was wont to be
before an interrogation. He was known in the precinct as a master
interrogator, able to wheedle information and confessions out of the most
stubborn and seasoned of criminals. Page employed a cunning combination of
will and cool to outlast even the most unbreakable suspects. He never even
had to threaten bodily harm; he rarely broke a sweat during the process. He
also had an eerie sixth sense that made him quite expert in solving crimes
and sniffing out the suspicious. The chiefs nicknamed him "Cayce" after the
late, great clairvoyant and crime solver, and the name stuck. Page had
become a valuable asset to the 9th precinct, which made his presence, and the
presence of his blonde partner, bearable at the precinct house, in spite of
the fact that they were considered not only foreigners by their mostly dyed
-in-the-wool New Yorker colleagues, but unwanted outsiders as well.
The brooding cop was examining a plain donut. He twirled it round and
round in his long fingers, and regarded the pastry as if it held the secret
of the universe in its ring-like shape. His boots, still crossed atop
today's neglected paperwork, shook rhythmically to some tune unheard by
anyone other than himself. Page finally took a small nibble of the donut,
and, pursing his cherubic lips in distaste, tossed the treat absentmindedly
onto his desk. The donut slid across the desk, taking some papers along for
the ride, and came to a stop against the coffee cup. The force of the
collision caused some of the black fluid to splash the papers and the
photograph. The excess spillage was absorbed by the donut. Page did not
seem to notice, or more likely, did not care about the mess he had
made of his papers and the photo of his family.
"Hey, Cayce!" Detective Blett called to his moody colleague from across
the room. "Problems wi' dat?" He motioned to the donut he had earlier
generously offered Page.
"Problems?" Page emerged wearily from his reverie, and regarded Blett
with his glittering, dark grey eyes. At the same time, he reached into his
shirt pocket for a cigarette.
"Yeah! Like, what'd I give you that donut for if you're not gonna eat
it?" Blett was smiling, but Page could tell he was perturbed by his
rejection of the offering. "It's cop fuel, man! Eat it!" Blett added,
"I don't eat lard-based foods." Page declared flatly, then: "You want it
back? Here." He grabbed the soggy donut from its resting place and pitched
it across the office at Blett. The donut hit the startled officer squarely
in the chest, making a combined coffee and grease stain on his paisley
necktie. Blett roared.
"I oughta go over there and whip yer skinny ass! Who do you think you
are, you Limey bastard? You think yer something, dontcha? Man, if you
weren't on yer way to do a job on Bicycle Bob right now, I'd break your
goddam, pretty little face!" Blett stalked out of the office in order to
keep his anger in check.
Page chuckled at the outburst. The other detectives in the room laughed
with him, but he was laughing entirely to himself. He never did anything to
entertain others. Everything detective Page did, whether it was cruel or
kind, was for his own amusement. That made his fellow detectives, who were
for the most part herd animals, a tad uncomfortable. They had often wondered
why those two Englishmen were placed on the force to begin with.
They had appeared mysteriously--the striking blonde and the brooding
dark one--one day to work the bootleg merchandise beat in conjunction with
the FBI. In a few short months of casual investigation followed by firestorm
confiscations, Page and Plant had entirely wiped out the bootleg record and
movie markets in Manhattan; and then they did the same in the boroughs.
There were tales of mythical proportion of the two bursting into bootleg CD
plants, guns drawn, closing down the operation with fierce completeness.
They would roam the Village, visiting used record stores and carrying out
armloads of merchandise, to the surprise and dismay of the proprietors. They
swept the bootleg video dealers from the streets with no quarter. No one
knew where the avenging rock and roll detectives would show up next, and no
one wanted to take the chance of being nailed by them. Mere hours after new
bootleg factories were established, the operations invariably received a
visitation from the seemingly omniscient duo. Record stores refused to carry
illegal merchandise anymore. It was as if Page and Plant could smell bootleg
merchandise in the making.
The New York Post had quoted a St. Mark's Place record store owner in
reference to his recent bootleg bust: "They had been in my shop before,
several times over the years, actually. I remember standing there in
awe, trying not to stare, thinking 'Oh, my god! Jimmy Page and Robert Plant
are in MY store!' They even bought stuff once in a while. Then, they show
up one day, start pulling records and CDs out of the bins, and THEN, they
flash, like, police badges, and say that they're confiscating my stuff! I
couldn't believe it! I almost fainted."
After they smashed the bootleg industry, Page and Plant were made full
detectives on the New York City police force. They both carried badges and
big reputations. The pair were used to being a phenomenon, but this was of
an entirely different sort. They were now assigned to the homicide division
after being denied their request for transfer to prostitution and pandering.
Shortly after their transfer to the homicide division of the 9th
precinct, detectives Page and Plant were summoned into Captain Hughie's
office. A case had arisen that perfectly matched the duo's unique
"Cayce, Plant! I'd like to see you two in here," Hughie called from
his glassed-in office.
Plant and Page were sitting across from each other at their desks.
Page was, as usual, ignoring the growing pile of paperwork on his desk while
strumming his guitar absentmindedly, legs on their perch atop his desk.
Plant was sitting before a cup of steeping tea, drumming his fingers on his
desk to the rhythm of Page's playing. When Hughie called them, they both
rolled their eyes, stopped what they were doing, and dutifully made their way
to the Captain's office. Robert brought his tea, Jimmy carefully sat his
guitar upright on his chair, as if to mark his place.
"Boys, I want you to go to Soho to take a look at a stiff," the captain declared matter-of-factly.
Captain Hughie was a portly black man in his fifties, with a thick
moustache and raven-like eyes. He sat on the edge of his desk, arms folded
across his chest and resting on his large belly at the same time.
Page and Plant stood, shoulders touching, against the glass panel that
separated the captain's office from the homicide squad room. Page was
wearing his customary black, but today, instead of a tie, he had draped a
turquoise scarf around his shoulders. Plant, always the flashier dresser,
was wearing a cobalt blue silk suit, white blouse, and a technicolor tie
which blended both tastefully. His wild blonde curls were trimmed to the
"Ooooooh. Sounds like someone's died," Robert said, rapidly bobbing
"No. Someone has been murdered," Hughie replied, slipping off the
desk to stand at the window. A forest of skyscrapers formed the panorama
before him. "One of you rock and roll fellas, so that's why you two've been
assigned to the case," he continued.
Both detectives started when they heard the last bit of information.
"Ugh, not a John Lennon situation," Robert said ruefully.
"Wrong again." Hughie said to the window, and turned to face the pair
after picking up a folder from his desk. "It's a kid from a band called, um
. . ." He quickly consulted the scanty contents of the folder. "Arachnid.
Yeah, Arachnid. Whatever in the hell that is . . ."
"Spider," Robert said quickly.
"What?" Hughie had become distracted.
"A spider," Robert repeated. "An arachnid is a spider, or any other
eight-legged, multi-ocular creepy crawler with an exterior skeleton."
"Ah. Yeah. Thanks, professor," Hughie said, pausing to take a sip
from his lukewarm cup of coffee and recollect his thoughts. He went on.
"The kid, his name was Banana DeLong, he was the guitar player. Has
an apartment on Houston. He was found clubbed and shot in his apartment a
little while ago after one of the other guys in the band checked up on him.
Seems he was late for rehearsal."
"Poor chap." Robert frowned.
Jimmy made a surprised sound somewhere in his throat.
"You knew him?" Robert raised his eyebrows at his partner.
Jimmy nodded his head sadly. "I met him once. Decent kid. Guitar
style lacked a little, but he was a nice bloke."
Hughie continued. "This was obviously no robbery-related killing
because the apartment was left pristine. Nothing stolen. Everything in
order. We wanna put you two on the case because it involves one of you rock
and roll weirdos. Plus it'll be a good place for you and Cayce there . . .
Jimmy had turned his attention away from the captain, and back to the
outer office. He had gotten the feeling that someone was eyeing his guitar
as it sat unprotected at his desk. He was right. It was Blett. Page was
ready to pounce if Blett dared to touch it.
"Hey, Cayce! Pay attention," Hughie commanded, perturbed. Page
turned around, but only enough to keep his guitar, and Blett, within range of
his peripheral vision.
"Anyway," Hughie said, stepping closer to the pair, "you'd better get
over there, 428 Houston, apartment . . ." He began to consult the folder,
but stopped. "You'll know where the hell it is . . . where all the goddam
cops and photogs will be. Just hurry before the goddam body starts to stink.
Here." Hughie slapped the folder against the distracted Page's chest. Page
grabbed at it quickly before the contents had a chance to slip out.
Page and Plant both strapped on their body holsters at their desks.
Before they left the precinct house, Page shot a warning glance at Blett, who
was watching them suspiciously from his desk at the other end of the squad
"If you touch this," Page called to Blett, pointing at the guitar
sitting on his chair, "I'll know about it."
Blett smartly flipped him the bird.
Halfway out of the squad room, Page had a change of heart, and
returned to his desk. He slung the guitar across his back and hurried after
Detectives Page and Plant arrived at 428 Houston. There were already
a plethora of squad cars parked on the street, the coroner's van, and a
number of Arachnid fans who had heard the word on the street that something
definitely not kosher had happened at their idol Banana's place the night
before. The crime scene was cordoned off with cheerful yellow ribbons.
Inside the apartment, uniformed policemen milled about, and a
photographer was busily setting off flashes in every corner. The coroner was
drawing a chalk outline around the body of a young man, dressed only in boxer
shorts, laying face down on the floor. His long, blonde hair was matted with
blood. The detectives identified themselves to the coroner, who proceeded to
show them where the late guitarist had been clubbed on the back of the head.
He also revealed a neat bullet hole at the base of the musician's skull.
Page, whose stomach began to churn doubletime, decided to inspect the
premises and let his partner deal with the body.
"It's about time you assholes from homicide decided to show up!"
Seargeant Talc, the uniformed officer in charge, accosted Jimmy, who was
examining DeLong's guitar collection.
"Piss off, Talc," Jimmy responded, not bothering to look at the muscle
"You know what I hate more than fuckers who rape little girls?" Talc
sneered into Page's ear.
"I don't really give a shit, but I'm sure you're going to tell me."
Page turned to face the hulking cop, figuring that confrontation was
"Plainclothes Limey scum detectives. Especially ones with long hair
that look like pussy boys," Talc sneered contemptuously through clenched
"Oh, that's nice," Page replied with a crooked smile, "now, can I get
back to my investigation?"
"What can you possibly know about investigating a murder, you hippy
faggot?" Talc was not one to let go of a good conversation.
"Enough to know what the murderer was after," Detective Page said
flatly, and left Talc standing there fuming alone while he returned to his
partner in the entryway.
"Definitely a professional whack job," Robert said, flipping his
notepad closed, and shoving his ballpoint pen behind his ear. The pen
disappeared in a mop of curls.
"A what?" Jimmy asked, perplexed.
"Mob killin' Jim. Get with the picture. Don't you know your American
crime vocabulary yet?"
"Well, yes," Jimmy replied, "hippy. Faggot. Limey scum."
"There. See? You're catching on!" Robert said proudly, patting
Jimmy on the shoulder. "What'd you find? Anything?"
"Lots." Jimmy said.
Page paused for a moment while he remembered a party a few years back,
after the Donnington Monsters of Rock festival. Arachnid was one of the
featured bands. Page had a brief, but memorable encounter with Banana DeLong
there. The young man was incredibly drunk and loose. He weaved unsteadily
through the crowd to Jimmy, and threw his arms around the guitar god.
"Man, yer beautiful!" The young guitarist slurred. Page was so startled by the unexpected embrace that he was frozen to the spot. He was
not used to that kind of familiarity, even from the very drunk. The kid had
balls, he remembered thinking.
"Jimmy, yer mah idol, man!" The intoxicated musician gushed, hanging
on to Jimmy's shoulders for dear life. Jimmy had felt himself begin to sway
dangerously in his worshipper's grip. His bodyguard started to close in, but
Jimmy shot him a halting glance.
"Like the firssstime I saw you, like, in the Song Remainsa Same, I wen
out an bought mah first LesssssPaul Custom, the or'nge one jus like yers I
used tonight. Man, you gotta sign my guitar. Wouldja?"
Jimmy had agreed graciously to sign the guitar. Banana asked his
roadie bring it along with a special pen. Jimmy remembered putting his spiky
signature on the guitar, and the grateful look of ecstasy on the face of the
now-dead guitarist. It was moments like that Jimmy had lived and played for.
His eyes stung a little as remembered his meeting with the now-dead
The memory of the event played continuously in Jimmy's mind as he had
inspected the neat row of guitars in the dead rocker's living room. The
orange Les Paul he had signed was conspicuously absent; a single, empty
guitar stand sat in the corner by a small amplifier, meaningless to all the
cops present but himself.
"They took a guitar," he told his partner, who was patiently waiting
out the silence.
"They did?" Robert was stunned. "One guitar?"
Page nodded, and told Robert about the meeting at the Monsters of Rock
festival. "It would be unthinkable for Banana to be without that Les Paul.
He did most of his composition on it. It's . . . it was his prize guitar.
Plus, the empty stand. It just doesn't make sense. I think someone was
after that guitar and got it."
Robert mused. "Buy why would the mob want a guitar? Surely, not just
for your signature," he added jokingly.
Jimmy shrugged. "Maybe it wasn't the mob?"
"Hey, you done jerkin' off there?" It was Sergeant Talc. DeLong's
body had been deposited into a black bag, and was on a stretcher waiting to
be wheeled out to the coroner's van. Page and Plant had been blocking the
egress while they pondered.
"Piss off, Talc!" The pair said in unison, and they strode out of the
Outside the crowd had grown, and a number of young people had begun
"Banana!" up at the windows of the apartment building. When Page and Plant
exited the front door, someone in the crowd recognized them and called out
Jimmy, out of habit, turned smiling toward the crowd, and gave a
little wave. More people began calling out Jimmy's and Robert's names, and
the crowd pressed closer to the police barricade, trying to follow the duo's
movements toward their waiting car. One person yelled out, "How's Banana?"
Not knowing exactly what to do, the two, in one of their psychic
moments, both flashed a thumbs up and smiled. A small cheer arose, but
quickly dissipated, as, at exactly the same time the stretcher carrying the
body bag was being maneuvered down the front steps of the building. A woman
screamed, and then the whole crowd broke into a mournful ruckus in response
to what they presumed was their idol in a body bag.
Realizing the error of their gesture, Page and Plant used the
diversion to jump into their car and speed off into the city.
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