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My Photos in Jimmy Page Photoautobiography!!

Tonehawk

New member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
197
I have no idea what section this really belongs in. My apolgies if this is the wrong one.

I am sharing this story for my fellow Jimmy Page fans. I hope you enjoy.

In 1976 and' 77, I used to smuggle my camera into shows in Detroit, rush the stage when the headliner came on (they let us do that?), and would sell 8x10's to schoolmates. WIth each show, my skills improved such that I was able obtain a photo pass for Tull in 3/77, which yielded the best shots to date - hard to mess up when stahding protected against the stage). I shot Zep at the Pontiac show, and convinced my parents (I was 17) to let me go the NYC if I could get tix for any of the 6 shows. I mailed away, and got good seats off the side of stage right for show #5 on Monday, 6/13.

After receiving the tix, I embarked on an effort to obtain a photo pass for Zep in NYC. I sent some slides to Swan Song, and followed with a call. No luck. Called again - still did not get to speak to anyone. Then, in early May, I get a call from Swan Song - they have issued all the passes "but have two 2nd row center seats for Saturday the 11th, would that be good enough?" While looking for my jaw, I agree they will be fine. My dream was to get a photo published on /in an album cover. Fat chance, just like getting the tix and photo access. It's nice to dream.

Then obstacles started to appear. No one I knew was allowed to join me. The night before I need to leave for NYC from Detroit, I run into a guy that graduated a year earlier, voted most likely to be a burn-out, and he jumps at the opportunity - I gave him the other 2nd row seat. He was a die hard Stones fan and used to talk trash about either them or Aerosmith being able to smoke the mighty Zep. The show changed his mind. LOL

We get to NYC, hotel says lost my reservation while Liliy Tomlin is checking in next to me. They finanally accomodate us with a room. All we had was enough cash for the weekend - no credit cards. Tough way to go in NYC.

Did not locate the tix until 1/2 prior to the show. After getting the tix at willcall, the security would not let me in with the camera equip. I call backstage again to the Swan Song exec. He takes the trouble to come up and meet met me outside of willcall, and took my camera in. He says to meet him center stage at the barrier, and that people that need to know were notified that I was authorized to be there with the camera.

I took 180 shots that were keepers - threw about 30 out. The photos have never been published, although many have asked why not, or that I should do a book, etc...

Met JPJ the next day, and breached security found myself standing outside JP's hotel room, but did not get to meet him.


Fast forward 33 years to 1/1/2010.
On1/1 of this year, I noticed an entry on Halfin's site that he was working on JP's book. I emailed him, indicating I have a bunch of solid photos I took as a guest of Swan Song. He asked me to send 10 or so, and would "forward them if they were good enough". But he needed them in one day (flsle deadline as it turns out). I had to have the slides digitized, and found someone on Saturday 1/2 that had me over to his home for the afternoon to scan a majority of the Zep slides via the top Nikon scanner. I submitted 21 shots, with a follow -up email a couple days later. Silence. I figure I missed the deadline or the shots were not good enough.

On 1/26, I receive an email that says "JP picked 2 he liked-I'll let you know next month if they will be used". :wow I fell out of my chair.

Followed up to find out which 2 were selected, and Halfin says check back in Feb. On 3/1, he says check in another week. In the meantime, he brings the project manager into the fold of corresopndence. On 3/18, I email the PM to inquire which 2 were selected, and submit 3 additional shots from the laser / bow segment as they are so unusual (a pro said I should have submitted them). Within an hour, I am cc'd me on an email to the PM which says, "show Jimmy these tomorrow.... I just told him." :wow Turns out they finished the layout for the book earlier in the day and Halfin thought they were worthy of consideration and called JP to tell him of the late entry. Amazing!

The following Monday, I receive an email from the PM, and I quote - "I showed Jimmy your laser images on Friaday and he asked to see the in the layout of the relevant chapter of the book, which is about how he used the laser light show. The design people will be working on it next week. I will let you know as soon as I have news." :laugh2:

Hopefully I am not jinxing it by talking about it. At the moment, it looks rather promising that 5 of my photos will end up in the book, each hand picked by JP! I am flabbergasted that this is happening 33 years after taking the shots. Who would have thought this to be possible - nobody, certainly not me.

In the meantime. a B&W photo turned up on the Zep website (1977 section) of the audience on 6/11 shortly before the lights went down, taken from just right of the stage in the risers. Sure enough, there I am at the barrier center stage with my camera bag, just after receiving it from the Swan Song guy. The photo gave me a whole different perspective of what I pulled off at age 17. The photo is here - http://www.ledzeppelin.com/image/new-york-6-11-77-0

I hope in the end that I will get ot meet the man (book release function perhaps), or I'll be direct and suggest pizza in London some afternoon or evening (i know - it will never happen - gotta ask to find out). Worst case, will be credits in the book - which would be awesome - maybe an autographed copy. They are only printing 2500 copies (Genesis) - they do have a sign up site.

I'll post some photos with #1 soon. There are also shots with the double neck and the cherry red LP he was using. :jim

There are many more details to the story surrounding the event in '77. It was a gas then, and the current status of the photos is surreal. Just having JP see the shots and pick some if most flattering. Even if they don't end up in the book, the recent events have been exciting.

A big thanks to Mr. Halfin for experessing an interest, taking the time and effort to look at them, and forward them to JP for consideration.

Tonehawk
 
Last edited:

Biggles58

New member
Joined
Aug 9, 2004
Messages
937
Great story Tonehawk and kudos to you making it happen. When is the book to be published and are you willing to share some of your pics here?
 

Tonehawk

New member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
197
Great story Tonehawk and kudos to you making it happen. When is the book to be published and are you willing to share some of your pics here?

Biggles58 - Thanks! Yes indeed. I'll will post a few this evening - they will be shots that were not submitted. Once the details are done I'll be in a position to post additional shots.
 

Decoy205

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2008
Messages
621
Thanks for sharing man! Great story!

I'd love to see some of these shots too very cool! :3zone
 

Zepnut

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
213
Wow wow wow!!! Can't wait to see some of your shots. What a great experience and congratulations on your imminent success! :applaude
 

geddins

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
1,743
What a great story. I cannot believe you've kept all those shots "quiet" for this whole time. Remarkable. Congrats and major Kudos to you. Best of luck!
 

MRG

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Messages
672
Fantastic! Good going man.

Went to the 4/10/77 show at the Chicago Stadium, but sat way back in the mezzanine. So, so jealous right now.
 

Otto 57

Active member
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
1,345
A good old friend of mine was a beer vender at MSG and gave up his job that night to see the show instead of sell beer. Funny story but Tonehawk's story is so cool and a bit touching that I don't want to take away from it by telling this one.
Well done TH!! Congrats. I'm proud for you.
 
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