After spending the last couple of months or so in what it could be described as a social Antarctica, I decided to take the weekend off to clear my head and on Friday I met Ross, Jimmy and Brian for a record-shopping afternoon at Spitalfields Market. It’s always interesting to see people’s reaction when they find themselves orbiting around Jimmy, especially in a music-driven environment, like a record fair, where people have a hard time controlling their emotions and get carried away by the excitement of crossing paths with a living legend. I kind of understand them because I’ve experienced that feeling myself; it’s exciting to meet someone you admire, I know that, but in all fairness, some people are just fuckin’ weird.
That day, for example, as we were walking around the market looking for records, a +50 year old guy came to him and gave him a very nice poster, as a present, which is absolutely fine. People do that, it’s a cool gesture and I’m sure he really appreciates that kind of stuff; the problem begins when they start to overstate their gratefulness towards his legacy: “Jimmy, I just wanted to say thank you for everything. Really mate, you don’t know how much it means to me. You have given me so much pleasure during all these years… the riffs, the music, the passion… please, accept this, bla bla bla…”. He looked nervous, his eyes shined as the surface of a mountain lake and he couldn’t stop shaking Jimmy’s hand, who kindly thanked him for the present and tried to keep on going with his things. Only that the guy wouldn’t let him. He went on and on and on and on, to the point in which I actually started to feel sorry for the old fart. It was awkward. Eventually, the man realized he was making the fool out of himself and finally stopped for good. You have given me so much pleasure… give me a break.
Not long after, Ross and I were browsing through some records when the guy who was selling them, another sixty-something years old man, came to us and said he had sent Jimmy a tweet the other day but never got a reply. He was very disappointed and somehow annoyed by the fact that Jimmy never got back to him. Ross explained him that Jimmy didn’t have a personal Twitter account but the man just couldn’t believe it. “Yes, he’s on Twitter. I follow him!”, he argued, “I know because it has a picture of him and everything. It has to be him, right?”. Eh, no, he isn’t. “It can’t be! How can somebody pretend to be Jimmy Page when he isn’t? They shouldn’t allow this, you know?”. Aw, how adorable. What kind of reckless creature dare to use the benevolent powers of the Internet to deceitfully pretend to be somebody they’re not!? Pfff! Clearly, chat rooms where not around when this bloke was a teenager.
Anyway, around 2pm, we went for a coffee at a nearby Costa and then hit the Tube to go to JB’s Records, near Tottenham Court Road. Now, this bit of the day was particularly interesting because I think Jimmy hadn’t been in the Tube since the 1960’s or something; I actually never thought I would see him riding the Underground but he did, and it was great to hear his stories of being a young session musician, running around in the Tube with his guitar and his amp. “They didn’t like you taking so much room with your gear”, he told me as we walked through the tunnels at Liverpool Street station. It was a nice thing to behold.
While we were at JB’s, I found in the “Less than 5 pounds” box a decent copy of Black Sabbath’s “Sabotage”, which Ross kindly bought for me. It sounds great. I want to come back next weekend to see if I can get a copy of Led Zeppelin’s last rehearsal before the reunion show at the O2 in 2007. Jimmy told me it was fantastic, and you know what, if the man himself says it’s worth getting, I’ll get it. Period.
I left Ross, Brian and Jimmy buying records and headed back home to indulge myself in a pleasurable power nap, which went a little bit over the intended lenght. I didn’t care, though. It was Friday night and I was planning to stay home doing what I do best: procastinate online. On saturday I went to this amazing place I recently discovered, it’s now one of my favourite coffeeshops in London: it’s called “Highness” and it kicks some serious arse. The place is small and cozy, they play some tasteful jazz, the staff is incredible friendly and the cakes are just amazing. If you are ever around Highbury & Islington, pop by, I’m sure you’ll be back for more.
Saturday afternoon went by without much action, basically because I was saving some energy for a St. Patrick’s night out planned by my housemates. For some reason, we rarely go out all together so we thought the Irish revelry would be a nice excuse to make up for lost time. We bought some cheap beers in a nearby Off License, took a bus to the very hispter distric of Hoxton, and got into a place which name I can’t remember. It’s in Hoxton Square and it’s bigger than it looks on the outside, that’s all I can tell. Came out of the place at 3am, took a cab home and the next morning I woke up at 11am, had some coffee and joined the St. Patrick’s parade with some of my classmates. It was fun. We walked all the way from Green Park to Trafalgar Square, where hundreds of people in funny hats and fake beards were cheerfully sipping from their Guinness pints.
I did too, of course. I reckoned the best way to fight back the hangover I had was to pour several beers down my throat so I hit the bar as soon as we arrived to the square and watched a guy improvising onstage a rap song, which lyrics included the words “lesbian” and “penis” (many many times), in front of several dozens of kids, some of them looking quite awkward and others laughing like kids do when they hear grown ups saying “bad words”. It was quite a funny episode.
All in all, a well deserved break from all the madness and shit that has been going on lately. It still does, actually, but that’s another story.