…or less than a month, actually
Following on from yesterday’s rock-birthday greetings, it seems appropriate to congratulate another living legend on refusing to go quietly: Jimmy Page, who today turns 64. Back in 1967, a young McCartney imagined himself renting a “cottage on the Isle of Wight” after reaching this particular milestone. For Page, of course, the last time he rock-and-rolled was in front of 17,000 people in December 2007 in arguably the most-anticipated rock reunion of all time—Led Zeppelin at the London 02 Arena (AKA the Dome).
The group, which surpassed the heights of heavy metal hedonism in the 1970s, disbanded following the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980. The three surviving members, joined by Jason Bonham, son of John, delivered a rapturously-received performance (featuring some extravagant violin bowing on Jimmy’s ’58 sunburst Les Paul) which surely put a final nail into the coffin of “popular” art as something the young do best. It has long been accepted that “serious” musicians and artists can produce some of their most shocking, original and successful work in later life; at least in terms of performance, popular music has caught up.
Mothership, a wonderfully bright anthology of Led Zep classics, remastered by Jimmy and 50 something sprog John Davis, has turned on a new audience of air guitarists to Black Dog and Stairway to Heaven. Singer Robert Plant recently duetted with country diva Alison Kraus on Raising Sand, a thoughtful baby boomer easy listener, but what we oldsters really need now is some cranked up kerrang from our sexagenarians to kick out the jams and show the young ‘uns how to lose their hearing with dignity. Rock on Jimmy.