The time Tracey Donaldson met Jimmy Page and flashed him her tattoo

Publish Date
Monday, 18 October 2021, 3:33PM

I met Jimmy Page in 2007, the night after Led Zeppelin had played their internet-breaking reunion gig, the one where more than 20 million fans had logged on to the ticket site to buy just 18,000 tickets.

My husband Ashley and I were in London on holiday and were walking down Kensington High Street to meet friends when we saw Jimmy Page standing outside a gaming shop talking on his phone. He knew he'd been recognised and quickly ducked into the shop - so of course, we followed him in.

He was reserved when we sidled over to say hi, but when I showed him my Led Zeppelin tattoo he gave me a massive smile, it was one of his designs and he seemed flattered. Ashley's dad, Larry, had worked with Jimmy back in the 60s and when he mentioned this, Jimmy was delighted, remembered him well and got into a pretty animated conversation with Ash.

I just stared, trying to take it all in, and it was all over in a couple minutes. It was the era of razor flip phones without cameras but since we'd been going to meet mates for drinks I had my camera with me.

Weirdly, it was the second time I'd been in Jimmy's immediate orbit, a decade earlier when I'd lived in London I was at an Aerosmith gig at Wembley when I saw Jimmy and his girlfriend were in the 2 seats next to me. They got up to leave before the lights came up and he left his plastic beer cup on his seat and I took it and I still have it.

It was right up there with the night I met Courtney Love. I was working for Universal Records London in '99 and managed to get an invite to the Hole After Party of her show at Brixton Academy.

I saw Courtney as soon as I walked in - she was wearing a tutu and pink fairy wings and she asked me for a cigarette. I didn't have one, I'd blagged mine and so we shared it. It was wild, me, my friend Jenni, and Courtney Love standing there, smoking while she was telling us about her famously bad time in the 70's at a Nelson boarding school.

We didn't even care when she just wandered off mid chat to talk to Michael Stipe.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission