It’s not often that one gets given a gold bar, in fact I guess for the majority of mankind that’s the case but that is exactly what it felt like when I was given an amazing cassette recently.
Walking past a sandwich bar near my home I happened to see an ad for guitar lessons and thought that I fancied brushing up on my technique so answered the call so to speak. It transpired that the guy offering the lessons actually worked in the sandwich bar and had fallen on hard times. Even though he’d been lead guitarist of a major rock band in the eighties, he still owed EMI £250,000 despite all the gold records but we’ve heard that many times haven’t we, all that Rock n Roll excess was not being paid by the record label hence the bill. Anyway during the course of the lessons he mentioned that he’d give me a very funny tape of The Rolling Stones trying to play Brown Sugar and getting it wrong. This is just the sort of thing we love for our Rokpool music history website so I was really looking forward to getting it the following week. Well on the appointed day my friend had good and bad news, the bad news was that he couldn’t find the Stones tape, however he had found the Led Zeppelin outtakes !! and yes he handed over to me the equivalent of a gold bar. Now this is someone on minimum wage but he refused payment, “it’s karma, I was given it and I’m passing it on”. As a matter of interest this was given to him by a certain Mr Cole whilst they were ‘recovering together ‘ so the source is impeccable. Well what’s a boy to do, obviously listen to it and they are a couple of extraordinary tracks but how best to share with the World was my problem ?
By coincidence a few weeks later, at a social event, I happened to meet the Zeps lawyer and mentioned this to him, strangely he was not excited at all, indeed he said in no uncertain terms that I would be sued if I chose to share my good fortune with anyone even my neighbour.
So I have an amazing gem sitting locked away in the safe ( just in case it gets lost, not because I really think it’s a gold bar ) where it will remain unheard unless someone in Zepplin land can find a way around the dilemma. Sad eh?