The Fans of the Fanfare Project:
Memories in Music is so proud of the lovely fans who have committed to donate to Task Brasil's Casa Jimmy each month in honour of Jimmy Page. We'd like you to meet them, so we will be featuring them on the site. We hope they will inspire you to get involved. Our featured fan this month is Cathy Kelty from Bishop, California.
Hi, my name is Cathy. I'm old enough to be out on my own. I'm a happily married woman, been with my partner in crime for 28 years now (who'd have thunk it?) We are child free, unless you count the cat, dogs, horses, chickens, birds and frogs.
I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah (abbreviated by locals as SLUT, don't blame me.) Luckily for me, my parents moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when I was two. Also luckily for me (occasionally, anyway) I have three brothers. Because one of them is ten years older than me, I grew up rockin' – Beach Boys, ? and the Mysterians, the Beatles, Otis Redding, Smoky Robinson, all were playing all around me as a toddler and young child. In order to stay in the good graces of my duck-tail haired way cool older brother I had to be cool, too, even though I had no idea what that meant.
As I grew older I was still surrounded by music – Jefferson Airplane, Janis, Steve Miller, Tower of Power, the Tubes and so on. I got to listen to one the best darned radio stations of all time, KSAN (the sound of stereo...) in the '70s. Went to many a rock concert, my favorite venue being Winterland in SF. If only my parents had a clue what went on there...
Although of course I listened to Zeppelin in the mix, it was my younger brother who became a Zephed, and I recall watching him with a somewhat superior, older sister indulgence as he played the heck out of Physical Graffiti. It really spoke to him in his mid teens, and I could see it meant a lot to him. What, I wasn't sure, not being a teenaged boy. But we listened together a lot.
It was my husband who unwittingly made me a true Zep fan. I had really enjoyed Robert's "Mighty Rearranger" and on my birthday one year he bought me the crop circle set. Poor man had no idea what he had done... with no offense meant to the mighty Mr. Plant, suddenly I was aware that there were three other members of the band. Oh my, the music those three made together! I couldn't get enough. I became like this guy: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28086
Then something happened that deepened my love for Jimmy to something personal and magical. One day, I was watching the re-mastered Song Remains the Same, really groovin' to "Dazed and Confused." There I lay on the living room floor, in what can only be described as a musically induced state of post-coital bliss, when straight from that blistering display of outrageous guitar bedazzlement, came the beautiful, gentle, delicate opening guitar work of Stairway to Heaven. John Paul Jones and Robert faded away, and all I could hear was the guitar. It brought me back to a place I had not been since I was four years old, when I had been traumatized as a little girl. I felt an innocence and little girl wonderment that had been lost to me for over 40 years.
I began to cry, slow hot cathartic and finally grateful tears. Somehow this man knew, really knew, of this place inside me I had hidden away so deeply I didn't even know it existed any more, and he played it on his guitar. I listened mesmerized, to affirmation, liberation, and healing. The feeling grew and grew as the guitar took the journey up and up and up, through maturation and on to seeking. I was weeping by the end. "I felt the coldness of my winter, I never thought it would ever go..." but it did, dissolved by Jimmy's playing.
I got it. I got why people love Jimmy Page. I love him, too, and always will.
I am so happy to know Annie – she gets it, better than any one! To be able to take this gift and pass on even a little bit to children who need this light in their lives, is a small but fantastic thing. Thanks and all my love to Annie, and Jimmy, of course.